About 6 months ago, I put out an S.O.S message asking you all for some help. My email situation had gotten a little out of hand and was causing me some significant stress!
Since then, I have put a few things in place that have exponentially improved the situation! These tips are incredibly beneficial to anyone running their own business, and will help you focus on the activities that only you can do to move your business forward. Since implementing these things, I have so much more peace, am more productive, and am able to stay more positive throughout the day.
So, if you want to free yourself from the burden of email and constant contact, try implementing a few of these things!
Create an autoresponder.
One of the best things I have done, thanks to the great advice of my followers, was create an autoresponder that answers common questions, sets a realistic response-time expectation, and sends the emailer to various places they can have their questions answered: blogs, FAQ’s, my team, etc. This saves a lot of time and lets clients know they will not be hearing back from me in a few seconds!
Create a comprehensive FAQ section on your website.
If I am going to send people to my FAQ page in my autoresponder, then I obviously have to have a substantial FAQ page on my site. This has been particularly helpful in my fitness business, and as we get more questions from clients, we use them to beef up the page so in the future we can redirect them there.
I do not answer my emails.
My team answers email for me. If they have an issue or question they text me, but they know to keep these kinds of texts to a minimum. Over the years we have gotten so many of the same questions that my teammates know the answer to almost everything that comes our way. I trust them to handle this well, and know when to pull me in!
Some other tips to help you stay sane and focused…
These aren’t necessarily related to email, but go along with being constantly reachable.
Remove text messages from your lockscreen.
When my phone is locked, I don’t get text messages. This keeps me from constantly being distracted during consults each day.
Turn off social media notifications.
Do this now. Seriously. You do not need a pop-up every time someone likes one of your Instagram photos. Turn them all off! I don’t even look at my FB notifications. I simply pop into my groups, interact and engage that way, then head out of there. With over 100 notifications everytime I log in, I would never get out of that rabbit hole! I also don’t check FB messages often, and let people know that this is not an effective way to get in touch with me.
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb.
I leave mine on Do Not Disturb all of the time, but recommend at least leaving it in this mode during times you are working to finish something.
Set clear expectations with your clients up front.
When someone joins one of your programs, or begins working with you, let them know:
Exactly how you want them to contact you, and how they should NOT be contacting you.
How long it typically takes for you to respond. Be realistic and remember, don’t do for 1 what you can’t do for 300.
When possible, hire help.
The reason I can go 6 months without checking email is because I have an amazing team that can answer the messages for me. I place a HUGE emphasis on customer service, so I can’t afford to just ignore everyone all the time. However, with an effective team in place, customer service stays in tact and I can focus my efforts elsewhere.
You do not have to be a slave to every person vying for your attention. You are responsible for moving your business forward. You are responsible for creating and marketing. You have to be doing money-producing activities, every. single. day. So, do what you have to in order to ensure you are focused, positive and as relaxed as possible. That may mean giving email the boot!