There are soooo many online tools out there to help small business owners complete tasks, many of which are free! So today, I’m going to share some of my favourite tools with you. I also hope that they can help streamline (or make it easier to complete) some of your tasks.
Facebook Scheduler – I love using Facebook scheduler. This helps my clients see what has scheduled and it also makes it easy for them to be able to post in and around the support I provide. And of course, it is free!
Buffer – On the FREE plan, you can utilise it with three platforms which is great for many small businesses who may only use 1-3 platforms. The downside to the free version is that you can only do 10 scheduled posts per month. I have used the mobile app and found it really easy to use and be able to schedule to multiple platforms on the fly.
There are also many more scheduling tools, however some of these may come at a cost.
The next tools are those that can help you create all of those social media posts.
Canva – this is my favourite and for the free version it can provide you with many options to create content. It provides a range of pre-determined sizes as well as the option to create custom sizes.
Not only can you create social media but you can also create documents, posters, certificates, resumes and more! It also allows you to upload your own images, logo’s and photographs.
PicMonkey – before I found Canva, I was using PicMonkey. I found this a great tool but at the time of using it (at least 5 years ago), I did find it had minimal features/tools to create posts. Looking at this tool now, it appears to have grown and you can now touch up photos as well as using it to create social posts.
Con – you can only use the free version up to a point – once you want to export or share an image, you then need to subscribe.
There are a lot of free sites with stock images to use eg: Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash. I would highly recommend that where you can use a free image, to credit the person who is allowing this to occur and always check the regulations of each site. Another low-cost option is Shutterstock.
However, I would also recommend using your own images as much as and where-ever possible as the rules can change on these sites and I would dislike you getting caught out!
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM)
HubSpot – I cannot showcase some great tools without showcasing a fantastic tool called Hubspot – I am amazed by the features that are available in the FREE version including the ability to have customised fields! Highly recommend checking this out as a way to create a CRM to be able to manage your clients, leads and more.
Zapier – This free tool is great when you need to connect your apps and automate your workflows.
You set it up so that Zapier moves info between your web apps automatically from a CRM to MailChimp (for example). It works off Triggers and Actions, almost like if XYZ occurs in X, then this is to occur in Y.
The last two I am going to share with you are related to links and images on your website.
Tiny URL – From time to time, we often end up with links that are VERY VERY LONG!
Using this free tool, TinyURL will shorten a long link and you can also create a customised URL! Start by copying your long link, paste it into the field on TinyURL and presto – once shortened link will be provided.
Tiny PNG – Having small file sizes on your website will equal quick load time. So it makes sense to keep your website image file sizes small.
Upload your images to TinyPNG (before uploading to your website!) and 2 seconds later, you will have a compressed file size without affecting quality. You can then upload it to your website and now Google will love you!
So, there you have 9 of my favourite tools that can help you get your tasks completed or more streamlined in the following areas:
- Stock Images
All of these tools have pros and cons and generally it is a trial to find something that you like. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa! The majority of them also provide a free trial and this is a great way to check them out before committing anything financially.
What are your favourite tools and why?
Until next time.