Contact Management

Debra Recommends ifanz

Debra Russell, Artist's EDGE, Art and Entertainment Industry, music business, marketing, web 2.0, contact managementifanz is a very cool resource originally developed for musicians, but really applicable for creative professionals in all walks of life who are building their career by building their relationship with their fans.  More than just a database and newsletter management tool, it also offers one-stop shopping for many of the needs of the small business owner!

As I teach in Multiple Streams of Art Income, Step 7 is “Strengthen Relationship”, communicating to your fans is critical for this step and ifanz can help.  This one-stop-shop can also help with steps 4 and 6.

From the ifanz.com website:

Invented by Musicians – For Musicians

Ruth McCartney, our CEO, grew up in Liverpool, England in the 60’s. She heard her step-brother Paul and his partner John Lennon lamenting the business side of the Beatles and grew up knowing that “the suits” as John affectionately called them were basically accountants who cared little for the future of music.

When the awesome task of sorting literally tens of thousands of pieces of fan mail fell to her Mother Angie, she made her pocket money by helping to catalog and answer some of the mail. She soon learned that a relationship with the fans is the second most important thing a musician can have – apart from great song material that is!

With the advent of the internet in 1995, Ruth and husband / business partner Martin Nethercutt decided to build a system to collect names and send out newsletters. Today, nearly 10 years later, iFanz now allows thousands of folks just like you to:

Collect names >> develop a relationship and a dialog >> get guidance from your peers >> blast out gig calendars >> download your data to see where your Fanz are geographically >> send a personalized automated birthday greeting to each fan on their big day>> send newsletters by State or Zip >> and much much more.

In addition to communication and database management, iFanz also offers NetShop, a turnkey online store that comes complete with credit card processing and order fulfillment. We offer CD burns on demand and over 30 items of merchandise all available with your custom imagery. One fan, one order, one royalty check. Never again worry about creating huge inventories that might not sell. NetShop products (100% cotton t-shirts, mousepads, mugs, caps, totes and more) are made to order using your design (or we can create one for you) so there’s never any over-stock. And never any upfront costs to you.

The bottom line: if your Fanz have a relationship with you, they are much less likely to steal your music. Who knows, 3 years from know you might be selling them cookbooks, paintings, photography or guitars. iFanz. Because your fanz ARE your future.

 

Save

Save

3×5 Contact Management System

Back in the good old days, before such things as computerized contact management systems, salesmen created a physical contact management system.  I learned this system many years ago, while working in the Network Marketing world.  For those of you who prefer the tactile sensation of a physical contact management system, but are finding that just having an address book or a notebook or a pile of papers isn’t working for you, try this:

Supplies (links go to the Amazon.com site for purchase):

  • Index Cards (3×5 or 4×6)
  • 2 Index card file boxes (also 3×5 or 4×6)
  • 3 sets of dividers (size appropriate to the cards you choose):

Set one box up with the numbers in front and the months in back appropriate to the current date.
e.g. – Today is May 8th.  You would have May, 8, 9, 10….31, June, 1-7, July, Aug…..
As each day passes, you put that number tab divider into the next month.

The second box is set up with the A-Z tabs.

For each contact, you make up 2 cards.  One card just has name, address, phone number, and basic information and that card is filed in the second box alphabetically. (For easy access by name).

The second card is an ongoing tracking of every interaction you have with that person.  So let’s say you meet someone at a networking meeting on 5/1.  You make your first call with them today 5/8 to gauge interest in your services.  They are going on vacation next week for 2 weeks.  They are interested but could you call them back after 5/21.

You make a note of all the pertinent details on the card under 5/8 (where are they going on vacation, any personal details they mention, the fact that they are interested, etc.).  You also make a note on the card “5/21 f/u call to pursue booking a gig (or whatever).”   Then you file that card behind the #21 divider.  If a contact says, call me back after the summer, you file their card behind the September tab.  Always noting what the next action is on the card.  Assume that you have no short term memory.  Write everything down.  Any information they give you about themselves, their circumstances, what they’re looking for, everything gets written down.

Each day you check that day’s divider and take any actions scheduled for that day.  Every contact should have a future action scheduled unless they have unequivocally said, “No thank you.”  Then you can decide to either toss the card (if they were a jerk about it), or clip it to their alphabetically filed 2nd card.  You never know when they may call you in the future or send you a referral.

In this way, nothing ever falls through the cracks.  Even if you only work your business 3 days a week, you just check the actions for the days preceding.  Any calls you didn’t get to today, immediately re-file under a future date.

This system can be modified for 3 ring binders or accordion files.  Whatever works for you.  What’s nice about the index card is that it is incredibly portable.  What’s challenging is the lack of space for copious notes.  You can also get creative using colors.  For example, venue owners could be one color, agents/managers another color, fellow artists yet a third color.  Whatever makes you happy, helps keep you organized and supports you in taking action!

Debra Recommends Daylite – More than CRM for Mac

Debra Russell recommends, Marketing, time management, contact management, project management

So, first let me say – I am not a Mac user.  However, I have a lot of clients who are, and so I have been looking for a CRM solution for my Mac clients.  One of my clients brought me this product and he is thrilled with it.  So, I wanted to pass it on to you.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Product Description

Designed for the unique needs of Mac-based businesses of 1-50 people, Daylite3 is a new generation of productivity management software. Daylite 3’s time-saving features include shared calendars, seamless integration with Apple Mail, project and activity delegation, multiple pipeline views, a built-in report writer, sophisticated offline and sync capabilities, and a clean, easy-to-use interface. Daylite 3 is a milestone achievement for the Mac community, directly addressing the day-to-day productivity needs of Mac users. Daylite 3, with its many new features and upgraded Daylite Mail Integration (DMI) module, provides Mac users and Mac-based businesses with the tools they need for command-and-control business productivity.

What my client says is that, while there is a learning curve and it is significant.  This program solves so many time management and project management and contact management problems that it’s worth the learning curve.  From my viewpoint, I’ve seen him get much more productive and much calmer.  And isn’t that the point of productivity tools?

Buy Daylite Now

Save

Save

Debra Recommends AWeber – Email Marketing at it’s Best

email, marketing, InternetAWeber is a supercharged email marketing tool. Priced competitively, it allows for more targeted marketing than some of the other tools I’ve recommended. However, if you tend to get completely overwhelmed by technology, I wouldn’t recommend starting here. They’ve significantly improved their interface friendliness, but it can still be a bit overwhelming. But take a look, it’s free to try.

Aweber is a very powerful tool with backend interface with WordPress and 1ShoppingCart, and the ability to really parse your contacts into different lists.

But it’s a learning curve.

Save

Save

Save

Debra Recommends 1ShoppingCart

All Your Shopping Cart Needs in One Place!
Debra Russell recommends, shopping cart, internet marketing, sales and marketing

I use 1ShoppingCart and it solved so many problems for me out of the gate, I didn’t mind the expense.

Now, if you’re good at html, programming and what not – you could probably use one of those free shopping carts that comes with your web host.  Or bring in Zen Cart or one of the other shopping carts out there.

But if you’re like me and you want something that requires very little programming to customize the look and feel.  And a system that offers all the bells and whistles you want and need from your shopping cart – this is a great solution!

  • Flexible Shopping Cart
  • Single Page Checkout
  • Real-Time Shipping
  • Physical & Digital Products
  • SSL Secure Checkout
  • Custom Tax & Discounts
  • Track Orders & Payments
  • Online & Offline Payments
  • Affiliate Program
  • Up-sells & Cross-sells

Debra Recommends CardScan


Debra Russell recommends, contact management, sales and marketing, CRM

I have been using a CardScan scanner since 2003, and it’s saved me literally hundreds of hours. I gather business cards where ever I go. And these cards used to sit in piles on my desk. Now, in a jif, I scan them into a database, add them to my newsletter list – and they become part of my network, instead of part of the chaos on my desk.

Click the link above to buy now.

Debra Recommends Constant Contact – Email Marketing

Debra Russell recommends, email marketing, newsletter, build your list, Constant Contact’s leading email marketing and online survey tools—supported by its expert personal coaching and support—help all types of small businesses and organizations create professional-looking email newsletters and insightful online surveys and begin a dialogue with their customers. Today, more than 200,000 customers worldwide trust Constant Contact to help them connect with their audience.

You can try Constant Contact’s quick, easy, and affordable email marketing and online survey products FREE for 60 days. You don’t even need to give them a credit card.

When you become a Constant Contact customer, you and I will each receive a $30 credit to our Constant Contact account! It’s their way of thanking customers for spreading the word about Constant Contact.

Try Constant Contact Now

For someone who is serious about email marketing – aWeber is a more sophisticated tool. But for those of us who just want to get information out quickly without a lot of technology – I find Constant Contact to do the job nicely. And CC is what I use personally.