Summer Automation Tips to Help You Relax and Profit
Summer is the time when people enjoy relaxing, spending time with family, and perhaps traveling. If you own a business, however, you can't afford to simply shut down your operation for days or weeks at a time. Fortunately, there are some ways to get the best of both worlds. By taking advantage of the right automation tools and strategies, you can keep your business running while you're relaxing at the cottage or wherever it is you prefer.
It's now fairly simple to automate many email marketing tasks. If you use an email marketing service or autoresponder such as MailChimp, AWeber, or Constant Contact, you can arrange for messages to be sent out on a certain schedule. Best of all, you can set it up so that these people receive these messages automatically. If you want to take a week or so off, a good strategy is to create an email series, such as a mini-course. This might be 5, 7, or 10 emails sent out daily with a lesson each day. You do the work before taking time off, and then let the system carry out the tasks.
Social Media Automation
There are many tools that let you automate social media tasks. Whether you use a service such as HootSuite or HubSpot or outsource your social media marketing to an agency, you can arrange for posts to appear on a prearranged schedule. If you're creating your own social media content, make sure you have all the posts you need during your break. Then arrange to have them posted on multiple platforms on the schedule you prefer. You can combine this strategy with email marketing if you send your social media followers to an opt-in page for your email list.
When it comes to blogging, consistency is crucial. Yet many marketers lose ground by not posting regularly. This is especially challenging over the lazy summer months. The main point to address for blogging automation is to get all the content you need "loaded" ahead of time. Whether you write it yourself or outsource it, don't wait until the last minute to gather your posts. If you can get ahead by a week or even a month, then you simply post when you want. If you use WordPress, you don't need any other tools or services. Simply load your blog posts and schedule when to post them on your dashboard.
You can't have a successful business without great customer support. This doesn't mean that you need to handle every support request yourself, though. Customer service automation tools help not only let you take some time off in the summer, they help streamline your business all year round. Services such as Zendesk, Freshdesk and many others make it simple to automate many customer service tasks. It's also helpful to provide as much information as possible on your website. A comprehensive FAQ, for example, cuts down on customer support requests. Another approach is to hire a virtual assistant to handle this aspect of your business.
Additional Summer Automation Tips
Here are some additional guidelines to help you automate your business over the summer.
- Plan ahead as much as possible. Write down all of the tasks you need to cover during your break, such as social media and blog posts, emails, and anything else. Then develop a clear-cut strategy for posting your content.
- Postpone large projects for the fall. Remember, you're not the only one who likes to relax over the summer. If you're planning a big product launch, e-book, or website overhaul, consider waiting until the fall. Use the summer to focus on business models that are already in motion.
- Set aside certain check-in times. If you're one of those business owners who is psychologically incapable of ignoring your business for more than a day at a time, plan on checking in for brief periods, such as 30 minutes per day or whatever seems reasonable. Then relax the rest of the time.
- Have a partner, employee, or VA handle your business while you're away. This is a good solution if you really want to take a complete break for a while. Make sure you train this person well so he or she doesn't have to bother you with questions.
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