Automations are changing my life and the flow of my business! Automations have not only cut my todo list in half, but they also think for me. Automations allow me to free up mental, physical, and emotional energy for the things that matter the most to me. Automations also enable my business to continue to run efficiently and productively and grow even when I am not in the office. Here are a few automation systems that changed the game for me!
As a private practice owner and owner of The Revitalized Therapist, I am continually scheduling consultations. Being that these meetings occur frequently having an automation system to do the work for me made all the difference. Schedule once allows you to set a schedule of open time slots for your appointments that your clients can choose. That is not the best part Schedule Once also integrates with your google calendar, your simple practice calendar and your outlook calendar and several others. Schedule once connects with tons of other apps that you may be using such as zoom, zapier, Active Campaign, Asana, and so many others.
Automation in Schedule Once looks something like this:
1. Client schedules from my website through Schedule Once.
2. Schedule Once triggers a Zoom meeting invite associated with the clients booking and adds it to my calendar.
3. When a client is booked via Schedule Once Zapier sends the client an email that confirms their appointment and shares a link to attend the zoom meeting. It then triggers a link to complete their paperwork online as well!
4. Zapier then also adds the new potential client to my email newsletter list and continues to build a relationship by completing my marketing for me!
Zapier is so freaking amazing! Moreover, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
With Zapier automating pretty much everything you do online to run your business is possible. From conference and event registrations to email marketing, managing sales funnels, you name it Zapier can do it for you. Zapier links all your apps and provides suggestions of ways you can integrate these apps and make them work more efficiently for you by automating them. Zapier links with over 1000 apps for businesses for marketing, research, scheduling, team management, I could go on and on, but you have to check it out for yourself. It is effortless to use and takes all of the guesswork out for you.
Here are some examples of suggestions that Zapier gave me just today of things it could be doing for me, and all I have to do is click add Zap:
Create HubSpot contacts from new ScheduleOnce bookings
Create new activities in Redtail CRM for ScheduleOnce scheduled bookings
Create ActiveCampaign subscribers from ScheduleOnce bookings
Create MailChimp subscribers from ScheduleOnce bookings
Create/update ActiveCampaign contacts from new ScheduleOnce bookings
Create ActiveCampaign contacts from updated ScheduleOnce bookings
Add contacts to ActiveCampaign automation when they book through ScheduleOnce
Post new ScheduleOnce bookings to a Slack channel
Create Infusionsoft contacts from ScheduleOnce bookings
Create HubSpot CRM contacts from new ScheduleOnce bookings
Imagine having more free time to focus on your clients, increase your income and take that vacation you have been dreaming about. Having a reliable virtual assistant will not only help with all of that, but will also give you that one go-to person with whom you will grow a trusting relationship, who will make your days less stressful, and give you less to worry about overall. Let me start by saying I know what it’s like to have high anxiety and worry to make sure every little detail is covered, and let’s be real, perfectionism most likely gets in the way too. It takes time to see that if you allow a few of your burdens to be handled by your virtual assistant, your tasks are being completed on time, if not earlier than they would have been if you had to complete them yourself. You will be able to breathe more, worry less and be that much more excited about life and those goals you’ve been setting aside.
So, why wouldn’t you find someone to help take all of that plus more off your back? I know it’s hard to let go but let me tell you it will be worth it. Those endless phone calls and emails you must respond to as quickly as possible, or those hours spent trying to get through to an insurance company and you were transferred to 3 other departments before the issue was resolved. Those days you missed lunch because you were needed elsewhere. Put all of that to a halt, eat your lunch with time to spare, go for a walk and get fresh air. Hand over your phones and know your clients will all get a call back the same day they call. New potential clients won’t be lost, because they’ll get an answer within the same day they reach out. Know that the client who needed to be squeezed in last minute, will get a spot as soon as possible because your virtual assistant made it happen while also not inconveniencing your other clients. Know that your money was collected from each client the same day they had session. Are you feeling that extra time on your hands? No? Okay, let me continue. Know that your research that needed to be done, will be sent to you before you even open google on your laptop. You will not have to call an insurance company again! Leave it to your virtual assistant to take care of it and get all the information you need. If you need to get your social media more active and just don’t have the time? Let your trained and certified virtual assistant get you out there and noticed.
Are you looking to streamline your business practices, increase your profits and have more space in your life? If you want to expand, grow and increase passive income streams then yes, you should hire a virtual assistant.
Make the Transition to Outsourcing Tasks Work For You, Your Clients and Your Business
Start with a small package: prioritize streamlining your business practices so your practice runs like a well oiled machine. This strategy decreases stress immediately and allows you time to build a trusting relationship with your VA. Imagine what it would be like for you if your practice ran with more efficiency and ease. How would you feel everyday knowing that your billing is handled correctly and you never had to call another insurance company again. What would it be like for you if you could mentally and physically unplug knowing your calls and scheduling were handled in an ethical manner and you only had to focus on your sessions? What would it be like to have email autoresponders that schedule newsletters that keep your clients and referral sources engaged? What would it be like for you if you actually had the time to write that book, go on vacation, create a webinar or facilitate the group you have great ideas for? What would this be worth to you? What fears would you need to get through in order to let go and enjoy more? Identify 3 things now that are your top priorities for streamlining your practice? What is not working, what is it that your have difficulty understanding, and what causes you the most stress? List the things that would make contacting your office and scheduling with you easier for your clients?
Let Go of Your Phone
Work with a virtual assistant that is trained by a therapist. Therapist are more likely to train their virtual assistants in empathy, reflective listening, clinical assessment and crisis intervention than any other source. Therapist understand how hard it is for clients to make that first call, what a valuable opportunity for relationship building calls are and how to make appropriate referrals. Virtual assistants can also get you more private pay clients. Virtual assistants have time to go that extra mile for your clients by discussing the potential risks of utilizing health insurance for therapy, look up out-of-network benefits for your callers and spend additional time reflecting your value and unique skill set to clients. Therapist struggle with letting their phone go, mostly out of fear that something will go wrong if they don't. I invite you to consider, what it would be like for you if there was a virtual assistant out there that could handle and respond to your callers and clients more efficiently and just as skillfully as you could how would you feel? What would you utilize that time for? It is imperative that you take into account that scheduling for a private practice requires more time and effort on your part than that of any other industry. How? First, there is only one of you not a staff that shares the calls like in a medical setting or group practice. Next, emotions and life experiences are unpredictable thus your clients needs are too. Therapy practices are unique as they require weekly appointments. That is a big commitment in terms of scheduling for clients and tons of unexpected changes and life circumstances get in the way of being able to have a consistent therapy session schedule. The amount of client calls and emails you receive in a week regarding cancellations, rescheduling, following-up on no shows, calling referral sources, responding to new callers is more extensive and time consuming than most businesses. When I time tracked how many hours per week I was spent on email and phone communication regarding scheduling it came out to 6 hours!!! 6 valuable hours, that if I had the choice would have rather spent with my clients doing what I love the most, therapy. My assistance efficiency was also much higher than mine due to not having to manage clinical issues and being a efficiency master. My clients were also happier as they could reach someone within business hours immediately. I got my 6 hours back and increased my income and sanity as a result.
Understand The Value of Your Time
You provide difficult life saving support to struggling individuals everyday. This is not an industry where quantity over quality applies. As therapist and born caretakers, we often put the needs of others before our own. A lot of us assume that we are supposed to be it all, do it all and do it all well. I hear from therapist all the time that feel buried in work, stressed, behind and lonely. They never even considered obtaining more support for their business by professionals who are trained to complete the tasks they are struggling with. Furthermore, they think it is a luxury that they can't afford and judge themselves for falling behind. The reality is, is that most therapist are falling behind. It is not possible to be the accountant, the insurance billing expert, the administrative support staff, the marketing expert and an excellent therapist. Outsourcing some of my work, truly changed my life. $60.00 a week paid for 10 hours of administrative work that I no longer had to worry about and opened up 6 hours of free space in my week. To have free space for joy, to have additional time to see a client made it more than worth it.
Cristina Smugala, MA, LPC
A virtual assistant is a person who works remotely and typically possess various business enhancement skills. A VA can help you with marketing, designing your brand, administrative task and a endless list of others. VAs provide various services and cater to various types of businesses. A VAs main function is to provide you and your business with functionality and support. Name any administrative task and your VA can complete it. Really the sky's the limit. Also, VA's possess unique skills you do not have or you do not have time to learn. Let's face it running a business is already complicated enough and no one can possibly specialize in all things all of the time and still sleep, eat and have a life. As a mental health professional and understand the value of down time and self-care. After years of running my practice solo and feeling the real wear and tear of burnout if I can automate it, delegate it or outsource it I am all for it!