How good does it feel to get organized? Now imagine that feeling x100 when you start to AUTOMATE. Lets get into it. Here are my top resources for automating your business aka your life.
Running a business, trying to keep up with a social life, eating healthy, working out - damn its time consuming. Not to mention HARD to keep track of. Here are the ways I try to keep myself organized, automated, and optimized:
Lets start with my beloved Google Drive account. For me, everything lives here: my emails, calendar, booking, client files, forms, questionaries, images - IT ALL LIVES IN ONE PLACE. Its an incredible free service that I highly recommend to anyone that needs to share files FAST. Its also a great tool while working with clients as I've found just about everyone owns a google email or account in some way or another.
What I love most about this system for MY business is that I can have folders within the drive for each individual client. When I'm in those folders, I start to build out their assets for both parties. I usually start with a google document and have them fill in their contact info, passwords, usernames, anything we will need to remember / use on a daily basis. Then, depending on how I'm working with them I'll build out google sheets, questionaries, folders to import images, brand assets, and other things to make sure everything I need to complete their project is in that one folder. If I need
to share anything, I can right click on the folder, grab a link and share it with anyone I need to.
A tool that I've introduced to the Manuka Sunday world to start off 2022 on a high note. I'm not running a team of 2 other people and Asana is an amazing way to see where projects are standing, who's on what task, timelines, communication, and so much more.
For example; I've brought on a team member to help out with editing my podcast. In my Asana project, I have a PODCAST folder that has everything that needs to be done to get ONE podcast scripted, recorded, filmed, edited, produced, uploaded, and promoted. Each one of these tasks is delegated to an owner and when they get check off as complete, the next person gets notified that its their turn to hop in and finish the task. I love it for keeping me on track with projects, but more importantly for an easy communication tool between members that doesn't need emails back and forth all day. (NO ONE NEEDS ANOTHER EMAIL (: )
Another well knowns system that keeps my head on straight is Calendly. Its a booking software that can be set up directly through your google calendar so you don't have to go back and forth with clients about when the best time is. When you send them the link to your Calendly, it gives them all the options that are free on your calendar (that you haven't blocked out) so they can easily book in for a call. You can also connect your preferred way of speaking. I currently have a zoom link built in so when anyone books in, I have a placeholder in my calendar with a link ready to go.
I've added Calendly as a google chrome extension so it can optimize even more. Theres a great feature that connects straight to your email so when you're writing an email, you can click that little Calendly button and it will add the link directly to your email.
Another amazing function is the pre-filled / pre-pay options for clients to book. For example, I offer a consulting call that is a 1 hour of paid content strategy. With this, I can set up my Calendly meeting to show a form for the client to fill out (so I have all the info I need to strategize) a booking link, and a pre-pay link. I use this as a way to get everyone paid up to start it off so I don't have to worry about no-shows or late payments. Without Calendly I use to use 3 different systems, emails back and forth, and toooooo much time on this.
Proposals, contracts, invoices, payments, workflows, google cal reminders, expenses, project timers, to do lists - honestly everything you need to run the backend of a creative business is here. I haven't tapped into the full potential of this software but I can confidently say that it has saved me loads of time and even more headache. Its my second brain when it comes to automating payments, dealing with payments, and having a projectional look to my financials. My favourite features include the automation of monthly retainer invoices (sent straight to the clients inbox), the ability to use PayPal, Venmo, Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Amex (not to mention everything connects straight to your band account), and lastly, pre made contracts for tons of different creative endeavours so you don't have to wonder If you're missing anything. Its great. Trust me.
5. START TO DELEGATE - HIRE HELP:
Another huge goal of mine this year is to grow my team. I now understand how important it is to see your time as money. Im currently working my way to find the right people to take the load off and build a better plan as a whole. More importantly, so I can focus on the things I love to do most. Places like Fiverr and Upwork are great resources to find minimal hourly work but I highly recommend reaching out to your community to find people in your space that understand your business, the personality behind it, and everything in-between.
6. LATER MEDIA:
I've used both of these platforms to schedule out my clients (and my own) content for social media. There are so many platforms and things to remember these days, posting honestly shouldn't be one that takes up valuable time (and headspace). Later is incredible for connecting multiple channels, users, collaborators, and gives you the ability to schedule out everything in one place. It shows you a preview of what your feed's going to look like and maps out what weekly / monthly calendars look like - for story AND static. They even started to roll out Reels schueding. Plus they have an awesome analytics centre to get to know the backend of your clients account and optimize in all areas.
I highly recooment reading through their weekly / monthly newsletters as well! If you're trying to learn more about social media this is an amazing FREE resource to catch up on trends, algorithms, and new features.
Ya I know this isn't a system but its a habit that everyone should incorporate into their business routine IN MY OPINION *angel face*. Everything is simpler when there’s less. Less junk, less to look through, less to find etc. I’m making my self accountable to do a “life declutter” each month to give myself more space and efficiency. This will be everything from emails, to folders, to personal items!
What’s something you’re prioritizing for organization this year??
Xx Mel ⚡️