My 7 Favorite Freebies of 2011


How many times have you hung up on your customer by trying to patch in a third person using the unfriendly 3-way calling or your own telephone set? Would it sometimes be useful to record a call that you have with a client while you are teaching or explaining something so they could listen again if they wanted to? Would you like to offer recorded calls as part of your services or products? Do you have a mastermind group or simply some pals that you want to share goal-setting and accountability with on a regular basis? does all this and more at no charge. I have recorded hundreds of coaching calls, used it for several masterminds up to 10 people attending, recorded marketing and teleseminar calls and much more. Sign up to get your own private access code. As the host, you’ll enter an additional host code each month. It’ll take a few seconds to learn the commands. (Press 5* to record, for example.) And the user interface to download the mp3s is super-easy to learn. No appointment-setting is necessary; you can use the codes anytime you want to.

I don’t know how these companies get by without charging, but I’m happy they do.

2. FileZilla

We just started using FileZilla, and we use it to update websites as well as to move files from a local computer to our web sites where we store products and program audios for our customers. It’s an FTP program. That stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it sound more complicated than it is. It’s easy to learn and a great tool that everyone should learn how to use.

3. Google Calendar

As my company follows the global trend to move everything off the desktop, Google calendar is easy to use and share with virtual or onsite team members and partners. You can have multiple calendars for multiple businesses, projects or partners. You can have your personal calendar separate from your business calendar, but see them all overlapping and in different colors.

4. Ning

For those of you who have membership groups, following, or want to start a community, Ning rocks. OK, it’s not free: I paid a whopping $2 and 95 cents for the entire year. My 100+ Accountant’s Accelerator members are finding accountability partners, posting tips, making friends, and networking for their business’s benefit.

I was shocked at how easy it was to set up, add people, and post all of our program deliverables. If you have this specialized need, Ning is a great solution.

5. WordPress (.org)

WordPress has changed the face of web sites forever. Gone are the days where you need to pay $20,000 for a good content management system; WordPress offers one for free. It’s not perfect, but the search engine juice WordPress provides allows me to look the other way at some of its imperfections.

It still requires a techie to install (IMO), but there is so much you can do to keep your webmaster’s bill low. I have my clients entering their own photos, search engine optimization tasks, testimonials, and blog posts. WordPress is another one that moves the files off the desktop so that anyone anywhere can see and edit the latest version of the post or page.

BTW, WordPress plays best with Google Chrome; stay off IE8, or you will go crazy.

6. Skype

Skype is an oldie but goodie. If you are still paying for long distance phone calls, you can cut that expense out entirely with Skype. It’s the only way I can service my clients from Europe, Australia, and Asia. It also allows residents in those countries to access my U.S.- phone-number teleseminars with no long distance. Now if we could just do something about the time zone differences, we’d be rocking.

Even if you’re paying an extra $20 a month for Canadian access or other out-of-country access, drop that plan, use Skype, and treat yourself to a steak dinner once a month instead.

7. Gmail (or Yahoo! mail)

As an Outlook user for over a decade, I’m finally getting off my desktop and moving into Gmail. It does everything Outlook does: filters, rules, folders, priorities, and more. The main thing is it allows me to be platform-independent; I can check email from my phone, PC, Mac, or iPad whenever and wherever I want.

Those are my 7 favorite freebies. Do you use any of these? What are yours? Post your favorites below. I’d love to hear your comments.