Monday, 16 January 2017 15:13

Save Time by Automating Your Business and Marketing. Ep 2

#MarketingFridays Episode 2

Full video transcript and video below.

Hello, this is Jaime from Bloominari and welcome to the second episode of Marketing Fridays.

Today is January the 13th 2017 and today I'm going to be talking to you about 15 different categories that are related to automating different parts of your business. Yes, as I said we're going to be focused on marketing automation ionn most of these episodes but I definitely want you t get an idea what different things you can do and automate many things within your business that are going to help you save again a lot of time and hopefully also a lot of money.

I'm all about trying to make my day more efficient and finding amazing tools that will help me work better. And I know that a lot of small businesses have the exact same challenges and want to do the exact same things. So now let me switch to my screen and let me show you the 15 different categories of how you can automate or make things that are going to help you work faster. Thank you.

All right, let's get started. Here is the list of the 15 things that I put together, that I believe that you can automate to help save a lot of time on your day to day tasks.

So, here is the list and we're going to go one by one.

1. The first one is accounting, bills, and receipts.

There is a lot of things that you can do to automate the process of keeping record of the different things that you do, that are related to your accounting. So, here I have a list of all the different things that you can do. In this case, here we have the example of QuickBooks Online.  QuickBooks is the main software that our company uses to manage all of our invoices and everything related to basically all the money related things. In this case, I'm showing you Zapier. Zapier is the app that I showed you before on the first episode that lets you link multiple software together.

So, in this case, I just choose QuickBooks and here it will automatically show me what are the most popular, different connections that you can do to automate certain things.  So, for example, the first one says add a new Stripe charge to QuickBooks. Stripe is an actual different software that lets you process credit cards and here it says that every time that there is a charge you can actually report it as a sales recipe, that's something that you could automate. You can do the same for example with QuickBooks and FreshBooks so that every time that there is a new FreshBooks invoice, which in this case it would be automating between two different accounting software. Every time there is a FreshBooks invoice you can actually have that copy into a QuickBooks invoice and that's just another example of what you can do.

Now lets' go back to this.

2. The second is files management and sharing.

This might not be thought of as something that you could automate but it is, in fact, something that you automate. So, in this case, we're going to talk about specifically Dropbox.

I'm guessing most of you are already familiar with Dropbox and Dropbox is great because it's really an amazing way to easily share documents between many different people. In this case here you're looking at my home page where you can see all of my main folders but I specifically created a folder called shared folders, within shared folders I have a folder called "Business" and here you can see all the different folders that I have with different people within our company that we share different folders with and it's a really great way to share files.

Why is this automation? Well, simply because you can actually have Dropbox installed on your computer as well as on your phone or in multiple computers and then you can access all of your files automatically from every other computer where you have Dropbox installed. So, it's basically automating the synchronization of all your files and that's why it's automated.

3. Now, let's go to the third one: Project management.

Project management is all about managing a project, in this case, through of course,  a digital software.  And I'm going to show you some examples of what you can do.

In our case, we use a program called ActiveCollab, but another popular one is called Trello and this is what I'm showing you here on this screen. I went back to Zapier and I chose Trello, and then again here there is popular Zaps and each zap basically means a synchronization or more like sending information from one place to the other.

And let me talk about this example. The second example here it says, to create the Trello card and a card simply means a task, for a specific project. Here it says every time that there is a new roll or new information saved on a Google sheet, which is like excel, every time somebody updates a Google spreadsheet, a new Trello card can be created.  So, let's say that somebody in your company is managing something in excel and every time there is a new information saved into there, you want to assign that let's say task, in this case, every roll represents a task into Trello. And then on Trello, you could have multiple people look at that and multiple other things can be later done through Trello.

Another example which might not be as useful could be for example creating a new Trello card and again a Trello card is a task for every time that there is a new email on Gmail. Okay, that might not be very helpful but that's just an idea here. Something else that would be helpful is every time that there is a new note on Evernote, which is a separate software for saving notes, you could also create a note or a card in this case automatically on Trello. And that's just a few examples of what you can do. You can also create new Trello cards based on a Google Calendar event.

And of course, the actual list is really endless. There is a lot of things that you can do for automating different things within your project management systems. And of course it's not just with Trello, in this case, we can see that Zapier has a lot of different project management systems that actually are working with Zapier that you can automate within many other stuff. Again, Trello was one that we were using before that's why we were talking about it. The best one ActiveCollab, which is this one over here is actually the one we use now.

All right moving on to the 4th.

4. Here, we're talking about internal communication.

So, most of you, of course, know very well that email is still very popular and all of us use email every day to communicate. But how could you actually automate the process of sending messages faster and helping you automate the fact that you want to not have to go to your email and actually go and type in somebody’s name and a second person's name to create an email thread?  So, one of the very popular apps these days is called Slack and Slack is actually a program that is thought about like an internal business chat system. And it looks sort of like instant messenger or Facebook Messenger, where you can actually have a whole feed there.

In this case, I'm actually not showing you Slack, I'm showing you Telegram. Telegram is not exactly Slack, it is more like Whatsapp and it seen here as a web interface right here trough web.telegrams.org. In this case for various reasons we chose to leave Slack and start working with Telegram and actually you can see here that I have all the different conversations with my different teammates, as well as actually a group message for example, in this case right here the Bloominari team, you can see all the different people that are working with us, so that every time I want to send a message to them, I'm saving time and instead of having to type in an email for multiple people to get it. I simply type in a message here and everybody receives it. And then, of course, I can also create specific groups or what are called channels on Slack for different people, for example, this one is called the Bloominari James-Ezek group. And in this case, we have 3 different people that are a part of this channel or this group. So, this is really helping in this case save time, maybe not exactly automating my life but it's helping me not having to type people's name.

So that's another way to do some automation.

5. And now talking about email marketing as the 5th item here on the list.

Email marketing is probably the most popular thing when it comes to marketing automation, but there are many different things about email marketing. In this brief case, I'm going to talk to you about Agile CRM’s email marketing campaigns and I also showed this to you briefly on the last episode. If you go here to the CRM, which is a customer relationship management system and you come here to campaigns, we can define very complex trigger-based campaigns. The last one that I showed you last time was a process that we created for requesting our clients to reviews us on Google maps in this case.

So, here you could create a whole process of different steps that send automatic emails, it waits a few days and then sends an automatic email. After you can check whether or not somebody clicked it or not clicked it. You can check also if the email was opened or not opened and based on these various variables you can decide how you want to send emails.

This is what would be called something that is not a linear set or email messages. And by linear, I mean that one email gets sent one after the other. For that you would have to think of something like an automatic email drip (follow-up) campaign, such as what you can do with MailChimp or ConstantContact or through many of the other software where everybody is going to get the exact same message, disregarding whether they open the email or clicked on it or not.

Alright, but here I'm showing you the more complex way of creating an email automated campaign, the moment that something triggers this campaign then the user will go through this email automation flow. That's one thing to do with email.

The other thing that is not exactly automation but definitely saving you time is the fact that you can create email templates through your CRM or through a plugin from Gmail for example. You can pre-create all the different templates that you want and then you're actually able to simply insert here for example, “Hello, first name” and it will automatically show the first name of that person who's the person who you're trying to contact, there you go. In this case, this one is in Spanish actually so you might not understand over here but actually here let's click on a different one.

Here is a quick proposal about how we can do a specific marketing thing. So I pre-write the email, I actually also create an attachment and I save the email template. Then if I wanted to send it and save some time instead of having to write it I can simply click into anybody's contact, I click into their email and then I can actually simply select what email I want to send from this drop down, which is utterly amazing. So you just click on it, then you can actually type whatever else you want to type and then you can simply send it. So that's another way to use email marketing as part of automating some of your processes, of course in this case I'm not going to send it.

6. Now let's talk about sales follow ups, which is the 6th item here on the list.

Some of the things that you can automate for your sales follow ups is actually what I just talked about, sending emails and pre-creating those with templates. So, in this case, I chose to create this email and then send it manually but there is also ways where you can say “hey, you know what, I don't want to send the email to that person right now. I want to send it 7 days from now or tomorrow”. So, that's something that you can also automate and that's probably something you can do with Zapier.

In this case, I'm not going to show you how to do that because it will take a little longer but there is a lot of things you can do to automate sales follow up, and again here the follow-ups we're talking specifically about are about following up with people in this case through email, but you can actually also follow up with people through an SMS or through a phone call that your CRM system can automatically create for you and let the sales person know that a call is going to be automatically calling some contact at some defined time. So that's something else you could do.

7. Now onto step number 7, for social media.

So, when it comes here to social media there is literally like lots and lots of different apps that you can use to automate your social media.  And by automating we really mean actually scheduling or pre-scheduling your social media posts and then adding them to the queue or to the schedule so that they can be sent later.

So, let's say that I wanted to tweet Happy Friday, so "Happy Friday hope you enjoy our second episode of marketing Fridays, check it out soon". And, then, I'm going to add it to the queue and that's it, now it's added to the queue. In this case, Buffer has a very specific schedule that I chose of when it's going to actually be sending all my different schedule post. In this case, it's either at 9:12 in the morning, at 1:47 pm or blah blah blah, some other times. So, in this case, we can see that the next one is going to come out at 9:29 pm based on that schedule.

So, this is one example of automating social media, we were using Sendible for a long time and then there is also Hootsuite which is the most popular one but there is many others that you can actually choose from. So there is again something that you can automate. That was number 7.

8. Now going on to talking about proposals.

So, we just switched a couple months ago into a totally web-based platform that lets us create proposals kind of on the fly, or I mean not exactly automatically because we creates them. But let me show you how that works. Okay, so this is actually Proposify, the software that we used for creating different templates and then we use those templates to create new proposals. So I'm actually just going to show you, in this case, this proposal that I just created so that you can see how it looks. So you have basically the inner phase of power point where you can go through the different slides or you can of course go and create like pages as opposed to slides. And then here you can actually come in here and customize the different numbers that you want and then within a few minutes you'll be able to send a proposal and then you click send and it's like super, super quick.

The cool thing about this too is that you can actually look at how much time people spend looking at the proposals. So here I'm showing you a proposal from 7 to 6 days ago from a client LIFE Residential and I can see how much time they spent on each slide or page and how many times they visited each one and they totally spent. And they spent a total of 17 minutes looking through that. So again Proposify is something that's going to let you automate your proposal process.

9. Now let's talk about blogging.

So when it comes to blogging you can actually also pre-schedule all of your different post so that automatically whenever the date hits that you scheduled, a post will automatically get published.

In this case, I'm going to show you the back end of our website called Joomla and I'm going to show you the K2 place where it's actually the place where we get to schedule all of our posts. As you can see most of them have a little check mark that means that they've been published, but we have this one called "10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Marketing Agency". And you can see that we have this set for the 21st of January for it to publish at 23 hours, that's 11:50 at night. And you can see in this case, it's published but it's actually pending, why because right now it's actually January the 13th so it's not January 21st, but when that date comes then it's going to be automatically published on our website. And again that's another way of just save some time in this case in terms of blogging. And you can do this also WordPress if you know how to do that too but that's something you can also do.

10. Now let's talk about Contact Management.

So "Contact Management" is all about automating the process of finding information about your contacts or synchronizing contacts from different software that you use.

In this case, we actually automate and synchronize our information from Gmail into our CRM. So, I'm going to show you here just the backend of how that looks. So, we go here to preferences. This is our CRM again, I click here on data sync and then actually synchronizing once a day all my google contacts both ways. That means if I change anything on the CRM it will automatically change on my Google contacts and the other way around. If I create new contact on Gmail it will also come into my software and that's a great way to manage my contacts and I could do the same with my phone.

If you have an android phone every new contact that you save into your android phone will come into your Google or Gmail contacts and thus, in this case, we could have this set up then it will also come to the AgileCRM. Again, this is just an interest I'm not going to go in depth into any of this yet.

11. Then about scheduling meetings.

You can also automate the process of people scheduling meetings with you so that you don't have to waste too much time trying to figure out how or when to meet with people.

Okay, so in this case, this is a link that I have at the bottom of every email I have on my email signature, so that people when they want to book an appointment with me, I just tell them, "Click on that link and you choose for how long you want to speak with me, you can choose which day and then it will show you whether I'm available or not."  And all of this is directly linked to my google calendar. So this software is very smart, it knows to check my calendar first to make sure that I have time to meet with people and if not it doesn't matter.  So then you can choose a time, you could tell me who you are and it will automatically send me an invitation as well as an invitation to you if you wanted to book an appointment with me.

12. Now to number 12, Browser activities.

That's another thing that you can automate. You can automate pre-filling the forms when you're online as well as pre-filling passwords.

So, for that purpose, we actually have the use of LastPass, as an example lets you basically save all of your passwords and easily log in to many different websites without you having to remember all your passwords all the time, that's one way to automate that process. And when it comes to filling out forms you can actually use Google Chrome's auto fill settings for forms and you can create a whole set of addresses as well as credit cards if you wanted to and so here I'm actually going to show you this one. Here you can choose the entire organization, address, city, states, zip code, phone number and everything that you want and it will make it very easy for you to start filling out a form and then fill it with the entire information very quickly. So, that's something that you could save time on based on things that you can do in the browser.

13. Now another thing you can do is actually back up your computer automatically, which of course for this day in 2017 that should be something kind of a little obvious.

We are using the software here called Backblaze and we love this one because it actually cost only $50.00 a year and that's kind of the same price as almost every other software but the amazing thing about this is that it lets me back up not only my internal hard drive, which is the one inside of the computer but I can also connect as many external drives as I want and it will also back them up. So that's amazing, check them out, Backblaze.

14. Now let's talk about customer support.

So there is a lot of things that people can do with their internal business to automate the process of support. Probably you are already familiar with some of them, software like Zendesk, it lets you create an email so that every time you send an email, it will create a ticket, a support ticket and then multiple people on your team can access the backend administrative part of the software, in this case, Zendesk and lets you reply to the email and thus you creating a whole ticket system for tech support or for customer support, which saves you a lot of time.

You can also create a chat and you know after somebody chats with you, you can also automatically create a ticket in case something wasn't answered, so that later your team and support that's not the chat staff can actually take a look at it in deeper aspects of whatever the customers looking to do that maybe the chat person didn't know. So that's another thing you can do to automate the customer support through Zendesk for creating tickets.

15. And finally, we're going to talk about inventory management.

That's something else you could automate and in this case, it's through the use of most likely a shopping cart software. Here, I have the BigCommerce support website up, showing you how you can set up inventory tracking, inventory control that you can change by product or by product option, you can basically keep track of your entire stock automatically.

What does that mean? Now, let's say you have 100 T-shirts and then you sold 5, now you have 95 left. So, the software automatically knows you sold 5 and now it knows that the actual stock is 95 instead of 100 and if you always make all of your orders go through the actual shopping cart including the phone orders then you'll have an actual real tracking of your inventory through the shopping cart. So that's the way that you can automate the inventory tracking. 

So, that's kind of it. I really hope that you've enjoyed my presentation and hope to see you here for the next marketing Friday. And again my name is Jaime from Bloominari, thanks a lot and good night, bye bye.

Want to learn more great Marketing tips?

Checkout my latest #MarketingFridays episodes on Facebook or YouTube.

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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