JibberJobber will never be a fully-loaded CRM, with all the bells and whistles and processes and such. But it is a terrific relationship management tool… no doubt about that. You may think of it as a job hunt organizer, but I’ve used it for three years as my entrepreneur CRM. So I was very pleased to get feedback from another entrepreneur who has seen value in JibberJobber in just a short period of time (yeah, three days!). This is from Rob Llewellyn, in Europe (I tried to highlight and italicize the good stuff but that was pretty much every line – this speaks to my heart!):
I’m an Independent Programme Manager based in Central Europe with a good network across Europe & the Middle East where I do all my work. I’ve been lucky enough to rely on less than 5% of that network for all my work (6-12 month contracts) in recent years. I have a niche LinkedIn network of around 766 but it gets messy trying to work it AND stay organised AND do the contract search work AND remember in 6 months time what I last spoke to Fred Blogs about. Sure I remember the high profile conversations but not the lower priority ones.
The market is lean now and advertised work (that is, posted jobs) is massively over-applied to. So I need to WORK 100% of my network as opposed to 5% of it. I’ve always focused on building a network, but it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t take advantage of what I’ve built over many years. I was searching Google “how to approach your network for work” and I stumbled across JibberJobber (JJ) again and I’ve taken the trial.
On day one I imported my 766 contacts from LinkedIn, updated old email addresses of people who don’t keep their LinkedIn profile up to date, organised some of the major companies in my network and started filling out other fields in each record.
On day two I exported most of the contacts to a CSV file and imported them to my mailing program “GroupMail”. Then I mailed out to my network, personalising each email with the <insert field> option in GroupMail.
On day three I was overwhelmed with the response from my network and have spent the day writing personally to each person who wrote to me and subsequently increasing the ranking of our relationship, in some cases helping some of those people in their circumstances. That done, I can now update JJ and keep on top of my networking far better, especially as my network is quite large.
I didn’t write to my network blatantly asking for an assignment. I had something useful to tell my contacts (it was about my blog www.consult-llewellyn.com) and I could also refer to the fact that as of next month I’ll be available for a new assignment.
Being an independent, I never cease looking for new opportunities. JJ is a tool that I can use to help me manage my ongoing personal marketing efforts in the months and years ahead.
I’m still only on day three of my trial and the tool has helped me considerably. The excellent video tutorials helped me get to grips with the tool in no time and I shall be upgrading before the trial is up.
Rob, thanks for the really good feedback – my ego is stroked and the idea that JibberJobber is much more than a job search tool has been justified!
3 thoughts on “JibberJobber: An Entrepreneur’s CRM?”
Jason, are there plans to get JJ to interface w/mac applications like iCa, mac mail, and the mac address book? They all speak to each which makes life easier – for instance I can seed a name from email directly to my address book and it will capture all the contact info from the email — or I can add an iCal event directly from a date in email. I love it. BUT they stop at that — no real tracking or CRM capabilities. I’d adore it if they could work w/JJ…
Yes Deb, plans are in the works to interface with iCal and I hope to see that soon. Not sure about the Mac stuff though – we’ll look into that…
Since Jason posted my story of using JibberJobber I received a tremendous amount of feedback from my network of 766 contacts. The outcome has been that I:
1) rekindled 100’s of professional relationships
2) received an excellent response from people who will keep their eyes open for me
3) put my name in a lot of peoples’ minds again
4) was asked to help out in several organisations
5) have commercially engaged with a new client (via my network) for a 5 month engagement
6) Head off to Dubai, UAE tomorrow to commence duties
JibberJobber will help me manage my networking (more pro-actively) over the coming months and I have no doubt that it will play a large part in secure my next assignments. It is my CRM solution and an invaluable tool for independent consultants such as myself.
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