I’m often asked about my favourite marketing tools, because tools hold a magic of their own. It’s a common belief that having the right tool can increase your chances of success, and maybe the reason why your messages aren’t hitting home is due to not having found ‘it’ yet.
Unfortunately, all the tools in the world are no substitute for putting in the work: getting to understand your customer and finding the sweet spot between your offer and their needs.
Of course, if you’ve got the basics sorted, the right tools can help make a difference.
Below are various tools that I can recommend. There are thousands more out there, but I preferred to limit the options.
After all, there’s only so much time in the day. Let’s face it, if you do get free time, I’m sure you can think of fifty million things you’d rather do than tredge through thousands of links to find the right tool.
This list of tools is for all the amazing freelancers, solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, authors, and other people creating wonderful projects on their own.
And if you enjoyed it, why not check out my course: Solo-marketer: how do it all yourself on a shoestring.
Content Creation Tools
Blogs and websites:
- WordPress.com/WordPress.org (the first is easier but more expensive, the latter gives you much more flexibility)
- About.me: one way to create a one-page website quickly and easily
- Carrd: simple and responsive one-page websites.
- Medium.com: a powerful blogging community
Graphics and images:
- Canva – for creating images in any size required
- Crello – for creating images in any size required
- Unsplash, Foter, Pixabay, PicMonkey, Rawpixel, Pexels: for sourcing images
- Gifmaker.me – for creating GIFs
- Anchor is a free platform on which you can record and host unlimited episodes, easy to broadcast on main platforms
- Zencastr for recording podcasts even when not in the same place
- Rev.com to transcribe your podcast – useful in terms of accessibility. It also means you can reuse the content as a blog post for example.
- Temi – voice recognition software for transcription – not always accurate but it’s fast.
- Headliner or Wavve turns your audio clips into videos
- Libsyn Podcasting Plugin – if you’re a WordPress user, this is perfect for integrating your podcast to your website seamlessly
- Spreaker is another great platform for recording and broadcasting your podcast, with the bonus of robust analytics too.
- Audacity is a free tool for editing audio – it’s free to use but might take a little while to get used to. If you are a Mac user, you should have access to an alternative to this called GarageBand
- Lumen5: turn your blog posts into videos
- Kapwing: great for simple video editing, or getting a screengrab from a video
- VideoPuppet: transform your Powerpoint slides into videos and your presentation notes into voiceovers
- Rev.com: get subtitles for your videos cheaply, accurately, and fast
- Autocap – adds subtitles on Android
- Caption This – for IoS
- Clips for IoS
Scheduling social media:
- Coschedule: create campaigns for your WordPress blogs easily. Includes a headline analyser.
- Content Cal – for planning your social media posts
- Airtable – another great planner
- Quuu promote – add your blog or video to it and it’ll end up in the social media queues of thousands of people
- Quuu Pods. Pods are when groups of people come together to share each other’s content and boost engagement on posts. Quuu pods makes the sharing part easy.
- Podawaa: free engagement pods for LinkedIn
- Trello: for planning your marketing strategy
- Quuu – content suggestions for your social media channels based on your interests
- Grammarly – great for checking your typos.
- TimeTap – to schedule recording with a guest, it will sync with both calendars. Free if it’s just one user (ie you).
- Acuity Scheduling – again another way to simplify scheduling
- Calendly – ditto
- Answer the Public – type in a keyword you want people to find you for (i.e “infographics”) and you’ll see a whole bunch of questions that people have typed into search engines. It’s a real mine of information and, especially if you work in a B2B field, you can get hundreds of content ideas from just a few seconds on this site.
- Buzzsumo – discover what your competitors are writing about
- Thread reader app – turn any Twitter thread into a readable page
- Linktree – Instagram only allows one link (in your bio). The solution is to use Linktree which essentially creates a table of content for all the links you want to share.
- VSCO -mobile editor for your Instagram pictures
- Dux-Soup – automate adding connections on LinkedIn.
- Streak for Gmail, track when people have opened your mail
Whilst Google Analytics is a powerful and wonderful tool, it’s not the only one at your disposal. Here are a few more options to consider:
- Social Media. Each of your social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc) has got analytics these days, and most of them are free to access (except for LinkedIn which charges a premium for more sophisticated analytics).
- Your Social Media Scheduler. Whether you’re using Buffer or Hootsuite or another app to schedule your social media posts, they also give you access to analytics
- Cyfe is a dashboard for your social media analytics if you want everything in one clear and comprehensible place. It has a free version too.
- Followerwonk and Audiense are best if your Twitter channel is your priority.
- Tailwind is for those focusing on Pinterest and Instagram
- Klear is great for identifying influencers you could work with
- Minter is for Instagram users
- Buzzsumo to analyse the social impact of your (or your competitors’) content
Google Analytics Tools
If you still find Google Analytics difficult to navigate, you could consider getting reports through an intermediary site. There’s a few options, for example:
- Sumo tracks your Google analytics and makes them digestible.
- Datedeck isn’t as cheap (starts at $39 a month) but it’s good and can integrate analytics from Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Salesforce, Mailchimp, LinkedIn, and much more in one place, making it rather handy.
There’s so much more out there, that I could cover this blog with links. When researching, it can be easy to get overwhelmed so ask yourself:
- What information do you need to improve your marketing?
- Which platforms do you need to get a better handle on?