The Best Marketing Tools For Freelance Entrepreneurs
You know your business depends on bringing people in the door. Whether a small startup or multi-billion dollar company, if people aren’t rushing to buy your product then you need to go find them. But on a budget and with limited support, the task can feel daunting. Even established firms have a hard time keeping up with so many new marketing tools out there.
Martech, as it’s called, is all about scaling up your marketing efforts. It won’t necessarily do the job for you, but marketing tools are great for automating some work or expanding your capacity. We rounded up some of the best marketing tools for anyone who needs to reach more people with their message.
Anchor.fm is a free podcast hosting platform with some editorial capacity. The platform is sleek and gives the ability to create shows, episodes, and more. It also has basic sound editing such as cutting a clip, removing parts, and adding sounds. You can even build your own custom intro and outtro.
Beyond being free, one of the best parts about Anchor is that you can record right in the platform. Whether on your phone through their mobile apps or on their desktop app, you can easily create a new podcast.
If you’ve ever considered podcasting as a lead generation tool but thought you needed fancy technology and expensive microphones to do it, think again. With Anchor, you get a suite of free tools to launch your podcast. All you need is a quiet room and your phone to record.
One of the original social media management tools, Buffer is easy to use because of its sleek interface. It can connect to every major social network like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and it has scheduling plus analytics. The amount of posts you can schedule and number of linked accounts depends on your subscription level, but there is a free tier allowing three linked accounts with 10 scheduled posts each.
While Buffer’s scheduling app has basic analytics for paid subscribers, Buffer is also working on Buffer Analyze, a full suite of analytics to accompany your Buffered posts. If you want to maximize the Buffer experience, you can get Buffer Reply, and manage all your social conversations from one window.
Since social media management is crucial, all marketers need to know a bit about it. But it can be annoying and a time suck – Buffer helps you get some of that time back.
Feedly is like a custom Google for blogs, media, and other articles. The platform is free to sign up and use at the start, giving you the ability to input some keywords or choose publications you like. The platform does the rest, and each day you get fresh content from your sources (tip: if you aren’t seeing enough or you get too much new content, adjust the number of sources you use).
Feedly is particularly helpful for the folks that either need to fill up social media with relevant content or use account-based marketing and sales. If you’re the latter, Feedly is a great way to ‘stumble upon’ a good article to share with a prospect, nurturing the relationship with a tool that brings the content to you instead of having to search every day for relevant headlines.
Otter is a recording and transcribing app. If part of your marketing or business development involves interviewing (hello, content marketers!), then you will love this marketing tool: Otter. It’s a simple tool to use – you either record natively in Otter or you upload your recording from your favourite recording app, either on desktop or using their mobile app. After that, Otter does the rest.
Made with journalists in mind, Otter can be used for content marketers, account-based marketers, and account-based business development where phone calls are done. The automatic transcription is a lifesaver for later, searchable reference later.
Better still: the free tier of Otter gives you 600 minutes a month of recording time.
If you don’t have a design team at your company (or they’ve told you to stop bugging them), then Pixlr is your friend and one of the best marketing tools. It’s a free online photo editor that has a ton of features. Whether you need to edit the size, ratio, crop, cut, add, or more… Pixlr can do it.
This platform is great for people with a bit of knowledge about design but no budget for better technology (mind you, the Pixlr platform is fairly powerful on its own). It’s most helpful for properly cutting or ratio-ing images so they fit your campaigns on social media perfectly.
Did your podcast guests choke up a couple times and need to restart? In Anchor, that editing may be a pain. Enter Ocenaudio. It’s a free basic audio editing tool that gives you way more control with cutting and sound mixing down to the millisecond.
It’s fairly easy to use with simple commands that mimic a word processor. For example, if you highlight a section and hit “Delete” or “Backspace”, it deletes the section just like it would in Google Docs or Word. The basic functionality may feel limiting to a professional sound mixer, but it’s great for beginners or people who don’t have intense editing needs, for instance just cutting out the boring question from your podcast.
Conference calling was never fun until Zoom. The platform is easy to use, integrates with Google calendar (so you can add Zoom meetings natively), and has a simple dashboard to customize your settings. For example, you can select for it to automatically record every call, making it easier for your record keeping. The downloads then come in two: the screen + audio recording and the audio only recording, giving you both options in case you screen shared or opted to turn on video. For those reasons and more, Zoom is one of the best marketing tools.
While most companies are likely to have a conference calling solution, Zoom is a great option if you don’t. It’s one of the most flexible on the market and has a free tier that makes 1:1 calls completely free and gives you 40 minutes for free on a multi-person call. For scrappy marketers and business development people, particularly at startups, Zoom is a great technology to get you going.
URL Campaign Builder
We’ve had URLs since the dawn of the internet, so it’s easy to forget how important they are. But linked with Google Analytics (free, in case you didn’t know), the URL Campaign Builder takes the headache out of remembering parameters you need on your URL to track your campaigns properly.
The free web tool prompts you to fill out the source, medium, campaign, term, and more. If you get stuck, it offers examples of what each is so you know the category to use in each box. That being said, if the tracking nomenclature makes sense for you, then go ahead and do what you please. The Campaign Builder still puts together a URL at the bottom for you that you can easily copy-paste.
Still one of the best kanban board technologies, Trello is perfect for task management. You can spin up a board for each project you’re working on. From there, you can set up stages as you see fit, and input tasks as cards on your board. You can even put sub-tasks on each card, offering a lot of depth if you have a complex task. Finally, you can invite your team members to the board so you can collaborate in real-time.
While Trello is not as robust as other task management software like Jira, it’s one of the most intuitive. Everything is editable with one click and everything is drag & drop, making it simple for everyone. It’s also free for basic features, so you can get started on Trello without tons of approvals from the boss.
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