Tools of the Trade

When you hear the word systems do you automatically think technology?

When I begin working with clients, they often would ask me what is the best system they should be using. And when they ask me that they were only thinking about the what technology (tool) will help them.

The word systems can be defined as “a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole; a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network.”

Or as I define systems “a set of habits that create a consistent outcome.”

This applies no matter if the habit is a good one or a bad one. If consistently applied they create a consistent outcome.

Systems then are not just the tools that we use, but the application of use of the tools.

To help explain this, here are 3 tools that I use in my business and the system that I use with them.

  1. Dropbox
    • Dropboxi s an on-line filing tool that allows you to backup your files instantly and easily share files with others. I am able to access files from any computer with internet access. This is a free service with an option to upgrade.
    • One of my systems for using Dropbox is file sharing with my VAs. Each VA has their own folder. All of the files that I need to share with them are filed in their folder – that way we are both able to work on them as needed. It saves emails having to go back and forth. The most up-to-date information is always saved in the folder, so the VAs know that all they have to do when completing a task for me is to go to that folder to get the information.
  2. Hootsuite
    • Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to connect your multiple social media accounts in one location for easier access to updating and viewing. This is a free service with an option to upgrade.
    • How I use Hootsuite is to create scheduled status updates for both Twitter and Facebook. I post daily an inspirational quote and instead of having to get up early every morning, I have them scheduled a month in advance. Hootsuite allows to you to upload a CSV file (comma separated values – which can be created in Excel) to any of your accounts you have setup in the dashboard, and with a click of a button they are scheduled. The CSV file includes the date and time in which you want the post to happen, the post itself, and a link to a website, if relevant.
    • The other part of this system is the saved quotes file is in a Dropbox folder for my VA. All she has to do is go there once a month and grab them, add them to the CSV file, and upload them according to the instructions that I’ve shared with her. And I don’t have to get up early every morning to post them 🙂
  3. InstantTeleseminar
    • InstantTeleseminar is a teleconference and webinar service that allows you to create events, record them, and replay them easily. There is a monthly premium for this service.
    • Yes, there are free conference calling lines that you can use. Yes I have used them, and like them. And here’s why (and the system) I decided to use InstantTeleseminar.
    • May 9- 13 I hosted my first week long event Systems 2 Success Telesummit in which I had 2 calls each day. We are about to go into full transparency here. Some of the speakers were not able to make the call during the time in which we had the call scheduled. In order to have the speaker participate on the telesummit, we needed to pre-record the event and then play it during the scheduled time. With a free conference calling program, we could not have done that. We pre-recorded the call and then my VA took that pre-recorded call and uploaded it to InstantTeleminar to be replayed. She was still live on the call in the 15-minutes leading up to the scheduled time, welcoming participants to the call, and then all she had to do was press play and the participants on the line heard the call just as if we were doing it live.

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