Best Platforms for Minimal Cost
I've been seizing this out here. My favorite best platforms and resource is four minimal costs, right? And as I'm going through them, if you have the workbook, they're all in there. You want to take any notes, everything's there. Everything's hyperlinked for you. If not, then then you know, jot down the things that you know we're gonna be important to you. And if there's anything that you love, if there any platforms resource is that you love that you've tried, we I'm such a nerd about this sort of stuff like and I want to know about all of it and it could just be so helpful. I love to have, like, a great big collective place to say These are our favorite platforms, and resource is so when I'm about to go through isn't just like me telling you every single platform that exists for getting paid or every you could google that yourself and go through that black hole. But I'm hoping this prevents you from doing it because that's such a really good procrastination tool. I think right to be ...
ableto go through booms. Well, I need to try these four different payment platforms. No, you don't just pick the one I tell you. So here we go. Websites. Let's start with websites first because it's it's on almost every list. Wordpress dot com is a great place to start. WordPress Stop or is the paid platform you to pay for that? And it's a bit more complex. Harder, I think maybe to get started but wordpress dot com It's free the themes. A really nice. You should be up and running pretty easily, and because it's on WordPress, there's room for growth. So that's a really great option. The other option that I hear all about squarespace dot com. I know people who love their square space, and I think it's really just a preference of which back end is more user friendly for you. Squarespace does come with a cost for what everyone, I would think for what everyone here needs. It shouldn't be more than $16 a month, and I think they offer a free day trial. So that is something that you could kind of compare like create a wordpress dot com account, create a squarespace account, just spend, you know, 15 minutes in each platform and just see like which one do I like using best? And just pick it in the end for something super simple, the simplest of the bunch about dot Me. This is a single page website where all you need to do is upload a background picture. It's gonna be used, right? A little bio or blurb, Whatever you want to write, to let people know about you. And then you connect the social media accounts you want appoint people to, and then it comes with a little contact section. So it could be really easy. Someone like my friend Becky at Farmhouse Fresh Interiors, who doesn't have a website, just has a Facebook page. She could create an about dot me page that has a link to her Facebook page and a contact form that's right there. And I think they have. They have this really cool feature where you could turn your page into a digital business card so you don't need to print business cards. But if someone asked you for one, you like, do something special with your phone and I want it. So the future. I don't know exactly how it works, but I thought that was a really cool feature, and that's totally free and like you could be set up in half an hour. Obviously, that's not where you could sell anything, and you can't put, you know, photo albums and stuff on there. But if you want simple and straightforward, if you're someone that has a few different sites or businesses and you just want, like a catchall space about not me is a really great resource. Web hosting. I've used dream host dot com for the last few years, and for 8 95 months I feel like they're a steel because their customer service is stellar. If I find that I'm having a problem with my website, usually the problems that I've had, which I count like on less than one hand in the two or three years that I've used during host are usually just like my sights, loading really slowly, and I'll sweep them saying, like how my site is loading slowly and within five minutes I don't only get a tweet saying like high. We've seen your tweet. How can we help you? I get a sweet like Oh, Michelle, we took care of that for you. Everything's working now It's amazing on there. So for that reason, I would recommend them very highly. And then I know people who've used blue host dot com that's a little less expensive, and I've heard good things about it. So that could be something else to try. Social media management right? So kind of brought up, the point of like being very overwhelmed by social media. And so yes, part of that is like, don't try to be on every platform at once. But I think what makes this so easy is by having a platform or like everything's in one place on you could post the same thing in multiple places, so you don't have to keep signing into, you know, instagram and then Pinteresque on whatever you could work from your social media dashboard and I Onley, recommend hoot suite dot com. I've been using them for years and years and years for free. You're able to link three of your social media accounts, which you shouldn't really have any more than that anyway, and you could get access to scheduling one post at a time in advance. But for 8 99 a month you get, you could link Ah, 100 social media accounts and APS. You know, who the heck has that money? Hopefully, it's not you, but you could do it. If you want, you could schedule up to 350 posts in advance. So if anyone's been looking at my social media feed, especially for the last two days and being like, how is Michelle writing these tweets when she's talking to the camera, it's Hoot suite, hoot suite magic. I schedule it it all last week on. You also get analytics. So if you're interested, this is a good thing to keep your eye on. If you're interested in seeing you know which tweet got the most clicks or the most engagements or which one of your Facebook posts got the most likes, you could know you could notice. Excuse me? You can notice the time that you know it was in a day and realize, Oh, it's six o'clock on Wednesdays. I got a lot of engagement, you know, if you want to see that sort of stuff. That's all included customer relationship management, right, keeping all your client stuff in one place. So you're nice and organized, really. My biggest recommendation is batch book dot com. It normally costs, I think, $46 a month, they think is like if you pick the annual plan. Otherwise it's $55 a month. My numbers are a little our little off from when I did this a few days ago. Uh, but you get a 30 day free trial no matter what, and then if you purchase the course, you get another free three months on top of that one month. So I think that $ value is wrong. It's even. It's even more than that. I've been using Batch box Backs book since 2000 and eight, and you'll see me on their website as one of their testimonials. I love them. They love me High backed book. They're fantastic, and I highly recommend them. If you want something free, right? I know 46 $55 a month is a bit steep. If you want something that's free, you can actually use your Google context in a more robust way than you think you can. It's more than just putting a name and an email address their space to write physical addresses. There are ways to add fields that you could customise on def. Anyone you know is using Google plus, like how Google Plus isn't even mentioned any more special media platforms. But people are still keeping their accounts active. And if you're contact updates something on Google Plus, it'll automatically go into your Google contact. So for a free option, that's a really great option. Newsletters Malcolm dot com The End There's nothing more to talk about. It's free for your 1st 2000 subscribers, which should, you know, take you probably into your second year of Oxford ownership. It's the most user friendly back and that I've seen and I have definitely gone into a lot of different newsletters over the years. Their customer service is really stellar. The brand is really, really fun. Malcolm dot com There, that's just There's no reason toe bother with anything else, especially when you're first starting out getting paid. All right. We have a lot of good things to cover here because there's a lot of different ways that we get paid right and the first thing to mention people. There's no up front cost with PayPal. They just take 2.9% plus 30 cents For every transaction you have. I don't know what I don't know why. I don't know where that 30 cents came from. Uh, but it's, I think, besides the fact that you don't pay them anything upfront. It's familiar, right? People trust it. People use it. People aren't going Teoh get worried if they click on a buy now button and it brings them to pay Pau. They know how to use it. And PayPal is also a really great invoicing tool. So you know you don't have to have a separate invoicing platform. You can actually just go to the tab and PayPal. I think that says, like, request money. And I think there's just a little link that says Invoice, and you could upload your logo And it looks really great and professional, and you could send it to your client and they pay through PayPal and it's easy and it's free. Square up dot com is known the business Amis Square, but their website a square up dot com. This is especially for people who need to take credit cards in person. So if you're someone not selling physical products, especially at a craft fair show or whatever, and you want a way to take people's credit cards. Square charges 2.7% per transaction, and the account is free and what they call the tile. That's a thing that they mail you. It's very small, and you plug it into your phone. Yes, Heather PayPal offers that also Oh, that's true. Papal does offer that Thank you for bringing that cards. That's really great square. You're saving 00.2% 30 cents if that makes a difference to anyone. But thank you for mentioning that, because you're right. Papal does that also. But I think Square is also a great company and really easy to use if for those of you that are wanting to sell digital products. E dash junkie dot com I've been using it since probably 2000 and nine or 2010 when I wrote my first book, and it works so well. It works really, really, really well, so I can not recommend it, especially for the cost. I think for that $5 a month you could have like 10 or 15 different products that you're selling through E junkie on. It makes a really good experience for the customer. You could spend an extra $4 a month for send owl dot com, which the similar things. So this is for people who want to do digital products and or offer affiliate programs. If that's something that is part of your business plan, you could do that through a junkie or send owl. Send Owl is much prettier and more user friendly and more charts and graphs and stuff like that, but is a bit more money to send invoices. If you don't want to use PayPal? Invoice dash generator dot com is free. You could upload your logo. It's basic. It's easy. Do it really quickly on, and that's a really great tool. If you want something more robust than fresh books, dot com is free, or you can upgrade for 10 bucks a month. And I know that's what my Web designer uses. It seems like a lot of contractors and freelancers about use send me their invoices through fresh book. So that's something definitely to look at now. Let's look at contracts and proposals, which I'm surprised, like, didn't really come through here, right. I should have added it. But contracts and proposals, right? That s Oh, this is usually on the list, too. Because if you start, especially when you're in, I don't know an industry like I am. And you know, you're working with people in emotional stuff or whatever you want. And even if you're not, you want to give your clients and customers the outline as to how you work and the rules and procedures, and you want them to agree to it. And you wanna have something in writing so that you know, you don't have to take them to Judge Judy, my role model. But if you do have to take them to Judge Judy, you have a contract. You could say, Here you go, judge. Today it's important, right? So the what's really free and very, very easy because it's a fill in the blank template is freelancers union dot org's slash contract Dash Creator Freelancers Union has our backs, and if you go to that site, you're going to be able to just fill in the blanks Really, really great tool. If you need digital signatures, right, so you make the contract. You then uploaded it into hello sign dot com. I've been using them for years. You could get three documents signed for free every month. When you're starting off, you probably won't need more than that. But that's a really easy way because you upload your contract. You kind of dragging drop different fields to say, You know, I need the date here in a signature here and you you just send it to the other person and they sign it. And then if you need to sign it, you sign it. And then you both get a PdF for your files and everything's automatic so you don't have to bother with scanners and you don't have to chase someone down. It works out really, really well. You could also actually through Hello, Sign, create templates. So for me, what I do with my my coaching clients is when they pay me through PayPal that's actually set up through E Junkie. And when the payment goes through, they get an automatic email from E junkie saying like, Yeah, you signed up for coaching. That's so great. Please go to my online scheduler at this link, and please go to this link to sign my contract because everyone has the same contracts and I'm able to just use it as a template there. So I don't even have toe bother with creating a new contract and hello, sign for everyone. So that's that's a really great feature. Now I have to mention vid sketch dot com, which is another sponsor of ours for the course. It's usually $276 a year to send out client proposals, right? This is different than invoicing because this is before your client agrees to work with you. You're saying Hi. Yes, I would love to design your website. Here's what I propose and you're able to go through bits cakes, you know, back and forth. You don't need an electronic signature platform If you use bid stacks, you could get it all done there on, and you get a free year membership when you purchase this course bid sketch dot com. Yeah, I just want to hop in and say, First of all, people are really grateful for all of these links that are coming through. I mean, because thats is the thing. People are looking to ditch their day jobs. You're so busy already, and the number of resource is the time saved that you just is worth the price of this course, right? What is your time worth to you while you're already working a full time job? So the craziness of this additional $650 worth of tools The workbook that is listing all of these out with things because it's a pdf, it's Katie upright. And if you print out the book, the links not there, but you just go through it on your computer and right up. I know how overwhelming it is. And honestly, it's a blessing and a curse. Began Entrepreneur in 2015. It was easier for me in and eight because I didn't have nearly as many tools as we have now. Eso It was easier for me, maybe harder in some ways, but I know what it's like to go down that Google rabbit hole, right? So let's look at saving and budgeting and tracking. And I was so glad to hear that someone dicks the CPI. A bookkeeper. At first. I don't think that's an expense that you need, and I think that I told you yesterday you have to get comfortable with knowing your numbers you have to show up and look at them and so to give, to hand that over to someone from the beginning, I think, is not a great move, because you're able to hide from it that much poor. So So step up and show up. And I think the platform that's gonna allow you to go through this in a really easy, unpaid ful way is mint dot com. So mint dot com is totally free, hopefully, or someone that's comfortable with putting your banking account information like into the platform so that it just automatically takes it and reconciles it for you. Um, I use meant for I want to say the first probably three years of my business, and what I liked about it so much is that I and I hope it's still like this. I haven't logged in for a while. It was very right. Brain friendly, lots of graphs, lots of colors. Part you could make pie charts was very visual, and it was easy to use because you could kind of teach it that if a certain charge comes in, a certain payment comes in or charge goes out, you could say, Oh, whenever you see that name, always classify it as you know, platforms. The newsletter client, whatever it ISS. So it's easy, like there's a bit of a learning curve, but then month to month, if it takes you more than an hour to go through your books, I'd be very surprised then. I love for free banking. Capital 13 60 dot com. There is no cost. Open your account. There's no minimums. There's no fees. Every month, everything is online. You could have as many savings account accounts is you want to. So for everyone starting their dicks your day job fund, which should be, Oh, everyone, everyone needs to start there. That's your day job fund Capital 13 60. You could do it in five minutes, and you could actually name the fund. Dick shared a job and then for me. Right now, I think I have like four or five different savings accounts because when you are working for yourself and you have to pay quarterly taxes, I don't like to just like I don't know, not take money out. I kind of I like to take my money out and hold it in a separate savings accounts. When I get it's time to pay those taxes, I don't have to take it from anywhere else. So I have, like, a taxes savings account. I haven't on IRA savings account so that I pull my money every month and then I'll just quarterly deposit it into my IRA so I don't pay as many fees, like do all of that capital 13 60 makes it really easy. The only thing they don't have his business checking. For some reason, you could open up a personal checking account, but you can't open up a business checking account. So I found that in my area HSBC was the best bank for me to do that. But I rarely get checks on. I rarely need to write them, so you might not need that at all. Eso don't do it unless you have to, but with HSBC, it might be free. But I think it various based on on where you live time and project management. This is one of our biggest. I think time wasters and frustrations as creative, multi, passionate people and I will make a plea. Teoh. You know someone out there in the world that could create a Katula system for US creators to use for time and project management. That would make my life personally so easily, so easy. And the work that I do with my client so easy, but it just it doesn't exist, right? So these air, this is all a big experiment. I think when it comes to time management in project management, you have to figure out how you work best. But these are the tools that I find are the most helpful for us. Creatives number one is a Pomodoro technique dot com. This is a really cool time management system I'm gonna explain to right now totally free. Uh, you basically work for 25 minutes, and then when the minutes is up, a timer goes off. If you go to Pomodoro technique dot com and, like, download the free browser extension or whatever the timer goes off and then you have a 3 to 5 minute break. You do that four times they call them Pomodoro is you do that four times and then you take a 20 minute break the end and you just rinse and repeat that all day long and I think it's a really great way for us to stay focused but not feel like we have Teoh multi task you know so much, right? It's on Lee 25 minutes on, and I think with the browser extinction, you could actually block certain sites. So when you're Pomodoro on, you could say When my Pomodoro is on, I'm not allowed to go to Facebook. Twitter. I'm not allowed to go to my email like you could block those sites and will prevent you from opening them until there's a break, which is really smart and great. Hello dot com is a great project management site for us creatives. It's very, very visual on, and the free account gives you plenty to work with, otherwise has only $5 a month. I used way back when, but I personally at that point in my business needed something more robust. If you need something more robust than I have been working with teamwork dot com, which is $12 a month, um, for years now, and it could stand to be prettier and a bit more visual, but it's it's got all the bells and whistles that I need and I think they're just a really great company s. So you could check it out and see if it's something that you need and what you like best. I think mind mapping is a really, really, really great tool for us visual thinkers. This is not only how I plan like my quarterly and yearly goals with my mapping, but I also created recently a workbook for my business, like a like a handbook for my business, and I have all my processes like, mapped out with mind maps. So if I, you know, hire anyone, bring them into the business and say, You know, could you be the one that schedules all of my tweets on Hoot Suite? I like point them to apocalypse dot com line map that I created, and they're able to just follow the flow as opposed to having to write things out and dry and screenshots, whatever. So popular it dot com makes it really bun, and you could create five free mind maps. Otherwise, I think it's like $5 a month if you need more than that, and then we're looking at time tracking. I recommend time tracking, even if you don't have to give it to your clients because, especially when you're first, starting out there is power and knowing how long it takes for you to do something, as opposed to assuming how long it takes for you to do something. Eso I've been tracking my time forever, even though I don't bill my clients based on that. And I think my hours dot com is a great resource that's free unless you need team members and toggle. T o g l dot com is free unless you want billable rates and project estimates, and then it's $5 a month. But make sure that you were not paying for the same features twice, right? So I actually I haven't used those time tracking platforms because teamwork dot com that I use for project management has time tracking built in. So I don't need it. And why would I pay for it? Or even if it's free? Why would I go to another platform if I could just use it in the platform? I'm already doing so just make sure that when you sign up for something new, you really look at what you're getting because you could save time and money by making sure you don't get the same features twice. Online scheduling. I have one recommendation. Again. It's time trade dot com. I have used every single freakin online scheduling tool. Do you see the frustration on my face? I have yet to find something exactly what I want, But most online schedulers are like triple or quadruple the cost of time trade, and I don't find that there's triple or quadruple the cost at all. So for 50 bucks a year, the it's really robust it's gonna convert to the other person's time zone automatically. It's pretty easy to use on the back, and you can upload your logo blah, blah, blah. It's gonna sink with your Google calendar. Otherwise, they actually they have a free account. Where if you're one user with five appointments a month and up to five appointment times that are scheduled to each month, that's free. So that's a great thing to try out. Don't go to those really expensive online schedulers when you're first starting out. I don't think you need them on demand office space for almost getting to the end of the list, right? So I have one recommendation here, too, And surprise. It's one of our sponsors for the course. It's breather dot com breather dot com is gorgeous. I've used them before New York City multiple times, gorgeous office space that you could rent and five major American and Canadian cities, and they're expanding all the time. So for upwards of $15 an hour, I think they started 15 an hour in Boston. But in New York, there, like 25 $30 an hour, you could just, you know, find your app and find the space that you like. Oh, are that's convenient to where you want to have your meeting and you say I want the space from 12 to 2 and they have this really cool like code from your phone and a thing to get in and get out. And it's your own space. So whether you need space to meet with clients where you just want a quiet space in your house to do some writing breather dot com is where to go. You can actually use the link bit dot li slash breather W I g. You, for one, free our that's through my personal account or purchase the course and you get two free hours because even better, so do that. Yea. All right, that's all I got, right? I want to know what you want to try. What were the ones that resonated with you that you took notes on that you wrote down? Let's just, like write it on page 42 of your workbook. Or if you don't have the workbook, that's cool. Just write it down on a separate sheet of paper. I want to hear what you want to try. And I also want to hear what I missed that maybe you use and love and we could start. Ah, whole new, a whole new. Only she of amaze balls. Resource is I'm such a nerd for this stuff. I like. I love all of it. I love all of it. I'm excited to hear about the capital. 136 Yeah, because that's one thing I want to do is get some accounts opened up and will help me with managing finances. Financial side of things. Right? Um, and mail chimp on one that slept outlet been left off of the list for websites that that's been recommended to me by a number of people Shopify as a lips. Oh yeah, that's a good recommendation. Those air. That's for someone who needs who needs a shot. Who needs a great Yeah, Shopify. So, um, I want to try either Squarespace or Shopify for a website. Uhm, and another thing that that I found really useful for for task management for me is something called to do ist. Yes, that's great. That's like, That's pretty simple, like, very streamlined. Simplistic. That's it is updates on all my platforms quickly. And it also can link to Google calendars and add tasks to Google calendars that I add have into Du ist. So it's It's very streamlined. Love it. Thank you for those recommendations with Heather. Well, I've heard a lot about male chimps, so I'm interested in trying that, um I believe that was the company that I heard that makes cats hats for cats. Yes. Yeah, I think that's pretty funny. Hats for humans to I should have brought that. Yes, it's awesome. I've had a business meeting over Skype with, like, my assistance and stuff where we like Almere, where it's very serious. Very serious business meetings. You guys Yeah, they're really fun the other one is that Pomodoro technique that is really fascinating because I do have a tendency to really get focus and not ever take a break, eat or struck, look away from the computer or stretch or, you know, take a dance break with my car, you know, I mean, there's a lot of things that you lose and then later, if you haven't eaten or that moved anything, then, uh, you can regret that. Later in the day, you reminded me of one of my favorite platforms, of which I inadvertently left off just because they don't have it for chrome. So I haven't used it in a while. But it's called Stretch Clock, and it's a similar thing where, like you actually set the time that you want so that you could say, like, Okay, ding and 45 minutes or ding in 30 minutes or singing 20 minutes. And when it dings, it comes up with a video of usually like a man in a business suit, doing structures that you could do from your computer, like beside lakes in these really serene environment. So it's really fun and funny, and it just reminds you like I need to just stretch. I need to get up from the computer and structure. You could stay in your seat even and just do some of those some of this, and have that reminder. So Pomodoro technique does. That stretch clock does that. I think there's thing else called Focus, which, like helps you minimize distractions, which is another. You know, browser extinctions like you could actually go to the browser of your choice and just type in extinctions and start browsing and see what might work for you because there are new things all the time. So that's great. Is there anything else on your list? Other. Okay, great. Love it. But I would I just throw out. We have so many resource is coming through, so I'll just quickly give you ah list that is coming through. So we have four time management and perfect tools. Asana, uh, is one. Somebody else had said something called Red Booth and another one just using Evernote. Ah, that is a great one. I should have came up with that and let's say four, um, for again project management or getting things done, something called I Q. Tel I Q tel dot com. It's a comprehensive email app for getting things done, productivity and zero inbox management Always good. I'm going to interrupt you for a second. I should have mentioned free conference pro dot com has been my conference line since 2000 and eight, and, uh, it's free on and it's worked like a charm. And, um, you even get to customize the message that your clients here, when they call in to your number eso you don't get to record it, but you write it out for someone else to read. If you jump on a call with my conference side, this'll like sexy ladies Voice says. Welcome to another amaze balls call with Michelle Ward of When I Grow Up, and it's made me laugh for like, eight years. So I like free conference pro dot com. All right, some of the sea for Shaft, de Blasio says. I would recommend tiny letter for newsletter. It's actually a male chimp product. Oh, school. So integrate into that we have some tumbler for a blawg as well as just Google Blawg, the Google tool for blogging, which is free, and they have some minimal design but free is a place to start, so there's a whole lot more coming through a wave for accounting. I love it for this stuff is great.