Here are 5 free tools that every marketing consultant should be using.
I have always had a “side hustle”, its been something that’s been important to me diversifying my income and also a critical networking initiative for my career. I also really love what I do, so when I get to jump on board with a small business and help them execute digital strategy (plus get paid for it!) I am all smiles!
Here are 5 completely free tools that I personally believe that every marketing consultant should be using on a day to day basis.
Clockify – Time Tracking
One of the most important aspects of running a consulting business is managing your time. Whether you have sub contractors involved in your operations, or you are doing all of the work yourself it’s important to know when and where your time is being allocated. Even if you aren’t profiting this can be essential in helping you make better business decisions down the road. For example, years ago I used to spend a lot of time “Volunteering” my time to businesses, and while it was a great experience over time I was able to look back and understand which volunteer gigs felt like they paid off either in networking or eventually paid jobs, or how I felt on them vs how much time I actually spent working on them. This will help you hold yourself accountable and also make sure that you are staying on track. I personally commit to working a specific amount of hours on my side hustle every week and clockify let’s me know if I’m doing just that. It’s super easy to use and I’d even compare it to the likes of Harvest (Paid) in terms of functionality.
This might seem like a no brainer to some, but it always amazes me how many people aren’t utilizing Google Drive. Many are familiar with Dropbox and other paid tools, but Google gives you a ton of free storage space, and allows for a lot of integrations. It’s also a great tool to use when working with clients. If you need to provide them with a “no login needed” folder to upload assets to, you can simply share a folder that requires no login and has the permissions of edit. It’s still secure, and it’s a great asset to all of your processes.
Automation is key. When you are sending emails, updating spreadsheets, recording time, posting blog posts, uploading podcasts, etc etc etc… you can become to get overwhelmed with the need of doing so many manual tasks. Zapier has a free version and essentially is an automatic “doer”. It can execute thousands of tasks for you automatically just based on actions. Here’s an example. If you keep a spreadsheet record of all of your projects and want to set calendar reminders based on the dates in your spreadsheet it can do it for you automatically. It can also do things like integrate webinars with email lists, and a ton of other data. I once sat down for 4 hours figuring out all of the cool stuff I could automate with my google sheets!
Answer The Public
As marketers and content creators (if you aren’t creating content for your own brand as a marketing consultant you need to start), there is no excuse for not being able to utilize data to understand what your prospective customers, or your client’s customers are searching for. Answer The Public is a simple and free web based tool that queries keywords related to your keywords. It can help you steer both your content strategy and your clients easily.
Built With is a free Google Chrome Extension that will provide key information on any website you are browsing. They have a paid database functionality you can purchase, but even the free chrome extension has become a vital part of both my prospecting process and research phases of any project. You can quickly identify key components of websites and frameworks that they are developed in.
I’ve always been someone who struggled remembering my passwords, and you definitely dont want to be storing them in a notepad file like I used to do on my Pentium computer in 2002. Last Past is a secure program that stores your passwords for you, has a chrome extension and can auto fill sign ins. It’s become a necessity for me in almost all of my internal processes.