One of the best things about building and owning an online business is that it can be easy to build your online business for almost free. With some research and creativity, it is possible to run your business with next to NO start up costs! In this post, I want to share with you my list of the best free tools to build your online business.
Are you an aspiring mompreneur? Do you want to start an online business, but worry that you don’t know enough or can’t do it? Download my FREE guide: 5 Steps to Quiet Your Inner Critic and Overcome Self-Doubt TODAY to help you get over your fears and get into ACTION!
BEST FREE TOOLS FOR BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Whether you’re a blogger, coach or podcaster, there are innumerable free tools to build your online business.
I have been building my online business as a coach for over 18 months now and I have used TONS of different software and tools.
In this post, I’m going to share with you my TOP 5 free tools for building your online business.
If you find this helpful, be sure to download my free RUN YOUR BUSINESS FOR LESS THAN $100 A MONTH CHEAT SHEET to get all of my favourite free + paid tools!
MARKETING AND VISIBILITY
It may seem that you need a huge budget to get your business out there and visible to potential clients and customers, but this is a common misconception. There are a TON of free tools for helping you market your online business.
It goes without saying that your business NEEDS an online social media presence in this day and age. Did you know that social media is a form of marketing? Of course it is! And the best part about social media is it’s FREE!
Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most visually appealing platforms. Instagram allows you to connect with potential clients, share information about your offerings and share some behind the scenes of your business – excellent FREE and organic marketing to build the know, like and trust factor your business needs to be successful.
Be sure to set up your Business Instagram account so you can gain insights on what your audience likes best so you can market to them even more effectively!
Whether you use your private profile, create a Facebook Business Page or host a Facebook Group for your community, Facebook is one of the BEST free marketing platforms available for online businesses.
It has been estimated that nearly 3 BILLION people use Facebook, so it’s likely that YOUR ideal client or customer is also on this platform.
By engaging with your followers or creating content that meets their needs on Facebook, you can reach a wider audience and provide a more well-rounded customer experience.
Pinterest is not a social media platform but it is one of the most amazing and effective FREE marketing platforms for online businesses. With over 6 billion people on Pinterest, and the majority of those being WOMEN, it’s very likely that your ideal customer is using Pinterest!
Pinterest is a fantastic platform because it functions like a search engine. This means that you can use keywords and search terms to increase the chance that your content will show up in the feed of your potential client.
Take time to create a Business Pinterest account and consider using a scheduling service like Tailwind to consistently pin high-value content for your ideal client. Using a Business Account will allow you to use the Analytics feature to learn which of your pins are performing the best and how you can best maximize that content.
Remember: the goal of Pinterest is to bring people to YOUR website, so be sure to pin a high volume of your own content!
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
One surefire way to free up more time while building and running your online business is to utilize tools that help you schedule your social media content in advance.
If you’ve ever wondered how some mompreneurs seem to be online posting content every single day, the reality is that they are most likely using a social media scheduling software to help them batch create and schedule their content.
Later claims to be the #1 Instagram Scheduler, which is pretty amazing considering the capability of the FREE option!
Later is an online social media scheduler that allows you to schedule up to 30 posts per month on one platform before upgrading. You can also schedule posts for up to one profile per social media platform (ie. one Instagram account, one Facebook account, one Pinterest account and one Twitter account.
What I like about Later is it allows you to visually plan out your Instagram content. If you’re looking to make your feed more visually appealing, this feature is invaluable!
SCHEDULING AND APPOINTMENT BOOKING
Emailing a client back and forth to find a time that works for both of you is not only a huge waste of time, but is pretty annoying. Luckily, there are a few free options for online scheduling and appointment booking that you can use to build your online business.
Using an online scheduler such as Calendly is KEY to running an online business. You are able to set the days and hours you are available for calls and can then share your Calendly link with anyone looking to book with you.
Calendly’s free account allows for one calendar and integrations with Google Calendar, Outlook, iCloud and Office 365 so you can avoid double-bookings and sync all of your life and business events together. Calendly also allows for unlimited scheduled events, event notifications and even website integration.
Whether it’s client calls, breakthrough calls or podcast interviews, having an online scheduler is absolutely critical and one of the first online business tools I signed up for.
I have been a huge fan of Acuity since early in my business. Although the free plan is limited in its functionality, Acuity offers new business owners another option for a free scheduler!
While not all free, Acuity’s tiered pricing plan offers a lot of flexbiility for new entrepreneurs. By choosing just what you need at each tier, you can keep your operating costs low and your client experience high!
GRAPHICS AND DESIGN
Ever wonder how all these online entrepreneurs have such pretty pictures and graphics to share on social media?
Want to know how to create a visually appealing and consistent brand online?
Canva has both a free and paid option. This service offers graphic design features, stock photography and even the ability to upload your own custom fonts to create a unique brand look. Using Canva, you can create an unlimited amount of unique and creative graphics and images for your business.
You can even create lead magnets and freebies to help you grow your email list!
Looking for beautiful stock photography to up-level your brand, but don’t want to pay out of pocket for the images?
Perhaps you haven’t had the money to invest in brand photography yet, but want to find some professional looking photos to help your business’s aesthetic.
Unsplash offers beautiful and free images and pictures for you to use, royalty-free on your website and social media. This is one of my favourite free tools to build your online business.
Interested in starting a podcast?
Anchor is an AMAZING free platform for creating, editing and hosting your podcast. I personally do not record on Anchor but you can, even from your phone! Anchor makes it simple to create an on-brand website for your podcast and even schedule episodes ahead of time.
Use Canva to create Podcast Cover Art and then upload it to Anchor alongside your audio. Anchor will take care of distributing the podcast to many popular platforms including Stitcher, Google Podcasts and more.
You will need to apply to have your podcast on Apple Podcasts, but this is an easy and free process as well!
BLOGGING + SEO
Writing a blog post but not sure how to figure out an effective title?
Using a title that is likely to rank on search engines is important. CoSchedule has created a FREE tool to help you analyze your titles and headlines so that you can ensure they’re high-performing and more likely to rank!
Headline Analyzer will critique the words in your title, the emotion evoked and how generic or unique your title is. This all adds up to a score for your headline. The higher the score the better! Try to aim for above 80-90 if possible!
Stuck on finding topics to write about in your blog? Not sure what your ideal customer is looking for? Using an SEO tool such as AnswerThePublic can help get your creative juices flowing!
AnswerThePublic listens into autocomplete data from search engines like Google then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword.
This service provides a TON of trending content ideas based on what is being searched on Google, the most common search engine. By typing in your content idea (ie. self-care), you can find data on the most common questions that people are asking about that topic.
The only downside to this software is the free version limits your number of searches each day, but it can still provide a wealth of information!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FREE ONLINE BUSINESS TOOL?
Buildling a business doesn’t HAVE to be expensive! By being smart about the services you use, you can keep your start up and overhead costs low to maximize your time and income!
If you’re looking to try a new software to help you build your business, try one of these 10 best free tools for building your online business today!
AUTHOR: DR. CARLY CREWE, MD
Dr. Carly Crewe MD is a mom to twin toddlers, a medical doctor specializing in maternal mental health AND an Anxiety + Mindset Coach for Moms and Mompreneurs who are stuck in overwhelm, self-doubt and indecision.
Carly uses a combination of cognitive behavioural strategies, life coaching techniques and motivational interviewing to support moms to quiet the chaos in their lives and master their mindset so that they can build the life (and online business) that they dream of, without sacrificing their role as a mother.