One of the realities of being an internet entrepreneur is that you'll need to pay for a few tools. This article however isn't about those!
Here are some of my favorite free tools that will help digital entrepreneurs with:
- And more!
NOTE: Some of these tools have premium upgrades but I have only included tools that offer a lifetime free plan that provides valuable functionality. I use paid versions or alternatives to some of the tools mentioned here. Don't be afraid to invest in your business tools when the time is right!
Store the Links You Use Frequently with Fastlinqs
We all have links that we share frequently (social profiles, blog posts, affiliate links etc) but we spend too much time searching for them when we need them!
Fastlinqs is a Google Chrome extension that stores all of your links for you for easy, on click access.
Send Large Files with We-Transfer
Some files are too big to email through regular mail servers, We-Transfer solves this by allowing you to email anyone large files (up tp 2GB) for free.
If you're curious how big 2GB really is, check out this article.
There is a premium version that allows for you to transfer more GB per message (Free is 2GB, premium is 20GB). It is $10/month (paid yearly) and allows for a little more customization and has a great password protection feature. The free version will most likely be more than enough for you.
Download Facebook Videos with Video Downloader Plus
Don't let your Facebook live videos go to waste! Use a tool like Video Downloader Plus to download them and repurpose them on other channels like YouTube.
Tiny.Png requires no email to use and compresses files size as much as 90% without impacting my resolution in any noticeable way.
My blog posts are loaded with pictures I need to compress so Tiny.Png has become one of my most visited websites.
NOTE: There are plugins that can compress all images automatically but I prefer to shrink my images before I upload them to my site. My rule of thumb is to run as lean as possible with my plugins. More plugins = More issues.
CONTENT CREATION/ DESIGN
Create Awesome Videos for Social Media with Headliner
I cannot believe that this tool is free. You can turn blog posts, video or audio clips into amazingly neat, sharable pieces of content.
There are tons of different styles you can use.
The interface is a little difficult to manage since the files are large and it's done online and not on a desktop application, but once you get the hang of it, you can create killer content to share on any social network.
Check out the example by @wtfpod or visit the Headliner gallery for more inspiration.
David Mamet on his writing process, with video courtesy of @SpareMin.— WTF with Marc Maron (@WTFpod) March 21, 2018
Check out the full episode here https://t.co/NUp3aPnX2A
Or on @ApplePodcasts https://t.co/2Yo5z4LKhM
And let us know if you like seeing little snippets like this. pic.twitter.com/rkxEzFEvGh
Easily Remove Backgrounds with Remove.Bg
I love removing backgrounds and isolating a person (myself or a client) when creating things like thumbnails and ads. Remove.Bg is the most accurate, automated background removal tool I have found and it doesn't require any work on your part like many of the other tools out there.
Create VSLs with Google Slides
I do everything with the Google Suite of tools (no Excel, Powerpoint, Word or Numbers for me)! Google Slides is a great tool for creating VSLs (video sales letters) if you can write good copy.
Create Any Design with Canva
Canva is a staple of my work day. I am able to make designs for anything I can imagine.
- Blog posts
- Social posts
- Pinterest posts
I don't know how I'd work without it.
I do pay for a premium plan so that I can have access to the branding kit and share with my team but the free plan is plenty powerful.
Make Share Worthy Images with Text Overlays with Pablo
Pablo is great if you want to create simple but attractive looking posts for Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook.
I whipped up this quote by Benjamin Franklin here in about 1 minute.
FINANCE / LEGAL
Create Simple Invoices with Invoiceto.me
I use Freshbooks for all of my invoicing, but if you need a free option to send detailed .pdf invoices to clients in less than a minute, this will suffice.
Keep in mind, free tools like this typically cannot actually accept payments like premium softwares like FreshBooks can. Any service that will process payments should cost money.
Track Finances with Mint
This tool is awesome if you're able to handle the fact that you will be encouraged to buy a lot of financial services like credit card and refinanced mortgages. You'll also most likely get a few heart dropping emails alerting you to a low balance regardless of how much money you actually have. Their marketing game is strong and they surely make the most out of the free model.
Create a Goal and Stick to It with Stickk
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
Stickk is a service that leverages this. They make users create "commitment contracts" that utilize the psychological power of loss aversion and accountability to drive behavior change. If you don't fulfill your commitment, you literally lose money. It's glorious.
Track Your Time Spent Online With Toggl
Toggl is a very cool software for internet entrepreneurs. You can easily track time worked on any task and view reports on where you're spending your time. They have a web app, Chrome extension and mobile apps.
The tool has premium options for larger teams but the free forever plan has plenty enough under the hood.
Avoid Distractions with Forrest App
Let's face it, our smart phones can become just as distracting as they are helpful. Forrest is one of my favorite apps because it forces me to not use certain apps whenever I tell it to. This allows deep, distraction free work. Who couldn't use more of that?
Manage Your Time with Clockify
Clockify is another tool that allows you and your team to log time worked on projects for free. Clockify is newer than Toggl but it seems to be giving them a run for their money since they offer so many powerful features completely for free. Supports Chrome, Firefox, iOS, PC and Android devices. They are getting rave reviews from their user base.
Craft Better Headlines with Coschedule Headline Analyzer
Legendary copywriter David Ogilvy said that when you write a headline "you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” This refers to the fact that 5x as many people will read your headline as your body copy.
Creating good headlines matters and this cool tool by the team at Coschedule is a tremendous resource.
Write Easier to Digest Copy with Hemmingway Editor
Is your sales copy easier to read? It will usually convert better if it is! The Hemmingway editor can make sure that all of your writing is as clear as possible. The app grades your writing's reading level, highlights run on sentences, shows you hard to read sentences and notes usage of the passive voice.
Build a Website Easily with WordPress
Although WordPress is a household name, it wouldn't be an "ultimate list" without mentioning it. WordPress is the platform of choice for most bloggers like myself. You can easily create a website and edit content seamlessly.
WordPress also grows with you and you can always upgrade to new, premium themes and plugins. If you're wondering, I use "Performag" by Thrive Themes here at EntreResource.com.
Find an Awesome, Available Domain with LeanDomainSearch
This tool allows you to find available domains using simple keywords at the beginning or end. The example below shows all the available domains containing the word "entrepreneur."
Track Your Website's Performance with Google Analytics
If it weren't free, bloggers like me would pay a lot of money for Google analytics if we had to. With all of the premium tools for SEO and website tracking, few compare to Google Analytics. Don't sleep on it because it's free!
Find Out What Other Websites Are Built with Built With
Find Competitors with SimilarWeb
Similarweb is a powerful research tool that offers some basic but very useful functionality for free. I recommend you start with your own website and view your traffic sources, page ranks and various demographics then branch out to competitors. You will be very tempted to upgrade to a paid plan.
In my experience, the data is far from perfect but that is pretty much standard for similar tools. When looking at broad data, "pretty close" is usually enough to gain solid insights.
Do Better Keyword Research with UberSuggest
This tool really shouldn't be free. It is way too valuable BUT Neil Patel gives it away to grow his following and influence. This is going to be your best free alternative to larger programs like Ahrefs and SEM Rush, which both cost north of $79/month for any plan.
Here is what a search looks like for the keyword "Tools for Entrepreneurs."
Optimize Your YouTube Channel with TubeBuddy
When I first started on YouTube years ago, I knew nothing about keyword research, tags, thumbnails etc. Admittedly, I only recently have focused on these things at all and I wish I had known about Tube Buddy back in 2014!
I have a pro plan on one account and a "star plan" on my larger channel. I haven't come close to utilizing all of the dozens of features. The ones I do utilize however make my life much easier and my videos rank better.
You can get a lot of value out of the free forever plan but if you YouTube a lot, you will be very tempted to upgrade (and I advise you act on that temptation)!
Find Hot Topics to Cover with Google Trends
Google trends will let you see what topics are becoming more or less popular over time. Another amazing tool that is free just because that's how Google rolls!
Schedule Social Media Posts with Buffer
Although I recommend that you don't attempt to automate too much of your social media efforts (it will hurt reach and engagement over time) tools like Buffer are very valuable. They allow you to plan your posts for major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc) well in advance.
Find Great Hashtags with All-Hashtag
Struggling coming up with hashtag ideas for Twitter and Instagram? All-Hashtag.com has your back! Give it a main keyword and it will spit out 30 ideas that you can easily add to your clipboard and paste where you need them. If you're looking for mobile apps for Instagram, check out this video and look into "Hashtag Expert" for mobile.
Manage Projects and Teams with Trello
I admit, I never got deep into Trello but they have a cult like following of people who do. It allows teams to create lists, cards and boards that make sense of larger projects. It's to-do lists but on steroids and for teams.
They have an awesome mobile app that compliments the web version of the software and there are tons of popular integrations that will help you take things to the next level.
Create a Booking Schedule with Calendly
Entrepreneurs need to keep their schedule tight and Calendly will help you manage your bookings with clients, partners etc. I use YouCanBook.me
Communicate with Your Team Through Slack
Slack is like instant messenger for teams. Powerful and ripe with 3rd party integrations and beautiful mobile versions.
Create an All in One Business Dashboard with Cyfe
I actually found out about Cyfe while doing research for this article. I whipped up a free dashboard with 5 widgets (see below) and immediately fell in love and bought a premium plan so I could have more widgets.
I literally made the dashboard above in less than 10 minutes!
Track things like:
- Facebook Pages
- Ad spend on major platforms (I added Bing and Google)
- Google Analytics
Super cool tool and I'm shocked it's free, even for limited functionality.
EMAIL / EMAIL MARKETING
Schedule Emails with Boomerang
Email marketing spoiled me. I was used to seeing things like who opened my emails and who didn't. I could resend emails to people who didn't open or click my past messages. I could also schedule emails to go out at a later time.
Bomerang came and made this feature happen for my regular email! The free plan offers 10 credits per month.
Add Countdowns to Emails with Sendtric
Scarcity sells and nothing promotes scarcity like a live countdown timer in an email. Sendtric allows you to create a countdown timer and embed a small line of code in your emails so people can see it ticking down in real time.
Create a Lead Magnet Fast with Attract
This is a really cool tool for creating lead magnets insanely fast.