Ahh, the internet. The place where people can still dream about the easy life. The original home of the “Easy Button”, right? I mean, you click your mouse together, say, “There’s no place like home”… then the money starts pouring in.
If only it were as easy as the gurus said it would be. Well, I can’t help you get rich fast, but I can teach you a few quick strategies for making your business life a heck of a lot easier. You see, I’m sort of a freak when it comes to automating things. I loathe doing the same task over and over again. It’s just not in my DNA to be a “day to day manager”. I mean, I can do it, but it’s not my highest and truest calling.
I’m a dreamer, an achiever, a learner… a do-er. I love to get things done right the first time, then let things run over and over again without my involvement. It’s my own version of Multiplicity. The romantic comedy with Michael Keaton and Andie McDowell. In the movie, Michael Keaton’s character gets offered the chance to create clones of himself. Each clone is built to handle a certain aspect of his life.
So one clone is for work and the other is the more sensitive clone to meet all of his wife’s emotional needs. The original Michael Keaton pretty much plays golf all day and goofs off. While this is just a movie, it taps into a desire that so many of us (especially business owners) have. “If I could just clone myself I could get so much more done!” Well, let me show you 5 different ways you can clone yourself using the internet and automation.
1) Make sure you are sending all your emails through Autoresponders
I’ll start pretty basic and assume that most business owners are doing this. But, I’m often surprised by how often I need to tell people to do this. If you are collecting email addresses from your customers or your potential customers… by all means have them in what is called an Autoresponder. An Autoresponder allows you to send automated emails in a sequential order to your prospects and customers.
Most business owners end up sending out a newsletter style email about once a month (and that’s being generous). The truth is, sending an email to your customer or prospect is a great way to get your name branded to them. Even better, if there’s a strong call to action in the email, you can actually make sales aka MONEY.
Here’s how they work. Your prospect or customer is placed on a list. Then, an automated email is sent to each individual person on the days you setup. So, you set it up once, then it just runs automatically. It’s a great, hands-free way to market and brand yourself… and it’s relatively inexpensive! There’s no limit to how many emails you can send either.
In theory, you could send 2 emails a week to your prospects or customers for the next 3 years. And all you ever did was write the emails once and place them in the software once. The rest is handled by the autoresponder company and you just need to focus on adding more prospects and customers to your list.
My personal favorite email sending service is Aweber. I’ve been around the block and used just about all of them, and they are the easiest to use with great support and walk through videos.
Pro Tip: Make sure you create two separate lists (at least). One for prospects and another for customers. That way you can communicate differently to each group. You may even want to make a list for VIP’s as time goes on.
2) Make sure you are leveraging the power of automated webinars
This tip is pretty advanced, but thankfully there are some really cool companies out there these days that can help you. The best way to sell a higher priced product or to explain a more intricate product is through the power of webinars. There are many different webinar companies, but a few have the ability to replay a webinar but make it look as if it’s happening live.
Firstly, let me make sure you know what a webinar is. You’ve more than likely been on one. A webinar is basically a “Web Seminar”… shortened to webinar. It’s an online presentation (usually done live) where the presenter of the webinar gives tips and advice and teaches something. Towards the end of the webinar, the presenter would then pitch whatever they are selling. Usually, it’s a higher priced product or one with a lot of complexities.
I always recommend doing a webinar LIVE the first time or two or three. Working out the kinks. You can use a service such as GoToWebinar which is expensive but solid. It allows you to easily run and host webinars in a snap. It also allows you to record the webinars so you have them in your possession.
These recordings can be worth a TON of money to you. I repeat – a great webinar recording can completely change your life. If that webinar converted for you (ie, it made sales), then guess what? It will make sales again and again as new people watch it. You have a few options here. You could commit to doing the same webinar every week or two. Some people do this, and if you like it, then more power to you.
But me personally, I believe in getting my best presentation down and then letting it run over and over again, without me there. It’s my way of cloning myself Multiplicity style. I’ve literally been on a ride in Disney world when my phone started going off with notifications of sales being made… from a webinar I was presenting.
There are a few ethical things I want to cover here for you as well. Firstly, never say that the webinar is LIVE. You don’t have to. You also don’t have to say that the webinar is recorded either. Just say, join me for this webinar happening at this date and this time. It’s all true.
The reason why it has to “appear live” is because of us humans. We won’t sit and watch an hour long video, usually. But, if it’s presented as a webinar, for some reason – people will stay. It just isn’t right to fake people out and make them think it’s live. But, you also don’t need to feel compelled to say it’s a recording because believe me, your sign up and show up rates will drop off.
If you’re looking for a great software that can handle on the replays for you, I personally like EverWebinar.
3) You can also use Automated SMS Messages
Another advanced tip. But just like you can send out automated emails… you can also send out automated SMS (text) messages to your prospects and customers. In my experience, if you are running a retail store of some sort that can offer specials, deals, coupons, etc, you need to be doing SMS marketing.
The great thing is you can actually set up a follow-up sequence of SMS messages that will market to the same people over and over… all automatically. So, you literally set it and forget it. Just make sure you follow all the laws and restrictions. I don’t have an SMS service that I use so I went out and built my own.
I’ll update this post when I open it up for beta testing. In the meanwhile, you can google search for SMS or text message service providers.
The key here is this is the same concept as email, except with SMS messages. They also have a WAY higher percentage of open rates compared to email, but the messages are much shorter obviously. But overall, it’s worth adding to your marketing arsenal for sure.
4) You can Automate Your Social Media Posts
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Instagram. Snapchat. Even if you’re just updating social media for yourself as a person, it can be a part-time job. Now, imagine doing it for your business. It’s a lot of work. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of social media for making sales. I think it’s great for branding, for building a following, and for “looking the part”.
But, when it comes to a tweet making a sale, I’m not sold. I am a fan of doing social media ads. Especially Facebook advertising. I’ve had some great results in my agency for all sorts of offers. But, that’s for another post another day.
Let’s talk about the automation of social media posts. Even though I don’t think posting will necessarily bring you sales, it’s still an important part of your marketing cache. It’s branding, it’s putting yourself out there, and it’s a great way to meet people who can help you grow your business or even grow personally.
But odds are if you’re a business owner… you don’t want to spend your day with your nose pressed up against your smartphone writing updates. Thankfully, there’s an answer. You can automate what you post WAY out into the future. That means, you can spend an hour a week planning out all your posts for that week across all your different social media accounts.
And you can do it from one area. Sort of the whole “one ring to rule them all” type thing. My recommendation is Buffer. It’s free up to a certain point so you can’t beat the price. You can write posts/pics/updates and even share articles that you like. And you can schedule it all to happen as you decide.
Pro Tip: You can also let Buffer post on your behalf at the times it has determined will work best for you. Up to you, but Buffer has a lot of data so they obviously know a thing or two about the best times to post for maximum exposure.
5) You can Automate Writing, Research, and Editing
A lot of people get confused when they think of automation. Automation doesn’t always mean software. You can also automate things through the use of other people. For example, my Virtual Assisstant helps me with research for my blog posts. He’ll find me quotes, images, and things like that so I can focus on content creation.
If I have an idea for an upcoming post, I’ll add it to a google doc spreadsheet. He checks that everyday. If there’s something new, he starts researching for me. Even though there’s a human on the other end doing this for me, the result is the same. From my view it’s happening “automatically”.
That is how you need to start to think if you want to scale things in your business. You have to learn how to outsource, automate, and delegate. That will allow you to grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. So, look around for things you are doing right now that you don’t want want to be doing. Or things that are frankly just not worth your time.
Find a way to automate those things through the use of other people. Remember, automation is anything that you can setup that happens without your day to day activity.
Here is a great place to find some outsourced workers:
It can be tough at first to find the right people, but once you do the benefits are truly incredible.
As a reminder to those people who don’t regularly read my blog. I call this extra section Bonus Jonas in honor of the other Jonas brother from the Disney power group – the Jonas Brothers. The other brother, who’s not in the group, became affectionately known as the “Bonus Jonas”. I know all of this thanks to my sister Teresa. Thanks to her and my cousin Kimberly, I can also name all 5 Backstreet Boys and sing (poorly) about half their songs.
Anywho – here’s my bonus for today.
You can also automate the scheduling of blog posts. If you use wordpress (hint: you should be), it’s really simple. You can write as many blog posts as you want. You might want to write one a day for the next month. You don’t have to publish them, you can just save them as a draft.
When you’re ready, you can create a calendar of when you want to release each post. Instead of clicking publish, you would edit the date and time to a time in the future, then click publish. You can do this and schedule a year of posts out into the future. So, you can work on the concept of batch time and focus on one task at a time
See directions here if you need more help.
Pro Tip: You can get real fancy and schedule your post to happen at a certain time in the future. And use Buffer to Twitter/FB/LinkedIn post that your new blog post is up. It can all happen automatically and you can set it up now and see it happen in the future. It’s a cool world we live in.
Alright – I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Tell me some things that you like to automate. And if you have any questions, ask away in the comments.