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Automation Basics #1

Lesson 5 from: Optimize, Automate, and Outsource Your Business

Ari Meisel

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Lesson Info

5. Automation Basics #1

Work smarter, not harder. This lesson dives into automation triggers and actions.

Lesson Info

Automation Basics #1

As I've said time and time again, the word every is the big red flag here for people in a good way, it's a good red flag. If you hear yourself using the word every, right, so every time a customer signs up or every time we send out a new order or every time we post a new photo on Instagram, that word every needs to be that trigger to tell you like, hey this is something that's happening over and over, this is repetitive. And anything that's repetitive, there's gonna be an element of it that can be automated, if not all of it. So automation means all sorts of different things for different people. The one I just described, that trigger in action, is sort of the very basic. We can go as deep as we want and as advanced as we want using machine learning and artificial intelligence, but at the end of the day, automation has lots of benefits. And for me, the main benefit is one that a lot of people I don't think really consider. People know automation can do things usually cheaper. It runs 2...

4/7, it never gets sick, all that kind of stuff, you can expand it as much as you want, and that's true and that's great. For me, the best part about automation is the reduction in errors because those are the things that keep people up at night. When you're an entrepreneur, when you're lying in bed at the end of the night and you have to think to yourself, did my salesperson get that sales quote out? Did my customer service manager send out that welcome gift that we now are sending out to clients and did they get it out in a timely manner? If those things are automated, we don't have to think about those things anymore, and that sounds very trivial in some ways, but it adds up. A lot of that unknown is where we tend to fill those spaces with bad thoughts about things that aren't going well in our business and it creates a lot of stress. So I want to talk about some of my favorite tools to create automations in your business and show you how to set up some basic automations as well so that you can understand how this can work for you. Now the key here, and I'm gonna show you how to do it, but the key here isn't necessarily that you walk away from this an expert in building automations. What I want is for you to know that this is possible, that you don't need to hire a person to do this and you certainly don't need to do it yourself. Now, one of my absolute favorite automation hacks in existence is something around idea capture. I feel that we have ideas all the time, we need to be able to capture them in a way that puts them into a system so that we can actually act upon them in the right way. And recognizing that there are different brains or different mindsets rather that you have when you're ideating, coming up with the idea, versus the time that you should be sort of processing and sorting that idea and then certainly days or even weeks later when you actually put that idea into practice. I never want you to be more than 20 seconds away from capturing an idea. And I'm gonna show you now how to create an automation that is the best one ever in terms of idea capture and that is automated screenshot sorting. How many times have you gotten a text message which you can't mark unread on most phones or a Facebook message which you definitely can't mark unread or you see a website or you're listening to a podcast or something and you just want to grab it somewhere and get back to what you're doing? The fastest possible way to do that in my opinion is to take a screenshot. On most phones, you usually have to just click two buttons, it takes about a quarter of a second and that screenshot is captured. But then what do you do with that? Most people don't do anything and they just forget about them. The automation I'm gonna show you is gonna let you create a digest of all of the things that you've screenshotted throughout the day and deliver it to you when and where you want it. Sound good? Let's do it. So in this case, I'm gonna use a free tool which is called IFTTT, which stands for If This, Then That. I'm gonna show you a more advanced service after, but this is a really great one to get started with. IFTTT is really visually appealing, very easy to work with, and what it does though that a lot of the other platforms don't do is that IFTTT will work with the internet of things. So if you have home automation things in your house or you're using a smart home device or a smart voice assistant, IFTTT is gonna allow you to connect those to all sorts of other devices in your house, like your lights or your thermostat or whatever it might be. Me at the end of the night, I can say to my smart home device, go dark. And when that happens, 34 different lights turn off in our house all at the same time. Makes my life a lot easier and that is thanks to IFTTT. So we're gonna go up here and we're gonna create a new, they call it an applet. So we have right here, if this, then that, simple, trigger, action. So if this, the trigger in this case is gonna be a screenshot. So I have an iPhone. If you have an Android, you can do that as well. So you have Android photos and here we have iPhone iOS photos. So I'm gonna choose iOS photos, great, and now here are my choices. We can do any new photo, a new photo with the rear camera, a new photo with the front camera, like a selfie, but I'm gonna go with new screenshot. So now that part is done, that's the trigger. Anytime you take a new screenshot, this automation will run. Now, what do we want to have happen? This is where things get very customized. For me, I want to have each one of those screenshots become a new Trello card. So I use Trello for project management, you might use something else like Asana or Clickup or whatever you want to use, and IFTTT connects with most of them, but this is gonna create a new card with that screenshot for me. So at the end of the day, which has become routine for me now, I'll go into Trello and I can look at all the ideas that I've captured throughout day. And maybe it's something I want to talk to my wife about and I'll do that. Maybe it's something I need to order, so maybe I'll send that off to a virtual assistant. Maybe it's something I need to discuss with my COO, send it off to her or assign it to her, and maybe it's just an article that I really want to read and I will schedule the time to do that and put it off to then. So whether you use Trello or not, I'm gonna give an example of an email digest. So IFTTT has an email digest function in it and I'm gonna create an email digest. We can do daily or weekly, so we'll do daily and I'm gonna say time of day. So let's say 8:00 PM. Title is, let's call this Daily Screenshot Digest and that's it. The rest is already kind of automatically in there and create action and you're done. You've now created your very first automation. And now every time you take a screenshot on your phone, it will go into this digest, and in this case at eight o'clock at night, I'm gonna get one email with all of the screenshots for the day, which means I never have to forget about something, I never have to worry that I forgot about something and I don't miss out on opportunities. Most importantly, I am controlling how I'm receiving this information. I am getting it how I want, where I want and when I want.

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Ratings and Reviews

Mona King

Excellent real world solutions to problems that entrepreneurs encounter. This will truly save time to be used in other areas of life and improve business processes.

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