November Freelancer Meetup Notes – Workflow Automation

Workflow Automation

Jessica S presents on Zapier

Zapier is an online tool for automating tasks by connecting different web apps with step-by-step workflows.

In Zapier, you create workflows, or Zaps, which consist of Triggers that lead to Actions. Once created, Zaps run automatically, completing Tasks that you may otherwise have needed to complete manually.

You can choose from hundreds of web apps to connect including: Gmail, Google Sheets, PayPal, MailChimp, HubSpot, Gravity Forms, etc.

Zapier Demos:

Automatically thank donors who donate over a certain amount

Wanted an automated way of thanking donors that give a certain amount.

    1. WP Forms (Trigger): User submits a form on website
    2. (Action): Filter donations > $49
    3. Gmail (Action): Send email to user thanking donor for donation
    • Filter Action can be useful for sending emails to appropriate department (billing v. support v. hr)
    • Some folks set up email inbox with filters and labels to better organize the automated emails they receive
    • For send email Action you can add BCC for oversight
    • For send email Action you can include form fields in body

Create offsite database of donors

Wanted an automated and transparent way of tracking donors and managing affiliate program (simple referral candy)

    1. WP Forms (Trigger): User submits a form on website
    2. Google Sheets (Action): Add row to a sheet
    • Make sure to define column headers in Google Sheets
    • Can set a Trigger when a value is updated for a specific column for a row –

Other Zapier notes:

    • Free plan enough to get started, but doesn’t allow multi-step Zaps, certain actions, and limits to 7 Zaps total and 100 Tasks/month
    • Webhooks feature allows for connecting with smaller, unsupported apps or into dev projects
    • Conditional Logic Paths feature useful for branching workflows/limiting the number of Zaps needed


Eric presents on IFTTT

IFTTT (if this then that) is a similar tool to Zapier for automating tasks by connecting web apps .

The workflow that Zapier calls a Zap, IFTTT calls an Applet.

> 600 apps to choose from.

IFTTT examples:

    • Upload Youtube video (Trigger) -> Creates post in WordPress website (Action)
    • Create new post in WordPress website (Trigger) -> Creates post on Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook/LinkedIn (Action)
    • Scheduling new Meetup event (Trigger) -> Creates and posts a Facebook event (Action)
    • Instagram post (Trigger) -> Creates post on Pinterest board (Action)
      • can control which Pinterest board based on #hashtag
    • Track mileage: SMS text message (Trigger) -> Creates record in Google Sheets spreadsheet(Action)
      • can use #hashtag and format of text to control
    • Schedule tweets, FB posts, other social media posts: Google Calendar events (Trigger) -> post on Twitter/FB/etc.
      • useful for xmas, new years, bday message

Other IFTT notes:

    • more for free than Zapier

Other automation notes:

    • Jocelyn Mozak’s 2018 talk, Clone yourself through automation:


Misc discussion:

    • Hosting for freelancers – good discussion in WPSeattle Slack #hosting channel
    • Pricing jobs you haven’t worked before
      • Scope out the work thoroughly to get better sense of pricing
      • Quote 10 hrs. of research/initial work before full budget is set
      • Quotes with disclaimers
      • Do you want to do it going forward? Possibly guinea pig first job at discount
      • Don’t undervalue
      • Track task time with RescueTime
    • Payment structure 50/50 to 75/25 to prevent clients disappearing
      • 40/30/30 – first 40 comes first, then all content before any work begins
      • Payment plan:
    • Trusted partners
      • Trusted partners very valuable to be able to refer out for SEO, photography, graphic design, etc.
      • Depending on trust level might whitelabel, make intro, or give contact info
    • Matthew Rodela – WaaS building
      • good for troubleshooting IE issues on mac

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