Five FREE or CHEAP Tools to Grow Your Business for Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs

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I hear it all the time. “It’s too expensive to start a business!” Well I am here to tell you that YES it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. In my group of maker friends I am the person they come to when looking for a solution to a problem. I am always researching apps, listening to podcasts, reading books and discovering new tools that can help me grow my business.

So here it is the top 5 tools I use to bootstrap my business.  

  1. Canva: This app will change your life if you struggle with making content. Canva works on a freemium model, the most important parts are free but if you want to do specific things then you can upgrade your account. Canva is a graphic design website and app that allows you to use premade templates or build your own for all different applications. I use it for making my Youtube thumbnails, instagram stories, Facebook posts, blog post banners, posters, menus, etc. If you don’t see the type of template you are looking for just google canva + template type and you will likely find it.

  2. Freshbooks: I do social media posting for clients and having a way to easily invoice them is a lifesaver. Clients can even pay by credit card right on the invoice! On their lowest plan you get upto 5 clients at any one time, so if you are no longer working with someone you can delete the client but all the information stays in your records. On top of the invoicing you can also build and send estimates, track expenses, time track and bill to the client, and generate reports for an accountant. I just uploaded all of my expenses for the last six months and it took me less that an hour! There is also an app so almost everything can be done on the go. If you want to try Freshbooks feel free to use my referral link here, there usually a 30 day free trial happening at any given time. Freshbooks plans start at $15 USD/month

  3. Podcasts and Youtube: I have learned pretty much everything I know on social media from Podcasts, and Youtube. The content is free and you can listen to a podcast while driving or doing something else. I subscribe to a wide variety of accounts and feeds that cover a huge selection of topics and success levels. My top Podcasts and Channels will be coming soon in a post.

  4. Ebates: Ok so I understand that this one doesn’t make much sense but stick with me. I buy things on Amazon and VistaPrint regularly and that adds up. Ebates gives me cashback and often tells me when there is an awesome discount code for VistaPrint. If I have to buy the things anyway I might as well save some money, right? Don’t have Ebates? If you sign up with my affiliate link here you get a bonus $10 until Sept 30, 2018. 

  5. Tag-O-Matic: Tag-O-Matic is a free app that allows you to type in a keyword/hashtag and find other related or often used together tags. You then check off the ones you want (up to 30) and the app allows you to copy the list into Instagram to paste on your latest post. It has seriously helped me to be discovered in the hashtags, and grow my following. The app also takes a lot of the guesswork out of what hashtags to use, which comes in handy when your brain is not cooperating. All you need is to know the top 4 or 5 tags you want to use and Tag-O-Matic can usually fill in the blanks.                  Download on Google Play Download on App Store

What I want to know is; do you have any apps or tools I should be using? How have they helped you?

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