Part Four

How To Build Your First Zapier Automation

We've tried all the popular automation tools in the market and we truly think Zapier has the perfect balance of powerful features and a friendly, easy-to-use interface.We've tried all the popular automation tools in the market and we truly think Zapier has the perfect balance of powerful features and a friendly, easy-to-use interface.

This is part 4 of a 6 part series to our Automation 101 Course
Today is an exciting day. You know why?
Because today we'll show you how to build your first automation.
But before we dive in, we'd like to share a quick tip that will save you hundreds hours of wasted work:
Before trying to automate anything, always ask yourself: "Do I really need to do this in the first place?"
After all, automation can also become busywork if you automate the wrong things.
Now onto the tutorial.

Why do we use & recommend Zapier?

For all our course tutorials, we're going to be using Zapier.
Why Zapier?
  • Easy to use and learn
  • 100s of pre-built templates
  • Super friendly for non-technical folks
  • Can transfer existing data between apps
  • 3k+ integrations (more than any other tool)
We've tried all the popular automation tools in the market and we truly think Zapier has the perfect balance of powerful features and a friendly, easy-to-use interface.
Later in the course, we'll also share some alternative tools you could explore and try out if you're curious. But if you just want to start automating your business quickly and without headaches, Zapier is your best bet.
Now grab one of the tasks you outlined using the free cheat sheet we shared with you in our previous email and get ready to build!
(If you haven't completed the exercise yet, no worries. You can still follow along this lesson using one of our examples in the cheat sheet. But make sure you block out some time to finish the exercise later so you can actually automate one of your own tasks!)

How to automate your first boring task using Zapier

Step #1: Create your Zapier account

If you already have one, skip ahead.
If not, that's the first thing you need to do. You can use  to sign up.
Zapier Pro Tip: Stick with the free plan and avoid starting your free trial until you've run out of tasks.

Step #2: Create a new Zap from scratch (or use a pre-built template!)

Another cool Zapier feature:
(Zap = Zapier automation)
So once you've picked the task you're going to automate, you can use the search bar on the top right corner to look up one of the tools involved in the automation. When you find the tool you're looking for, click on it and you'll find a page full of pre-built Zaps you can use.
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But if you'd rather just start building, there are 2 ways you can start a new Zap from scratch:
  1. You can click on the "Create Zap" button on the top left corner
  1. Or you can fill out the "create your own workflow" box that shows up at the top of your Zapier dashboard with the tools and steps you plan to automate to quickly create the "skeleton" of your Zap
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Step #3: Name your zap and add a description

Whether you're starting from scratch or using a template, naming your Zap is the first thing you should do.
The goal here is to be as clear and specific as possible.
A good rule of thumb:
Your Zap name should always start with a verb.
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Step #4: Add a trigger to your Zap

A trigger is the event that will initiate your Zap.
As we explained in the previous email's exercise, every automation in the world follows the same formula:
"When X happens, then do Y."
X is the trigger. Every automation needs a trigger - no matter the tool you're building it on.
To add a trigger to your Zap, you need to complete these 5 mini-steps:
  1. Choose your trigger app
  1. Select your trigger event
  1. Select your app account
  1. Set up your trigger
  1. Test your trigger
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Step #5: Add an action to your Zap

After adding a trigger, you'll need to add an action.
Remember the universal automation formula?
"When X happens, do Y."
Y is the action. This is what your Zap will do any time the trigger event happens.
To add an action to your Zap, you need to complete the same 5 mini-steps:
  1. Choose your action app
  1. Select your action event
  1. Select your app account
  1. Set up your action
  1. Test your action
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Since this is a 101 tutorial, we're only going to cover single-action Zaps. But you can add up to 100 actions to your Zaps.
Now, most people will move on after adding and testing a trigger and an action to their Zap. But as you start creating more of these, your dashboard will get messy and you're going to have a hard time finding your automations. So to avoid this problem, we encourage you to organize your Zaps in folders.
So, before turning your Zap on and moving on with your life, click on the settings wheel icon on the right panel and then choose or create a new folder for your Zap.
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Step #6: Document Your Zap (Pro Tip)

Keeping a list or a database of all your Zaps is extremely helpful when you're working with a team, a virtual assistant or a client.
It's also vital for scaling, troubleshooting and improving your Zaps over time.
That's why we also encourage you to document your Zaps.
We'll show you how to do this like a pro in one of our next lessons. But if you do the cheat sheet exercise and map out all your automations before building them, you already did 80% of the work.

Step #7: Turn your Zap on

You're finally good to go!
Turn on your Zap and say goodbye to doing this task manually ever again!
After turning it on, you'll see a little popup asking if you'd like to share your Zap. Follow the instructions to grab the link of your Zap and then share it with us by replying to this email with it!
That way, we can check if you did it right and give you feedback on it. (And no worries - when you share a Zap, people can only see the specific apps and steps you added but none of your credentials or personal information!)
Also: If you'd like to see this in action, check out this quick walkthrough video building a simple automation using the steps we broke down above.
That's it for today!
Did you build your first Zap? Let us know in the comments!


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