Jimmy Rose is a Zapier expert and an automation trainer. He is the co-founder of ContentSnare a SaaS tool for digital agencies to get content from their clients.
On this episode of the show we discuss new ways to get more done in less time and how to automate your business processes effectively.
[1.07] – How did you get started with automations?
He used to be an automation engineer or control system where he wrote code that controlled machinery like coal mining or pumping stations in the fields
After he left the job he discovered the ability to automate things online such as home automation so this piqued his interest into the application of automation in the business world.
He eventually automated a lot of his business process over the years and when so many people wanted help with it, he created a course around Zapier. He also has a productivity and automation blog.
[2.52] – Can you tell us some of your top productivity tricks as far as automation goes?
He says getting started is the biggest roadblock to most people. Every business is different so he can’t just prescribe what will work for everybody.
For SaaS companies there are a few ideas we can talk about. Using a tool like Zapier which connect different apps. A classic example of its usage is adding someone to a CRM when the fills a contact form.
You can also use it to create more complex workflow when certain criteria are met.
[4.08] – What are some ways we can automate things in our businesses such as lead generation and our pipeline?
He talks about his favourite zap in his SaaS business, when someone signs up for a trial, Zapier touches the email address and sends it to a little app which is built into Zapier called lead scoring. From the email address you can get lots of other information about the person such as the company they work for, their personal twitter profile, company profile, how many people work for that company, the state they work in and more.
The number of staff is a pretty goof indicator of how good of a client that person is especially if you have got per user pricing or something like that.
For their software product Content Snare he can filter different workflows to say if there are less than five staff nothing happens. If it is between 10-100 staff then he puts them into a digest. Zapier digest rolls up lots of items and then it releases them together.
It drops the info into his Trello but it can work with other task management tools as well and then he decides to reach out to any company he want to reach to with his already pre-written emails.
He configures it to send him an email immediately if it is more than 100 staff and he puts it into his to do list right away.
If a client signs up for your tool you can immediately get a notification that they signed up and you can start chatting with them immediately, this happened to him when their biggest client which is an airline and he reached out to them while they were online, they started chatting and he got on a call with a bunch of their team.
Another one he likes is using a tool called Bonjoro which is a personal video platform.
If someone signs up for your tool it puts them into it’s phone and web app where it shows you the list of people that you have decided to record a video for and you click on it and record a quick video for them.
This is a basic process but companies aren’t used to getting a personal video when they sign up.
And this process is different from other processes because everything is automated.
[11.00] – Let us talk about some areas of our business that can or should be automated?
There are a few categories, the first one is basically double handling. If you have to move the same piece of data between multiple system. Some people might be using a contact form that emails them, then you need to copy the email and put it in a CRM. Handling the same piece of data multiple times is an ideal avenue for automation.
The next category is repetition, if you are doing the same thing over and over again. This could be for creating a folder structure for each new clients or check-ins with your clients.
[13.36] – I love the idea of checking in with the customers, how do you have it setup for your SaaS?
Previously we used to send the messages every month but now that the business has grown our process has changed.
He uses a filter in intercom that selects people based on the last time he sent them a message, if he then sends them a message then they drop off the list.
You can also segment them based on how long they have been using the app. People that have not used the app for a month and those who use it actively.
You might ask for a testimonial from the active users and you might send a message asking what is going on and try to solve the issue those who rarely log in have before they abandon your app.
[16.37] – We talked about double handling and repetitive things, are there any other categories?
He often forgets social media mentions, he doesn’t remember to jump online and search for his brand, there are lots of different tools you can use for social media mentions. You can use Zapier, you can have a search based trigger for Twitter and just drop it into your task manager
He uses trello for his personal stuff so if there is anything he is likely to forget about or needs to get done he uses Zapier to get it in there
Also for excessive emails and anything that requires several back and forth emails to have an outcome. The classis example which applies to most SaaS founders if you are doing demos is “I’m trying to find a time for demo”. Most people now use Calendly booking links for this and it is amazing.
[20.07] – My husband is using Hubspot as his CRM but he is using an automation to move a prospect into a different stage. What CRM are you using?
He uses Active Campaign and Intercom together.
[20.28] – Any automation you haven’t mentioned yet?
He uses an automation that he adopted from Hubspot, it goes out three days before the trial ends. It just sends an email that says “how likely are you to continue using content snare?
And the three buttons are likely, unsure or unlikely and the responses you make it will put it into a digest in trello so he can see which option the person clicked.
And their responses will determine the kind of message we send to them. This can serve as a way to get reviews and testimonials.
[22.19] – Talking about personal productivity, you mentioned text expansion which a lot of people don’t use it. Any other one you really like?
The to do systems and task management are very important. People are focused on tools but how you use the tool is important. He uses a system where each task has a priority and a category. So it is like how important is it. If he doesn’t do it are there consequences? Is it something he can delegate.
He has daily categories, Monday for content creation, Tuesday for content promotion, Wednesday relationship and more. They all have a color and a column in trello, the column is the priority
He also protects his Inbox to avoid wasting time. That might mean using filters in Gmail to make sure that newsletters get put in a newsletter thing that you check once a week.
He uses a tool called followupthen but he is considering using SaneBox because it has a followup system built in. Followupthen is more about reminders of emails that you need a response to.
If he is reaching out to someone to go on a podcast and he expects a response and they don’t respond but the response is important for his business, he will use the CC field to go like seven day and if they don’t reply then it bounces that email into his inbox for seven days.
SaneBox is also a filtering platform that helps you filter newsletters to the right folder and it also has the follow up system built in.
Text expansion is also useful, you can create useful snippets of text that automatically expands when you type them. He has snippets for anything he is typing all the time.
If you are on your phone a lot, you can use voice typing. You can simply talk with your microphone button on Android or iPhone and as long as you speak clearly it is pretty accurate. Windows and Mac also have this built in functionality where you can start talking to your computer and it will type for you.
You can control video speed. There is a chrome extension called Video Speed Controller that adds keyboard shortcuts that make it easy to control video speed. Some video platforms also have this functionality but it is not available on Facebook and Netflix at the moment.
You can also combine Google Assistant commands and IFTTT. IFTTT is a Zapier competitor which is less powerful but useful for home automation.
You can create custom Google Assistant Commands so you can call out Google to add prepare for my podcast to my trello and it shows up in his trello.
[31.07] – Are there any questions I should ask you that I haven’t?
Productivity can be a trap so it is easy to fall into the trap of saying you are going to do everything now because you are so productive so you end up working the same amount of time or more time
That can lead to burnout because you are task switching due to the fact that you are getting so much done.
The trap is you doing all the tasks instead of hiring, it is not a replacement for putting in good processes and hiring the right people.
[33.01] – Where can listeners know more about what you do?
JimmyRose.me is his main page where he has a guide that goes through some of the stuff he has talked about in more detail.
TextExpander – Easily insert text snippets in any application
Hubspot – Inbound marketing, sales and service software
Intercom – Customer messaging platform
ActiveCampaign – Do more than automate your email – activate your entire customer experience
Video Speed Controller – Speed up, slow down and rewind HTML5 audio/video
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