It’s no secret that I’m a systems nerd. I love systems. I love thinking about them and I love implementing them.
In our businesses, the more I can automate tasks, the better… and yet… I still do some things manually simply because I either don’t know that a better solution exists or – and that one hurts my illusion of being on top of everything at all times… – because I sometimes don’t want to bother changing my long-established habits despite being proven very wrong…
Let me tell you what just happened.
I watched a training webinar on how to file EOFY taxes for cryptocurrency accounts. Besides the clarification of complicated tax and international finance concepts that crypto brings to the table, the key takeaway for me was that “if you’re still using Excel to manage your crypto accounts, you are certain to fall behind in efficiency, accuracy, and work productivity because you’re competing against million-dollar purpose-built platforms that do these tasks at least one hundred times better and faster than you ever could using Excel.”
Damn. My own beliefs and limitations about what I thought was possible in tracking these accounts in Excel were actually costing me much more than I ever realized. Time worth a lot more money than the small monthly fee charged by those crypto management platforms. (not to mention the headaches that tend to always occur when dealing with crypto! 😉
So let’s be honest for a moment.
When running your business, how many things do you do manually, costing you time, efficiency, and quite likely a lot of money too?
If you were able to automate your entire coaching business…
To start with, you would get – for example – one year’s worth of emails loaded into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management like Ontraport).
Instead of spending a couple of hours a week agonizing over what to write next for your database of prospects, you could spend that same time following up the prospects that have shown interest in what you do.
Imagine the compounding effect of replacing those two hours a week with active, hands-on sales activities. That’s no less than 100 hours a year (52 weeks x 2 hours = 104). How much further along do you think your business would be if you could make that one change to start with?
And we’re only talking about one simple marketing task here. As you know (or can guess if you’re still new to this) there is a lot more than just marketing emails on your business to-do list.
You will need to create a lead magnet (a high-value, low-delivery cost gift) and send it to each and every one of your prospects in exchange for their contact information (automatable).
You will need to post regularly on your social media platform of choice (automatable).
You will need to follow up your hot leads with valuable information (automatable), process your new members’ payments (automatable), and send them invoices, receipts, and – you see where I’m going with this – and many, many more tasks.
So when you are starting up as a solopreneur, you become the main person delivering your services. But you will also become the bookkeeper, the admin manager, the marketer, the sales person, the website developer and administrator, the IT expert, and in many cases your own motivational speaker too!
What you will notice is that as soon as you start putting systems in place to replace the tasks that can be automated, you will gain the ability to reduce your active work time and spend the right amount of your time focusing on the tasks that bring you joy and satisfaction as a solopreneur.
That’s when you’ll hit the sweet spot that so many call a lifestyle business.
To make things easier for you, I’ve created an outline of the common tasks that need to be automated, delegated, deleted or done by you in a coaching business. Of course, this is only a starting list so make sure to add, remove, and adjust the tasks below to meet your unique needs and preferences. Who knows… maybe you’re a crazy person like me who actually enjoys maintaining the business’s books! 😉
Tasks to automate as a professional solopreneur coach:
Get a digital system, app, or platform to perform the task for you.
|Admin||– Templated support emails to FAQs or FAQ self-service content platform|
– Tasks management. [e.g. Create a task in your task manager system (ClickUp, Trello) when a new client signs up, adding a checklist of what must be done to complete their onboarding.)
|Finances||– Payment of subscriptions & regular bills- Insurances renewal|
– Clients recurring payments processing
|Marketing||– Nurture leads email sequence|
– Blog posts & other social media contents creation (see DIY/Delegate)
– Multi-platform content posting
|Sales||– Sections of the lead qualification conversations|
|Delivery||– Welcome + nurture emails to new clients |
– Logins to your online program & resources
– Access Social Media Platforms
|Tech||– Website security (daily auto-save)|
– Website plugins & other essential updates
Tasks to delegate:
Tasks that must be done by a human. These are tasks that either require low skill levels but are essential or that require on the opposite very high skillsets like complicated tech, setting up a website, or fixing an issue with your CRM. These are usually performed by well-paid contractors hired for one-off jobs.
|Admin||– General customer support (worth delegating if it takes more than 30min a day to complete)|
– Events organization and bookings
|Finances & Legal||– Regular bookkeeping|
– Creation of legal documents, including website Terms and Privacy disclosures
|Marketing||– Running of ad accounts (see DIY addition)|
– Blog posts & other social media contents creation (see Delegate/Automate)
– Copywriting (sales letters, website content, email marketing, etc.)
– CRM set-up including campaigns, automation, clients forms, etc. (Ontraport)
|Sales||– Sales calls (optional – see DIY)|
|Delivery||– Coaching (optional see DIY)|
– Any aspect of delivery that doesn’t require your professional expertise that may become an admin task (sending a welcome package, birthday flowers to members, etc)
|Tech||– Website creation- Website updates (can be DIY if the website was set up with an customer-friendly theme)|
– CRM set-up
– Connection of all automation tools to “speak” to each other. e.g. When a new client signs up, the payment processing system (usually Stripe) connects to your CRM who will send them a “Welcome Email”, track that client as a new member, and add them to the right delivery nurture campaign while another automation system will create a record of the sale and create an invoice in your financial management system (usually Xero) and then automatically sent that invoice by email to your client. All that will happen automatically with one click of the “pay now” button on your website.
Tasks to delete:
These are the tasks that are neither important nor urgent. When you look at your list and see them, decide how essential they really are. If they can’t be simply deleted, the chances are you can either automate or delegate them before thinking about doing them yourself.
|Admin||– Rearranging things already in place- Tasks that question or go against decisions already made|
|Finances||(Rare tasks end up here)|
|Marketing||– Manual daily posts of empty content (posting for posting’s sake does not get you leads – content must provide some value across many levels – fun, actionable, makes you think, etc.)- Blog posts & other social media contents creation (see Automate/Delegate)- Posting of this content online|
|Sales||– Sections of the lead qualification conversations (ones not covered by automation above)|
|Delivery||– Any task that over-delivers to your clients unnecessarily. (find the sweet spot between delivering outstanding service and protecting your time)|
|Tech||(Rare tasks end up here – often if you struggle with a tech task, it should be delegated instead of deleted)|
Tasks to DIY (Do It Yourself):
These are the tasks that have a high value, high skillset, or simply that bring you joy, and that you do by choice, not by necessity.
|– Strategic decisions- VIP customer support emails|
|Finances||– Access to business’s bank accounts- Paying bills and contractors- Financial decisions about your business|
|Marketing||– Revisions of ads content before launch- Branding decisions- Partnership connections & management- Podcast guest appearances- Media appearances to represent your business|
|Sales||– Sales Calls (optional – see delegate)|
|Delivery||– Live Coaching Sessions (optional see Delegate)- Content Creation- Ongoing education training, seminars, or working with a coach|
|Tech||– Website content updates|