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Field Notes

Field Notes #005: Automate More, Work Less

automate more, work less

You know about marketing automation. There are dozens of tools for email automation.

But what about your internal processes — the little tasks you need to do to keep the business (or your team) running? Are you automating those?

We think about this a lot at Omniscient Digital.

We take a lean approach to building our business and that means creating process documentation and automating as many things as possible. We view hiring as the last resort.

From reporting to administrative tasks, these are things you and your team shouldn’t have to worry about. That way you can spend your time focused on higher leverage tasks (aka $10k tasks).

How do you find those automation opportunities?

We use Miro to map out our business processes visually. Here’s a map of our process from the discovery call all the way to the click kick-off call.

That white box contains all the tasks that need to happen to onboard a client… huge opportunity for automation.

By mapping out every step in the workflow, you can speak to and label each step and ask whether it should be automated and, if so, how:

For example:

  • “Oh yeah… I hate creating new contracts. There’s so much data entry involved. We have the process documented but can we automate moving the data from HubSpot to PandaDoc?”
  • “It’s so easy but I sometimes forget to send the pre-kickoff email with all the instructions. Can automate that step? Or at least automatically create a reminder for me to do it when we get a new client?”
  • “That step of creating a Stripe profile for a client should be automated, but we should also manually review the profile to make sure it’s all correct. Could we automatically create a task to review the profile after it’s automatically created?”

As you can see, we’re getting really specific about what can and/or should be automated (those are real examples by the way).

It’s straightforward, but it just requires that you carve out time to think about your business processes and build the automations.

Here are 3 things we’ve automated using Zapier that you can/should steal:

  1. Turning content strategy research from Google Sheets into content briefs in Google Docs
  2. Podcast guest booking using Typeform and Calendly and automated reminders to prep for the interview 
  3. When a new deal closes in HubSpot, automatically create client folders in Google Drive, upload the signed agreement, create a client profile in Stripe, create an onboarding doc in Drive, and create reminders for non-automated tasks

What business processes can you automate?

  1. 6 ways to work on the business not in it. An article I wrote that gives a behind the scenes at how we think about working on the business. This is relevant even if you’re not a business owner.
  2. The magic of doing $10,000 per hour work. Reading this might feel like pseudo productivity but a big part of building automation is being able to let go of the busy work — things you might’ve gotten really good at doing that made you feel productive. It requires a mental shift to let go of those $10 and $100 tasks (cutting them out or automating them) to focus on higher leverage, $1,000 and $10,000 tasks.
  3. [Podcast] The Recession: How we’re managing anxiety, allocating resources, and planning to survive. This is the first recession we’re experiencing as working professionals so this is a behind-the-scenes look at how we’re thinking about building and protecting the business. We also share some perspectives on how marketing leaders could navigate the next few quarters.
David Khim

David is co-founder of Omniscient Digital and Head of Growth at He previously served as head of growth at Fishtown Analytics and growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives with both the marketing and product teams.