5 Brilliant business tools for women in business that you don’t have to pay for
Starting a business is hard. In fact, I will re-phrase that … starting a business is bloody hard.
However good your idea, you have a huge mission ahead. You must get your message out to the right people. Your audience. And in our fast-paced digital world, the tactics have changed. People’s buying habits have evolved. You have to put your foot hard on the marketing pedal .. and keep it there.
As we move away from traditional (and generally expensive) print marketing and turn to digital marketing, our business costs are different. We have website upkeep, hosting, social media marketing, database management, lead page software to name but a few. And this adds up. For a start-up, on little or no budget, it can be unmanageable.
According to business expert, Jacques Mattheij, it takes three years to make your money back on a business. It’s a long time to wait. That’s why I’m going tell you about some brilliant business tool you don’t have to pay for.
This tool had to come top of my list. It is quite simply BRILLIANT (and I only use caps if I really mean it). Your shiny new business is set to go, but you need people talking about it. You need publicity. And unless you know the right people, it is notoriously expensive. Not anymore! Sourcebottle is an online service that connects you with relevant PR sources, such as magazines, newspapers, websites, and television. Simply join up and wait for your daily email to find callouts relevant to your business. There is a paid option, but I find the free one is enough. Do this NOW. You won’t regret it.
I would generally not consider Facebook a free resource anymore. Gone are the good old days of getting all your posts in front of your lovely audience of opt-in followers. Yet, Facebook Groups, if done correctly, can take on a life of their own, all for free. With an insatiable need for social media and our desire to belong, people hunt down groups. A group built around your niche is a brilliant think tank for your business, and you have a front row seat. You can funnel your members to your business, get ideas and be first-hand to their needs and wants. All-in-all it is invaluable if you really want to know your audience … which btw, you have to, if you want to succeed.
Business Tool #3 Buzzsumo
Digital marketing is hit and miss. You can post content you are convinced your audience will love, only for it to fall flat. And vice versa. Enter Buzzsumo! This is a powerful online tool that allows you to find trending content which is relevant to your topic. No more guess work. If people are already loving this content and it’s relevant to your niche, you HAVE to use it. Next steps. 1) Either post it on your social media platforms and watch it go wild, or 2) Take it a step further and use the idea in a blog article, podcast or similar. There are free and paid versions of Buzzsumo. I have been happy with the free version, so I think you will be too.
Business Tool # 4 Collaborations
When you are a small fish in a big pond, there is nothing more powerful than collaborating with other businesses in or around your niche. There is power in numbers, so the more you can harness other people’s audiences (and they yours) the more effective your message will be. Collaboration is as simple as reaching out. Send an email to a business you would like to work with. Tell them what you can do for them, and request what you would like in return. Nearly all businesses are open to collaboration. Think of your website as a spider’s web and each collaboration is another thread. You want to make your web as intricate and as strong as possible. Collaborations are a win/win tool that will cost you nothing, other than a return favor.
Last but by no means least. Yay for Canva! No more frustration trying to get our vision into someone else’s head, only to pay through the nose for the end result. We can do it all ourselves and for free. Canva is a graphic design website. It is soooo easy to use and has heaps of graphics, fonts and designs, within a drag-and-drop interface. The fact that it is popular with both the likes of me and professional designers is a testament to its huge scope. Before you pay a cent for design, I suggest you check out Canva. Not only will it save you money, but creating your own artwork, also saves time and stress .. and you get exactly what you want.
About Your Guest Blogger: Lucy Good from Beanstalk Single Mums. Beanstalk is an online space which empowers single mothers to re-find their potential and rebuilds their confidence through a website that delivers targeted information and support.
Lucy works with hundreds of single mothers through the offering of her online course and her Facebook group. She is a blogger, podcaster, and mentor. She also speaks regularly at a local radio station, writes articles for the online parenting community and continually hunts down resources of benefit to the single motherhood. Lucy was recently featured in The Age as a sole trader who does it all by herself.