Dick Tracy Tech: 5 Ways to Automate Your Business What was once sci-fi technology is available off-the-shelf to drive down costs and fatten the bottom line.
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A few weeks ago a friend of mine was showing me how she accessed the internet and made phone calls on her new Apple Watch. I know this shows my age, but I got sucked back instantly in my head to old Dick Tracy cartoons, where the hero was talking into his wristwatch phone.
I got a weird, weird sense of deja vu, that I had seen that before and now it's real.
From self-driving cars to artificial intelligence, technology is moving fast. Some of it is great and some of it is pretty terrible. But a lot of it is profoundly changing how business is done.
Thankfully, leveraging the right tools let's you work far less while making far more money. There is always a learning curve but it is well worth it. Here are my top five picks for business technology that lets you work smarter, not harder.
1. Email autoresponders.
An autoresponder lets you send out a sequence of emails on autopilot. You don't have to lift a finger once you get the emails set up, and if you do it properly, these emails will bring you income day after day, month after month.
All you have to do is put new people in the front end of the sequence. There are several companies that offer autoresponder services. Some of my favorites are:
- Constant Contact
- Rare.io (works with Shopify)
- Active Campaign
There are lots more as well, just search "autoresponder" in Google and you'll see many other options show up.
2. Sales and lead generation software.
So now that you know about autoresponders, how do you get those leads in the first place? Where do they come from exactly?
For that, you need a piece of tech that lets you build what are called lead magnets (or other offers) that you can use to get people on your list, and that you can use to offer them new products.
Thankfully, this kind of tech has come a long, long way since I started out hand coding HTML pages online, and it makes setting up nearly any type of sales or lead generation page an absolute breeze. There are several stand-alone companies that offer tech like this:
- Instabuilder for WordPress
Generally speaking these stand alone page builders are less expensive than other robust all-in-one solutions (which can be quite pricey), but the solution you choose should depend on what you are trying to accomplish.
3. Facebook artificial intelligence.
The next step in automating your empire is getting traffic to your lead magnet. There are lots of ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to use the Facebook Artificial Intelligence machine - otherwise known as Facebook advertising.
With Facebook, you can collect leads directly on their platform, and start with a tiny budget. This allows you to grow your list consistently over time so you can test out new things. And as Facebook learns what brings you results they will bring you more and more and more targeted results. It is really quite remarkable how effective this can be.
4. Evergreen webinars.
If you are a coach or an author or sell a higher end item of any type (software or physical or information), then evergreen webinars are the way to go. This can fit in perfectly with your lead magnet/autoresponder series and bring you in sales on autopilot.
I highly recommend that you do your first several webinars live so you can test and tweak. Once you have a successful live webinar you can put it into an auto-replay system and send people to it with your autoresponder. It's a completely hands-off way to bring in sales.
EverWebinar is a good company for this, but there are several out there that work well.
Related: 7 Hacks to a 5-Figure Webinar
5. Hiring a virtual assistant.
The last big time saver actually isn't tech, but tech makes it possible. Virtual assistants can be awesome. They work remotely to help you run your day-to-day business operations. Delegate anything digital and repeatable to the virtual assistant and use your time doing other things that are more important.
You can find great virtual assistants at Upwork and OnlineJobs.ph.
Leveraging technology to make your business processes easier and more reliable is now simpler than ever. And when you use the right tools, you can make it happen to increase your productivity, free up time, and increase sales.