Today’s Guest Post is from entrepreneur Angela De Souza! Angela tells her story of how she came back to finding her passion in her business, through automating key tasks and focusing on what she loves!
If you’re looking at ways to automate your business, read on as Angela has some great tips for you too!
How I went from 'burned out to on fire!
People are fed up of being sold to. I am bored with constantly trying to sell to people. Where did it all go wrong? Perhaps I have come full circle but in a good way!
You see, I started out wanting to help people with their businesses. Then I got caught up with making it all financially viable. Now I am back at wanting to help people but in a way that is financially viable.
It’s quite possible that many businesses go through this cycle, especially many female-owned startups but I image some men could struggle in the same way too.
That's the most simple way to look at any business. At first, I didn't make any money but loved what I was doing to help others with the practical side of building their businesses.
In time, I grew more confident, charged a little more and started to make money. The business grew, my love for it started to die and the money started flowing in.
I reached a point where I was making money but hated what I was doing! I had enough money but without the time to do the things I loved, it all seemed pointless.
It was a brand new year and as always, I started thinking about the year ahead and how I needed to make my life better.
At this point, I wasn't excited about my business and I knew I either had to get my passion back or close it down and walk away. Continuing as I was simply wasn't an option.
Making the Change
So, I looked for ways to automate some admin tasks to free up some time so that I could get back to doing the things I loved.
Automation was my keyword for the year. Once you put a keyword at the forefront of your mind you will be amazed at how opportunities start showing themselves all over the place!
At first, it was in little ways like the checkout process for my books on the website.
The original process was that the customer would go to my website, add a book to the basket and checkout. I would get the order and post the book to the customer.
I decided to automate the process by linking directly to Amazon so that Amazon would print and post the book (thereby bypassing me completely) saving me tons of time!
It seemed simple enough but in fact, it eliminated one entire administrative process.
So I looked for more similar automation opportunities and they were everywhere! I became obsessed, if it could be automated I would do it!
The following January I did an intense four-day public speaking course and during this time I uncovered a great deal more about automation.
This enabled me to write an entire automation system, which turned into a talk and then into a book!
How to Automate Your Business
Here are the key takeaways from the book and I hope that these help you to automate your business!
Step 1: Find your niche
Before you even begin to automate you need to be clear on who you want to attract into your automation system. Your niche is not what you do but it's the problem you solve.
Get clear on what problem you solve and who you can best serve with your solution. Having clarity on this will instantly mean that you will attract the right people to your business.
Step 2: Attract your ideal clients
Once you are clear on who your ideal clients are, put things ‘out there' to draw them to you.
Very often the business owner is the ideal client, so think about what you would find attractive and respond to and create your own leads magnets and put them out there.
'There' will be wherever your ideal clients are. It can be anything from social media, magazine adverts, PR, guest blogging, etc.
Step 3: Process your ideal clients
Be clear on the outcome you would like to achieve and ensure that you have a process for them once you have attracted them or you will lose them.
You also need to be very clear on what action you want them to take every step of the process until you are able to convert them from a prospect into a buyer.
For example, if your niche is weight loss for women in their forties and your solution is an eating plan, then you could create and promote a lead magnet that offers a recipe to encourage your body to burn fat faster.
You would then collect their email address in order for them to access the free download - which will put them into your CRM and trigger the next stage in the process.
From there, you could send out an automated email asking how they got on with the recipe, and ask them if they would like another free recipe or would the like to buy the full eating plan.
If they decline keep them interested with regular valuable content without giving away your core product or service.
To summarise, your automation will look something like this:
Identify niche and ideal client >> offer lead magnet to collect contact info >> offer more free value with option to sell >> ask for the sale >> keep in touch and keep offering value
Your process can be fully automated, only requiring your personal touch when the ideal client sets the 'alarm' off.
What I mean by this, is that if you have a good CRM such as Infusionsoft, Salesforce or even Mailchimp you can set this all up and pretty much do very little to create a steady stream of new leads coming into your automated system.
Ideally, you will have some sort of trigger and notifier that can identify your ideal client who you will get in touch with and sell your high ticket items too.
Automating parts of your business sounds really simple and it is, once it's set up and running!
However, don't be fooled, it can take years to set up, test and perfect your system.
An excellent system will be a pipeline that does all the work for you leaving you free to do the things that you want to do in your business and allowing you time to invest in your high ticket clients.