SharpSpring CRM | A Free CRM for Your Business

December 11th, 2018

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SharpSpring CRM for IZEA Worldwide. All opinions are 100% mine.

As I look back on my professional career, I can’t help but wish I had access to some of the amazing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools available today. I think of the sales industries I’ve worked in and how things would have been different with an effective CRM to manage, track and create relationships with the leads I was generating. And as most of you know, generating leads can sometimes be an expensive process, depending on the methods you use. Sometimes PPC, or Pay Per Click, isn’t the most cost effective method.

Free CRM For Life

With that said, I was recently introduced to SharpSpring CRM, which is a free CRM for small businesses. You heard that right, it’s free to use, FOR LIFE. There’s no trial period…it’s actually free. SharpSpring has over 7,000 businesses currently use its affordable marketing automation platform. The  free CRM is a new product built from their experience of what small businesses need in a CRM plus sales and marketing tools to help the business grow.  If you’d like to talk to users,  access the community forum. So if you have a question or are curious about their experience using the software, you’ll find the information in that forum extremely valuable. 

Lead and Customer Tracking

There are several cool features about SharpSpring CRM but one of my favorite is the tracking features. 

Within your account, you’ll have access to your social media dashboard, which allows you to see how your leads are interacting with your brand and what they’re saying. You have the ability to find and filter through social media using hashtags and keywords and then turn around and engage those conversations directly from your media dashboard. 

Also, as you enter leads and begin creating relationships with them, you can see every detail of how they are responding to your efforts. You’ll be able to view a timeline that shows you exactly what emails they’ve opened and/or responded to, where they’ve gone to on your website, what contact forms they’ve filled out and so forth, with visuals of those exact pages and forms as you scroll over those items in the timeline. What a great tool to determine how a lead is progressing and the next steps to be taken. 

Email Marketing

Before you sign up with a standard email marketing platform, I would encourage you to take a look at the email marketing features of SharpSpring CRM. You’ll find a variety of premium email templates provided for you as well as features for one on one email communication and tracking. 

SharpSpring CRM also has a unique and simplified contact form creation tool that allows you easily add standard and custom input fields, that when added through your dashboard, automatically update those forms already embedded on your website. You can also easily customize forms to match your website and branding by simply adding a snippet of CSS code from your websites stylesheet. 

When I was part of the network marketing industry, helping leads progress was key to closing sales and growing your business. With tracking information included in SharpSpring CRM, knowing how to follow up with relevant content would have simplified the process for me. The companies I worked with tried to create CRM’s for marketers to use at a great expense, but most of them fell short in many different areas and lacked the integration capabilities that a free sales CRM like this can offer. Give SharpSpring CRM a try. With their expertise in affordable marketing automation, you’ll find this CRM has the marketing tools for your small business and can be a powerful tool in getting the most out of the precious leads you are generating. 

There are so many other features not mentioned in this article, such as your ability to interact with your sales teams through the CRM and see who their leads are progressing. Set reminders, set schedules and help your team grow through the powerful tools at your fingertips.

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5 Ways to Get Money for Your Business

November 16th, 2018

funding for your businessYou’re finally ready to chase after your dream and start a business. Congratulations! Starting a business is often the exciting first step of what is going to be a long and interesting journey. If you succeed, then you will be able to do what you love and also be financially free while you’re at it. Who knows — you might even be able to build a giant of industry and become one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. If you fail, you will, at the very least, learn some useful lessons you can apply when you try again. Because you’re going to keep trying till you succeed, right? Few successful business persons give up at the first sign of trouble.

With a business, one of the greatest needs you will experience in the beginning is the need for capital. You need cash to run the day-to-day activities of your business as well as expand it.
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Lead Generation Techniques You Need To Try

October 3rd, 2018

lead generationWith the massive changes happening in the marketing industry today, it’s fair to assume that the practice of lead generation has also evolved—from traditional “outbound” methods like cold-calling and print and TV advertising, there’s been a marked shift to more “inbound” strategies like content marketing and SEO.

The “inbound or outbound” question has been a hot topic among companies for the past few years. Some swear by the tried-and-tested outbound lead generation methods, others are easily discouraged by it, while it seems the most successful marketers say that a hybrid of the two actually delivers the most leads.

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6 Tips for Saving Money on Real Estate

January 22nd, 2018

saving money on real estateReal estate is often one of the biggest investments that you’ll make in your lifetime. But what if you’ve never purchased property before? How can you be sure that you’ve found a good home and gotten a fair deal? Here are just a few tips for saving some cash when you’re in the market for real estate.

1. Know Your Down Payment Options

The standard down payment for buying a house is 20 percent. However, there are mortgage plans that will let you whittle that number down to as little as 3.5 percent. It often comes with higher interest rates and more money spent overall, but if you’re desperate to get out of that one-bedroom apartment, it’s an option for saving money right now.

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The Steps To Becoming A Real Estate Agent

January 12th, 2018

real estate agentThe world of real estate can be exciting and dynamic, but it can also have those moments where it seems frustrating. A professional real estate agent is trained to handle both sides of the industry, but there are steps each person has to take before they can become a licensed real estate agent. If you take your real estate career seriously, then you will want to take the right path to success.

General Education

In most states, it only takes a high school diploma or the equivalent to be able to take the real estate licensing test. But most successful agents will tell you that a college degree is essential to long-term success in the industry. You can get a four-year degree in business, or there are colleges that offer degrees in real estate sales. A strong educational background means a durable foundation for success.

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It’s a Sellers Market

November 2nd, 2017

sellers marketAlmost a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. home prices have climbed well out of negative territory. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that median home prices nationwide fell nearly 32 percent from a peak of $229,000 in July 2007 to $156,100 in February 2011. That’s a frightening drop. Today looks much different, with Zillow reporting an August 31 U.S. median list price of $254,900.

When is it a seller’s market?

A seller’s market has a lot of indicators, including low home inventory, a growing median list price, and good economic conditions with low unemployment. A good way to determine market status is to find the absorption rate, which is the rate at which available homes will sell over a time period. This simple calculation is used in the real estate industry to predict home prices and future sales. To calculate the absorption rate for a given area, first gather the following:

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