How I Automate My Business
Long week, right? My gosh. It's one of those weeks where I'm truly thankful I took the time last year to automate the majority of my business. And honestly, of the most important decisions I've made thus far for my business was to really evaluate my processes and automate the majority of my daily tasks. As a mom to a 3.5 year old who owns an incredibly busy design studio, it's crucial that I evaluate how much time of each day I'm spending on tasks that aren't really benefiting me or my clients.
If you’re a business owner and aren’t automating most of your process, you could seriously be spending your days running in circles. There's nothing more frustrating than feeling like you've been working all day long only to look up at 8PM and realize you've literally gotten nowhere.
When I chat with my clients on Discovery & Clarity Calls, I love to ask what their pain points are. I can safely say that about 90% of my calls begin with "I am so lost." Most of them are business owners who are trying to focus on scaling their business, but falling behind because they find themselves having to focus on repetitive tasks throughout the day.
Before I began automating, I would spent atleast thirty minutes on every inquiry I received, trying to write a detailed email about what I offer, what it costs, and why. And, considering I can receive anywhere from 10-20 inquiries a day at times, that 30 minutes adds up really quick. Not to mention, it led me to ignoring emails for days and I'm sure you can understand me when I say that was a big mistake. I would spend hours just in my inbox, attempting to get some sort of handle on my email situation, only to do it again the next day.
I spent far too long on social media, wondering constantly how these other people managed to do this and scale their own business. But, luckily, I began to take the advice of others and found ways to implement automation, that worked for me.
So, let's fast forward to the now.
Today's truth is: I never spend over 30 minutes on social media a day. I never spend more than ten minutes sending my pricing out to inquiries. My clients receive more of me, personally, and higher quality work. I have more time with my family, more time to enjoy the why behind my business. I'm suffering from burnout less and enjoying what I do more than ever before.
Here are the best ways I've implemented automation into my business:
IFTTT: This app can automate literally every aspect of your life. IFTTT can send you emails to remind you to grab an umbrella if its supposed to rain. It can send you weather reminders amongst many amazing things. My favorite feature, the one I personally use, is the Pinterest option. I spend far too much time curating my Instagram feed to just let that be the end of it. IFTTT will allow you to sync your feed with your Pinterest account and everytime you post to Instagram, it'll automatically post that image and caption to your Pinterest board.
Planoly: With Planoly, you can schedule Instagram posts. I prefer it because I can store my hashtags by categories & niche. When I’m ready to post an image, I just grab the set of hashtags I want. You can always remove the ones that don’t apply & replace before posting.
Added bonus: you can add spaces between paragraphs in your caption. WHOA. My sweet friend Stass of @theidentitecollective taught me that gem.
Boardbooster: Before using Boardbooster, my Pinterest account received maybe 3,000 views a month. Now, I receive 400k - 500k views every month, and the majority of my website traffic is straight from Pinterest. Pin SMARTER. It’s worth noting I haven’t physically been on Pinterest in weeks and am consistently receiving those numbers every single month. And, at only $5 a month, it's worth it. You can sign up, here.
Dubsado: This little gem has saved my life and my business. If I’m in a parking lot of some grocery store or on the top of Mount Everest and someone texts me, needing my pricing - I can login and send my pricing with one click. I can automate & personalize everything from my initial contact with pricing to contract, invoice, and literally everything between.
Designers, photographers, venues, artists alike - YOU NEED DUBSADO. Don’t spend one more day writing out your information in email after email.
Its important to remember: while you're putting off an email with your pricing because you're not automating your process, that inquiry has now reached out to 5-10 other professionals who are quick to respond. By the time you've responded, they've already received information from everyone else and may have already booked.
It's not worth losing potential business because you're stretched too thin - trust me. You think your customers mind, they don't. Paying attention to automation is helping to provide them a better experience with you. No missed emails, no forgotten responses. An easy place where they can handle all of their paperwork and payments, without the hassle. Trust me when I say automating your paperwork helps to provide a wonderful client-designer experience.