How many days do you find yourself trying to keep the balls up in the air? Constantly juggling something? Whether that’s children or other relatives, pet care or multiple jobs, health concerns or even extra-curricular activities, we’re all incredibly busy and believe me you’re not alone!
For me, the big juggle is childcare: traditional working hours means working 9-5 and when school finishes at 3pm (without even mentioning the 13 weeks+ of school holidays!), it means those ‘traditional hours’ just don’t work for me. Creating freedom in business through automation is one of the ways I’ve made life that bit easier.
As I can’t work traditional hours (nor do I want to!) I’ve had to be creative with the way that I have automated my business, ensuring that I can keep in touch with customers and prospects, carry out repetitive tasks in my business and post content to my social channels without actually having to be there.
Sounds like the dream, right?
Of course, there is always the odd evening or weekend day of work required, no matter how hard we put in the boundaries between work and family time, but how can we make sure that those are an odd evening rather than the odd evening off?
A great place to start the automation process and a simple way to be present and ‘online’ is to schedule your social media. I spend some time every week pre-scheduling content for the next week or two that is designed to be interesting for my customers and contacts. Make sure though that when your posts go ‘live’ there are times when you are physically present on your chosen social channels – social media channels are fast becoming customers favourite helpdesks and the go-to place to ask questions pre- or post-purchase, so you’ll need make sure you can respond relatively promptly to those queries so that customers feel supported and important.
Once your social media posts are scheduled and you’ve got the right content, think about whether you can ‘Go Live’, posting live video content on Facebook, for example, is by far the most engaging content that you can produce on the channel, helping to improve the reach of your content and really letting your customers get to know you and your brand. It’s worth scheduling a little time every week for live social time, or consider bringing on someone who can help support you with the management of your social media.
Another useful thing that I like to do is pre-schedule email content in advance – again, if I’ve written several weekly newsletter type emails, these can easily be programmed to go out weekly, or monthly, and then be forgotten about. Make sure you avoid time sensitive language and current breaking news in pre-scheduled emails or social posts to ensure that they stay relevant with your audience and up to date.
Some other ways to let automation make life easier are; simple email responders set up to let contacts know I’ll get back to them asap if I’m out of the office temporarily. I also have a newsletter sign up box set up on my website and social channels (as well as boxes that allow people to sign up for more information about specific products and services), as this allows me to send out pre-prepared ‘nurture’ emails to potential customers, answering some of the key FAQs about my business and the things that I can help with without me having to do it manually and rewrite it each time – well written templates are one of the most effective tools to have at your disposal.
I have also used automation to help integrate the various platforms and apps that I use day to day, helping to remove (and reduce) the need for me to carry out manual actions there too. For example, I’ve got a membership site with a number of wonderful members – if anyone upgrades their membership, or wants to cancel, they have the ability to do this themselves and the systems that I’ve integrated help to ensure they have access to everything that they need without me having to manually adjust their permission levels – it saves me time and headspace and lets my members feel in control.
If you’re short of time, tired of juggling, or just want to free up valuable hours to spend doing what you really want to do, why not consider automating more in your business? If you aren’t sure what can be automated, or how to do it, get in touch!