As every freelancer knows, marketing your skills and talents requires a lot more than just advertising. Your branding and reputation is affected by your original content, visuals, scheduling and research; and you need supporting tools to create, compile, manage, track and analyze for business development and growth.
Many of the best tools for these marketing challenges come with hefty price tags, so it’s always refreshing when you run across free tools that can have an instrumental impact on your business.
The Moonlighting marketplace itself is a free mobile platform where you can market your business by easily posting your skills and services. If you haven’t already, sign up and post your services now to instantly reach thousands of people looking to hire freelancers and small businesses on-demand.
In addition to joining the Moonlighting community, check out the Moonlighting marketing team’s favorite free tools to help you grow your business!
Visual Tools & Graphic Design
Joni Lane is our Marketing & Strategic Partnerships Director. Moonlighting as a Graphic Designer is for some time, Joni has experienced first hand the necessity of quality vector art for your projects.
VectorStock is one of her go-to tools. There you are able to easily search and find royalty-free vector images, graphics, icons, and illustrations you can download for free (or purchase an inexpensive package equal to $1 per vector, which is super affordable). If you’re doing work for a client, billing a couple extra dollars for a vector you needed isn’t going to break the bank and can easily save you time instead of creating from scratch. Download multiple vectors to manipulate and combine into a unique design of your own, or scroll through their library to spark some inspiration!
Each file you download comes contained in a zip archive with a Vector EPS (Adobe Illustrator version 8+ compatible) and some artists will also include PDF and AI files as well. Happy Vector-ing!
Marketing Director Jenny Knizner knows that every small business and freelancer at some point will find themselves in need of some light or heavy design work. For those just starting up, you may not be able to afford to hire a designer just yet to fulfill those needs. Or you may have a quick project that you could handle yourself with the right tools.
Pixlr – For most jobs, everyone knows Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard for photo editing, however, that gold standard does come with a 24 Karat price tag, too. For a great free alternative, check out Pixlr. This powerful photo editor is the closest free tool you can get to Photoshop. The Pixlr Editor web app is highly recommended, but they also offer a version you can download to your desktop as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Create something beautiful today with Pixlr!
Project Management & Organizing
Senior Operations Manager Andy Stafford encourages every freelancer and small business to invest in referencing data, statistics and reporting when it comes to marketing efforts. Tracking key statistics such as organic clicks, website views, sales management, and on and off-page SEO better informs your marketing strategy.
Excel Online– Spreadsheets allow you to easily manage & analyze data to make intelligent decisions based on numbers and not wishful thinking. If you don’t already have Microsoft Excel and don’t want to buy it, use Excel online for free. It has most of the functionality of the full version and works directly from your browser. Andy’s favorite aspect of the online version is that it’s identical for people using both Windows and MacOS, so it’s easy to for co-workers to collaborate.
r/excel– While you probably do not need everything Excel has to offer, you may find yourself occasionally reaching the limit of your knowledge. When this happens and a Google search doesn’t solve it, posting issues on r/excel, a Reddit community full of helpful people that share their knowledge with each other, can yield quick answers that actually work.
Social Media Marketing
Shanelle Rucker is a Social Media and Customer Engagement Manager who understands the need to woo your audience and readers, especially in this on-demand, mobile world we live in.
Anyone working with social media knows that it’s a powerful medium for both the individual and business. And with that power comes great responsibility – you’ve got to connect with your audience and make sure that what you provide content-wise is helpful. In all her experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram she has always found that the best engagement comes from the best pictures. However, images that are shared with your followers have to be fresh, exciting, and striking.
Pablo by Buffer is a great tool to create visual content that is easily customized and eye-catching. You can choose a photo and overlay it with text or choose from their templates to get started sprucing up that tweet or post with a picture.
Any photo in their database can be used royalty-free and with more than 600K images to choose from, you’d need a lifetime of social media management to run out of resources. And if you do somehow live to be a thousand years old and run out of photos, you can easily upload your own to edit (just make sure you check the copyright).
So go on and give Pablo a try! (and if you’re into Chrome extensions, they’ve got one for you!)
Content Writing, Editing & Collaboration
Meryem Karad is a Marketing Manager who focuses on a few collaboration and copy writing tools that improve the lives of freelancing teams everywhere.
Google Drive – When it comes to collaboration in creating and editing documents online, Google has nailed it. You can work on your documents in real time, edit, mark-up copy and leave comments on a working document. Whether it’s an article, blog entry, essay, or copy for a marketing ad, this tool enables you to easily collaborate on projects with your co-workers by sharing documents with them, which they can edit simultaneously.
As Google puts it, Google Drive is a safe place for all your files. You’re also able to do more than just write and edit web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google provides templates and additional tools for everything from business plans to brochures and project proposals. You can save all of these documents to a drive, and share access with as many contributors as you’d like. One of the free options that allow for easy spreadsheet collaboration is Google Sheets. Although the functionality available is significantly less than Microsoft’s Excel, it is extremely effective for collaborative needs.
At a time where marketing is a huge part of every business, big and small, these free resources are an awesome jumpstart in helping maintain and grow your business.
If you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, also check out Moonlighting Boost to supplement these free resources. Get advertised on the nation’s largest news media websites and promoted across the Moonlighting social media platforms. It’s the fastest way for freelancers and small businesses to get discovered. Check it out now to supplement these free resources!
We want your business to succeed so we hope these free resources are worthwhile investments to put in your toolkit. Got some favorite freebies of your own? Let us know in the comments!