Even as solopreneur Jen LaFlam climbed the ranks of the corporate world years ago, she couldn’t help thinking that running her own business could be fun. In November 2010 she dove in, founding JTL Media, an independent marketing and sales firm.
Prior to her new venture, LaFlam had used Skype personally, and to maintain face-to-face interaction when travel budgets at her previous employer were cut. But when she realized two new clients were Skype power users, she began to rely more heavily on the technology.
“It’s a huge part of their lives,” says LaFlam. “In order to get immersed into their worlds, I needed to get immersed into Skype.”
And immersed she is.
“The first thing I do every day is log into Skype,” she says with a laugh.
LaFlam’s associates are all remote, so they use Skype instant messaging to keep in touch. She’s also become adept at using Skype to share screens; send and receive files; and make 1:1 and group video calls.
“It’s amazing how much more personal it can be – and how fast, especially with IM,” she says. “When you’re on group calls and not in person with your clients, in the old days you’d be kicking someone under the table to remind them of something. Now, with IM you can just say, ‘Ask this!’”
“It’s just an incredible communication tool.”
Although LaFlam doesn’t believe she’s reached expert Skype user status yet, she’s already taking advantage of some of the more advanced features through her client partners, including Skype buttons, which enable live chat or calls directly from a company’s website. One client uses a live chat popup feature for lead generation, and visitors can click to call right away, via Skype.
Skype also helps create efficiencies, and cuts the cost of doing business with international clients, LaFlam says.
“It’s amazing what some of these businesses can do with technology: leveraging content with virtual training, and not having to be jumping on planes,” she says. “It’s a lot better lifestyle – and a lot more profitable.”
How has Skype helped your client communications? Share your insights in the comments.