5 Great CRMs for Freelancers to Organize and Grow Your Business
Building a freelance business requires a high degree of organization and business intelligence. As a solopreneur, you need a place to keep track of your own prospects and maintain information on customers and potential customers. Customer relationships management (CRM) software can help you keep all of this information in one place where it is accessible, convenient and informative.
CRMs are a great tool for any business, but they are particularly helpful for small businesses that focus heavily on relationships, which is something freelancing definitely does. CRMs are generally user-friendly and customizable, too, so you can save the information you need as you continue building business relationships with new clients.
In this article, we will compare five different CRMs that are great for freelancers. From there, you can pick the CRM that fits your business needs. Every platform on our list offers free trials, too, making it simpler to get started and see if you actually like the software and user interface before you make a commitment.
- What is a CRM? How Does it Help My Freelancing Business?
- Less Annoying CRM
- Getting Started with CRMs
1. What is a CRM? How Does it Help My Freelancing Business?
CRMs let you keep key details about clients and prospects within arms-reach. You may do a lot of your own marketing and have many different conversations with prospects, only to forget key details later on. Perhaps you have an intro call with a prospect and forget to contact them later, letting the conversation drop. A month later, you lost track of what was said, pitches you sent, or quotes you offered for your services. You have a great degree of backtracking to do, so you start searching through old emails for conversations you had. Ultimately, it feels like a big waste of time, and you still feel like you are missing something.
With a CRM, instead of trying to keep track of bits of information about clients and prospects in different places, you can keep everything in one platform. During client conversations, you have a convenient place to take notes and refer back for information you collected about each account.
If you are interested in finding the right CRM for you, here we will review five different systems you can try. In no time at all, you can get your business organized, which will help with your marketing and outreach.
Streak is a CRM that works inside Gmail directly. If you use Gmail a lot anyway, this CRM puts your prospect and client information right in front of you. Emailing about your accounts is easier if you have at-a-glance information to reference, so this can be a good fit for many freelancers. It works a bit differently from most CRMs, so you may not have the features you are used to, but it works well with your Gmail account and offers a decent degree of functionality. With a two week free trial, you can test drive Streak to see if it has the features and layout you need for your business.
Insightly has a wide variety of built-in features, such as email tracking and project management. You can try Insightly with a 14-day free trial and see what you think. With a friendly interface, you can collect the data you need and get some great business-friendly features that will probably help you feel more like the professional you really are. You can see a history with specific contacts at-a-glance so you know everything that was previously communicated via email, files, tasks and events. Create custom reports as well.
Capsule is an online CRM you can use to manage your sales relationships as a small business or freelancer. It is relatively streamlined, making it easier to have everything available when you need it inside a lightweight program with a clean interface. Syncs with Google Calendar and iCalendar, also. Import your contacts from Outlook CSV, making it easier to bring in data. With a 30-day free trial, you have plenty of time to really test Capsule and figure out if it will work for you. There is also a free version for two or fewer users, making it easier to try using Capsule and experimenting with it.
Base offers features that may seem unnecessary to some freelancers, but their system can be easily customized to fit the needs of many typical freelancers. This software platform can help you automate more of your CRM tasks so it is easier to get started and keep your information updated. It synchronizes with Google Calendar, keeping your appointments updated and integrated with your CRM. With a two-week free trial, you ca try Base and see what you think of the platform. You can send emails within the platform as well. Base is great for customizing filters for client data, so you can stay on top of your prospect information.
6. Less Annoying CRM
Less Annoying CRM shows all the data from a contact in one screen, giving you at-a-glance access to the information you need about every prospect and current client. Pricing is low, at $10 per user per month, making it accessible and scalable for freelancers. Designed for small businesses, Less Annoying CRM is ready to tackle your small business CRM challenges while keeping you informed as you interact with your contacts. This platform offers a dashboard with at-a-glance information you will need for your day, so you can plan ahead. A 30-day free trial gives you time to understand how Less Annoying CRM works and see if you like the features.
7. Getting Started with CRMs
Typically, you would pay for access to a CRM per user per month. Many, if not most, CRMs are cloud hosted and can be accessed remotely online. If you are not sure what to look for in a CRM, keep in mind that finding a CRM that syncs and integrates with other applications you already use can be an excellent idea. It may help you become more productive if you can work consistently with a CRM that integrates well with other software systems.
After signing up for a CRM, you will need to make sure it is populated with data. Many systems can import into your CRM automatically, bringing in your contacts and creating new entries. Companies that are not customers yet are “leads,” people who are current customers should also have entries in your CRM. Update each entry as you have conversations with your contacts and discover more about their needs, interests and companies. From there, you have a great starting point for research anytime you plan to make contact.
You can store a variety of different types of information in your CRM. Quotes, contact information, details from past conversations, future opportunities you can talk with your contact about and other information. Access your CRM shortly before or during conversations, to help you get the correct details and recall past conversation information. With your CRM, you can readily use the information you have collected about your prospects and customers when you are having conversations with them, trying to upsell your customers or conducting background research for a pitch.