AutomationAre you currently using any of the tools that are available to assist with productivity? There are many options available out there; everything from social media automation, to CRM’s, to voice recognition software.

Running a business, especially a small business, takes a lot of time and effort to be managed properly. In many instances, the business owner takes on the responsibility of most tasks, especially in the early days of growing the business. As a result, it is easy to become bogged down in a lot of administrative functions, leaving little time to focus on product and service creation, marketing and sales.

Thank goodness for automation and productivity tools!

Marketing your brand and building an audience can be very time-consuming. Most people check online before they purchase a product or service, which means that you have to build your own online presence. This can be accomplished by building and maintaining a website that is both interactive and mobile responsive, as well as ensuring that you have a social presence on those social bookmarking sites that your target audience is most likely to participate in.

But regularly updating information on your website and posting to various social media sites takes time and effort. Therefore, it is important to research and implement automation and productivity tools that fit your needs.

Automation tools such as HootSuite allow you to send messages to a number of social bookmarking sites at the same time. You can also populate your HootSuite account with messages that you want sent, and schedule them to go out at various times. Automating this task can save a lot of time, but always remember that the purpose of social media is to have real social interaction. Make sure that you schedule some time to interact personally with the people who are following you on the various sites.

Another tool that improves productivity, and one that I have recently come to love, is voice recognition software. Over the years, voice recognition software has vastly improved its capabilities. About a year ago, I purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I set up my profile to recognize not only my computer headset, but also to be able to transcribe from voice recording devices such as my phone or my digital voice recorder. I had big plans about integrating this tool as a means to provide fresh, current content that I could post on my website and provide for you, my readers.

But, as Peter Drucker said, plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate to hard work. And, unfortunately, my plans remained good intentions. That is, until recently.

I was recording a podcast with a colleague of mine at the beginning of summer, and he mentioned about how both he and I had found that using tools like Dragon NaturallySpeaking had allowed us to increase our productivity. I sheepishly admitted that I hadn’t started using the tool yet, but became determined at that point to begin to integrate it into my activities and see just how much it would benefit me.

Well, I’ve used Dragon for the past six articles that I’ve posted on my website, and have found it to be a great benefit. As a marketing strategist, one of the things I emphasize to my clients is that stories are what connects us. When developing a relationship with clients and prospects, is important that you are able to relate to these people, and all of us prefer to connect with others through stories, not boring, technical dissertations on various subjects. That is, unless you’re looking specifically for a technical white paper on a specific topic.

I’ve been in this industry for a number of years, and certainly have been writing since before voice recognition software appeared on the scene. I believe, and have been told, that my writing style is personal and speaks to the intended audience. In the past, I have found it relatively easy to sit before a keyboard and tap out my story very quickly and very clearly. But, I have to say – using Dragon to create these articles for the past month or so has allowed me to create articles that are even more conversational than before. I simply strap on my headset and talk to my microphone as if you were sitting right in the same room with me, sharing a cup of coffee.

A plethora of automation and productivity tools exist; some free and some available at a cost. Find out what area of running your business could benefit from the implementation of one of these tools and try it out. See if it doesn’t improve your productivity as well.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

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