Use Sixty: The tool every blogger, freelancer, digital nomad, or small business owner needs in their life
I don't have a technical background, I've picked up a few things over the years but its really not my strong suit. Which means every time I need to build a new website or tweak an existing one, my options have been to hire a web developer (they're super expensive, can easily be $10k+), buy a template, or pay for a "build your own" site like Wordpress or Squarespace.
I've tried some combination of all of the above and have had the best luck with Squarespace (which is what this site is currently hosted on) but as easy as it was, building a site is incredibly time consuming and there always things that I wanted to change/incorporate into my site that I had absolutely no idea how to implement. Squarespace has a section of specialists that you can hire to help in such situations but I never loved the result.
For one, timing was always an issue. I'd find a designer I'd like, message them to get started, and receive a response that they weren't available to start for at least 3 weeks. Once they did get started, it was incredibly difficult to make the changes over email as they're generally dealing with so many clients (and in some cases, outsourcing the work to developers in Southeast Asia) that things get misinterpreted and the exchange has no momentum. Eventually, I'd get frustrated and settle for the minor improvement that had been made.
At one point, I thought it was a "you get what you pay for" problem so I bit the bullet and spent $3000 on an expert level Squarespace specialist. They were the absolute WORST. They insisted on scheduling multiple hour long Skype sessions to discuss the site before any work began, it took ages to see any results, and they could be pretty condescending. In addition to all this, I was told a change I'd requested wasn't possible without special coding that they'd be happy to do for an extra $400. Fortunately, at this point I knew enough about Squarespace to know this was BS and made the change myself. It only took about 15 minutes to do but it really put the nail in the coffin on my experiences with Squarespace specialists. Which is why I am sooooo excited to have discovered Use Sixty!
Described as a software "SOS Button", Use Sixty provides experts on demand (I've always been able to get help within the hour) specifically to help with the problems you encounter while dealing with applications like Squarespace, Google AdWords, or MailChimp that are supposed to be user friendly but can still provide a challenge for non technical people or those who simply don't have time to learn how to use yet another application.
Let's say you've started building your site and have suddenly hit a point where you don't know how to make the change you want, all you need to do is head to www.usesixty.com and a book a session with one of their experts. You can book time slots between 15 minutes and 2 hours long, rates depend on what kind of expertise you need, and how soon you need it. If your task is completed in less time than you booked, you can either use the time to work on other issues or end the session early and you'll only be billed for the time used. Pretty awesome, right??
My first session was with a Squarespace expert called Dana, I had no idea what to expect but I was desperate for help. We got onto a video chat and Dana helped me set up the screen share then we immediately dove in. It was awesome to be able to have real time conversations about what I wanted so that there was no room for miscommunication, and to be able to make immediate changes when something didn't turn out as I'd expected it to. Watching Dana make changes via the screen share enabled me to improve my own skills and she was nice enough to share tricks she thought would be helpful to me that I never would have known to ask about. Within a few hours (and having spent far less $$ than I have with other experts) my site was exactly what I'd wanted it to be.
Having had such a positive experience with Dana, I booked more time for help with a new project I'd been wanting to set up. This time I was assigned to David, who happens to be one of the company's founders. This project was a bit more complicated in that we were starting from scratch and I had a rough idea of what I wanted, but no idea whether it was possible or what things were called. David was incredibly patient and resourceful. Many of the features I wanted involved applications not listed on Use Sixty but David spent some time researching the best ones and was able to set them up quickly.
Another great feature of the service is that you don't always have to be present for the screen share, you can also book "offline time" for the tasks to be completed while you're doing other things. I found it worked well to be involved with the initial session so that everyone is on the same page but after that it was easy to jot down a few notes about what I wanted then get other work done while the changes were being made.
All in all, I could not be happier with my experiences with Use Sixty and I hope you'll give them a try!