I’ll admit it: Being a solopreneur is HARD WORK! The past two years of figuring out how to run a successful social business have seen a few wins, but even more misses.
I’m constantly asking:
- What can I do myself?
- Can automation be used for a social business? It is wise? Will it hurt more than it helps?
- What can I delegate when I have a small — or no — staff?
Large holes to fill, no?
Where The Problem Lies
When I sat down and started to outline my problem areas, I realized many of my problems revolved around:
- Tracking things
- Creating sales & marketing processes that were repeatable
- Figuring out how (and what!) to automate things to save me precious time
- Finding the right tools to automate things
- Finding tools that didn’t take a PhD to understand
- Being able to do the above on limited budget
We decided to go with Infusionsoft to help with automation with our:
- Lead nurturing & scoring
- Marketing campaigns
The only problem is that we’re finding it takes a PhD to figure out the system, AND it costs a small fortune.
We’re lucky enough to have the kind of clientele that allows us to justify this expense. But this still leaves a gaping hole for my small business friends – whether they’re in social media or any other type business.
My goal is to help ANYONE decide whether automation is right for them/their business.
Ask The Right Automation Questions
While there are a million questions you should ask when you’re shopping around for a customer relationship management system (CRM) or an automation tool, there are three that are the most important (in my opinion):
1. Who will manage your system?
I think this is the most critical question. Sure, other peeps might tell you that budget should come first, but budget — no matter how big or small — pales in comparison to WHO will be entering your data.
If you don’t have all of the pertinent details, your “oh-so-amazing” CRM or automation system will do you no good. Zilch. Nada. ZERO on your return on investment.
2. How will using this software save me/my team time?
Once you know you have someone who can manage your CRM or automation software, THEN you can start to explore if it’s right for you. Think about the processes you have the most trouble with (like the ones I listed early on in this post).
Other questions to ask yourself:
- Are we shuffling a lot of paper/reports around to one another?
- Do I spend a ton of time looking for (whether a client or lead):
- Contant information?
- Contact notes?
- Contact click behavior and/or open rates?
- Contact files?
- Pairing contacts with companies and competitors?
- Do I have a plethora of spreadsheets managing an array of data on my clients/would-be clients?
- Does our business rely heavily on email marketing?
- Does our business rely heavily on social media marketing?
- Are we spending too much time on mundane or routine tasks?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, a CRM or automation platform may be exactly what you need to get to the next level of business.
3. How will using this software make/save my business money?
It always has to come back to money, right?
If you can find a system that fits in with your business AND will save or make you money, there’s no question that you should implement some sort of software to get you “there.”
A New, Slick Way To Stop Wasting Time & Start Making Money
As I mentioned, we’ve been using Infusionsoft for two years now. It’s not user friendly, the learning curve is huge, and the pricing is a bit steep.
Luckily, I’ve been introduced to a new way of doing things, and in a short amount of time I’ve come up with some incredible “fixes” for those process problems I mentioned before.
If you’re a small business and you need help with:
- How to nurture prospects so they become better customers
- How to automate marketing tasks in under two minutes
- How to leverage social media without the time suck
- How to understand where your business is coming from
then you should try Salesformics.
What about you? How you do automate your systems or manage your CRM? I’d love to know in the comments section below.
See you in the social sphere!
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