Is MailChimp any good?

Is MailChimp any good?

When I started my business I was using MailChimp. 

You could get so much for free! But is MailChimp any good?

I have really mixed emotions about this. It’s not that MailChimp is bad. I just have trouble saying it is good. 

I think that the team at MailChimp wondered the same thing as me: 

What do you get any better than this in the paid version??

And over time (5.5years I’ve been in biz) I have seen MailChimp change their appearance and functions, the names of things (lists are now audiences) and most of all they’ve changed what you get for free and what you get on paid versions. 

Let’s go a bit deeper. 

I do not adore MailChimp but it is not bad. I just have a lot of trouble saying it is good 😌 🤣

I’m going to commit right now to: not going on and on about what you used to get for free. And if you have an account from before the major changes to the free pan you will find that you still have all of your lists and automations intact – so DON’T DELETE ANYTHING!! Just rename things and make the most of it. 

Rather than rubbing it in about how much better it used to be I will contrast it with alternatives that are free services. 

MailChimp is a free or paid email marketing service. If you’re not clear on what email marketing is or whether it is relevant for your business, I have a video about that here.

On the free version of MailChimp you get one audience (list of subscribers) and if you create an automation, you get one email in the workflow.

MailChimp is the big name in email marketing and it used by some big companies – but that doesn’t make it the best value or the best free service

Good things about MailChimp

MailChimp is great for beginners to email marketing. Mostly because they have been around for aaaages and so there are a lot of YouTube videos to help you and you probably have friends in biz who use it and could help you. 

Having said that, any of the alternatives like MailerLite or SendInBlue are just as good for beginners and will actually grow with your business quite a bit before you have to pay. 

Struggling a bit here, to find good things about MailChimp. 

It is not BAD okay. It’s just not the best free version anymore. 

And even if you pay, the first upgrade gives you 3 audiences, lifts the limit on automations and gives you MailChimp support, but you don’t have unlimited audiences and the support is pretty average in my opinion. If you’re going to pay – I don’t advise you to pay for MailChimp unless it feels way too overwhelming to shift platforms. 

If you have maxed out your MailChimp, I suggest you begin a gradual transition to another platform:

leave your existing MailChimp set up alone,

maybe export your list  + send newsletters from somewhere else

and gradually move over your automations

OR just have a Frankenstein set up with some here and some there. 

What I don’t love about MailChimp

It’s just not intuitive to use!

People struggle to send a basic email that looks good!

I mean c’mon team!

MailChimp have tried to improve the user experience over the years, but it’s still just not easy to use. Most people struggle with font appearance, and formatting. Getting it looking branded and gorgeous.

It’s not that  you CAN’T get it looking good, it’s just not straightforward.

Keep an eye out for a new video coming up about “How to create a gorgeous email in MailChimp”. This week or next week. Jump on the newsletter so you definitely hear about it.

Further to that: if you want a free email service that gives you more, SendInBlue and MailerLite are definitely better contenders. And if you want to pay, I highly recommend ActiveCampaign because their system offers more actions that save you time and do more spiffy things that MailChimp does even on the paid version. Plus – their support is instant and they will stick with you till your issue is resolved. Love those guys.

Do you have more questions about email marketing? There is not one blanket solution I will offer here, because everyone’s set up is so unique. So ask me anything below or make time for a free chat.

I also have a group mentoring program in development for MailChimp where I will teach you all my time saving and beautifying tips AND support you with your unique needs. Jumping on the newsletter is the best way to stay in the loop about that which will run later in the year.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you just want to talk to me about your business and email marketing?

I’d love to chat. You can book a free chat and we can discuss your business, your email marketing or anything else you like!

Go ahead and book a free chat here:

Do I need a website?

Do I need a website?

Do you really need a website?

And what is the bare, absolute minimum you need to deliver services in an online business?

I have a friend who I saw the other day and I know that she does not want to be on Facebook and she does not want to be on Instagram. I also know that she is basically a little bush fairy who does not want to spend much time on her computer or be very involved with technology.

So when she told me that she was going to make a website I kind of freaked out.

Even though I am someone who makes websites and you might think that I would encourage her to get a website it’s not always the case that you need a website.

My friend is running a business with a business partner called TST (Talking Stick Technology). It’s a new and beautiful offering that they are delivering to couples to help assist with communication and relationship issues. They are making money in their business but it’s very early days to them and they have been serving their client face to face. Moving online would already be a big step for them let alone having to build a website.

Personally I did not have a website until I had made $10,000 in my business. I was able to serve clients and receive payment without having any kind of website. 

 

What is the bare absolute minimum that you need to serve clients online and receive payments?

Acuity – paid version

I recommend the paid version of Acuity if you are planning to have no website.

The beauty of the paid plan of acuity is that you can create appointments, you can also create workshops and  you can get paid.

To harness this feature of Acuity you will need a business PayPal account or a Stripe account so that you can receive payments.

Acuity is relatively easy to set up. You can create a page that features all of your services if you want.

You can also create automated emails that get sent out once someone books a session or workshop spot with you which will save you loads of time once they’re set up.

Zoom – paid version

 I also recommended paying for zoom. if you use the paid version of zoom you can have meetings with over 40 people that last over 45 minutes. This enables my friend to meet with her business partner online and deliver their services to groups of couples or couples.

The Acuity + Zoom combo

The nice thing about Zoom and Acuity is that once you have set these up you can create your Zoom meetings and then you can use the Acuity automatic email system to send the Zoom link to your customers so that you don’t have to do that manually.

Instagram (or just one social media platform of choice)

You may choose Facebook or you may choose LinkedIn but I do recommend one social media platform if you’re not going to have a website.

Mainly because you just need one online place to send people that’s pretty easy for you to remember and share.

The Acuity URL for booking appointments are not particularly memorable and it’s easier if people can search for you on an online social media space.

The reason I suggested Instagram to my friend is because I know that she already finds it the easiest of all the social media platforms to participate in.

I recommend the same thing for you; if you find LinkedIn easiest or Facebook easiest then you can create a minimal social media presence there.

Then the question arises: “how often do you have to post and what should you post on social media”.

Currently I’m recommending that there is a bare absolute minimum of 1 post per week on any social media platform. This will enable someone to see that you are currently engaged in your business. If they go on your social media platform and they see no posts for the last 4 years they may wonder if you are actually currently delivering services.

So when do I need a website?

I would say as a blanket rule once you’ve made $10,000 in your business is a good time to start thinking about a website.

BUT if you have some extra cash flow in your business you might decide to allocate that for other things before a website.

If you have a cashflow surplus

Other great uses for a cash flow surplus are:

  1. Paying for a particular software for the year for instant security or zoom you could pay for a whole year.
  2. Alternatively you might want to work with a graphic designer to organise some branding for your business like a logo and fonts and colours.
  3. Having great photos for your business is a particularly good asset and I would say you could invest in photography before you even invest in a website.

And the reason I’m recommending all of these other things before a website is because when people come to me for a website build and they don’t have great images and they don’t have their branding sorted, it just makes it that little bit harder to make it look really gorgeous. The most gorgeous sites I’ve been able to build have been the ones where people come to me and they’ve got great images and they’re clear on their fonts and colours.

I hope this was helpful and I’d be really interested to hear if you have any further questions or comments about this. I’m really happy to answer questions and help you as much as I can. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and that this blog help you to prioritise a website for your business.

“I pay my respects and acknowledge the people of the Yuin Nation, traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work. I also pay respect to all Elders — past, present and future.”

Do you just want to talk to me about your business and website?

I’d love to chat. You can book a free chat and we can discuss website set up and all of the other things I mentioned here. We can even set it all up of ryou and save you the headace. 

Go ahead and book a free chat here: 

How to schedule your Instagram Posts #1

How to schedule your Instagram Posts #1

Did you know you can schedule your Instagram posts ahead of time?
There are 3 ways to do it and this is the first of 3 videos where I’ll share my 3 favourite ways to schedule and why each one rocks. And maybe less than rocks too. 
Here you go: 
Ok here’s the basic instructions in words rather than the video tutorial (although that is a better way to get the info 🙂
1. Get onto your Facebook page
2. Go to “Publishing tools”
3. Create your post
4. Rather thac clicking “Publish” click the little arrow next to the word publish and choose “Schedule”
5. Choose your day and time and click “Schedule” button.
6. You are welcome 🙂

Do you need a hand with your Instagram?

I can help you with many aspects of your Instagram through strategy sessions, content strategies, and customised tips. I also have an Instagram eCourse you can access via the button below. 

If you’d like more personalised help, book a free chat instead and we can see how I might help you. 

Hashtag mastery using Later.com

Hashtag mastery using Later.com

Do you want to post hashtags on your Instagram posts but you have more than 30 and you don’t want to always just post the same hashtags on every post? 
I LOVE using the “saved captions” on Later.com to achive this really easily!
Later.com is one of my favourite social media scheduling tools (Recurpost is my other one). Using Later.com means you can auto post, view your feed as a preview AND you can do this cool trick I’m goign to teach you today. Let’s go!
Ok here’s the basic instructions in words rather than the video tutorial (although that is a better way to get the info 🙂 
1. Log in to Later.com
2. Begin to create a post
3. When it comes to writing the caption, click on “Saved Captions”
4. Create a bunch of saved captions with “sets” of hashtags (up to 30) to suit different post types. See the video for examples. 
5. Each time you post, use one or more of the saved captions sets of hashtags. Save loads of time and use your hashtags more suitably. 
6. You are welcome 🙂

Do you need a hand with your Instagram?

I can help you with many aspects of your Instagram through strategy sessions, content strategies, and customised tips. I also have an Instagram eCourse you can access in the navigation under Work with Me > DIY > Instagram course. 

If you’d like more personalised help, book a free chat now and we can see how I might help you. 

Acuity Set Up

Acuity Set Up

One of the best tools you can have in place for an online business is Acuity for booking sessions with clients and taking payments.

You can save so much time: instead of sending endless emails or messages back and forth trying to find a mutually agreeable session time. PLUS you can start to deliver services, take payments and operate online using Acuity.

You can watch the video here:

If you’re folding washing or on a walk you can listen to it here: 

Or if you like reading, here are the main highlights:

What is Acuity?

Acuity is an online tool you can use for free or you can use the paid version which enables you to take payments, sync to your calendar and customise the appearance to a greater extent.

Here are the basic steps:

Create appointment and class types

Send the person a url where they will go and choose a time (and pay if needed)

Easy huh?

But there is a bit of set up to get you there. Don’t fret – it’s not too hard and I’ll show you how in the video above. 

No website? No worries….

The beauty of Acuity is that you can start setting up sessions and taking payments before you even have a website or as a way to side-step setting up eCommerce on your website. That’s how I started my business. 

What about costs?

There is a free version which is the one I use. However, you can’t take payments on the free version. I use another tool in my swag for payment processing.
PLUS on the paid version you get calendar sync and customising the appearance more.

The first level of upgrade is around $15/mo. If you want to allow bookings and take payment you will need this level. 

If you're wondering whether this is the best tool for your business, you could book a free chat and we can talk systems.

I’m happy to have a free chat with you to help you figure out which online tools your business needs to use to remain agile and get online.

Even if you don’t think we will work together, I love tea and chats, so go ahead and book 🙂

What is the Love Your Divi Website training membership?

What is the Love Your Divi Website training membership?

If you have a website built with me you get access to the Love Your Divi Website training membership. Yay. 

But what is that?

Well, it’s a place that I’ve bundled all of my website related videos and created even more specific videos to teach you how to use your new, beautiful website. It’s my way of empowering you and freeing you from unneccessary expense so you can look after most of your website yourself! 

Have a look at this video: 

The Love Your Divi Website training membership is included in your new website that is being built with me. You will get your log in details at our completion meeting.

Check out website options and pricing here.

If I haven’t built your website, but you DO have Divi and are struggling, you can access the Love Your Divi Website video library for a one off price of $19.

But don't struggle through if it's really wasting time....

You can still get my help if you need me. Go ahead and make time for a chat now: