Shiny-Object Syndrome is a bitch.
You don’t need any of these fancy things. I’ll show you how to start a business for free.
You know this old trope, “I wanna get the $99 / month plan of this online tool, it’ll make my business run much better.”
No, it won’t.
Never did for me.
I’ve been there, my friend.
I bought all the things.
I’ve spent $1,000 on the Mighty Networks annual plan while making $50 / month from my group there.
I have told people to get ConvertKit premium because you can build fancy automations to guide your subscribers through email sequences (and you’ve probably been on some of those).
Now I realize.
You need none of that.
Especially not, when you’re just starting out.
The tough reality is this, all these paid plans do only one thing: convenience.
And people pay top dollar for convenience, don’t get me wrong.
If you want to build a SaaS product, aim for convenience.
However, as you are starting out, what you really only need are platforms for distribution. All of which are free:
- Social Media: Twitter, free
- Email: Beehiiv, free
- Video hosting: Youtube, free (make them unlisted)
- Business OS: Notion.so, free
- Twitter scheduling: Hypefury, free
- Payment: Gumroad.com, free
Stop right there.
That’s all you need.
Oh, you’re not convinced?
- Video Editing: Davinci Resolve, free (actually better than Premiere Pro IMO)
- Graphic design: Canva, free (and many other things)
- Webhosting: mega.nz (20gb free)
- SEO: ahrefs.com has free insight on your own website
- Data and spreadsheets: Gdrive sheets
I can keep going, but you get the picture.
Granted, some alternatives suck a bit. Canva or other Photoshop clones are not as good as the original. But this is really only in the details.
If you start out, you don’t need those special features.
The reason you think you need all these paid plans is the same reason I thought I needed it:
You don’t trust your own content, skill, and wisdom.
You think you need to skip steps and build fancy things while you haven’t even evaluated if people like your content enough.
You think you need to be super-fancy because you see other people’s Youtube videos or Tweets and they have all that cool stuff.
Yes, but they all started small.
Just writing on Twitter about whatever came to mind.
Once they struck a chord with people, they doubled down on that.
This is what you need to do.
Step by Step Setting it up
You have nothing going, but you have an idea of what you want to do?
- Get a Twitter account
- Check out my Twitter and mimic the profile structure. Good pic, clean banner, bio that tells how the follower gets VALUE. Pinned tweet with what you are about (there’s more to it but it’s enough to start)
- Tweet 3-5x a day about your main topic
- Reply to big accounts 30x a day (steal their following by getting impressions there)
- One thread a week where you dive a little deeper
- Use Hypefury to schedule and automate that (on the free plan you can schedule 2 days in advance, but that’s all you need for now)
- Get a Beehiiv account
- Set up a simple sign-up for your newsletter
- It automatically creates SEO-optimized posts on a dedicated website, so you don’t even need a website
- Emails are automatically turned into “posts”
- Check back with Twitter analytics (or blackmagic.so) which tweets did well, double down on those. Write an email on such a topic and go deeper
- Post the link to your sign-up under each good-performing tweet and in your Twitter bio
- Make a Notion.so workspace and get my EZ Life Planner (I’ll soon release my entire Content Engine OS on which I run my business)
- Track your income and expenses on dedicated notion pages (they have good templates)
- Some topics struck a chord with people? Emails working well?
- Build a course on Notion. Write or record and upload to youtube, paste the links in Notion.
- In the top right corner, you can click “share” and share a page publicly.
- Put that link on Gumroad in your Content and sell the product in your newsletter
Making money with $0 spent (think of taxes tho…)
Now, of course, this is an abstract version of it. Just the overview.
If you want a deeper, more practical look into how to set these things up (and way more), join us in the ALC.
This one is designed to make you realize you don’t need these shiny things.
Hell, I even downgraded my paid things and moved from Convertkit ($290/year) to the free plan on Beehiiv.
Because I like my business lean and clean!
Let me know if you have questions!