Listen to the podcast version of this blog post and subscribe on your favorite podcast app:
You know automating your business is important, but when there are so many tools to automate your business available, it can be hard to know which to use. I know this because I was one who waited way too long before automating my online business.
Automation tools sound pricey and complicated. But the truth is, they aren’t all expensive nor hard to use, especially since some are set and forget it types of tools.
So let’s cover which are the best automation tools for you to use as an online business owner, and I’ll share the ones I use myself too.
Related Post: Why You Should Automate Your Online Business
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own
What are the best automation tools?
If you were to look up, “what are the best automation tools?” on Google, you’d get a large range of responses. The truth is that there are tonssss of amazing automation tools for all kinds of businesses.
The ones that are going to be the best for you depend on several different factors and circumstances. Some of these factors include:
- What are your business priorities and goals?
- What’s your budget?
- Do you have a team?
- What tools are you already using for your business?
- Which platforms are you on?
So whenever you’re looking for the best automation tools for your online business, be sure to keep these things in mind.
Related Post: Templates for Online Biz Owners to Speed Up Processes
6 Tools I Use to Automate My Online Business
To help you out, I’ll share the tools I’m using to automate my online business, along with why and how I use them.
This way, you can get a sense of whether these will be the best tools to automate your online business too, or if you’d rather look at alternatives.
Trello for Project Management
My ride or die tool that I use all day everyday is Trello. Personally, I’m on the Premium plan but all the Trello strategies I share in my courses can all be done in the free plan.
This includes Trello automation and is one of the most magical features that can help you get more done.
Inside of Trello, you can create automations for several things. For example, you can create an automation to automatically remove an “In Progress” label when the “Completed” label is added.
Other automations I create include adding myself as a member to the cards for due date reminders, automatically assign certain tasks to my VA (virtual assistant), move cards from one board to another and more.
To learn more on automating your business with Trello, check out my signature program here.
Groupleads for Facebook Groups
Another automation tool I use for my business is one called Groupleads. Groupleads is a chrome extension that makes it easy to collect data from new Facebook group members and funnel them into your email marketing platform.
Whenever someone requests to join my Facebook group and answers the member questions, Groupleads collects their answers inside a Google spreadsheet.
If an email address was given to opt-in to receiving a freebie from me, Groupleads will automatically add a ‘tag’ inside of my email marketing tool, Convertkit, which I’ll cover in a minute.
In addition, I also have certain information from the spreadsheet sent to a certain Trello board I use to gather market research data. All of this is done for me as soon as I click to accept a new Facebook group member.
Zapier for Integration
One of the most popular tools to automate your business is Zapier. Now Zapier is an automation tool that connects several other tools together.
For example, in my example for Groupleads above where I shared that information added to a spreadsheet is then sent to a Trello board for me is due to Zapier connecting the two platforms: Google Sheets and Trello.
It can also connect several thousands of different tools and platforms together to create an outcome automatically, once you’ve set up the workflow in Zapier.
While it’s one of the most expensive automation tools out there, it’s very handy due to its multiple connections. Some alternatives to Zapier include Integrately and Pabbly, but don’t seem to include all popular platforms.
Thankfully, Zapier has a free plan where you can create limited “zaps” aka automation workflows and is great to start with when automating your business.
Convertkit for Email Marketing
The most common automation tool you likely already use is one for your email marketing – I use Convertkit for mine. This is considered an automation tool because it allows you to send emails without you actually having to send them out manually one by one.
You can create tags, segments or groups and automations for new subscribers to automatically receive a sequence of emails when joining your list.
Now, all email marketing platforms can do this but it’ll depend on the plan that you’re on. I used to use Mailerlite, but what I like about Convertkit is that it’s much easier to create and implement funnels.
Convertkit also seems to integrate with more platforms without the need of a connecting tool like Zapier, which can decrease your operational costs. I definitely use the rules and automations features inside of Convertkit all the time and make my life a whole lot easier.
Thrivecart for Products
One of the most popular tools to automate your business is the extremely powerful Thrivecart platform. This is specifically for digital product creators to sell their courses, eBooks etc.
Thrivecart includes several features including checkouts that allow bump offers, downsells and upsells – sometimes even used as full sales pages. It also added the Learn platform for courses, but I also use it to deliver standalone PDFs like printables.
Lastly, it has an affiliate marketing platform so that you can work with affiliates to make more sales.
Whenever someone makes a purchase, they’ll automatically be added to the course purchased, they’ll receive an email from me sent via Convertkit and if the course purchased comes with a private audio feed, they’ll be sent that automatically as well. All without me doing a thing (post-setup, of course).
Related Post: 7 Ways You Can Make Money Blogging
Publer for Social Media Scheduling
Lastly, the final of the tools to automate your business that I use personally is Publer, a social media scheduling tool.
Now this one requires a bit more work upfront as you have to set up and schedule all your social media posts for the different platforms you’re on.
However, there are some social posts that I’ll schedule to automatically be posted on a recurring basis which only involved me setting them up once. These include sharing post threads shared to my Facebook group.
There are soooo many social media scheduling tools out there, and I definitely recommend you pick one to use as it’ll help you avoid being stuck on the social media hamster wheel.
If you aren’t using a social media scheduling tool yet, check out the Publer plans here as the free plan may be all you need.
Related Post: Do You REALLY Need to Be on Every Social Media Platform?
Automate Your Online Business with the Best Tools
While I know I may be missing a few common tools to automate your business on this list, these are the ones I predominantly use every single day.
These 6 automation tools combined help save me so much time and help me avoid losing focus for having to switch from one small task to another.
Regardless if you’re newer or more established online, I definitely recommend you automate your online business as soon as possible. Starting with free plans and tools is perfectly fine too. The most important thing is for you to find ways to save time.
Now, saving time and helping you avoid overwhelm is what I’m all about. If you haven’t yet, I invite you to tune in to the Cheerful Productive Chats Podcast here, where I release a new episode every Wednesday.