Tried & Tested: The Ultimate List of Best (Free) Tools for Marketers & Entrepreneurs in 2023
Technology is truly a gift, if we allow it. There are countless ways that new business owners can build their businesses - all for free.
What's not free? Your time, of course.
I've compiled a list of my favorite digital tools and web-based platforms for running a small business. But first, why is this list important?
Tools of the Trade
Digital tools are incredibly helpful for solopreneurs in several ways:
Increase Efficiency and Productivity: Digital tools automate tasks, streamline processes, and improve efficiency. They help solopreneurs manage their time effectively by automating repetitive tasks, such as social media scheduling, email marketing, invoicing, and project management, allowing them to focus on core business activities.
Save Money: Every dollar counts when you're a small business. Thankfully many digital tools offer affordable or even free versions, allowing solopreneurs to access advanced features and capabilities without significant financial investments. By leveraging these tools, solopreneurs can save costs on hiring additional staff or outsourcing certain tasks.
Offer Data Analysis and Insights: Digital tools provide valuable data and analytics, helping solopreneurs gain insights into their business performance. They can track website traffic, social media engagement, customer behavior, and sales data, empowering informed decision-making and allowing them to optimize their strategies for better results.
Provide Flexibility and Mobility: Digital tools provide solopreneurs with the flexibility to work from anywhere and at any time. Cloud-based tools, project management platforms, and mobile applications allow solopreneurs to manage their business on the go, access important files and data remotely, and stay productive while traveling or working from different locations.
Administrative & Productivity Tools
The digital tools below can help facilitate collaboration and communication, enabling solopreneurs to work with remote teams, contractors, or clients. Project management tools, file-sharing platforms, and video conferencing software allow solopreneurs to collaborate effectively, irrespective of geographical limitations.
LastPass is a password management tool that securely stores and autofills passwords for various websites and applications.
Calenduly is an online scheduling tool that simplifies the process of setting appointments and managing calendars.
123 Form Builder is a versatile form creation platform that helps users build custom online forms for various purposes, such as surveys, registrations, and order forms.
Evernote is a note-taking and organization tool that allows users to capture, store, and synchronize notes, documents, and ideas across different devices.
UnrollMe is an email service that allows users to declutter and organize their inbox.
The following tools help teams collaborate, organize tasks, and track progress, streamlines workflows, automates processes, and facilitates communication for small businesses.
Visual Tools allow users to visually organize and brainstorm (or mindmap) ideas, collaborate with others, and create structured diagrams for planning, note-taking, and project management using customizable boards, lists, and cards.
DocHub allows you to edit, sign, and share PDFs and digital documents online.
Lumen is for viewing, editing, and converting PDF files.
Eversign enables users to sign, send, and manage legally binding documents electronically.
PDF24 offers a wide range of tools for creating, editing, and converting (merging, compressing etc) PDF documents
Scribie is a Chrome extension that provides automatic transcription services, allowing users to transcribe audio and video content into written text for easier reference and accessibility.
PrintFriendly is a web-based tool that optimizes webpages for printing by removing unnecessary elements, formatting the content for better readability, and providing options to save or print the simplified version of the webpage.
EasyWebinar is a platform that enables users to host and conduct live webinars, virtual events, and online presentations with interactive features, attendee engagement options, and automated webinar capabilities.
Audio Pen can rewriting your "rambling" thoughts and ideas into clear, concise and coherent summaries and scripts.
Otter is an AI tool that creates real-time notes and transcriptions of conversations, meetings, and interviews, making it easier to review, search, and share the recorded content.
Google Search Console provides website owners with data and insights about how their site performs in Google search results, helping to optimize visibility and identify issues.
Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic, user behavior, conversions, and other key metrics, offering valuable insights for website optimization and marketing strategies.
Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes the performance and speed of a website, providing suggestions for optimization to enhance user experience and search engine rankings.
Seobility is an SEO toolset that offers various features such as website audits, backlink analysis, keyword tracking, and content optimization recommendations for improved search engine rankings.
SimilarWeb is a market intelligence tool that provides insights into website traffic, audience demographics, referral sources, and competitive analysis, helping businesses understand their digital presence and make data-driven decisions.
SEO Analysis Suites
Moz provides tools for keyword research, link analysis, site audits, and rank tracking, offering valuable insights and recommendations for SEO optimization.
SEMrush is a popular SEO and digital marketing tool that offers a wide range of features, including keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink auditing, rank tracking, and content optimization suggestions.
Screaming Frog is a website crawler tool that allows users to analyze and audit websites for technical SEO issues, providing detailed reports on broken links, duplicate content, and other optimization opportunities.
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO toolset that provides features such as backlink analysis, keyword research, rank tracking, and competitor analysis, offering comprehensive insights for SEO strategies.
Meta SEO Inspector is a browser extension that allows users to analyze and inspect on-page SEO elements, such as meta tags, headers, and structured data, helping to optimize website metadata.
SEO Meta is a browser extension that provides a quick overview of meta tags, headers, and other on-page SEO elements of a webpage, assisting with optimizing metadata for better search engine visibility.
SEO-Extension.com Meta is a browser extension that displays metadata information, such as meta tags, headers, and social media tags, for any webpage, aiding in the analysis and optimization of on-page SEO elements.
Detailed SEO Extension helps with quick on-page SEO checks, showing page elements like Title, Meta and Headings hierarchy.
Check My Links is a browser extension that scans webpages for broken or dead links, making it easier to identify and fix any linking issues on a website.
Open Link Profiler is a link analysis tool that provides insights into a website's backlink profile, including link quality, anchor text distribution, and link-building opportunities.
Test My Site is a tool by Google that analyzes the mobile-friendliness and speed of a website, providing recommendations for improvements to enhance mobile user experience.
Google Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool within Google Ads that provides insights into keyword search volumes, competition, and suggested bid estimates, assisting in the planning and optimization of search advertising campaigns.
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that provides keyword research data directly within search engine result pages, displaying search volume, CPC, and competition metrics for keywords.
FatRank is a keyword tracking tool that allows users to monitor their website's keyword rankings on search engine result pages, providing insights and data to track SEO performance.
The following digital tools enable solopreneurs to present a professional image and build a strong brand identity. They can create visually appealing graphics, design professional websites, and leverage social media management tools to maintain a consistent online presence, enhancing their credibility and attracting customers.
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that checks grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, and tone, providing suggestions and corrections to improve the overall quality of written content.
ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI that provides conversational responses and assistance across a wide range of topics and contexts, aiming to simulate human-like conversation.
Hemingway is a writing tool that helps users improve the clarity and readability of their writing by highlighting complex sentences, suggesting simpler alternatives, and providing readability scores.
Spark Content Optimizer is a content analysis tool that evaluates and scores the quality and readability of written content, helping users improve the effectiveness of their copywriting.
Lingofy is a proofreading and editing tool that identifies spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in written content, offering suggestions for improvement and ensuring accuracy.
Wordtune is an AI-powered writing tool that provides real-time suggestions for rephrasing and enhancing sentences, helping users improve their writing style and clarity.
Wordhippo is an online dictionary and thesaurus tool that provides definitions, synonyms, antonyms, translations, and other word-related information to enhance vocabulary and language skills.
Statista is a comprehensive statistics and market research platform that offers access to data, reports, and infographics across various industries and topics, providing valuable insights for business and research purposes.
Google Scholar is a specialized search engine that allows users to find scholarly literature, including articles, theses, books, and conference papers, making it useful for academic research and citation purposes.
Copyscape is an online tool that helps detect instances of plagiarism by comparing submitted content to a vast database of web pages, ensuring originality and integrity in written work.
Quillbot is an AI-powered tool that can paraphrase, rephrase, and summarize text to generate more concise or clear writing.
AnswerThePublic is a keyword research tool that provides insights into popular search queries related to a specific topic, helping users generate content ideas and understand what people are searching for. It generates visualizations of commonly searched questions and phrases related to a specific topic, aiding in content ideation and understanding user search intent.
Pocket is a bookmarking tool that allows users to save articles, videos, and webpages for later reading or viewing across multiple devices, making it convenient for organizing and accessing saved content.
12 ft Ladder bypasses paywalls by pretending to be a search engine crawler when requesting a webpage for research or education.
Canva is a user-friendly graphic design platform that allows users to create professional-looking visuals, including social media graphics, presentations, and marketing materials, using pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop interface.
StudioShot is an AI-powered virtual studio platform that offers a variety of customizable templates and backgrounds for creating professional headshots, product mockups and stunning visuals.
ColorZilla is a browser extension that enables users to sample and identify colors from web pages, generate color palettes, and perform other color-related tasks, making it useful for web designers and developers.
The Noun Project offers a vast collection of icons and visual symbols for various presentations and design projects.
Pexels is a free stock photo platform that provides a vast collection of high-quality, royalty-free images that can be used for personal and commercial projects.
Pixabay is a popular online platform that offers a large library of free stock photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and videos that can be used for creative projects.
Unsplash is a widely-used platform that offers a vast collection of high-resolution, royalty-free photographs contributed by a community of photographers, which can be used for various creative purposes.
edit.photo is a web-based photo editing tool that offers a range of features and effects to enhance and modify images, including filters, adjustments, cropping, and text overlays.
Social Media Content Creation
AuthoredUp is a content creation platform that helps individuals and businesses streamline the process of creating, editing, and publishing written content for various digital platforms.
imgflip AI Meme Generator is an online tool that uses artificial intelligence to generate memes based on the text and image inputs provided by users, making it easy to create custom memes.
Kapwing Twitter Screenshot Meme Maker is an online tool that allows users to create memes by overlaying text on screenshots of Twitter posts, enabling the creation of humorous and relatable social media content.
Social Media Content Management
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that enables users to schedule, publish, and monitor content across various social media platforms from a single dashboard, facilitating efficient social media marketing and engagement.
Facebook Creator Studio is a platform that allows content creators to manage and publish content on Facebook and Instagram, providing insights, analytics, and scheduling capabilities for effective content management.
Social Media Analytics
Ninjalitics is an analytics tool specifically designed for Instagram that provides users with in-depth metrics and insights into their Instagram accounts, including follower growth, engagement rates, and top-performing posts.
Socialblade is a social media analytics and tracking tool that provides insights, statistics, and performance metrics for YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
Bubbles is a social media listening and analytics tool that helps businesses monitor and analyze conversations and trends on social media platforms, providing insights into audience sentiment and engagement.
SheetsforMarketers is a Google Sheets add-on that provides advanced data analysis and reporting capabilities for digital marketers.
Customer/Public Relations & Outreach
The following digital tools offer a range of marketing solutions, from email marketing platforms to social media management tools and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Solopreneurs can create targeted marketing campaigns, nurture customer relationships, and automate personalized communications, enabling them to reach a wider audience and provide better customer experiences.
HARO is a platform that connects journalists with relevant expert sources, allowing businesses and individuals to gain media exposure by providing insights and quotes for news articles.
Qwoted is a media platform that connects journalists with expert sources and facilitates meaningful conversations, helping professionals in various industries establish themselves as thought leaders and gain media coverage.
SimilarSites.com is a website analysis tool that provides recommendations for similar websites based on user preferences and interests, making it helpful for discovering related websites and exploring new online resources.
Hunter.io is an email finding and verification tool that helps users find professional email addresses associated with specific domains, making it useful for outreach, lead generation, and building contact lists
WiseStamp is a browser extension that allows users to create and customize professional email signatures with social media links, contact details, and other personalized information to enhance their email communication.
Pulling it All Together
Digital tools empower solopreneurs by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, enhancing professionalism, enabling collaboration, providing valuable insights, supporting marketing efforts, and offering flexibility in managing their businesses effectively.
But even with all the tools in the world, you may still need help. At the end of the day, the most essential resource in your holistic marketing toolbox is a creative executive with an eye for detail and one who already operates at the same high standards you expect.
If you're a solopreneur and this list overwhelms you, chances are you're a great candidate for hiring administrative or marketing support through a freelancer, VA, or OBM. That's where I come in.
Have a favorite tool not on this list? I'd love to know too!
Erin Ratliff is a certified feng shui consultant, holistic business coach and organic growth marketer for earth-loving, heart-centered soul-preneurs.
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