Things You Can Automate in Your Business
Those of us who are time poor need a plan.
If you’re self employed, running a membership site or an online business, you know that time is your most valuable commodity. When we’ve only got so many hours in the day, it’s important to prioritize our tasks and make sure that our attention and focus is being delivered to those things that most need it.
One of the best ways to stay focused is to automate tasks that generally take up too much time and energy. Lucky for us, we live in a world where entrepreneurs have hundreds of outlets for automation. In this post, we’ll be going over 8 tasks you can automate to free up some much needed time in your day-to-day.
1. Publishing content. While there is an optimum time to publish or release content on your blog or to your membership tiers, that time may not always be most convenient for your schedule. If you didn’t know, WordPress (and most other content management systems) has a built in ‘schedule’ feature that allows you to insert and format your content, tags, previews and more in advance, but schedule the post to go live at a time when your readers are most active.
2. Newsletters + email blasts. Same thing with weekly/monthly newsletters and mailing list blasts! Write and format your email at your convenience, then schedule it to be sent at the best time for your audience. All of the most popular email campaign software providers, such as Mailchimp and Aweber, have this feature built in for free. Whether you’re sending out important updates or fresh content alerts, you can automate it all.
3. Social media posts. One of my favorite things to do is to spend a Sunday going through all the links I’ve recently saved and scheduling out social media posts for the next few weeks. Personally, I use Flipboard to find and collect industry relevant links, and then I use Hootsuite to schedule out all my content. There are unlimited options for e-readers these days, not to mention that most social media platforms have now added ways to save or favorite content for later viewing. In terms of social content scheduling, some of my favorite applications in addition to Hootsuite include Buffer, Viraltag, Latergram, and Coschedule. This isn’t to take away from the spontaneous posts on social media – but having some content scheduled out in advance keeps your profiles active and takes the stress off your everyday tasks.
4. Email scripts and templates. If you find yourself sending the same emails over and over again or variations of the same email over and over again, I highly recommend that you carve out a little bit of time to draft up email scripts + templates. This is great for introductions, system + process explanations, pitches, and more. Save all your templates in a ‘drafts’ folder or better yet as a Google document so that you always have access to them. Then simply copy, paste, customize, and send!
5. FAQ Answers. If you’re running a membership site, selling products, or offering a service to clients, chances are that your members and clients are going to have questions. A nifty trick to reduce the number of questions you get delivered to your inbox is to build a FAQ page and link it on your contact page. By offering answers to frequently asked questions you’re not only giving your inbox a break, but you’re also saving time for your members and clients by providing them answers before they even ask you a question.
6. Subscription reminders. Sometimes we as humans forget things. It happens, especially when you’re subscribed to an infinite number of services. One of the many great features built into MemberPress are automated reminders. With a few simple clicks, you can set up your membership site software to automatically send reminders when a member’s subscription or credit card is about to expire. By implementing automated subscription reminders, you effortlessly increase your member retention rates.
7. Welcome packets. Services like Mailchimp and Aweber aren’t only for sending out campaigns and newsletters. They are great for building action-based lists and sending out autoresponders too. An action-based list is something that can be setup for things like new members, new customers, or simply new subscribers to your mailing list. What happens here is that someone completes a certain action that has been identified by you to trigger an autoresponder. Once they have finished paying or entering their information, they are automatically added to a separate mailing list in your system and sent an autoresponder. This autoresponder can include things like a welcome letter, a free PDF, important next steps, a list of resource links, and so much more. By automating this process your members and customers get exactly what they need as soon as they sign up. No waiting and no added tasks for you.
8. Meeting scheduling + reminders for clients. If your business requires phone or face time with clients, you’re probably going a little bit crazy managing your schedule. Did you know that there are places on the web where clients can schedule their own appointments? All you have to do is mark your availability for meetings and calls, share the link, and clients can book and schedule their own appointments with you. These services generally also send automatic reminders and even allow clients to reschedule their appointments if necessary. Eliminate the endless back and forth with platforms such as Acquity and TimeTrade.