Whenever I hear conversations about automation it always conjures up images of robots taking over the world. And while I would love to have Rosey (the maid robot from the Jetsons), the idea of turning my business over to machines just feels wrong. Out of touch. Cold.
What if I told you that marketing and business automation is all around you and, in many cases, free?
First, let’s talk about why you should even care. There are times when we are out of the office and no matter how good our intentions we’re just not going to do any work. And that’s good, even healthy!
But there are also times when we know things are going to get hectic with conferences, speaking, client projects and by planning ahead and automating we can relieve some of that stress!
The best news is that automation doesn’t have to be cold and impersonal. Personally, I love automated services like Aweber because I’d never have the time to reach out to hundreds of you each week. With newsletters, blog posts and social media you can reach far more people than manually doing it all yourself.
Easy marketing automation includes tools such as Facebook pages, which now allow admins to pre-schedule posts like my popular 5 min or less System Tip of the Day, and Hootsuite for Twitter which has recently introduced posting for LinkedIn, Google+ and of course Facebook.
What about business automation for everyday business tasks? My biggest challenge has been email! So I spent six months handling the chaos and finding systems for email including filtering, automatic responses and forwarding. Now I don’t dread being out of the office for a week!
As much as possible I look for software and tools that help me manage and maximize my time. When something absolutely needs hands on attention I work with my virtual team to support me. The tasks may not be automated but we do use Asana to assign regular tasks and check in each week. If you don’t yet have my free 5 part video series “5 Days to Finding Fabulous Help for Your Online Business” then you can request it here and start working with a team who can “automate” many business admin tasks and free up your time for more content, conferences or clients.
Some Automating Systems are Stronger than Others
If you’ve been in business for any length of time you’ve probably seen and heard about Infusionsoft. To help you get started I talked to marketing automation expert Patrick Conley about his recommendations:
Patrick, what makes Infusionsoft different?
Infusionsoft is an amazing program that helps you automate your marketing all in one great software package. It handles basic needs of email marketing like Aweber or Mailchimp, but allows you to apply some really fantastic control over who gets your emails based on their actions.
How do clients use Infusionsoft?
For clients selling products, you wouldn’t want to re-sell them on the same product that they already bought. Instead, you can “tag” your recent buyers so that you only follow up for another sales attempt for customers that haven’t bought on the first push. The best part of Infusionsoft is that it really covers all of the bases when it comes to your business in a super automated way. You can handle emails, CRM, product sales, and an affiliate program all within one bundle.
Infusionsoft sounds really comprehensive, should everyone have it?
That’s a great question, and one that comes up with a ton of entrepreneurs that I work with. For the typical business just getting started with online marketing, Infusionsoft might be overkill. Especially since there are some other really important aspects of business to work on.
How do you help business owners decide if Infusionsoft is right for them?
The software is an investment and it’s important to be able to see some ROI soon after investing so that it doesn’t stress you out too much. However, if you’re running a business that is really looking to launch in a big way and you don’t want to mess with switching software systems, it might be smart to start off with Infusionsoft right off the bat.
I’ve prepared a free report which will help you decide if Infusionsoft is a good investment for your business right now. Like most software and investments, Infusionsoft is not right for every business right now. If you’re curious about more get Patrick’s free guide 5 Indicators You’re Ready for Infusionsoft (And What to Do If You’re Not) free from his site.