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Productivity - 5 min READ

Agency use case: LifeNow Video

How this video production agency uses Copper to manage shoots nationwide

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Author photo: Katrina Oko-Odoi

Katrina Oko-Odoi

Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Business type: Legal video production agency (Settlement documentaries)

Business size: 5-10 employees

Time with Copper: 3 months

Main use case: They needed one central tool to store all of their video project details for easy access among their distributed team. The agency has dozens of settlement and trial documentary projects underway at a time with many moving parts. Each project has lots of people involved, and the LifeNow production team is traveling to be on location to film. Their filmmakers need access to all of the corresponding project details and contacts while on the road — while also keeping their appointments straight across different time zones.

LifeNow’s go-to Copper features — and how they’re using them

Agency co-founders Mitchell Riggs and Catie Zambri Riggs sat down with us to talk about their experience with Copper so far. Though it’s still early days having finished onboarding their new system about three months ago, the LifeNow team is already reaping the benefits of using Copper.

As their agency has grown over 20 years, their technology needs have evolved notably. Last year, their small but mighty team produced 71 documentaries to support mediation and trial cases, all of which involved cases of wrongdoing, on behalf of the Plaintiff’s team.

Mitchell travels all over the country and internationally interviewing and filming numerous experts and witnesses for a single case. Needless to say, his schedule is jam-packed, and he often struggles just to keep the time zones right for all of his filming appointments. This is where Copper comes in, providing a central system for capturing every minute detail for a project and coordinating filming and travel schedules.

So far, Mitchell and Catie are finding the most value in reminders, notes field in opportunities, pipelines and the Google Calendar integration.

Reminders to stay on track

Before using Copper, the LifeNow team was using a few different tools simultaneously, bouncing back and forth between them and often getting lost in the process. With all of their contacts and communications now housed in Copper, the insights they have access to have been enlightening.

A case in point are the daily reminders that Copper automatically populates for the team each day. These reminders are available in different formats depending how a user prefers to interact with Copper:

  • At-a-glance overview of daily to-dos and reminders in the web app’s home dashboard

  • Quick daily reminders that pop up in the Copper Chrome extension when accessed inside Gmail or Calendar

  • Daily digest emails that Copper sends users, providing an overview for the day

This daily email contains upcoming calendar events, outstanding tasks and suggested follow-ups. “I like seeing what’s due and the progress that’s being made. It makes a big difference just seeing the day-to-day stuff that’s impending,” Catie says. She’s quickly able to click into Copper and get more context around an opportunity or upcoming prospect call to get up to speed quickly ahead of a day of meetings.

Notes in Opportunities

As a word-of-mouth business, LifeNow’s contacts and project notes are incredibly important to keep things running smoothly, and Copper enables Catie and the team to surface this information quickly and easily.

From the moment the team receives an inquiry from a new potential client, they’re tracking those communications. “What’s really cool is we can add new prospects to Copper right from the email,” Catie says. Once an Opportunity is created and a call is scheduled with the prospective client, Catie and their associate JaiCe Stinton join the call and take copious notes to fill out the case profile that will form the basis for the video production.

On each Opportunity record, they include details like who referred the case, the name of the law firm representing the victim and the names of all experts they will engage in making the documentary. They’ve customized some fields to accommodate their processes, and they make full use of the Description field in opportunities to put down extensive project notes. This is where the heart of the client’s story is detailed out, providing a robust outline that provides enough information for the team to begin scheduling interviews and for Mitchell and Catie to craft the narrative for the documentary film.

Once the client accepts the project proposal and work is underway, the Opportunity is tied to a calendar event to commence the actual production process.

Pipelines for end-to-end project tracking

The bulk of the team’s daily work happens in pipelines. Once an Opportunity is created, it moves through a series of stages that track the project all the way from initial inquiry to the completion of a mediation or trial (after they’ve delivered the settlement documentary). LifeNow’s production process is intricate and unique to their highly specialized niche, which is reflected in the way they’ve structured their pipelines.

I really like the pipelines and being able to see everything at a glance. As visual people who work in a visual space all day, the clarity of the user interface really matters to us.
Mitchell Riggs, LifeNow Co-Founder

The team manages two main pipelines, Mediation and Trial, since these two documentary formats have slightly different processes. Their Mediation pipeline begins with “Create Estimate,” progresses to “Scheduling,” then “Filming,” and includes middle-phase stages like “Needs More Shooting” or “Adding Experts.” By defining more narrow stages, Catie and JaiCe are able to closely track the numerous projects they have running at any given time.

We love how we can add files to an Opportunity — during Zoom interviews with experts we can easily pull up their reports. We rely on all-in-one place and at-a-glance use a lot! -Catie Zambri Riggs, LifeNow Co-Founder

Google Calendar integration

Copper’s native integration with Google Calendar has lifted a big weight off Mitchell’s shoulders. “The scalability of Google is immediately available to me, and that makes a big difference,” he says.

Mitchell relies heavily on his calendar to help coordinate his travel and various appointments with experts and clients as he flies across the country working on different documentaries.

Mitchell’s number one challenge? Keeping his time zones straight for interviews at all hours of the day and night. The team’s previous tool wasn’t dependable in adjusting to time zones as he moved through different regions. “Every time I was out of my time zone, I had to confirm each meeting manually. Because I have to knock on doors at 6am, and I want to make sure I’m knocking on the right doors,” Mitchell explains.

Once a shoot is scheduled, Mitchell accesses all of the project information from Copper. With Google managing these appointments, he’s confident that the time is accurate, and can now skip that extra step of calling to confirm.

Ahead of these appointments, Mitchell will pull up the notes tied to that Opportunity, enabling him to quickly gain context and prepare for his next meeting. This easy accessibility — and time zone tracking — simplifies the process as he’s traveling.

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If you’re already using Copper, see how you can make these features work for your business. If you aren’t yet a customer, sign up for a free, 14-day trial — no credit card needed.

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