When I first started in affiliate marketing there were so many questions. I went through the day to day grind learning as much as I could while I was executing. What did not work, I pushed to the side and just kept on going. I remember after about 3 months thinking to myself “How is this passive?”, “all of these ‘gurus’ lied to me?”, “This can’t be, can it?”. I was working 10 to 12 hour days learning, writing posts on social media, creating advertisements, helping others, and the list went on. It was literally eating up all of my spare time before and after work. I had essentially become a slave to my business. It was so consuming that I felt like I should do something but, after all, I was making money so why stop right? Wrong!
I was on my way to the mall a few days later to pick up some gifts for a birthday party. Still trying to figure out why people were saying that this was a way to make passive income. Then, my mind gave me a high five to the face, with a brick! I was doing it wrong, I did not implement automation into my business. This flood of thought seemed to constantly roll through my head saying Facebook automation, Twitter automation, automate your ads, do this and that. As you can probably imagine that moment was a huge facepalm. A slap in the face by my subconscious telling me to pull my head out of my rear end and work smarter, not harder. I even remembered my business advisor recommending tools for automation. I guess I was in a zone and just let the recommendation go in one ear and out the other.
From here, as you can imagine if you have been reading my other blog posts, I began to research automated tools to perform a lot of the manual tasks that I was doing. My business advisor told me about two tools that he highly recommended. In the past, I had used Hootsuite but knew how expensive it was. I figured I would check out the others just to see what they were about. These two tools were called Zoho and Buffer.
Enter the Automated Dragon
I started testing Zoho first. The cost was a little less than Buffer and they offered a free trial. Overall it worked very well but there was one major issue. I managed many brands and needed to be able to automate all of them from the same platform. To do this, Zoho was over $2,000 a year. If I calculate the cost of the product versus my time over the course of that year, was it worth it? Maybe. I was determined though to keep costs down. The limitation of being able to manage multiple brands versus the cost of the solution was crazy. So Zoho was out of the question. Based on this “issue” I reached out to Buffer to see if their platform allowed managing multiple brands before I went down the road again to sign up for an account and link it to my social media profiles. I still, to this day, have not heard back from them to answer the question. Finally, I reached out to Hootsuite customer support on Facebook. Within 30 minutes I was told that even their free account allows the management of multiple pages and groups under one user account. I bet you can’t guess which one I picked?
In the end, great customer service is key. If it is going to take you hours and hours or even days to get back to someone, make sure that there is a clear understanding of your pricing models on your website. I understand wanting to get someone on the phone to make the sale but you will lose customers if you cannot act fast enough. Also, having a pricing model that is higher and more ridiculous than your competitors will cause you to have to race to the bottom or fail.
Enter the Eight Hour Work Week
Ok, so with social media automation set up it allowed me to take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to create the posts and set up all of the automation. The ability to schedule posts out for a month if I wanted was amazing. This freed up a lot of time and allowed me to focus on other aspects of the business, in my spare time. Along with social media automation, there are ways to literally automate everything that I would do manually except for creating the blog posts. This included the automated scheduling and posting of things like this blog entry. It took about 14 days to get everything up and going, tested, and posts created. After that, I was able to take a few weeks off and just let it run on autopilot while I looked for new products to market or research new niches.
To discuss this again briefly, I went from literally typing posts every day manually, adding them to all of my social media platforms to performing one or two activities on a Saturday or Sunday to free up my week. The creation of many blog posts, scheduling them, and creating a schedule for social media posts have made the work fairly light. The automation of ads and other aspects of the business was also a huge plus. Today, for my business, I am working literally 8 to 10 hours a week.
That’s all, I hope you enjoyed this short post. Remember, just keep going!