10 Free Marketing Tools to Grow Your Startup

Guest post by Ali Mirza | Digital Marketer & Growth Evangelist
 

Building a startup is not just about building a product. You are also responsible for marketing and building a community. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of marketing budget to grow your business. You can increase your online visibility and productivity by using these free marketing tools:

1. Google Alerts

Keep an eye out for what the hot topics in your industry are. Set up Google Alerts and be the first to know what influencers are talking about. Easily follow the trends of the market to see what your potential customers are expecting and what are the best ways to reach them.

2. Google Analytics

Install Google Analytics and find out everything about who is visiting your website and what their behavior is. Check the data regularly to improve the performance of your site based on insights gained from analytics. For example,

  • You can see where most of your traffic is coming from.

  • You can identify the most popular content on your website.

  • How long potential users are staying on your website.  

3. Hootsuite for Social Media Management

If you want a social media tool, Hootsuite is it. It helps you schedule social media posts, engage with your audience and measure the impact of your social media content. Now, that’s something that will skyrocket your startup’s social media presence! Remember to constantly create new and exciting content.

Pro Tip: Don’t just focus on building a product, build a community along the way and Hootsuite can help.

4. Hubspot Blog Topic Generator

In need of some inspiration for your blog posts? Enter Hubspot Blog Topic Generator! This tool gives you blog ideas tailored to your industry. To stay at the top of your game and dominate your competitors, you need to regularly publish fresh and engaging content.

5. MailChimp for Email Marketing

Mailchimp is one of the leading email marketing platforms. This tool gives you the possibility to send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free. Plus, you can easily design and embed sign-up forms on your website. How’s that for a deal?

6. SumoMe for List Building

SumoMe is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website's traffic and email list. These tools are easy to install and work on any website. There are a number of ways to ask your website visitors for their email address. Examples include pop-ups on the top of the home page, the side of the page, pop-ups that slide after some time etc. Once SumoMe is installed you will be able to test all of these different options and see which one works best for building and growing your email list.
 

7. Presskit Generator

Presskit Generator generates a press kit for your iOS App for free. This tool makes it easy for journalists to write about your startup. The outcome? More articles, better online visibility and increased business opportunities for you.

Pro Tip: Include a Press Kit on your website to give journalists an easy time writing about you.

8. Trello for Project Management

We all know project management can be quite hectic. Make your life easier, use Trello. This project management software is quite popular with startups. Your team will communicate better and be more productive, while managers will save time and energy.

9. IFTTT for Automation

IFTTT (If This Than That) allows you to integrate the services you use on a daily basis so as to save time. IFTTT helps you with tasks such as scheduling repetitive social media posts or receiving a custom email each time someone asks you a question on Twitter and even sends a tweet as soon as you upload a video on your YouTube channel.

10. Hunter

Struggling to find someone’s email? No more of that! Check out Email Hunter. This amazing plugin is a time saver for your email marketing campaigns. All you need to do is have the website address. Type it in the tool and voilà: all emails associated with this website are displayed. Now go find email addresses in seconds and connect with people that matter for your business.

 

Now over to you.

Let me know which tool are you going to test first in the comments below?  

 

About the contributor:

Ali Mirza is the CEO and founder of iSocialYou, a digital marketing agency based in Dallas, TX. In the last 10 years, Ali has developed digital marketing solutions and growth hacking strategies for several mega brands, SMBs, startups and agencies. At iSocialYou, he helps brands with two important aspects of digital marketing (1) How to build the RIGHT type of audience (2) How to generate leads & revenue using Facebook Ads and creative digital strategies. You can reach him at ali@iSocialYou.com or @AliMirza2k on Twitter.

Ali Mirza is the CEO and founder of iSocialYou, a digital marketing agency based in Dallas, TX. In the last 10 years, Ali has developed digital marketing solutions and growth hacking strategies for several mega brands, SMBs, startups and agencies. At iSocialYou, he helps brands with two important aspects of digital marketing (1) How to build the RIGHT type of audience (2) How to generate leads & revenue using Facebook Ads and creative digital strategies. You can reach him at ali@iSocialYou.com or @AliMirza2k on Twitter.

7 New Year's Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

2017 is almost here and it’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. Reflecting on the past year, it’s been a great one for the TreeHouse, and with the resolutions we have made for 2017, we’re sure things will only get better!

A New Year's resolution is a decision to do/not do something in order to meet a personal goal. It comes at a time when people are reflecting on the past year and want to make an effort to improve so that the next year can be considered a success. While adults often make New Year's resolutions to lose weight or exercise more, entrepreneurs tend to have different goals. Here are seven resolutions for entrepreneurs that will help guide you toward success in the new year:

  1. Find a motivating working environment - For most of us, all we need is our laptop and we can work wherever. But there is so much more behind productivity and getting the creative juices flowing than being able to work anywhere. Take into consideration your environment. Do you prefer to sit at an organized desk? Maybe post up on a comfy couch with your feet up? Do you like background noise or do you prefer a more quiet, focused environment? These are all important factors and need to be taken into account. Yes, you need your laptop. Yes, you also need more. Look back on 2016 and map out the qualities you need your environment to have so that you can be the best you, the most productive you, the most hardworking you. And then, in 2017, go there.

  2. Know your wins - As an entrepreneur, life fluctuates every day. Keep track of your wins, even the small ones. Life is hard, especially when you’re trying to make it. Keep an ongoing list of all of the things that you have done well, that have been successful, anything and everything you consider a win. That way, on the hard days, or on the days you need to be reminded why you’re doing what you’re doing, you can look back and see all of the positive things that have happened.

  3. Know your losses - I’ll repeat myself: Life is hard. Especially when you’re trying to make it. Keep track of your losses and learn from them. Don’t make the same mistake twice. It’s ok to lose every once in awhile. Bounce back and remember that what you are doing is hard work. You are changing the world and you are not alone. Successful entrepreneurs have losses everyday. Grow from them. Make the change or the decision that needs to be made to turn that loss into a “win”.

  4. Keep up with current events - As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to forget that there is anything happening outside of your startup. But you’re wrong. When meeting with potential partners, investors, employees, whomever, it’s important to be able to strike up conversation about more than just your product or service. What is it they say about the best salespeople? That they are selling themselves as much as they are selling their product. People buy from people. 2017 is starting with a presidential inauguration, the Superbowl, and if this year is any indication of how 2017 will go, we know there will be plenty more to talk about. Be in-the-know. This is also beneficial so that you can make informed decisions. What’s going on around the world is, in fact, affecting your business.

  5. Be Social - And I don’t mean grabbing a beer with your friends. It’s the end of 2016 and social media is still not just a fad. Start an online conversation with your customers, influencers, and investors in your community and in turn drive traffic to your website, convert followers to customers, and create and spread brand awareness.

  6. Organize - Organization is key to the success of running a business. Organize your finances, workspace, filing system (virtual or paper), emails, etc. Take a few minutes each day to make sure you know where everything is. It will probably save you tens of hours of searching for something in the future.

  7. Know that there is no “I” in team - Accept this. No one person has ever been successful by his or herself. At the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey you may be a one-person show, but that will not be sustainable, not for your own personal health nor the health of your business. You will build a team that will help you and your business be successful. A team that will balance your weaknesses with their strengths. There is no shame in that. Know your strengths and know your weaknesses, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

There are many other ways to improve yourself and your business in 2017. What are your resolutions going to be this new year? Of course, the TreeHouse is always available to assist you with whatever it is you need in 2017 (or beyond!)!