Feast or famine.
When it rains, it pours.
Make hay while the sun shines.
No matter which idiom you want to apply, I’ve been thankful for the recent uptick in new clients and expanded roles with existing clients.
For no other reason other than that I haven’t blogged in a while, here’s are the tools I’ve been using to dow the work of 3 people without having to add to the payroll:
AdWords Editor – PPC Management
Google’s wonderfully powerful tool for creating and managing AdWords accounts in a desktop application. The AdWords web interface is great for generating reports and minor changes, but nothing beats AdWords Editor‘s bulk edit and copy/paste capabilities.
I launched a new AdWords campaign for a client last week with over 600 keywords in 100+ ad groups. After a solid week of keyword research and writing ad copy, it only took me 3 hours to actually create and upload the campaigns using AdWords Editor. I don’t even want to think how long this would have taken using the online interface.
Freshbooks – Online Invoicing
Invoicing clients is a necessary evil. Yeah, it’s fun to watch the money roll in but Quickbooks was nightmarishly clunky, slow and manual. It took about 10 minutes to fire it up, log in, create an invoice, save it as a PDF and email it to a client.
About 5 months ago I switched to Freshbooks, an online system for generating and tracking invoices. Now, creating a new invoice takes less than 2 minutes and my clients get them instantly via email. Instead of logging in to see who might be delinquent (or close), I can track who has viewed their invoices and automatically send a reminder before it becomes overdue.
It even handles time tracking and expense tracking by client to make task-level invoicing really, really easy. And kind of fun.
Unbounce – Landing Page Testing
Unbounce is an idiot-proof system for designing and A/B testing multiple landing pages at once. As more conversions take place, the winning combinations of images, text and calls to action become clear.
Use the learnings to create smarter, more efficient landing pages that convert increasingly more visitors into buyers, email subscribers or downloaders. Best of all, you can directly add new leads to many major CRM and email marketing programs (like MailChimp).
MailChimp – Email Marketing
Staying in touch with customers is a must. They are more likely to respond to offers from companies they’ve dealt with before, so why not reach out to your previous or current customer base with a new offer or information that adds value to their day?
There are a lot of ways to communicate with people online these days, but nothing is more efficient or effective than email marketing. MailChimp is the best solution I’ve found for building and managing lists, designing email templates and analyzing the results.
Take the time to reward your best customers. They’ll reward you back many times over.
ActiveCollab – Project Management
I’m not a big fan of recurring monthly subscription fees for web-based software unless there are simply no other suitable options. Many people love BaseCamp for online project management but I actually chose ActiveCollab because it offers 80% of the features at a one-time fixed cost.
It’s not perfect and not nearly as sexy as BaseCamp, but it works just fine for small teams and agency/client collaboration. It’s certainly worked to keep me on task and on schedule. And after only a year, it has basically paid for itself in saved monthly subscription fees.
What tools/services/software do you use to improve efficiency and generate better results for your company or clients? I’m always looking for ways to save time or money. With a new baby and lots of new client work, it’s getting harder and harder to find the right balance between the two.