Do you do a million tasks for free, and then wonder why you are not seeing the dollars? Fret no more; I’m gonna help you get paid, and get paid faster!
I have three handy, dandy tools waiting for every situation an entrepreneur faces.
Scenario 1: You publish online
Blogging up a storm or dashing off content that makes the Stephen Kings of the world envious? Use MuCash to hear the ka-ching ka-ching sound of micropayments coming your way, for content that is valuable and ought to be valued.
It’s an error I myself have made, so as I take egg off my face I will share my corrections.
Scenario 2: You have no easy way to collect from your customer
Do you sell homemade Indian samosas at a farmer’s market, or hawk CDs after your stand-up comedy routine? Are sales slow because folks don’t have cash or checks on them?
You could be selling a few items a day (rather than one a month) if you were a johnny-on-the-spot merchant with a Square in your pocket, ready for anything.
Scenario 3: You serve clients via Skype, phone, or virtually, and then chase them for payment
Do you charge for hourly phone consultations only to find that when you need to get paid, they treat you like a leper? Yup, that bites. Now you don’t have to threaten to take ‘em to small claims court when you get the runaround. Send an invoice from PayPal and see dollars in your bank account before you execute on that group call or before you revise a legal summons or edit an article.
With these 3 tools, you can get your mojo on in the time it takes to pull out a lipstick and replenish the gloss on your pucker. Trust me, you can do it quick.
Stop working like a dog and feeling like a pauper. Instead of not making money, try MuCash to get paid.
MuCash is a gem of a tool that can be used to make money from your online content, 24/7, in your sleep. It works for any kind of content, including videos, downloads, or articles, on an a la carte basis. Advertising pays publishers a fraction of a penny for content, and subscriptions can be hard to manage. MuCash takes away the hassle, and doesn’t take readers off the site to get paid.
MuCash is a button you add to your site. The customization is easy and quick. An entrepreneur has the choice of setting it to require a donation by the reader in order to “unlock” content, or to simply suggest a donation.
In other words, you can write the beginning of an article and then force someone to pay before they can read the second part. Or, as I have done, you can urge people to donate in the spirit of doing a kind thing. (At the end of this post, you can drop a quarter, a penny, or 99 cents into the till, if you’d like to support me.)
These are the main benefits for the reader:
- MuCash allows readers to pay small amounts for individual doses of content, with as little as 2 clicks, and
- One MuCash account enables readers to pay for content across all MuCash-enabled sites.
To donate to an author, you have to:
- Hit the MuCash button and fill in your email address
- Add a password
- Put some money into the account by offering your credit card details.
Note that you need to pre-load the account for a dollar minimum. However, once you have loaded up a dollar, you can donate as little as a penny at a time.
Instructions for putting a MuCash button on your site follow, if you use a WordPress site.
- In the Plugins menu of your dashboard, hit “Add New”
- Search for the MuCash plugin
- Press Install
- If you have WordPress set to optimize performance, be sure to empty your cache so the button appears on posts
- In the Settings menu of your dashboard, go to the “MuCash” plugin (URL says http://www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=mucash_options)
- Hit the button “Sign up here first,” which takes you to a page on the MuCash site
- Follow the prompts to list your email, password, and customized text explaining the focus of your site, in order to generate the Site ID and API Key that you need to tie together your WordPress platform with your MuCash account
- Copy and paste the Site ID and API Key into the MuCash settings
- Hit “Save Changes.”
You could get a little fancy if you wish to set a specific amount for a suggested donation, or even toggle the button on/ off for specific posts. But, I suggest you get going with it and then play around after you see how your users take to it. As you can see, many bloggers are happy to leave the donation at a reader’s discretion.
Square helps you get paid on the spot, with a simple credit card swipe and an app on your smartphone.
As I looked for folks who used Square in their work, I was absolutely inundated with business owners who told me how they loved it.
Square is free, ridiculously simple to operate, and small enough to always carry with you; it enables you to take payments in real time, from any customer with a credit or debit card. It’s ideal for situations where you can sell to a person you are speaking with, at the moment the interest is peaked.
To sign up for an account simply fill out the forms on the Square website, enter your bank’s routing and account numbers, and begin accepting payment on your iPhone, iPad, or Android.
Once you have an account, request Square to send you the free Square card reader in the mail. Download the app, and you can accept payment in a snap.
Monetta Plasmeyer, Founder of Mettano Designs, said this: “I started my business using Square. I invented a new type of cosmetic palette that holds all those individually sold eye shadows and blushes. When I am out at networking events, trade shows, or if any one wants to purchase my palettes on the spot, I can simply access the Square reader in my wallet. I can swipe their card and charge it through right there. And Square is small enough to fit in my change purse; fees are low and outrageously convenient!”
Benjamin Coleman, who makes origami bonsai, shared his experience. “I’ve been using Square for a little over a year to accept payments from customers. It has revolutionized my business since I don’t have to worry about bounced checks anymore. It is a “no brainer” for any small business … another great feature of Square is maximizing the benefit from rebate cards. I get an awful lot of rebates in the form of credit cards. They’re usually a round dollar amount like $50. Who spends exactly $50 at a store…? My solution is to charge these cards with my Square device…. Now when I get a rebate card in the mail, I immediately transfer the entire balance with my Square device.”
Bill Leys uses Square in his contracting business. “It offers my clients a convenient method of payment. One client charged their $4500+ deck repair costs using Square as they didn’t have checks and they could get mileage using their card. I got money in my account the next day. Great for us as I didn’t have to wait for a check to clear the bank.”
Claudia Espinola, CEO of Casa Couture, uses Square to pre-sell shoes. “It’s so convenient and easy to use…. Like when our company had our launch party and we had an unexpected demand from attendees to buy some of our couture shoes on the spot or pre-order in their size. We were able to pull out our Square, run the transaction immediately, and not lose the opportunity of a sale.”
In fact, after seeing how easy it was to use for business, she started using it in her personal life. When Espinola needs to split a check with friends and they don’t all have cash, “I just pull out my Square, run everyone’s card on my phone, and pay the bill with one card.”
Steven Holtzman’s experience is that even in the outback, an entrepreneur can accept payment! “My dad and I have an aerial photography company, so we’re always off somewhere. Recently we had a client call us when we were out in the field in between shoots. The client wanted to pay an invoice. So I fired up Square on my phone, keyed in the information, and shot off an invoice within a minute or two. Square just makes life very easy.”
Use PayPal for getting paid before you provide services, when banks charge an arm and a leg and you can do-it-yourself.
When you’re not in front of your customer, or the customer does not wish to divulge credit card information, PayPal can be your buddy.
Instead of generating a bill, simply shoot your counterpart an email from your PayPal account and turn a virtual invoice into a real digital request for funds.
I was a newbie, but able to do it in less than 10 minutes, from soup to nuts.
Even if you’re not in business, you can move up to $500 per month with a personal account for very minor charges. So get paid to rewrite someone’s resume, to coach them for an hour, or to walk them through the brush up of a LinkedIn profile. And get paid first, before providing that service.
Minor charges are 2.9% of the total value of the transaction, plus 30 cents per transaction. So selling a back link (to an advertiser) for $125 per year would net you a nice sum of $121.07.
If you need to go above the $500 limit, consider PayPal Payments Advanced, which is only $5 per month.
How to use PayPal when you want someone to send you money.
- Go to PayPal.com
- If you don’t have an account, open an account by hitting the “Sign Up” button and choose from the Personal, Premier, or Business Account options
- Hit the “Get Started” button and follow the process.
If you have an online site, you can choose to add a PayPal button that says “Pay Now” to your site. I choose instead to request payment via a link.
In either case, once you are in your account, go to the Merchant Services tab, and select the appropriate option.
To send an electronic invoice, use the button on the upper right hand side, “Send invoices online for fast payment.” All you need to know is your customer’s email address.
It is super simple to follow the process, although the first time presents one twist–it is NOT a no-brainer. You must first verify that your PayPal account is properly linked to your bank account. Although this is not hard, you may have questions. The customer service number is right there, so call them up and they will help you troubleshoot.
Then you can stop doing work for free, and start getting paid for those time blocks that really are precious and saleable. As you start earning in small increments, it will lead to bigger increments and more greenbacks in the door.
What do you do to ensure that you are not just working, but making money? Share your tips below.
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