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Automating Yourself Out of Your Business

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Cameraman

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Sep 25, 2021
50
80
113
UK
I’m a big fan of automating and simplifying processes to make them more efficient. Long term, I want to automate myself out of my business so it can continue running without me. That’s a tough ask when there’s only me and no employees.

My business is writing and publishing books/courses in the photography/photo editing niche. Whilst I sell books through retailers including Amazon, Apple, Google Books, Barnes & Noble etc I also sell directly from my own website (which I built and manage). Equally, I sell courses through popular sites as well as my own website. I have a YouTube Channel where I publish a weekly video and I publish weekly “how to” articles to my website as well as a monthly newsletter.

I’ve built a reasonable business ecosystem that feeds itself to some degree providing I release a new book/course from time to time. I can also work from anywhere providing there is an internet connection and to a degree, I can pick when I want to work.

So far, the automation I’ve created around my newsletter, subscribing and purchasing my product works well and needs little maintenance. Another big time saver is using speech recognition software to write my books, courses and YouTube scripts. After training and tweaking the software, I’ve found it around 98% accurate and I’m around 500% faster.

Now my question is, what automation ideas have you successfully used in your business to save time or improve productivity/quality without employing more people?
 
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Eudaimonium

Contributor
Jun 8, 2017
77
85
115
Germany
Great question. Curious, what is the software you use for writing with speech recognition?

Do you get questions/messages from customers where you can automate the answers?

Can you automate the book publishing to launch new products in multiple places at once?

Can you automate the information gathering / research needed before writing a book?
 

Cameraman

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Sep 25, 2021
50
80
113
UK
Great question. Curious, what is the software you use for writing with speech recognition?
I use Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've tried other solutions and this seems by far the best providing you use a good mic. It's well worth the cost in my opinion.

Do you get questions/messages from customers where you can automate the answers?
I receive a lot of customer/"fan" emails and most of the time the questions are quite technical. During the lockdown, I was receiving hundreds of emails a day so had to take steps to manage them. I use an upfront message on my website to say I only answer customer queries and don't provide support.

I now have an automated reply saying something similar and that my emails are screened before I see them.
I receive a lot of proposals from companies wanting me to review products so the automated reply also deals with those to some degree. I can then answer genuine emails from customers/subscribers and only respond if a proposal looks interesting.

Can you automate the book publishing to launch new products in multiple places at once?
Yes, I do this using Smashwords who take care of the submissions to selected retailers for me. It's quite costly at 10% of my sales commissions so I don't use it for everything. For Google and Amazon, I have direct accounts because I make the most sales but Smashwords takes the hassle out of others.

The publishing software I use for ebooks also takes care of generating the books in the correct format/meets standards for each publisher so I only write a book once but can generate it in different formats.

Can you automate the information gathering / research needed before writing a book?
Now that's a good question and I have no idea how I could do it. Most of the time I don't need to do any research because I know in detail what I write about. But given I have no idea how I could automate research and I still love learning, this could be a great source of advantage for me. Thank you for the suggestion.
 

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