Today we have a special guest post with Michelle Thompson. Michelle has a unique story and has had to overcome a lot of challenges like many and these challenges have given her something to teach.
Michelle went from being an MBA graduate to having a second-grade IQ level overnight after suffering from a life-altering stroke at only 36 years of age. She has had to learn how to start her life over again. In doing so she also learned how to use automation and outsource as much as humanly possible. Now she’s on a mission to help others find freedom from all the unnecessary tasks they do, using the strategies and systems she’s successfully created for herself.
Read and bookmark this post then head over to Michelle’s website Awesome Outsourcing to learn more.
Now on to Michelle…
The Power Of Automation
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re not familiar with it, but automation can help you work smarter, not harder. And you can set everything up without any technical knowledge. I’m going to show you how. But first, let me introduce you to four of the tools that have helped me automate repeatable, day-to-day tasks.
The Power Of Zapier
Zapier is an awesome tool. Once you get it set up, it will make your life so much easier because instead of setting each task up yourself, Zapier can do it all for you.
Here are a few examples of what is possible with Zapier:
- Save an email attachment automatically to a client Google Drive folder
- Create a Basecamp to-do list from an email
- Save an email subscriber to a Google Sheet
- Add a lead to your CRM from your Google Sheet
- Add new Salesforce leads to MailChimp list
- Add Eventbrite/go to webinar attendees to your email list – whether it’s Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), MailChimp, Drip, or ActiveCampaign
- Add contact to Salesforce from a PayPal sale
- Create a basecamp project from a FreshBooks invoice
- Automatically create a new Basecamp calendar event from Google Calendar event
- Save Gmail attachment to Google Drive
- Post an RSS feed to a Facebook page
- Update Buffer from Google Sheets Row
Basically, Zapier can automate just about anything you can think of. If it’s data entry, you shouldn’t be doing it. There’s probably a zap for that, and you can leave it to Zapier.
The Power Of Sonix.ai
Sonix.ai is kind of like Rev, but a lot less expensive. You can transcribe anything audio or video with Sonix. In fact, if you own a YouTube channel, you can upload a video, and it’ll transcribe that for you.
You can automate so many things by using Sonix. Due to my condition, I can no longer write too much because I get lost in the process. So what I do is I talk into a mic and then have Sonix transcribe it. Yes, you can do that on Google Dictate and other apps like that, but if it’s long and I need it to do a good job, I prefer to throw it into Sonix.
The Power Of SocialBee
Anybody who’s a business owner is probably either on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social media marketing channels out there. But if you are still posting manually, please stop because you’re wasting time. You shouldn’t be going in there and checking things constantly. The easiest way to automate this is to use a social media management tool. There’s a bunch of different tools out there. There’s Hootsuite, Zoho, Meet Edgar, and of course, SocialBee.io. We’ll also show you how to plug your RSS feeds into SocialBee, so you never have to worry about social media marketing again.
The Power Of RSS Feeds
RSS feeds can do so much more than we think they can, so I strongly recommend that you do a little bit of research on exactly what an RSS feed is and what it can do. They are super powerful, and they integrate into many things that can make your life so much easier.
For instance, I have RSS feeds set up to automatically post new blog articles to my Facebook page. There’s also a zap that can do that so you can do it both ways.
You can also grab content from other places. Let’s say, you’re an SEO specialist, and you want to deliver excellent value and education to your audience. If Neil Patel puts out a lot of good content, you can get his RSS feed and place it on your SocialBee to share it.
And, of course, you can drip new YouTube videos into your social media channels. Whenever I have a new YouTube video come out, it automatically gets posted to all of my social media channels because I’ve connected the RSS feed to SocialBee.
The Power Of It All Working Together To Eliminate A Task I Have To Do Weekly
Zapier + Sonix.ai + Social Bee + RSS Feed
It’s time to bring the four software together. You can see that they all kind of overlap and work together and integrate into this amazingly powerful, beautiful thing. By using these four and a virtual assistant, you can shave hours off of your day.
Now, rather than just giving you arbitrary examples, let me walk you through an actual process that used to take me about 10 hours a week.
I’m going to show you how I make three pieces of content from one podcast episode and use automation.
Of course, I’ll have to be physically present to record a podcast, but everything else is automated.
Once I’m done with the actual podcast interview, Zoom saves it in a folder on my computer. At that point, there is a zap that grabs it and sends it to Sonix. Now, Sonix is going to transcribe the video, and at the same time, there’s a second zap that sends the actual video file into a Google Drive folder. After Sonix is done transcribing the video, it will do two things: first, it’s going to send that transcription file to the Google Drive folder. Second, it will send an email to my VA to let him know that the transcription is in the folder.
At this point, the VA will go in, grab both of those files, and he’s going to do the following:
- Go through the transcript and correct it for any errors that the computer made
- Create podcast show notes from the transcript
- Upload podcast episode to YouTube
- Take the video, turn it into audio, and create the podcast episode in Audacity
- Upload podcast into Libsyn and put in the show notes
- Schedule the podcast to drop on the correct calendar date
- Create social media marketing files in Wavve and Headliner
- Upload transcript and YouTube video to website podcast episode blog
- Upload social media marketing files to SocialBee and schedule date
Since the Wavve and Headliner social media marketing files are uploaded to SocialBee, they will sit there and wait until the drop date. Then I will send it out to my social channels and say, “Hey, there’s a new episode drop.” The same thing happens once you upload it to Libsyn. Libsyn is going to wait and not release it until the exact date. So these two things happen simultaneously, and we don’t have to touch them. The idea is to do it once and never touch it again with the help of automation.
As you can see, everything works seamlessly together. I’m leveraging not only the virtual assistant but also software. We’re using software to make my VA’s life a lot easier because it would take hours and hours if he had to do all of this.
By combining software and a virtual assistant, you can set everything up and leave it alone. I do the episode, and then I don’t even have to drop it in a folder. It automatically gets uploaded, and it’s shipped everywhere it needs to go. That is the amazing power of automation.
Automate One Process In Your Business
It’s your turn for action…
I want to take just one process in your business and break it down into simple steps. Ask yourself how can I remove myself from this process? Get really creative. If you’re not sure what to automate, maybe this will help you. When I do a podcast interview, I have to do that physically. But you should be asking yourself this. If it is not something you have to 100 percent be physically present for, how can you eliminate yourself from the process? That will get you thinking in terms of automation. To put it crudely, I often say if you were hit by a Mack truck tomorrow, would your business be able to survive without you?
The answer should be “yes” because you should have processes set up so that you can walk away and it continues to run. But a lot of times, we don’t do that because we have to wear so many hats and we just get so bogged down that we never get around to it.
Once you’ve figured that out, find out what you need to outsource to an actual human. Then create a flow chart and delegate each step to the appropriate place where it needs to go. You’ll want to test it to make sure that it’s working correctly. Then sit back and smile because, guess what, you never have to touch that again. For the rest of your business life, you will never do that task again.
So I would strongly recommend that you take a little time, do some research, get creative, don’t say, “Oh, that’s not possible.” Say, “How is it possible? How can I remove myself?” Then just break it down into steps, and ask yourself, “Can I automate it with software? Can I automate it with a VA?”
Once we tweak it, it becomes an absolutely beautiful thing. Before you know it, you’ll have a business that is literally running on autopilot.
Awesome automation and outsourcing tips, thanks Michelle!
Be sure to pin and bookmark this post to come back to it as needed and visit Michelle over at AwesomeOutsourcing.com for more Automation tips!