Reducing Opportunity Losses for the Freelancer, pt. 1

In the first blog post in this series, we talked about Friction Losses and Opportunity Losses. Ofuz is chock full of task management and collaboration tools that help freelancers reduce Friction Losses.

Ofuz also helps you reduce Opportunity Losses. An Opportunity Loss is when you’re so busy doing your thing that you don’t have time to develop new business opportunities and leads. Ofuz allows you to import contacts from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other CSV file source. After you’ve gotten all of your contacts into Ofuz, you can start to use the mailing list management, contact tagging, and note-taking capabilities in Ofuz to work your network and avoid opportunity losses.

Unifying Your Contacts Using Ofuz

Ofuz makes it easy for our freelancer to import his existing contacts from a variety of sources. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, vCards, and any CSV-formatted list of contacts is game for importing to Ofuz. Our freelancer does the following to import contacts from his Gmail account into Ofuz:

  1. Click Settings (top right of the page).
  2. Click Sync.
  3. Click Google.
  4. Click Import Contacts.
  5. In the Email field, type your Gmail address and then click Import.

Creating new contacts in Ofuz is also dead simple:

  1. Click the Contacts tab.
  2. In the top left of the page, click add new contact.
  3. Complete the Add a new contact form.
  4. Click Add this person.

Now that our freelancer has all of his contacts in Ofuz, he can use the powerful tagging feature in Ofuz to categorize and selectively act on these contacts. Let’s say that our freelancer wants to create four categories for his contacts:

  • Current Customers
  • Prospects
  • Past Customers
  • Peers

To tag multiple contacts, our freelancer would simply:

  1. Click the Contacts tab.
  2. Click in the white space next to each contact you want to tag.
  3. The white space around the selected contacts will become light yellow.
  4. In the text box above the selected contacts, type the tag you want to assign to those contacts.
  5. Click add tags.

A Short Detour: Why Email For Marketing and Lead Generation?

Next to ranking highly in search engine results, email marketing is the most effective way to generate sales. This is true for large corporations, and it’s true for a freelancer. A Direct Marketing Association (DMA) survey for 2009 showed that email marketing returns $43.62 for every dollar spent. We’re not talking about SPAM here, but targeted email to people who have given you their permission to send them emails. That DMA survey isn’t just an isolated data point. Surveys by ForbesDatran Media, and Shop.org also agree about the effectiveness of email marketing. Read this handy guide to email marketing for the freelancer.

Because you can assign multiple tags to a single contact, you don’t have to pick only one category for each contact. For example, our freelancer can have contacts who are both past customers and prospects. This multiple tagging feature allows our freelancer to be very selective when sending group emails to his contacts. With Ofuz, he creates very specific group mailings — without needing separate mailing list management software.

For example, he can create an email template for a newsletter. He can use the newsletter to provide current and past customers with relevant, useful information like tips related to their business, along with incentives to hire our freelancer. By sending periodic emails to past customers, our freelancer stays at the top of their list for future gigs.

Conclusion

A lot of freelancers are trying to find a way out of a familiar feast and famine cycle. The key to a sustainable freelance business is steady, constant business development. Linking your contacts and your business development to Ofuz means that even in your busiest times you can manage to keep your prospects warm – filling in all those famine times with more contracts.

In part two of this blog post, we’ll look at how how Ofuz can help you generate new leads for your mailing list.

In the meantime, sign up for a free Ofuz account to see for yourself how easy it is to manage your contacts using Ofuz.

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