Five Ways To Automate Your Business

If you are a solopreneur, a work from home mum or, quite frankly, anyone who needs to free up more time in their day (who doesn’t right?) – then automation is your new best friend. While there will always be tasks that need the personal touch, engaging with your fans, for example, some things can be left to the machines. Until they overthrow us and the plot of Terminator ensues.

However, until that time comes, here are five ways you can automate your business so you can regain the most important thing of all: time.

FYI: I loved some of the apps mentioned in this post so much that I asked to become an affiliate for them. I’d like to say these affiliate links help fund my (sadly imaginary) champagne lifestyle, but it’s probably more accurate to say they keep me in coffee. So if it has a star by it, it means that it’s an affiliate link for something I love.

Five Ways To Automate Your Business

 

IFTTT

How To Automate Your Business IFNTT

It’s not the sleekest acronym in the world but it stands for ‘if this then that’. If you use this right, then you will be sipping Prosecco and watching your business run itself in no time – probably. Life will be easier anyway.

Basically it creates links or ‘channels’ between the tools that you use and ask it to perform automated tasks depending on what action takes place.

With 363 services that can be used together, from Facebook to MailChimp to Gumroad, you will struggle to find something not useful about this service.

How does it work?

Example:

‘If’ you star an email in Gmail ‘Then’ it gets added to Evernote. Or perhaps ‘If’ you upload something to Google Drive ‘Then’ it automatically gets uploaded to Dropbox, to keep you in sync.

How will it help you be more productive?

Automate countless tedious tasks that would otherwise take you a very long time.

Price: Free.

Learn how to use automation in order to save yourself time and also to improve the efficiency of your business

Canned Responses

 

I don’t know about you guys but I used to spend a lot of time writing the same kind of email over and over again. For example, a lot of my reply when someone asks to guest post for me is the same in every email. The same can be said for when someone asks to join our group board on Pinterest.

Introducing; canned responses on Gmail.

How does it work?

These are basically pre-written snippets of email you can create. When you want to insert them into an email just select the response you want and bam – ten minutes of your life saved.

How will it help you be more productive?

Instead of wasting time writing the same response over and over again, you just tap a button and generate the email instantly. Of course you can personalize it and add extra information where necessary.

Price: Free

Social Media

The Essential Guide To Instagram

Our guide to more engagement on Instagram

While you need to be careful not to just ‘set it and forget it’ with social media, it is undeniable that we just do not have the time to sit and manually post all of our social media posts across all of the platforms. You’d never be able to do anything else right?

I use Hootsuite to do my social media scheduling, many people also use Buffer. I don’t have anything against Buffer, I have tried it out for myself but the interface for Hootsuite just suited me better.

There are a couple of useful plugins you can use for this type of thing and I defiantly recommend ‘Revive old post’. Even if you schedule your social media on Hootsuite, sometimes it’s easier to forget those older post of yours that you created way back when. This plugin (free and paid versions) will tweet your older blog posts with any hashtags that you want – all without you having to get out of bed.

+ It’s not quite automation but on the subject of social shares, if you are struggling to get people to share your content from your site Social Warfare* was an absolute life saver for me!

How does it work?

Basically you choose the posts or pre-written tweets, for example, that you want shared and you simply ‘schedule’ them to go out a certain times. If you want to get an even spread throughout the say, then Hootsuite has an automatic schedule options where you simply upload what you want shared and it will send it out at optimum times of the day for you.

How will it help you be more productive?

Well, for s a start it means you don’t have to remember to log into each and every social media platform multiple times a day in order to send out your posts. It also allows you to be more efficient in sending content out at the best time of time day (and or night).

Plus, by batching all your social media, not only does it help you save time but it allows you to more effectively plan your marketing strategies. For example, if you have a branding webinar coming up, then you can sit down and schedule all of your relevant posts on branding to be shared as the event draws near.

Hootsuite: Free and Paid Options

MailChimp

Get Started with MailChimp. Setting up your account.

It has an entire section called ‘automation’ so it would be rude not to mention it! Yes in MailChimp you can set your emails so they respond to particular triggers – like someone signing up for your email newsletter or buying a product. This is a great way to make sure your nurture emails are being sent out, as well as automating any email courses you might be running.

How does it work?

You can check out all the technical details on how to set it up here.

How will it help you be more productive?

Sending an email out to someone every time a person signs up to your email list is just unsustainable. Plus this way your subscriber isn’t just sitting around waiting for you to log on and send them out their welcome email.

This is especially true when it comes to course. For example, the first ever free email course we ran on Creative and Coffee sent out over two and a half thousand emails before we retired it. I know I defiantly wasn’t the one sat there sending them all out!

Price: MailChimp is free up to 2000 subscribers and now offers automation as part of it’s free service.

FAQ Page

Not all automation has to be technical right? If you sell a service or product then you might already have a page like this set up to answer common customer queries. This can be helpful for a physical product store to answer common questions like shipping time and cost.

Even for bloggers, you might find people asking where you got your WordPress theme from or what hosting you use – an FAQ page would save your the trouble of answering every time + it would be a super useful resource for your visitors.

How does it work?

So this isn’t so technical, just create separate page on your site where you can direct people to. If it’s a physical product, like shipping information, for example, people tend to look in the footer for a link to that kind of information.

How will it help you be more productive?

It will save your customer less steps in the journey and you will likely end up getting less emails to do with if the basics of what you do are covered. In terms of ‘intangible’ products like coaching or design services, you might find that have a page with your processes will help your customer will more informed about what your package entails.

Have any handy tips on automating your business share them below!