Automate Your Agency: 10 Processes You Can Automate to Save Time
Automation isn’t just a helpful tool for agencies – it’s often necessary. You might be able to manage without automation when you have only a handful of clients, but as your agency grows and partners with more businesses, you’ll need to bring in some automation tools for backup.
Why automate? In a nutshell, it makes your life much easier. Automation makes it possible to track your different clients’ goals and needs without getting overwhelmed or bogged down in details on a daily basis. It saves you time, so you can focus on your most important tasks, and it gives you peace of mind knowing you won’t forget to follow up with a lead or make a mistake compiling your next report.
If you’re just getting started with automation, this article is for you. Here are some of the main processes and reports you can set and forget.
1. Schedule Social Media Posts
Social media can be just as addictive for businesses as it is for individuals. To cut down on the amount of time you spend crafting and posting updates, consider automating your clients’ social media accounts. Services like Hootsuite and Buffer let you schedule posts and manage accounts across multiple platforms from a single dashboard. While you’ll still need to create and set up your posts ahead of time, these tools will let you tackle the job in batches, rather than devoting a chunk of time to it every day.
While planning ahead is a useful time-saver, don’t overdo it. If you schedule a month’s worth of posts at once, you might be posting old news by the end of that month. Try planning ahead one week at a time. It will still save you time, but it’s a short enough timeframe that your posts will be current.
2. Set Up Chatbots
Live chat has a lot of potential to boost your business. It’s instant, easier than email, and popular with customers. But you might not always be able to have someone at the ready to chat with visitors, especially after business hours or when your team is busy.
That’s where a chatbot can help. You can set up a chatbot to answer common questions on your website or on Facebook Messenger. People interested in your agency will appreciate being able to get instant answers, and you’ll be free to focus on other things in the meantime.
3. Identify High-Quality Leads
Not everyone who gets in touch with you is actually going to make a purchase. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew which leads were likely to buy, so you could focus on them? It turns out you can. There are a number of metrics you can look at to determine the quality of a lead, including their behavior on your site, their interactions with your emails, and their answers to any preliminary surveys or questionnaires you’ve given them. If you set up a system to measure these metrics automatically, you’ll have a good idea which leads should receive most of your attention.
4. Streamline Your Meeting Schedule
Setting up a meeting sounds like it should be a simple process, but it often isn’t. If it takes a time-consuming volley of emails to set up a meeting that works for both you and the other person, it’s time to look into simpler options. Software like Calendly lets you specify which hours you’re available for meetings. The system lets your leads and clients book time slots within those hours to meet with you.
Software like Calendly helps you and your contacts schedule meetings easily.
5. Nurture Leads
You know how important it is to nurture leads. The statistics say it all – nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads, and they also spend an average of 47% more. But lead nurturing can be a high-effort undertaking. You’ve got to keep track of where each lead is in your sales funnel, remember what marketing materials you’ve shown them already, and think about what materials will be most effective and appropriate to show them next.
Automation can make this complex task a lot easier. First, set up a drip campaign for lead nurturing. Then let your software track your leads’ activity and send the right emails at the right times. You won’t have to worry about sending emails out of sequence or showing a lead something they’ve already seen.
6. Onboard Clients with a Drip Campaign
Another good time to use a drip campaign is when you bring a new client on board with your agency. A good onboarding process is crucial for making sure you and the client have a productive and happy relationship, but onboarding can also add a lot of work on top of your regular responsibilities. Ease your workload by creating an onboarding template and sending all your new clients the same sequence of emails (personalized for each client and their needs, of course).
7. Send Reminders
Need to get a client’s permission before you can start implementing a new plan? Has a client still not paid that late invoice? You can waste a lot of time chasing down pesky details, and without a good system for keeping track of everything, you might even forget to tie up those loose ends. If you find yourself sending out a lot of reminders, set up your CRM system to nudge your clients for you.
8. Automate PPC Campaigns
It’s easy to fiddle with PPC campaigns endlessly, sometimes to the detriment of your other work. There are so many moving parts to adjust, like keywords, bids, and times of day when your ads will show. Luckily, there’s a way to automate your PPC campaigns. If you use Google Adwords, you can set up automated rules to make decisions for you when you’ve got other things to focus on. You can turn special ads on and off, pause low-performing ads, and adjust your daily budget and bids, all without hovering over your AdWords dashboard. Of course, you should still check in on your PPC campaigns regularly to make sure they’re on track, but automated rules can help free you up in the meantime.
Google AdWords lets you automatically pause underperforming ads based on performance metrics.
9. Schedule Social Media Reports
If you handle social media for your clients, you probably know how annoying it can be to put together reports if you don’t have a good setup. Pulling your data from separate places and then compiling it into one report is inefficient, and you might make an embarrassing mistake like copy-and-pasting something incorrectly. It’s much easier and more effective to have one central dashboard for all your clients’ social media data. From there, you can send automated social media reports – no copy-and-pasting required.
Create automated reports with our report builder to schedule marketing reports to send daily, weekly or monthly.
10. Schedule SEO Reports
Rankings and backlinks are two of the most important metrics to keep an eye on, and they can change from day to day. Having an automatic way to track and report changes is a must, and like social media reports, SEO reports are a great candidate for automation. With the right reporting tool, you can effortlessly capture important details and send them to your clients without having to compile them manually.
If you’ve got a lot of time-consuming recurring tasks on your plate, consider automating them. It might feel strange at first to rely on automation if you’ve been accustomed to doing everything by hand, but switching over to a more streamlined workflow will benefit your agency enormously. You and your team will have more free time to focus on the work that matters, and you’ll be less stressed knowing that the little details are taken care of. Automation is also essential if you want to take on more clients and scale up your agency.
Written by Joe Kindness
Joe is the CEO of AgencyAnalytics, but often spends his day programming, designing or executing marketing tasks. And like most Canadians, he can be found playing or watching hockey!