Running a small business (or any business for that matter) can require costly investment in everything from premises to products – not to mention the costs of being online and running a website. But, there are TONNES of awesome free resources out there to help you get the message out to potential customers and keep existing customers happy. Here is my list of 7 Awesome Free Tools that you can use NOW:
#1 Google My BusinessEven if you don’t have a physical location that customers can visit, registering for Google My Business is a must. As you keep your listing updated your online ranking will improve and your clients can add Google Reviews straight to your profile. This helps you appear in map searches too.
#2 FacebookFacebook is still alive and kicking and is a great place to build a community for your business – as long as you post and interact consistently. Try giving 80% information and only promote products or services 20% of the time so your customers aren’t constantly bombarded with icky sales messages!
#3 InstagramI recommend upgrading from a personal account to a business one (it’s still free) if you are using Instagram for business. You can use your Insta feed to update your Facebook page as well as your website so your images are always online in multiple places.
#4 Email MarketingSocial media is amazing, but you have no control over your online reach or when the platform algorithms change. So, having an email newsletter is still one of the best ways of getting news out to your clients. I use MailerLite now and can track insights for all of my email campaigns. It’s important to set a schedule and figure out your reason & vision before sending emails but it can be a wonderful way of connecting for free.
#5 BloggingDon’t have your own website yet? No problem (although I would recommend that you have one). You can’t use that as an excuse not to start writing & sharing it online NOW. Sign up for a free account with a Blogging site such as Medium or Blogger and start writing. You can always move and update your posts later when you have a website!
#6 Google Search ConsoleThis option is only available if you already have your own domain and website, but being able to track your visits and search queries is a great way of understanding your online reach. You can sign up to Google Search Console for free and improve your online ranking.
#7 CanvaThis online graphic design platform is my favourite tool of all! You can sign up for free to create any type of graphic you can think of – from social media to posters to ebooks – Canva lets you do it all. And, if you need a little more (like extra stock images, premium fonts or a brand kit) then you can upgrade to Canva Pro at any time. I create all of my graphics (including the infographic for this post) using Canva and use them for my website, social media, business cards and even presentations.
With all of these tools, all that remains to be done is to learn how to use them! Set aside some time and choose ONE to work on first. Give it some time and energy (and have a PLAN) and see how you can improve your online reach without spending a penny. And, if you need help, pop along to one of my Digital Workshops to help you get started! Note: this post contains an affiliate link to Canva Pro and I may receive a commission if you sign up through the link. However, as with everything I recommend, I do so because I use it and bloody love it!