I always say, if you do something in your business 3 times or more per week, it can most likely be automated! Today I’m sharing my five favorite areas of business operations to automate, my favorite platforms for doing so, and what to keep in mind as you implement.
These are things almost every service-based business does and are HUGE time-sucks that, when automated, will not only save you tons of time (aka money), but also put some great boundaries in place, strengthen your brand, and improve the quality of the experience you deliver. Let’s dive in.
Do you enjoy spending days on end going back and forth with a lead or client just to find a time that works for both of you? I sure don’t!
Here’s how that conversation should go:
Lead/Client/Anyone: “Let’s find a time to connect! I’d love to know more about xyz” or “I’m ready to book my session”
You: “Great! Here’s a link that you can use to find and book a time that is most convenient for you.”
Simple as that! If you have meetings of any kind – whether it be video calls, phone calls, or in-person, it’s time to get on a scheduling system that will allow your clients to:
Those tasks sure do add up, and you can eliminate them completely by loading your different appointment or meeting types into a scheduling platform.
So, you’ve piqued someone’s interest, and they reach out to explore what working with you looks like and if they are a good fit. What’s their first step? Leads are much more likely to take the first step if they know what it is – and when you have a system in place for this, you eliminate the need to explain, answer questions, and show up unprepared when the time comes to meet with them and pitch your services.
A great way to do this is with a form. Asking specific questions about what your prospective client needs is going to help you pre-qualify them and determine whether meeting with them or working with them is going to be successful for both parties.
Asking thoughtful questions here is going to get them thinking about what it is they are needing and expecting in a provider. It will also give you insights to how you can help them most, and give you a leg-up so that you can provide value right off the bat, instead of showing up knowing nothing, and coming across disorganized.
We all love to save time, right? So by pre-qualifying your leads and thinking through their unique situation is going to show them you are organized and prepared, give them a glimpse into the value you plan on providing, and starting the partnership off on the right, value-based foot.
In terms of follow-up, many platforms that are used to create and send fillable forms have the option to follow-up with an email that lets them know what to expect from there, and you can even integrate forms like this into one of the scheduling platforms above so that they can fill this out at the same time that they book an appointment with you. Two birds with one stone!
Need inspiration? There are links all over this website that I use to capture leads, some as simple as the one on my Contact Page, and some more in-depth, like the one used to book a call to discuss my Content Machine service.
Taking a client from ‘lead’ to ‘booked’ to ‘completed engagement’ to ‘lasting relationship’ can get messy. This is the process that I find the most complex when I do a systems overhaul for my clients – over the years many of us build up a stack of things that need to get to them in order to get started, get through the service, and finish it out in a way that maintains the relationship and helps you build trust. If this process looks messy or unprofessional, it cheapens your service and that is NOT what we want.
Automating the parts of your customer journey that are less-than-glamorous will build trust that this isn’t your first rodeo, that you are an established professional who has invested time and energy making their investment as stress-free and easy as possible, and that the information they are sharing with you is secure.
Here are some parts of your process that can be 100% automated, and should be:
If you’ve sent the same email more than 3 times, it’s time to template that baby up.
Think about emails that you get and send on a regular basis. These can be anything from cold outreach, pitching, answering common questions, getting started, following up with leads, asking for testimonials, really anything that you regularly answer or send out!
Every bit of time counts, and every bit of mental energy counts, too! When you don’t have to think about how you’re going to answer something or reach out to someone, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you can move on with your day instead of tailoring each message to the Nth degree when you have to get the same information across, again and again, each day.
Any CRM (Dubsado again is my fave), or it could be as simple as keeping a folder in your Google Drive with these emails written out so you can just copy/paste whenever needed.
There are recurring processes that you just know need to get done, but remembering to do them each day, week, or month leads to things getting pushed off, forgotten, or just not getting done. Productivity hack: automate using a project management platform that can help you remember what needs to get done and when, help you stick to your own processes, and maintain consistency as you’re working through your signature services with a client.
Here are some ideas to load in and hold yourself and your team (who you can assign to tasks to within the program) accountable for:
And there you have it! My top five processes to automate in order to save time, stay consistent, and have your business running like a well-oiled machine! Reach out and let me know what you implement and how it’s going! I’m happy to answer any questions as well.
If you need help choosing a platform, putting systems like this in place, or anything else relating to improving your business operations, check out my VIP Intensives – systems are my love language and we can get you streamlined and systematized in just one day!
If you’re wanting to DIY it, there are more elements to consider and things you should know about! I’m working on a mini-course to help you get streamlined and automated that will guide you through all of this and more – from choosing the right platforms for your business, setting everything up, and tying everything together. Click Here to get on the waitlist and take advantage of a sweet discount as soon as it’s done!
I'm an online business strategist and digital marketing expert who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs streamline their operational practices, gain visibility, and make their biggest impact in the online space.
After spending years running the back-end of 15+ businesses, both online and in-person, and in tons of different industries, I have really seen it all and now provide tailored solutions and resources for entrepreneurs who are ready to level-up their business and implement systems, strategies, and content that save time, energy, and money all while seriously impressing their ideal clients.
Kick creative constipation to the curb with this bank of ideas I've been racking up for years! These will give your audience exactly what they want - a bit of you, your business, your offers, and your tribe!
Alina Scarcella is a multi-passionate service provider who focuses on making life easier for female entrepreneurs through implementing systems and processes that deliver luxury client experiences, creating and managing high-converting marketing content, and designing bespoke websites.