If I see a yard sale sign, I will stop. I can’t resist a deal. And I never want to spend more than I have to for something essential. It’s a thrifty skill I learned from my Dad.
I’ve bought children’s toys, video games, and even a kitchen table, chairs and china cabinet at yard sales. We buy books at the used book store. And I’m always checking Facebook Marketplace and grocery flyers for deals before shopping.
I’m not nearly as adept a haggler as my Dad…but I did pick up a few tricks that I use at yard sales AND in my business to this day. Finding a good deal goes well beyond thrifty home decor finds.
Over the years I’ve paid a lot of subscriptions for social media services of varying kinds. My current MONTHLY subscriptions bill to run this business is about $700. So when I can find a good deal on a social media tool I know I’m going to use a lot, it’s worth it to me. There are a few different ways to save money on social media tools and today I’m sharing my favourites with you!
Write a blog post
Many tools are looking for people to write posts on their own website about their tools and in exchange, they are willing to give you a free membership to use the tool. For example, I was approached by Interact (Aff) to try out their social media quiz software. I wrote a post about using quizzes in your social media, mentioned Interact, and now have a free membership.
Usually, these programs reach out to me based on things they’ve found on my website already, but it could be worth it to write to your favourite tools to see if they have a program like that. If you’ve been blogging for a while and have built an audience, and your audience fits their customer avatar, it could work out for you. Alternatively, they could ask you to write social posts on your social profiles.
Use Affiliate Codes from Friends
If you’ve noticed the experts you follow promoting specific programs on their websites, or their social media, look a little closer at those posts. Often they will include discount codes for free months or an upgrade on a program you need. Alternatively, look for affiliate links in a blog post. Have a look at that Interact link above, with the “(Aff)” after it…that indicates this is an affiliate link. Not only could you get a discount by using some of these affiliate links, but the person who referred you (in this case, me) could receive a small payment as a thank you.
Sign up for App Sumo
One of my favourite places to get deals on tools is App Sumo (Aff). New programs are added to AppSumo daily, it seems. There’s always something new to try whether you’re looking for a social media scheduling tool, a calendar booking system, or an all-inclusive course software for your website. You never know what you’re going to find next on AppSumo!
Once you sign up for your account you will receive emails for each new deal they offer. Each deal will have a lifetime price, usually $39-$59 USD. This means if you buy the deal you will have a LIFETIME membership for that program at that level. Sometimes the package you buy is static and sometimes it includes all future upgrades. It is well worth it to pay $39 USD once to have a calendar booking software for life, or an online course or membership program, for life!
Here are my favourite deals I’ve purchased through AppSumo:
- Bookafy (calendar booking)
- Deposit Photos credits
- Sticker Mule stickers
- WP Courseware (online course / membership)
- EventsFrame (sell & manage tickets for a conference)
- Eventee (create an app for a large event)
- Oviond (analytics reporting)
- Passcamp (password manager)
- DocSketch (for online contract signatures)
- Lumen5 (creates videos from your blog)
You’ll want to get signed up for AppSumo right away because Sumo Day is coming up on July 13 and I’m sure there will be a deal there for everyone. Even if you miss Sumo Day this year, you’ll be eligible for all of the deals the rest of the year…and there will be at least one deal you’ll want.
As an alternative to AppSumo, you might want to check out StackSocial. I have purchased from here as well, but find the programs less relevant to my business. At the time of writing this Design Wizard (alternative to Canva) was listed with a lifetime deal of $69 USD, which is a pretty good price if you do a lot of design work.
Sign up for Product Emails
I know, I know… the last thing you want is a bunch more emails. Hear me out. If there’s a program you really like, it is worth signing up for their emails to know if and when they have subscription sales and/or offers worth taking advantage of. Social Warfare, my favourite WP plugin for SEO, social sharing buttons and click to tweet features, has a 30% discount sale only two or three times per year, announced via email in case you don’t see it on their socials. I regularly get emails offering to save me money on social media tools I may have tried in the past.
Most social media tools have discounts if you pay for an entire year at once. If you can swing $150 or $300 this month, it is worth it to pay for the entire year upfront. You could save a couple of months on each subscription for which you do this. Bonus tip: spread the annual payments out so that you’ve only got one annual subscription renewing each month, or every couple of months, so it’s easier to handle.
Stick to the Free Versions
Many social media tools actually have limited free versions you can use forever. The catch is they may include their logo on things created, or you may not have access to all the features you’d like. It is possible to manage your social media completely for free (except your time, of course). You can save money on social media tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, Canva, or Trello by using only the free versions. There are several good video apps for android that have free versions, too.
Whether you decide to downgrade or stick with the free versions, offer to help promote a program you love, or buy up and coming new tools through a website like AppSumo, if you’re diligent there are ways to save money on social media tools you need to run your small business.