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I'm a software engineer turned wedding photographer and the voice behind Tech Savvy Creative. I love all things technology and spent many years in the world of IT before running my own business. I'm a Mama to Kendall and Quinn, and a Wife to Andrew, and utilizing technology effectively is so important to me because it means I get to spend more time with my favorite people!

I'm Dawn

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AI & Automations

Automations 101: A Beginners Guide to Automating your Business

There’s a lot of magic that technology brings when you start introduce automations, but how the heck do you get started?! Today, I’m going to be talking about how to get started with automations, plus some of my favorite automations that I use in my business!

What is an Automation?

An automation is an action, event, or task that takes place automatically with the help of a tool, typically software. These automations will run when certain criteria is met.

For example: IF —- happens, THEN do —-.

Note: Automations are not the same thing as AI. Artificial intelligence can be considered an automation, but not all automations are AI. More on that here.

What should I Automate?

The best way to get started with automations (or any systems!) is to write out your full workflow from start to finish. It is best to be as detailed as possible here so you can see all of the steps! If this takes you a few rounds, that is okay. This will help you realize how many steps there really are in your process!

Once that is completed, circle the steps that could be automated. This can be anything from sending reminder emails, questionnaires, adding a client to an email segment, social media posting, and more!

Now, our goal here isn’t to automate ALL of them in one sitting. Start with one so you can get comfortable with it, and then move on to some others. You may find that you will want to tweak some of your current processes so an automation can work better!

What do I need to get started with automations?

The short answer – it depends!

Most of my coaching clients use a client relationship system (CRM) like Sprout Studio*, Honeybook* or Dubsado* to do most of the automations for them. Not only are these tools powerful, but they also keep your client information, contracts and invoices organized! Another tool I use often is Zapier. Zapier allows you to connect two different tools together and trigger automations between the two!

For example, Zapier allows me to connect Google Forms with Flodesk*, the email marketing tool I use. When I am at an Open House, I can collect information from a prospective couple via Google Forms, and Zapier automatically adds them to a segment in Flodesk* and that sends them a beautiful email of information!

For a full breakdown of how I do that, check out this video!

Important Reminders When It Comes To Automations:

The goal here isn’t to completely automate everything. If you are a business where client interaction and relationships are important, you want to make sure you still have those personal touch points and conversations. Instead, start with focusing on the tasks that don’t require the personal touch.

Also, don’t be afraid to state that this is an automated response. I start all of my payment, session and questionnaire reminders with “This is an automated email to remind you of….”. That way it’s not super awkward if you’ve been talking to a client about their session and they also get your automated email!

What are some good beginner automations?

Still not sure which ones to start off with? Here are some of my personal favorites and the tools I use to do them!

  • Upcoming payment reminders sent 7 days before the due date and then again on the due date (if not already paid). (via Sprout Studio* or whichever CRM you use!)
  • When a client receives their gallery, add the “Has Gallery” segment to the email address in Flodesk*. (via Zapier with Gmail and Flodesk*)
  • If I’m working past office hours, schedule all email to send at 8AM the next morning (via Spark Mail, or Gmail)
  • Photos automatically backup to Backblaze when they are uploaded to a hard drive (via Backblaze*)
  • The day after a wedding day, send the bride and groom a thank you email that also outlines when to expect their photos (via your CRM, like Sprout Studio*)
  • When I forward a receipt to my assistant’s email, an asana task is created for her to add the receipt to the expense (via Zapier with Gmail and Asana)
  • When all subtasks are complete for a task, change status to complete (via ClickUp*)
  • Connect a survey to Slack so you receive a notification every time the survey is filled out. (via Typeform and Slack)

What automation are you going to start with?? I can’t wait to hear what you create!!

Any Link with a * is an affiliate link. By using this link, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Opinions expressed are solely my own!


A Beginners Guide to Automating Your Small Business

A Beginners Guide to Automating Your Small Business

A Beginners Guide to Automating Your Small Business

A Beginners Guide to Automating Your Small Business

A Beginners Guide to Automating Your Small Business

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