This same tech stack applies if you’re a coach, a freelancer, an agency, or even a bootstrapped start up. As such, I recommend a lot of these tools to my clients.
Regardless of the service you provide, you need an online presence that is unified with your way of managing services. This post lays out how I do it in the hopes that it will help you too.
I also include fixed and recurring prices to give you an idea how much it costs (not counting time) to run your own business where you – as an individual – provide a service.
Here’s what’s covered:
- Entity Establishment
- Website Hosting and Analytics
- Project Management and Communication
- Accounting and Invoicing
Max Filings – was quick and easy, and really good customer service to establish my corporation.
One-time Cost: $250
Website Hosting and Analytics
WordPress – One of the most popular content management systems. I hired a great designer on UpWork who also cut me a deal based on our previous working relationship. That being said, budgeting $1000 would be the minimum reasonable budget unless you’re going to design it yourself.
Pressable – Hosting provider – hosts up to 5 sites all for $25 per month. Could potentially get cheaper hosting elsewhere (for a single site), but I find their customer support is top-notch.
ThriveLeads [WordPress Plug-In] – for collecting email addresses through content opt-ins. It’s a one time fee of $67.
Yoast SEO [WordPress Plug-In] – An essential WordPress plug-in (it’s free). Gets your SEO for all of your site pages and posts on point.
Google Tag Manager – Analytics and tracking for your WordPress site – so you don’t have to edit code to manage your pixels/tracking/etc.
Typeform – Managing all my contact forms and service requests through this. It’s $35 per month – and there’s cheaper plans available. I like having “conditional logic” so I can include multiple services on one form.
HotJar – CRO and heat mapping. To understand how people move through my site (free for up to 2,000 visitors per month).
Ahrefs – SEO tool (although I need to write more on the blog!). They have a ‘lite’ plan that is free. SEMRush is also a great tool and has a low-tier free plan. This is an *essential* tool if you plan on creating content to facilitate inbound leads.
Monthly Expenses: $64
Appointments & Consultations:
Calendly (to book consultations) integrated with Stripe (financial payment system). You can set it to accept ‘deposits’ for a call to discourage no-shows.
Monthly Expenses: $12 per user
Project Management and Communication:
Trello for project management, task assignment, and communication. I avoid email as much as possible. I manage everything under one “Team” in Trello. I have boards for my website, sales, and administration. I also have a team for each client + a “board” for each service I’m running for them. I communicate with clients via Trello too. There is a paid plan, but free is fine if it’s just you.
G-Suite– All things Google (Drive, Sheets, Docs, etc.) for both my internal assets, processes, checklists, and docs *and* client-facing assets. Also lets you set up an email so it’s [yourname]@[yourwebsite] for $5 per user per month.
Monthly Expenses: $5 per user
Copper (formerly Prosperworks) – It’s built for G-Suite users in mind (which I use for email and project management). From “prospecting” to “closed deal”, this is your sales software tool. It keeps a record of every time I email one of my “prospects” due to its seamless sync with Gmail. It also has a ton of integrations + great customer support.
Monthly Expenses: $19 per user
Xero – I found its integrations to be better than Quickbooks. I send all of my invoices through here so a client can pay with a range of options. In contrast, sending invoices through Quickbooks makes the client use *their* payment system.
Monthly Expenses: $30 per month.
UpWork – It’s where you can find serious talent internationally for very affordable prices. This is where I’ve hired web developers, graphic designers, video editors, social media managers, and virtual assistants. UpWork charges the freelancer, not the client, about 20% of the fee.
Monthly Expenses: N/A, this is payroll essentially and varies with revenue (higher workloads -> more cost). No cost to join.
In other words, to get “up and running” by mirroring my set up, it would cost you:
One-time fixed fee: $1,367
Monthly recurring costs: $119 per month.
Have a helpful addition to this? Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know you read this post!