During this summer you’ll probably have received as many emails from bloggers and small companies as you do when there’s no holiday break. Have you ever wondered how they do that? Is it true that freelancers never have time off?
Well, many can’t take such a long break because their customers require them to be there. BUT if you have an online business, you’re more likely to go on holidays, be with your family or friends – and yet continue to manage your work. You just have to set your business on autopilot.
Steps to Set Your Business on Autopilot
- Write your content in advance.
- Create an email nurture campaign.
- Automate and schedule your social media posts.
Let’s see each step one by one:
1. Write your content in advance
If you have a blog, make sure you write enough content to cover the time you’re going to be on holidays. Schedule your posts to get published on the date you choose, and start packing your luggage 🙂
If you’re using WordPress, it’s REALLY easy -> Instead of clicking “Publish”, you just have to hit “Edit” near “Publish immediately”, and then set the publishing date and time. Here you have an example:
2. Create an Email Nurture Campaign
Create a whaaaaaat? Much easier than it sounds 😉
The thing is, if you have an online page where you sell your services or products, what probably gives you the most headaches when taking a break is answering emails from potential clients, right? You don’t want to lose them. But being there 24/7/365 days a year is not an option. It shouldn’t be. So, how can you disconnect from work a couple of days – or weeks – and still be able to “answer” those emails?
♥ Choose an email platform
I use ConvertKit to help me out, but which option you choose is up to you. I like ConvertKit because it’s very easy to use and because I felt comfortable with the software from the very beginning. But you have many other options, like MailChimp or Drip. They’re very popular as well, but I haven’t actually used them.
♥ Set up a welcome campaign
So, once you choose an email platform, the first thing you have to do is set up a welcome campaign. It’s just a series of emails that will be sent out automatically to anyone who subscribes to your blog. Take the chance to introduce yourself, explain what you do and what they can expect from you. It will usually take 1 or 2 weeks to go over the whole email series, so they will probably cover your entire holidays 😉
♥ Set up an email nurture campaign
Think about what you’d like your subscribers or customers to receive when the welcome campaign is completed. Depending on the kind of business you run, you can either set up a nurture series or weekly emails, for instance.
- If you run an online shop or e-commerce – You should go for a nurturing email series to combine with your global marketing campaigns. That is, if you’re launching a new product, you’ll want to promote its launch, for example. Or if you’re offering discounts for a particular date, you’ll want to make sure that your clients know about it, so your emails should be focusing on those reduced prices 😉 And the same applies to seasonal products like Christmas or back-to-school items.
- If you run a blog – You may want to send updates of your recent posts once they’re published. In that case, I would write the post with some time in advance, and schedule both the post and the newsletter to go out accordingly.
At ConvertKit, newsletters and single emails are called “broadcasts” and email campaigns, “sequences.”
If it all sounds too technical for you, believe me: It’s VERY easy. And once you’ve done it once, you’ll never look back again 😉
3. Automate and schedule your social media posts
Ok, let’s be honest here – You won’t be able to have such an active presence on social media as you can be when you’re not on holiday, but it’s OK. It’s even a good thing!! Take it as a chance to test whether you’re even too active. Whether you dedicate too much time and energy to a particular social network without getting any real results. What happens after some activity loss? Is there a platform that still performs great? Then go all in when you come back from your well-deserved rest, and focus on that particular network.
However, there are many social media tasks that you can automate and let them look as though you’re there 😉
♥ Social Share App – This is a MUST. What can be better than sharing on every social media network telling the world you’ve just published a new post on your blog by just hitting a button? So, if you don’t have any social sharing app yet, what are you waiting for?
I use Nelio Software plugin for WordPress. It’s very simple, works perfectly, and it’s free!! With their free version you can post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, but only at the same time as your post. There are a lot of other options, but I find most of them very complicated if you’re just starting blogging or if you don’t have many subscribers. What I also like about Nelio Software is its calendar. It automatically populates when you schedule a post, and you get all the info you need at a glance.
♥ Facebook Ads – While you’re away, what about running a Facebook Ad for the time you’re off to get some new subscribers? You can set it up for as low a price as $5/day. And you can choose if you only want it to appear on Facebook or also on Instagram. Think about it. You’ll have the perfect guide to where your potential clients are. And when you’re up and running again, you may be surprised at your success 🙂
Now, most social networks need much more love than that, but let’s start with the basics and wait for my post next week to read about more social media automation tips 🙂
If you still feel that you have to keep an eye on your business while you’re away, check out How to Work and Travel – With or Without Your Family, and combine both business and holidays without getting overwhelmed. Try to relax a bit though 😉
PS. Are you born to freelance?