25 - Automate Your Business - Screw The Commute

25 – Automate Your Business

Around 2002, I got to $1.2 million a year with one part time person who came in one day a week. I had anywhere from 100K to 150K subscribers and many thousands of customers. How can a person possibly handle that many people? The answer is automation. There are so many cheap and free tools to help you do things. Some didn’t exist back then, but developers are thinking up new tools all the time, as they slave over programming for months to create stuff that can make us Screw The Commuters rich!

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 025

automate your business e-book














How To Automate Your Businesshttps://greatinternetmarketing.com/automate/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars

[01:18] Tom on Automation

[02:21] Responding to customers

[04:40] Shortkeys and Keyboard Maestro

[06:36] Signature files

[08:17] Selling more automatically

[10:54] Working faster

[12:12] Computer shortcuts

[13:42] Cellphone shortcuts

Entrepreneurial Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars

Screw The Commutehttps://screwthecommute.com/

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business


Keyboard Maestrohttps://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

Android Text Replacementhttps://www.wikihow.com/Add-Custom-Text-Shortcuts-to-Android

iPhone Text Replacementhttps://www.imore.com/how-use-text-shortcuts-iphone-and-ipad

Internet Marketing Training Centerhttps://imtcva.org/

Related Episodes

Upselling and Advertorials – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/22-learn-the-details-upselling-and-advertorials/

Scott Haskins – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/24-this-guy-has-an-art-restoration-company-tom-interviews-scott-haskins/

Terri Marie – https://screwthecommute.com/episodes/26-lights-camera-and-action-from-this-hollywood-producer-tom-interviews-terri-marie/

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Home Based Business, Lifestyle Business, Passive Income, Professional Speaking and Online Business

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The WordPress Ecourse. Learn how to Make World Class Websites for $20 or less. https://www.GreatInternetMarketing.com/wordpressecourse

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Join our Private Facebook Group! One week trial for only a buck and then $37 a month, or save a ton with one payment of $297 for a year. Click the image to see all the details and sign up or go to https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/screwthecommute/ After you sign up, check your email for instructions on getting in the group.

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

entrepreneurship distance learning school, home based business, lifestyle business

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Episode 025 – How to Automate Your Business

Episode 024 – Scott Haskins gets big contracts for his unique business right off his website and I taught him how to do it. And his wife’s name is NOT Commute. You’ll see what I’m talking about on episode 024
How to Automate Your Business: Ebook The 7 Figure Guide to Getting and Handling Lots of Customers Without Pulling Your Hair Out. This book gives you lots of nitty gritty detail and screen shots on what I’m talking about today. https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/automate/ In the show notes

Back around 2002 I got to 1.2 million a year with one part time temp person who came in one day a week. At the time I think I had anywhere from 100K to 150K subscribers I can’t really remember. I don’t know how many thousand customers and I was doing a pretty brisk business online. How can a person possibly handle that many people. The answer is automation.
There are so many cheap and free tools to help you do things. Some didn’t exist back then, but developers are thinking up new tools all the time. I love developers who slave over programming for months at a time to create stuff that can make us screw the commuters rich.
Today I’m going to cover the following topics
• Responding to Customers
• Selling More Automatically
• Working Faster
Let’s get into Responding to customers. I’m considered lightning fast responding not only to customers but to inquiries from “not yet” customers. This speed and reputation for speed has made me lots of money and taken away lots of money from my competitors.
Really people can’t believe how fast I usually respond. The only time I can’t is if I’m on a plane with no wifi or on a consultation with a student or on stage speaking. I even was taking questions off an automated webinar while sitting on the ground leaning up against a tree while deer hunting. No wonder I’ve never gotten a deer. A buck could have walked right by and poked me with his antlers. I would have told him to quit bothering me, I’m taking care of a customer. Hahaha
Speaking of hunting, I’ll probably never get anything but fresh air as I clomp through the woods making enough noise to break a deer’s eardrums. I swear I heard some deer talking to each other. One of them said, “I didn’t know there were any elephants in these parts.” Hahaha That was my deer impression hahaha
Anyway, the faster your respond, the more likely the person will do business with you or keep doing business with you. That’s just flat out the truth in my experience over many years. You should be excited about this because your competitors are most likely getting worse at this. I couldn’t believe it I saw a couple days ago some kind of important service, I can’t remember what it was, said, “We’ll get back to you within 3 business days. Are you kidding me. I could buy Amazon’s entire inventory and it would be sitting on my porch in two.
Also, have you ever filled out a website form knowing no one’s ever going to get back to you. And they won’t. They won’t even get it or they’ll ignore it and to heck with you.
I’m going to show you some ways without breaking a sweat you can get that great reputation for quick responses to customers and prospects.
This first tool was shown to me in 1997 by my first young geek. I still use it to this day. I was complaining about typing the same answers to questions over and over again. I started keeping the answers in a file to cut and paste them, but even that was a hassle and totally broke my train of thought when I would go looking for one of the answers. So, I kept complaining until the young geek got sick of it and ten minutes later he had me using ShortKeys at shortkeys.com If you aren’t using this or something like it, you’re crazy. All you do is put in a short key combination like r9 or t7 or a5 or whatever it is and the program will type in thousands of words for you. I don’t think there’s an actual limit.
We tried to figure it out last year when I wrote the automate your business ebook roughly how many keystrokes this program has saved me. We came up with about 7 million keystrokes. I guarantee you this program saved me from getting carpal tunnel syndrome. I highly suggest you have your employees using it too. Why should you pay them to make typos and type the same stuff over and over again. You could definitely increase their productivity greatly by making this program and its use mandatory.
Now, shortkeys is just for the pc, but there is one for the Mac called keyboard maestro. We’ll have them in the show notes.
I’ve had some people poo poo this and say, Tom Microsoft word has an auto fill function. First of all it doesn’t type in tons of text for you and it only works in Microsoft Word. Shortkeys and keyboard maestro work in all your programs.
Signature Files
Most of my correspondence is through email. This next thing is right in front of your face and I’ll bet not one percent of the people listening to this have ever thought about this or used it. I’m talking about signature files.
For those of you that don’t know, a signature file is a file that can be manually or automatically inserted into your email. Typically it has your name, phone number, website address, and maybe a brief advertising blurb.
Here’s the thing. A good email program has unlimited numbers of signature files available to you and guess what, there’s no law that says they have to be used as a signature. You can have any kind of text you want in them.
My rule of thumb is if I get a question more than once, I make the answer a signature file. I probably have about 400 of them in my outlook email program. I don’t have to remember any key combinations either. I just click “insert” and then I click “Signature” and pick the one I want out of a list. Also, you can name them so they are easy to find and typically depending on the version of the email program you have, the ones you use the most will rise to the top of the list.
This one tip can outrageously increase your speed and save you typing. If you don’t forward this episode to 50 or your friends and colleagues, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Hahaha. This tip is pure gold.
So, those last two are really, really, powerful things that you should be implementing today.
I covered this very extensively in Episode 022 on Upselling. You really need to go back and listen to that episode. I talked about upselling at the point of purchase, upselling immediately after the sale and upselling way after the sale. You need a good shopping cart system that includes autoresponders.
As you listen to my various episodes you will hear me talking a lot about autoresponders and how powerful they are. I’ll probably do an entire episode on them in the future.
What I want to encourage you to do is to take the steps to put these automatic helpers and selling tools into play. The time you take doing it is really worth it. For instance, some of my autoresponder series were written nearly 15 years ago and they’re still working for me today. I’d say that’s a pretty good ROI return on investment of your time. None of these things are going to work automatically until you put them into play and turn them on.
So, to sell more automatically, you are going to put various upsell mechanisms into place and you’re going to have autoresponders going out with ecourses, sales pitches and customer service messages that make people spend more money with you while you’re doing something else.
Two sidebars:
Make sure for your higher priced product, you provide a “Finance Option”. I’ll use the word automatically here loosely. You’re still selling the person without whatever sales process you are using, but many people “Automatically” jump on the band wagon and buy if they know they can stretch out the payments.
The second sidebar is to remind people about “Paypal Credit” This also makes them automatically want to buy. This is really a great service. You can get paid your full price upfront (up to the credit limit of the buyer) and the buyer gets no interest and no payments for six months. WHAT A DEAL! And I believe you don’t have recourse, i.e. if they don’t make the payments PayPal has to go after them. Not you. You still got your money. So, it’s really a great deal.
Now lets talk about working faster. The first thing I would highly encourage you to do is go to two or more monitors on your desktop or laptop system. Every student of mine that has done this just raves about how wonderful it is. They don’t have to open and minimize windows all day long. I actually have 4 monitors in my big office. I pretty much look like Captain Kirk from Star Trek. I’ll put a picture in the show notes.
You have to jump through a few technical hoops to have 4 monitors, but any laptop or desktop either Mac or PC can use two monitors. The settings are in the software. It’s in the “control panel” on a PC and I don’t know where it is on a Mac, but all Mac users are geniouses so you’ll figure it out hahaha
But Tom, what do you need 4 monitors for? Website open on one, word processor on another, email on another and tennis channel on the dual TV tuner monitor. Hahaha. I haven’t minimized a window in years hahaha.
Computer shortcuts
Both Macs and PCs have more shortcuts than you could ever use in ten lifetimes. My geek showed me one one time that was awesome. On Window up until at least Windows 7. I don’t know about the newer versions, but if you hold the windows graphic key down near the lower left of your keyboard and hit the “D” key, it takes you right to your desktop. Hit it again it takes you right back where you were.
Here’s what I suggest to my students. Type into Google either “Windows Shortcuts” or “Mac Shortcuts”.
Pick out one that you know you could use. Force yourself to use it every day, all day for three days straight. You will then own that shortcut. Do this every three days with a new shortcut for a month. At the end of the month you will have 10 shortcuts that you own and I guarantee you will be way faster than you are now on your computer. Do it for two months and you will be screamingly fast. Do it for three months and you have just saved your fingers from now till eternity.
Saving all this time means you can get your work down in less time, or you can get more work done in the same amount of time. Either way is good.

Cell phone shortcuts
OK, so many of you may have a pretty good handle on running your computer and using shortcuts. What I’ve seen (and I’m including myself) is that all of that efficient computer usage goes out the window when it comes to your smart phone.
In fact, I fully believe the reason they are called “Smart Phones” is that they make you feel so stupid trying to use them. Hahaha.
I’ll give you instructions on how to do a ShortKeys kind of function on an Iphone. For other phones just Google “Android shortcuts” or whatever kind of smart phone you have.
The first thing I hear when I go into this topic is Tom why should I bother. I can just talk into the phone. Oh, is that right? How about this scenario?:
Your spouse is waiting for you so both of you can go to your anniversary dinner. You’re in a meeting at work. Try saying this to your smart phone while you’re in the meeting.
The boss is an ahole and is keeping us over. Hahaha. I’m not sure that’s the best thing to do in that situation. Or maybe it will give you a forced jump start on starting your own business and screwing the commute when you’re boss throws you out of the place. Hahahah.
Maybe a quick preprogrammed smart phone shortcut would work better for you when you’re in places where it’s not appropriate to call Siri for help.
Oh. I have a quick and cute Siri story. My bookkeeper Jennifer has a deal with her husband and two little boys that on Mother’s day they make her breakfast in bed. This past Mother’s day her husband had to be out of town and the two little boys were tackling the breakfast. When they asked her what she wanted to drink, she said hot tea. A little while later she heard the littlest one saying, “Siri. How do you boil water?” hahahaha
OK. For an IPhone here’s how you can start putting in shortcuts. If you are on an android, just type into Google “android text replacement” and there will be plenty of tutorials.

To Create IPhone Shortcuts
1. Launch SETTINGS app




5. Tap on the + in the top right corner.

6. In the Phrase field, type in the entire phrase you'd like to create a shortcut for.

7. In the Shortcut field, type in the snippet you want to be replaced by the phrase.

8. Tap Save at the top right.
When you want to use the shortcut, (Red Arrow above. Shortcut is O1) just type in the shortcut and the entire text will show in the “predictive text” bubble (Blue Arrow) that pops us where you are typing. Just hit the “Space” bar (Green Arrow) and the entire string of text is popped in to your message.
Another Cool Tip
When you want to put a symbol in a message. Hold down the “123” key, and you’ll get access to symbols. Slide your finger to the symbol you want and release your finger. The symbol will be put in and you’ll still be on the main keyboard.
Okie Doke there’s some great automation tools for you. They have to have meant millions of dollars using these kinds of tools over many years, saving me millions of dollars in labor costs and time and lost opportunities.
If you want a bunch more automation techniques with more in depth info on how to use them, check out my inexpensive ebook. “How to Automate Your Business:
The 7 Figure Guide to Getting and Handling Lots of Customers Without
Pulling Your Hair Out

Episode 026 The producer of “The American Entrepreneur” documentary plus 37 others Terri Marie will be here.
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