If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I love all of my software tools – especially ones that offer automation. They make my job easier, create less work for my team, and improve my customer experience tenfold – without me lifting a finger (or at least very few).
I’m not suggesting you go out and sign up for every software I’ve ever talked about (except Zapier, definitely get Zapier). But I do hope that you can see what’s possible and begin exploring the tools that will work for you and your business.
While there are a million ways to run your business and probably a dozen competitor tools out there, I’m going to show you a deeper look into my agency’s tech stack and how we use them. By the end, you should have a strong idea of how you can make them work for you, manually and automatically. It’s like magic, kinda.
Zapier: The KING Of Automation
I talked a lot about Zapier in the previous article, and that’s for a good reason. It’s the #1 time-saving tool that I use in my business every single day, and we’re going to cover it a bit more here.
Zapier connects all of your various apps and accounts together, even ones that don’t come with native automation options. But where Zapier really shines is in setting up workflows. You can create a zap to activate triggers for non-automated tasks that augment what you can automate.
Review your internal onboarding process. What are all the steps you walk through with your customer? Make a list of all the software involved, the various tedious tasks that must be accomplished, and all the documents involved.
Now automate all of it (or close) with Zapier. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of triggers and actions ready to go inside Zapier, connecting almost any software tool you can think of. Chances are, there’s something your agency or business is doing that can be fully or partially automated using Zapier.
If you don’t have a solid process for onboarding, get one outlined ASAP. This is your new client’s first impression of you, your brand, and what you can deliver. It’s really important to nail this down, even if you’re a small business or service based provider.
Pro-Tip Cheat Code:
Use ChatGPT to walk you through the triggers and how to set up the automation. List all the software you use, including Zapier, and what process you’re trying to automate (in this case, onboarding). It will spit out all the steps and triggers you need to automate as much of the process as possible. All you have to do is set them up. (GO TRY IT!)
ClickUp is a project management software that acts as the internal dashboard of my agency. Inside, we manage tasks, projects, and client files. It also provides time tracking, reporting and analytics, some integrations, and internal collaboration tools that make keeping track of who is responsible for what, simple and streamlined.
Inside Zapier, I have several automations programmed to trigger actions in ClickUp. However, the platform has a large variety of internal integrations and automated functions that are powerfully effective. From creating new tasks and notifying team members to delivering files to the client and creating a client template folder inside of a list, you can truly set and forget so many menial tasks inside ClickUp.
One thing you can’t automate is the Customer Dashboards. However, we’ve managed a simple workaround using, you guessed it, Zapier. When it’s time to create a new dashboard, my operations manager get’s notified via a ClickUp task from Zapier and she does this task manually. It’s a small price to pay when you consider the simplicity of the software.
Honeybook is a client management platform that allows you to manage client files, track leads in your pipeline, create custom forms, contracts, invoices, proposals, and facilitate signatures. You can also use it to create lead-capture forms, send feedback surveys, and keep track of financial data and reports.
And so many of these tasks can be automated right within Honeybook. It can even help you establish step-by-step sequences and automate emails.
At Litchfield Media, we use Honeybook to send out client questionnaires for collecting client launch goals, targeting, ad demographics and offer information we need to create their advertising strategies and all creative assets. After they’ve completed the form, I have a follow-up notification programmed in Honeybook to request that the client book a call with me for their first Kick-Off Call.
From onboarding and operations to collecting data and tracking progress, we could not get through the day with any level of efficiency without these software tools. They can also spark a strong sense of trust between you and your client, showing that you have a clear and proven process and reinforcing your ability to deliver what they’re buying.
Did I miss any software tools you love? Tell me your favorites!