Why Automating Your Small Business Can Save You Time, Money and Sanity
The dreaded “hustle”. It’s kind of like every entrepreneur is just….born with it. One day we are sitting on the couch, watching Game of Thrones, drinking wine…
THE NEXT MINUTE WE ARE RUSHING TO OUR COMPUTERS TO START WORKING ON THIS EPIC NEW IDEA WE JUST GOT WHILE WATCHING KHALEESI WOMAN UP TO THE DOTHRAKI!!!
And THIS…is where we stay for the next few months. Head to the grindstone (is that the phrase?), only moving to let the dog out and feed yourself crackers.
It’s unhealthy!! But entrepreneurs take it on like a badge of pride.
“I finished the launch and slept for weeks.”
“My boyfriend and I almost broke up because I was so focused.”
“I ACTUALLY almost died.”
There is absolutely something to proud of in hard work…but you DON’T have to torture yourself to get there!
Right now, I’m in middle of a launch.
I thought…JUST maybe this might be a good time to pop over to you other crack heads and talk about slooooooooowing it down. There’s a lot to whether your just building your traffic, building your list or launching a full blown brand-spankin’-new product.
I know…I know. Weird place to jump off, right? But it actually makes sense! Lay out everything you are working on…and everything you are doing to launch or increase your traffic. Write it ALL down on a piece of paper. We are talking daily posts to social media platforms, blog posts on a weekly basis, working on older posts, creating promo and marketing content, emails and newsletters, product creation, etc.
If you’re list is over 20 items long…you’re insane and should just go and commit yourself right now.
Go on! Close your computer. You’re donzoes.
I. Can’t. Even. *sigh*
Alright…fine. Let’s see if we can fix this insanity of yours.
With this list in front you, you’re going to write down TWO THINGS.
1) How much time you spend on this task daily.
2) If your seeing any return YET on this task (this can monetary or traffic).
If one of these is a product that hasn’t launched…instead of writing down what your current return is NOT…write down your realistic goal for it. This will all look something like:
Daily Facebook Post: 15 minutes a day —- 125 average clicks to the site
Facebook Ads: 2 hours a month; $300 a month ———- 500 sign ups
Pinterest Posting: 1 hour a day —— 200 daily clicks to the website.
LinkedIn Posting: 30 minutes a day —- 2 clicks a week
Once you get that in order…go through your list and put a check next to anything that is CURRENTLY working. For example, if one of your items is “Post to Pinterest Everyday”…and you’re seeing traffic from this one, check it off!
Pay attention to any tasks you are doing for the soul reason that the big bloggers are doing it. For example. Twitter. ALL the big bloggers are on Twitter. I hate Twitter. I never get on it. I don’t get anything from it. I just kinda…let it do it’s own thing and check on it about once a month. I realized a while ago that it just wasn’t my kind of platform.
In case you haven’t guessed it yet…we are assessing the “Return on Investment” for your task list. Your goal should be to have 10ish REALLY strong tasks spread out across your calendar. (When I say “investment” I’m referring to both your time AND pocket book!!)
Once you’ve knocked some things off that party of yours…let’s see if we can automate some of what you have left!! If you are serious about your business and blog, I highly recommend starting the automation process sooner rather than later. You DON’T have to jump into everything at once…but start adding in a little “hands off” today.
Take a look at your remaining list and designate which tasks you’d be ok with automating. For example, Twitter! Sure, you can still post on Twitter yourself…but to help you out a little, think about using a plugin like “Revive Old Post“. This plugin goes through EVERY public blog post you have (old or new) and posts them in a beautiful format to Twitter! You can set the times and frequency…and then sit back and let your Blog populate your Twitter feed.
Other social media automation systems are going to platforms like MeetEdgar for Facebook and Twitter…Boardbooster for Pinterest…and Planoly for Instagram.
Although I STILL recommend hopping onto platforms for the personal experience…just having these building connections with your readers in the background takes a LOT of stress off.
After you’ve taken tasks off your list…and automated as much as possible, it’s time to assess what you have left and how much time you’re spending on them. Your list might look something like:
Blogging Once A Week - 3 Hours
Creating Downloads Weekly - 3 Hours
Creating New eBook of Awesome - 15 Hours Weekly
From here, if you have the budget…you can outsource some of these tasks! For example, there are VA’s out there who create stunning downloads! This is a great option if you aren’t so great in the design area!
Same with designing an ebook! Perhaps you do the writing, then pass it off to VA or designer for prettifying.
Point is…at the end of this process, you should ONLY have tasks you are GOOD at…or you can’t quite afford to outsource YET.
The WHOLE goal for this email was to help you breath juuuuuust a bit easier. (Brush your teeth before doing this…you don’t want to offend.)
What are some of YOUR favorite methods of automation? What online or offline systems do you use? I JUST did a Facebook Livestream on the topic …and I’d love to use a few of your examples! Hit reply and let me know!