Have you ever wanted to give yourself the gift of time? What if you had an extra hour or so a week? How about a day? A day doesn’t go by that you’re trying to squeeze as much into that elusive work-life balance as possible, yet still retain your sanity.
We all feel that pain. What if you could automate your blog and business to do some of the work for you? That alone would make it feel like you gained superpowers, which is exactly how Zapier wants you to feel.
What is Zapier?
For instance, at Insanitek we use Zapier to add a person to an email list automatically whenever a new client schedules an appointment. This email list they get added to has a series of follow-up emails that instruct the person on what to do before their first meeting, gives them tools they can use specified for their needs, etc. This comes in handy so we can keep the welcome package short and sweet and we can keep in contact with them more readily later on down the road.
There are hundreds (500+, actually) of sites already plugged into Zapier so you can do thousands of things. Start something in Basecamp with your team, but want a Google Document for that? Yep. Appointlet to automatically set your calendar? Track your social media in Evernote? Done and done.
You’re only limited by your imagination because the engineers are working fast to add more and more bridges every day. Most of the APIs are freely open, so it’s likely there is already an app for what you want to connect to make your life easier.
But how do you know what to zap?
Whether you’re just starting out or ready to move up a tier, the number one question you’re likely to ask is, “What should I make a zap of?” A fair question, to be sure. With every zap you make, you are driving the potential for a smoother, more delightful business. The best place to start answering that question is at the beginning.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your current focus?
As with anything else, you’ll get further, faster, if you have a focus. If your current focus is about smoothing out your client onboarding systems, think about ways you can automate it. If it’s potential leads you seek, take a look at ways to either listen into social media or add people to your email list.
- What is your current business goal?
The goal is a bit different from your focus. The goal is what you are focused on right now in your business on a broader scale. Are you putting together packages? Are you trying to put together an e-course? Lay it out there on paper for you to see, then ask, “How does the focus fit into this goal?
- How are you accomplishing this?
What does the flow look like? Lay out your entire client onboarding process in a flow chart to get a bird’s eye view of your system. Once you have this, you can see very easily how you are accomplishing your current goal and focus in one. Take a close look and see where you wish the process was automated. Wish that once someone made an appointment with you that you’d have a notebook with their name on it in Evernote?
- What tools are you using (or do you need) to accomplish this?
What tools are you using to accomplish the goal? Look at the system that you just made above and identify the tools that you use. These will be the tools you look for in Zapier to connect to processes that go together.
With these 4 questions, you can pick the most usable combinations to bridge together for every zap.
How? Very good question and one this video and printable will help me demonstrate.
** Need some help with your workflow? Nora has some amazing tips on designing workflow in her library.
I’m not just a cheerleader for Zapier, I truly believe in the concept of efficiency. When things run smoothly and efficiently, you have more freedom to do other things -- what you do with a bit of extra time is up to you. Once you get an idea for automation, Zapier can really help you make the most of it. Say goodbye to remembering every little detail and hello to more hours in the week.
HAVE YOU USED ZAPIER BEFORE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR RECIPES TO SHARE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
By Grace Conyers
Grace Conyers is the founder and owner of Insanitek Research and Development, a business incubator for independent researchers and inventors. She’s passionate about business strategy and growth hacking when she’s not in the lab tinkering and saving the planet. You can learn more about Insanitek here and chat with Grace on Google+. Don’t be shy!