Is there such a thing as automating anything?  Or, is human interaction necessary at every level?

I posed those questions over dinner last week to Brandon Kennington and Matt Dotson, the two thought leaders who podcast Automate My Small Business.

MATT: And you know both of us have been focused on the internet for most of the things that we’ve done, and I think it’s going to give you a really competitive advantage because I think all the internet businesses are expected to be automated. You’re expected to do all this stuff, but all the people you’re competing against in the local business – this is really foreign to them. And they probably have been around for a while, and I think you have the opportunity to have a huge competitive advantage against them.


BRANDON: Yeah. Even simple marketing ideas, like adding your company to the Google maps directory – you’d be surprised how many local businesses are still not listed on the Google maps directory.

These guys really know how to automate your small business, and if you’re an entrepreneur, solopreneur, or a budding “soon to be,” then it’s really worth your while to listen to their podcasts.

How about for a personal brand – can you automate your brand?

I believe you can automate much of it so that you can maximize the time you do have for real human interaction,, which is a requirement of online networking.

Here’s how:

  • Make sure you have a good social media profile on the “big three” (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook)
  • Link your profiles to HootSuite.  In Hootsuite, you can schedule your tweets out on a consistent basis.

It’s a great way to share your blog content, a book you’ve read, a helpful PDF, or an informative YouTube video.

Now, I know some of you are shaking your heads saying “no,” social media is meant to be personal.  And I couldn’t agree more!  What I’m suggesting is to share your resources through these scheduled tweets so that when you jump in on your scheduled time with these social platforms, all you’re doing is conversing and retweeting; answering LinkedIn questions, or asking good questions; or engaging with your fans on Facebook.

Many clients I work with lose time online because they’re trying to balance that conversation as it’s happening.

For example, the thoughts range from “hmm, I just sent out a factoid; so now I’ll RT (retweet), and next I’ll share my new blog post, etc.”  They’re creating it on the fly and that kind of creation as you go along is where massive slow down happens.

If you want to streamline your online interactions, then use a sage time management practice – plan and manage what you can so that you can spend the bulk of your time taking care of, in a very personal manner, those things that come up that need your personal touch.

Isn’t conversation the most personal touch of all?

Or, as my favorite saying goes – “Be efficient with things; be effective with people.”

  • Listen to what’s being said about your brand and industry/profession

Here’s how to set up a brand listening station.  You can only jump into the conversation successfully if you know what’s being said.

  • Put yourself on a schedule

Why is it we schedule things that are important to someone else but not what matters most to us?  Employ yourself into managing your personal brand – even if you employ yourself just 15 to 30 minutes every day.    Listen to what’s being said in your areas of interest and your brand and engage!