One thing I’m passionate about is that running your business doesn’t need to be costly, and the tools I use within my own business prove it.
You could pay for products which do exactly what the tools I’m sharing today do, but when the free stuff is this great you don’t have to! Here are the best free, online tools you can use if you’re running your business on a budget, tried and tested by yours truly.
Of course! Everyone loves Canva, and you’ve probably heard of it even if you haven’t used it before. Canva is a graphic design tool which you can use to create your logo, blog post graphics, PDFs…anything, really! You can even set brand colours and fonts, making it incredibly easy to keep all of your graphics on brand.
I use the free version, and I’ve never felt the need to upgrade. While I have seen a few people saying they will no longer use Canva as so many people use it, you just need to get a little creative to keep your work unique. There are hundreds of different fonts and patterns on the app, so it’s easy to make your graphics stand out from the crowd.
You can use Canva either on your computer or the mobile app, and it’s actually surprisingly easy to make pretty graphics and quotes with the app. If I have an idea while I’m not working, I tend to draft it up using the app and edit the details on my computer later.
Typeform is a form builder, similar to SurveyMonkey, but it allows you to brand your surveys and make them look attractive for free.
I use Typeform to collect feedback from my clients and members and find it really easy to use and edit. Once you’ve created your survey or form, you simply send a link to the recipient. I get lots of compliments on how cute my feedback forms are!
I edit all of my Instagram photos with the Color Story app - they make it so simple to make your photos pop with one click, and it’s such a beautiful app which makes it a joy to use. You can pay for different filters and presets (often created by bloggers and Instagrammers renowned for their amazing photos) but again, I haven’t felt the need to just yet.
While we’re on the subject of Instagram, here’s a little tip for making your grid look cohesive - if you make sure your photos have at least one colour in common and are edited in the same way, they’ll look like they’re all part of the same collection, even if they’re pictures of completely different things. If you look at my Instagram, you can see that all of my photos include pink, green and brown and are edited in the same way.
UNUM is an app which connects with your Instagram account and allows you to arrange your grid before you post a photo. You can see your current grid, upload and organise photos you plan to post so you can see how everything looks together.
Your grid is the first impression potential followers will have of your business when they find you on Instagram, so UNUM is a fantastic tool to ensure that you make an impact.
This is my secret weapon when it comes to stock photos. O-Dan searches all of the stock photo websites, including Unsplash and Pexels, to find you the biggest collection of free stock images you can use in your business.
I tend to search for images relevant to my business (e.g. businesswoman, feminine office, etc.) and download a few images every couple of weeks so I always have some available for blog post graphics.
Clickup is a free project management tool which I use to organise my business. There are tons of this kind of software available and I’ve tried a fair few, but Clickup is my favourite because of how easy it is to use.
You have your own “space” which you can fill with projects - my projects include the IGC, each of my clients and general business tasks - and then you add the tasks you need to complete for each project, adding any important information and a deadline date if you want to. You can then view each project as a calendar, to-do list or board. I like to view my projects as a board so I can see exactly what I need to do, and it’s so satisfying to move tasks over to my “Done” board.
Another Instagram related tool! StoryArt is an app you can use to create beautiful, branded Instagram Stories. Unlike some apps where only the basic templates are free and you have to pay for the good ones, there are tons of lovely templates included in the free plan.
My favourite thing about StoryArt is that you can completely customise the colours, fonts and placement of each template, meaning you can create totally unique Stories.
Phew! There you have it, my favourite free tools to help you build your business on a budget. I’d love to know which free tools you couldn’t run your business without - leave me a comment and let me know!
IT’S TIME TO SWAP BUSINESS STRESS FOR EASE AND EMPOWERMENT.
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