June 26, 2012

Case study: Ben Kutil


About Ben Kutil & Make Things Studio

Ben Kutil is an independent designer based in Baltimore, working under the banner of Make Things Studio. Ben's been running his own freelance shop for four years, and has had the opportunity to work with large national clients like The Wall Street Journal and Engine Yard, respected regional organizations like WNYC and The Hearing and Speech Agency, as well as many other small and medium independent businesses.

The majority of Ben's work is interactive in nature, whether it's defining application requirements and wireframes, designing user interactions or developing the front--end of an application. He's built up a number of relationships with current and previous clients over the years and wants to stay in regular contact with everyone.

Before Contactually

    • When starting his freelance business, Ben initially relied on his personal network to identify new clients. With several years of success, he'd built a deep network of past clients that would regularly contact him for new design work. He wanted a systemic way to organize all his clients.

    • Prior to Contactually, Ben had tried both BatchBook and Capsule CRM. While both had a ton of new features, he never actually used them. Both required him to go into the application and pulled him away from his actual tasks.

    • Beyond context switching, the CRMs had too many features he didn't need. He didn't need to track deals or manage a pipeline, and only wanted to store informa'on about his contacts.

How did Contactually help?

    • Since using Contactually, Ben's favorite feature has been his daily list of follow up reminders. He receives a reminder every morning right in his email, and can follow up with his contacts via the email or Gmail plugin. Either way, he stays in his email and there's no context switching so he can focus on his work.

    • Ben generally knows all his short--term leads and projects by memory, but the daily follow up reminders have helped prompt him to contact past clients and leads.

"Contactually helps to keep me in front of both past and potential clients, which hopefully will result in more referrals in the future. It also keeps that general feeling of connectedness and caring, which people always love."

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