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One of the common issues I hear from solo mompreneurs is how hard it is to run their business without a team to help them. Here’s the thing, you don’t really need a team to run your business efficiently and productively. You just need the right tools and workflows to make it seem like a team is helping you run your business. If you’re organized and use your time and resources properly, people will never know that you’re a one-woman show! Here’s how to run your business like a CEO, even as a solopreneur.
Set Up Automation
Automation is your friend! I have almost everything automated, from my social media, to my sales funnels, to my consulting calls. I’ve run my business on auto-pilot for almost two years. I’ve also saved a lot of time and money as a result. When it’s just you trying to run your business solo, it’s important to automate what you can so you can focus on the most important tasks that need to be completed in your business.
For example, I used to schedule my social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every day. Plus, I was trying to manually pin Pinterest images when I had the time. Want to know how that worked out? It was a total flop. When client work got busy, I just didn’t have the time to focus on my own social media and all that it entailed. So guess what I did? I worked smarter, not harder.
First, I started automating my social media. It’s saved me HOURS every single week. I use a variety of tools, and each one is totally worth the fee that it costs me. The few bucks that I spend on my automation tools give me the opportunity to earn hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, because I can then focus on my money making tasks.
Here is just a short list of the tools and resources I use to automate my business:
- MailerLite: MailerLite is my absolute best friend, and it makes creating funnels super easy. I can set up everything right in MailerLite, from my landing page to my pop up forms. From there, I’m able to target specific emails to a subscriber based on what they signed up for. I don’t have to worry about sending these emails over and over again, MailerLite does it for me. Plus, it’s FREE to use up to 1,000 subscribers. That totally beats out those super pricey email marketing platforms that do the same thing.
- Planoly: Planoly is for my Instagram scheduling, and I use it to post my Instagram posts and Instagram stories with ease. I usually batch my Instagram posts once a month, and Planoly makes scheduling them out super easy. All I have to do is create my graphics (I do this in Canva), upload them to Planoly, write out my captions, and schedule a photo for each day. Planoly even auto-posts photos for me. That means I can be hands off once I’ve scheduled my graphics out for the month!
- Tailwind: Tailwind keeps my Pinterest game in check. I’m able to schedule out as many pins as needed (I suggest at least 10-15 a day) and Tailwind will post them on my behalf at the optimal times for my profile and audience. When I was manually pinning, trying to pin relevant images was time-consuming. I’d spend at least 20 minutes a day scrolling through Pinterest trying to pin the best images that my audience would want to see. With Tailwind, that’s been cut down to about 30 minutes a month. Easy peasy.
- Calendly: While this tool won’t be for every solopreneur, if you’re in the service business, this will help you save time and effort when it comes to scheduling calls with clients. I use Calendly to schedule my strategy sessions, as well as calls with my existing clients. Now that I’ve set it up, I don’t have to touch it! Whenever a client sets up a call, Calendly adds it to both our calendars, sends them an email and text reminder, gives them a form to fill out, and connects with PayPal and Stripe so they can pay easily and quickly.
- Post Planner: While Post Planner only manages Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups, and Twitter accounts, I still think it’s a great automation tool. You can add in a tweet or Facebook post once, schedule it across each platform, and “recycle” it so it will automatically post for you and continue posting until you stop it. I highly recommend having at least 50-100 posts uploaded when you start scheduling them out, that way Post Planner isn’t constantly posting the same thing over and over. This helps me share old posts, affiliate links, and more without scheduling them each time!
Have Canned & Auto Responses
Having email autoresponders and canned emails will keep you from letting your inbox get out of control. I have one autoresponder in place for all of my email addresses. If someone reaches out to me via email, I have an autoresponder that thanks them for messaging me, let’s them know when I check my messages and gives them the opportunity to check out my resources and website while they wait for a response. I also include all of the links to my social media if they’d like to connect that way.
For everything else, I have canned responses. These include responses for invoices due, people filling out one of my Google Forms, my FAQ’s response, and more. I use these when someone emails me and is needing a fairly generic answer vs. an answer that I have to put more thought into.
Use Templates To Save Time
Not only do I use social media templates, but I also use templates for my blog posts, social media captions, and more. There’s no point in wasting time when I have a formula and strategy that works. The only time I tweak my templates is when I see that they are no longer working. This keeps me from putting my energy into tasks that aren’t a) making me money or b) helping me truly connect with my audience.
Google Forms Is Your Friend
I have a Google Form for EVERYTHING. Want to be a part of my interview series? Fill out this Google Form. Want to give me a testimonial? Here, use this Google Form. Google Forms are free, have multiple uses (quizzes, surveys, etc) and keep me organized. Plus, I have an automation tool set up that thanks someone when they fill out my form AND lets me know when I have a new response. Win-win, and I don’t have to worry about missing anything.
Use Free Tools
I love free, and I love being able to run my business with low overhead. I spend less than $150 a month on all of the tools and resources I use. Want to know why? Because there are so many great (and FREE) tools out there! These tools make it seem like I’m everywhere at once, and that I have a team working for me. In reality, it’s usually just me.
Here’s what I use:
- Zapier: I use Zapier to set up my automation for Google Forms, to add people to my email list when they buy a product or sign up for a strategy session, to send invoices quickly and easily, and more. It’s easy to set up a “zap” that runs for you based on what you need it to do.
- IFTTT: If This, Then That, or IFTTT is a great tool that helps me do the little things that aren’t currently available for certain platforms. For example, whenever I post an Instagram photo, IFTTT will also post it on Facebook and Twitter for me. It keeps my engagement high, but I don’t have to spend any extra time adding the photo to multiple platforms. There are so many other “applets” that you can use to help you run your business more smoothly. Of course, choose the ones that make the most sense for you!
- LinkTree: You can only link to one thing on Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Make it count by using LinkTree. While I plan on upgrading my account with LinkTree in the future, I love the free version for now. I can add all of my links to blog posts, my resource library, my ebook, and more, and it keeps my Instagram engagement high! Now when I direct someone to my social media bio, they are met with a plethora of resources. On top of that, I don’t have to switch out links every single time.
- Magic Mockups: I honestly found Magic Mockups when I was casually browsing Google for an option to help me display a course I was working on. Since then, I’ve been hooked. If you want a professional way to showcase a new course, product, or book, try Magic Mockups. It’s super easy to use, and it’s free. Can’t beat that.
- Hashtagify: I love using Hashtagify to find hashtags that fit in my niche. I search for hashtags that are super popular, hashtags that aren’t trendy but are growing, and hashtags that aren’t being utilized to the fullest. I’ve based a lot of my hashtag strategy on my Hashtagify research, and it really works at increasing views and engagement on my social media platforms. While Hashtagify does have a paid option, the free option works just fine for me right now.
- Tweet Delete: I don’t know about you, but I hate a cluttered Twitter feed. To keep mine in check and looking clean, I use Tweet Delete. Basically, you set up a clean out of all of your old tweets, and you can do so based on how often you want to delete the tweets. For me, I delete any tweet that’s 6 months or older, because I’ll usually have updated info or strategies by then. If you look on my Twitter profile, I never have more than 800 tweets at a time!
Don’t Drop The Ball
No one likes someone who promises one thing and delivers something completely different. It’s also hard to look professional when you overpromise and underdeliver. For example, my husband and I recently ordered a mattress that was supposed to get to us in 3 days. First, the company never emailed us to let us know when the package would be shipped, and after the 3 days came and went, my husband decided to message them.
Here’s what we got in return: “We got an influx of orders and realized we had to make the mattresses on demand”. While we were totally okay with them being busier than they thought they would be (it’s ALWAYS a good thing to get more business), we were really bothered that they didn’t communicate with us at all during the process. Then, it took yet another 3 days for them to actually make the mattress. What sucked is we ordered before their influx! Then, it took another 3 for them to actually ship the mattress. Overall, it took two and a half weeks to get our mattress. Their website told us 3 days. Again, we weren’t upset that it took that long. We were upset that they didn’t communicate and that they promised something but delivered a different experience.
Just be consistent.
If you’re going to take someone’s money, you need to be consistent. If you are charging people for your services and products, you better have a damn good reason. For example, don’t charge me $200 for a coaching call and do a half ass job at “coaching”. That shows right off the bat that you’re either a) on your own and winging it or b) not organized and winging it. Either way, it’s not running your business efficiently, and it really shows a lack of professionalism and customer service.
No matter what, you want your clients and customers to think that they are the MOST important people in the world. When you can do that right, you’ll have a customer for life. People want to see growth, but they aren’t going to encourage your growth if you drop the ball, even if you’re a solopreneur.
Use The Right Task Management System
If you know me, you know exactly what I’m about to say. I use and love Asana, and I boast about it to any and all who will listen to me. It helps me set deadlines, keep track of goals, and holds me accountable on my day-to-day tasks. While I love Asana, there are so many other task management systems. You just have to find the right one for you. I’ll go into more detail on how I use Asana in another post, but here’s a quick peek at how all my stuff is organized!
Stop Trying To Do It All
Last but not least, stop trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. Look, you can’t be on every social media platform and do them all well. You can’t have 6 blogs and run each smoothly without some type of help. But you know what you can do? You can focus on your biggest passion, add in one or two social media platforms, create a product or service that you love, and rock the hell out of them. When you take on too much and try to do it all, you’re giving yourself more opportunities to fail. By focusing on your best platforms and money makers, you’re able to run your business smoothly. You’ll also have less of a chance of showing that it’s just you working behind the scenes.
While it’s okay to be a solopreneur and run your business on your own, it’s important to remember that in order to grow and truly be successful, you have to think ahead, be organized, and have your business together. With these tricks, you can run your business like a CEO without having a whole team behind you.