What exactly is business automation?
It sounds extremely complicated, but it’s about automating redundant work or work that you would or would normally do manually. You stitch these tasks together in a way where you simply don't have to put in any more effort anymore.
How can business automation help a solopreneur or a freelancer?
One of the key target audiences for business automation are people who don't have enough time or resources, i.e. solopreneurs and freelancers. Automation can help grow their revenue, get more customers and build more engaging products or services.
Do I need to learn how to code?
Just as you can create a website within minutes, you can build integrations without learning how to code. As long as you know what you wish to accomplish, and you want to figure out a way where you can convert your ideas into action, you can automate business processes.
There are areas where you might run into challenges where coding skills will help. However, such problems tend to be infrequent. You can easily automate 50-60% of your work without the need for any external assistance, like a developer.
What are the first couple of things every solopreneur or freelancer should automate?
One thing you must automate is time management with services like Calendly or Google Calendar.
Second is customer success. where you might be using your own inbox to answer support queries instead of a tool like Zendesk or FreshDesk. Whatsapp happens to be a great medium to communicate with customers, and solopreneurs would often build beautiful customer service bots that engage with customer requests or queries regarding their products or services.
Most of these services are available for free, and you can gain a lot of productivity.
After you have automated these three things, what could be the next steps in automation?
People tend to have difficulties in identifying what to write next about, or ways to emphasise on trending topics, so people tend to configure social media alerts & triggers. They also establish integrations with services, let's say Quora stack overflow and other tools and forums where people tend to ask questions.
People tend to also connect tools like jasper.ai for content creation, where they enter the keywords and auto generate a non plagiarised article. It's pretty incredible what people can accomplish with automation.
This is scratching the surface of what you can do with automation. If you really want to go even further into sales and marketing automation with services like Lucia and connecting your CRM, or even a Google Sheet where you configure it in a way where you don't even need to have a CRM, you could just have a Google Sheet, where every time a lead is inserted into the sheet, you could get more info about the customer on the web, send a more personalized email as an outcome, and drive a better conversion rate.
What can I automate in marketing as a solopreneur or freelancer?
The best thing that you could automate is email sending and follow up. It's scientifically proven that simply sending out an email once to your prospect may not yield you the desired response, but setting an automation with follow-ups could be immensely helpful for a startup.
Also being clever and getting to know whether they're actually opening those emails or not. Have they spent enough time on it? Have they visited your link or website afterwards? Opening that email gives you some indication of the level of interest, right? So tracking those kinds of metrics with these automations makes a lot of sense.
One of the other areas is consolidation. You might be running two campaigns and you might want to consolidate these responses into a single place. You can automate that part. Your data source for all this information could be just as well be a Google sheet. You don't need to invest in an expensive tool which will charge you thousands of dollars a year to perform these experiments.
For example, you can say that once I get a response or an open email, let me just put this into a Google sheet. And similarly with LinkedIn, if somebody responds, let me just plug it in my Google sheet and maybe, generate charts and graphs, which gives me an indication of where I should invest more in and which campaigns have been working for me.
An entrepreneur can use these automations with very minimal investment.