29: How Not To Lose The Personal Touch When Automating Your Business (The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast)

Today we are continuing the conversation about utilizing Dubsado in your creative business. In this episode, I’m sharing with you some baby steps that you can take to start automating your workflows.

As a Dubsado expert and family/branding photographer, I have seen the power in automating your business, and how it will save you so much time and energy. I’m making sure to include a few ways that you can automate your workflow today without losing the personal feeling in your client touch-points. 

The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This is a podcast for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategy in order to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose. Because even muggles can become automated wizards.

Are you struggling to convert your inquiries? Maybe your contact form is simply an afterthought on your website that doesn’t attract your ideal client. It’s time to level up your lead capture form by creating a contact form that WOWS. Your client experience starts all the way back at the contact form level.

Join this free video training with a behind-the-scenes look at how I’ve built my contact form, along with my system that teaches you how to not get ghosted!

Check Out the Training >>

Review the Show Notes

How automation can help to streamline your business (1:15)

Tips on creating automated steps which still feel personal (3:26)

Automations mean less human touch, right? (15:25)

Creating automation and sequences that sound like you (17:52)

Integrating Dubsado with other software (20:53)

Links Mentioned

Try Dubsado & Get 30% Off Your First Month or Year

How to Create a Contact Form that Wows

Connect with Dolly ⬇️




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Review the Transcript:

Welcome to the systems and workflow magic podcast where I help entrepreneurs go from scattered to streamlined in their creative businesses. I’m your host, Dolly DeLong, a wife, a mom, and a photographer turned systems educator. Join me every week as we have conversations centered around creating tactical workflows, automation, and your business. Now, let’s make some strategic workflow magic. Hey, and welcome back to another episode of the systems and workflow magic Podcast.

I’m so glad you’re here. We are continuing the conversation about Dubsado for your creative business today. And I do want to share some baby steps with you and how you can start automating your workflows. And just infusing your personality in automation. Honestly, these tips may surprise you with how easy they are and how fast you can implement them. Hopefully, by the end of this episode, you’ll take one of these tips and you’ll automate your business in some way today. So let’s dive in. Alright. So as a Dubsado expert, and a family and branding photographer, I definitely believe in the power of automating your business. automating your business will save you time and energy, it really does create more freedom, and less room for errors like forgetting things, and forgetting steps, I can speak from experience, I know I can’t speak for everyone. But for myself, I am a mom.

And Mom Brain is a real thing, for me at least. And so I tend to forget a lot of things, the older I get. And so it’s very nice to have all of my processes mapped out in Dubsado, or any workflow systems I might be working with, in this case, Dubsado. And since I’ve written everything out and mapped out the processes, I can set it mostly on autopilot when I’m working with a client from start to finish. And I know that I am not missing any steps because I’ve taken the time to save time in the long run. And I’m not forgetting anything. So I just wanted to give you a little silly example of how it has helped my mom-brain in the past several years, especially since my son, it’s weird. He’s about to turn four this year. So it’s helped me out a lot in the past four years, I just want to say I completely understand the fear that many creatives especially photographers have about losing that personal touch in their client experience, when they go to actually automate their workflow, there might be fears of, well, I don’t want to sound like a robot, or I just don’t want to sound cold. And I want to make sure that my client remembers me and books me from the get-go. And I stand out.

And I’m here to tell you that there are tons of great and easy ways to add personal touches to your workflow, especially your automated workflow. And these will save you that time and energy in the long run. So first up, let’s chat about how you can create truly automated or automated steps which feel personal. So this sounds a little weird. so hear me out. So I have five tips, I’m going to share with you on how you can automate certain parts of your workflow and is going to feel like it’s coming from you in real-time. But these will be automated. All right. So the first way is to add a URL redirect to a thank you page when a person submits their form with Dubsado. So instead of having a generic, thank you for submitting your form page on the screen, why not add a personalized touch of creating a thank you page or I like to call it a URL redirect page that redirects the viewer to or more branded experience to your website. Okay, so that personal touch with your thank you pages this you have added elements of your brand and business on that page and you’re making the new lead feel more excited to work with you because again, it’s leading them back to your website. Yes, they’ve already filled out your contact form on your website, but you want to have them continue to stay on your website to again get to know you more and to linger and not to stay for seven seconds and leave but to actually stay and get to know you. So I know that sounds like “Okay, so what is the automated part?”. The automated part is actually creating the URL redirect page. So whether you show it on Squarespace or Wix or WordPress, see if you can I know which show it in Squarespace and Wix, and you can do this. But Google how to create a thank you page based on your own website.

Hopefully, that sentence makes sense. I do this all the time with Showit I am a Showit user myself. And I know that there are a lot of great tutorials on how to create a thank you page within show it, it is a private page. So it’s not like visitors are coming to your website and finding it, it will only be linked on the back end of Dubsado when they hit submit on your form. So that is called a thank you page. So a second way you can infuse your personality on. Okay, so let’s continue the talk of the thank you page so when they hit submit on the contact form, you can of course thank them for filling out your contact form. But also infuse some of your personality by having helpful blog posts or what if you have a YouTube channel? Or what if you have a podcast like this? or what have you have written helpful articles for your clients who are wanting to work with you. So that way, it can help them to stay longer, they can click through the blog posts or the different resources you have for them on that thank you page. And it helps paint you as the expert in your field. And it solidifies with them, even more, why they should work with you. So again, yes, let me reiterate, that they have already filled out your contact page.

But think about this, if they what if this client has filled out five different contact page forms for five different business owners who are very similar to you, and they’re just reaching out and they kind of want to shop around. So why not like add more personalized elements to help them remember you and give him these resources like blog posts or videos or extra tutorials. Or if you’re a photographer, maybe if they’re reaching out for family photography, you can have a blog post about most popular places to photograph in Cincinnati, if you’re based in Cincinnati, or here is a style guide for you to help you plan out your session set some things like that, that can help them stay longer on your thank you page. So the added element of resources, all right. A third way to add a personal touch with automation is through a lead magnet. So you all know how much I love talking about lead magnets. And a lead magnet is a way to grow your email list and continue to nurture your audience because you do not own social media like it might be taken away. I’m not trying to sound scary or scared about this, but I’m making you feel scared. But I’m just trying to help you understand the importance of growing your audience on land you actually own, which is an email list. So think about how you can infuse a lead magnet on your confirmation page.

That’s an alignment kind of like with that service. So again, going along the lines of using photography as an example. Let’s say that somebody submits a form to work with you for branding photography. And on your URL redirect page, you thank them for contacting you, you let them know what their next steps are. But then at the bottom, or maybe somewhere on the page, you say, Hey, this is the exact branding formula I share with all of my clients, would you like to download this, and it leads them to fill out a form to your email service provider. So it can be through ConvertKit or Mailer Lite or Flodesk, whatever email service provider you use, and then it links them into a whole nurture sequence which you hopefully have set up beforehand. And it is reminding them again and again of how much they need to work with you because they’re being reminded through that new resource that they just downloaded from you that wow like I need to work with this so-and-so branding photographer now because they have such an amazing resource. The website looks amazing. There are so many personal touches like I want to stay on this long to learn more about the process, so on and so forth. So add your lead magnet if you have something of a resource that would be in alignment with that service. A fourth way to add a personal touch to automation is maybe even adding a fun little gif of yourself thanking them for submitting your contact form. Or if you want to take it a step further, this is something I love doing, creating a video beforehand. Now, you won’t be able to say their name in this video, but you can do a generalized video of yourself thanking them for filling out your contact form. And letting them know what their next steps are. And also just letting them know just what to expect. So this really helps because a lot of people, want to know the business owner behind the business, okay. And it helps bridge like a connection point, they’re looking at you and your eyes through the screen, you’re smiling, and hopefully, you’re not frowning at them when you’re speaking in the video.

And you’re letting them know, Hey, thank you. So I’m smiling while I’m saying this, by the way on this podcast, as I’m giving this example. But thank you so much for filling out my contact form. I’m so excited about reading through your form and getting to know you know more about your business. While you’re waiting on a response from me, here’s what you can expect, be sure to look for email number one for me, and make sure to check your promotions or spam folder just in case. And while you’re here. Don’t forget to read these helpful blog posts I’ve written up about branding photography in so and so and so Alright, so hopefully that is a good example. And that took me less than 45 seconds to do. So if you are wondering, okay, well, how long does this video need to be, I would say under one minute, just very short and sweet. And make sure you’re smiling and looking at the camera. If it makes you feel even more awkward and then create/do a fun gift. All right, but do some video elements, you can incorporate something from your personality.

Now a fifth way to add a personal touch to automation on your thank you page is thinking about if you sell any products that are in alignment with your services, maybe you can offer some easy yes offers to your thank you page. So if you have like a $7 product or a $14 product, or even a $27 product that could help solidify that decision even more in their mind, like, wow, here’s an easy yes offer gives them a quick win. And that reminds them, okay, I need to reach back out to so-and-so. I know I filled out their contact form but I forgot to reach back out again or life happens I didn’t contact them. Even though they reached out to me after they filled out their form that happens as life happens, you may reach right back out to the client and you may not hear back from them. And that’s okay like you’ve done your part with automating certain portions of your workflow. And now the ball is in their court. But let’s say in this scenario, you do add some quick and easy wins for them through like a small offer. And they purchase it and they quickly use it and they discover like, wow, this person knows exactly how to help me, this is exactly what I need help with. I am contacting them again like I’m so sorry, I didn’t respond back to that first email, life happens, my kid got sick, something happened. So and I happened to purchase your product and I used it and it helped me out in so many ways. So that could be another way just to add just a personal automated touch to, your product. And like if your product has been embedded on that thank you page, make sure that there’s a sequence set up with it. So again, automation, and it’s also infusing your personality.

Alright, my friend, are you still struggling to get those inquiries in because they are ghosting you once they fill out your contact form? Or is your contact form just a brushed afterthought on your website and it’s not really attracting your ideal client? If you’re raising your hand and you are guilty of this, it’s time to level up your lead capture form by creating a contact page that Wow. So I am pulling back the curtain to show you all the elements I have used in my business to create an incredible client experience. Yes, starting at the contact form level, because I’m a firm believer that you’ve got to wow your viewers and show them that you are the person they need to hire as soon as they fill out your contact form. So with this free training, you’ll get video training with a behind-the-scenes look at how I have crafted and created a contact form again at the top of that client journey. And I spill the tea. I also give you a free PDF that accompanies this free training and you have access To my just like my system as to how not to get ghosted, so grab the link at dolly DeLong photography.com forward-slash create a contact page that WOWS and the link will be in the show notes. And I am so excited for you to level up your lead capture form.

You might be thinking, again, let me repeat automation means less human touch, right? Like, that’s what you might be thinking. But I want to say not exactly. So when people think of automation, they think of machines, I honestly think of machines. And it’s easy to be fearful that an automated workflow would simply remove that human element from your client experience. So that’s why a lot of people are afraid of jumping into workflows. And you’re, you might be afraid your potential clients will know, it’s an automatic response. And everything will feel cold and not feel customized or genuine. And that fear leads to a lack of automation. So this leads to tired and overworked photographers, or creative business owners trying to keep up and remember on their own what they did for each client. And to me, that sounds miserable. Like, just like the fear of well, I can’t automate anything because I, I need to be personal for every client.

But then I feel so scattered because I don’t know what I’ve done for every client that makes me feel so miserable, just thinking about that cycle. This is why CRMs like Dubsado are designed to personalize automation as much as possible, okay. It’s definitely one of the reasons why I love Dubsado. And Dubsado makes it easy to create a workflow, where I can still have a personalized experience for my clients. And honestly, they never feel like it’s a robot helping them they know it’s me, and I have the chance to customize what I need and want. And honestly, let the rest do its thing. That’s why you can add those elements, as mentioned above, like, making a fun video of yourself, are adding elements of a GIF, or adding lead magnets into nurture that lead into a nurture sequence, you can make all of those sounds like you and you can make sure that there are appropriate sequences attached to that, which means they need to be automated. So automation and personalization can go hand in hand in these instances. And so you might now be thinking, Well, how is that possible? Like, how can I do this, because I feel like I want to hear the word automation? It just, I just want to turn my computer off and run away, I just want to like to blank out, let me share with you something fun about Dubsado.

So first of all, Dubsado allows you to collect information in smart fields about your clients on your lead capture form. So that inquiry form that first form of contact. And so this initially helps you gather some of that personalized information from the start. So ask questions on the lead capture form about who they are, and why they’re coming to you. And so after they contact you with those smart fields, that data can be auto-populated into your forms and emails right away. So that means you can actually have an automated responder to your inquiry form that puts their real name in there. So not just hi friend or Hi there or hey girl like that, it won’t be like that it will literally say their name right off the bat and it will feel more personal. Okay, I know that small steps seem so silly. But a person’s name is so important to them. It’s so important to refer people to their first name. And if you want to make your inquiry response even more personalized Dubsado allows you to create an approval step in your workflow. So this means that before an email even leaves Dubsado, you have the choice to approve it. So with a pause like this, you can drop in even more particulars to that family or client before it’s sent out. But because the draft is automated, you don’t have to waste time writing or searching for what else you need to say.

So can you see how easy it is to ensure you have that personal touch from the start? This can be done throughout the workflow if there are other spots you want to add personalization to. So that means you can have stopping points in your workflow that say to the Dubsado workflow, Hey, before this email goes out, I need to approve this. So that you can go into Dubsado, customize it even more to fit that specific client, and then hit approve, and I’ll send it to them. So that way, they’re not getting a totally robotic-sounding templated email. Dubsado is really it’s built to connect your smart fields and documents. And so that’s going to help with so many parts of the process. So they are infusing those questions that attach to smart fields, that auto-populates really important key elements you need to know like their first name, their last name, their email address, and so on and so forth. And it helps different parts of the process for you. Okay, so let’s talk about integrations between Dubsado and other software. So let’s say you’re a little bit more advanced, and you’re wanting to step out even further with further integrations.

So I’m here to tell you that Dubsado also seamlessly integrates with Zapier, which allows you to set up additional reminders or experiences. So maybe you like to send birthday cards to your clients or reminders about a milestone session. So if you collect their birth date in a questionnaire from Dubsado, then you can create a reminder to pop up and say it’s time to mail that card or that card. This is obviously a bonus in a workflow. But again, it’s something that can almost fully be automated and yet provides a personal touch with your clients. Integrations like this can be wonderful for follow-up sessions or reminders about yearly family portraits or photo sessions. Little things like that. It helps you enhance your clan experience. Because honestly, you can’t keep track of like every single step on your own in your memory, you should not depend on your memory to remember everything. That’s why Dubsado exists in the CRM platform exists to help you remember all of these steps. Because of all of these great options and Dubsado. I feel confident about my workflows, I know I’ll never miss an inquiry or forget a step when working with clients. So many steps, including sending my contract and invoice, honestly are done automatically. And this means my clients can book a session with me, all without me even being at my computer.

So for me, nothing beats that when I realized how much time and energy I’ve saved. By automating all of these steps, I was able to put my energy back where it mattered, which is actually photographing my clients marketing my business, and spending time with my family. And I just want to go back to the idea of like using Zapier or using other software alongside Dubsado. I had I know I had mentioned that you can set up reminders in your workflows to send out cards or Starbucks gift cards or whatever like a plan or whatever to claim you can set up these reminders without Zapier. But if you want to get more technical, that’s when Zapier comes in. Like let’s say, I’ve never done this, but I think it would be so cool when a couple’s anniversary comes up.

What if you already had their address in your project of Dubsado? Like what if you could zap them like a little package, you know, from your favorite company, like you had that setup on the back end. So that’s something more advanced for tools and software. But if you’re worried like I don’t know how to use Zapier, I don’t want to use it quite yet. That’s okay, you can still set up reminders within Dubsado that will send you email reminders. And this is what I do for my clients all the time. This is what I do for myself as well. And it does help you remember Okay, I need to take five minutes of my time today because I got this email reminder in the mail off this thank you note to a client. All right. So in summary, yes, you can have fun automating certain aspects of your workflows in Dubsado. And you can still add your personality to this automation and still connect with your clients. I hope that you can leave this episode feeling encouraged and charged to take baby steps in implementing some personality-infused automation in your workflows. I don’t want you to feel intimidated or overwhelmed. So start off slow.

And start off with one thing if it means creating a URL redirect page, that’s great or if it means setting up a lead magnet and one of your automated responders, that’s great too. Or even better if it means creating a generic video of yourself thanking them for submitting their contact form. That is amazing as well. Either way, I want to use this to encourage you to see that you can infuse your personality in automation in Dubsado It’s possible just to take baby steps. So I hope you are having a wonderful day please DM me and let me know what steps you’re going to take to infuse your personality with some automation in Dubsado and I will talk to you next week. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at dolly DeLong photography.com forward slash podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it with your stories, and tag me at @dollydelongeducation over on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic.

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