If you are not using tools then you are missing lots of opportunities. You don’t know there are lots of tools that can boost your productivity and business growth. And you don’t need to pay for every tool. Almost every tool has free membership option with limited features. Last week I wrote about 6 tools and here are the remaining 9 as promised. If you missed my last article here is the link:
If you are running an online business and serious about social media then this is the must have tool for you. Canva help you create attractive and conversion friendly image for free. You can create any professional image by just few minutes of work. Canva also has lots of template image for all social channels, and print media. Check my facebook page; I used Canva to create all these professional looking images. Also check all the feature images in this blog created by canva. Here is why you should use canva
- Very easy to change background and its color
- Very easy to add text, change their style, position, color and transparency.
- You can upload image to support your design
- You can use various icons from their icon gallery
- You can use their premium objects and modify them by just $1/image.
Here is an effective video to learn how to work on canva.
8# Buffer App
If you are running your business on 2015 then you can’t ignore social media. Social channel helps in almost every way from networking to brand reorganization. To get maximum from your social media channel you must need to be consistent. But it is the toughest job due to having other workload. Bufferapp is the solution marketer were expecting during the growth of social channels. Bufferapp can help you schedule your social media activities. So by managing one or two hours you can setup your whole week’s social media posting activities. Bufferapp also tracks how your posts performing.
Here is how to use buffer App
Go to buffer.com and register your free account. Install their free extension / addons to browsers.
Connect your social accounts with buffer.
Now create some schedule. If you are a free user you can only set one set of schedule time for all of your campaign and social networks.
Now schedule your content from buffer.com website. You can also upload image or video and can chose any specific social channel or for all.
Personally the feature I like most about bufferapp is their extension. You can share any article you are reading to bufferapp for posting on your social channels. Let me share you how I do it from my chrome browser.
This is the tool that enables you to do 1000s of work. IFTT = If This Than That. This tool helps you set functional activities on various things. Let me give you some real life example.
For example, I send a monthly report to one of my clients (Say X) at 10th of every month. I created a recipe on IFTT like that, If it is 10th of a month, send me a email reminder to send report to Client X. So each month it automatically reminds me all the reporting activities I have to accomplish. I just set it up once but it’ll work until I cancel the recipe. This was a simple one. You can do lot of things automated by this IFTT tool.
Here are few popular recipes
If I publish a new post on my blog, tweet that post to twitter.
If I get a new email, store that contact detail to a Google spreadsheet.
Just browse their recipes. You can build your own recipe too.
10# Hubspot CRM
Not all small businesses use CRM and they don’t need to use it as well. CRM can save your valuable time and guide your business fast if you have a good number of customers. But small businesses can track these things easily by using papers, spreadsheets or by tools like trello. For them using CRM might cost more time than paper work. But still I will suggest them to try for couple of months. So they can really identify how it works for their business size. Recently Hubspot introduced a Free CRM and I really love it. I am just using this CRM since August 2015 and suggest you this tool.
Here is a good video lesson to learn how to use Hubspot CRM effectively
11# Rescue Time
This is a must have tool for small business. Running a business always involves multi tasking. If you are running your business online it’ll double your multi tasking activities. In small business, the business owner needs to take most of his business responsibilities.
Let me give you example from my business. Each day I have to communicate with my clients, update finance data, checking email and analytic accounts. I also have to involve in motivating team mates, monitoring and guiding them. It’s not all about – I pass time on social media, read blog posts, interact with other marketers and many more things. All these tasks are important, but all don’t have equal value. So I should have a clear idea about my time management.
‘Rescue time’ is a desktop based tool that tracks all your activities and send you a weekly report like this.
This was the first report I got when I started using rescue time at 2013. After first weeks of work I found that I no longer use facebook more than required. It is clearly wasting my time and reducing my productivity. So I already got what wrong I am doing with my online activities. I motivated myself to use facebook less. And it works. In my last report I found that I use facebook around 4 hours/week. Its standard, and as an Internet Marketer, I should invest this amount of time on facebook.
Zopim is free live chatting software most of the websites use nowadays. This software has been built by Zendesk. You can easily integrate this software in your wordpress website. Your visitors can instantly chat with you, and ask you if they have any question. This tool really helps convert visitors into customers and make the process faster for instant chatting facilities.
Topys is another tool that helps in social media marketing. You can find what kind of tweets are posting on twetter for any specific hashtag or topic. You can filter the tweets by date range. It will give you some solid idea to create content for your website. It will also help you communicate with likeminded people and with your target audience.
If you are running a local business then this is a must have tool for you. You can find and join relevant group in your industry within your location. It will help you create networking and build relationship. It will also help organizing local event – most importantly it is Free.
Pixabay is the big source of copyright free images for both personal and professional use. From creating a website to run a social media campaign, everywhere you will find the pixabay very helpful. It helps your brand to be more vibrant. Each day I am being more dependent on this network. I am sure you will find it helpful the same way.
Let me know what other tools you are using and how it helps your business.