At some point you may have heard that to scale your business, affiliate marketing, or any business for that matter, you need to reach a point that you can automate some of the processes.

There is a lot of truth in that idea, but I would offer the warning that I was given while trying to learn to play the guitar: Practice DOESN’T make perfect, PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect!

I offer up that warning for this reason; automation is not a magic bullet. Just because something can be automated does not make it flawless or even productive. In a world of funnels, autoresponders, DFY this and that, we can be lulled into believing that there is no real work involved with building an online business.

That is FAR from the truth. It does not mean that building an online business is equivalent to working construction on the labor scale but should not be thought of as being as simple as turning on your computer.

Ok, so how and when do you know when it is time to turn to automation? I offer you the K.O.B. solution:

K-now how to do a process manually before you automate it. This will be more valuable to you as an online marketer than you may fully understand. This does not mean becoming an expert on copywriting, and SEO, and Google Ads, and Facebook marketing, etc.

But your better suited to know crappy copywriting by having a basic understanding of what makes good copy. You may not be an auto mechanic, but you know, hopefully, where the oil goes compared to the gasoline. That is the basic idea. It does not take being an expert in every facet of your business to be successful, but it certainly goes a long way to know how things work together.

O-nly automate what you know is working! This is a big one. Let us be honest, not every aspect of a business is a pleasure or a piece of cake. Some things are tedious and time-consuming and quite frankly can suck. This is when it can be very tempting to find any automated solution to get it off us to do. That is usually pretty easy for us to spot when we’ve done so. What may not be so easy to know is; are the emails that my autoresponder is sending reaching the inbox? Are they being opened?

Is my email copy prompting my prospects to act? That is just one example of how automation can give us the illusion that we are getting things done, but does that matter if it is of no effect? Only through testing and tracking can we sometimes know what is working. Without knowing, why would we automate that? Today, you could run down to the Post Office, buy one thousand stamps and envelopes, write one thousand letters asking people for their business, and mail them to one thousand random addresses. How effective would that be? Probably not very effective. And what is even worse, if you got a few responses, you would not even know why!

On the flip side, imagine if you knew you could expect a 20-25% response rate on a mailing, with a 10% conversion that would result in $XXXX dollars. That is what testing and tracking can do for your business. It can give you the confidence of a result even before the action is taken! If you cannot do it yourself, you should at least try to model a similar situation in which you know the results.

B-uild it! When you know your processes and you know what works for you in your business, build it! Bring it all together in an efficient manner and you will be able to spend more time working ON your business compared to working IN your business. This is the true beauty of automation. Now it is a lot easier to look at scaling up to bigger. We have all heard the analogy, if you could put $1 into a system and get $10 out, how many $1 would you put into the system? Taking the time to know the fundamentals and making the effort to find out what works and what does not is the key to a profitable, scalable, and sustainable business. When you have this information in place, BUILD IT!

If you are looking for a business to model yourself after, or you are looking for an opportunity that has these elements in place, check out what a top online marketer has to say about being successful online. You can pick up his ebook for free here: Why You’ll Never Succeed Online

This is a guest post from Kevin Sanders, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.

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