It’s an understatement to say running your own business demands a lot of your time. You will find yourself juggling a thousand things, taking up not just your work time but also your time off-work.

When you automate your lead generation process, you will be able to focus on the aspects of the business that you enjoy and excel in. You will be more productive and less stressed. Here is how marketing automation can save an extra two hours off your day and give you 10 hours per week. 

Running Your Own Business

A lot of small business owners are dissatisfied and overwhelmed because they find themselves spending a major portion of their time doing anything but the thing they love. Monotonous tasks and behind-the-scene work management can take up a lot of time and drain you. 

Identifying Your Best Leads

Local SEO has become a priority in most online based businesses because it is where you get all the organic traffic. It will create and bring in all the leads that you want and need. But it can also create a different problem. 

Typically, you will find a lot of your time being consumed by “zombie leads” – the kind of leads that never convert. Why draft thoughtful emails to people who would never respond? Even if they were to reply, most of them are only tire kickers – meaning they either don’t have a solid plan or are just looking for the cheapest price. 

This is a very common experience with many freelancers – content writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, etc. Most are not able to generate enough revenue to pay for an employee to take care of it. 

How can you balance your client communication during the sales and marketing process while getting the work done as well? You need to be able to identify your best leads. The ones who are:

  • Ready to hire
  • Willing to pay
  • Likes your service

If you can achieve that, the time you invest on phone calls and emails will be worth it. Once you are able to remove the zombie leads, it will only take a fraction of your time to communicate with your leads. 

Enter, Marketing Automation

Here is what you need to fix your time crunch:

  • An automated lead collection
  • An automated lead follow-up
  • An automated lead identification that would convert

If you can put in place these three automated processes, you can free up roughly 30% of your work. That is not only a major bulk of your time saved but also the disappointment and frustration of relationships not working out after all the time and effort you have invested. 

Here Is How You Can Do It 

You can use the pricing information as your opt-in incentive to generate leads. When a visitor enters your site, all they have to do is fill out a form (email and name) and get a PDF document with the pricing information. 

This is a smart move, considering most people inquire about the price first. When you give it to them in a download form, they are able to access it immediately without the need to call customer care. 

Offering it in the form of an easy opt-in form instead of direct download also will give you just the right amount of friction as the uninterested will probably not bother. This way you are sieving through some of the noise while generating the leads you will follow up with.  

This is one of the biggest time consumers of manual follow-ups. Lead generation can be both a curse and a blessing. If you want to optimize your workday, you have got to step up and automate nurturing your leads with follow-ups. 

With small businesses and freelancers, personal interaction is essential. Your customers will want to interact with you personally. The trick is to create an automated follow-up while also giving the personal attention that your customers expect. 

The emails that you include in this sequence should be similar to the manually drafted ones that you were sending out in the past. When you are able to send them in an automated sequence, you will be eliminating the manual follow-up, leaving you with considerable time savings every week. Setting it up will take you roughly 6 hours but in the long run, you will be saving 10 hours approximately per work week. 

Having an autoresponder in place for follow-up sequences will be one of the biggest productivity boosters and time savers for freelancers and small business owners. 

Your follow-up emails should explain why your service is better than your competitors and make the case (subtly) for why you are worth your pricing. Remember to invite your contact to reply if they have any questions. 

Incorporating Marketing Automation In Your Business

All that you need in order to nurture your leads is to use a relatively simple sequence of follow-ups. When you get a reply email from your contact, which is a strong sign of engagement, you need to automatically create a deal record in your sales pipeline. It will enable you to track your lead opportunity, creating assignments to manage your day, and organize all your notes and communication. 

Using automation will help you to send welcome emails and follow-up emails without you having to lift a finger. Add as many follow-up emails as needed. If you get replies from contacts, it will create a deal record and add it to a pipeline of your choice. It will also create a task for you and remind you to reply to the emails. 

Once you set up a system to automatically collect leads and send follow-up emails, you need to find out who is worth your time and who isn’t.  

A smart move is to give away your pricing information up front. If a contact tunes out after getting your pricing information, meaning they no longer open your emails, it gives you a clear sign that either they are no longer interested or that they are not interested in your pricing. 

Either way, you are carving out a significant chunk of leads right off the bat. If their engagement stops at any point, your automation system will drop them from the list automatically. 

Bottom Line

Incorporating marketing automation in your business will cut down on the time you spend communicating with dead-end leads. Running your own business will never be completely stress-free or 100% automated but it will give you enough time to focus on what you love. It is always a wise decision to streamline your tasks with marketing automation and email marketing applications which will promote efficiency and performance in your business. 

Wasif Ahmad

I'm not much sure about myself!

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