skype is good one and facebook integration makes it better. It is one of the better tool to have which also helps you in managing your online team and you can track your team performance result whenever you like
How to Use Skype to Win Clients and Grow Your Freelancing Business
One online service that has become a ubiquitous business tool is Skype.
Skype is a web-based service, which allows users to communicate with each other through voice or video calls. With Skype, you can also call landline and cell phones, but it will cost you.
Skype is free to use if you’re contacting another person through Skype, however, no matter where in the world they happen to be. This makes it an excellent tool for freelancers to use to get clients and grow their freelancing business.
Ways to Use Skype for Your Freelancing Business
Here are a few ways that freelancers can use Skype:
- Free consultation with prospects–Offering free consultations can be an effective way to win prospective clients. With Skype, you can “talk” to your prospect either through voice only or, even better, through video calling.
I prefer video calling myself, because it allows me to learn more about my prospect: what he or she is like, including mannerisms, environment, and personality. I find that being able to see the other person helps me decide whether it’s someone that I’d like to work with.
- Consultation/planning meetings with clients–Skype is also a great tool to use with existing clients. It’s definitely much faster than sending emails back and forth. What’s more, you can share your screen and send files to each other on Skype.
- Collaboration with team members–If you work with other freelancers, Skype’s group video conferencing feature can be very helpful when collaborating. And remember, you can send files of any size for free.
- Market research–Aside from using consultations to turn prospects into clients, I also consider them a form of market research. Even if the prospect doesn’t end up hiring me, the consolation call helps me learn what prospects are looking for, what their biggest problems are, and even how much they’re willing to pay to solve those problems.
Your free consultations will also help you determine how to improve your services, or come up with new ones to offer.
- Passive income–Information marketers have long discovered the usefulness of Skype as a product creation tool. Interview a few experts on Skype, record those interviews, and sell them as information products.
You could do the same, or use what you learn from your free consultations to create information products to sell.
Passive income is extremely important for freelancers to have. You don’t want to always be working to earn money.
Tools to Make the Most of Skype
Skype itself is free to download, and works on Mac, Windows and Linux computers. You can do pretty much everything with a free account. However, if you want to call landline phones and cell phones, you’ll need a paid subscription.
I do highly recommend getting software to record your Skype calls. If you’re techie, you can figure out how to do this using existing software in a Mac. However, if you’re like me and don’t want to mess with so many settings every time I’m recording a call, you’ll want either one of these:
- Pamela for Skype – for Windows users. The basic license will allow you to record up to 15 minutes. Paid licenses start at E14.95.
- Ecamm Call Recorder for Skype- for Mac users. You can try it for free for 7 days. If you decide to buy it, the cost is $19.95.
Skype will never replace a regular phone call or face-to-face meeting. However, it comes pretty close. It’s particularly useful for reaching prospects, clients and collaborators who live far away.
With the right strategies and tools, you can use Skype to land more clients, work better with your existing clients and collaborators, improve your freelancing services, and even get passive income.
What’s not to like about Skype?
What about you? Have you been using Skype? How? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Image by Jeff Keen
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December 28th, 2010 at 8:47 am
December 28th, 2010 at 9:15 am
I think the recent downtime that Skype had is something that is not to like about the service… and I hope this doesn’t happen again. One thing I would love Skype to have is a stealth setting feature like that of Yahoo Messenger — where you can choose to be online to whoever you wish. It’s just pretty annoying when you’re in the middle of an important call and you get messages here, there and everywhere – even when your status says you’re away. Thanks for the tip on giving free consultation.. I have to try that one out. Cheers!
MarcoDecember 28th, 2010 at 9:26 am
There are professional tools available to close the gap between a skype conversation and a face-to-face meeting: http://www.iris2iris.com/en-UK/home.htm
December 28th, 2010 at 9:57 am
Yeah, I didn’t like their downtime either. Moreover, it is still not as stable as it was.
December 28th, 2010 at 12:00 pm
I use Skype every week to collaborate with other freelancers across the country. I love the Share Screen feature that allows you to control the other person’s computer. I can help on their projects quickly and effectively right on their own computer.
December 28th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Great info. Thank you. Wrangling Skype is on my to-do list for 2011.
December 29th, 2010 at 12:45 am
I use skype to communicate with my clients, also have it installed on my phone. I dont like to have video chat with clients when discussing about web projects and prefer the audio only. But most of the times clients do actually want to see the office environment (how big it is) as I am working in a south east based company.
December 29th, 2010 at 2:56 am
I love Skype and use it everyday for my online business it is perfect for communicating with clients – but we all know this right… I wanted to share something about Skype I didn’t know till recently which changed everything for me…
You can share your screen with whoever you are talking with, so essentially you can show or explain things to clients by letting them see your screen – AWESOME!
Most will already know, I’ve been using Skype for a couple of years and only worked this out a few weeks back so thought I’d share!!
December 30th, 2010 at 3:43 am
freelancers / web designers / online workers ~ can’t live without Skype, thought there are other communication tools out there but Skype works best (except that downtime they had).
January 1st, 2011 at 1:59 am
Skype is pretty good. It is free to call PC to PC. But I think it is a little more expensive than other Voip software if you are using it to make PC to phone calls.
January 3rd, 2011 at 2:23 am
Great post. I’ve been using Skype eversince I started as a freelancer. It is easier.
January 23rd, 2011 at 7:23 am
There has never been a day in two years where i have not used skype at work. . great software
September 23rd, 2011 at 11:12 am
Skype is a great free tool but does it make your business look professional? I have written a blog comparing business VoIP v Skype. Take a look http://www.sipcentric.com/2011/07/uk-voip-provider-vs-skype/
October 27th, 2011 at 10:38 am
Its true, skype and google plus are growing business tools.
November 19th, 2012 at 8:52 pm
I would add one more, sending over a presentation while you’re talking to a prospective client is huge, you can even get them to close the deal right then and there.
Thanks again for a great article.
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