Feeling overwhelmed by the endless cycle of social media management and content creation?

In this fun conversation, automation expert Colie James joins us to pull back the curtain on her journey from a skilled photographer to a systems and automation wiz. Colie shares invaluable insights into how she transformed her approach to social media, making it more efficient, effective, and emotionally resonant through the power of systems and automation.

Dive deep with us as we explore practical tips for integrating systems into your social media strategy, ensuring consistent content creation, and maintaining meaningful engagement without sacrificing your personal touch.

Whether you're a seasoned content creator feeling stuck in the manual grind or a business owner eager to optimize your social media workflow, this episode is packed with strategies to elevate your online presence through smart automation and systems.

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:

  • How to simplify content creation and scheduling on Instagram
  • The secrets behind using automation for authentic engagement
  • Using Airtable automation to manage client info
  • Strategies for recycling content across different platforms
  • The importance of keeping a human touch in automated messages

This Episode Was Made Possible By:

Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!

Social Media Launch Planner
If you are launching anything on social media right now, check out my free launch planner. Inside, you'll find a launch tool kit, pre- and post- launch planning questions, and a FULL 24-day social media launch outline. Download this free resource so that your next launch can go off without a hitch!

About the Guest:

Colie James is a Disney-loving family filmmaker, Workflow & Automations Guru, and the host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. Based in Boulder, Colorado, her heart pumps in helping photographers & creative service providers automate their systems, reclaim their time and get back to living!

With 10+ years in the creative space, Colie believes every creative deserves to build a business that is sustainable and profitable, and no one should quit their 9 to 5 only to work 24/7 [in their business].

The truth—automated systems can save us all from being overworked and overwhelmed.

When Colie isn’t building killer workflows and automations, you can find her spending some much needed time with her husband, James, daughter Chloe, or [you guessed it] at Disneyland.

Business-First Creatives Podcast

Resources Mentioned:

Grab Colie's FREE Love Your Leads Audio Training

Watch the Episode Below:


Andréa Jones (00:00):
Here's the real truth about automations on social media. Sometimes they were, sometimes they don't, and it's never just a cut and dry answer. That's why I'm excited to have today's guest, Colie James on the podcast to talk to us all about Instagram automations and how she approaches social media for her business. Let's get into it.

Before we get into it, this episode is sponsored by Riverside, which is the all-in-one podcasting tool we now use for our show. And y'all, they feel super luxurious. Riverside is the All-in-one podcasting and video platform that gives you studio quality recordings right inside your browser and y'all, it's super intuitive and easy to use. Once your recording is done, you'll be able to automatically download separate audio and video tracks and edit it all within a few clicks. It's really very easy. So head over to Riverside and you'll get 15% off. That's one 5% off using my code Drea, DREA at checkout. But y'all, it's free to get started, so click the link in the show notes and get started today. Colie, welcome to the show.

Colie James (01:04):
Thank you, Drea. I'm so excited to be here.

Andréa Jones (01:06):
I'm so excited to just be nosy about what you do on social media because we were talking right before the show, y'all and Colie stuff is just so freaking beautiful. I send it to my team and I'm like, this is your inspiration. It just looks so good. I love it. Before we dive into all the automations, I would just give the listeners a little bit of background about how you got started in this world because you come from a photography background, tell us about it.

Colie James (01:34):
So as Andréa said, I'm Colie James. I originally started my business way back in 2012 as a family photographer, and in 2020, I mean I didn't have a pandemic baby, but I definitely completely flipped my business during the pandemic. Mentoring photographers had been something that I had done for a while, but during the pandemic I was a guest on a podcast where I was a CRM and automations expert, and the moment that we stopped recording, I was like, oh my God, that's my next offer. And so ever since July of 2020, I have done nothing but work towards building the system side of my business.

Andréa Jones (02:14):
Yeah, okay. What is a system? What does it even mean?

Colie James (02:18):
A system? I mean, people get hung up in the word, but a system is just things that happen in your business in order to be consistent. That's how I think about a system. Now, whether or not it's automated or not, we all have processes in our business. When someone contacts us to inquire about our services, you want to do something, you take a step to contact them back, and if you take a piece of paper and a pen and you write down all of those steps that you take in order to go from inquiry to booking, to service to delivery, those are your systems regardless of the tool that you're using. And so I like to say everyone has systems. It's my job to uncover and uplevel,

Andréa Jones (02:59):
Yes, I love that everyone has systems, and I remember when I first started using systems in my business, it was with dub Sodo. That's the first time the systems word slap me in the face. And I was like, oh, I had to think through what are the steps that it takes for when a client says, I'm ready to work with you till we actually are delivering services for them. And so it was there. I just had to kind of define it for myself in order to put it in the fancy Spanky tool. So when we think about social media systems, what does that look like, especially on Instagram? A lot of people are on Instagram right now. What does that look like on Instagram?

Colie James (03:43):
So for me, systems on Instagram is about content creation and then content scheduling and then actual engagement on, unlike my social media platforms, because if you're only doing one of those, you are never going to benefit from having a social media platform growing your audience and putting forth what it is that you do and what your offers are. So you have to have all three components in order to have a successful social media content strategy, if you will.

Andréa Jones (04:12):
Yeah, a hundred percent agree. Let's talk about creation. I feel like a lot of people spend time in content creation. I do as well. It's the part that everybody sees, right? But how do we systemize that or systematize that, especially automation. I feel like it may be one of the hardest pieces to automate because you kind of need you in that process, but what could that look like?

Colie James (04:34):
You do, and I guess I don't really have automation for the actual content creation other than putting something on my calendar every single month that reminds me to go look at the content that I've created and make sure that things are scheduled out based on what offers it, is that I want to highlight who my podcast guests will be. I mean, a lot of it comes into making sure that my schedule is done enough in advance to where I can ideate the actual pieces of content that will either highlight the offer or the podcast guests that I'm having that month.

Andréa Jones (05:08):
J, listen to this. We're working in advance to give ourselves time to ideate. I feel like sometimes there's this assumption that people who are posting on Instagram, they just woke up that morning and they're scrolling to their feed and then they felt inspired and then they post it in the moment. And most people, that doesn't happen. Even your favorite influencers or celebrities, I can guarantee you my agency works with a lot of them. That holiday photo was taken in September. Okay. They're working so far ahead. But I also think the challenge with working ahead too is staying relevant. How do you navigate that for yourself?

Colie James (05:49):
So I would say that 80% of my content is pre-planned, but I am also guilty of a good Instagram scroll. I have a really fancy espresso machine in this house, and my husband goes to work very early and he makes me a latte or an Americano and puts it by the bed before he leaves. So when I wake up, I am sipping my coffee and basically scrolling Instagram for ideas for about 15 to 20 minutes every morning. I will just watch reels. I mean, some of them I love for just personal reasons, but anytime I hear an audio or I see any kind of post, like a carousel or a quote card that gives me inspiration, I'm saving it, I'm screenshotting it, and then I'm just moving on. And like you said, I am never taking something that I see that morning and making a piece of content right then or even the same week. But as I do this, when I actually sit down every month to think about the pieces of content that I want to do, that's when I'm going back and I'm looking at the things that inspired me during my morning scrolls and then trying to add that to the content strategy for the next week or two.

Andréa Jones (06:57):
Can your husband write a book, please? That sounds great.

Colie James (07:02):
I mean, it's fabulous. It is my favorite thing. I think I bought that machine in December of 2021, and it's by far, besides this house, it is the best thing that I have bought in the last 10 years.

Andréa Jones (07:13):
That sounds lovely. Get your little latte, scroll through Instagram in the morning. I love it. In all seriousness, I do like that you have time for scrolling. I think there's just this notion that doom scrolling on social media is a bad thing. I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's like anything, there's a difference between one cup of coffee and 12 cups of coffee, everything in moderation. And it sounds like how you want to pursue or navigate the app. How do you know when it's been too much for yourself personally?

Colie James (07:51):
I mean, usually when I'm awake enough to start my day, I mean, I'm literally sitting in bed and I'm drinking my coffee, and sometimes that is based on when I have something to do. So for example, if this podcast episode was listed, I would make sure that I stopped in enough time to take a shower and set up my computer and do all that stuff. Also, when I have to take my kid to school in the morning, my alarm is going off, and that's when I'm like, okay, it's probably been about 20, 30 minutes. Let me go ahead and start my day. I will say, you mentioned that doom scrolling, and I feel like the way that I'm doing it is I'm making sure that it is not tied to my content for that day. I feel like when people fall into that doom scroll trap, it's because they're scrolling for ideas that day or maybe they got on Instagram to post and they got so distracted by their scroll that they never actually posted the content that they intended to do. And so I know we're going to talk about this related to automation, but actually scheduling out my content means that when I'm going on Instagram, it's either to look for inspiration or to do the engagement. I am rarely on Instagram live for the purpose of actually creating or sharing content at that immediate time.

Andréa Jones (09:04):
Yeah, a hundred percent. And I actually find it's way easier to be creative when you're not actively scrolling when you've already consumed processed and kind of thought about how you want to approach certain trends or themes that you're seeing in your industry or that sort of thing. I find it actually very challenging to create content the same day that it needs to go out. And so you have your own system for this. You've set aside the system for scrolling and engaging. You've set aside this system for creating the content, scheduling it out, which I love. So I do want to talk about scheduling. What tools are you using for this and how far in advance do you schedule?

Colie James (09:44):
So I love metrical I, and I don't want to turn this into an ad for metrical, but it is literally the best thing. And what I love about it most is not the scheduling aspect per se, but it's the fact that it allows me to repurpose and reshare and recycle my content not only on the original platform that it was created for, but also on the other platforms. Because the way that I talk to people on LinkedIn is very different than what I would post on Instagram. And because you can go into metrical and schedule out your piece of content, it allows me to use a voice in the caption that is different between the two platforms. And I also love that. Let's say that I'm an Instagram first girl, for example, which I am. I will put content on Instagram first, and sometimes I will test how it works with the audience, and then I will duplicate it and change the caption in order to go on LinkedIn either later that week or even the next week. But being able to see it all in one place on my scheduler is really useful because if something performs really well, we know when it was originally posted so that we can go back and I mean, sometimes we're just flat out resharing the exact same post on Instagram six months later to see if it does just as well the second time around.

Andréa Jones (11:02):
Yes, I love metrical as well, especially their reporting. It just makes everything so much easier. Metricool, if you're listening to this, we've got sponsorship spots on this. There you go. No, but I like that you give yourself the space to be creative, to reflect your business in a way that works for you. You mentioned that you're Instagram first and that you also post to LinkedIn. Are there any other platforms that you post to?

Colie James (11:28):
So I posted to TikTok very rarely. I am just not a TikTok girl yet, and I know you and I talked about this, Whitney, were on my podcast. I'm still not there yet, Drea, but I'm working on it. But I feel like some of the things that I post to Instagram are just not going to perform well on TikTok. And so I would say for every, I don't know, 10 pieces of content that I put on Instagram, there's really only one that I'm sharing at TikTok. I have dipped my toes in Pinterest, and I would say that the other major platform that I'm posting to is YouTube shorts, and the majority of it is related to my podcast and not necessarily content related to my business and my offers.

Andréa Jones (12:06):
Yeah. Wait, so how would you say your podcast is different from your business?

Colie James (12:12):
So it's not necessarily different, it's just something that I have to constantly be aware of. I've noticed in the last few months as my social media content has become really podcast focused, I noticed I was sharing a lot of what the guests were talking about and not necessarily clips of myself. And so I'm starting to make a significant effort to make sure that when I am sharing clips from guest episodes that it's one or two from the guest, but there's at least one clip from me because I've noticed over the last month, those are the ones that are really performing well for me on my own feed. And I mean, my guests have such amazing things to say, but I have to be very careful to make sure that my Instagram feed doesn't just become a promotion feed for other people.

Andréa Jones (12:59):
Yeah. Oh yeah. And I think this is just the challenge of having guests anyways, both on the show and in social media, is that you're still the expert. You're still the person facilitating the conversation and creating space for that. So there's this balance between highlighting your guest's expertise and highlighting your own on the show and in social. And it is very challenging. I run into that as well. It's why I do solo episodes too, because if I did all interviews, it would all be my guest, but y'all are lovely. I love, it's great, and I want to showcase my expertise too. So I like that you do that. So you post about each episode three times?

Colie James (13:46):
Oh, actually it's more than that. So those are the videos, and I'm really particular on my feed. I try hard not to be Drea, but I can't help it. So I'm alternating between video and then a text post, whether that's one quote card or some kind of carousel. And so from every episode there's at least four to six posts for every guest episode. And then if it's a solo episode, it's usually just one to three posts, if you will. But I think the key for me is making sure that I'm still mixing myself in when I am posting guest clips.

Andréa Jones (14:22):
Yes. And if you're listening to this, I highly recommend going over to Colie's Instagram, taking a look at the beautifulness that is here. Even just scrolling through the colors are great, and then you have some posts that are like, they're all connected. I love it. How long does it take?

Colie James (14:43):
And those are my pinned posts.

Andréa Jones (14:43):
Okay, got it. How long does it take you to create all of this content?

Colie James (14:48):
Oh, I'm going to have to share a secret with you. So I get help mean for myself. I'm actually not spending that much time creating the actual content anymore other than reviewing it. And sometimes I tweak it. So the way that it works, especially when when it is podcast content, is my podcast manager listens to the episode she edits and she is highlighting clips that she thinks would be interesting as she's going. And then when she's done with her part, my virtual assistant hops in and takes those actual clips and turns them into the videos and the quote cards that you see in terms of that. It actually doesn't take very much time at all though, Drea, once those things are identified, you can make one of those videos in less than two minutes. I'm talking, creating it, exporting it, and scheduling it all less than five minutes.

Andréa Jones (15:38):
I'm about to get way more nosy about this. So fascinated about how much content you produce coming from the podcast, but we've got to take a break. So we'll take a break first and then we'll get back into it when we get back. If you are launching anything on social media right now, I've got to share with you my free Yes, free launch planner. Now listen, this is not a new thing, but I completely updated it for here now and today, and you can grab it by going to onlinedrea.com/launch. Inside you will find not only your launch posting kit, but a pre and post launch plan and a full 24 day social media launch calendar. This is exactly what I teach inside of my programs and I'm giving it to you away. Well free. Try it out for yourself onlinedrea.com/launch. Okay, and we're back. So I love how even your content production process is systematized. So each episode has five to six posts that come from it, and it looks like most of the content in your feed on Instagram is related to the podcast. How do you decide when to add things that aren't related to the podcast?

Colie James (16:55):
So I make more of an effort if there's an episode that has absolutely nothing to do with my business if I'm interviewing someone and somewhere in there we have talked about CRMs and automations and all of that. I don't tend to put separate content that week that's related to my offers, but if I'm interviewing someone where that was not even a little bit of the discussion, I will throw in a reel of myself talking about my Black Friday offers and that kind of thing. So I throw it in when it's necessary, I throw it in when I'm inspired.

Andréa Jones (17:27):
Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. I love that. So I want to talk as well about you're producing all of this content and you're relating it to your business. How do you know that it's being successful in the growth of your business?

Colie James (17:45):
So I mean, I will just admit I'm still working on this whenever possible. I like to track data, like you said, metrical has those awesome analytics. I love looking at that. But one thing that I will do is if I'm having a freebie or I'm sharing an offer or I'm sharing a discount code, all of those are different so that I am aware of where people are coming from in order to download that freebie or to use a discount code. And I use Airtable to manage all of my leads, and so I am automatically zapping in everyone that comes into my business, whether I've interacted with them on Instagram and they joined my email list or they joined my email list from a guest episode like this one that I was on, everyone comes into Airtable and I am actually calculating the average number of days that it takes from when someone comes into my business until they actually pay me for one of my services. I do that for a lot of reasons. I mean, we only have so much time even with the power of automation and outsourcing helping us with our content creation. So we have to make sure that whatever we are spending our time and our dollars on is actually making a difference inside of our business.

Andréa Jones (19:01):
As an Airtable girly, I am 100% fascinated with this lead tracking system. So you're saying anytime someone comes into your business, you're zapping them into Airtable and then you're tracking the days that it takes them to convert into any product into a client lead product.

Colie James (19:22):
I mean, I'm saying any product, but as you know, Airtable is so amazing. I can create a view if I wanted to actually look at the differences between the average number of days for each one of my products. I also mean this is getting a little bit into the weeds, but one person's record actually shows every single thing that they get both free and purchased from my business. And so I found some fascinating things about, okay, well if someone downloads this one freebie, this is the average number of days. But I mean, is there a difference between someone who only downloads one freebie versus four freebies? I mean, just looking at that kind of stuff is, I mean, it often distracts me from the actual business trail, let's be honest. So I actually have to limit how many times a month I will go in there and look at these kind of things because I can get so caught up in the data. I find that it's better to look at these things quarterly because you don't want to make rash decisions based on 10 people who downloaded a freebie and what they did. You do need long-term data on more than just a handful of people. So even though the data is there, I try very hard to only look at it quarterly or even twice a year.

Andréa Jones (20:37):
Do you set this up for people?

Colie James (20:39):
I do. I mean, it's not my expertise, but I do. And actually I created a brand new DIY system shop, and one of the products that I just put out there, I think it was last month, was a client hub. And the thing is that is the product that scared me the most because there's so many places that it could go wrong. I don't want to end up spending a lot of my customer service time fixing things for people, but I would encourage everyone in the listening audience, if you don't have one central place to where you can look at everyone in your business, whether they have paid you or not, I can't recommend Airtable enough. I mean, you could always do it in a Google sheet, but the power of Airtable is just beyond anything that you can get from the Google sheet, and you can totally do it on a free account. I know some people like McColie. I don't want another subscription. There's a lot that you can do with a free Airtable account. Believe me, mine's paid. But there's a lot that you can do with a free one.

Andréa Jones (21:39):
I'm going to be checking this out after because this is so fascinating to me personally. And we just released the Airtable course this year just all around content creation, even outside of social. I use it for every single part of my content creation. I store all of my assets in there, all of my data from the email to the podcast, but I do not track leads in this way. And so since all the rest of it's there, part of me is thinking I could just add in another tab or two and start tracking leads, especially the leads, how they convert. Okay. Can you tell I'm excited. I'm excited.

Colie James (22:20):
It's so funny, Drea, I was guest episode, I was a guest person on someone else's podcast, I think it was last week, and she put on Instagram, okay, Colie is never allowed to come back to my podcast. She's like, I just bought two of these templates and I am about to be systematized up the wazoo for 2024. And I just laughed because even though this doesn't really seem like it's very nuanced to me, I realized that there are so many business owners where your data is segmented. Like you mentioned Dodo, if I want to check out information about people who have hired me for systems setups, all of that information would just be in Dato because that's where they pay me. That's where I manage it. I sell my templates and my course. All of that is managed in Thrivecart. I mean, it's so segmented.
We have to find a way to be able to look at all of that data together as a big picture in order to make decisions in our business. And I love that you are using Airtable to manage your content. I do as well, Drea, and I feel like we are one of the rare birds that do this, but it's so amazing to just be able to go one place and see all of this content. It also makes it easier for those of us that are trying to use a recycle, a repurpose, reshare kind of strategy in our business because we are not constantly having to go to Instagram or Pinterest or wherever else it is that you've posted this amazing content. You can go to Airtable, which is searchable and find pieces of content that are related to topics that are current for your business right now.

Andréa Jones (23:51):
Yes, a hundred percent agree. The search box has saved me and I use it. So now that I've been using Airtable for four or five years now I have that much content just stored in there. So even certain things like what did I say on Mother's Day last year or the past four years? It doesn't have to be something new every time, which I love. And I'm about to do the exact same thing. You need to email me these links after the show because I am going to be checking it out. And I love it. And I love this conversation because it fits with the whole umbrella of what we're talking about today, which is automations and systems. So I do know that you use ManyChat as a way to collect leads from Instagram. I'm guessing this is also part of the Airtable base. So walk us through this process.

Colie James (24:43):
So the way that it comes into the Airtable base is kind of interesting. So on the backend of ManyChat, when someone contacts your business, whether it is through a DM or they're responding to a particular post story reel, whatever, you can set up automations to do certain things. Now, on the backend, I am a ConvertKit user for my email marketing, and they have a direct integration with ManyChat. So I'm not even paying for Zaps in order to do this. But let's say that I was going to do a Black Friday offer, or I put out a podcast episode and I created an automation in order with a special word. I mean, I love the words because it's just as easy as someone typing in that word and sending it to you, and then ManyChat takes care of the rest. But on the backend, you set up this automation, and let's say that you typed in BFC, which is the general one for my podcast.

If you actually post that on any post on Instagram or you DM it to me, you will automatically get my pod link, which has all of the different players that you can access my podcast from. So that's one thing, that's just a link. But how many people do you think that you can convince to leave Instagram to sign up for your freebie when they're in Instagram mode? It's so hard. So the thing that ManyChat does that makes it so great is you can actually collect their name and their email directly in Instagram. ManyChat will send that information to your email marketing program, or you'll have to use a Zap if they don't have a direct integration. But then ConvertKit takes care of the rest. They'll automatically get an email that says, this is your freebie, please download it. They get added to my welcome series. I mean, all of the things that I would do if they found a freebie on my website and signed up, I can do directly from Instagram without them ever leaving the platform.

Andréa Jones (26:32):
I've been using ManyChat for years, and I always, I didn't even know there was a connection to Convert Kit y'all. I always use the link, respond with the link, because honestly, it's easiest way to get started. Type this word, we'll send you this link, and then I use whatever landing page I have. But now that I know that it connects with ConvertKit, I'm about to go weigh in on that as well. So you can have a bit of back and forth. So in the DMs, they DM you the keyword in the DMs, I guess you ask for their name, their email address, and then they're on your list. Yes,

Colie James (27:04):
And you can tag them, Drea, you can tag them. So when you said, how am I able to track my leads and Airtable, it's because when those people are getting added to my Convert kit, they are also getting a tag that says Instagram in addition to whatever freebie it is that they signed up for. You can add as many tags as you want. And of course tags are great. I mean not only in ConvertKit, but if you're zapping that information into your Airtable base, you have all of the flexibility to look at all of the people who have signed up or have one particular tag versus another. I mean, it's amazing.

Andréa Jones (27:40):
You've opened up a whole new world for me. I am going to be doing this in my business, but I want to go back to the ManyChat thing first before we go into more Airtable stuff, because I have heard rumors that some people don't like it, they feel it's impersonal. Do you call it out in your posts like this is an automation or how do you frame it when you're saying send a DM and then this will happen?

Colie James (28:09):
So the funny thing is I think that sometimes we shy away from automation because we don't want it to feel impersonal. But if you are serving the client by using that automation, they are not going to feel like it's impersonal. I mean, when I am doing system setups for my clients and I'm trying to convince them of the value of the automated emails, I tell them in one of my first emails, I joke around and tell the person it's an automated email, listen that you just submitted this and you got a response two seconds later. I did not sit down and type this for you, but I promise that I am going to be back in your inbox within 24 hours personally. So that's one way to just acknowledge that it is automated, but also add in a bit of personality depending on what it is that you like to say. But I think that nowadays, I mean all of the consumers are smart. If you are doing the automations, I think they care more about getting the thing quickly than they do waiting for you to send them a personalized message. At least me as the consumer would much rather have an automation, send me what I want rather than waiting for you to have the time to do it yourself.

Andréa Jones (29:16):
And for those of you not watching the video, I'm doing big head nodding right now because this is so true. If we think about the end user, they just want acknowledgement that something has happened. And there's nothing that bothers me more when I send an email and then it's like a day, two days go by and I'm like, did someone get this? Did they get it? And the best thing you can do is at least acknowledge we got it. We'll help you in a moment, or whatever the case may be. And so I do think that that's kind of where these automations come into play and acknowledging that it's an automation is great. And I think as we enter into the world of ai, adding in those personality touches will help that person still feel comfortable with you and your business, and you're acknowledging, Hey, this is an automated thing that is happening magically. And then the bonuses, because you are in automation, totally. People are like, oh,

Colie James (30:13):
I really know. Yeah,

Andréa Jones (30:15):
You're selling yourself as part of this as well, which is just a beautiful, beautiful thing. Now, as people are coming in through Instagram, through Mancha, what if they're already on your email list? What happens in the Airtable base? This is me just being nosy, by the way.

Colie James (30:34):
Well, first, let's take a step into convert. They're going to ConvertKit and then they're going into the Airtable base. So I think it's important to say, if you don't have your welcome series separate from your freebie delivery, I highly recommend to people that they do that, especially if you have multiple freebies because you don't want someone getting exhausted from getting your welcome series over and over again when all they want is the new freebie and maybe one or two additional emails specifically related to that freebie. So when people come in from Instagram or my website really anywhere, they're getting a freebie delivery sequence that's like one to three emails, and then they get popped into my welcome series. Well, if they've already gone through the welcome series, they don't get it again. So that's number one for making sure that you're not exhausting your clients or your leads.

The second thing is, once they are in ConvertKit and then they get zapped over to Airtable, I have Airtable automations which are doing the backend work. So Drea for example, if you came in and you downloaded my Dato, quick Start when you get zapped in the Airtable, Airtable is looking inside of my main client records and saying, does Drea already exist? If you don't exist, it's creating a brand new record and it's tagging you with both Instagram and Quickstart. That's how you came into my world. If you already exist, it's not creating a brand new client record, it's simply adding on the date and then what you downloaded that was new, if you will. So in your case, it would be the quickstart. And making sure that you're tracking all these dates is really important because I only want to know how long it takes someone to purchase for me the very first time. So if you came into my world on, let's say November 1st and you purchased something for me on Black Friday, which I think this year is like the 23rd, that's 23 days from when you came into my world until you purchased. But if you end up opting into additional things on the way to Black Friday, I have records of that, but it's still tracking that it took you 23 days from the first time that you joined my email list until you actually made a purchase.

Andréa Jones (32:42):
This is so beautiful. I feel like this is the missing piece for a lot of business owners because it is really hard to track what is happening on Instagram and how does that relate to business growth, not just vanity metrics, but actually paying customers. And you're tracking it in a way that you can get an average across the board. So you can see, oh, Instagram customers, it takes them six months versus podcast guests, customers, it takes them three months. So now let's put more emphasis on podcast casting or whatever the case may be. You have so much information at your fingertips. I am so fascinated by all of this, and I know that you have an introductory private podcast where you talk a lot about how to love on those leads. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Colie James (33:35):
So it came from a place of, I'm trying to figure out how to get people like the biggest bang for your buck. And the truth is, if you're getting leads and you're not converting them with a little bit of automation and strategy, you can convert more of those leads into booked clients simply by, in most cases following up, either making the booking process easier or following up after you've made the offer. And so it's really quick, guys. It's 20 minutes of me telling you my three strategies on how you can streamline and automate your booking process. And I just want to make sure that just because I'm telling you to automate it, the entire process is not automated. If you're doing consultation calls, that could still be part of your inquiry and booking process. So I'm not saying strip it of every time when you're contacting them. I'm saying if you set up some systems in advance to kind of check in on your people, remind them why they contacted you in the first place, stay front of mind, you are more likely to actually turn them into paying clients.

Andréa Jones (34:37):
I love this. I'm literally downloading it right now. I love private podcasts too, as someone who has a toddler and another on the way, I need something I can listen to on the go. So I love this free audio training, y'all check it out. I'll put the link in the show notes onlinedrea.com/ 2 9 8 and make sure you connect with Colie everywhere, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn. I'll put all of those links in the podcast link in the show notes onlinedrea.com/ 2 9 8. Colie, thank you so much for being on the show today,

Colie James (35:10):
Drea. Thank you for having me. I mean, this is honestly not where I thought the conversation would go, but I am very excited that I have shared my love of both automations and data with the audience.

Andréa Jones (35:21):
Yes, and I am instantly going to deep dive into all of your products. So thank you for that. And thank you dear listener for another episode. And thank you for keeping us in the top 100 of the marketing podcast. Make sure you head on over to Apple Podcasts, Spotify. Leave your five star review helps keep us in those top 100 charts, and I'll be back soon with another episode. Bye for now.