When I started thinking about what content to put out there into the universe, I was going super deep into the ins and outs of different systems, why they work, why they don’t and what would be right for you.
But then it occurred to me, to date most of my clients haven’t wanted any of that information. They have wanted to be shown how to fix a specific problem so that in the future they could glide through that area with ease and move onto the next task. I thought it would be useful to put together a “where to start” when thinking about systems and processes, so that you are able to at least begin the journey of putting the time in now, to save you hours when you are fully booked and tearing your hair out.
WHAT THE HELL IS A SYSTEM?!
A system is your WHAT. The body, the mechanism, the working parts of an idea. A system makes things happen, whether that is sending an email, updating a contract or booking an appointment. Systems can post to social media for you, invoice and chase payments, they can even manage your to-do lists.
The most important thing that you should know about any
system is that it can only work within the parameters that you set and the
information that you feed it. Things cannot happen within a system if you don’t
give it the information that it needs to perform. It’s like a body without a
brain or a computer without a motherboard.
An email marketing system will only work if you write the email it needs to send out.
A CRM system will only work if you enter the client data you want to manage.
Examples of commonly used systems
A Client Relationship Management System. Commonly used options are Dubsado, Honeybook, 17hats, Hubspot and Pipedrive.
Email Marketing System
What is says on the tin. Some of the names you might know include Mailchimp, Mailerlite, Convertkit, ActiveCampaign and FloDesk.
A Content Management System. This is a software application that can be used to manage the creation and modification of digital content. A CMS is typically allows you to control and manage the content of your website without technical training. The most common CMS is WordPress, however Squarespace and Wix do have features common in CMS too, even though they aren’t a full CMS!
Social Media Management Systems. The newest kid on the block, these again are pretty self-explanatory. They provide a space for you to manage multiple special profiles in one place, schedule posts in advance, track analytics and can totally change your social media game! Contenders in this category include Hootsuite, Planoly, Buffer, Later and the inbuilt schedulers inside the platforms themselves.
These are not exhaustive, and there are lots of other things
you can put in place however, these are terms that you might get thrown around regularly
and you now know what they mean!
….AND NOW FOR PROCESSES
If the system is your WHAT, your process is your HOW. A process is a series of steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. It is HOW you are going to get from point A to point Z. the process is the brain and the information source for your system. The process will include emails, content, tasks, contracts, invoices – all the things you need to make your system function properly.
You will already have processes in place for almost
everything you do in not just your business, but in your life. The trick to getting
them to work harder for you so that you are spending more time doing the things
you like in your business, rather than the things that take up time and are
A process can be as long or short as you need it to be; every process will be unique to you and your business
Something that works for me won’t necessarily work for you
Examples of common processes
The sequence that takes clients from strangers to booked. This takes place within a CRM system. This may look something like this:
Enquiry > Questionnaire > Discovery Call > Proposal
> Contract > Invoice > Payment
The journey that leads go through to build your know like and trust factors. This takes place in the email marketing system.
The development of consistency throughout your content marketing to increase visibility, build your expertise and become the go to name in your industry. This is aided by an SMMS, through analysing your tactics, scheduling posts for consistency and creating content that will wow every time.
This is SUCH a big-picture overview of the ball of fun that is systems and processes. To help you start, try making a big ol’ list of everything you currently do manually in your business, and then think about where things can be automated. That will start you thinking about the repetitive tasks that are taking up your time.
Next week I will go deep into the first system that I
mentioned – the wonders of CRMs. I will make it light I promise.
If you want to accelerate your output, get in touch, it’s totally something we can do together!