When people think of a freelance writing or content marketing career, they often picture something that’s much more glamorous than reality. They think about writers sipping margaritas on pristine beaches with white sand while they work, or people getting to interview well-known industry influencers.
To actually have a successful freelance writing business, however, it’s a lot of time spent sitting in front of a desk, handling massive piles of admin work, and scheduling and taking never-ending phone calls.
The phone calls were the biggest hurdle for me to overcome. I didn’t like giving out my personal number to just anyone, I started getting swarmed with spam and unwanted calls, and my work-life balance spun out of control when people were calling me about work at all hours.
That’s where Tresta came in. I’ve been a Tresta customer for several years, and in this post, I’m going to share why I chose Tresta’s virtual phone system for freelancers.
My Biggest Pain Points
I run a small content marketing business, and I keep a booked schedule with clients from all over the world. When I first got started, I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a second phone line, so I just used my personal phone.
The personal phone was a mistake; I had clients call me in the middle of the night multiple times to ask questions about outlines, and since it was my personal phone, I’d answer thinking it was some sort of actual emergency. Plus, there were security concerns with my personal number being listed on my business license report. I needed a virtual phone system for freelancers.
How a Virtual Phone System for Freelancers Helped
1. Solving Security Concerns
Before I had a business phone number through Tresta, I wouldn’t list a phone number anywhere. The problem with this, of course, is that others took it upon themselves to do so. Directories I didn’t even know about added my personal number to my business listing, and someone added my personal number to my Google My Business account.
I was overwhelmed with phone calls. Some were spam, some were leads trying to ask about services (which I typically book appointments for through email, so they don’t disrupt my day), and others were downright harassing.
Having my personal number listed felt like a security issue, and it was what ultimately drove me to finally make a change to a virtual business phone number. Someone from another country called me at 6 AM to pitch me his product, I said no, and he kept calling and texting and leaving downright frightening voicemails.
It was the final straw. I signed up for Tresta, and within seconds I had a working phone number. I combed through every inch of the internet to find any business listing that had been created and to update the number.
2. Providing a Work-Life Balance
I know you may be thinking “well these people can still call you.”
Yes, but here’s the difference: It goes to my business system, not my personal line which I’m more likely to answer 100% of the time.
Using schedules within Tresta’s Smart Call Routing feature, calls made to my business number automatically go to voicemail most days, and always during my non-working hours.
I’ve always preferred to qualify leads through email and then set appointments for lead inquiries or client onboarding calls. I also schedule calls for existing clients as needed. This gives me more control over my schedule while also ensuring that I have large chunks of the day that will go uninterrupted.
With not-essential-right-now calls going straight to my Tresta voicemail, I knew I could listen to them the following day even if I knew who was calling. I work long hours and most days, but a virtual phone system for freelancers gives me the ability to shut off for the day when I was ready (or at least for a few hours!) to spend quality time with my dogs and my husband has been everything.
3. Recording Calls With Permission
Fun reminder: Always get permission to record calls, even if the laws in your state say that only one party needs to be informed or to consent. It’s just a good business practice.
While I prefer to work through email for my business, there are some projects that are just easier to walk through over phone calls. In those cases, when we’re hashing out the details, I’ll get the client’s permission to record the call.
This gives me so much freedom and peace of mind. I’m not stressed trying to take notes and offer strategic insight at the same time; I can listen, discuss, and give the call my full attention. Later, I can listen to the recording and take notes to ensure that I don’t miss a single detail, completing the project exactly how the client wanted.
4. Filtering Out Spam Calls
Since I really only take phone calls by-appointment-only for business purposes, I know that when I get an unexpected call on my business line, there’s a 90% chance it will be a spam call.
Because of this, I can send those calls straight to my business voicemail box. I don’t have to deal with junk calls (which is a relief, since the last thing I need is someone trying to reach me about my extended warranty on two lines), and if it’s anything important, I’ll know when I listen before signing off for the day so I can reach out then.
5. Helping My Business Look Established, Trustworthy, & Credible
I opted for a toll-free number, which automatically helps my business to look established and credible, which is a first impression I always want to have. It also allows me to have a custom voicemail for my business, so they’re not reaching my personal voicemail box.
This, in particular, is a huge advantage right now; I changed my legal name after I got married, but kept my branding for “Ana Gotter” the same in my business. People would be confused if they got a mailbox with a completely different last name.
Running a small business isn’t easy, and after I’d put seven years into building a thriving brand and business, the last thing I wanted to do was sabotage those efforts with something as seemingly simple as not having a business phone number.
It was a small, quick fix, but it made a much larger impact on my business than I ever could have imagined. Getting a virtual phone system for freelancers gave me the ability to filter out calls to appointment-only phone calls, which increased my productivity by an average of 15% on a daily basis. And when you’re in business for yourself, time is money; I was able to take on more client work as a result, or even enjoy an extra hour or so off in the evening because of it.
For any of my fellow single-member businesses out there, take a look at a virtual phone system for freelancers; Tresta’s only costs me $15 a month (and it’s a business expense). It’s already paid for itself many times over and has given me time, energy, and peace back into my routine.
Ana Gotter is an expert business writer, reaching the right audience with clear copywriting, results-driven content marketing, and confidential ghostwriting.