When it comes to getting paid for your expertise online, many people don’t know where to start, especially without a website! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I could go on and on about this subject, but I thought I’d write really quickly about the first three options I typically pick for clients and why. Now, to start, let me remind you that this is primarily for things other than physical products; think ebooks, consulting, classes, or services and products provided online in digital form.
- Acuity Scheduling. I could say that this list is in no particular order, but I love Acuity and help people set it up, so naturally it’s at the top. When I first started providing consulting and wasn’t happy with my website, this was my go-to. If you are offering classes, consultations, or a service that is billed by the hour, Acuity is for you. How it works: You sign up with your name and business info, and choose a plan. There is a free plan, but you have to bill separately if you choose that option (which is fine if you want people to pay at a physical location anyway or prefer to send invoices.) You create appointment types, and then you set your availability. You can even create a customized link to your calendar (for example, mine is Elisabetharona.as.me) and clients can go straight there to book. We’d be here all day if we were to discuss all the bells and whistles, but a few include: brand color customization, integration with a ton of services like email and payment programs, gift certificates, and the choice of paypal or stripe for payment. I often provide screen sharing instructions for clients during a consultation, so I especially love that for particular services, when they book, it automatically sends them a link for the scheduled zoom call.
- Paypal. Remember how I mentioned invoices? Yeah, here’s where that comes in. Let’s say that you wanted to give someone HR advice, and you don’t have a website. You can easily sign up for Paypal and create an invoice to email to them before or after (I suggest before) you have chatted with your client. Want to sell some books on leadership to the client as well? You can set up the invoice for physical products (hardback books) with shipping, digital products (ebooks), or services (consultation.) Paypal really is great, and has so many different ways to help you get paid that I encourage you to explore. In the interest of full disclosure, they are known to hold large amounts of money that come in “unexpectedly” and investigate before giving it to you; that process can take months. They also are very buyer friendly, meaning that a customer can say they didn’t receive the services that they paid for, and Paypal is more likely to side with them and refund than they are the seller.
- Stripe. I would actually choose Stripe over Paypal. It’s a little more involved as far as signing up, because you have to have business things (EIN for instance) to provide, and they sometimes take a few hours or more to confirm that you truly have a business. This isn’t one you’re gonna sign up for last minute before charging someone. They are very professional looking though, and I’ve had absolutely no problems with them. They include extra security measures for sign in; and if I had to find a downside, it would that it is not as simple to use as paypal.
Well there we go! I hope that was helpful, and if you have any questions or want help getting set up for that virtual class you’re cooking up, just contact me!