In this article I'm going to share a simple 2-step process to let you solve (almost) any business problem (and solve it with genius).
Common sense tells us that sometimes we have to spend time doing things we don't totally love, in addition to working in our preferred “zones of genius,” in order to succeed. Sure. That's life.
But what if I told you you're almost certainly overlooking a huge opportunity to gain leverage and grow your business?
I'll give you an example…
Imagine you've got a super happy client and you want to get a testimonial from them to show off on your website.
You sit down to write an email to them to ask 'em to leave their kind words.
You’re stoked, right?
You've got an opportunity here. But what happens when you've got a bunch of happy clients that really all ought to be giving testimonials?
Testimonials are important! This needs to happen. Right? Right.
But pretty soon you notice the task of cranking out these emails, following up to remind people is getting in the way of the other critical work you need to do to scale your business.
All of a sudden, what once as an opportunity now feels like a problem. It's now a time-suck and a hassle getting in the way of what you should be (and would rather be) spending your time doing.
That’s because that’s exactly what it is.
Ever noticed that when you’re cranking out boring, repetitive work, that you’re creatively constipated, rushing, or only half present?
I call this type of work “Blah Work” (vs. “Ahhh Work”).
“Ahhh Work,” on the other hand, is the work most of us really love, like creating new strategies, products or systems.
Unless you're one of a very small group of entrepreneurs, “Blah Work” is likely most of the work you're doing in your business.
Whereas “Ahhh Work” is most of the work you do on the business. Hint: it's where most of the super successful entrepreneurs spend most of their time (and I'll show you how you can spent (way) more of your time there as well).
So if you're bogged down with repetitive grindy blah work for much of the day, it’s no wonder you’re not the wildly-inspired creative Jedi you envisioned when you thought about starting your biz!
Trouble is, a lot of “Blah Work” is actually important.
A High-Quality Question:
How can you inject your creative, brilliant, inspired, authentic self into even the most boring, repetitive, hassle-riffic “Blah” work on your plate?
Turn it into “Ahhh Work.” Stop simply solving the same problem over and over again. Instead:
Solve it once, and solve it with genius.
Here’s how in two simple steps:
1. Create a system for it.
2. Automate the system.
Let’s take a deeper look:
Step 1. Create a System
Check it out. Remember that example of hitting up your happy client for a testimonial?
What if you shut off all distractions, poured yourself a cup'a, lit some incense (or whatever gets you in the mood), and wrote the most brilliant testimonial request email…EVER.
This is the testimonial-request-email to end all emails. It's informative, clear, specific. It educates them about how and why to give you a testimonial, sure, but it’s also got all the character and soul you can muster. To read this email is to fall in love with its creator. You couldn't possibly NOT give a testimonial after reading it.
The Bad News:
That email will take you several times longer to write than the one you rushed through over and over again.
The Good News:
Once it’s written, it’s just done.
The Other Good News:
When someone reads it, they not only get the 411 of why and how to leave you a testimonial, they get YOU. The best of you. The relaxed-creative-brilliant-charming-passionate-on-fire you. And best of all, you'll have enjoyed writing it (promise).
Now you've got this brilliant email you can send!
You don't YET have a system:
For our example, you *could* simply systematize this by, for instance, putting a note in your calendar once you book a new client that reminds you to send this email. Or you could have a list or a spreadsheet of all the different stuff to do for a client or custy during their time with you. I mean…lots of folks do that. And while that's better than just hoping you'll remember to send that email.
But what about all the other stuff? Like getting your clients to help drive referrals? Sending reminders that it's time to renew? Following up after missed payments? Sending high-value content to keep them engaged?
Very soon, that kind of crude “system” breaks down and becomes, itself, a nightmarish hassle for you (or anyone) to run. After all…a great system is scalable, repeatable, predictable, happens the same way every time, no matter who's in charge.
In order to meet those criteria, ya really do need to automate it.
Step 2. Automate it:
So now what if you had a system that automatically sent out that steaming cup o’ brilliance to every. single. one. of your happy clients at the time when they were getting the most out of your product or service?!
And what if that same system automatically sensed if they'd given the testimonial and reminded them in a loving fashion if they hadn't done so?
Now you’re not only dramatically increasing your chances of getting (way more – and likely way BETTER) testimonials, but you’re saving a truckload of time. That's time you can use to grow your business and do other stuff you love.
Now, the testimonial-request email example is just that: an example. There are TONS of other kinds of hassleriffic “Blah Work” that can (and should) be systematized and automated.
Here are just a few other examples:
- Responding to new leads and prospects
- Following up with prospects ongoingly
- Following up with cart abandoners
- Offering other products (cross-selling and upselling)
- Sending birthday and holiday promotions
- Fulfilling your offering
- Following up with customers who miss payments
- Managing access to digital products and memberships
- Managing relationships with prospects and clients
- Activating your customers into loyal referrers
- Creating and managing relationships with Joint Venture partners
How to Know When it’s Time to Create a System:
If you find yourself doing the same thing more than about twice per month, you should create a system for it (and automate, if possible).
Since, again, creating systems and templates takes longer than just doing the minimum viable version in the moment, you may feel yourself resistant to taking the extra time. Your urge to just get through it and on to the next thing will be strong. That's natural. It'll take some discipline at first to take that extra time. But then as you start to reap the benefits, you'll start to feel more inclined to take that extra time.
Pretty soon you'll even get excited as you notice opportunities to templatize and systematize your work.
Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear from you (don’t be a lurker)…
- Think of 3 repetitive “Blah Work” activities you do in your business on the regular. Make a commitment to yourself to systematize and automate it!
- Just hit reply to this email or if you're reading this on my blog, email me at tobin[at]tobin[dot]jarrett.com. Head on over to my Facebook community, “like” my page, and tell me! I’d love to hear what’s cramping your creative style and wasting your time!
Already an Ontraport user? Awesome!
The Leg Up Arsenal is a collection of pre-built campaign templates that go right into your OP account with a click and systematize some of the most common “Blah Work” beautifully, and strategically, cutting out a TON of the work and hassle for you! Each campaign templates comes with killer, short (even funny) instructional videos that make it easy and fun to get these systems live in your business in a fraction of the time!
Oh…and they come with weekly coaching directly from Tobin Jarrett, personally!
For less than a tenth of the cost of a low-level hire, you can get one of the founding members of the original Ontraport team with his hands in YOUR account, his eyes on your campaigns, systems, and strategies, personally coaching you and your team each and every week.
Thinking of becoming an Ontraport user? Smart.
Ontraport is our favorite all-in-one online marketing platform. As you'll have read above, there are a TON of “Blah Work activities that it can help you systematize and automate.
It comes with 5 premium campaign templates (including professionally-designed page templates, professionally-written email templates in addition, to the campaign flow and logic, with step-by-step video-instructions for how to customize and make them your own). It also comes with 5 weeks of group coaching calls with Tobin Jarrett!