I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family & branding photographer AND a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & SOPS to better impact the backend of their businesses. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
When I began automating my business, everything changed! I got more done and was able to do more of the things I love in my business (and less of the things I don’t)! I want that same kind of success for you.
That’s why I’m sharing three simple steps you can take today to automate your small business. You don’t have to waste time doing all your work on your own. Set up automations & systems to help you out instead. Plus, if you are new to this world, just start with ONE thing and then build momentum from there!
Step 1 – Batch Your Content
There’s a myth swirling around in the content-creation world that all content has to be created and tailored to whatever is happening in the world at that time. That’s just not true. You can ahead on your content schedule when you do two things: think ahead and create evergreen content. (*NOTE: there will be specific periods of time where you should create content that speaks to what is happening with current events, but you can use your judgment on that wisely and carefully. When you are creating content you need to see how that content is going to be relevant not only to the current year…but in the years to come!)
When you think ahead or create evergreen content, you’ll be able to batch your content. That means creating all your content and then scheduling the content to go out wherever and whenever it’s supposed to. You won’t have to hit a last-minute deadline or come up with content on the spot. Instead, you’ll have content that works for you while you sleep.
Step 2 – Utilize Helpful Tools
There’s a whole set of helpful tools out there when it comes to batching your content and streamlining your business. In fact, I did a whole blog post about them a few weeks ago that you can check out here.
A few of my favorites are Trello for project management, Dubsado for workflows, Canva for graphics, Tailwind for Pinterest, and Flodesk for email marketing. Once you get these tools up and going, they do the work for you. Find what tools will solve the problems you’re experiencing in your business and go from there!
Step 3 – Create Supplemental Materials
Depending on what your business is, you’ll need supplemental materials to drive potential customers across the finish line. For me, I create supplemental material in the form of video content for IGTV and *sometimes* YouTube (although let me be honest with ya, I am more active on Instagram). I spend time working on this content and then automating it to go out so it hits my audience at the right times.
Start by brainstorming what supplemental materials would be helpful for your business. Then, carve out some time to create this content and get it automated to populate on your socials, website, or database!
To get a sneak peek into my process, I normally batch out 4-5 blog posts with supplemental materials at least 1 time a month to cover the next 4 weeks. Yes, the 3 days it takes me to batch out content is grueling because I have to be intentional with the time given to me (I am a toddler mom after all and I only get 2 or 3 working hours here and there) but after 3 days of intentionally batching out my content…I AM FREE to be creative for my business for the next month! Click below to access a free Trello template I created for you to get your feet wet in the world of batching out content!
At the end of the day, there’s one main reason you should automate your small business: time. There’s not enough time in the day for you to do all the grunt work for your small business, AND hone your craft, AND deliver value to your customers, AND create a big picture strategy. If you try to do it all – you’ll always have that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you you’re slipping behind.
But I get it. The idea of taking time away from your ever-growing to-do list to automate your business feels pretty impossible. That’s why you should start with just the smallest step in the right direction.
A good place to start is to map out your weekly schedule and see what hours of the day you are actually free compared to hours that are otherwise occupied. Once you figure out what hours you are free, you’ll be able to carve out time to build automation and systems for your life and get work done all at once!
Automations take time to set up, but in the end, they save you an invaluable amount of time and are so worth it.
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong, fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate a part of your business to attract your ideal clients by creating a Lead Magnet and have NO clue where to start? I created this FREE PDF “The Lead Magnet Master List ” and if you click over here you can access it!
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!