“Automation” has been around since the invention of the wheel.
“Stop carrying all that back breaking wood! Give the poor Ox a break, too! Load it onto our new wheel-powered cart, and your stacks will automatically get propelled forward with the slightest push.”
“Stop chasing animals across the tundra! Our new animal domestication program herds cattle into your pen where they’ll patiently wait until you’re ready to kill them and feast on their juicy innards.” (Ew. I love a steak, but…)
Mankind has always hunted for ways to automate tiresome jobs and, as a result, save everyone time and effort.
In the last 100 years, the speed at which new automation inventions have hit the market has exploded.
Cars. Washing machines. Microwaves. Disposable diapers. All designed to allow consumers to accomplish common, laborious tasks in a fraction of the time.
In the 21st century we have hardware and software solutions that continue this trend. Automate a particular element of your business and you’ll have more time available to watch YouTube work on growing your business.
And that’s the key, right? Automation equals saving time and effort?
Automation is Being Undersold
Automation CAN save you time and effort. But that is only ONE use. And I would argue that it’s not even its most powerful purpose.
If your goal is to automate elements of your business just to save yourself a few hours per week, then you might as well ditch the business entirely and become a venture capitalist (assuming you have the money).
No, no, no.
Automation at its most effective and powerful is NOT about saving time, it’s about allowing you to produce BETTER results than would be possible if you were attempting to carry out the task manually.
In fact, true automation allows you to accomplish results that would be physically IMPOSSIBLE without it.
Take, for example, the humble answering machine (or, these days, voicemail)…
When a machine automatically answers your phone, and takes a message, it’s not doing a job that you would normally perform yourself. It’s doing a job that, for whatever reason, you’re UNABLE to perform yourself.
An answering machine isn’t saving you time. It’s saving you from missing that critical phone call from your dream client. Or, more likely, your spouse asking you to pick up toothpaste.
The point is, automation at its purest doesn’t make your life less busy… it makes your life BETTER!
- An exercise bike allows you to workout from home, even when there’s three feet of snow outside. It doesn’t save you time but it allows you to be more consistent in your exercise routine and hopefully increase your lifespan.
- A light bulb isn’t just marginally faster at sparking up the element, compared to lighting a candle, it also illuminates the room more efficiently, making it easier to find the leftover donuts.
- A motorized wheelchair doesn’t just save the energy of the person that would normally be pushing, it allows the person sitting in the chair to take control and regain some independence.
Can you begin to see why a lot of people are getting automation in their business totally back asswards?
Instead of looking for ways to use business automation to save us time and effort, we should be looking for ways to use business automation to IMPROVE our results. Smart business automation can improve our customer service abilities, extend our audience reach, and increase our profits.
If THIS Then THAT…
Let’s look at a specific example of how we can use automation to increase our profits. We’ll illustrate it through webinar marketing strategy because, at this point, we’re virtually incapable of talking about anything else.
WebinarJam comes with a built-in email system so that, if you don’t want to go to the hassle of connecting another auto-responder to your account, you don’t have to.
That’s a type of automation. The WebinarJam email system can be programmed to automatically send emails to your customers when they register for a webinar, before the webinar begins, and after the event has ended.
Using WebinarJam’s built-in auto-responder saves you some time, which is good. But how can you use the power of automation to make a significant difference to your profits?
The answer is in WebinarJam’s powerful Boolean Logic system!
Just in case you’re starting to panic, don’t be put off by the phrase “Boolean Logic”. There is something in that expression that seems to frighten people and cause them to shy away from that feature.
Maybe it’s because we equate the word “logic” with math and it gives us flashbacks to high school exams. Maybe it’s because a lot of systems that use Boolean Logic are extremely complicated and un-intuitive. Or, maybe it’s just because the phrase contains the word “BOO!”
Whatever the reason, it’s not nearly as scary as you might imagine. Boolean Logic can, it’s true, be used to create massively complex automated systems. But in this instance, we’re just using it to allow us to target our communications a whole lot better.
And that only requires selecting a few simple options.
Think of it as telling the software to automatically perform THIS action if THAT thing happens.
For example, once your webinar is over, you can set the auto-responder to send an email to everyone who registered, thanking them for attending.
But if you’re using the Boolean Logic system, you can tell the auto-responder to send different emails depending on what your registrants did.
“If THIS then THAT” might translate as…
If my customer registered for the webinar but didn’t attend, send them the email that invites them to watch the replay.
If my customer registered for the webinar and watched the whole event, send them the email that thanks them and invites them to send a testimonial.
Or if you’re feeling confident and want to get a bit clever…
If my customer attended the webinar but left before the 45th minute, send them the email that tells them they missed out on the special offer at the end but that they can still view it at www…
Now THAT is some powerful automation. That isn’t time-saving, it’s GAME-CHANGING!
Automation that sends out emails automatically can save you some time. But automation that tailors the email to the individual based on their activity (or inactivity) can increase your profits.
Stop thinking about automation as something as mundane as saving time and effort. Think of it as a way to make your business smarter and your profits larger.
Start by looking through all of the software you’re currently using and explore some of the advanced settings that you skipped past because you thought it would be too complicated or not relevant to your business.
The chances are good that the software you already use has some automation options that can improve its performance and help you get more out of the technology that powers your business.
Your webinar software might be the exception, however. A lot of webinar hosts are still using rather outdated, limited technology (and yet are charging the earth – go figure!).
If you want to see what a cutting-edge webinar hosting provider looks like, just watch the short video below.