Part 2: How I’d start a Zapier agency

Part 2 of 3 on using Zapier products to start a hypothetical agency. Learn how to build an automated lead management system and CRM.

Welcome to part 2 of how I’m starting a (hypothetical) agency using only
Zapier’s products.  
Last week I told you why automation has failed most people and how that
creates a massive opportunity
for experts, agencies, and freelancers to
offer automation services. The water is boiling and ready for automation tea.
I steeped into:

  • Choosing a specialization
  • Deciding on an ideal customer profile
  • Creating an offering

Check out Part 1: How I’d start a Zapier agency if you missed it.  
Today, I’ll show you how to build out the first part of the offering using Zapier Interfaces,
Tables, and Chatbots
for the lead management system, chatbot, and CRM all in Zapier:

  • customized lead capture forms
  • a tailored chatbot for FAQ’s
  • automated notifications and email reach out
  • straightforward CRM

Let’s build.  

Some quick assumptions (recap)

I’m using myself as the example here, but for this hypothetical future agency
owner I’m assuming the following:

 * Already has deep Zapier knowledge
 * Aiming for speed to launch
 * Optimizing for less input more output (avoiding trading time for money if at all possible)

My goal is to create as much of the productized service in Zapier without
needing any other tools.  

The value I’m not offering

I’ve already decided that my ideal clients already have a website and a
contact us form. I’d want to be sure they have some top of funnel systems in
place—I’m not working with clients who are just starting out and have no
website visitors.  
It will be important to get crystal clear about what I’m not offering as
well as what I am.

I’m not offering them a magnet, I’m offering them a system.  
I’m not offering them conversion, I’m offering them simplicity.  
I’m not offering them automated relationships, I’m offering them automated
With that positioning in place, let’s take a look at building each part of the

Building the lead generation and capture system

To help answer a client’s website visitors’ questions, I create a customized chatbot using Zapier Chatbots. My clients would do most of the work—they would need to compile a comprehensive list of
frequently asked questions and answers as well as any and all information describing their product or service, pricing and packaging, and help center articles.  
Once I have a file of compiled data, I can upload it into the chatbot data
source to make it specific to my client.
I start from the Lead Generation Chatbot
and can quickly edit the given prompt (called directive) and upload the data source.
In the directive, I make sure to add verbiage about sending visitors to the lead capture form that I’ll build in a minute.  

Now I’ll build the form. I use Zapier Interfaces to create a customized form
that sends entires into Zapier Tables. I save time by using the Lead Capture
as a starting point. This creates the two necessary pages in Interfaces, the table, and two Zaps for
notifications and sending an email from within the table.  

I customize the look and feel to match each client’s brand and then plan to
embed this directly in whatever website they are using.  
Boom. Done. Next? Connect the lead form to a custom CRM.  

Building the CRM

Ideally, my clients will not yet have an effective CRM. Zapier Interfaces is
a great CRM to start, especially since it keeps the client’s tech stack
and is extremely flexible should the client need to integrate or
automate into another tool.  
I build out the CRM with a few simple components:

  • Leads: a table to view all leads with AI enriching
  • Deals: a kanban to view deals and status
  • Activities: a table to record and track activities

While Zapier Tables doesn’t yet have a way to create a relational database
(there’s no way to link a Lead record with a Deal record, for instance), I
can use the power of Zapier to create Zaps to do the manual “linking” for me.

When a Deal is created, you can choose the associated Lead from a dropdown.
Zaps run in the background to pull that lead’s information and populate in the
deal itself. The same goes for activities.  

For the lead capture form on the website, all I need to do is create a Zap
that sends those submissions into the CRM’s lead table. Now I have it all

You can grab this Sales CRM Template if you want to try it out yourself.

… to be continued in Part 3.

I finish building the offering in Part 3: How I'd start a Zapier agency. Here’s what you'll find in Part 3:

 * AI data enriching in Tables
 * an automated client portal for their clients to access documents, information, and submit requests
 * A live diagram showing the entire process

To recap:

  • Lead generation and capture: I created a chatbot and customized lead forms for a website in Zapier
  • CRM: I created a Sales CRM in Zapier manage leads, deals, and activities from one place.

Happy Building,  

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