More Than Just a Generation: How to Use Form Builders Across the Buyer's Journey (featuring Laura Renner from Freedom Makers)
Freedom Makers' very own, Laura Renner, spoke on a JotForm and Xverify Webinar. In case you could not watch it live, here is the recorded webinar.
By Laura Renner
As a consumer, we see fads all the time. They go as fast as they come. But as a small business owner, how do you recognize if your actions are part of a fad or more lasting trend? I see this most often in marketing tactics small business owners use. You probably see this a lot amongst your networking groups (in person or online) and your business owner friends:
“You should be doing XYZ to grow your business.”
“So and So said they got a ton of business doing XYZ.”
“I feel like I need to be doing XYZ to grow my business.”
By Laura Renner
When you think automation, do you think of super fancy things like robots making your bed, cooking your food, etc? Or maybe software that automatically sends emails based on preset criteria? Yes, those are both automation. But I would argue automation is even simpler than that.
Let’s redefine automation
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines automation as:
A. largely or wholly involuntary
B. acting or done spontaneously or unconsciously
2. Having a self-acting or self-regulatory mechanism
My favorite of those is “done spontaneously or unconsciously.” A robot or software certainly takes care of tasks spontaneously or unconsciously (to you). I define automation as: one less decision or action you, the business owner. needs to take. Automation can be an app, software, or even another person that makes the task seem automatic to you. Basically, automation reduces decision fatigue because it’s being done spontaneously or unconsciously to you!
By Madelyn Mackie, Freedom Maker Client
This time-saving tip is for speakers, trainers, and other sharers of information from the stage! I love speaking! Fortunately, I get to do it 3-5 times per week, sharing my messages, stories, and expertise with appreciative audiences both large and small. However, one thing I dislike about speaking is the collecting of email addresses afterwards, entering the addresses into my email provider, and then sending post-event emails with the “FREEBIES”, “SPECIAL OFFERS” and “STAY IN TOUCH” messages. I could just skip this part, but then it would be a lost opportunity to engage a very warm and receptive audience. Many times after a speaking event, I am contacted about additional opportunities such as coaching, consulting, and even more speaking.
Last month, I had the opportunity to speak to an audience of 600! There was no way that I was going to pass around the clipboards and then come home and try to enter each of those email addresses manually. The last time I did that with an audience of this size it took me weeks to get everything entered, and even then there were still typos and errors. To my great delight, I discovered Join By Text! Join By Text allows audience members to sign up for your “irresistible offer” by simply texting your special code to an assigned number, then they send their email addresses, which are automatically entered into your email provider, and after that they receive an email with links to the cool stuff you offered!
As a small business owner, having affordable and easy-to-use tools is critical to running your business successfully. So many are on the market these days with more coming online all the time. As of May 2018, these are our personal favorites that we use internally at Freedom Makers.
Our 3 criteria for making the list:
-Must have a free version. Small business owners don’t have time to waste with setting up a program just for a free two-week trial. All of these software have a free version you can use until the time is right to upgrade.
-Must be subscription based. Cash is king for small businesses. While a monthly payment is more expensive, it’s nice to have the flexibility if necessary. Furthermore, with new software coming available all the time and with the constant adapting and changing small businesses go through, it’s imperative to have the flexibility subscriptions provide.
-Must be easy to use and quick to set up. Most small businesses have limited resources (time, money, and energy.) Anything that makes it easier for small business owners--like quick setup--is a win in our books.
What is a "Set It and Forget It" system? It's a system that allows you to plan ahead and get more work done using less energy. There are 3 components which make up this system: 1) Triggers; 2) Tools; and 3) Actions. Triggers are what you need to get started. Tools are the things needed to complete the work. And Actions define what work needs to be done.
Want to learn more .. read on.
Say you've got a system that you run multiple times. Tracking the location of each run can be difficult. For instance, you have a 4-step system for onboarding new clients and are running 3 at one time.
How do you keep track of where each new client is? This leaves the potential for something to fall through the cracks. A tool like Process Street helps you to keep track of the location of each new client in your system and also helps you to run your system more efficiently. It even helps you to manage what your VA is doing for each system. Learn more about how we use Process Street in our company in this video and then visit their website to get started for yourself.
Set It and Forget It...if you are a Freedom Makers follower, then this term should be familiar. If you are a newbie, in this Facebook Live, Laura talks about how to do more in less time and less energy.
She first covers what a "Set It and Forget It" System is comprised of: 1. Trigger; 2. Tools; and 3. Actions. Then she dives into talking about what automation means. SPOILER: it's more than just technology and software.
Laura defines what automation means for a small business owners and shares tips and examples on how to incorporate automatic decisions and actions into your systems. In her examples, she specifically highlights a few tech tools, including JotForm, PayPal, and Calendly.
Learn more about how to create Set It and Forget It Systems here.
As a business owner, there are tasks that are necessary which appear to not take up too much time. For example, sending contracts to new clients. Think about the steps involved with this task:
1. Locate the template, whether it's a master template or the contract you sent your most recent new client
2. Update the template with the information for the new client
3. Save it somewhere
4. Convert to PDF
5. If you notice a mistake, start over and repeat
6. Go into your email
7. Draft the email and attach the contract
8. Wait for the client to sign while it gets buried in their email. Follow up a few times.
9. Once you receive the signed version, try to remember to save it somewhere but maybe just leave it in your email
For many business owners, email seems to consume our lives. We get frustrated by the inefficiency of email, but it is a beast that we all must deal with daily. Can it be tamed? Is “Inbox Zero” really like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
If you’re like me, you’ve read numerous tips on how to tame the beast. I’ve tried a few and they seem to work for a while, but eventually, the beast rises again. I’ve tried the Do, Defer, Delegate, or Delete method. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it. If not, defer until you can or delegate it. Otherwise, delete it. The problem with this method was that most of my emails should only take 2 minutes -- 60 emails at 2 minutes is still two hours! Another method I tried was Yesterbox but still took most of the day, as Tony Hsieh said it would.