Even though I work remotely, Cude Design has been built to represent a digital design agency with a physical location. The first reason for doing so is for SEO purposes. The website is specifically targeting Surrey and has a great foothold in the area. I believe the UK is a bit behind the US in the way businesses gauge distance as a factor of who they want to work with.
No one batters an eye lid at a 4 hour drive in the US however back in the UK this seems like a massive excursion. I believe this is the reason, for now, people still want to work with a local business. Only around 15% of my clients actually want to meet me before starting a project but it still brings comfort that we are close by and based in the same county.
This can obviously become a problem when coworking/coliving and making the most of your nomad lifestyle. One of the most important things which needs to be managed is phone calls to your business. Whether your a digital nomad or a freelancer, the tools mentioned in this blog post will help you capture potential clients and free up your time so you can concentrate on your projects.
Buy a phone number and get a UK ringtone
When I moved to Spain in 2013 the first thing I did was purchase a landline phone number with the prefix of the local town that my business is located in. The landline instantly gave the agency more credibility rather than using my mobile number. We used TTNC to purchase our local phone number, with your own management system you can control where this phone number diverts to. I simply set this up to forward to my mobile.
The second issue was that while abroad, the caller will hear a foreign ring tone, this scares callers off straight away or even worse they ask ‘Are you abroad?’. You can avoid this issue completely with an add-on provided by TTNC for only £2 p/m.
This is a great hack if your a digital nomad and want to avoid awkward questions as well as adding some credibility to the business rather than a freelancer.
Managing Your Calls, Streamlining and Freeing Up Time
Over time my agency has grown and my work load has increased. My role consists of directing traffic, I manage all contact from clients via email and phone and then liase with the design and development team directly. Earlier this year it became apparent that a hand full of clients needed a lot more attention than others and would often contact me via phone.
This had never been a problem but soon became extremely distracting when trying to manage multiple projects. I found the majority of the phone calls from existing clients were unwarranted and was often to discuss with me an email they had just sent.
I think because they knew they could always get hold of me (I always answer), they took advantage of this. With my trip to Outsite in Venice Beach on the horizon I was also conscious of the time difference and what would my clients think if I was no longer answering my phone calls.
For this reason I needed a solution and came across Moneypenny. Moneypenny is a phone answering service which provided me with the perfect solution. If I am unable to answer my phone call within 10 seconds the call is automatically diverted to Moneypenny and a fixed employee who is allocated for my services.
They have a great customer portal which allows you to input your client data which means your allocated PA knows who is ringing before they pick up the call. This service has become invaluable by picking up calls when I am in meetings or travelling, as potential/existing clients would expect of an agency.
In addition to this if you are bogged down with a project, there is no rush to take a call which you know is unlikely to be urgent. Since Moneypenny has been implement, there is a noticable decline in existing clients calling as they are now aware you are not immediately available. In addition to this your business now looks more professional as you are no longer missing calls.