Save time and win back your sanity !
Coaches and consultants are often busy with the things that have nothing to do with coaching nor consulting. They can be found in a pile of post-it notes, notebooks, and a wide array of online tools that look like they are helping, but are actually not. Pretty much they do more administrative work, marketing, and sales than they do their actual job.
When you’re first starting out this isn’t a big deal. A small roster of clients can be manageable with a few simple apps and technology tools. But as you grow and you start adding layers to your service offerings (groups, courses, public speaking, writing a book, more 1:1 clients) it gets overwhelming fast.
This is a sign to begin delegating your work.
And the question becomes… what do you delegate and to whom (or what)?
Delegating your work begins with knowing your steps.
What’s your process?
Let’s start from the beginning.
You’ve gotten a few leads. Soon, you’ll have a few clients. This is where your process begins.
There is no right or wrong process. There is only the way you do it. This is the point where you need to start writing down each step as you think about it.
Client reaches out.
We’ve won the sale.
We sent them an invoice.
We sent them a contract.
We onboard the new client.
We have our first meeting with them.
We suggest some goals for them to complete.
We schedule the next meeting with them.
As you can see, these are steps in the process of when you first bring on a new client. Each of these steps require our attention and a response from us. And this is only one small part of your entire process, for one client!
Imagine you doing this for multiple clients, across multiple offerings, plus maintaining your time and sanity.
Diving Deeper With Questions
What I’ve listed above are superficial actions you’ve taken to onboard a client and begin working with them. You’re not ready to delegate yet and to who/what can’t be assigned yet. There’s not enough information.
Let’s back up a bit.
We need to get a high-level view of your process.
So we say, we've won the client and now we want to onboard them. My first question to you would be: what does that mean? That you've onboarded a client? That you've won the case?
Do you mark them as a client in your CRM? Do you create a project for them?
What do you do?
What are the steps that you're doing initially?
So keep asking these questions.
What does that mean?
Is there a deeper level that I can go into?
For example, when we say a client reaches out to us, ask yourself, what are the sources that they reached out from. Your website? Social media? Your newsletter?
If social media, which one? And how do you respond?
Do you have a specific form that they can fill out? Where does this form live?
When you want to mark a client as won, what does that mean?
Does it mean that they've signed the contract?
Does it mean that they've already paid that initial invoice?
Write out every single step, every single task that you do, there is no such thing as a task that is too small to write out when you're thinking about your process, because what takes you two or three seconds or even takes you a minute, is taking up your time and you need to take that into consideration by writing out each and every step so you'll know exactly what you're doing.
If you can't write this out, if it's too hard for you to write out, if you can't think about it, record yourself doing it once. Record yourself doing the process, going through the steps and then you'll see what it is that you're doing. I recommend using VidYard to walk yourself through the process or simply take an audio recording app on your phone and talk yourself through the steps and questions.
Let’s look at the evidence!
If you've recorded yourself doing the tasks, you'll see clearly in the video how long it takes you to do this task. Take a look at a project in your project management tool. You’ll see that you have multiple tasks. You now have an estimate of how long each task takes.
And now you need to decide, what are we willing to let go of?
What does that mean? It doesn't mean we have to stop doing this task. What it means is what are we willing to hand over to someone else or to automation.
For example, creating a project in your project management tool is easily done. You create a zap and the zap triggers when the status changes or when a tag is added and you define which status and which tag that's the trigger. And then the action is to create a project in your project management tool.
As you can see from last month's series we can delegate a major step here. You can delegate hours of your time and brain space to an automation tool simply by asking questions and mapping out each individual task until completion.
But before you go rushing off to set up your automation, the next thing to do is actually to define dependencies in your tasks.
Most project management tools have this option, though you may have to pay for it since it may be a premium feature. The idea is to say: this task can't start until this task is done. So one is dependent on the other. And the reason you want dependencies is because when you're working with a team, the task will be available for them to work on based on completion of other tasks someone else is working on.
And they'll get a notification that it's available for them to work only once it's released.
This allows your VAs, copywriters, and/or any support staff you’ve hired to be part of the delegation team.
Bringing your team onboard.
So far we’ve set up an automation tool. But even tools have their limitations. We actually need people to step in and help us out. How do we figure out when this point happens?
If you’ve watched the recording of your walkthrough of your tasks and you realize something is super technical and needs a human touch… They are tasks that require thinking and should be handed to a team member, or someone on staff who has the know-how and ability to perform this task in the most efficient manner.
In your project management tool, your template can include who these tasks are assigned to automatically (they’ll get a notification to begin working on the task). If you have a set team, you can start thinking about pre-assigning people in your PM tool. Because once you get going, it’s simply a matter of putting the right tags on projects and setting up the correct dependencies. Once those are set up, it is so easy and painless to assign tasks to your team.
If you don’t have a team, instead of assigning a task to a specific person, you can tag the tasks with the job description of the person who is responsible for the task (for example VA, accountant, designer). Then when you assemble your team, assign the tasks to the person based on the job description tag.
Content creation tasks? Set the tag, start/end date, and delegate.
Bookkeeping? Set the tag, start/end date, and delegate.
Admin task? Set the tag, start/end date, and delegate.
No more phone calls and lengthy team meetings or writing emails of what you need assistance with.
This is all pre-loaded into the automation sequence and everyone is aware of their procedures and responsibilities. It wins so much of your time back so you can focus on what you do best… serving your clients!
Questions? Email me.