Starting any business is hard work as it is, but even more so when you are on a tight budget. When I started this company my budget was…exactly 0. I had just graduated with an MA using grants and freelancing like crazy, so there was no time to make fancy investments. Now that my business has grown, some paid services and tools have done my a great services, but the resources below are still really awesome and might safe you some money. I am also including some bloggers who offer free content as a preview for paid courses as I really feel I have learned a lot from them. Enjoy and share!
Free images & graphics
https://www.pexels.com – Searchable stock image database
https://unsplash.com/ – lots of free urban & nature shots
http://www.lifeofpix.com/ – another good, free resources for images
https://pikwizard.com/ – great searchable database of free images!
https://creativemarket.com – I LOVE their free newsletter on Mondays, there are always six freebies like fonts, WordPress themes, graphics or textures. These can be used in Canva to create your own designs for your website or social media.
Newsletter and list building
http://mailchimp.com/ – this newsletter provider is free for up to 2500 contacts. I find it very easy to handle and it integrates well with tons of opt in plug ins. There are also countless free how to videos on Youtube, so yay!
http://30daylistbuildingchallenge.com/ – I had little understanding of the importance of list building before I did b-school last year and this free challenge by Nathalie Lussier was really helpful to get going. I didn`t do all her suggested activities, but nevertheless had some good success.
https://ifttt.com/ IFTTT lets you cross-post across lots of different channels which can safe you a lot of time online. You can for example create a “recipe” that posts each of your instagram posts directly to Twitter which keeps your feed shiny and active without you lifting a finger. This is especially great since manually posting from instagram to Twitter usually means that you just post a boring link rather than an image.
https://hootsuite.com – my favorite social scheduling platform. Plan your posts in advance and keep track of different channels in one tap. You can even interact meaning that its much easier to really just do this once a day, all at once and to then stay focussed for the rest of you time. There are premium plans, but the free version is fine for now.
https://trello.com/ Trello`s free version is, I think, one of the best free team organisation tools. You can create boards, split projects into tasks and easily keep an overview. I think this is a great tool even if you are a one person show.
https://www.google.com/forms/about/ – Google forms are a good free alternative if you want to collect and archive date, for example for client intake forms.
https://gumroad.com/ – Gumroad is awesome for selling digital products like books, audios, videos or even whole courses. You only pay a fee if you are actually selling and they offer tons of free guides on how to get started.
https://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ – a complete, free e-commerce solution for WordPress. A bit more complex to set up if you are not paying for premium extensions, but with a bit of patience you can figure it out.
General business inspiration
http://marieforleo.com/ – Doing Marie`s b-school program has changed my life, seriously. Her weekly show is awesome inspiration for women in business.
http://www.amyporterfield.com/ Amy Porterfield regularly runs free webinars that have taught me lots!
http://byregina.com/ – Regina is funny, grounded, awesome and gives really awesome, practical advice. Her premium products are cool, but all her free stuff is also golden.