4 Free Marketing Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Know About

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught in so many things that pull you away from your business. Marketing tends to be one of those things. The more I speak to business owners, the more I hear their fear. Fear if they don’t market, their business won’t succeed, but also fear of time. Their time is so valuable, and truly best spent on revenue generating activities and less on things that don’t play off their strengths and take all their time. For most of those business owners, being creative and writing copy is not a strength and therefore, creates more frustration than help. It’s said that the average small business owner spends 20 hours a week on marketing. That’s HALF a “normal” work week. We all know by now an entrepreneur’s work week looks a little different than the “normal” work week, but you get where I’m going.

There are so many mediums and ways to reach your customer, it can get overwhelming in a hurry, and can get expensive. But it can also be quite affordable, if you know what tools to use and how to use them. Check out my favorites below.

  1. Free Stock Photography
    Everyone needs good images. And even as a photographer, I need to grab something quick for a social post for my clients. I always turn to these free stock sites first, Pexels and Unsplash. They offer great quality, are FREE, and easy to search, find and download. However, do be careful and only pick photos your audience will connect with. For example, I had a realtor as a client and needed some home photos. I had to be careful to find homes that actually look like homes in our market. Too flashy would have missed the mark for our lower budget audience.

Pexels

Unsplash

  1. Graphics
    Everyone needs good graphics, I don’t care what you say. Graphics speak to your brand’s credibility and without good ones, well, they don’t say much of anything good about you. Make sure you upload your brand colors to Canva and start creating. I use these for clients, mostly for motivational quotes or sayings. I use Pixlr as a way to pop text over a picture or graphic template we created. It offers several fonts and colors to create an inspirational saying as well. Both can be used on your phone, but Canva has an easy to use app along with Sparkpost (I just started using this one) for Android.

Canva.com

Pixlr Express

App Downloads: Canva and Sparkpost

  1. Social + Blog Calendars
    Everyone needs a social calendar. Period. I have no idea who can create a great strategy and achieve their marketing goals without one. At least something is needed to track content and put it all together in one space. You can see what content was engaged most with via your insights and then create more content like that, but to have it in an organized fashion makes it more successful. Hubspot has a bunch of templates, however if that’s too much for you right now, we have a simple social plan that can be downloaded and edited to fit your personal needs. This month we added a blog calendar to allow you to create and track blog content too!

Hubspot

Pulse Marketing Social + Blog Calendar

  1. Email
    Everyone should be emailing their client/prospect list at least once a month. It’s another great touchpoint and opportunity to add value. We use our monthly newsletter to share about new projects, blogs or videos that add value (like this one) to our clients and beyond. MailChimp allows you to use their services for free for up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month! That’s great for a small business or if you’re just getting started. And even when you pass the 2,000 contacts, it’s $10/month. Not too bad for a platform that allows you to create custom emails to fit your audience. Oh, and they have templates you can use as well. It’s so easy, user friendly, and oh yeah, free.

So there you go, I hope this saves you time and some dollars. We use these tools at Pulse and know they will help your business too. If you’re ever in need of further social support or assistance with content development and strategy for your social plan, we’d love to sit down with you for your FREE Social Consult. We’ll take one hour and talk about everything social. Schedule your FREE Social Consult by clicking here.  Let’s keep you doing what you do best, running your business. We can’t wait to meet you!

 

Becca Feauto

Becca wants to live in a world where emails are short, love letters still exist and every “thank you” note is scribbled by hand.