Peanut Butter and Jelly. Yin and Yang. Starsky and Hutch. When it comes to maximizing your efficiency, where there’s repetition, there’s an opportunity for automation close by…
The tasks you find yourself doing all the time over and over again like Drew Barrymore’s character on Fifty First Dates are prime candidates for automation. Repetition is the ‘bestie’ of automation. So in order to find out where you can maximize the efficiency of your business model, look to those areas where repetition runs the show.
Identify those patterns within your model and ask yourself: “How can I make this more efficient?” Automation from A to V. From Autoresponders to Virtual Assistants, there are opportunities for automation within your current business model ranging from scheduling emails to complete systems outsourcing. Let’s discuss the two key opportunities that are going to free up loads of your calendar space (and sanity), and increase your business’s efficiency in the process: Scheduling and Outsourcing.
We’ll start with the very basics…
You’re a savvy badass coach, so it goes without saying: you have an email account and an emailing list filled to the brim with subscribers, and you work very hard to maintain these communication channels. You diligently a few hours each week planning stellar content that is going to totally blow their minds, setting them up for the mindset shift that will skyrocket them to the next level of clarity. You also constantly infuse your days with interruptions so that you can post your content and send your correspondences at the optimal time for guaranteed engagement. 8:32 in the morning… Noon… Midnight… like clockwork, you DEAR, my dear: Drop Everything and Repost!
What automation is going to do for you: Enter: the Autoresponder. You’re going to spend less time scheduling and more time being a total business boss badass.
Your first move towards that automation life, is going to be setting up Autoresponders for your email and emailing list. Instead of letting every client or peer know individually when you are out of the office or on vaca, go into your email account settings and type a brief yet detailed message alerting your crew where you are, how long you’ll be gone and how to reach you right away or in the event of an urgent matter.
To do this in Gmail, click on the gear icon in the the top right corner, scroll down to Vacation Responder and set the dates for the duration of your hiatus. You will even be able to designate who will receive the response (i.e., only people in your Contacts, etc.) Autoresponders for emailing list subscribers in services like Constant Contact or MailChimp offer slightly more versatility, allowing you to set multiple automated emails, targeted at specific list members at various stages of engagement with your list.
Let’s say Member X has been a part of your list for one day. Perhaps you want to email her to say, “Hey, welcome! Be sure to check out my resources here…” Member Y on the other hand, has been a part of your list for one month, has engaged with various content pieces within that time and has purchased supplemental services as a result of that engagement.
How might the email to Member X at Day One differ from the email to Member Y at Day 31?
With Autoresponders, you can schedule emails to be sent with tailored content relevant to specific list members at designated intervals throughout the lifetime of their participation with your list. This allows you to spend less time reminding yourself to send out personalized emails at random points in the future and more time scheduling one-on-one sessions with new clients.
Second to scheduling, outsourcing is your next area of opportunity for maximizing your business’s efficiency through freeing up tasks you consistently end up doing with those more qualified or more available to manage them.
What automation is going to do for you: You’re going to be able to edge yourself out of the picture by building a dream team of contractors and employees capable of handling those tasks you don’t necessarily need to be doing, thereby allowing you to do more of the things you really SHOULD be handling.
Let’s start off by mapping out your day. On a sheet of paper, list everything you find yourself doing for your business on a typical workday. Are you writing content pieces? Posting to social media? Scheduling photo ops and dusting off the ol’ DSLR, hoping no one will notice your candid shots aren’t actually professional portraits? Perhaps you’re responding to emails…
Face it: ALL OF the tasks listed above can be managed by someone else. Think about the things that CAN’T be done by others, like meeting with clients, offering your services and planning mastermind courses with breakout sessions.
Next, write this down: VIRTUAL ASSISTANT. If you’ve never heard of the term, a virtual assistant is like an Office Manager for your digital space. An effective VA will either manage the important tasks of your business, or sub them out to someone who can. Virtual Assistant companies like Virtual At Last! can handle those tasks for you. After you’ve secured a Virtual Assistant, look for a great photographer, (I personally recommend India Jackson Artistry), a content solutions development firm like the Blurban Planner Co. that can manage ALL of your content needs and even a great social media influencer to boost your audience engagement. Once you’ve gathered your dream team of contractors and assistants, it’s time to get to work! While it is going to initially cost you more money, consider it an investment in your business that’s going to give you a time ROI that will more than allow you to recoup those costs, and here’s why: you’re going to have more time to meet with clients, have follow- up sessions and teach courses…all revenue generating opportunities.
First, focus on phasing in automation by scheduling then progress to outsourcing. Then enjoy that extra free time watching the dollars roll in…