How Freelancers Can Start With Marketing Automation
January 19, 2016
January 19, 2016
It’s hard enough to run your business, the way it is. Any work beyond billable hours is time wasted. That’s why it makes sense for freelancers to embrace Marketing Automation. Write out a simple step-by-step process for freelancers to start with marketing automation.
So, you freelance. You work at hours, you feel comfortable. You get paid for those hours. But nothing is infinite. Neither money nor hours. Anything beyond the billable target is sheer frustration. Now wasn’t that the first reason why you went freelancing?
The coming of age of Marketing Automation has changed the way the world earns money. For freelancers this is akin to manna from heaven. Technology has bridged the gap between work and life and none seems to be in balance anymore.
So what is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a category of software that streamlines, automates and measures marketing tasks and workflows so that companies like yours can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. – Marketo via What Is Marketing Automation?
It means a software that would do your bidding, when you are sleeping. Guess that was the whole idea behind free lancing. So how do we go about doing it:
Track your Time
Before you automate your system, understand what you would need to automate. Un-junk your workload. Put in place the priorities that would allow you work more freely. Toggl.com provides free service for basic time tracking and extra features available with a $5 monthly membership. Moreover it is one hell of a easy application to use.
You have tracked your time and now know the broad categories you spend your time mostly in, namely: Accounting, Lead Generation, Customer Service and Project management. Now go ahead and create sub-categories. So for example, Accounting ends up being broken into invoicing, accounts payable and receivable.
Similarly, Customer Service breaks into Retention, new Customers and so and so forth.
The stepping stone
I named it such because that is how drilling down to the most basic would feel like. Do a time tracking exercise again. But now it would be with the basic steps of a large process.
So for examples, when a large part of your task includes invoicing, note the total time down along with the steps.
You know that there will be a hundred invoices to be created daily each having a 5 step procedure. That is 500 steps in a day. How about automating it?
Software like Harvest does these kinds of jobs in the quickest of time with the best of quality.
The important feature of automating your business is not what software to look for but what items you would want to automate and gain extra billable hours.
And for a moment act as The Terminator. Eliminate lengthy steps, either totally or automate them. At times, simple repetitive steps can be overcome by creating fixed templates and at other technology. Harvest halves your time spent on repetitive tasks. All you would need now is to insert the line items, do a quick check and send. Now, glance at your checklist and note the time. You are winning, mate.
Nothing moves in the world of work management as a check list. It’s the veritable mover and shaker here. Keep striking items you have overcome, eliminated and automated. Do a quick math. How much did you save? How did it help you to increase your activities? Ponder. Realise. Move on. You are now ready to live more, work less.
Select your armour
The advent of technology has been a boon for people to love to unclutter. The world is cleaning of its papers to save the world. The desk is getting smaller, the hard drives bigger.
Marketing Automation leader Infusionsoft and second in command Ontraport has taken the game far ahead. The long and short of it is that if you are a busy freelancer, Infusionsoft has the capability of managing, automating and tracking most of the tasks that you’re currently performing manually.
Zapier at $20 a month and IFTTT are affordable alternatives too
For email management, look no further than SaneBox, for email follow up Boomerang for Gmail, Social Media updates rely on Hootsuite and email marketing MailChimp all the way.
Is there any other method to unclutter one’s work and create more space.
Yes, there is. The way you go about doing your work is a primary source of clutter. Stop checking the mail every 30 minutes. Use online payment options and saving receipts as pdf rather than manual invoicing and constantly innovate to move ahead. Clients want new stuff to play with and more money to get rewarded with. Guess, that’s motivation enough to start grooving.