“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.
If you’re managing an email list, content generation, and social campaigns as a digital marketer, you almost certainly spend enormous time and efforts performing the same tasks over and over. And even if you’re already running an automation program, you’re probably also looking for ways to continue strengthening your customer relationships and ROI.
How would you like to enjoy your life offline, taking a bit of time off from your usual working schedule and spend time with your friends, family or a hobby and truly appreciate the power of being your own boss, and of course, your business running without your presence?
No income actually totally passive – some hard labor needs to be done to sustain it (not to mention the time, effort and/or money needed upfront to invest into your passive income prospect), but not having to directly trade hours for dollars can make the income 100% passive during certain periods of time, which is the point. It provides it’s own flexibility. – split in the sequence.
Lots of methods are in place to make this happen and specific choices to made in your business to make it more passive, which is exactly what we’ll be cover today.
All businesses vary and not all businesses can be 100% automated, but there are may instances, big and small, where you can take yourself out of the equation and outsource to keep it running, in some cases more efficiently.
The first step is to understand where your personal stroke is currently (or would be) required in your business. In other words, what parts of your business would fail or stop working if you’re not there anymore?
There are a couple of ways to figure this out:
1.Create a diagram of exactly how your business works and figure out what areas requires a human to do the job, repetitive jobs for instance.
2.For those with an existing business, you make a list of all of the tasks that you and those who work for you do. Take a moment and write down everything that you do in your business. After you know exactly where in your business a human is used, you can see if any of those parts of your business can be handled by something or someone else instead.
For a lot of businesses, a human touch is used during the delivery of a specific product or service. Many times, however, the delivery process can be automated by using self-hosted automation systems and delivery options, there’s also specific marketplaces where you can not only take advantage of their automated delivery processes, but you’ll have access to potentially millions of people on those platforms as well. The Kindle Marketplace for eBooks and Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad applications are specific examples that come to mind.
Here are few other online tools you can use to automate specific areas in your business
If you use WordPress you can write all your posts for the week or month at one time, and then schedule the time that they will be published.
There are many tools to help you automate your social media presence. Use Hootsuite to access all your social media in the one place. You can select which “streams” you view, which can even include any keywords that you would like to track. You can then schedule multiple posts on multiple platforms.
Autoresponder and Email marketing
AWEBER. The internet’s most powerful email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool. This is what I use to build my email list and newsletter.
OutMarket combines social, search, email, publicity, CRM, analytics, and more in a single platform for greater marketing efficiency spanning a variety of marketing channels. OutMarket’s marketing automation functionality enables you to deliver the right content at the right time to create custom experiences through streamlined workflows.
Click Here for a more comprehensive list of tools and automation software.
Focus on your functions of your company. What does your business do now that could be done more proficiently?
Think of your business like a tree – What you want for your business is to have a good set of roots that can surpass adversity. Sturdy, deep roots in your business should include an awareness of – and even better if you have documented this – your PNP’s (policies and procedures) – Your ways of doing things.
When you have these recognized, it is a way your business can have consistency, but it is also easier for you to track and review them.
Have a look at your businesses practices and make a list of activities that you would like to improve upon. You may get more ideas as you read through this post, but try to identify at least one area where you think things could be sped up.
Document what you do now so that you can see the amount of time and money it currently takes to do these tasks, then document to see the effort you went to (does this actually save you time or money in the long run?) so that you can see your results and know how far your business has come.
From web development to customer service, a lot of people can benefit from handing off specific parts of their business to those who could potentially do it much faster and better than they could.
A lot of people use hired help to automate things like publishing an animated explainer video for example. They hand over an article to their cartoonist and the cartoonist sends back the material to the publisher.
There are endless possibilities, but you have to be willing to hand over some of the work in your business to others. It’s not always easy to “let go” and hand over some of that control, but it would be well worth it.
For more information about finding and using virtual assistants, check out fiverr.com
A simple way to make your business more efficient without using extra tools is to utilize the power of batching. Collect up a group of similar activities and do them all at the same time. This is the main principle behind batching. You could collect up all your e-mail answering, delegating tasks, paying bills or phone calls and do them at one time. This is more efficient than doing them spread out during the day.
For instance, how often do you check and respond to your emails? A quicker and more efficient way to handle emails would be to set aside a time when you will check your emails and respond to them/action them once or twice a day. It reduces start up and slow down time on your email, eases daily clutter and improves focus.
HAVE FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE) PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE
Even for the most automated types of businesses, questions from customers can easily take up a lot of your time. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to automate things and providing more value to your clientele is to accommodate them a helpful FAQ page that answers the most common questions people have about your products. Customers get their questions answered sooner, and your time isn’t needed to answer those questions. You also cut down the number of email inquiries from customers.
With a little bit of effort now, you can deliver pre-written emails that get sent out sequentially to new subscribers and automate a lot of the relationship-building and promotional processes within your business.
There are many ways to structure and craft your auto responder emails. Click here for some specific examples that you can model after.
It might seem kind weird to see affiliate marketing here on this list, but since it has become the most famous way that to generate an income online, It has to be mentioned here and because it’s definitely very hands-off and automated. And with that said, it’s not completely hands-off for affiliates because successful affiliate marketers do a lot more than just put a special link on a website. A lot of research has to be done to make sure the product is just right for your specific audience (i.e. it’s something that’s actually going to help them achieve the goals that you want them to achieve), Click here for more affiliate marketing strategies.
Writing and Publishing More Contents
So how do you are create passive income opportunities by publishing your content? The content you publish today can be read by other people in the future and it becomes a crop that you plant now that can bear fruits for you later, and the more seeds you plant and the more you put yourself upfront, the more fruit you will yield.
New content becomes an opportunity for people to find you through search engines, social networks and word of mouth and it can become a vehicle for more income if that content sold a product, or has a pay-per-click advertisement on it, or an affiliate link. Even if it doesn’t, it’s an opportunity for people to find you and be introduced to your brand and become familiar with what you have to offer, without you having to actively reach out to those people in a real-time fashion. A smart businessman knows that he or she will have to adapt to changing markets and monitor the business, but you can take yourself out of the equation, so you don’t have to be present in order for a transaction to take place.
Are you automating your business in a way that you’d like to share?
Please leave a comment below. All the best!