10 top must have tools for small business marketing (most are free!)

Small businesses often don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing activities so here are my top 10 suggestions for stretching that budget to get the best ROI. Most are free!

1. Use a word press platform for your website. Why, because it is free, and it is already search engine friendly. Over 4000 visitors have been to my blog and it has cost me nothing but the time to learn how to use the tool and the time to update it.

2. Install Skype to connect with people all over the world. This helps grow your business (especially if it is serviced based beyond your immediate geography.)

3. Use a tool like Snagit to grab screen images to bright up your web, blog or visual presentations.

4.Jing is a free software that allows you to record your voice and screen and is great for presentations or podcasts with a visual element.

5. Invest in a database capture system. I am using Microsoft small business CRM that comes with 1 user licence but for others you can even use a excel sheet to start with columns for customer content. Just put it somewhere!

5. Autoresponders. These are tools that allow you to send automated emails to customers. Great tools to build a training program with or touch base with a regular newsletter to customers. I use Aweber but there are heaps out there.

6. You need a survey tool so you can do forms and run surveys. I have tried them all but I think Wufoo is the best. Best reports, easy to use, more flexible and great design.  

7. Vistaprint is a great site to design your business cards, brochures and invitations. It is quick, pretty cheap and easy to use. It also keeps a record of all your creations so you can quickly update or make changes and then get more printed!

8.PRwire is a great tool for doing your own PR. It is free and you can set up your company’s profile quickly and then email blast your release to the relevant media in a short space of time. Also it works!

9.Use the web. It is great for research. Google yourself and you might be surprised what you find. Or use Bing another great search engine. There are so many free resources out there!

10. Networking is a big part of marketing and more than ever before you can network effectively from your study or home office. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, blogs. There are so many forums to gather information, test and idea or build a network of possible collaborators and again it is free!

So there you go my top 10 tools, get going! Another article I did on customer insight has some other good ideas that cost you little and can help your marketing also.

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