In any given day as a small business owner you have to do a million different tasks to keep the business moving forward, your clients happy and on top of all that you need to keep that sales pipeline healthy. It’s overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what you SHOULD do versus what you need to do or want to do.
As a small business marketing consultant part of my job is to help you figure that out. One tool I often encourage my clients to take advantage of is automation.
So, What’s The Deal with Automation?
Automation is a series of emails that drip out to someone who has (typically) opted in to hear from you. It may be a follow-up series after a workshop you taught. It might encourage them to hire you or buy something from you. Or it could be a series of emails after someone snags a free (or paid!) download off your website. I have a few clients who automate birthday emails to clients, the sky is (almost) the limit with automation.
You may also use it when you have a new client and a specific onboarding process. Automation can get very detailed and technical. This is usually when I call Jen to help!
The deal is, automation stays constant so you can just set it and forget it. I love automation and encourage my clients to use it so that they don’t drop the ball when it comes to following up with prospects or clients. And it keeps your sales pipeline healthy while you are busy doing other tasks in your business.I love automation and encourage my clients to use it so that they don’t drop the ball. #marketing #sales #business Click To Tweet
Is it Time for an Opt-In?
The most common way I see clients use automation is offering a free download or opt-in on their website. Confession: I’ve been in business for 7 years and just created my first opt-in two years ago. Up to that point, I relied on the kindness of people who wanted to read my newsletter to subscribe without giving them any sort of sweet tool or resource. It was really slow.
Your list will grow faster and with better-qualified leads if you give them a free tool that they NEED.Your list will grow faster and with better-qualified leads if you give them a free tool that they NEED. Click To Tweet
For my website, I now have two free opt-ins. The first one I created is a Newsletter Setup Checklist. I talk a lot about having a regular newsletter. I created a handy one-page guide that walks you through how to get it all setup. It includes what you need to consider putting into a monthly newsletter. I then have an automation series that will prompt you over the course of a month to consider specific items that should go into your newsletter. And to make sure you get your newsletter sent out.
The second opt-in I created is a free Monthly Marketing Calendar. This opt-in gives you a to-do list for a good chunk of monthly marketing tasks. Then I prompt you over a couple of weeks to keep at it. At the end of each month, I send you the calendar and a reminder to get it set up.
The best part? All of this is automated. You magically receive emails. Then, you start receiving my newsletter. And, of course, you fall in love with me and hire me.
Opt-ins are magic.
I’m not telling you about my opt-ins to sell you on them. I mean sort of, I’m pretty awesome and your business would do better if you used the sweet tools I offer. BUT to help you think about what specific services in your business you could turn into a free opt-in on your website that would help your prospects get to know you better…
As you go through your business and you write the same email over and over again, I encourage you to figure out WHAT systems you can automate. What tool would make a great free download for your audience? What helps them better understand the method to your madness? How can you show them why they should hire you when the time is right and they are ready?
Elizabeth Case started Yellow Dog Consulting in 2011 to spend more time with her yellow dog Hank, and to help small business owners with their sales and marketing efforts. 7 years later Elizabeth and her current yellow dog Norm help solo-prenuers like you put systems and schedules around sales and marketing efforts so that the sales marketing part of your job doesn’t suck your will to live.