As a small business owner, you already have a full plate. In fact, it’s not just full. It’s overflowing.
So, why not make things a bit easier and rely on tools that can handle even the most tedious of tasks – like sending out a massive newsletter?
However, money is also a concern. If we had a disposable income, shelling out the money for the numerous amount of tools available wouldn’t be an issue. But, that’s not the situation. New business owners have to tighten the belt and look for affordable options. And, it doesn’t get any more affordable than free.
To prove that free doesn’t mean cheap or junky, here are twelve essential Internet marketing tools that can use for absolutely nothing.
Remember the days of lugging around binders full of notes? Yeah. They weren’t exactly the best of times – especially when you misplaced an important piece of paper. Thankfully, Evernote has resolved that problem.
Whether it’s writing down notes for a business presentation or collaborating with a project with team members, Evernote replaces the endless amounts of paper that used to fill up your desk. Evernote can be reached on any device so, you can work on your projects while at the airport and then finish it up when you get back home to your laptop. And, I didn’t even mention the neat dictation feature either.
Dropbox has become a favorite tools for businesses because it makes sharing documents with others extremely simple. This personalized cloud-based tool increases productivity since you can share folders in real-time, which makes collaboration among team members a breeze.
Dropbox offers a free Basic plan that features 2GB of space. If you need more space, you’ll have to bump-up either to the Pro ($9.99) or Business ($15) plans.
Organizing and managing a project can become an extremely stressful experience when team members are all over the place – like sending a spreadsheet back and forth. Trello is a project management tool that makes life a whole lot easier by providing members real-time updates via a board that shows the progress of a project.
You can add checklists, due dates, and upload files from your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.
4. Free Hosting with Hostt
Every website out there needs hosting and why not get it 100% free from a very reputable company. Hostt offers 100% free virtual hosting to everyone in the world. Really, check them out as I work with them!
They also have an amazing hosting blog where you can learn the latest tips and tricks to keep your website ahead of the game.
5. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Plus
If you sign-up for one of these services, you might as well use all three of Google’s most popular features. Through Google Drive, you can share and collaborate on documents in real time with as many team members as you want. It’s free, secure, and can be shared almost instantly.
Then there’s Gmail, which is arguably the best email provider around. Gmail allows you to create a business address and even setup tasks to keep you organized. While Google+ isn’t as popular as Facebook or Twitter, having a complete profile on Google+ can help searchers easily discover your business in search results.
Speaking of Google, there’s also Google Analytics. This powerful tool is essential if you want to monitor and track campaign results. For example, you can receive detailed reports that show engagement and conversion rates across various channels. You can even find out where customers originally came from before they arrived on your landing page.
It’s pretty-much a given that new business have multiple social media platforms to manage. So, why not control and manage all of your accounts under one dashboard? Hootsuite offers a free version that allows you to schedule three different social media profiles, view analytics reports, and shorten links through the Ow.ly URL shortener.
I’m also a fan of the Hootsuite Blog because it offers plenty of news, tips, and advice on how to improve your social media campaigns.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a product that helped you keep track of all your content as well as your content calendar. With Marketing.ai it’s easy and something that I use to keep track of everything. No more crappy spreadsheets and keeping a content calendar on your phone, it’s all in one easy place.
Think email marketing is dead? Think again. Email marketing is still a high-ROI game, and Aweber is a favorite among business owners looking to cash in. Email subscription features include access to subscriber profiles, personalizing emails, sending out emails at the right time, and reports showing open rates and click rates.
So, not only does Aweber make email marketing easier, it also helps you be more effective – a win-win.
The first month of Aweber cost $1. While that’s not exactly free, it’s close enough. If you decide email marketing is not for you, you can cancel and get your $1 back.
For 50 years, SCORE has been assisting small businesses by teaming them-up with mentors, industry experts, and providing them with the education that they need to run a business. The website publishes blog posts with advice on everything from marketing and financial concerns, along with free templates and business software.
11. GT Metrix
The speed of your website is an extremely important factor in helping you find and keep potential customers. Through a tool like GT Metrix, you can optimize your site to make it faster and more appealing for visitors. You have access to interactive graphs that illustrate your website’s history so that you can see if traffic has been increasing or decreasing.
Long gone are the days of making conference calls on a landline in the confines of an office. With Skype, you can have conferences with other Skype users from almost anywhere in the world – as long as you have wifi. Besides one-on-one calls, you can group calls, video conferences and messaging.
Just remember if you aren’t chatting with other Skype users, you’ll have to pay $2.99 per month – here, in the States at least.