A trend I’ve noticed working with creative entrepreneurs is that the most successful businesses embrace digital systems to help run their business. We live in the digital age so utilizing automations, AI, and applications are key to staying competitive. As someone who still loves to use a pen and paper, I’ve had to tweak my workflow and embrace digital systems to improve my business. Since doing this, my workflow is much simpler and I can spend more time getting shit done.
What are digital systems?
Digital systems are anything that’s computer-based that you have incorporated into your business. The most important ones to remember are automations, AI, and applications. However, even websites, email, or social media can be considered part of your digital systems.
Applications To Include In Your Digital Systems
There are so many different applications with more coming out every day to help improve your business’s workflow that there’s an application for your every process. The most important ones to include in your digital systems are:
- Analytics Reporting – The more data you can collect about your customers the better. This helps you make better decisions for your business.
- Automation Manager – Apps like Zapier or Automate.io are extremely useful for keeping track of all your automations
- Calendar Schedulers – There are so many applications nowadays to make scheduling appointments easier. As someone who has several appointments a day, this is essential for me.
- Cloud Storage – Instead of storing all your media, documents, and information solely on a device, back it up in the cloud! This will make sure you have everything you could ever need whenever/wherever as long as there is an internet connection.
- CRM – A customer relationship management tool is something to organize all your leads, clients, and projects in one space so you can keep track of every conversation you had.
- Mass Email Senders – This one is pretty common to know about, but it’s worth the mention. Monthly newsletters are key for staying top of mind. A mass email sender is one of the most important applications for your digital systems.
- Smartphone Camera Scanners – Not everything is digital and not everyone has access to a computer scanner. A smartphone camera scanner is the easiest solution to this dilemma.
- SMS Messaging – Think of this as the “Text (###) to learn more.” or “Text (###) to enter our contest!” This is a great way to stay competitive in your business!
- Social Media Post Planner – Planning out your social media in advance is a great way to take away the hassle of managing these accounts. Set aside an hour or two and plan out all your social media for the month.
- Task Manager & Visual Board – This is more useful if you have a team because it’s a great way for everybody to stay on track. It still can help if you work solo to stay organized so it’s worth including.
Check out my other blog post 3 Free Systems For Business That Improve Your Workflow if you’re wondering where to start and what’s most important.
Automations Turn Digital Systems Into Virtual Assistants
The best way to improve your workflow is to utilize automations in your digital systems. This connects your applications together and reduces the amount of work you have to do. For a while, businesses use to hire virtual assistants to help out but automations are one of the most popular alternatives to take advantage of.
The best way I can describe automations in a few words is that they remove the need to copy/paste. For example, when a new lead contacts you on your website, FB messenger, calendar, or whatever. There’s a process that happens afterward with that information. Automations improve that process by sending the information where it needs to go.
Every business is a little different though and everyone has a different process. However, I can assume that your lead’s contact information is going to be stored in a few locations. Automations will make sure that contact information is in your email, phone, CRM, email list, and sales tracking sheet.
How To Set Up Automations In Your Digital Systems
Coding With Python
I’ll be honest, I don’t use too many automations with Python mostly because I’m still learning. If there’s someone on your team that can code with Python, then these are great automations to create because there’s no limit to what you can do other than your coding ability.
Automation Applications Like Zapier and Automate.io
Most people don’t know Python so the next best solution is to use an automation application like Zapier or Automate.io in their digital systems. Zapier has more possibilities and automations available for its users but Automate.io is the cheaper application. For the most part, the savings that you get from using automations will easily justify the cost of any Zapier plan that fits your business.
The screenshot above is an example of an automation I created in Zapier for a client. This connects their calendar scheduler to their master list in Google Sheets. I have another zap that sends this information to their CRM as well.
Using AI Technology In Your Digital Systems
AI technology isn’t fully developed and in use for most businesses however, there are some AI technologies you can still leverage in your digital systems. If you’re advertising on Google then you can take full advantage of their AI technology. Ever wonder how those ads appear that make you go “How the hell did they know I wanted that!?” I can be almost positive that it’s from Google’s advertising AI that you can utilize when creating ads. You can find similar prospects to your existing ones which is how those big-brother-level advertisements are created!
Smart campaigns are fully operated by Google’s AI, and a great place to start if you’re looking to advertise on Google. However, you are severely limited by these campaigns and get better results with professional Google Ads management paired with Google’s AI.
Need Help Building Digital Systems For Your Business?
Digitally Optimized Systems To Marketing, DOS-M, can help build digital systems around your existing applications and workflow. Specializing in creative solutions for creative entrepreneurs, we can help provide any digital optimizations you might need. Feel free to schedule a discovery call or reach out anytime to learn more.