As a freelance content creator, I write blog posts (like this one!), ebooks, case studies, social media posts, web pages, and other pieces of content for a long list of awesome companies. It's an amazing career that I feel really blessed to have!
But it wouldn't be possible without a slew of important software tools, one of which is CloudApp.
In this article, I'll give you a brief rundown of what CloudApp is. Then I share the five ways that I'm currently using (or plan to use in the near future) this solution. Sound like a plan? Then let's dive right in and get started!
What Is CloudApp?
CloudApp is a visual communication platform that brings screen and webcam recording, GIF creation, and image annotation features to the cloud. It can be used to communicate more effectively, create more engaging content, and boost productivity levels.
Imagine being able to speak your mind to your computer's webcam and then sending the resulting footage to your colleagues rather than typing out long-winded emails…
Or illustrating complex processes via a screen recording rather than listing out instructions that your recipients won't be able to understand anyway...
Or drawing attention to specific things via an image annotation feature that allows you to easily access arrows, circles, text boxes, and emojis…
That's the power of CloudApp!
How I Use CloudApp
Now that you understand exactly what CloudApp is, I want to talk about the five purposes I use it for as a freelance content creator.
These purposes include content enhancement, client education, sending personalized thank you messages, creating better marketing materials, and sharing large files. Let's take a closer look at each use case right now:
1. Content Enhancement
Source: Rain Sales Training
The most common way that I personally use CloudApp is to enhance the content I write.
Here's what I mean: I regularly use CloudApp's screenshot and image annotation feature to create compelling pictures to accompany the blog posts, ebooks, web pages and other pieces of content that I'm hired to write on a daily basis.
This is valuable because written content that includes pictures, GIFs, and other visual elements has been proven to perform better than text-only pieces.
Since modern web-users crave visuals, the blogs and web pages that have them often perform better in search results and get shared more on social media, which makes my clients happy. Happy clients tend to stick around, which ensures money keeps flowing into my bank account.
In the past, adding visual elements to my written content has even enticed clients to share my work with others, thus giving me a steady stream of new potential clients who I can turn into more happy customers and transform that money flow I just spoke about into a raging river.
I'm a BIG fan of things that benefit both me and my clients. CloudApp allows me to create better content that performs at higher levels for the companies I work with. Win!
2. Client Education
Occasionally, one of my clients will need clarification on a particular content initiative. They'll ask me something along the lines of, "Why are we doing it this way?" or "How does X work?" It's not that they don't trust me to create amazing content for them. They just want to understand what's happening inside their business. Completely understandable.
But in the past, these seemingly harmless questions would lead to high levels of unproductivity as I sat typing out lengthy emails explaining my processes and responding to the inevitable replies asking for greater clarity.
I've also had clients who were addicted to meetings. Every time they had a question about my process they'd want to jump on a phone call or video conference. While I enjoy interfacing with the people I work with, this many meetings is disruptive to my daily workflow.
Everything is different now that I have CloudApp!
I can simply record my screen and quickly show my clients how I complete a particular task. Or I can turn the camera on myself (hello webcam!) and explain my reasoning behind a specific content idea or initiative.
If the explanation is simple enough, I just take a quick screenshot, give it an annotation or two, and send the image off to my questioning client.
Using CloudApp for client education has resulted in much higher productivity for me.
I don't have to waste time crafting long and detailed messages or attend an endless string of meetings. Instead, I simply shoot a quick video or annotate a screenshot and, voila, my client has been educated on a topic of interest to them and I can continue going about my day.
But this process isn't just better for me, it's better for my clients too. They love the clarity that my CloudApp content affords them and appreciate learning about my work in such a convenient way. That, my friends, is what I can a win-win scenario!
3. Personalized Thank You Messages
As a freelance content creator, I have a few different kinds of clients. I have those who send me work on a consistent basis, those that hire me to complete the occasional project when a specific need arises, and those that contract me for one job and one job only.
It's the latter two groups, AKA the companies I don't work with on a consistent basis, that I've started sending personalized thank you messages to after each project is finished.
I simply access CloudApp, choose "Record", select the webcam option, and speak a quick, personalized message to the client, thanking them for the chance to work together and reminding them that, should they need writing services again in the future, I'm available.
While I haven't been using this strategy for very long, I'm confident that it will be successful for two main reasons:
- It's Unique: I guarantee that not many freelance content creators use this tactic. When I take the time to craft a quick, personalized video message, I stand out from the sea of other freelancers out there and give myself a better chance of getting hired again in the future.
- It's Thoughtful: Who doesn't like personalized video messages? By sending one to my clients at the conclusion of every project, I show that I really do appreciate their business. When said client needs to hire another writer down the road, I'm guessing they'll choose to work with the "thoughtful" freelancer.
Like I said, I haven't been using this strategy for long, so I can't say for sure whether it will ultimately prove successful or not. But it's so quick and easy to create these videos with CloudApp that I don't feel like I'm wasting my time either way.
4. Better Marketing Materials
I'll admit, this use case is still theoretical — at least for me. But I started thinking, "why can't I use CloudApp to create marketing content that helps me secure new clients?" I haven't found a compelling answer NOT to start doing this. Here's what I have in mind:
Website Explainer Videos
What if I use CloudApp to create explainer videos that really capture the value I bring to the table as a content creator and post them on my website for all potential clients to see? I'm guessing I'd see a bump in inquiries about my services!
I might also experience better SEO performance as websites that include video tend to perform better in search engine results. More site visits is the first step towards more qualified leads.
At the very least, these explainer videos would give potential clients a feel for what I do and what it's like to work with me. This will allow them to make a more informed decision before hiring me to write their content and help to ensure I'm a good fit for their needs.
Social Media Videos
Here's the truth: I've built my freelance business almost entirely on email outreach and referrals. These strategies have allowed me to create a comfortable lifestyle for my family. But I know that if I want to reach the next level, I need to get more proactive about marketing my services.
There are a million different ways to market a business. I should know, I help companies market themselves every day with the content I create.
One of the strategies I plan to use is LinkedIn. Yes, I already have a LinkedIn profile, but I'll be honest, it's a barren wasteland over there. I just haven't needed to use the platform up until this point. I'm hoping to change things moving forward.
Creating videos for LinkedIn with CloudApp is an option that's available to me as I work to expand my freelance content creation business.
Earlier I talked about the thank you messages that I've started to send to occasional and one-off clients once the project they hired me to write is finished. But what if I also shot a quick, personalized message at the beginning of my working relationship with them?
Just a quick video that introduces myself to them, lets them know how excited I am to work with them, and assures them that they made the right choice in hiring me.
Again, it's a small gesture that could potentially go a long way. It will help me stand out from the other freelance writers in my industry and (hopefully!) encourage new clients to continue working with me for any and all future projects.
5. File Sharing
Lastly, CloudApp is an incredibly convenient way to share files — even if said files weren't created using CloudApp. That's right, I occasionally use this tool to upload images and videos I find on the internet to my personal CloudApp Drops Library and send the CloudApp link that's automatically generated to my clients.
As you're probably aware, sending high-res images and lengthy videos via email is a pain. The files are just too big and unwieldy.
CloudApp simplifies the process by allowing me to upload content to a cloud storage system and then easily send a download link to whomever needs it — whenever I get the fancy. It's quick and painless, just like every other aspect of using CloudApp.
Here's how it works:
- First, download CloudApp to your Mac or Windows computer. Then access the tool and click on the "Upload" button in the top right corner of the drop-down menu.
- Choose the file that you would like to upload to CloudApp. Note: as far as I know, only files that are already on your computer can be uploaded.
- Once your file is uploaded to your personal CloudApp drops library, hover over it and click the "Share" button. CloudApp will then automatically send a link to the piece of content via the share method you've chosen.
And that's all, folks. Sending files with CloudApp — whether you used the tool to create them or not — is incredibly easy and efficient.
Get More Done Faster With CloudApp
No matter what job you have — whether you're a freelance content creator like me, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or somewhere in between — you can use CloudApp to supercharge your workflow and get more important work done in less time.
Fortunately, access to this awesome tool won't cost you an arm and a leg. Sign up today for free and get access to its full suite of tools. Good luck!