Are you stuck in the subscription service money trap?

As someone who works with entrepreneurs I see the same mistakes coming up again and again. At this point I could easily go down the rabbit hole of hating on GoDaddy. But I’ll just say don’t use them if you can find literally ANY other host. 

But even that ties directly into what I’m going to discuss today. Which is how easy it is to get snowed by great marketing into paying too much for services. 

Over the years my business has spent $1000s of dollars on subscription services that I rarely used and yet paid for month after month for years at a time. 

But because each one didn’t cost a lot, most of these didn’t register. But of course anyone who has cut cable only to find themselves with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and a half dozen other streaming services will tell you  – these things add up. And they add up fast. 

The truth is there are a lot of free and cheap options out there that can help you cut down your monthly business expenditures. 

Stock Photos

For years I was paying over $40 a month for a subscription to Dreamstime. I use images primarily for presentation slides and blog posts. 

I like to stay on the right side of the copyright police and so should you. So if you are in the habit of grabbing random images off of Google…stop.

Last year I was working with a client to help him create a webinar. And as I was watching it for the first time the headshot of another speaker – a speaker I knew personally – showed up in his presentation. When I asked this client where he found it, he said that he had just typed “handsome businessman” into Google. 

So where can you find a “handsome businessman” without paying a small fortune every month? Well there are a couple of places out there. But the one I use the most is 

It has millions of images – including the one I used on this post! And more importantly it’s free. But do the photographer a solid and make sure to attribute the image correctly. 

Don’t be afraid to go “off-brand”

One of the big reasons you are paying too much for subscription services is because so are most other people. Folks sign up for GoDaddy – even though it’s terrible and expensive – because GoDaddy is great with marketing. 

The same goes for many of the other services you are probably using. 

One of the places I constantly check for innovative “off brand” or discounted technology is

Just recently I was able to replace a $25 a month Hootsuite subscription with a lifetime license to a tool called Social Champ for $49. And I actually prefer the tools and user experience of Social Champ to Hootsuite. 

With Appsumo the offers are changing all the time, so it’s good to check back often. But warning – it can be as addictive as any online shopping. So stay focused on what you will actually use vs. what looks really cool. 

Another monthly subscription I was able to ditch was Mailchimp. Again I was paying over $50 a month to occasionally send out emails. However, lifetime access to Sendfox was $99.

Does it have all the bells and whistles of Mailchimp? Nope. But was I using all that functionality? Nope. 

Let’s add all this up

Now it’s time to do some fancy math. How much money will I save this year alone from just switching these services?

12 months Dreamstime subscription @ $49 = $588

12 months of Unsplash FREE


12 months of Mailchimp @ $51.99 = $623.88

Lifetime access to SendFox $99


12 months of Hootsuite @ $25 = $300

Lifetime access to Social Champ $49


No need to grab a calculator. I was able to eliminate $1511.88 worth of subscriptions for less than $150.

What are you paying too much for? And what can be replaced by finding an off brand equivalent? 

Aidan Crawford

Aidan Crawford is president of Short Circuit Media. His main job is helping consultants, trainers and professional speakers get their marketing in order by creating and implementing strategies to help them reach their target audiences.


Let’s have a quick chat about your marketing goals and see how I can help.
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