Freemium services are a great way to get started with a particular hobby or career by testing the water first. It’s always going to be a risk for any new venture if you have limited experience of that brand or company and are required to pay money up front – the try before you buy addage never ages.
The freemium term is not widely known in the UK or Birmingham, but the truth is, millions of us use freemium services every day without really thinking about it.
We take a look at some of the best freemium services Brummies are using in the city right now.
Freemium Services For Music
Mixcloud is a brilliant platform for DJs and musicians. It allows users to upload their latest mixes or music compositions to an online platform which they can then share or post to a variety of social media stages. There is the ability to tracklist, gain followers and follow your favourite band or DJ.
The company was set up in direct competition to Soundcloud when users began to tire of the adverts. The good thing about Mixcloud is, it is free to use at a basic level which is useful enough to not have to upgrade for the pro version. However, some free limitations can be annoying enough to want to upgrade such as not being able to skip back during mixes, you can skip forward, otherwise you have to allow the whole mix to play out.
With the pro version Mixcloud will allow you to upload music without any copyright issues too, this was a major pain for Soundcloud users as many DJ mixes were muted or removed for copyright violations, going pro with Mixcloud will get around this. The pro version can even be trialled free for 30 days.
Birmingham DJs make good use of this service and it’s a great way to network at local, national or international level.
Freemium Services For Web Design
The advancement of the internet has taken the world by storm and one of the pioneers in web design and web hosting is WordPress.
This amazing company provides quick access to securing your own domain name via their WordPress platform. You get free web space and access to basic features such as free themes and a whole host of WordPress tutorials, and web design features.
Local Birmingham companies use this service en mass, simply because it is so simple to set up and use, and it’s free! The business model literally appeals to every business out there, or hobbyist. From food bloggers to high street shops, restaurants, bars, hair salons, garages, any business or interest you can think of will be catered for. In fact there are even themes designed specifically for every industry or hobby imaginable, from sport to healthcare, photography and music, all for free.
However, once you have found your feet with WordPress you will quickly realise that the domain and the webspace has limitations, and certain themes will require technical support, also webspace is limited, you can upgrade to gain more web space and business tools which will take your website to a new level.
This freemium service also has small businesses locally in Birmingham who will charge to help you set up and expand your WordPress website to help you gain the most out of the free service they offer.
The really great thing about WordPress is, whether you are using it free or an upgraded user, any design feature you may want, from contact forms to installing Google analytics, to embedding your social media accounts, someone, somewhere in the world will have designed a WordPress widget to do that job for you, all you need to do is find and install it as a plugin. These too are themselves freemium services, they will be free but with limitations, for a small monthly or one off fee you will usually have access to more advanced features and technical support such as SEO or pop ups to help encourage your visitors to sign up to a newsletter.
Freemium Services For Newsletters
Any business worth its salt in Birmingham will be using a newsletter and asking customers to sign up. It’s a great way to keep people coming back, for discounts, deals, offers, or just to inform people about the latest news – its a way of personalising and rewarding loyal followers.
Mailchimp offers widgets and codes which can be installed into websites, these provide pop ups and sign up forms to encourage visitors to sign up to your newsletter.
Mailchimp then allows you to manage that data on their servers, and also compose and send emails in bulk.
It is free to do most basic features but for an additional upgrade you can grow your newsletter from an essential package offering more customisation, to a standard package offering advanced business tools to a premium service which is suited to high volume senders and large companies who will require advanced marketing features and phone support. One of the best freemium services around and widely used in Birmingham.