Is your business only as good as the tools in your toolbox?
Perhaps not, but there’s still no denying the importance of having the right business software stack.
And in fact, some of the best possible tools for your business don’t have to cost you in an arm and a leg. Without sacrificing functionality, the sheer number of free solutions available today is staggering.
Below we’ve broken down a list of tools that cover various aspects of any given business online today. Each of these tools falls into the following categories:
- They’re free (or have a “freemium” option)
- They have a surprisingly low learning curve
- They’re accessible to big and small businesses alike
With that, let’s dive in!
Improving Your Email Outreach
Email remains one of the most important aspects of any business, especially when it comes to automation.
However, one vastly underrated aspect of email is cold outreach. From cold-emailing customer to outreach candidates and beyond, there’s more to any given email campaign than just your inbox. In fact, there are a couple of particular third-party tools to help scale and improve your email outreach efforts.
As highlighted by these six ways to find a prospect’s email address, tools such as GMass and ContactOut are invaluable for stepping up your cold campaigns.
GMass serves as a mass-sender and scheduler, allowing you to run campaigns and build templates straight from Gmail. Meanwhile, ContactOut aggregates email outreach candidates based on their social presence. Both free and surprisingly robust, we recommend them as part of your marketing stack.
Strengthening Your Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence is an expectation for modern businesses. That said, splashing cash on social tools can be such a shot in the dark given how hard it can be to measure ROI.
That said, saving on time on social media means investing in automation tools. Without them, you’ll inevitably sink tons of your day into your social profiles with little to show for it.
The free versions of Hootsuite, Buffer and Zoho Social all achieve the same goals: social scheduling and baseline analytics. These features not only save you time, but also clue you in on your top-performing posts and content. Couple that with mention-monitoring and you instantly have a more data-driven, engaging social presence without spending a dime.
Publishing More Optimized Content
Content marketing is a crucial aspect of inbound outreach.
However, doing so comes with a specific set of challenges. Perhaps the most pressing is the act of creating high-quality content that people actually want to read. Another big challenge is the need to optimize your content for SEO. Achieving both of these goals within your content can be made much easier with tools such as…
- Yoast: this WordPress plugin is staple of content creators as it instantly assesses your article’s SEO power by examining elements such as keyword density, readability and search tags
- Hemingway App: another readability checker that helps eliminate needlessly wordy or confusing copy
- Grammarly: this app catches spelling and grammar errors that you might not pick up during proofreading: one of the benefits of using Grammarly is that it makes your content look more credible by being error-free
Smarter Invoicing and Budgeting
Getting paid on-time (and often) should be the norm for any given business. Tools such as Due and Invoicely are particularly useful in making both happen.
Specifically, Due serves as a monetary and time budgeting app that ensures you’re making the most of your busy schedule. Invoicely serves as a free alternative to pricey invoicing solutions, specifically allowing to accept payments via digital wallets such as PayPal. Given the exponential rise of active PayPal accounts, your business should definitely be on board with such payments.
Step Up Your SEO
In addition to Google Analytics, tools such as KWFinder and Screaming Frog are critical for both content creation and competitive research.
KWFinder scrapes the web to find ranking articles for your target keywords, all the while suggesting new keyword targets based on your site and competitors.Screaming Frog digs a bit deeper, with features such as finding broken links, duplicate content detection and highly detailed reporting.
Coming up with content ideas with Screaming Frog and other SEO tools is a smart move versus just “winging it,” especially given how competitive the SEO landscape has become.
Productive Project Management
Finally, consider how you can better manage your business’ projects and workflows. Tools such as Basecamp, Trello and Asana for game-changers for businesses stuck in spreadsheets or email chains. Streamlining communication and collaboration, the latter two apps are particularly attractive because of their free options.
And while the debate over Trello versus Asana, both can work brilliantly for smaller teams looking to get more done on a day-to-day basis.
The power of the free software, apps and digital solutions available to businesses today is absolutely staggering. No matter what area of your business you’re looking to improve, chances are there’s something free out there that can do the trick.