11 Amazing Free Business Tools to Run Your Business the Easy Way
Running a business or being an entrepreneur is hard, there’s no denying it. But, there are ways to make it easier on you and believe it or not, several of them are free. Yes, FREE! While there are a plethora of freebies out there for businesses just starting out, they’re not all worth the time and effort. Even though they’re free. Here are our favorite free business tools to run your business.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is huge for all businesses, not just those that are brand new. But, how do you efficiently manage your social media accounts? How do you know what to post? No matter what social media platform you have chosen to go with for your business, there are a couple of really awesome free apps/websites that help make things easy.
The Perch app is a strictly mobile app that tracks you and your competition and lets you know what is being posted. This is great because it lets you keep tabs on your competition and even newsjack them.
Buffer or Hootsuite
What I Use: Buffer
Buffer and Hootsuite are both great social media scheduling platforms. They’re very similar and very easy to use, and very close to the same price for a paid account. They both offer a limited free account, which in most cases is all that a business will need. But, if you manage more than 2-3 social media accounts for your business, you’ll want a paid account.
The main difference that I have noticed is that Buffer offers posting to Pinterest as part of their base $10/month package. While Hootsuite only offers it through a secondary app called Tailwind. In order to post on Pinterest through Hootsuite, you must not only pay their base monthly price of $9.99/month + the Tailwind monthly fee of $9.99/month.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and most inexpensive ways to reach your prospective customer base. But, how do you even begin to design or run an email campaign? There are a couple of simple options that offer free base options, up to a certain amount of email addresses.
MailChimp is one of my favorites. I’m not going to lie. MailChimp offers an account option that is free up to 2,000 subscribers.Granted, there are some things that are not available to you without an upgrade (autoresponders, etc) but the free account is typically a great starting point for most businesses. You will enjoy full email template customization, analytics, and unique options. You have to suffer through the MailChimp logo at the bottom of your emails, but honestly, that’s a small price to pay for convenience.
The MailPoet plugin is a great newsletter and email marketing option for businesses that utilize the WordPress platform for their website or blog. As a free plugin, it offers simple autoresponder options, which MailChimp does not. But, the customization capabilities are not near as robust as they are with MailChimp.
SEO & SEM Marketing
Search engine optimization is often a foreign concept for most existing business owners and managers and is still a bit foggy for those that are just starting out. But, there are a few great options that help you monitor and manage your SEO value and how it performs.
This is a big DUH for most people. But, Google Analytics is totally free and super, SUPER easy to implement. A properly implemented Analytics account can help you determine what pages and keywords are working best to drive quality traffic, and allows you to implement set goals to track this.
Keyword Planner Tool
As a part of Google AdWords, this tool is sometimes a pain to get to and properly utilize, but it is an invaluable tool. You can easily figure out what broad keyword phrase and long-tail keyword phrases are best for both on-page SEO and paid advertising.
This is an easy way to tell if you have inadvertently copied, or someone else has copied your work anywhere on the internet. Simple input a URL or copy/paste your text to see if there’s duplicate content living out there on the web.
The creation of your branded content isn’t always as cut and dry as some of the other aspects of business. So, we have compiled a list of my favorite free content creation tools and apps.
This is a browser extension that works similar to auto-spellcheck in Word. But it also offers the option to evaluate the grammatical structure of your entire document through a dedicated site through an account login. The basics are free, but if you want to figure out and update any complex grammatical or structural errors, you’ll need to invest in the paid version.
This is an awesome web-based app that allows you to either copy/paste or write directly inside the app. It will help you determine the readability of your piece through color-coded sections. A great rule of thumb is to stick to grade 12 or lower for most of your content, depending on which industry you’re in.
Again, Copyscape helps you determine whether or not your content is being duplicated elsewhere or you inadvertently copied someone else’s’ work. It happens. No one is judging.
You don’t need an in-house graphic designer to make stunning imagery for your website or social media accounts. However, I do suggest that for anything in-depth or technical, you do hire an expert. You’ll thank us later.
This is an amazing tool that offers a huge variety of different templates and pre-made options for any kind of graphic that you could ever need. I use Canva every single day, several times a day and LOVE IT. Seriously, it’s a favorite of mine. Many beautiful graphical elements are completely free of charge, and the more exclusive options are only $1 to use per design. Compared to stock photography and graphic element website memberships…this is a freaking steal.
Just Evernote. I recently wrote a blog article on my favorite free organizational tools out there today, and Evernote was on the top of the list. It is a great option for any business, and offers several unique add-ons to make it easier to consolidate your notes and business tools.
There are tons of other free business tools out there that are worth checking out, but these are the ones I use or have used in the past. If you have an awesome free tool that you use, let us know in the comments below. I’ll check it out!