I don't know about you but I am allllll about automating things so I can create more time freedom in my life and do more of the things I actually like to do.
Plus, I am a serial entrepreneur who runs 4 of my own online businesses and blogs. Although I have hired a few people who help me manage them all, I still do most of the work, and I really don't want to be sitting at the computer all day slaving away at tedious tasks. After all, having your own business should be fun, and what's the fun in having to work ALL.THE.TIME?!
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and bloggers often wear a lot of different hats for a long period of time so it's essential for both your stress levels and sanity to find as many ways as possible to automate different areas of your business.
That being said, I've compiled a list of the 5 tools I personally use to automate different areas of my business. I hope this helps give you some of your time back so you can spend more time in your zone of genius, doing whatever it is you do best!
*This post contains affiliate links.
Grammarly is a free browser extension that helps you write mistake-free in Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, and anywhere else you write on the Web. It basically proofreads your work as you type!
You can use the app itself to check any of your texts and articles for errors, or you can install the Grammarly extension to your browser and it’ll automatically run in the background and will notify you of any mistakes you’re making.
They offer a free plan as well as a premium plan with even more features.
Instagram is all about creating a consistent and beautiful feed. With Later, I can visually plan and schedule my Instagram posts days or weeks in advance; I just upload the images I'm planning on posting and then drag and drop them to preview what my feed will look like. I then add my captions, add 30 relevant hashtags and I'm good to go!
Instagram posts can be posted automatically to your feed for you or you can choose to receive a push notification at the time it's scheduled to post and write your caption then. Love having that option sometimes!
In addition to scheduling out my Instagram posts, Later also allows me to schedule my Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter posts! Also automatically!
Interested? Check out Later's pricing plans here (Free - $49/month).
3. Streak for Gmail
Streak is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that allows me to use canned responses (snippets) to reply to email inquiries in Gmail (I use Gsuite which gives me a branded email address + many more add-on features).
Canned responses are a HUGE time saver, especially when I'm getting the same questions over and over. I no longer have to type out the same reply every time... I just pick the saved canned response I want to use and hit send!
Gmail does have a regular canned response feature but I like Streak's a bit more because it gives me the option to categorize my responses and/or put them in a certain order if I want (which helps me keep on track with certain design processes.)
I also use Streak to track my emails and make sure they were opened by their recipient, which means they can't say they never received an email from me if I can see that they clearly did 😉
One of my favorite features about this tool is that I can schedule my emails to be sent later. This means I can write out an email whenever I feel like it (like on a weekend or outside of my regular business hours) and then just schedule it to send to the recipient at a later time and without having to think about it.
Before, I'd have to save it as a draft and then remind myself to send it later! My brain is already filled with too many things to remember... so this feature helps keep me (relatively) sane! 😉
Pricing plans start at free and go up to $99/month. Click here to see Streak's pricing plans.
SumoMe is a suite of tools that make it super easy for readers to subscribe to my email list, share my content, and grow my website traffic.
I personally love their list builder, social share and image share features, but they have all kinds of fun things you can get your hands on to bring more traffic to your site and create more conversions!
I also love using it for content upgrades or for sending downloadable content. People just enter in their email and it sends them what they want automagically! 😉
This is a free tool, but there's an option to upgrade. Click here to see SumoMe's pricing plans.
5. Backup Buddy
It's worth it to me to pay a service to automatically backup my websites often. This gives me more time freedom + peace of mind knowing I'm totally good if any of my sites go down.
I mean, I literally make most of my income through my blogs and websites, so if I lost any of them, I would be completely devastated! I'd probably have to go get a "job" and I definitely DON'T want to have to do that!
I schedule this plugin to automatically backup my entire site (database + all files) on a weekly basis but you could schedule it daily, weekly, monthly, whenever you want! It integrates nicely within WordPress and makes everything super easy!
Pricing starts at $80/year. Click here to see Backup Buddy pricing plans.
Now Onto You
What tools do you use to automate your business?
Feel free to comment below and let us know!