In August 2018 I was challenged to automate more. Now, nearly 2 years later, I’ve removed myself from core processes because of it. I’m saving lots of time, which allows me to focus on the important parts of my business. While I’m always looking to improve, I’m happy with what I’ve implemented so far.
In this solo episode, I’m going to tell you about how you can start automating, how I automate, and some of my favorite tools.
- Casabona.org Automation Series
- YouTube Channel
- Siri Shortcuts
- Automators Podcast
- Siri Shortcuts Field Guide
Automating to Save Time and Money: My Automation ToolkitJoe: Automation is like an employee I pay a pittance to. For a very low monthly fee, it saves me hours of work I’d need to spend performing tasks I personally don’t need to do. See, the goal of your business should be to focus on that tasks that only you can do, and outsource the rest (though I guess the big goal for some is to make it so you don’t actually need to do anything except manage). A great way to start on this journey is through automation. In this solo episode, I’m going to tell you about how you can start automating, how I automate, and some of my favorite tools, but first I want to tell you about our first sponsors, ahrefs.
Sponsor: ahrefsBreak: This episode is brought to you by Ahrefs. Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that solves that problem: it gives you the tools you need to rank your website in Google and get tons of search traffic. As someone who struggles with what kind of content to create, Ahrefs has been instrumental in increasing traffic to my site. Over the holidays, I had the best quarter for affiliate income because it showed me my most popular pages and topics. I was able to optimize and update accordingly. Ahrefs makes competitive analysis easy: their tools show you how your competitors are getting traffic from Google and why. You can see the pages and content that send them the most search traffic, find out the exact keywords they’re ranking for and which backlinks are helping them rank. From there, you can replicate or improve on their strategies. Now, I’m not getting significant search traffic, so I use Ahrefs’ tools to help to find topics worth creating pages or content on. I can easily see estimated search volumes and gauge traffic potential with their Keywords Explorer tool. It’s been a fantastic addition to my toolkit. If you want to gain a following, or just improve traffic to your website, Ahrefs is the tool for you. Get a $7 7 day trial over at ahrefs.com. that’s a-h-r-e-f-s.com for as $7 7-day trial. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked. And now, back to the show.
IntroJoe: In August 2018 I was challenged to automate more. Now, nearly 2 years later, I’ve removed myself from core processes because of it. I’m saving lots of time, which allows me to focus on the important parts of my business. While I’m always looking to improve, I’m happy with what I’ve implemented so far. But before we get into my automation toolkit, I want you to start thinking about what you can automate. I’ve come up with a list of questions you can ask yourself.
Ask yourself if a person needs to do the task.There are lots of things we can do that a computer can do for us. If you’re manually doing something you don’t need to do, there is a great opportunity for automation. A few examples are:
- Automatically pulling expenses into your accounting software. FreshBooks and other accounting apps will usually have this built it. I put all of my expenses on my AmEx, and FreshBooks imports them for me.
- Sharing to Social Media. Plugins like Social Web Suite will allow you to share to Facebook (pages), Twitter, and LinkedIn upon publish. And of-course, there’s Buffer for auto-sharing.
- Sending emails. I send emails based on events like when a proposal is accepts, an invoice is paid, or something is added to specific folders in Dropbox. You should make a list of everything you do in a day and determine if a computer can do it. Then start implementing some simple automation.
Ask yourself if you personally need to do it.This is a little automation, and a little hiring out. But you should determine if some of the tasks you’re doing are tasks you absolutely need to do. If not, either automate, or off-load. A perfect example of this is my podcast episode workflow:
- I record and put the pieces in Dropbox – manual
- My editor gets an email that a new episode is ready for edit – automated / hired
- He uploads it to the Transcription folder – hired
- My transcriber gets an email that a new episode is ready for transcription- automated
- That episode gets uploaded to my audio host, Libsyn – automated
- I add the episode to WordPress (manual, but I don’t need to do this so I should automate or hire a VA) Hiring is something that can seem daunting. Automation much less so. What you should do now is make a list of everything you do that a computer or other person can do for you.