How to use Airtable to Manage Your Side Hustle
Let's be real... being your own boss is awesome, and also hella exhausting. (Can I get an amen?!) Because while we all have our own kind of magic we are oh-so-good at, the behind the scenes of running your own biz takes some serious attention. Staying organized, focused, and intentional is absolutely key to success, which is why I'm crazy about tools like Airtable* that make staying on top of your business easy as pie. 🍰
So... wtf is Airtable?
I'm so glad you asked. Airtable is a (free!) online platform where you can create databases to organize anything... This is way beyond spreadsheets, y'all. The range of customization means you can build easy to use mini-apps for every aspect of your business.
It's pretty, simple, and robust... the perfect trifecta for side hustlers who need to get ish done like yesterday.
3 Awesome Ways to Use Airtable to Manage Your Side Hustle
1. Get that client love!
As a small or micro business, client testimonials are everything. And while I shout a big ol' hallelujah whenever a client leaves me a review on Facebook, I'm absolutely obsessed with using Airtable to request testimonials. It's easy, completely customizable, and I have a searchable database of all of my client reviews. This makes it easy to find the exact quote I need when drafting social media posts and updating website copy.
Pssst... scroll to the end of this post to download our Airtable Testimonial Template so you can put it to work n-o-w.
Build your testimonial database. It's way easier than it sounds. Mine has just a few columns, asking for their name and email (so I know who the love is coming from!), a drop down menu for them to rate my services, a spot for them to leave their testimonial, and a second spot where they can leave me critiques/feedback for improving.
P.S. that critique section has given me lots of valuable insight for my biz, and honestly? Most clients just use it as a place to gush their love a little extra... Bonus testimonial!
Create a form view. After you've customized your database, it's time to create a Form View to share it with your clients (see the photo above for a screenshot of mine). This is super simple — just click the arrow on the top left corner, and select "Add Form View." Then, you can drag and drop your fields into the desired order.
If you offer multiple services in your side hustle, you can create different forms with customized questions for each service. You also have the option to add some help text — a great chance to make your form sound more like your brand.
Don't forget to ask. I send out an email to my clients requesting a testimonial after each job. Whether you do this with a reminder on your calendar and Gmail, or set up an automated workflow in a CRM like Dubsado* (bonus points), the point is to remember to ask. You clients can't brag on you unless you give them the opportunity!
2. Plan your social media content
Really, this is one of my favorite ways to use Airtable... As someone who manages a lot of social accounts, and needs to have everything ready to go in advance, my editorial calendars save. my. mind. With Airtable, I can plan blog posts, social media content, and ad campaigns, so I always know what the heck is going on (be honest: it's easy to feel like you have no freaking clue otherwise). It's searchable, flexible, and I can upload my photos, videos, and other creative right into the database. Plus there's a handy calendar view for visualizing everything you have planned.
I've tried a lot of systems, and so far nothing has beaten the ease and flexibility of this one. You can snag a copy of my Editorial Calendar Template here, no email address required 🙌
3. Your client intake process
For years, I've used Airtable to manage my client intake process. From general intake info, to more complex questionnaires, it's been my go-to. Now that I've moved my CRM to Dubsado, my client intake process has moved with me... However, I still think Airtable is a great solution, particularly for solopreneurs on a budget.
The best part is, since views are customizable, you can create all of your different forms in one client intake database. (Just drag and drop the fields you need into each form, and leave the rest out!)
You can see in the screenshot above that I have different intake forms for different services, as well as questionnaires to help clients solidify their marketing goals and other big picture aspects of their biz.
With everything in Airtable, I can easily search through all of my clients' information and responses in one place.
What do you need to organize and automate?
Confession, I'm like... really Type A. So I have an Airtable database for everything in my life. I plan out holiday and birthday gifts, organized my last move, catalog my book collection (it's out of hand, y'all).
But I know for sure that my business runs better and my clients are happier when I keep the backend of my biz all neat and organized! What part of your biz do you need to get a handle on?
*Disclaimer: Links are referral links and I may get a credit or other compensation if you sign up for these products and services using the link. But girlfriend, I only recommend products and services I use and L-O-V-E, so that you can level up your business... so sign up using any dang link you want, for your own sanity's sake!
Hunter Niland Welling is the Founder and Marketing Strategist behind The AgenShe. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she shares a 600 square foot home with her daughter, 3 cats, 21 houseplants, and an unwieldy collection of books. You can follow her on Pinterest here.