In episode 013, my guest and colleague Jimmy Rose of Content Snare and the Agency Highway Podcast talks to us about how to create more free time in business and in personal life through automation. We get an inside peak into what Jimmy has done to create more free time than ever in his businesses and more importantly, you’ll learn how to create automation in your web design businesses via free or paid tools along with simple methods and strategies that you can apply to your web design business to start getting time back RIGHT NOW.

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about automation with Zapier, check out Jimmy’s Zapier Master Course:

Use promo code “JOSHHALL” for $50 OFF!

In This Episode

00:00 – Introduction
04:11 – Greeting to Jimmy
07:37 – A passion for automation
12:08 – How to solve a problem
17:14 – Practical application
25:37 – Using personalization
31:35 – Template efficiency
35:12 – A process for tools
38:34 – How to train client & team
44:47 – Utilizing Zapier
49:53 – A snowball effect
56:38 – Automation freedom
1:06:45 – Final thoughts

Connect with Jimmy:

Links mentioned in the episode:

Episode #013 Full Transcription

Josh 0:17
Hey, everybody, welcome to episode 13. This is the last episode of 2019. And it’s a great talk to end off the year with because we are going to be chatting about something that I’m very personally passionate about for this next year in 2020. And essentially, it’s how to create more free time in business and in personal life. And we’re going to talk about how to do that through this lovely word called automation. And my guest today is a buddy of mine from down under Jimmy Rose, who is essentially an automation expert. He I’ve seen him transform his life in his business from running a digital web design agency to creating a platform called contest snare, which is exactly what it sounds like it’s an automated tool to help the web designers collect content during the content collection process, which, as we all know, is like the most frustrating and draining part of the web design process. And he created that tool. And that really spurred him on to do more things with automation. And I’ve seen him actually leave the web design business to be able to focus on content snare, and he’s now doing other things in and around automation.

Josh 1:25
And it’s completely changed his life. And we get to get an inside peek as to how he’s really saved so much time and created more free time in his life and how we can do that for our web design businesses, as well. And the cool thing about automation is that yes, there are apps and platforms and things that you can buy to help whether it’s connecting email platforms with your website, or contact forms or billing, you know, things like that. But there’s also a lot of free things you can do with processes and just methods that can help your web design business. And in this talk, you’re going to hear from James or Jimmy we’ll find out in the talk that he used to go by James that we actually call him Jimmy now. You’ll hear from him and myself as far as some things that we’ve done to free up time in our web design businesses through automation. So you’re going to love this chat.

Josh 2:11
And what’s interesting as well is he actually Jimmy just launched a course on Zapier. If you’re not familiar with Zapier, it’s a tool that basically connects any tool you can imagine, to help automate things, whether it’s contact forms going into an email list or whether it’s certain tasks that you want your email platform to send out. There’s all kinds of things you can do with Zapier, and I wanted to let you know that he has graciously offered a promo code if anyone is interested after this talk and checking out Zapier use code, Josh Hall all one word for 50 bucks off that course. And he also has a free Zapier tutorial, which I’ll link in the show notes as well. So after this talk, if you like what we talked about, you’re interested in taking that course, I’m actually going through that course in the new year here 2020. I’m really excited about that, because I have so many things I need to automate. And again, that’s one of my big things for 2020 is to save more time by automating things. So I’m going to go through that course. So if you’d like to go through it with me, use CO Josh Hall, you get 50 bucks off that course. And yeah, it’s gonna be awesome.

Josh 3:12
And one thing we talked about as well is you don’t again, have to buy tools that automate things you can but processes are a good way to automate your business as well. And this episode is actually sponsored by my web design process course, which is a form of automate automating. So if you don’t have a process that gets you through your web designs, and you feel like every project is just a scattered, chaotic mess, my web design process courses, that’s why I created it, it’s there for you. It’s a 50 step process that will get you from building through the entire process to launching your site. And it is a form of automated automation. And it has completely changed my life with saving time. So can’t wait for you guys to hear this talk. You’re going to get so much golden information that you can apply to your business right now. So without further ado, guys, enjoy my talk with Jimmy rose on automating your business to creating more free time. Cheers. Jimmy James, welcome to the show, man. Thanks for taking some time to chat with us.

Jimmy 4:11
Josh, thanks for having me. Man. This has been I feel like a long time coming. So it’s really exciting to be here.

Josh 4:16
It’s been a very long time coming. And I feel terrible about that. Because we had this podcast episode scheduled for November 25. And that just happened to be the day that my wife’s water broke and my second daughter arrived. So I had to message you and say, Hey, man, I’m gonna have to skip today for good reason. And I feel terrible because that’s the second time I’ve had to reschedule with you, which is very unlike me, because a couple months previous to that for your podcast. I had to reschedule because our power went out shortly before our call and come to find out a raccoon had gotten into like a local electric box and shut power off to a ton of neighborhoods, so.

Jimmy 4:57
That’s insane, but like there’s no There’s no need to feel bad because you said you felt terrible. And I’m like, I’m pretty sure these are things that have no like, beyond your control.

Josh 5:08
Yeah, yeah. And luckily likes it. Luckily, we knew each other too, because otherwise, you’d be like, This dude is super shady and keeps on skipping out on me. But James, I’m really excited to talk with you today, because we’re going to talk about a topic that I am personally really excited about. And I’m passionate about for 2020. And that’s automation, and more specifically automation to get more stuff done in less time, which is kind of what this is all about. So before we dive into that, because I consider you an automation expert. And I’ve said publicly before that I really don’t consider too many people, experts in things, particularly in web design, just because things change so fast. But you do have some amazing systems in place through automation. So I’m really excited to dive into that. Before we do though. We were just talking about this before we went live. And that’s as to what you want to go by which is James or Jimmy, what would you like me to call you from now on?

Jimmy 6:07
Oh, man, this is it’s like, a kind of a fun, a good and bad thing that I’ve done to myself because I was always like, I think my mom hates Jimmy she called me James. But at some point, as happens in life, you get called nicknames and stuff and Jimmy stuck. And I was Jimmy with everybody until I started local business networking. And then for some reason, I decided oh, it’s more professional to go by James got and, and that’s where I’ve kind of split my life in half. Or I’ve got like half people that called me Jimmy how people are gonna be James. I’m trying to transition back to Jimmy.

Josh 6:47
I liked Jimmy I jokingly said Jimmy James in the intro, but Jimmy is pretty cool. I feel like James is when you’re in trouble as a kid. And Jimmy was like, come on over here. Jimmy, here’s your mac and cheese.

Jimmy 6:58
Mom has nothing to do with Jimmy. But it’s worked out in my favor a couple of times at conferences where I end up with two badges and I become a badge guy and..

Josh 7:06
Gotcha, gotcha. Well, I tell you what, we’ll stick with Jimmy because that is your personal website at Jimmy And you have a course for Zapier, which I’m sure we’re going to talk about. But before we talk about that course, and why you’re so so passionate about automation, let’s back up a little bit. Can you tell us for for my audience who doesn’t know who you are? Or what you’ve done? Can you talk about automation and why it’s so passionate for you and kind of where you came from to get into the world of automation?

Jimmy 7:37
Yeah, well, I mean, it depends how far back you want to go. But back in the day, I was an automation engineer. And I guess I kind of lost that when I went out on my own and moved into software and web design. So automation has always been like a fun thing for me to like, create these flows and stuff that just work. I’m sure web designers often get that as well, when they code something up. And it’s like, oh, man, what you know, like, it’s that, that really cool feeling. And that’s kind of what got me started. But what got me passionate about it, I would say is just hitting like a breaking point. I want to say like, probably three years ago now, where I was the classic web design, digital agency, just taking on everything.

Jimmy 8:22
Trying to do everything with my time, rather than, like, pay for stuff like you know, rather than pay for. Like any software, I try and find some like open source thing and set it up myself. And then I have to maintain it and like so eventually, my, my time was just destroyed and it stressed me out a lot. I became a bad person to be around, I had no time things are falling apart. You know, we’ve all been there.

Jimmy 8:49
But I kind of had this like pendulum swing through where I just went extreme the other way. And suddenly it was like signing up for anything, any service that I could pay for that I thought would save me time within reason. You know, and and then automating as much as I could to just take stuff off my plate and finding processes and tools and things and within. It wasn’t like instant, but fairly quickly. And I let’s say six months, things have started to turn around. And I had a lot of time back for myself. And the reason I got into teaching it is because so many people I’ve realized have the same kind of thing going on. A lot of people have asked me how I was able to do that, how I’m able to automate a lot and I didn’t actually realize that people didn’t know. I guess what, number one what was possible.

Jimmy 9:35
That’s the biggest thing people say 80% of people I survey say they don’t know where to start, and then actually how to do it. No one knew I kind of because it’s just come because it’s something I’ve learned. I just kind of assumed we tend to do that right? We assume everyone’s on the same page. And then so now Yeah, I guess I created a course to help people learn.

Josh 9:56
So that’s great. That’s a really good kind of summary. I’d like to dive into some more detail in those early days. So with your web design agency, had you started automating things? And is that where you got your first taste of automation through your through your web design agency?

Jimmy 10:12
Yeah, I’d actually say most of it in back then was through like Active Campaign through our, that’s like a email marketing CRM platform if people listening aren’t familiar, but that’s got pretty awesome automation capability built into it. And like visual, you can see like, see where they flow through the process. And that’s probably where it started. Like, I know, I was into Zapier back then, and I did little bits of stuff here and there, pretty sure I was using IFTTT. If This Then That just another like basic automation tool for personal level stuff. Yeah, and it’s kind of just built up. And this is what I always tell people, it is like a snowball, you have to do some small things. And then you’ll learn how it works. And then you’ll have ideas for other things, once you understand how it all gets pieced together, and it just builds on itself. And eventually, like you can automate whatever the hell you want. So yeah, it’s very been very gradual.

Josh 11:11
Now your web design business back then you created content snare, as a means to alleviate the problem that every single web designer in the world has. And that’s collecting content. Did you create that while you were running your web design business? Or did you I don’t even know what happened with that business? Did you sell that? Or move on from it? Or how did that work?

Jimmy 11:33
Oh, no, I didn’t tell anyone. Yeah, it’s kind of new news, actually. But um, I. So we actually built two software products. At the same time, as our agency, I gave a talk at recurring revenue retreat last year, about creating a SAS on the side of your agency, because I think agencies are uniquely positioned to be able to work out what ideas to build, because clients literally throw ideas at you all the time. Right. So I think it’s a great position to be in if you want to build a side gig as a product. But yeah, the first one was in like some accounting and bookkeeping stuff. But then there’s just a problem our client had, right.

Jimmy 12:08
So that’s why I said, agencies uniquely positioned but then content snare was obviously a problem that we had, that a lot of agencies I knew had. So I guess, when I just knew there was a problem that need to be solved, and I interviewed a bunch of people, agencies, local agencies, and just sat down for coffee, and almost all of them focused on content as being their biggest roadblock in projects, like collecting content from clients, and like collaboration and stuff. So that’s how we ended up building that. And actually, that, funnily enough, that was not long after my big push into automation. And

Josh 12:48
I was gonna say, cuz that’s automation in itself. Content snare is basically two fancy words for automating collecting content once you have set up there, which Yeah,

Jimmy 12:57
I find like all Sass and tools of that to some level, you know, it’s just like, you can only go so far with, you know, Zapier and these other tools, but then, you know, if you have a dedicated platform that automates like a certain thing. You know that that’s quite helpful. And to answer your question about what happened to the agency, we stopped taking new clients about a year ago. And as of like, two weeks ago, I’m fully done. No more web design or SEO clients, I last one was migrated off two weeks ago.

Josh 13:27
Migrated off. Now, what do you mean by that? Do you mean, did you have like a partner or somebody who took the reins? Or did you sell it? Or what that was like?

Jimmy 13:36
Literally just gave the clients to a friend who runs a web design agency down the road? I mean, over time, that was slowly sort of dropping off anyway. But you know, there was a hand, a couple of handfuls left, I guess you’d say. And I’ll just transition them over.

Josh 13:53
Now, did you kind of put yourself in more of like a consultant role over the past couple years with that as far as like helping him with the client management into things and things like that before you officially stepped away?

Jimmy 14:05
No, I pretty like I know, they know what they’re doing. They do website names. They do SEO. They’re a marketing agency. I was just like, his contact details. Here’s all their logins. Like I checked with the clients first, obviously, some, okay, some didn’t want to transition. They just were like, oh, we’ll handle that website. From here on in. I was like, Well, have fun with that. But everyone else yeah, we just sent all the data to make it seamless as possible.

Josh 14:29
Interesting approach, man, so you didn’t sell it and you didn’t. I mean, it sounds like you know, you content snare really picked up some traction. You launched the agency highway podcast, which is absolutely one of my favorite web design podcasts. And then now you’re doing you’re getting into the course world which I’m so happy for you and I know I hopefully I gave you a good nudge to get going with courses.

Jimmy 14:51
Your like walkthrough or in what was it called

Josh 14:54
Behind the Scenes behind the scenes documentary?

Jimmy 14:57
Oh, man. Yeah, like two hours. I went that and I was like, I can do this. And I basically followed your process to a tee. So thank you.

Josh 15:04
Oh, that’s awesome. I’ll link that in the show notes for anyone who’s curious. Yeah, it’s basically just a walkthrough of how I build courses. It’s documentary style video. But But yeah, I was super happy to help you out with that and to see what’s happened for you, because you’ve got these new endeavors. And that’s awesome that you were able to transition from doing the service work, web design and SEO and now you’re doing basically all automated business stuff. It sounds like, right? I mean, are you doing consulting or anything? Or is automation like your whole world?

Jimmy 15:32
I mean, yeah, I tried to do automation consulting, but it turns out, I don’t, I just think it’s not me. You know, like, I, every time I do, I can’t like a one to three hour consulting thing. It just crushes me for the day, like, I enjoy it. And I love seeing the results. But I just can’t do anything after that. And as like a productivity person that drives me nuts. You know, I want to sit there and actually do some work. But I just, I just want to play with a dog for us.

Josh 16:01
I feel the same thing. When I do count. Like, like on Monday earlier this week, I had a strategy call for a new website. And we talked for over an hour about laying out this website. Yeah, afterwards, I was just done for a little bit like that. And that kind of thing. Any any sort of consulting or strategy or high level thinking just can can zap Yeah. Which speaking of zap, we’re going to talk that we’re gonna talk Zapier here, because I actually really don’t know too much about Zapier or too many automation tools. Before we get to that, though, can I’d like to talk about some practical things that web designers can do? Since you’re coming from that world?

Josh 16:39
One reason I’m really excited to have you on? Jimmy is because gonna tell you, James, is because you came from that world. So I’m really curious about you know, what practical things you did automate. You talked about that a little bit with some email marketing and things like that. But But yeah, let me that’s just the question I want to pose to you right now. I mean, I think we all understand why you’d want to automate because it saves time and frees you up. And you can focus on productivity or higher level tasks. But what are some practical things that that my audience can do as web designers, and that maybe I can focus on for next year?

Jimmy 17:14
Sure. Well, the thing that’s that I got started with, really, really basic. And I think this is important to start with, like small things. So you can kind of see how it all works. And from memory, one of the first things I did was automating the process of following up with clients once a project was finished. And this is to with the end goal of getting reviews and testimonials. But also, we always kind of just forget, you send the client on their way with a new website, and you have to actually remember to check in with them.

Jimmy 17:47
So a big thing for me at the beginning, I had a it’s like a canned ban. So the Trello style view that you can set up an Active Campaign for like deals, quote, unquote, deals, but like I use them like projects. So when the project was finished, we dropped it into the finished box, column, sorry, finished column. And that would actually fire off an automation that would wait, you know, two weeks or three, up to a month, I can’t remember now. But it was like, it would follow it up to say like, how was the process like, I need, like, I’d love some feedback from you. So we can improve a service, whatever, classic feedback request email, and send them to a form. And so of course, you get that feedback, which you can roll into your process.

Jimmy 18:31
But the main thing there was if they gave good feedback, you know, using like some star systems or whatever, then you could follow them up automatically, and and just say, hey, that’s awesome. Thank you so much for that, would you mind leaving a review at one of these links, you know, whichever one that you’re trying to focus on at the time. So that’s like a really simple automation, it’s probably not going to be high volume. So if something goes wrong, you know, it’s not a big deal. It’s kind of a nice one to cut your teeth on.

Josh 18:59
But if you focus on something that isn’t, yeah, high volume, so if you do have to tweak it, it’s not with hundreds of 1000s of people, it’s maybe with a few or something.

Jimmy 19:08
Yeah, that’s right. And but it’s also an effective automation, because a lot of us just forget to do it. Right, like to follow up with clients. So check ins are another good one, you know, if you’ve got like care plans, monthly care plans with clients, you know, if you’ve got a lot of clients, it’s hard to check in with them every month. So we had an automation that was like once they purchased a care plan, it would tag them and then drop them into this like email sequence where it would follow them up every month just to see how things are. And then of course, if they cancelled, it would drop them out of that automation.

Josh 19:39
And I remember in one of your podcast episodes on agency highway, you talked about the importance of those like reach outs, those monthly check ins, and because on one on one token with a maintenance plan, like we have a lot of clients that we just don’t hear from and they just pay us monthly and there’s like very little updates at all, which is awesome. However, a really important point you made was you actually want clients to be utilizing your services to maintain you, because after a year that they’re very likely going to say, we haven’t used this at all, you know, do we really need this that kind of thing. So I like what you meant, you mentioned, and that kind of got me thinking about doing more check ins. And when we have our automated monthly reports, well, it’s slightly automated, my wife actually sends them out.

Josh 20:24
But it is kind of an automated system that we have to simplify that. However, the idea of those check ins is huge. And I love that what you talked about there with finishing a project, because it’s funny, everything you talked about, right, there is exactly what I mentioned in my web design business course, as far as like the follow ups. However, what I talked about is basically a manual way of doing it. So automating that sounds awesome. And I imagine, you could probably set up parameters where like, if someone does leave a testimonial, then it takes them through a different path. Whereas if you don’t hear from somebody for three weeks, it probably keeps it automated. Yeah.

Jimmy 21:00
And that’s like the beauty of this kind of thing you can like with Active Campaign, and most email systems, you can say, if they don’t reply, or they don’t even open the email, send it again in a week. And you know, and do these check ins, automatically. And then you know, you can give up at some point. But then if they do give you feedback, and it’s like, for like nine or 10, that only then do ask them to leave a review, because you don’t want like a full stop person. So go ahead, leave your review.

Josh 21:26
Yeah, and it’s interesting, because what we’re talking about with the end of a project can absolutely be an applied to the beginning, and particularly like the, what I would call the Getting Started phase, the onboarding phase. I know for me, my first taste of real automation came in the beginning of 2018. And it was for my proposal, invoicing contract and payment collection. So I use 17 hats. And it’s not called automation in that system. But it’s called workflows, and basically kind of thing, yeah, it’s the same thing where essentially, you can create a path.

Josh 22:04
So what I did was, I found myself spending so much time putting proposals together, manually sending them and then once a client approved it, then I would have to send them the contract. And then once they sent it back, then I would have to send them an invoice. And then I have to make sure the payment goes through and all that stuff. So it was 17 hats, I created a workflow where I have a templatized proposal. And then I just change the details according to the project. And then I have it all automated, so I send that to the client. And then if they accept the proposal, it takes them right to the contract, they sign online and they accept the contract, then it takes them to the invoice where they pay the deposit.

Josh 22:45
And then it kicks them automatically to a Getting Started email, which is where they get going with getting started with the project and onboarding. So it was like my first taste. And maybe you can talk about this now to where yes, it did take me some time to set that up. But very quickly. I mean, like two weeks later, it started saving me time. And now I can people who have been through my business course see how fast I can throw proposals out there. It has literally changed my life with proposals. So yeah, do you want to talk about that, as far as like, you know, it takes some time to put something in place. But then very quickly, you’ll start reaping the rewards.

Jimmy 23:25
Absolutely. And that’s like such a good automating automation use case there with the onboarding, by the way, like that’s a huge thing for web designers, any any business that sending proposals and contracts and stuff, and then you know, even that initial email sequence that while you’re doing or you’re starting to do the work, even like you can be sending them emails, because some clients be like, Oh, nothing’s happening. I haven’t heard from you in like two and a half hours. You can have those emails going out. Just like educational stuff, it’s like at this point, we’ll be working on blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, so that that can be quite handy as well.

Jimmy 24:00
And another thing you can throw in that mix is setting up folder structures. If you have like a cloud storage thing, you could once they pay, you might automatically set up a cloud, cloud storage, copying folders, a folder structure sort of thing. Anyway, just a cool little idea that I like, because I hate doing that every time. Yeah, but the investment, like automation, I kind of see like an investment. Like you said, it starts saving you a bit of time. But it might take you I don’t know, let’s say like an hour to set up an automation, let’s say, you know, it could be more or less. And that automation might save you five, five minutes a week. And it’s kind of like investing money if you you put some money aside into like a savings account or funds and it pays you a little bit right.

Jimmy 24:46
If you put an hour into an automation, it might save you five minutes a week. 12 weeks later, that hour has paid itself off and it’s breakeven, right? And then after that, it’s five minutes saved a week. That kind of doesn’t sound much like Saving five minutes a week. But if you do this a ton of times, like, eventually you save a ton of time. You know, my I had a look at my account. It’s a rat running around 10,000 tasks a month at the moment, which I just went like, maybe that saves me 30 seconds per task. You know, that’s it’s over 80 Something hours a month that that’s saving now. That’s so yeah, like, that’s kind of it just adds up, you know, like, people are like, oh, you know, there is a case against like, over automating. Like, if you’re going to spend five hours to do something that saves you a minute a week, you know, that’s going to take a while to pay back?

Josh 25:37
Sure, sure. And I think you know, that’s a good point, too, because sometimes automation sounds like this scary robotic term that I have found that a lot of older clients are a little wary of, because they want a more personalized touch and a process particularly with web design. However, the cool thing about my example with 17 Hats is while my system was automated, it didn’t take me much time or effort at all to personalize those automations. So I had control of each template that was automated in that system. But I could always go in and just tweak a sentence here or my email sequence, I would always just highlight like the certain call to actions or priorities or goals for that project. And it looks like I wrote all that out every time, which is awesome. Like, I’m sure my clients thought, wow, Josh really took a lot of time and roll this out, when in fact, I probably took about five to 10 minutes to put that together.

Josh 26:31
So you know that what’s interesting about automation in general, is that there’s a lot of different ways it can be applied. And what I mean by that is workflows, like I just talked about with whatever platform you’re using is a big one, I think most commonly people probably think about email sequences to where you’re not physically writing each email with a sequence whether it’s getting started or weeding out people or moving forward like you talked about. But what I found when it came to the the initial like leads coming in, I found myself spending a lot of time weeding out leads and figuring out how to do that. And a couple ways that I use automation, is I saved my email templates. So every time i i found myself repeating myself over and over and over again, and I just saved it as an email template.

Josh 27:17
Now, could I automate that in some sort of email program, probably, I’m sure I could. And maybe Zapier could come into play for me next year for that kind of thing. But I saved a ton of time by just saving email templates, and then I send our leads to a path, whether it’s a qualified lead or questionable lead. So if it’s qualified lead, I take the proposal route directly, and I send them to my questionnaire and then I go through my process with what I just talked about. If it’s a questionable lead, I actually created a what I call my potential client page. And that outlines all of our details, price ranges, and things like that. And it’s like, save me so much time from answering questions. So I just say that to say there are other forms of automation to like, I would consider that automation. Would you? Like say that ages?

Jimmy 28:04
This, this comes into the same thing? You mentioned just slightly before where there’s like you said that older clients want a more personalized approach. And that still applies, like, I don’t think everyone should be getting the same templated email all the time. Hello, valued client, welcome. Yeah, I mean, and like you said, there are ways you can personalize things inside automations like inactive campaign, you can pull out custom fields from from the person and actually put that into the email and have like, conditional content. So it’s like, if they have this tag applied to their contacts show this block of text or not, you know, so you can chop and change inside the automations. But there’s a whole sort of, I guess, a category that just calling like automation, assisted personalization, you know, automation assisted work, in a way.

Jimmy 28:54
So what you said email templates is a perfect example. I use Text Expander for this, and there’s a whole bunch of different tools for it’s called, like text expansion, funnily enough, phrase Express is a Windows version, a text is a cheaper Mac version. But these are little tools that you can store snippets of text and that can be anything from just a URL that you don’t want to type 100 times like, you know, instead of typing https colon slash as contents I just type.cs W for CS website. And that is Yeah, and but you can go from small things like that up to an entire email with placeholders. So I can you know, I might have a, if I have a good lead sign up like someone running a really large agency, they’re like 20 Plus, I have this like, good lead email, and I literally go to Gmail, I go to the subject line and I for good lead, hit enter a space I think it is, and it pops up a box on top of whatever app I’m on. I fill out their name, why I’m reaching out to them.

Jimmy 29:58
A couple of like other bits of stuff. Like I usually check out their website and I’ve got all these like boxes that I type into, I hit enter it types in the subject hits tab goes down into the the body of the thing pastes in everything else from the email. And like, it’s just unreal, like I just did a whole, like a personalized email with a few keystrokes, you know, and say that’s beautiful, fully automated, but it’s it’s assisted. Automation is..

Josh 30:27
It’s a it’s like a sly way to make it look like you just wrote out a ton of stuff that at that time, but in fact, you had pre canned or, you know, ready to partially can Yeah, yeah, partially can Yeah. Yeah, I like that idea a lot. And it’s interesting, because I feel like for web designers, because I’m sure automation obviously can work for every industry. And you came from an automation background, which I think is pretty fascinating. I wonder if that’s kind of why you felt like you were able to get your kind of foot wet with with automation first, you know, you kind of just dove right into it. Whereas I think a lot of people like myself, I really haven’t heard the term the term automation. And I think a lot of web designers haven’t really thought about it until more recently, just because it’s not something like the design world itself, is such a service driven person to person relationship, that the thought of automation sounds like it just won’t work. But I think you obviously have proven and I firmly believe now it can be quite the contrary. You can absolutely mix personalization with automation. I like that.

Jimmy 31:35
Even having like personalization for, I mean, templates for websites, you know, like, yeah, it’s not like if you if you’re doing a hero header from scratch every time that’s not very efficient. But if you have like a hero had a template that you can sock right into any website you’re building. That’s like a level of automation, even like having a standard WordPress install with all the plugins you use and copying it like. It’s like somewhere between process and automation, you know, like these are there’s ways not everything has to be fully manual, like that doesn’t even bring value to do that manually.

Josh 32:08
Great point. Yeah, I mean, absolutely, from a design perspective, like no client is going unless it’s very clearly like templated or canned from your like, as far as like looking at your portfolio, more than likely a client is not going to recognize the same style of header hero section from another site. You know, and even if it does look similar, how many clients are going to be like, I noticed this other site in your portfolio that has the same layout, you know, it’s just, it is it’s such a big time saver. And that’s one reason I love and use Divi is because not only do they have library items, but you can very easily make your own. And you can take what you did from one website and copy and clone it over to another or there’s so many ways you can utilize templates and library items. As automation.

Josh 32:49
I know you just mentioned kind of like a staging site. And that’s what I recommend in a couple of my courses. And for those listening who aren’t familiar with that term. Essentially, what I do is I set up a staging site that has WordPress up to date, it has the Divi theme, and all of our credentials, and all the settings and all of our main plugins in place and updated. So when we launch a new site, we just take it into manage WP, which is what we use, and we just clone over that starting that staging template to the new site, then we’re ready to rock it saves 2030 minutes every build. So that’s just another form of optimization, which I just love. I think like I said, there’s so many ways to go about it.

Jimmy 33:26
And it doesn’t have to ruin it doesn’t have to detract from your service like some still, like personalized, but that’s not personalized. But it’s like there’s no reason not to automate that right.

Josh 33:37
In that case. Yeah, you’re exactly right. In that case, it actually behooves you to free up time to be more personalized, instead of having to worry about that extra 20 or 30 minutes of like, Oh, I got to install WordPress, now I got to put all the settings in place. Like if you can just have that automated as a staging site, it will save you so much time and it will free you up, it will free your mind space up to for those those more, you know, higher level tasks with working with clients. So this is good stuff, James. So we’ve talked about automation from you know, like onboarding and getting started, we’ve talked about it with with moving forward with clients once a project is done. Obviously, content snare is a great tool that can come in during the collection process. Now revisions, things like that, once a project is moving forward. I think that’s probably the toughest place for web design to have automation. What do you think about that? Or do you have any automation tips or tricks for the, you know, the back and forth of revisions and things like that?

Jimmy 34:38
Yes. So is this like during the design process?

Josh 34:42
So once they like maybe you pre you preview your design, they look it over and they have feedback things like I mean we, we try to automate it by having some templates. Like when I preview a design, I have a canned template that says, you know, here’s your design. Here’s the preview and I have a little link to the video. I record for him when I preview it. And then the rest of it’s canned as far as like, here’s the next steps. And then I just tweak accordingly. That’s kind of the extent of automation that we’ve implemented. But I’m all ears if you have any other ideas.

Jimmy 35:12
Yeah, and I think that’s pretty, pretty normal. Like, I mean, if you if you have a project management system that the clients actually involved in, you can set up things like task templates that will automatically apply like your client to all these tasks. Generally, not a lot of agencies like doing that, because it’s just another thing for agency, their clients to have to log into, which is why every big concern with contents now was making it like a link, and they’re in and they don’t have to remember passwords and stuff. And to make it simple, because if something’s complex, they’re not going to want to want to use it. But um, yeah, look, I mean, there are tools that can help with the design feedback, like project title is my favorite. I like you know, it provides a graphical interface for people to come in and click on items of the design and request changes. Interestingly enough, I’ve spoken to a couple of big agencies lately that intentionally don’t use tools like that, because it encourages design, nitpicking, and there

Josh 36:11
That’s just I was worried. I was worried about that kind of thing with when Yeah.

Jimmy 36:16
And and their philosophy is that, like, if there’s many changes at that point, and we haven’t done our job properly, you know, and like, this is another big argument for content first, like, if you are doing a design first and then getting content later, there’s probably going to be a hell of a lot more changes. Because then you have to, like, if content doesn’t fit in the areas you’ve allowed, you have to change things like this is why content first is so important.

Josh 36:42
That’s a great point. And that’s, that’s what I’ve really pushed over the past couple years for my business is, I feel like a lot of web design agencies. And before I say this, I will say that there’s no right or wrong, it’s whatever works best. However, I feel like the the wireframe, the idea of doing a wireframe, I just have found to be very inefficient. Reason being and a lot of people might combat me on that. And that’s fine. However, from my perspective, in my experience, most clients see a wireframe. And for those new to the term, it’s basically just like, like blank, it’s just like Latin text or blank text with, like the image of an image or something like that. That’s more the layout of a site.

Josh 37:25
Most clients are going to see that and have no idea how that’s going to translate to web. So what I found to be very efficient is we get the content for the front page first, as much as we can, we get as much content as we can for the front page. And then we actually go right into the design before the client even sees it. We do have a website design questionnaire where we get their ideas for layout, structure, site examples, and things like that. And what we do is we design the front page, maybe one other page or two, depending on the site. And then I actually preview that with a video.

Josh 37:57
So I give the client a chance to hear why we did what we did what we did. And it is literally, I mean, that’s a form of automation to to where we don’t do near as many revisions as we used to because I don’t leave it up to the client to decipher what we did I tell them like, here’s why we did this. Here’s why we did this. And yeah, sometimes we have some minor to major overhauls on the design, but that’s been rare for the most part. Even if they don’t really like something or understand it, they’ll be like, Well, you’re the expert. That makes sense. Yeah, let’s go with it. And then that just saved me three hours of designing something different, you know, so.

Josh 38:34
A lot of that is your positioning, and like how you train the client, before you even get to this point, you know, like they have to be trusting that you’re the design expert, you’ve made these decisions, not like oh, can you change like this thing to be like three pixels higher, please, I want the I want the logo to take up half the screen. Like that shouldn’t be happening because they should be trusting you. And that’s why these guys, they default actually fall back on email for design feedback and say just put like a, there’s bigger agencies I spoke to just like a list of points for changes. And it’s usually only a few if you want to automate that because you did ask about sort of automating revisions.

Jimmy 39:15
What I’ve always liked is having some kind of system that bridges the gap between email and project management. So when we use teamwork, Teamwork projects as our project management system, teamwork desk is like a help desk solution, it would catch the email and make it very easy for us to assign that to a project. So yeah, so like having that kind of bridge between email and your project management, I think is a level of automation. Again, it’s just assisted but it helps.

Josh 39:43
Yeah, and we use Basecamp. And essentially, I just set up different threads. Like we’ll have threads for the team, which is kind of like, like what slack what we would normally do with Slack is what we do in Basecamp I actually we don’t use Slack for my business. I know a lot of people love it, but I’m a little more old school And I like I know a lot of people hate email, I’ve actually, I don’t mind it now, because I’ve intentionally automated things to where it’s very manageable, like, almost every day, my email is down to zero or very close to. And it’s not that I’m an email all day, it’s because I’ve got systems in place to kind of use it efficiently, because I actually find slack and some other channels like that to be very time sucking.

Josh 40:25
And yeah, I just I don’t know, it just it’s not my cup of tea right now, like what we do in Basecamp, is do it by threads. And then clients can still use email, and it just goes right into Basecamp. And we manage our feedback and different conversations there. And it’s been overall really efficient for us, which is kind of another formula of automate optimization too. And in most project management platforms, are going to have the ability to set up templates, or canned, you know, things like that for clients, which is what we do at Basecamp.

Jimmy 40:54
Do you teach your team your email tactics as well? Because obviously that’s in in an organization. It’s not just your email. There’s everybody’s.

Josh 41:02
Yeah, so I, I have one lead designer who works full time for me. My other subcontractors have seen some of my stuff, but it hasn’t been as regular. So Jonathan, my lead designer is the one who has really, it’s kind of it’s a it’s a great question, because he is seen how I email and he has access to both of my emails, we have access to all of our emails. And so he’s seen how I handle that stuff. And what’s been interesting is over the past handful of months, I’ve been working for him, or he’s been working with me for two years here in a couple months. And I see him emailing like me now. It’s kind of interesting, like I can kind of see his mannerisms and tones have kind of taken off of what I what I’ve done.

Josh 41:44
So yeah, it’s Yeah, I guess to answer your question, yeah, I do. I don’t necessarily make it an intentional training. I also want them to talk like them. I don’t want them to talk just like me. Yeah. But there are certain ways to handle situations that maybe don’t need to be automated or can but you kind of know how to kind of take that path. So yeah, in a way, yeah, more or less just lay. It’s basically lead by example, like, you know, here’s a look at how I talk to clients. You know, if this works, well, maybe we can use this for the next project.

Jimmy 42:19
I kind of I kind of dig slack for some other things, though. Like, I feel like in the past, I’ve been pretty bad at company culture. So I really like the chat aspect. Like the non work side, I guess that comes through in the chat apps where you can be like sending stupid gifts and stuff like, because in a remote organization, like I’m not you, you don’t sit with your team, right?

Josh 42:44
Right. You’re all remote. Yep. All remote? Yes. I was just gonna say too, with Slack, too. It’s, it’s probably something I would do if I had a bigger team. Primarily, it’s one lead designer with some subcontractors who all either add to Basecamp, or will go through email. So So yeah, I can imagine the process that I’m doing right now with one lead designer and a couple subcontractors with a full remote team that’s probably a little bit different, as far as managing those little conversations.

Jimmy 43:11
But like this morning, someone put in a really nice comment about the new updated version of content snare, they said they just checked it out. Like it’s really good. Like, they really enjoy, I guess, the new interface. And there’s a really nice post in my Facebook group. And what I like about Slack is I’ve just a screenshot of that, put it straight into the, into the dev channel that all the developers can see because like, they don’t see stuff like that, because they’re not on the front, the customer facing side. You know, stuff like that. I can be like, what what you guys are doing, like, people love this. So yeah, like, yeah, feedback, or just silly gifts or like hello to bad. It’s Monday, so the shit.

Josh 43:51
Right? Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, yeah, yeah, I can, I can, I can totally understand that. And like I said, maybe with the certain business setup probably requires that, as you know, opposed to a more manual way with project management and email. So I mean, what’s that?

Jimmy 44:11
There are downsides though. You know, like the fact that the project management stuff will then flow into the chat rather than when it should be in project management. So yes, it’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows.

Josh 44:21
Yeah. And that’s with anything, you know, we’re in an industry where the lines get blurred, and it’s very tough. And I think that’s where you’re talking about company culture, it’s probably best to put like guidelines in place to where business doesn’t mix on one platform with another kind of thing. But inevitably, you know, it’s it’s, it’s what it is, but I mean, those are all little forms of autumn is, you know, optimizing there. I was gonna say I was gonna say, optimizing automation. Make it making up words here.

Josh 44:47
But what I want to transition to now is Zapier because I’m not too familiar with it, or the other one that the if this do matter, whatever FTP. I’m not too familiar with those And for others who are not familiar with those at all, what are the benefits of a tool like that? I mean, you are so familiar with Zapier and you it’s changed your life so much that you decided to do a mastery course on it, which I’m going to link to. And I would highly recommend people check out if they’re interested in Zapier and taking automation to the next level. But is that basically a tool that just connects all these different platforms like email and contact forms and stuff like that? Or what does that look like?

Jimmy 45:27
Yeah, so I feel like that’s how it started. I don’t know for sure. But like, it was just lots of integrations with different tools. So you could say something like when this contact form is submitted, I add the details into my CRM. Like that’s the classic simple example. That’s pretty much all IFTTT still does. Its If This Then That, so it’s like one trigger and one action. So that’s kind of the terminology that Zapier uses. I can’t remember what IFTTT do. But it’s like, in a way, they’ve used the wrong terminology there. It’s not really If This Then That it’s more like when this happens, do this. Gotcha. Yeah. And that’s, that’s actually the terminology Zapier used inside the tool now. So it’s like when this happens, and you set up a trigger, do this, and it puts it in another app.

Jimmy 46:16
But now, you can have multiple steps and filters and branching and this kind of thing. So you can say like, if so when this happens when a contact form is submitted, put them in my CRM. And if they said they were interested in web design, then I don’t know put them in a spreadsheet. That’s a crap example. But like, you can do another action based on a condition of the data in that first one. So if they tick the box that said, web design, then do something else. And if they did something else do this other thing, you know, like, that’s where it’s really gotten more powerful. Now, it’s not just move data from one spot to another, you can build a whole workflow and say, you know, if this happens, then do this. And this and this, you know. So it’s really, it’s kind of like workflows, like you mentioned that before that there was something wasn’t called automations and 17 hats. And it’s the same, like, automation workflows to me is interchangeable. And that’s really, what Zapier does, it builds a workflow where you were talking to different apps as well. Okay. Yeah.

Josh 47:28
So it’s not just MailChimp, or Active Campaign or something. It’s connecting Gravity Forms with Active Campaign, that kind of thing.

Jimmy 47:36
Yeah, and so like, in an example you that I’ve had before, I’ve had a contact form, and then not only do you do something in another app, but you can look up data and other apps. So it might be a contact form comes in, look up the your CRM to see if they’re already in this, and now you know if they’re a new client or not, and you might have a different set of steps to see if that’s a new person that you’ve never spoken to before. So that’s, you know, it’s looking, it’s kind of hard to explain without a visualization.

Josh 48:09
Let me let me let me throw an example out from my end. And this was, I think this was when I really realized that you were like, the, the King, the expert of automated optimization is, at least from my perspective, and that was, when I did my first interview on your podcast, you have a really nice automated system to where you send your scheduler, the guest, myself chooses the date and time that works. And then you don’t manually reach out to me, I get kicked over to a page that has some details, which inspired me to create a podcast interview, a pre interview page of my own, that like lays out all the details about what to expect and all that.

Josh 48:48
And then I fill out a form that has my details. And then it gives me an option to put that in my calendar. And then I get automatic notifications, and the link. So you can set up podcast interviews, literally not having to talk with anybody aside from just giving your link out, which I found to be awesome. And I’m playing I’m kind of working on setting all that up for 2020 for my podcast, because it is a little time consuming with the way I’m doing it. Now. It’s not too much to where like it’s a problem. But it’s absolutely something I need to automate better, particularly when I do more consistent. So that was from the user. And that’s what for me was like, wow, that’s like it was so simple, so seamless. And I know that you didn’t do much work on your end at all before our call, which is amazing.

Jimmy 49:36
There’s another little development there that I love. It’s like the best thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think you went through this process. But I actually asked him questions during the booking now it’s like, what are three things that I can ask you?

Josh 49:48
Yeah, it was. Yeah. Our second Yeah. I’ve done two interviews on your podcast. The second one? Yeah. Yep.

Jimmy 49:53
So that actually Zapier then catches that when the bookings made an automatically creates a run sheet for me. It’s basically a template templatized Google document. And so it duplicates that it’ll put your name in it, it’ll put in those questions and fill out a bunch of data in the run sheet. So literally five minutes before we connect, I just pull up that sheet, it actually drops it into my cello as well with a link to the actually your document. So then I just opened it up, and I’m ready to go without like having to do anything. Just something on that though, because you’re talking about like, after you book to kick your kick you over to another page, you know, that’s not Zapier, there’s automation, there’s so many different pieces that are fitting together that you kind of just build this the knowledge snowball over time again, you know, like, so that’s actually something just simple like after a booking, there’s a redirect URL to this form.

Jimmy 50:48
And then when you fill out that form, that’s what kicks off a zap, for example, you know, like, one zap actually starts with the form one zap starts as soon as you book. So there’s like so many things going on in parallel. And it’s I’m probably making it sound more complicated than it is and scaring people. But really, it isn’t like once you start digging in, you’ll find out like these other ideas like you’ll have the process semi automated then you like, well, this is another bit that I’m doing. Yeah, doing the same thing.

Josh 51:16
You’re totally right about the snowball effect. And it’s it’s addicting in a good way, I think because now I’m like, what area of my business, both of my businesses because Can I automate. And as an example, we’re talking about the web design business primarily. But with my courses, there are a ton of things, I can apply this to maybe even more so than my web design business. And one of them that I implemented was just what he talked about, which was a page redirect.

Josh 51:43
So I have a course bundle that has all my current courses in a lowered, like bundle price. And what I found was everyone who purchased that inevitably emailed me and was like, Hey, I got the bundle. Where should I start? Like you have seven courses right now, I don’t know which one to start with. And that’s a little key in itself, whether you are doing something like that, or for your just your web design, businesses listen to what customers are asking you or clients are asking you. And if you repeat yourself, or you find yourself thinking like, I think I could automate this somehow do it, it will save you time.

Josh 52:17
So in that case, what I did was I added a redirect plugin. And when somebody buys my bundle, they get kicked over to a page that I have set up that has all my courses in it has my recommended path on which one to take first, and why so it’s the course. And then I say, I would start with this course, if you’re just beginning blah, blah, blah, then a link to get started, then I would take this course bubble blah, link to get started. And I do that, and I had someone just reach out recently. And she was like, I love that page, because I was gonna ask you about that. And it gave me a really good idea of a path to follow. So just an idea of a way to automate. But again, I mean, there’s so many ways to utilize this with the website business as well. And

Jimmy 52:57
it can be like, overwhelming, right? Like people hear about, Oh, you don’t have to dive right in and do it like a 20 step zap this connecting like 15 different apps and like automating the whole business. It you start small with, like we talked about before, like if someone gives you good feedback, asked for a review, you know, and then you can build on this. And like my podcast automation started out, as you know, a couple of steps. And now it’s massive and makes the run sheet for me. And like, because I’ve just had these ideas, you can go back and edit that zap, add a step in the middle to do something else. You know, it’s it’s fluid, right? And you’re gonna build on these things over time. But don’t don’t just like it’s not, it sounds overwhelming. But it really isn’t. If you just start really simple.

Josh 53:43
I appreciate you mentioning that. Because I think that is something important to remember for everyone like you hear where you and I are at with our automations which I’m not near, I’m not saving near as much time as you are weekly with automated stuff. But I am you know, now that I’ve been doing it intentionally for a couple years, I actually thought about this when I wrote out my business course I’m like, holy crap, I have a lot of stuff that’s saving me time. And thank God, I did all that up to this point, because this month, my daughter just came about a month ago, my second daughter and I really haven’t worked out much at all. And the cool thing is, is I have so much automated that it hasn’t affected our, our billing as much. So it’s just really cool. I mean, it helps that I have a growing team now to that I’m not doing the actual design. But automation has seriously made a big difference in my life. And I know it will, you know, for everyone listening to this now. And one question, I think so. Yeah.

Jimmy 54:34
You get to spend more time on personal stuff.

Josh 54:36
Yeah, it’s the CEO or whatever the heck you want to do. Yeah, and I’d like to talk about that because you’re at a really interesting place. I get a little jealous and envious following you on Facebook because you’ll be in like Thailand or something one day and then somewhere else, you know, you’re kind of half digital nomad half Australian, but before we get to that, though, a technical question with Zapier your podcast process, the automated process. How many tools are linked into that right now? I know you just talked about it not being overwhelming, but it sounds like you’ve got what like six or seven or eight is you’ve got, you got the you got Kalindi Calendly. You’ve got Google Docs, you’ve got Gravity Forms, right with your form.

Jimmy 55:19
Really it Hey, yeah, Google Docs. I’m trying to find it quickly on the fly, just to see but oh, there’s like, I mean, post, there’s Trello as well, because it drops the right. The thing into my to do list.

Josh 55:33
Like how actually account? Well, I guess that would go through Calendly.

Jimmy 55:36
Yeah, that goes through Calendly. Yeah, that’s really it. But then after the podcast goes live, there’s a bit more involved. So there’s, like an rss thing adds it to an RSS feed from my weekly newsletter. It records it in Google Sheets. It posts it to buffer into like six different social channels. Yeah, that’s, that’s kind of that’s everything I think. But that’s like, that’s a second zap. But that that triggers often podcast goes live. Okay.

Josh 56:06
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. We’ve covered some really cool stuff. As far as like some technical aspects of automation with web design. What I want to ask you now is what I kind of alluded to there. I mean, and they go because you do travel a lot more, you have some freedom, and you have some flexibility. What has automation done for your life on a personal level? Like, what I don’t know, I like what is what does your day look like now with automation? Do you? Do you just have so much more time to focus on the things you want to work on? Or what does that look like for you now James, Jimmy, sorry.

Jimmy 56:38
Haha, oh, number one. I don’t have a child yet. But yeah, look, it definitely has, I think more so though, it’s improved my mental well being, in one way, like more than others. And that’s like entrepreneurial guilt, which is like this feeling that everyone gets that. You just have to be doing stuff all the time. And I’m not sure if this is drilled into us from like, people like Gary Vee crapping on about the hustle and whatever. But yeah, it just it sometimes I can be away or used to be away from work, and hanging out with friends, but then feeling guilty that I wasn’t getting stuff done. And it’s really helped actually reduced that feeling. That’s probably one of the biggest things. It’s like, now I noticed stuffs happening without me being there.

Josh 57:27
Ah, that’s good. Because it’s not like, you’re when you’re not working. It’s not like nothing’s getting done. It’s just yeah, getting done in a different way that doesn’t require your immediate Yeah.

Jimmy 57:37
And that could be like Team stuff as well, you know, we’ve got processes of the team of following. You know, I know stuff is being done all the time. So it makes me feel better in a way. But of course, it frees up time as well, you know, like, all that stuff that I didn’t have to get done every month is I can either work or I can go to the gym, or I can hang out with friends. It just you know, and I mix that up. Some days, I still work 10 or 11 hours a day. And that burns me out. I have a mental health day the next day. Yeah, so it’s it definitely gives you more time how you spend that time, Julie up to you.

Josh 58:12
That’s a good point that you hit there because I have felt that too. And I’m a blue collar guy at heart I’m i i have a good heavy work ethic. I don’t I do not consider myself a workaholic, particularly now. But I have come from a background to where I’m a Midwestern guy. I’m Ohio boy. So we just we work hard here like we were a lot of people in and around my area are blue collar workers who go to a nine to five or go to a to four or whatever.

Josh 58:41
And when I was doing web design myself as the solo freelancer, the solopreneur, I was used to working very full days every time and now as I’ve kind of transferred or transitioned to the entrepreneur. Now I’m used to and working on working less and making more, which is what I know we’re all about. And I struggle with the same thing like like, just last week, I was at a point where I think it was like about 230 or so I took a break and I was out in the living room playing with my my girls and I just fed my little baby because mama was taking a shower or something. And I was like, You know what, I could probably get back to work, but I really don’t have to right now.

Josh 59:24
So I’m gonna watch a Christmas movie and cuddle with my baby. And I felt that like, now I’m a little more used to that to where like it’s 230 on a Tuesday and I’m watching a movie snuggling my baby whereas most people are working. And I’ve gotten a lot better with that now, but I did used to feel that guilt heavily. Like I used to feel very weird if I was not working between nine and four or five I felt weird. Even if I got even when I took off at like three to go take a run or something. I would feel like I feel like I should be working like, you know, it sounds like you kind of went through that too.

Jimmy 1:00:00
Yeah, and sometimes I still do, like, I often go to the gym between two and three now as a reset, because if I start work, you know, it’s always early, like six, seven, because of interviews with the USA. So I break early, right? And to do that reset, and I guess now I’m just completely used to it. And sometimes I still sit there at the gym, like on Slack, or like answering questions or like, replying to things. And I’m like, but I’ve just, and then I remember that I’m supposed to not even be looking at my phone at the gym, and like, go and bury it, put it on Do Not Disturb. Um, yeah, so I definitely still get it. And it is like a process like it takes some time. But I think that having things happening without you being there is really what was very effective for me in being able to transition but get rid of that feeling somewhat.

Josh 1:00:49
And you said it, man, it’s all about saving time and clearing your mental your, you know, your your low your mental load of what you’re feeling, you know, whether it’s emotionally or physically or mentally, like just the ability to be able to slow down and be at a sustainable pace. That’s, that’s the big thing. And I know you’ll back me up and saying that the eight hour work day has got to die. Because how, how much are you really getting done with eight hours straight, or a quick lunch in between, you know, like, that’s why the corporate world. And it’s interesting to see, like, I see more and more studies on people taking, like, or doing six hour work days or half Fridays, things like that. Just because I found that to be completely true. Like, particularly when I was doing everything in my business.

Josh 1:01:39
I freakin just wore myself out all the time. And I I think I really, I think I set myself back from moving forward in the business not only financially, I mean, every year, my business we’ve grown financially, but it was very slow. For the first like five years, it was like maybe an extra 10,001 year an extra 20,000 this year. And once I got serious about automating and scaling my business and freeing my time up my business, the numbers have grown significantly. But interestingly enough, I’m actually working less. Now maybe, maybe not mentally, all the time, because there are some times with what I’m doing now, or there’s a lot more I’m thinking about or at 230 in the morning, I’ll wake up and have an idea.

Josh 1:02:19
But yes, the I do not wear I do not sit in my chair from nine to five, Monday through Friday. Now I just don’t do it. And it’s it’s freaking awesome. And that all goes back primarily to automation, which is huge. Yeah. And I don’t know, I don’t know, I’m sure I’m sure. You know, I know that you’re in that boat to where you’re, you’re focusing on being more productive and working better hours than more than more hours. But yeah, I think that’s huge. And I think that I love that because I’m very anti hustle. I see people all the time will be like, you know, wake wake up early Crush It, you know, work, work, work. And I’m like, Well, yeah, like work hard. But you also need to work smart with that you don’t have to work yourself to death and kill yourself every day. You know, it’s just it’s not a sustainable pace in the long run, particularly for web designers who are dealing with a lot with a service base. Yeah.

Jimmy 1:03:12
Yeah. And really depends on the work you’re doing to like, we’re talking about consulting just draining us before. Like, if you were doing eight hour days of consulting, I’m pretty sure those last two consults of the day are going to be pretty rubbish. You’re gonna have nothing left. You know, that. Like, I remember when I was coding back when I was an engineer, like I could go, you know, eight hours straight and like didn’t even didn’t even register you know, it was like, Holy crap, it’s five o’clock time to go home.

Jimmy 1:03:38
So I think it depends a lot on on what you’re working on. But like the the guilt thing and having to be in front of your computer from nine to five, like, I still get that at times, but like, I just make sure I try to take some breaks. You know, like, if I want to go make a coffee and sit on the deck for 20 minutes patent my dog sometimes I just do that if I feel like I need it. Or you know, a lot of times it’ll happen probably happened right after this interview. Because generally interviews I need like a recovery time.

Josh 1:04:04
Yeah, it’s draining man. Yeah, that’s a good point. Because yeah, there’s and I guess, interestingly enough, I’m glad that you said that because it makes me think about like what I said whereas sometimes I am still working off the clock just doing things mentally. The thing is, though, is that kind of work I love now because primarily it’s with my Josh Hall co stuff. So like the course stuff, talking with students that does not wear me out whatsoever if anything that energizes me now it’s the web design business things that are kind of like more they they don’t drag me down but they just I think I’ve just been doing it for so long that I’m not bored or tired of it. But I’m just I’m more passionate about this new stuff that yeah, this this call is not wearing me out. It’s pumping me up.

Josh 1:04:51
So yeah, there’s a lot of you know, mental cognition going on, but and I’ll probably need to decompress. But to your point like it’s it’s work that I enjoy doing it I think that’s a really, if you can automate the things that you don’t like it to free up your mind for the things you do. That’s, that’s it. That’s the goal. There it is. I don’t know what else to say. Yeah, Mike, I didn’t mean to drop the mic there. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 1:05:19
I think we’ve lost like a lot of stuff. Yeah.

Josh 1:05:22
Yeah. Cover some great stuff. Man, I think my answer is gonna get some great practical ideas. Because we went through the process from web design. In particular, with the leads coming in, you can set up funnels to automate sequences or email templates. We talked about the onboarding process, setting up workflows, content, snares, an amazing tool for collecting the content. We talked about, really what you can do with with revisions and things like that, and limiting that the time period, because that can be a big drag to Content Collection. And revisions are the two biggest killers for web design projects.

Josh 1:05:55
And then moving forward the onboarding process, circling back around with clients, I mean, that all can be automated, and all the ways that we talked about which, which is awesome, and I love what you’re up to, man, you’ve been a big inspiration to me with optimization and kind of where you’re at. And I’ve kind of, we’ve talked online for a few years now. And then we’ve got a lot more connected over the past year, which I’m pumped about one day, I want to meet you in person, whether it’s at a work camp or something that would be awesome. That would be great. I can’t I know you haven’t yet. I know. I know. You’re a craft beer guy, too. So I’ll definitely first rounds on me once we, once we get together. So we’ll do that. But yeah, man, do you have like a final thought in regards to optimization? Or you know, autom optimizing? You know what? I think I’ve made eight or nine words up in and around. Yeah, automating things, but yeah, do you have like a final thought?

Jimmy 1:06:45
Oh, man, that’s, that’s a hard one. You sprung that on me. I don’t know. Like, it’s, I feel like this is cliche, a little bit, but like, just get started. You know, it’s like everyone. Everyone says they don’t know where to start. Or that it’s too overwhelming. And I feel like you’ve got a bunch of ideas from this. Just go and try something like one of these like small ones. I’ve got a Zapier tutorial like that’s free if someone wants to like if they have no idea where to start with Zapier, I just sort of talk about generally how it works, how to come up with ideas. And I don’t know if you want to send them as literally a blog post in a video, so.

Josh 1:07:20
Absolutely, yeah, send me that. I’ll put it in the link in the show notes. For sure. Perfect.

Jimmy 1:07:24
Perfect, so yeah, I mean, that’s like, it’s not very difficult once you see what it looks like under the hood and how it look what kind of things you can do. It’s it’s really simple. Just try a couple of small things.

Josh 1:07:35
I think I’ll be taking a look at that tomorrow. Man. That sounds awesome. Awesome, Jimmy. Well, great, man. Thanks so much for your time. I know I wanted to point out too, that it was very early for you. I appreciate you getting up early to do this call for me. It’s looking later for me. I’m actually about to sign off to go to dinner here. So late for me early for you. I appreciate that. Man. I’m so glad again. I you know, I apologize. But I can’t apologize too much for my daughter wanting to get the party started coming weeks early. Yeah, but I got that. Thanks, man. Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Yeah. Awesome, Jimmy. Well, thanks so much for your time. I can’t wait to to hear how this helps some people. And until next time, man. Sure. We’ll catch up soon.

Jimmy 1:08:15
Thanks, Josh. This was fun. All right. Cheers, man.

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