As a small business (or even a one-man-band solopreneur) you may not have the budget to outsource all of your marketing efforts. Which means that you may have to take on the brunt of the task by yourself.
So, what tools do you need in order to make a do-it-yourself approach to marketing work for your business?
Free SEO Tools
Doing your own marketing means having to cut a few corners, especially when it comes to price. Nothing is better than free, especially when it comes to SEO tools. They can be notoriously pricey – think upwards of $1000 on a monthly basis – and there’s no way to know if most of these actually work that well (unless you are Google).
Which is why when it comes to SEO tools as a solo marketer, you shouldn’t be too worried about using the free alternative. Apart from a few more capabilities, they tend to work in exactly the same way. Especially as Google even gives you some free tools to use themselves; such as Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Tools, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Search Console
You can also get a number of different apps and software to help you with your overall SEO performance, most of which can be found free. For link building, Ahrefs is an invaluable tool to see your backlinks and work out where to move your campaign forward. There are also plenty of free keyword search tools as well, if you find Google isn’t working for you.
Now, you may have heard the phrase “content is king” and it is true for the most part. Which means that a lot of your marketing efforts, DIY or not, will be focused on the content you create. Both for your blog and social media, the right words can make a world of difference when it comes to captivating marketing.
If you are looking for some help with your editing, then there are a number of apps on the market. Grammarly and Ginger, in particular, are great for editing your work to be as error-free as possible, without a person to do the editing for you of course.
The app Optimizely can also help you to track your content and its performance. This can be especially great if you struggle to understand Google Analytics, or if you want to track your content differently than just through page views (i.e. via social).
Gathering a list of email subscribers and sending out newsletters is a marketing tactic as old as time. It’s an oldie but a goodie because it is still one of the most effective marketing activities to this day. Which means mastering it is important, no matter how big or small your marketing efforts are.
MailChimp is the go-to platform for a lot of people’s email marketing efforts. And with a great free option, even for companies with hundreds of subscribers on their lists, it is perfect for the DIY marketer.
Social Media Ninja
Do you use social media in your personal life? Maybe yes, maybe no. Whatever your opinions are on the various platforms, a comprehensive social media campaign will be a vital component for the marketing success of your small business or solo efforts.
HootSuite and Buffer are popular choices to help with this, with free and paid options depending on the size of your enterprise and number of social channels. But, there are also a few things such as Tweetdeck and scheduling posts on the actual platform (mainly for Facebook) which can work outside of a comprehensive software. If you are a solo marketing effort, however, this can save you a lot of valuable time and so is worth investing in.
Not everyone is a designer and thanks to a few clever online tools, you don’t have to be. Your social banners, blog graphics, and even infographics can be created to look wonderful no matter your actual skill level. Perfect for those of us who struggle to even draw a stick figure.
There are a number of applications out there to try out when it comes to amateur design. But, above and beyond most things in the marketing graphics sector is a little website called Canva. It is used by solo bloggers and agencies alike, with a price range to suit a broad clientele (starting at free, thankfully).
If you choose to go down the DIY marketing route, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of work. A comprehensive and effective marketing campaign can also mean spending a lot of money on the necessary tools. But, if you make smart choices when it comes to both the way you spend your time and the tools you use, this does not have to be the case.
Research what your marketing efforts will need, invest in only the very necessary tools, and make sure that you use them to work towards the same goal.