Increase Business Productivity with Automation

Learn how to automate daily tasks to boost your business productivity.
Increase Business Productivity with Automation
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Table of contents

Business Productivity: Episode Summary

Productivity is the speed of your business. How quickly do you deliver products to be sold? And, is it a repeatable process? When you look at it this way, increasing your business productivity is a crucial key to success.

Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney discuss how to automate daily tasks to boost your business productivity. We'll go over all the things you can do to automate, providing amazing ideas you can implement now to save you time and money.

We're live on YouTube Thursdays at 10 AM US/Pacific. Subscribe to the channel to have your marketing questions answered.

Words of Wisdom

Remember when we talk about productivity and we talk about efficiency, we're always, especially as small businesses, balancing that out. What makes us more productive so that we can get products out the door? Sitting on social media isn't going to do it. — Jen
There are certain things that you really want to be automated because you do them all the time. You don't want to have to keep doing it all the time when a machine can just take care of it for you. Shelley

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Transcript: Increase Business Productivity with Automation

[00:00:00] Jen McFarland: The Women Conquer Business show is an educational, how- to, women in business podcast that features stories, marketing news and real life experiences from fun and friendly hosts, Jen McFarland and Shelley Carney. Join us as we dive into the details so you can slay marketing overwhelm, streamline processes, and amplify your impact.

[00:00:23] You'll learn strategies and tactics, leadership skills, and practical advice from successful women entrepreneurs to help you grow, nurture, and sustain your business.

[00:00:33] Hello. Hello. Welcome to the Women Conquer Business show. I'm Jen McFarland to be joined shortly by Shelley Carney. She had a computer malfunction right before Showtime. That's the thing about going live is if the other person can't make it, sometimes you have to do things solo. So today on the show, we'll be talking about how to automate daily tasks to increase business productivity.

[00:01:02] I love this kind of thing. We have been ramping up into this for the last three weeks, I think, where we've talked first about why productivity is important to your business. Why wouldn't you want to be as efficient as possible getting products out the door? Then we talked about how to calculate productivity.

[00:01:19] So we tend to make productivity a one-to-one with things like time management, when really there are so many factors that go into what makes your business productive and efficient. Including how much you're charging versus how much it costs for you to get products out the door. Remember that time is part of the factor, how many people, all of these different things.

[00:01:42] So we've talked about that a lot. And in the meantime, we've infused all of that talk of productivity around different things you could be doing so that you can analyze what's going on. You can do a time audit. You can really pay attention to whether you have some standard operating procedures that you've been writing down and integrating into your workflow so that you know what you're doing, you can be tracking how long it's taking you.

[00:02:08] If things are taking longer than expected. That takes us to what we're talking about today, which is how to automate your tasks so that you can save a little bit of time. Now going into this, we have to think about, how much of the pre-work we've done, because we don't really know how long things are taking.

[00:02:29] Sometimes it can be a little bit challenging to figure out how you're really going to increase productivity. When I talk to people about this, I guess I'm just launching right into the training so much for the show flow. Hey Shelley. So when I work with people about things like how to automate tasks, oftentimes people come in and they're.

[00:02:51] None of the apps are talking to each other. I don't really know what it is that I need to do. I really hate doing XYZ. It seems like a lot of people that I talk to really the onboarding process, a lot of times for a new client, since I work a lot with service-based businesses, sometimes the onboarding process for a new client can be a heavy lift.

[00:03:11] You have a new person and you want to bring them in under that gold standard. You want them to come in and feel super welcome and understand exactly how you do what you do best. So onboarding is a place though, where you have maybe forms you need to send out to someone, you need them to understand what it's like to schedule appointments, how to do it.

[00:03:38] Where, when, all of these kinds of things, and there's maybe a back and forth. So a lot of times I ask people if they have a checklist, a lot of people don't. If they have ways that they're tracking this, that they can make it more efficient. These are the things that you need to pay attention to things that you have to do over and over again.

[00:03:57] These are often mundane tasks. These are things that if you don't get them done, there's going to be a problem. And these are the types of places where you can be looking to get more efficient. This is not where you take something super complicated and try to automate it. It's also not a place where if something is broken, you're trying to fix it with automation.

[00:04:23] I can't remember who said it, but there are all these quotes out there about the fastest way to make things worse is to automate a broken process. Like automation doesn't cure everything. It's not a panacea for all of the problems and all of the ills of the world. What automation for your daily tasks can do is really amplify the good.

[00:04:46] But it could also amplify the bad that's why you don't want to do that. It really is an opportunity for efficiency. Most people don't like doing the simple mundane stuff that you repeat over and over again, most people don't like to do that. They like to do what their favorite thing is.

[00:05:05] That's why you do things like, oh, I should probably outsource things like bookkeeping. That's an example for me. I like to outsource numbers, because I don't like doing that. I'd rather be creative. So it's about making sure that you're looking at the things that are mundane that you have to do over and over again.

[00:05:24] Also that third thing is that you know what looks right to you, meaning, you know what the best process is and you've been doing it again and again. These are things that you are very accustomed to doing. These are things that you've maybe done a million times and you've got it down to a science.

[00:05:43] Now it's like taking the load off by automating it. Just so that you can make it easier. Because if you think about productivity, we've talked about this definition a few times, being how long it takes you to deliver goods and services. You want to onboard a person who's new as quickly as possible. You want to get products out the door as quickly as possible.

[00:06:06] You want to focus on the meat of the work that you're doing. Not on all of these extra tasks out there the maybe double entry things that are really hard to do. You don't want to focus on all of those things. So one of the ways that you can do that is you make sure that all of the things that are mundane, all of these little tasks, and then you go and you find ways and opportunities for you to automate it.

[00:06:33] One of the things and it's really key here. One of the things that's really important is to make sure that you are automating repeatable processes. Automation doesn't work if you are looking at things that are not repeatable, things that are different every single time. So you may be like for us, we put together a podcast every week.

[00:06:56] Now you can't predict everything. Like I couldn't predict that Shelley's computer would not work five minutes before the show, but we do prepare and we have a list of things. And then what we've done on the back end of the podcast is we've automated as much as possible. So we send out the show, we do it live and it automatically goes to YouTube and all these different platforms using Streamyard.

[00:07:23] Then we're using other platforms to make it simpler to get the show up on the web and all the other places. So this is an example of how you can automate something. We're repeating this process over and over again, how you can automate it. You can do this with any client process. Like I said, you can do this with payments.

[00:07:46] Like sometimes I work with people and they still have a manual payment process. People really like to do things that are not manual. So people really like to pay online and even though there is a service fee, you want to make that as easy as possible. You want to automate sending out invoices in the middle of the month at the end of the month. Whenever. You want to automate the process for people signing contracts. I have an automation where if somebody signs a contract it immediately follows up with an invoice because the work doesn't start until people pay. These are opportunities to make things that are mundane and repeatable streamlined, so that they'll work better, faster, and help you deliver services in a more efficient manner. There are other people who they'll do an e-commerce, for example. You're selling products out of your website, but it's not an efficient process. Maybe you are selling something and then you have to box it up and you have to ship it. There are so many opportunities in that supply chain where you can make things quicker.

[00:08:57] If you have a storefront and a website, are you using something like Shopify or big commerce so that you have a point of sale system where people can buy? And then you also have online purchasing and then is that connected to something like ship station or how is the back end of the shipping process working?

[00:09:19] This is when you really can figure out your productivity. If it takes a long time for something to go from beginning to end. That's a real sign that you need to work on productivity. A real sign that you need to shore up some of the efficiencies in your business so that you can be working better, faster, stronger if you want.

[00:09:44] So these are some of the tasks that I recommend. There are in fact, a lot of tools out there. A lot of apps, I think next week, we're going to talk more about apps and whether or not they really help you through increasing your productivity and the answer is yes. And not always. Again, it has a lot to do with what it is that you're trying to automate, what it is that you're trying to do.

[00:10:14] I think Shelley is joining the program. Hello, Shelley. I'll just head into the breaking news since I skipped ahead into the training since that's what I like to do. That's like my favorite part so I'll back up a little bit. In the breaking news segment there are two big things on the Pinterest front. Pinterest seems to really be accelerating a lot of things ever since they went live, went out onto the stock market and went public. They seem to be making all kinds of strides toward putting their product out there and making it into kind of a premier e-commerce site.

[00:10:50] They have Pinterest in app checkout and that I believe is specifically for Shopify users who then are also doing Pinterest. Pinterest has launched the capacity to download your idea pins. Oh, wow. And share them in other apps now with the Pinterest watermark, of course. But that makes sense, because for the longest time you haven't been able to do that.

[00:11:13] I used Pinterest for a long time. I've used Pinterest to drive a lot of traffic to my website. All of these changes in Pinterest are great. But they seem to be wreaking a lot of havoc on the algorithm and Pinterest it seems to me that it's moving more and more to a pay to play platform.

[00:11:30] I think that's really common as stock prices go up. Then you have to answer to shareholders and things like that. They're also trying to make traction with all of the video, all of the Pinterest TV, all of the video pins. Now the idea pins. It's always been a great place for things like listicles and things like that.

[00:11:49] They're trying to really bolster that and make it so that you can share things with the Pinterest logo on it. You can do that on Tik TOK too. I think everybody has seen Tik TOK videos all over the place. This is really exciting. Pinterest is wonderful because so many people use Pinterest.

[00:12:05] It's the third largest search engine and people use it to do search. They use it to find things like recipes and all kinds of stuff like that. So why not make it so that you can download your idea pins and share them somewhere else? It just makes sense. Huh Shelley's back.

[00:12:21] Okay. Here we are

[00:12:24] Shelley Carney: Only took all morning to get there.

[00:12:27] Jen McFarland: So how's it going?

[00:12:30] Shelley Carney: I'm doing well, a little snafu at the beginning will always get your blood going.

[00:12:35] Jen McFarland: Oh, wow. Bacon and Julia and I didn't see comments cause I was so like struggle, busing, trying to figure out. What's going on.

[00:12:44] Shelley Carney: Let me tell you about my weekend. Toby and I went to the Van Gogh immersive experience on Sunday and it was pretty cool. I wrote about it in my LinkedIn newsletter and my email newsletter.

[00:12:55] But I'll share it here just in case anybody missed out on that. Toby and I were driving to the experience together and he was complaining about an invisible papercut on his finger. And he was like, oh, my finger hurts whenever I press it. And I'm like, oh, that's too bad. That must really hurt.

[00:13:11] My husband has cancer. It's oh yeah, that's very, we laughed about how we get in our own worlds and everything in our world is magnified when we don't have anybody to talk to and compare with. So that was a fun little story that happened over the weekend. And how are you doing?

[00:13:32] Jen McFarland: This was like the weirdest show for me to be flying solo at the last minute. Over the weekend, I hung out with some really cool women from She Podcasts, actually. Women in Seattle and then in Portland, although all of the Portland people were lame and I was the only one who came and drove from Portland.

[00:13:53] And we all met in this town called Centralia, which is right in between Seattle and Portland. It was awesome. It was like a throwback to the fifties in this little town, super adorable. And it had a roller skating rink and I fell over backwards and hit the back of my head. I have a little bit of a concussion and I think you can tell, because I'm scattering. But I feel pretty good, just resting up and not spending a lot of time in front of the light. Even today it seems really bright to me. But yeah, everything's just moving along. Everybody stayed for one night and I was like, John, why don't you come up?

[00:14:29] And we'll just get away from Portland for awhile. And we had a wonderful time. I spent the second night with him and we toured around and did all the same things. Just the second time. We also found this really cool place it was called Insert Coin. It's an arcade and they had inside, so like typical arcade, whatever. But inside there they had a wall of beer. And it had a row of I don't know, 20 taps or something like that. And you would open a tab and they give you like a card and you would just slide the card in over the tap you wanted and it would unlock it so that you could do a taster of all these different beers that were all in a row.

[00:15:08] And I don't drink a lot of beer. That's not really my thing, but my husband, he was loving it. Cause you could get a little taster tray and try four different beers and then go, and then you only paid per ounce, which was pretty cool. Yeah. Anyway,

[00:15:21] Shelley Carney: That's a nice precursor to St. Patrick's day.

[00:15:25] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. Yeah. So we had to, we had a good time. It was something we hadn't seen. That kind of thing. And playing video games is fun. I like a throwback to the eighties and sitting there playing car games. Like I just love like those driving games. It's a weird. Thing, but yeah, it was super fun.

[00:15:43] Shelley Carney: Yeah. It sounds like it other than the concussion, but yeah.

[00:15:46] Jen McFarland: Yeah. You know, I just kept on trucking, and then thankfully it was pretty good and it seems okay. I'm just a little dinghy, but what else is new?

[00:15:58] Shelley Carney: You still managed right?

[00:16:00] Jen McFarland: Still managed. Oh, it was, I had a blast. So good. If you can get out. I know that some people are still worried about COVID and stuff, but if you can get out and see humans, it's really fun to get out and see humans. And these were all people that I had met at She Podcasts and they were, just awesome people.

[00:16:20] So I was so happy to be there and had a really great time. So have you been watching the show? Do you know about any of the stuff I talked about? Or have you been,

[00:16:30] Shelley Carney: it takes a good 15 minutes to reboot this computer, which is it's when you start saying a new computer might be nice.

[00:16:37] Jen McFarland: So I introduced the show and just started training. Cause like before Shelley, that's how the show went. I started talking. So I had spoken for quite a while about how to automate daily tasks. I talked about checklists and I believe that's where Julia's comment came from checklist.

[00:16:56] That, so that's maybe telling. So I think it's important for you to now do your bit on the training. And I will add quips and questions.

[00:17:11] Shelley Carney: I think we talked a little bit before the show before the computer shut down and we lost contact. We said, what do you automate? You automate the things that you do the most often, what I do the most often, of course, is create content.

[00:17:24] So every time I start a new theme, I'm going to start creating this content now, I have to make process for it. I have to make checklist. I have to make scheduling on my calendar. So that I know, okay, on Mondays, I need to do this list of things in order to get to my shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

[00:17:45] So that's how I work. And some of the things that I automate are the post production of the show. For instance, once I post the show, once the show is up on YouTube and then we put it up on our podcast platform, then it automatically starts spreading out in the automated apps that I'm using.

[00:18:07] For instance, we use Podpage and we have the podcast and the videos going in there automatically. When I post a blog on Fridays, then my email sends it out to everybody automatically because of the RSS feed. So there's certain automations that I've set up that save me time because I know I was doing that every week manually. So that's something that I want to automate. So I start looking for those tools that can automate it for me without a whole lot of hands-on playing around with it. So social media distribution app. I've got a couple of those that I have set up with the feeds so that it takes my blog, my podcast, and my live stream and sends it out as social media posts.

[00:18:54] And I don't have to mess with it. So there's certain things that you really want automated because you do them all the time. In there and you don't want to have to keep doing it all the time when a machine can just take care of it for you.

[00:19:07] Jen McFarland: Yeah. I work with a lot of people and they don't use a social media scheduler. Can we talk about that for just a second? That's something I didn't talk about before. I talked a little bit about the podcast production, but a lot of people are hesitant about it because they feel like the algorithm you have to post natively inside the app, or schedule inside the app to get the most visibility.

[00:19:34] Now you might get a bump in visibility if you do that. But you also have to think about your time. Remember when we talk about productivity and we talk about efficiency, we're always, especially as small businesses, balancing that out. Like what makes us more productive so that we can get products out the door? Sitting on social media, isn't going to do it.

[00:19:55] Nobody really knows the optimal time for you to post. A lot of the really good social media schedulers do it automatically and they have all of the science behind it. So let them do it. Let it do its work. I use for the podcast, I use an app called lately and it's wonderful.

[00:20:16] I upload the video from the show and it will automatically edit the video clips. Then I edit, it's all AI. I edit the text so that it is more sounds like me. This sounds like you, and it will post it out, and it's, so it's like little video clips along with a little Quip, something pithy that we have said and it's amazing.

[00:20:44] Like I would never go through and edit out like the fun clips from the show. That would, it takes about, it takes a long time to do, but I can generate, across five platforms, 10 or 20 posts per platform, in under an hour. It's like crazy, and then all I have to do is let it do its thing.

[00:21:04] And then I go on to social media and engage with people. And that's the part that people forget is then they just schedule it and then they don't go. And then they're like it doesn't work. Nobody left a comment and it's. Did you go on social media to be social with people like and connect, especially on LinkedIn.

[00:21:21] If you connect with people and comment on other people's posts, then they're more likely to come back and look at what you're doing. Social media is community, but you don't want to just go on there so that you can post, you want to go on there so that you can be a part of the community, and then you have the posts rolling on an ongoing basis.

[00:21:39] So that then. You're building community when you're actually in the platform and not worrying about posting.

[00:21:47] Yeah. And it's nice to open up your LinkedIn and okay, this morning, my app automatically posted this now, what can I add to it? Or did somebody say something on it and can, what can I add to what they said?

[00:21:59] So it's there already. The starting point is there for you, the foundations. So then you can just add to it then so much easier than. Trying to remember 10 times a day that you need to post on social media.

[00:22:14] I know I'm always astounded when people, when I still talk to people and some people have been in business for a very long time and they still don't schedule their posts.

[00:22:23] So it's a very, it's a very interesting thing for a lot of people. Although now later has changed there a free app. I used to really. Tell people that they could use the free version of later. That's different than lately I use lately, which is totally different later is a really good scheduling app.

[00:22:44] And so is buffer an oldie, but a goodie. And they're just, they really know what they're doing. It will just help you and save you so much time. It doesn't have to be a heavy lift, a big cost. And then you can just go in there. Some of the platforms like. Hootsuite and things like that are really good at like kind of monitoring and you can engage from within their platform.

[00:23:06] Do it. However, it makes sense. But what I tell people is schedule of your posts and then engage like in the morning and then in the afternoon, and then call it a day. Like you don't need to be hanging out there all the time. That's a repeatable process that you can definitely plan out and automate your daily.

[00:23:25] Shelley Carney: Yeah, and I didn't. So this last weekend I was also focused on editing the the material that's going to go into our next book. Spend the time on creating audio grams. So I got a little behind on that and we do always all get behind on some things, but if you've got all of these automation outset up for you, then you never need to worry that I didn't post on social media at all this week.

[00:23:50] All I did because it's already set up and it took care of it for me. And even though I was super busy with, editing program, I mean editing my book and I was super busy. Taking my husband to the doctor all week. And and that's going to be real hectic for the next six weeks. If things like that are going to take you away from things like posting on social media or sending out emails and, find ways to automate those tasks so that it continues to operate even with when you're not able to do hands-on with.

[00:24:22] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. And one of the reasons I'm looking at another platform for the women conquer business website is because it will take some of that off. Yes, I could do an RSS feed to automatically post send out an active campaign. It's just not very pretty. So I have another app I'm really focusing on the women conquer business side on creating really good content.

[00:24:47] I want to find a really good content platform. It on so that people can engage in a different way. And I'm tired of managing a WordPress website. Cause now I'm managing two one for apifany courses and one for women conquer business. So I wanted to take some of the costs and some of the time out. And so I'm really looking at another website platform so that I can.

[00:25:09] Do content over there, make it a really good reader experience. Maybe I give up a little on SEO, but probably not much. And then I just don't have to think about it, and it just takes a lot out of it. People come in, they subscribe. If they subscribe, then they get every new post in their inbox.

[00:25:28] It just makes a lot of sense. And. And they, if they want, what I like about, I'm looking at a platform called ghost and it's also built for creators and it will be a way to encourage people to help support the content. So as women conquer business continues to morph while I make more courses, it's just a.

[00:25:49] It's just a process. So that's part of it too, is the things that you automate and change will change with you. And you have to be looking at that ever evolving process of what it is that's causing breakpoints or kinks in the system. So Shelleysaid, you want to make processes.

[00:26:08] And you want to systematize things and make checklists, but those checklists are going to be changing. And that's why. W we can't always be over-reliant on things like apps. That was something that you missed at the beginning. I was saying, yes, the apps work. And we'll talk about that next week.

[00:26:24] But sometimes they don't work or they stop working. And it's because oftentimes we, as the human element, haven't made the updates to the process to reflect it, or the tools we're using aren't really made for the new process. So there's just a lot to it. When you can take the mundane and not think about it.

[00:26:46] Oh man. I think that's a great thing.

[00:26:49] Shelley Carney: Yeah. And I think the posting of your content and the the onboarding type, email sequences, these are the obvious things that you can automate is set up once. And then they, and then you just maintain, you do a little bit of maintenance, Now, and then when it needs it.

[00:27:06] But other than that it's, hands-off, I can, now I can go focus on talking to my customers and, doing the human things that, that I can do. And that apps can't do for you. Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, if it's a repeatable process, right? If it's something that like an onboarding, like somebody is going to go get one of you.

[00:27:29] Jen McFarland: Yeah.

[00:27:30] Shelley Carney: They go get your free download and you have that automated email sequence that onboards them. And if there's anything additional that they should be getting, then you have that set up. Automatically, maybe, and there's an email that says, oh, how about we connect on Facebook? Or, whatever it is that continues to bring them deeper into your network.

[00:27:51] Jen McFarland: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And the other thing is, and the reason I've always mentioned, I mentioned onboarding too is because it's just like, why wouldn't you automate that, audit and also automate the other thing. The other point I made earlier, and I like to get your take on this. Don't automate the things that are broken, automate the things that, work and work well.

[00:28:12] So that, that can be the thing that's quicker or you're picking up the most efficiency.

[00:28:18] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Anything that's this the same every time if it's the same, every time it's just gotta be, it becomes part of your, to do and done, and it goes faster every week because your brain learns it and you don't have to think so much for my emails and my LinkedIn newsletter, the beginning, it was slow and I would change, tweak and change and tweak and change. And then I found something that I really liked as a format. And a method of doing it. And then I just follow that format each time. And that speeds things up. Even now, it's not automatic and it's not completely the same, but once you have come to that decision about this is the format I like, this is what I'm sticking with and alive to do is change the, the original content in this spot and this spot, and then it can go out and it's going to save you a lot of time of, reinventing the wheel every week.

[00:29:11] Jen McFarland: Yeah. So it's make processes and checklists

[00:29:15] Shelley Carney: and templates, templates. That's the good word

[00:29:18] Jen McFarland: there. Processes checklists and templates. And it's so funny because when we figured out we could make a template and captivate it, it seemed to make show notes easier. When we figured out, every step of the way, we figure out things that may.

[00:29:33] Easier. And that's the thing as a business owner, you always want to be looking at those opportunities and figuring out if there are opportunities there to make things a little bit more efficient. Yeah.

[00:29:45] Shelley Carney: The caveat with that is, and I do this, so that's why I know a is you set it up and then you forget it and then you never go back and look at it and see if it's still working, or if it's sending out the right things or, Okay, you're done.

[00:29:59] I worked on you. That's all I have to do with you ever. And let me go do stuff that I like now. Meanwhile, it's sending out gobbledygook and you're like,

[00:30:11] Jen McFarland: as opposed to me, who's oh yeah, I'm going to tweak and tweak. I think that there has to be a happy medium between the two of us neither way works.

[00:30:20] You have to let it go. And at the same time you have to check it sometime. It doesn't have, but it doesn't have to be babysat as much as I babysit things sometimes.

[00:30:30] Shelley Carney: Yeah, we have other things going on in our lives all the time apps.

[00:30:35] Jen McFarland: I know, but we've discussed previously. I have an app problem, so I like apps

[00:30:41] Shelley Carney: That's okay, and part of that is that you teach other people about apps. So you need to stay totally up to date on what's new, what works, why other things don't work and why you should tell people, I don't use this because blah, blah, blah. It doesn't work. They worked for a minute and then it stopped or whatever.

[00:30:59] You need to know that stuff because you're teaching it.

[00:31:02] Jen McFarland: That's true.

[00:31:03] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Like I need to know all the latest and greatest in live streaming. And then of course my computer shuts down.

[00:31:11] Jen McFarland: That's a computer thing. I'm going to blame the windows update. I like to blame the windows update for everything. It makes me feel good. So that's what we'll do. We'll blame the windows update on that.

[00:31:22] I don't really have a lot else to talk about automating like daily tasks. Mostly because otherwise will start getting too deep into apps. And I know we're going to talk about that if I remember right. That's next week, we're talking about the apps and then the last week we'll be, we need to figure out who we're profiling, but we'll be profiling somebody. Yeah. And so we need to get on that. Do you have anything else to add on automating tasks?

[00:31:54] Shelley Carney: No. I just think that it's something that people need to really think about how much time they're saving and time is money and how much money are you saving and then spend some of that on the app. That's going to do all that work for you. If it's not an app, then it may be it's a VA. You need that. You need to free up some of that time so that you can spend that time on prospecting and those calls with potential clients and then delivering your services. Because that's where you're making money.

[00:32:27] Jen McFarland: And I would say that it's because you have made some processes and some checklists that you were able to create that book Women in Podcasting.

[00:32:40] Shelley Carney: Exactly. That's right. Toby has been doing this for years and years. and when we decided, Hey, we're going to go to this conference, let's get something out of it. Because you know, we're putting money and time into it. Let's get something out of it. What can we do? It's a bunch of podcasters, so why don't we. Interview them use the interviews on our podcast. And then we transcribe the interviews and make all that material into a book. And we could do that all in one weekend.

[00:33:07] So it was really all about making the best use of our time and money. We bring every last ounce of content out of everything that we can. We went there, we did the interviews, we took photos, we talked about it on our show. We shared those interviews. We had the women back on the show to talk about their interviews and their experience at the She Podcasts.

[00:33:26] And then we, transcribed everything, put it into a book format and they have the book out. It just grows and it grows and before you know it, you have a whole bunch of content that you created just in one weekend. Yeah.

[00:33:39] Jen McFarland: Where can people get that book?

[00:33:41] Shelley Carney: Oh, that book is available on it's called women in podcasting, the messages and methods interviews. If you go to books dot AGK media dot studio and you can go right to our books. And every time we add more books, they'll still be in there so you can continue to use that.

[00:33:59] Jen McFarland: We'll put a link in the show notes. So you'll be able to click on that. Whether you find us online or through the website, at WomenConquer biz.com/podcast. You'll find all of the old episodes there. And I'm thinking, let me know what you think about this, Shelley. I was thinking what if we put like a Google Cal reminder so people could remember when we're online, if they wanted to do that, like a link to do that. I was thinking about that.

[00:34:28] Shelley Carney: Wait, I don't understand.

[00:34:30] Jen McFarland: So if people are like, I want to always catch the show at 10:00 AM Pacific or 11:00 AM on Thursdays mountain. What if we put a link? So people could save that.

[00:34:42] Shelley Carney: Oh yeah.

[00:34:43] Jen McFarland: On your Google calendar, I'm sure you must know how to do it seems like an efficiency.

[00:34:51] I don't know. And as we also talked about earlier, the find the right marketing tools for your small business. Even though I help people find the absolute right tool. It's still really important for you as business owners to know the right questions, to ask somebody like me. And to really communicate with us about what your needs are and that's exactly what this course is about.

[00:35:16] It's one of our first offerings out of the Epiphany courses, which is my second business. And I would say that if you have ever bought the wrong piece of software, even once, then definitely go out and get, this course is $75. That is less than the cost of that $20 a month app that you bought that isn't working for you.

[00:35:39] So really think about. And it looks like we have a comment here. What is this?

[00:35:46] Shelley Carney: Somebody likes my voice.

[00:35:48] Jen McFarland: Oh, somebody likes, I know. It's like smooth as butter and like I, and then I start talking not smooth as butter

[00:36:00] Shelley Carney: that's okay. That's okay. Thank you. I take that as a compliment.

[00:36:05] Jen McFarland: I don't know what ASMR videos are.

[00:36:08] Shelley Carney: ASMR is when they make those interesting sounds. And they have the quiet whispering type voices and

[00:36:16] Jen McFarland: oh, like the sleep podcast where people tell stories and they taught you

[00:36:20] Shelley Carney: that. Yeah.

[00:36:24] Jen McFarland: Soothing sounds. Yeah, no, I think that, yeah, I think that doing, you could do really good meditation videos and

[00:36:32] Shelley Carney: I have some up, if you want to go to my, I do, I have meditation videos.

[00:36:36] Jen McFarland: Oh, we

[00:36:36] Shelley Carney: should definitely meditation's. Yeah,

[00:36:39] Jen McFarland: we should definitely, you definitely have the voice for that. So I would, yeah, we'll put links to that in the show notes.

[00:36:49] The meditations. I would like to anytime I try to do my NPR voice, people laugh. So clearly I don't have that either, but Hey, you know what? We can't all be Shelley Carney. I think

[00:37:01] Shelley Carney: it's a good, you have a good voice. It's just, you're usually more energetic and excited and I'm like, ah,

[00:37:08] Jen McFarland: Even keel. So I think that, yeah, so we'll definitely put links to that.

[00:37:14] Gross is saying that you should market your vault of treasures. She doesn't have to cut out Toby.

[00:37:23] Shelley Carney: It's all in, it's all in my YouTube channel. So check it out people. So yeah, it's all there live stream coach.

[00:37:30] Jen McFarland: And did we say that'd be St Patrick's day, the Carney and the McFarland. That's a big deal. I should probably put some green on or is it red? So my husband will kiss me.

[00:37:42] Shelley Carney: Oh, I've always heard green. You have to wear green on St. Patrick's day or you will get pinched or you get pinched, right? Yeah. That's what I was always told.

[00:37:52] Jen McFarland: Yeah. I need to making corn beef and cabbage. My husband requested that I need to go,

[00:37:57] Shelley Carney: Yesterday and took a Instagram photo of it.

[00:38:01] It's really cool. If he go visit Toby's Instagram or Facebook, you'll see that photo of the the St. Patrick's day celebration.

[00:38:08] Jen McFarland: Yeah, that's so cool. What I was telling you, Shelley, before the show started that my dad did all this work on ancestry and the McFarlands were marauders. What we would do in Ireland is when it was like the Moonlight, we would go out.

[00:38:24] We'll go out and steal stuff, by Moonlight. You know what I mean? That was who the mud pots, who the McFarlands were. So we were that kind of sort

[00:38:37] Shelley Carney: got it from the Vikings. I think the Vikings and the Irish kind of intermingled and it became. That way of life and it wasn't uncommon.

[00:38:46] And it was something fun to do. I think they stole sheep back and forth, and what would the McFarland's steal our sheep again? Oh, I'll have to get out there and steal it back and

[00:38:56] Jen McFarland: oh, wow. I don't know which county I'm, we're still working on that. So when my dad passed away, I took over the ancestry account and we don't know, we haven't.

[00:39:06] We know we're Irish. We don't know which county maybe I should go. Maybe I should go to Ireland and just be like, so did we steal your stuff? I don't know. I don't know with my personality cause I'm so cheeky. I, it's not surprising that, centuries later the marauders would be just a. This cheeky old broad who likes to make jokes all the time.

[00:39:27] That's probably not surprising. So yeah, I don't know which county still working on it. Ancestry is like super fun and interesting. And I love seeing all of the pictures of my grandparents from when they were teenagers from like yearbooks and stuff, because it picks it all up and. But yeah. Going back and oh yeah.

[00:39:48] I can go to some pubs and they'll tell you exactly where you're from. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely that would be,

[00:39:54] Shelley Carney: Some of these names like Carney, for instance, are not only very common, they're spelled in many different ways. So they have the K E a R N E Y, then Carney without e yeah. Yeah.

[00:40:06] Jen McFarland: It's like a McFarland. All of that, it's it's changed over time. Or maybe when we came to America, the person, Ellis island spelled it differently, there's all kinds of stuff. So do so I didn't change my name when I got married. So I've always been in McFarland.

[00:40:22] Have you always been a Carney?

[00:40:23] Shelley Carney: Oh, I was a Dalton before.

[00:40:26] Jen McFarland: Oh, wow.

[00:40:27] Shelley Carney: Dalton is. It's I don't know, English, I've told us English, I'm told it's Brit, I'm told it's a French, D' Alton. And so I don't know, I haven't, my mom and my daughter have been working on genealogy to gather and so it's quite interesting.

[00:40:48] My mom's family's all German. Yeah. Kevin's family. My husband's family. That's the Irish.

[00:40:55] Jen McFarland: It, it's interesting. So on my mom's side, it's it was all recorded a lot more, probably because of the places and things it's mostly Swiss. So I'm very Swiss that can be traced, but the debt, my dad's side, I don't know, I guess they didn't keep as good of records to go back, to Ireland.

[00:41:15] But but the Swiss and the Germans, they kept. Records. That side of the family is pretty well-known, but this is a pretty cool thing. So gross pork found. His mother's or hers. I don't know. Natural father birth father that way, like you, you can find people through ancestry.

[00:41:36] It's so cool. We've we haven't really had anybody who was lost, but it's mostly that the records just drop off. And I think that what I need to do is go out and. Yeah. There's some way that you can chat on ancestry, ask people and try and gather more information. And I haven't done that yet, so maybe we can find out more by going out and doing that.

[00:41:58] It's just so interesting. Yeah. And I

[00:42:01] Shelley Carney: just didn't want it to be family. And my husband's brother and my daughter have all gathered together on that. I guess it's the ancestry.com one or whatever it is. It's one of those sites. Where they get together and they share all the information and here I've got this and every now and then there's a big information dump.

[00:42:20] And I was like, whoa. So yeah. It's really cool way to meet family. Oh yeah. Did you want to do a, your week of the week?

[00:42:30] Jen McFarland: Do you want to do tweaks of the week? Oh yeah. The sound effects are back at Shelley's back. I didn't know. Sound effects. Do you want to do yours first?

[00:42:44] Shelley Carney: I'll just yesterday and this happens every week when we have a live guest, we're never sure, a hundred percent if they're going to show up.

[00:42:52] So we like to have a backup. So I'll throw together a show. And what I'll usually do is start with Google slides and we have a template that we use and then we'll have a Topic, and I'll just start plugging things into the slides and just all comes together as I'm creating these slides.

[00:43:13] And in an hour, I have a presentation with slides and the slides have information and stats and photos and all of this. And I can put it all together in an hour now because I've been doing it so many times. It's it comes really quickly. But. We have other people who've you who use like PowerPoint and it doesn't look as good on screen as if you have Google slides.

[00:43:39] And another thing you can do with Google slides is that you can import them into stream yard and then just click on the button. And they, when they shift over and it makes a nice presentation. So if that's something that, you're interested in doing for your live stream, it's a really great tool for that.

[00:43:58] Jen McFarland: Oh, that's really cool. I did notice that we could upload decks into a stream yard. I was wondering if you'd ever done that. So that's pretty cool. Yeah. My tweak of the week is ghost. Now. It's hard to call that a tweak of the week. It's not a new app. A lot of times I talk about new ghost has been around since 2013 and it was started as a Kickstarter campaign by a former WordPress employee.

[00:44:23] They were looking for a different way. To produce websites and it is like a hundred percent a creator blogger platform it's built around. Having a paywall on certain content, getting memberships on, providing the best reading experience for people. It's got a tie in with amp, which is may or may not be going away.

[00:44:49] It depends on what you read, but amp is accelerated mobile pages. So making it go really quickly on your phone. And it is something I'm exploring for the women conquer business website, because. Like I said, I want something that is hosted and I'm not worried about self hosting anymore. I don't have to manage all of this security updates.

[00:45:12] My website has grown into a behemoth that is actually pretty expensive to keep every year and goes, would be a cost saving for me. But most importantly, I think it's a real opportunity to provide a really good reading experience for people. A really good way to have a clean, easy website that isn't overwhelming, that doesn't have all the bells and whistles that could really.

[00:45:39] People participate in conversations that I think are important. So in terms of how that kind of ties in to what we've been talking about it will be, if I, if it works, I'm still testing it. It would be a way for me to automate some tasks. It would relieve some stress, which I think would help it with on an efficiency standpoint.

[00:46:03] And I'm shifting my business and the values of the businesses. And this seems like a step toward that as well. So it hits on all the cylinders of productivity that we've been talking about. So that's my tweak of the week. I think it is something that we all need to do. Like sometimes you just have to.

[00:46:24] Look at things and say there has to be another way of doing this so that it can be easier.

[00:46:30] Shelley Carney: Yeah. Especially those things that are frustrating you and taking up too much time. Yeah.

[00:46:34] Jen McFarland: It's not that it frustrates me. It's that it just takes too much time. Like just being able to go boom, podcast, episode done, and it still looks pretty and I don't have to do anything to make it look pretty.

[00:46:47] Yeah. And it's also a really clean. Interface for someone. I know that you're not on WordPress. I'm not wordpress.org. I don't think, but it is it was, it looks like what it is, which is like something that was developed by a bunch of nerdy coders who wanted to do a blog and it's never really been updated and this is just way easier.

[00:47:11] It's just easier. So there are some drawbacks and that's the other part of researching. Yeah there's gotta be an easier way. And I think that when you look at your productivity, sometimes that's really, it's also about your mental health and what's going to make it easier for you to deliver. And, that's what I think.

[00:47:34] And so that's why that's my tweak of the week. I'm still looking at it, trying to make a decision.

[00:47:40] Shelley Carney: Yeah. We'll keep us posted on that. Yeah. And what did, what does that cost? Ghost?

[00:47:45] Jen McFarland: So it depends on which lane you do. I would be doing the team one just so that I can pay for, get them to do the migration for me from WordPress.

[00:47:55] And so that one is more expensive, but I think that one's $50 a month, but. After the migration then downgrade to the creator plan, which is, I believe a $25 a month. But even at $50 a month, that's cheaper than my current website. Which when I started calculating it out, I'm like, that's really expensive.

[00:48:20] And so there's always a better way. I think that, that's why I always get a little angry. When people say WordPress websites are free. I'm like, no, they're not such a lie.

[00:48:29] WordPress.com can

[00:48:31] Shelley Carney: be free. And as long as it's their basic level and yeah, absolutely. Yeah. As Jen said, if you're going for the wordpress.org is a lot of work and you need a lot of knowledge to be able to run those websites and they are, can be very expensive.

[00:48:48] Jen McFarland: And I, I'm not managing other people's websites to do. So I don't really want to manage my own any more, either

[00:48:56] Shelley Carney: simple. Give me a simple solution that doesn't cost a lot of money and I'm happy. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Excellent. Are you ready for inspiration now? Yes. Today I was reading my daily stoic book.

[00:49:12] And I've I've enjoyed this. I'm going to share it with everybody. If your choices are beautiful. So too, will you be, and that was a quote from Epictetus, Elena. I'm not sure how you say his name at pettiness. But the Stoics urges to consider not how things appear, but what effort, activity and choices they are a result of.

[00:49:35] So if you look good, physically good because you're doing a lot of physical work and. You're being productive. Say like I have huge backyard and all summer long pull weeds. And at the end of the summer, it looks pretty good. It's starting to weed up again. The beauty of it, isn't just that it looks nice and weed free.

[00:49:57] The beauty of it is all the work that I put into it to make it that way. Getting up every Saturday morning. Pulling weeds and filling up the trailer with weed and garbage from the yard and then taking the trailer once a month to the dump and all the work and the choices that went into making the yard look nice.

[00:50:19] The same can be true with your business, right? The choices that. Pick the things that you pick to work with and all the content that you're creating and the whole beautiful business is the product that while your time effort and all the things that you put into all those decisions that you're making every day.

[00:50:38] Jen McFarland: Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. That is also the activity. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:50:44] Shelley Carney: Great. It's like the journey is the important part, right? It's not the destination, it's the journey comparing that. And sometimes we just need to hear it in 10 different ways before we really begin to grasp that concept. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:51:00] Jen McFarland: Thank you. Yeah. And thank all of you for being here and we hope that you'll come back next week and watch or listen,

[00:51:08] Shelley Carney: and I'll do my best to be there on time.

[00:51:11] Jen McFarland: No, that's okay. It's how it's. It's how the world works. We always have to be prepared for the unexpected that's

[00:51:19] right in.

[00:51:25] She had to do that.

[00:51:31] So thank you so much. Have a great week, everybody. Okay.

[00:51:37] And yeah, bye-bye.

[00:51:42] Thank you for joining the women conquer business podcast posted by ShelleyCarney and Jen McFarland, please subscribe and leave a comment or question regarding your most challenging content creation or business problem. Then share this podcast with family and friends so they can find the support they need to expand their brand and share their message with the world.

[00:52:03] Check the show notes for links to valuable resources and come back again next week.

Show Notes

0:00 Music and Intro

01:02 Productivity, Efficiency, and Automation

10:15 Pinterest In-App Checkout and Pin Sharing Across Platforms

12:44 Weekend Update, Van Gogh and Skating with Podcasters in Centralia

17:11 How Shelley Uses Automation

19:07 Is a Social Media Scheduler a Good Idea? (Hint: Yes)

32:40 We Wrote the Book on Writing Books Fast

34:40 Increase Business Productivity with the Right Software

36:40 Listen to Shelley's Soothing Voice

37:30 Happy St. Paddy's Day: How Irish Are These Lasses?

42:44 Google Slides FTW!

43:58 Ghosting Can Be a Good Thing

48:56 Make Your Business Journey a Beautiful One

  • “If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.” –Epictetus

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Jen McFarland

Obsessed with creating solutions that help businesses make exceptional decisions faster. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project innovator. CoFounder, Epiphany Courses. Women Conquer Business Founder.

Shelley Carney

Livestream host, coach, and author. Podcaster and blogger for Messages and Methods and Women Conquer Business.


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