Over the last year or so I have become very intentional with how I run my business. I wanted to make sure that I systems in place to be more organized so that I could save myself some much-needed time, and just have things work better for myself and for my clients. I wanted to put the focus back on doing the things that I truly love to do, and not waste time plugging away on the simple, time-consuming (and sometimes mind-numbing) tasks that I was finding myself doing over and over again.
By putting systems in place, I do not have to worry about when life suddenly seems to happen (vacation, kids getting sick, etc) and getting overwhelmed by the unexpected.
6 Ways to Automate Your Online Business
(Some of these links are referral links, but I would never link to anything that I don’t use myself or love 100%)
1. Automate Social Media Posts:
There are so many great tools out there to help you automate your social media posts. I use Later for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and I absolutely love it! It allows me to hop on the computer and type out posts and hashtags, which is so much more convenient for me instead of having to do it on my phone. I also love it because it sends me a reminder on my phone when it’s time to post to Instagram.
Some other great tools to help you automate social media posts include Coschedule or Buffer, which is built for multiple social media channels. These tools have helped me immensely by allowing me to schedule and walk away and not have to worry about missing a day or two when life seems to take over.
If you’re looking for more tools and resources? Check out The Ultimate Instagram Tools/Resource List
2. Automate Blog Posts:
I love using WordPress to automate my blog posts. When you are composing your post simply go to the Publish section on the right side, and instead of publishing immediately click Edit and set the date and time. WordPress also allows you to share your blog posts on different social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn by connecting them to your website.
My favorite social media sharing plugin is Social Warfare!
3. Automate Client Booking:
Dubsado is my lifesaver when it comes to automating so many things, particularly client booking. You can create email templates, quotes, contracts, invoices and design concepts and the best part about this that if you apply a workflow to your jobs this is all automated for you. So once one item is complete the next goes into motion. A few other benefits of using Dubsado is that you can schedule payment reminders, allow private client portals, and track your finances.
Another good system for automating client booking and workflows is 17Hats!
4. Automate E-mails:
I just started to use canned responses for a variety of emails that I regularly send out and it has saved me an incredible amount of time. With that said, I have always prided myself on wanting to be on a more personal level with anyone that reaches out to me, so although I have canned emails all set up I go through and personalize each message, even a little bit so that they the person on the other end of the email knows that there is a person behind the email that they send and not just a computer.
5. Automate Pinterest Pins:
Many businesses rely on Pinterest for driving traffic to their blogs and business, and BoardBooster is my tool of choice for automating Pinterest pins and ensure that my content is working for me, even when I am not on my computer or phone!
A really cool feature with BoardBooster is the “Looping Tool” which means that it pins your older posts to the top of your boards and automatically deletes duplicate posts so that you don’t actually ever have to actively schedule new content. For this tool to work best, you should have a minimum of 100 pins in your boards. Otherwise, you would be repinning the same content which can be seen as spamming.
Another cool tool within BoardBooster is the “Pin Doctor”, which checks your boards for broken pins and duplicates them. This is a great option if you want to clean up your boards!
Tailwind is another great tool to automatically optimizes your pinning schedule based on when your audience is most engaged. It also allows you to schedule pins in bulk as well as share the same pin to multiple boards, which makes your content creation super quick and easy.
Unlike BoardBooster, Tailwind does not allow you to automatically repin the same pins, and you do have to manually schedule your pins. But it’s super easy to use so you can actually schedule hundreds of pins within minutes.
6. Templates – Blog + Social Media Graphic Templates:
When you blog or post on social regularly you know how time-consuming creating graphics can be. By creating templates for blog posts and social media you can save yourself so much time. This will allow you to quickly open up the templates, edit the information and images and simply save the new file. A 10-20 minute task is easily cut down to under 5 minutes, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!
Canva is the perfect free tool for creating templates! It’s a pretty powerful design software AND it’s user-friendly.
BONUS: WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT AUTOMATE
1. Auto DMs in Social Media:
Don’t make auto DMs part of your social media strategy. It’s spammy and just gross; plain and simple. It is inauthentic and will turn people off from you and your brand.
2. Customer Service:
While automating your business is amazing and saves you an incredible amount of time, the key to customer service is to actually serve them! Make sure that you are interacting with them in more ways than what your computer is handling for you.
Make sure that they know there is a person behind your business. Take the time to get to know them and that their needs are covered.
By using some of these tips and tools you can stay more organized, save yourself some much-needed time, and will allow you to focus on the parts of your business that you love.
What are some of your favorite tips or tools that you have found and use within your own business?
About the Author:
Lindsay is a graphic designer behind Writefully Simple, who specializes in creating brands and websites that specialize in the wedding industry. She loves working hand-in- hand with creative entrepreneurs building something that is meaningful, that has a purpose and that speaks right to the heart of every client. She blogs over at WritefullySimple.com where she educates readers how to improve their website, their brand, and provides useful tips and tricks on various business tasks. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
She blogs over at WritefullySimple.com where she educates readers how to improve their website, their brand, and provides useful tips and tricks on various business tasks. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.