As a marketing consultant, I’m heavily reliant on the tools I use everyday to be efficient and successful in my role. Working with CRMs, marketing automation tools, email clients, project management software, and more, I’m used to using tech to get the job done. But add in the extra element of working 100% remotely, and I especially need to be able to communicate effectively and collaborate effortlessly.
Before coming across CloudApp, I found myself spending a tremendous amount of time on the phone, composing emails, or sitting in video conferences in order to ensure that my customers understood the activities I was working on, or that my subcontractors knew exactly what I needed them to do. But as a consultant, my time is much better served doing the actual work. I wanted to find a better way to reduce the administrative time I spent on communication and collaboration, so that I could free up valuable hours that I could use for more billable (ie, profitable) tasks.
Through CloudApp, I’ve found several ways that I can use the screen capture and annotation tools to run my business better, improve the relationships I have with my customers, and work together with other consultants or subcontractors. Today, I use CloudApp in four main ways:
- Using CloudApp to explain things to customers
Most of my customers are what I would call “growth phase” startups. Often, they have only a few people on their full time payroll, which usually include developers, some form of management, and perhaps a sales director. When I come in, I may be their very first step into marketing activities, and while the founders and CEOs I work with understand the importance of marketing, they typically don’t know the ins and outs of what it actually entails.
Because of this, I often find myself not only as a strategist and implementer of marketing tasks, but also as a teacher of sorts. I like to explain to my customers not just what needs to be done, but why - and often they want to understand more about the how. When this occurs, I find it to be much easier to explain topics in marketing - and results - through visual means, and typically it becomes easier for my customers to understand. And since I do remote work, I need a better way to do this from behind a computer screen.
Additionally, since I set up marketing automations like lead generation and nurturing, but my customers typically handle sales in-house, I often need to work together with them inside our CRM and automation tool to have a streamlined process. When the sales team is old-school, or hasn’t used a particular tool before, it is extremely helpful to be able to take annotated screenshots and videos to show them what they should do next, once I set them up inside the tool.
As a result, I build trust and rapport with my customers that would maybe be harder to achieve otherwise. They have a clear indication of what it is I’m doing, how they can see the results of our marketing activities, and understand what I need from them to make the whole process work smoothly.
When I use CloudApp in this way, my customers have access to the resources that they can refer back to. Not only do I save time on emails and meetings going over these things repeatedly, but I secure a great working relationship with my customers that has led to referrals to other companies to help my business grow.
- Using CloudApp to delegate to subcontractors
As a consultant who primarily works alone, I don’t currently employ anyone full time. I do, however, use a network of other contractors that I can tap into when I need help on a project that is outside my range of skills. I typically hire on a project basis for things like graphic design, web development, social media, and translations, but it’s up to me to project manage these subcontractors, and ensure that they are aligned on brand and messaging as either myself or my customer have intended.
Particularly when it comes to a website redesign or rebranding, being able to not just tell my subcontractor what I need, but show them, is invaluable. It ensures that nothing is lost in translation, and I can trust my subcontractors to work independently without me needing to hold their hand or monitor everything that they do. Using CloudApp for these kinds of workflows makes collaborating with others not only easier, but much more enjoyable.
After adding CloudApp to my arsenal of tools that I use in my business, I’m finding that instead of losing some profitability while using subcontractors, I can reduce the time I spend on conversing back and forth and collaborating with others. Instructions are more clear so that there is less miscommunication, so typically projects are completed accurately the first time around.
- Using CloudApp to keep myself organized
I’ll be the first to admit that one of my biggest challenges in being self-employed is staying focused and organized. When processes and productivity are solely based on personal motivation, rather than an external factor like a manager or corporate culture, it can be easy to get distracted, task switch frequently, or for me, be unorganized.
One of my main issues when I first started working on multiple projects at the same time, was properly documenting my to-dos, and questions and suggestions from my customers, especially after a meeting. I had so many things running through my head at any given moment, that sometimes it would be difficult to keep it all straight. What I found to be happening was this: I would need to check back in the days that followed if I didn’t properly annotate individual customer wishes, or I would forget some great aha! moment that had occured in a discussion that I hadn’t written down because I was sure I would remember later.
Now, I use CloudApp to give myself instructions, and keep all my unfinished tasks organized. Instead of needing to read through notes after a meeting, I can quickly and easily look at webcam recordings and annotated pictures for making edits to e-books, adding items to a workflow, or ensuring a customer request makes it into a newsletter.
After discovering I could use CloudApp for my own personal business use, I feel much less stressed about forgetting important details, and less overwhelmed when I’m working on several projects at the same time. My head is a lot more clear to be creative, instead of working in overdrive to keep it all straight. As a result, the quality of my work is better, I can be much more efficient in getting things done, and I’m even more autonomous since I don’t need to follow up with each customer as often.
- Using CloudApp to create marketing, sales, and customer experience content
Since I specialize in content marketing and inbound methodology for B2B companies, a lot of my time is spent creating marketing and sales collateral for my customers. My days are primarily filled with writing, editing, formatting and strategizing how best to show and tell the benefits of their products and services.
Most of my work has focused on written content such as blogs, e-books, whitepapers, and the like, but increasingly we’re finding that all types of consumers respond well to visual communications. This is true for all phases of the sales funnel, from when prospects are becoming aware of a brand and product, through to after-purchase activities and onboarding and customer support. Being able to create instructional screen recordings of a SaaS platform, make snippets from a webinar, or produce entertaining GIFs of a particular software feature, has added an exciting element to the content I produce for customers. And because I can do these things so easily, I’m creating high-quality materials in a fraction of the time.
Being able to create instructional screen recordings of a SaaS platform, make snippets from a webinar, or produce entertaining GIFs of a particular software feature, has added an exciting element to the content I produce for customers. And because I can do these things so easily, I’m creating high-quality materials in a fraction of the time.
My customers have seen an almost immediate increase in engagement across all marketing channels with the new CloudApp content. They’re finding that onboarding is a much easier and more enjoyable experience for their own customers, and that leads are more active, leading to a quicker MQL to SQL nurturing time. Email open rates and click-through-rates have both increased, and social media engagement is up as well.
As a remote working marketing consultant, I can say that CloudApp allows me to run my business better, in so many different ways. When I use the features for internal use, using screen recordings and annotated images for collaborating with my customers and subcontractors, and to keep myself organized, I save valuable time and effort. When I use CloudApp for producing content for my customers, I help them have better results from their campaigns with less time and resources spent.
Since CloudApp is both a productivity and collaboration tool, it can be a go-to solution for distributed teams and those who work remotely. Make your processes more streamlined, quickly and easily share live screen recordings and annotated pictures and videos with your colleagues, and be more efficient in tasks from everything from training to process documentation. CloudApp takes the challenges out of collaborating at a distance.
With CloudApp you can:
1. Skip that meeting - Rather than wasting your time and the time of your co-workers or clients, showcase your thoughts by recording a quick video of your screen and sending it.
2. Improve collaboration - Quickly send over a few options with clear instructions to avoid unnecessary back-and-forth.
3. Share feedback immediately - CloudApp makes it easy to capture and share thoughts.
Learn more about CloudApp for productivity.