Having trouble keeping up with your relationship with your animation clients? Frustrated with spending too much time organizing client profiles and interactions instead of focusing on animating? Often losing track of emails, calls, inquiries, and whatnot?
Being a freelance animator or an animation studio owner comes with its own barrage of responsibilities, from administrative to sales, that eat up time you could be using to animate instead. And more often than not, these tasks are not easy to handle.
If you find yourself going through these or you’re nervous about just the thought of these challenges, then it’s high time you use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools!
In this blog post, you’ll learn what CRM is all about, why you should use it as soon as possible, and what CRM tools are out there that would best suit your needs as an animator.
What Is CRM for Animators?
CRM is a technology that helps you track tasks and manage your interactions with both existing and prospective clients. This means you can use it to deal with direct external interactions such as information about your animation clients, feedback, inquiries, and the like.
A good CRM tool can also provide you with an overview of how your animation business is faring by showing your entire sales history, trends, and sometimes, even forecasting.
Not only that, but CRM tools also have a feature that allows them to collate data from different platforms such as your animation website, phone, email, and social media.
Moreover, you can use CRM software to store your documents, contracts, animation project progress, and other things like that.
Why Should Animators Use CRM Tools?
1) Eased Burden of Administrative Animation Tasks
Arguably the most important perk that comes with using a CRM tool is that it helps ease the burden of administrative tasks off your shoulders.
Since being a freelance animator or an animation studio owner entails handling your own transactions and keeping up to date with your clients, your focus and time are sometimes divided. Using CRM tools will allow you to dedicate more of your time and energy on working on animated videos instead.
2) Better Access to Information and Increased Animation Team Coordination
Using cloud-based CRM systems means every member of your animation team has access to the same information about everything they can view and modify anytime.
If you have other animators working with you, coordination would be easy because of the ease of access to information that your CRM tool will provide.
Moreover, the dreaded prospect of lack of coordination and miscommunication within your animation team will also be prevented because there would be no need to store data on different platforms.
No need to take note of important things using pen and paper and no need to open a dozen sites to access what you need at the moment. It will all be there in one place.
3) Well-Tended Client Relationships
As an animator, it’s paramount that you take care of your relationships with your clients and CRM tools can help you do just that. From your client information to every interaction you have with them, a CRM system stores everything in a single place.
You can also save your activities, sales, orders, and projects in CRM tools, allowing you to get a clear view of where your progress is with each client.
And in line with keeping up with your customers, CRM tools will also prompt you to contact animation clients you haven’t engaged with for a while.
With the entire history of your client-animator interactions recorded in your chosen CRM system, you’ll be able to get an overview of what your clients want and what they might possibly need in the future.
4) Constant and Effective Communication
CRM systems provide you an avenue for better communication with your animation clients.
As animating is time-consuming, especially if you’re a freelance animator, CRM tools can help you save time by using accessible features such as customizable and readily available email templates, documents, quotes, and such.
CRM tools also showcase auto-respond and scheduled responses, making your presence seem more available to your valued animation clients. Phone calls can even be made directly through your CRM system of choice!
5) Proper Handling of Animation Client Information
One important feature of CRM tools that animators can benefit from is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Good CRM software have built-in GDPR functions that can help you secure your animation clients’ consent to store and use their personal details. The CRM tool will automatically notify your clients that you’ll be storing their data and send links where they can edit their email preferences.
This protects you well from possible legal consequences by preventing you from breaching data privacy laws. This feature of CRM software can also help build trust between you and your animation clients by showing them that you treat their personal data with respect.
6) Continuous Animation Business Improvement
With a good CRM system, you’ll be able to improve your animation business. Using all the information your CRM tool will be able to provide, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as threats and opportunities in your animation services.
This doesn’t only solidify your relationship with your animation clients, but it also helps strengthen and improve your animation business as a whole.
7) Animation Business Longevity
A CRM tool can help secure your animation business in the long run.
All the things mentioned above will ensure that your animation clients get the best customer experience and will help pull them in for future animation projects.
And even better, a good CRM tool will also help you better manage your animation business by providing you practically everything you need - and all in a single platform.
Now that we’ve discussed why you should use CRM tools, let’s now go to the best CRM software available for animators like you!
What Are the Best CRM Tools for Animators?
Image screenshot of HubSpot
First of all, Hubspot is totally free. It provides a real-time view of your entire animation sales record in a visual dashboard with detailed reports on each aspect.
Another good feature of this CRM is it accommodates unlimited users, data, and up to a million contacts, plus it has user-friendly components and an easy-to-navigate interface.
Image screenshot of Salesforce
Salesforce offers targeted and personalized messages, and it automates repetitive tasks. It also has a unified system for email, socials, phone, and chat support, and it features a singular view for multiple channels.
Image screenshot of Zoho
Zoho supports online meetings and presentations, and it has multiple artificial intelligence components to help with certain tasks.
This CRM tool also features a common feed for team collaborations you can use with other animators in your team. Moreover, it provides real-time notifications for when clients interact with your animation business, even through different platforms.
Image screenshot of SugarCRM
SugarCRM’s user interface has efficient features like drag-and-drop builders, and it even includes sales analytics tools you can use to assess your animation clients’ historical records.
It also provides a priority-based view of your clients, showing you which animation cases need to be attended to, and it has a self-service portal that clients can use to navigate by themselves.
Image screenshot of Ontraport
Ontraport allows you to store, manage and automate any type of data for your animation business. You can use task automations, drag and drop builders, and even pipelines to build connections between data. It also lets you view the entire history of each of your animation clients.
In addition, this CRM tool supports payment reception with PCI-Level 1 security for your animation services
Image screenshot of ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign lets you automate lists, contact management and deals. You can use it to get insights on customer interactions on your website like page visits, clickmaps, and geo-tracking.
This platform’s CRM software also links all your email marketing data, and features lead scoring and social data.
Image screenshot of ConvertKit
ConvertKit is a software designed for audience building and email marketing. It lets you build a custom landing page, send personalized content, make email templates, and sell digital products.
While it’s not a CRM, it still has features that can help you grow your animation business.
Wrapping It Up
Being a freelance animator or an animation studio owner comes with many responsibilities that will consume the time you could be using to animate instead. It won’t be easy to juggle these tasks, but a good CRM tool can help you do just that.
Finding the best CRM software for you will prove beneficial not just for your day-to-day animation operations, but more importantly, in the long run.
Not only will it help you manage your animation business from the smallest tasks to the bigger external interactions with your clients, but it will also provide your animation clients with the best customer service experience.
Some CRM features are also designed to boost your animation team productivity by providing all of you with the necessary information you all need. More than that, a good CRM tool can aid you towards a secured future for your animation business.
Last but definitely not the least, with a CRM system, you’ll be able to focus more on doing what you love - animating.
Don’t hesitate and just go for it. You’ll thank yourself for making your life and your teammates’ lives easier. Just choose which is best for you: HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, or SugarCRM. These CRM tools are guaranteed to help you thrive in the animation industry!
And while these are the impressive software we’ve found for animators like you, there are also many other CRM tools out there you could choose from to help you manage your animation business.