“Automation can be a game-changer when it comes to optimizing your day and saving time as a small business owner.
There are 2 main reasons why I’m borderline obsessed with it.
Primarily, I get to reclaim my time.
While some automation tools have steep learning curves, imagine what it feels like when you automate aspects of your business and gain 4-5 hours more in your day?
For me, that takes all that set-up pain away.
Additionally, setting up an automated system to generate passive income online can be one of the most liberating feelings in the world.
I can’t think of a single small business owner who’d say no to having sustainable ways to put more money in their account each month without doing a truckload of work.
That knowledge alone is worth some kind of hefty weight.
Still, I get it. Automating your business can be a difficult process at the start. I know it definitely was for me
I don’t admit this to many people, but revamping Forward Forty’s online business model was not just hard.
It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I wanted to give up.
I Almost Called It Quits
Admitting defeat was something I considered when I launched my first online product and failed. I didn’t know how to find the right traffic sources to create revenue.
And I definitely had a breakdown moment when Alicia, my accountant, looked at the dwindling bank account and shook her head.
“Judette,” she said. “maybe you should stop.”
I cried that day.
She might as well have said, “You’ve failed and it’s time to call it quits.” I know her concern was the numbers and I love her to pieces.
However, have you ever felt on the cusp something big even when the numbers weren’t adding up?
That was me, plus I’m built for calculated risk taking
I believe that you can never get to a revolutionary story by glossing over the times you flopped and the moments you decided not to quit.
Execution is (smirks) a beast of burden.
In any case, I persisted with the best teammates by my side. After 3 hard years, we did it. We now have a significantly automated site and online business model.
Here’s the deal about automation.
When you don’t have to focus on repeating the same tasks over and over again, something wonderful happens.
You can focus your efforts and energy on bigger things like giving your audience deep value, honing your creativity, creating more incredible offers and systems for revenue.
Not to mention you get more time to live your life out more fully. That’s a Y-E-S for me and it should be for you too.
So today, I wanted to share the 5 things I have automated in my business. These lifts have allowed the rubber in my business to hit this wide-open highway. Ready? Let’s dive in.
1. How Automation Transforms Email Marketing
My email list was the first area where automation made sense to me.
I know the thought of batching and sitting down to write a welcome sequence, sales sequence, or an abandoned cart sequence might make your head spin.
However, what I have learned is that an email list has to become your ultimate go-to when it comes to driving profits for your business.
For several years now, my email list has become not just the place where I get to serve and connect with my audience. It’s a space where I also share my latest programmes and offerings.
In the automation revamp of our website, fleshing out over 40 sequences serving 8 digital products became my top priority.
And it turned into the primary way I showed up for my subscribers intentionally, and consistently every single Sunday.
Now, I encourage my clients to practice something that has become a game-changer for me when it comes to email marketing – planning ahead.
You want success with email marketing?
You’ve got to map out your email content in advance, batch-prep it, and schedule it to set it up automatically.
By batching emails ahead of time, you can be more focused on serving your audience and strategizing, ensuring that each email has a clear purpose.
Here Is My Step-by-Step Process for Email Automation
- Look at your calendar, see what events or launches are coming up.
- Plan your email topics accordingly.
- Align your emails with what’s happening in your business.
- Look at what events or launches or business activities might be happening, and plan your email topics to align with whatever’s going on.
- Then you can set it and forget it.
I’m a huge believer in breaking things down step-by-step because that way you have a clear path to what needs to get done
I’ve got one more thing to say about automation of your email system. Choose a platform that fits your needs and purpose.
We love MailChimp but are currently exploring Behiv. There is also FLODESK, Convertkit, Mailerlite and so many others.
Here is a behind the scenes look at one of our email work flows for one of our most loved FREE products, The 7-Day Content Plan
2. Automating A Webinar Is A Simple Way To Make $$$
If you’re on IG Reels then you must have heard the following quote as a voiceover in a thousand different ways. My favourite interpretation is by actress Zoe Saldena and I even did a Reel with it which you check out here in this Guidebook
Anyway Zoe says: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
Whenever I stumble upon that quote, I grin to myself. It’s a perfect descriptor for getting automation right, especially the last part about liking how you do things.
Let me tell you what I mean by that.
I was so used to showing up and teaching on Facebooks Lives and other platforms that I never imagined there was a different way to achieve success with webinars and masterclasses.
But when I stumbled across the concept of hybrid webinars it felt as if a light bulb got switched on inside my brain
Let’s get 2 key definitions out of the way.
An automated webinar or masterclass means the class is pre-recorded, plugged into a software (make sure you get one with great support system) and you never have to go go Live.
But that felt a bit too robotic for me since I enjoy engagement on a Live.This is where the hybrid masterclass came in.
A hybrid webinar combines elements of both live and pre-recorded content.
In a hybrid webinar/masterclass, some portions of the presentation are pre-recorded and played for the audience, while other portions are presented live by a speaker or moderator.
This became my automation jam. I prerecorded the main masterclass and showed up Live in the comments and in the Q&A.
This allowed me to be super flexible and still have an interactive experience by answering questions in real time and doing the polls.
To be honest, there is something amazing and rewarding about not worrying about the Internet crashing or the dog barking in the background. You get the drift? Also, I must admit too that I do run completely automated webinars and make money on the back of them.
There are many webinar platforms that you can use. I use Stealth and they are nothing short of fantastic with white glove service templates, free trainIng etc.
3. How To Use Automation For Client Onboarding
Let’s talk now about your client booking and onboarding system.
This is particularly useful if you have a coaching company or offer consulting hours. We do both and use Calendly to automate workflows in this area.
Now, I have heard great reviews about Acuity, and my developer recently found a less expensive version of Calendly, which we will probably explore after our one-year subscription is over.
But here’s where automation did a complete 360 on our client booking system
Before I paid for Calendly, a prospect would reach out.
I’d ask them what they needed, and we would go back and forth over several emails, sometimes it took 4-5 emails to determine the focus of the meeting and set the time.
You can jut imagine the downside of that.
Good luck to us if the potential client remembered their booking or if something shifted in their day, and they forgot to let me know.
Also, just the manual effort of logging the calls to track conversion was tiring.
It just wasn’t the most efficient use of anyone’s time.
Automation with Calendly changed that for me and my team. We now have a booking system with email reminders built-in.
Qualified prospects can see what we offer right away and book without going back and forth, and we save heaps of time in the process. We are currently working on a pre-qualifying questionnaire that will also be automated.
I know, I know, something else to do but remember at the start of this blog I mentioned these systems were built over three years. You can take your time with all these flows going bit-by-bit
By automating my booking systems, I made sure I was never involved in the weeds of correspondence all day, every day. This is why automation is such a magical flow.
4. How To Automate Social Media
As someone who works in online marketing, people are often surprised to learn that I don’t spend a lot of time on social media.
Now, just to be totally transparent, when I’m in launch mode, I attack social media like a beast but typically my blog, newsletter and email list get way more of my attention.
Since I don’t have limitless cash flow to give Mark Zuckerberg in order to pay to play, I focus on automating my own assets.
So, when it comes to social media, I like to get things scheduled ahead of time so that I can have the freedom to step away from the apps when I need to.
This approach allows me to use social media for business in a direct but relaxed way, rather than feeling like I have to be on there all the time to keep up with my business.
One of the questions I get asked frequently is where do I keep my editorial calendar.
Social Media Automation Tools
I do all of it on Planoly and the Meta platform.
These tools allow me to house all of my ideas in one place: images, captions (even if they never make the cut), my sources of inspiration etc.
The reason I love Planoly is that it gives me the ability to see and manage my entire visual editorial calendar all at once. I can collaborate better with my creative director too.
And I enjoy using the Meta app for scheduling since it allows me to bulk upload images, set a plan for the topics I want to cover, and even type directly within the platform for my post.
Why automate your social media in advance? For me, it’s all about efficiency. And I bet it will be the same for you too.
I like to post from a place of purpose, peace and profit. And if I can take some of the emotion and anxiety out of real-time posting, then I’m going to do it.
This allows me to be spontaneous and I can focus on engaging in real-time and get into my DMS which is where all the sales truly happens.
So, what are some my best tips for setting up your social media workflow? Here are a few:
5. Automation Can Get You More Leads
Ok, we’re closing off my top five with a look at my fave, Lead Generation,
We have already discussed the importance of email sequences at the top of this post.
Setting up customer journeys are essential for your lead generation programme and a great way to generate passive income online.
If you are not familiar with Lead Generation, I have a comprehensive programme on it in my Shop that you can access HERE.
To get back to basics, it all starts with offering a free guide, coupon, training, etc., which is then followed up by a sequence leading to a paid offer. Setting up a lead generation system requires some real effort.
WOWZER. I am talking real elbow grease and brain power, I am not about to lie to you.
However once it’s in place, you can automate the entire process and reap the benefits for years to come.
I tell my students and clients all the time that automating one Lead Generation tool is an excellent way to provide people with an instant experience while you earn revenue.
The automation of this work while you’re preparing dinner, going about your morning routine, even sleeping.
Also, you have so many options in the way to you can promote your lead magnets.
You can have pop-ups that link to your freebie, or promote it in the beginning of your blog posts, captions, or YouTube channel descriptors.
What I mean is that you can create multiple touch points where people can find your freebie and are enticed to provide their email address in exchange for what you are offering.
It’s a win/win because once they enter their email, everything is automated, resulting in a significant increase in leads which converts to business.
Take Your Time
Automating your business takes time, focus, intention but oh the benefits make the upfront work so worth it.
This is the year for working smarter. It’s what I preach to my team. It’s what I’m preaching to you.
I started with one offer, one automated sequence, one product and then I built from there.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start with one small thing that align with your brand and business, make sure it serves its purpose but is also an easy lift for you personally. Then you can move on.
Take the time to thoughtfully create your automation plan and let it run.
You’ll be surprised at the time you gain back, the peace you feel and once it is set up right, the income you can earn from your product/s or service/s.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, would you share the blog with a friend?
You can also tell us below what struck you the most about what you read.