Workflow Automation: The Key to Increased Productivity

Workflow automation

As a freelancer or contractor, you may find that your workload can be overwhelming with little to no outside support. Thankfully, there is a way to make some processes more efficient: workflow automation. 

Workflow automation is the use of software to complete certain tasks and activities, usually without any need for human input. By using these tools, you can make your work faster, easier, and more consistent. It eliminates a large part of your workload that would otherwise be spent completing repetitive and time-consuming tasks. 

In this article, we will examine how freelancers and contractors can automate repetitive tasks such as reviews, lead capturing, and invoicing processes.

Repetitive Tasks

Repetitive tasks are a common occurrence in any online professional’s workflow, whether it’s sending out invoices, reviews, lead capturing, or performing certain administrative tasks. In fact, a survey done by UiPath determined that 67% of respondents feel unmotivated and overwhelmed by repetitive tasks in their jobs. 

One of the biggest challenges of repetitive tasks is that they can be time-consuming and monotonous, leading to boredom and decreased motivation. Moreover, these tasks can be distracting and can take away from the more creative and engaging aspects of your work. 

To manage repetitive tasks effectively, you can make use of task management tools and techniques, such as creating to-do lists, using automation tools, optimizing your schedule, or outsourcing some of the tasks. By automating repetitive tasks, you are able to free up both time and mental energy to focus on more complex and high-value work. 

It’s important to find a balance between the necessary repetitive tasks and the more engaging and creative aspects of your work. By doing so, you can maintain your productivity, motivation, and job satisfaction.

Boost Efficiency and Productivity with Workflow Automation



For freelancers and contractors especially, having an abundance of reviews from past clients can be incredibly beneficial when acquiring new clients. 

How can the review process be repetitive?

Manually requesting reviews from clients requires typing out and sending an email after the work has been completed. This can be easy to forget to do, and you may simply be too busy to take the time to message each client individually. 

How can this process be automated?

There are two ways in which to do this; with automated emails asking for client feedback and reviews or by sending questionnaires through a feedback form that clients can fill in after the project has been completed.  You can automate the sending of these emails at a predetermined time, such as two weeks after the completion of your work.

Read this article for more tools for review automation. 

2. Lead Capture

Lead capture is the process during which you convert interested parties into leads by capturing their data to see if they fit your lead profile.

How can lead capturing be repetitive?

Manually capturing lead data can be extremely time-consuming due to its repetitive nature. For example, you may need to collect information such as their name, email address, phone number, and the type of service they are interested in. 

Collecting this information manually from each lead can be time-consuming and repetitive. Therefore, automating the lead-capturing process can be highly advantageous, saving you time and resources while ensuring that potential leads are not missed. 

How can this process be automated?

Lead capture automation involves software tools to automatically collect and manage leads. It involves using forms, landing pages, and email campaigns to capture leads and automatically process them into a CRM system. Automating lead capture with a CRM can generate leads more efficiently, increase conversions, and improve the overall process. 

User-friendly and versatile lead capture automation tools can be found in our resource library. With these resources, you can automate lead capture on your website, social media profiles, phone calls, and more. This tool is easy to use, all-inclusive, and fully automated. 

3. Invoicing

Invoices are generally sent to clients after your work has been completed and approved, at a date that was agreed upon prior to the commencement of the work. However, the specific payment terms may vary for each client, depending on the agreed-upon proposal or contract.

Workflow automation for invoicing

How can invoicing be repetitive?

Invoicing can be repetitive because it involves creating and sending similar invoices for multiple projects or clients. You may work on more than one project with the same client, or work on similar projects for different clients. In these cases, you may need to create and send similar invoices multiple times, which can be time-consuming and tedious.

How can this process be automated?

Automated invoicing is the process of generating and sending invoices automatically, without requiring manual input from the freelancer or contractor. With automated invoicing, invoices are scheduled in advance and sent to clients at a specified date and time, freeing up time and ensuring that the invoicing process is streamlined and efficient.

Tools such as Xero can be used to automate the invoicing process as well as to send reminders to clients who are late to pay. Additionally, this tool offers its own online payment facilities and is also integrated with existing finance-related apps in order to make the payment process easier for everyone involved. 

4. Email

Email is an essential communication tool between clients and freelancers or contractors, as well as an effective tool for outreach and lead nurturing. 

How can emails be repetitive?

Managing emails can quickly become overwhelming, especially as your client base grows. Typing out and individually sending emails is nearly impossible to do, especially if you decide to use email as a part of your other strategies. By automating your emails, you can free up your time and streamline your communication process. 

How can this process be automated?

There are various email automation tools available, such as Mailchimp, which allow you to create and schedule emails in advance. You can also create email templates for common situations, such as introducing yourself to a new client or following up after a project. This can save you time and ensure that you communicate with clients in a professional and consistent manner.

5. File Tracking

File tracking is the process of managing and organizing files in a way that allows users to easily locate, access, and share files. This is particularly important if you often work on multiple projects with different clients and need to keep track of various files related to each project.

Workflow automation for file tracking

How can file tracking be repetitive?

As a freelancer or contractor, you may have multiple projects on the go at any one time. Keeping track of all the associated files and documents can be challenging. This is where file tracking automation comes in handy.

How can this process be automated?

Tools such as Google Drive allow you to store and share files with clients and team members. By automating the file tracking process, you can ensure that files are organized, up-to-date, and easily accessible to everyone who needs them. You can also set up alerts to notify you when files have been updated or new files have been added.

6. Proposal Creation and Tracking

Proposal creation involves creating a document that outlines the services you will provide, the timeline for completion, and the cost of the project. This document is typically submitted to a potential client as part of the proposal process. Proposal tracking involves managing the status of proposals, including whether they have been submitted, accepted, or rejected.

How can creating proposals be repetitive?

Creating proposals for new clients is a necessary part of being a freelancer or contractor. However, writing proposals from scratch each time can be time-consuming. Using templates for proposal creation and tracking can save you time and ensure that you create professional-looking proposals every time.

How can this process be automated?

Project proposal software tools allow you to create customizable proposal templates that you can reuse for different clients. You can also track the progress of each proposal, see when a client has viewed it, and receive notifications when a proposal has been accepted.

7. Bookkeeping

Managing finances is an essential part of running a successful freelance or contracting business. Bookkeeping is the best way to stay on top of your expenses and profits, but hiring a professional accountant can be pricey when you’re just starting out.

How can bookkeeping be repetitive?

Recording your financial transactions manually can be time-consuming and repetitive, especially if you are dealing with a large volume of transactions. Additionally, it can be easy to make errors or forget to record certain transactions, which can lead to problems later on.

How can this process be automated?

Accounting tools such as QuickBooks and Freshbooks allow you to automate your bookkeeping process, including bank feeds, invoicing, expenses, and tax preparation. You can also track your income and expenses, generate financial reports, and manage your cash flow.

8. Time Tracking

Time tracking is a technique for managing your time, and is essential for productivity and efficiency. There are various forms of time tracking, including the Pomodoro technique or the Eisenhower Matrix.

How can time tracking be repetitive?

Tracking your time is essential for ensuring that you are billing your clients accurately and efficiently managing your workload. However, manually tracking your time can be time-consuming and error-prone. Automating your time tracking process can save you time and ensure that you are accurately tracking your billable hours, as well as help you to identify areas where you may be spending too much or too little time.

How can this process be automated?

Time tracking tools such as Harvest allow you to track your time automatically, including setting up recurring projects and reminders. You can also generate reports and invoices based on your time-tracking data.

9. Content Creation / Social Media Posting

Creating content and managing social media accounts is an important part of promoting your freelance or contracting business. Content creation can include text posts, creating and editing images or videos, and optimizing the content to include CTAs. 

Automating social media posts

How can content creation and social media be repetitive?

Creating and sharing social media content manually can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you are managing multiple social media accounts. Additionally, it can be challenging to come up with new and engaging content on a regular basis.

How can this process be automated?

Tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and post to multiple platforms at once. You can also curate content from other sources, monitor your social media analytics, and collaborate with team members.

10. Appointment Scheduling

Appointment scheduling involves setting up appointments for meetings, consultations, or other types of interactions with clients or customers. 

How can appointment scheduling be repetitive?

Scheduling appointments with clients can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, especially when you are dealing with multiple clients in different time zones. Automating your appointment scheduling process can save you time and ensure that you avoid scheduling conflicts.

How can this process be automated?

Tools such as Calendly allow you to automate your appointment scheduling process, including sending reminders to clients and integrating them with your calendar. You can also customize your availability and set up recurring appointments.

11. Onboarding

Client onboarding is the process of welcoming and integrating new clients into a business or organization. It involves tasks such as gathering information about the client, explaining the company’s products or services, setting up client accounts, collecting necessary documentation, and introducing the client to key team members.

How can onboarding be repetitive?

Onboarding new clients is an essential part of building a successful freelance or contracting business. However, manually collecting and saving the data from the client can be very repetitive, and it can waste your time as well as the clients’. 

How can this process be automated?

Client onboarding can be automated using various software tools and platforms that are specifically designed for those purposes. Tools such as Bonsai can be useful for storing information in one place, as well as to track progress during the onboarding process. 


Workflow automation can be a valuable tool for online professionals to increase productivity, efficiency, and overall job satisfaction. 

By identifying repetitive tasks in your workflow and implementing automation tools and software, you can reduce the amount of time and mental energy spent on monotonous tasks, freeing up more time for creative and engaging work. In addition to the all-around automation tools available, there are specific tools for automating reviews, lead capturing, and invoicing that can be easily integrated into your workflow. 

By adopting a balance of automation and hands-on work, you can improve your overall output and potentially increase your revenue. 

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Workflow Automation: The Key to Increased Productivity

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