If you’ve ever had to shop for software solutions to run your business, you may have noticed that software isn’t cheap. Well, let me introduce you to AppSumo. For freelancers, AppSumo can really impact your earning potential by providing you with access to free and discounted software that can help you work faster and smarter. Let’s talk about it, sis.

I’m not sure how long it’s been since you priced a content marketing solution, but software – whether on a CD (haha – I’m old school) or somewhere in the cloud – is NOT cheap. Just today, I decided to check out Oribi after seeing an ad on  YouTube, and I was stunned to learn that the bare-bones monthly subscription rate for Oribi is about $500 a month. 

Uh, no dice. I’m still interested in the features and functionality, but my freelance business has not yet reached the point where I could shell out $500 a month for one marketing solution! My situation is not uncommon, which makes me the target buyer for AppSumo. 

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that apps rule the digital terrain. Shopping for groceries? Generating social media content? SEO? Scheduling posts? Buying stock photos? Editing photos? There’s an app for everything! 

The apps I use at work are awesome, but they’re hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars a month. I can’t afford those in my own business. But I still want apps with features that are intuitive enough for even older users at a subscription price point that is feasible for me as a smaller freelancer.  AppSumo fits the bill, sis. 

How I Was Introduced to AppSumo

For the longest time, I was scheduling my social media posts using an app that was costing me $50 a month. Now, $50 a month to save 5 to 10 hours a week is not unreasonable, but for where I was in my business, it wasn’t the best use of money.

So, about a year and a half ago, a coworker of mine recommended AppSumo to me as I was looking for a new social media scheduling tool that was as robust as the one I was using, but not as expensive. 

I found multiple solutions for scheduling social posts and they were inexpensive enough for me to purchase and try multiple tools. I decided on Publer.io. and paid a one-time license fee of $39.

$39 for a lifetime license compared to $50 a month forever. Nothing to think about, right?!! Publer wasn’t as robust as the app I had been using, but I learned to just go with it.

And you know what? Over the last 18 months, Publer’s features have improved consistently so that it’s now on par with the pricier tool I was using.  Yaaasssss!

You can see in the [silent] video below that I’ve grabbed about a dozen things from AppSumo in the last 18 months – social media scheduling apps, an app that converts text to audio, an app that keeps track of my subscriptions and when they are due, another app that helps you plan time based on your behaviors, stock photography subscriptions. I have a few books and templates that I’ve downloaded as well.

What Is AppSumo Used For?

Simply put, it’s a marketplace of free and discounted software, apps, and digital goods that’s tailor-made for solopreneurs and startups that want to get access to a full arsenal of business tools, and do so affordably. 

Apps are in the marketplace for a set amount of time (usually several weeks) and during that time, users can get deals on the apps. The new software comes to the AppSumo marketplace almost daily, and across a bunch of different categories: Accounting, Client Management, CRM, Data and Analytics, Graphic Design, Video, WordPress, Ecommerce, Education, Lead Generation, Sales, Productivity, Social Media, Stock Photos, and more At any given time, you can find hundreds of software solutions temporarily discounted.

The AppSumo team partners with big tech companies such as Evernote and MailChimp to give you access to all of their major products. But it also partners with smaller companies and developers to help jumpstart their app sales. Doing this saves users thousands of dollars a year.

Key Features

Direct and transparent, AppSumo runs on a simple but effective interface with relevant curated content. Here’s a look at how the website offers its library of products.

Browse

When you land on the Browse page, the first thing to do is direct your attention to the left navigation panel. 

Choose from the following filter dropdown options:

  • Categories

An exhaustive list of specific industries to help you find exactly what you need.

  • Status

This gives you the option to choose from three sections: Current, Ending, and Expiring. After you choose your category, you can view one or all of the aforementioned statuses for the best deals.

  • Deal type

Here’s where things get interesting. The last filter lets you choose what kind of deal you want—Lifetime, Annual, Freebie, Subscription, or Digital Download. This takes the guesswork out of what plan you’re going with, right from the get-go.

AppSumo Select

Just above the left navigation panel with the filters is a specialized filter named AppSumo Select. When switched on, the viewing panel changes to show you the hottest tried-and-tested apps by the AppSumo team. It comes in handy if you want ironclad surety before you purchase an app.

Get $10

Newcomers, this one’s for you. Click on the tab on the top of the web page called Get $10. Sign up to access and use this credit on your first purchase.

How Much Does AppSumo Cost?

Access to AppSumo is free. But you can join as an AppSumo Plus member for $99/year to get access to special deals and promotions.

What Is AppSumo Plus?

As a Plus member, you get access to exclusive benefits such as 

  • 10% off on AppSumo purchases: Terms and conditions apply.
  • Access to KingSumo Giveaway Pro: This the speedier way to grow your email list without creating ads or writing guest posts.
  • Extended access to deals: Everything from early to late-access deals. You’re also the first to know when new promos hit the platform.

Blog

From the latest trends to easy tricks for novices in the business world, AppSumo’s content is up to date. Take advantage of knowledge-driven and relatable content. 

Stuck in a rut? Simply look through their blog posts for refreshingly original information. Sign up for free resources to get access to the latest news on tech innovations.

Pros and Cons

Trying something new can be daunting, but it shouldn’t stop you from exploring new tools and solutions. Here are a few of my favorite things and the roadblocks I encountered while shopping on AppSumo.

Pros

Sell on AppSumo

Got digital work you want to sell? AppSumo lets you start earning right away after listing your products and growing your reach. What I love is that this service is free. Not only that, but the site also gives you the material know-how you need to get started.

Brand exposure for businesses

AppSumo connects you to a dedicated team of expert digital marketers, a 1.5M+ email distribution list, and 350K+ social followers. You also join an affiliate network of tech-savvy influencers, bloggers, and YouTubers to help you skyrocket your dreams.

A conscious approach to shopping

Before buying an app, I take a look at what people are saying in the reviews section of the app’s page. This genuine user feedback helps me gauge if it’s the right tool for my needs. Every app’s landing page is replete with screenshots, videos, and information that tell you exactly what to expect.

Freebies

 Who doesn’t love free stuff? Besides offering free reading material that AppSumo emails directly to your inbox, you also have access to free apps through the Browse feature.

Affiliate program

AppSumo pays you every time you bring a customer in after every initial transaction sale. To easily track all your referrals and sales, you’re provided with a unique affiliate URL. You can visit the URL several times a day to view the custom dashboard and keep an eye on stats. I’m an AppSumo affiliate.

Cons

You snooze, you lose

Hot deals come and go like hotcakes. If you don’t catch them, tough luck. If you’re part of AppSumo’s mailing list, chances are you’ll find out sooner than later, provided you actively check their emails or website. Only Plus members are informed about the deals ahead of time.

Redemption deals expire quickly

After you’ve made a purchase, redemption codes last for only 6 days before they expire. If you forget this deadline, that’s money down the drain.

Slow approval pace

For users who want to advertise products, AppSumo’s approval process moves at a snail’s pace. It’s not the quickest feature of the website, that’s for sure.

Conclusion

All in all, AppSumo is worth a try. It gets my two thumbs up for being an inventive platform. Businesses can experiment with basic apps and advance to higher-end apps once things take off. Even if you’re an individual who wants to do better at a creative job, the options for AI-generated content are great. Do give it a whirl!

Be sure to check out my other recommendations!

Best Productivity Apps

Creative Marketing: The Best Design Solution for Design-Challenged Freelancers