That to-do list is long— we get it! As a solopreneur or even a small team, your hours are limited. Yet, for some reason we really struggle to set up things to automate. Why? Because we think we can do it better. We are so incredibly guilty of this. In fact there are a few automations on the list below that we really resisted for a while. Funny thing is, the second we implemented it, we wished we could go back in time and shake ourselves.
Your time is valuable. It’s a resource you can never get back. So, let’s start with some baby steps. If you have nothing, or very little, automated in your business, then this list is for you. Here are 11 different things we automate for our creative business that help save us time, money and headache.
11 Things To Automate
1. Social Posting
We use Tailwind for auto posting on both Pinterest and Instagram. The best part is that for a partnership like ours, we both use the platforms in different ways. Courtney plans out our feed visually, while Abbey crafts the captions. We also batch our reel content to make planning our feed so much easier!
2. Podcast Publishing
Podbean is our podcast host and they make it incredibly easy to plan out our episodes. Podcasting is another thing we love to batch ahead of time.
Are you writing and posting in the same day? Or are you planning your content ahead of time? And please don’t tell us that blogging is dead. If you don’t have time to write content yourself, consider hiring someone to help. Then schedule your posting ahead of time.
4. Email Marketing & Funnels
Writing weekly newsletters for those early morning hours is important to make sure you hit your audiences inboxes early. We use Flodesk for all things email. One of the absolute best things to automate is your email workflows— welcome sequences, freebie resources, etc. We receive dozens of inquiries and responses from our sequences and it’s a genuinely, real way to connect with your new subscribers.
This was the one automation we didn’t want to implement. It felt like, for some odd reason, we were losing control of our calendars. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The number of back and forth emails from our new client inquiries was basically eliminated. Our leads can now schedule a time that works for them on a calendar we preset hours. We are currently using a scheduler within our CRM, Dubsado. We love it even better when the things we have to automate can live within the same systems. One less thing to invest in!
6. Client workflows
Once a lead turns into an official client, we issue a new project workflow in Dubsado that automatically delivers the contract, retainer and questionnaire. We can breakdown workflows by project type. There are so many things you can automate within Dubsado like payment plans and even booking strategy calls.
7. Email Signatures
An automated email signature is an amazing way to set expectations on when you will respond and what your work hours are. You can break out your signature to speak to each audience group with a direct message on what they can expect.
8. Auto-Reply On Instagram Direct Messages
Have you ever felt buried in Instagram DM’s? Are there consistent questions you get asked again and again? Could you set up an auto-reply to help save some of your time? Here is a great article on how to set this up.
This tool has been instrumental on helping us keep people in our universe. If you have your audience engaging with you on another platform such as a course, masterclasses, a digital shop, you need to make sure to bring them into your list. Your email list is where you can collect everyone who is a hot lead. If there aren’t any direct integrations with your platforms, you can always use Zapier.
Systems like Xero and Quickbooks help simplify your bookkeeping, especially if you are managing this yourself. We did this ourselves for the first few years, and we are now immensely thankful for our bookkeeper who manages all these details for us.
Although this is not quite automation, it is something that saves us an incredible amount of time. Our client communication, client projects and internal processes all live here in Asana. We simply copy and paste client projects, import timelines into our Google calendars and set up reoccurring workflows for internal processes.
These are just a few things we automate in our business today. There are so many more and we’d love to hear what you automate in your creative business. Comment below and let us know! And if you liked today’s episode on The Duo On Air Marketing Podcast, don’t forget to leave us a review & subscribe!
More from the Duo
Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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