My Top 10 Favourite Free Digital Tools and Resources
This second I decided to start a blog. I can't promise I will be a consistent or regular poster as I have so many projects on, there are only so many hours in a day. But I will update this blog when I have one of those lightbulb moments in-between jobs.
Many of my clients are new business owners. I am often asked about which digital tools I use to help to run my businesses.
1 | Pinterest
Pinterest is great for getting inspiration and to direct traffic to your website. Many people don't see the need for Pinterest. I have found it useful in getting people to visit www.designbycheyney.com. The trick with social media is to only be on the platforms that you connect with. Social media is like a garden that needs watering. If you don't feel like watering it, don't bother to grow it. So if you have tried Pinterest and don't like it, perhaps it isn't for you, but if you haven't tried it, give it a shot.
2 | Hemingway
This is essential for those who are writing blog posts but aren't budding writers. Writing isn't my strong suit but this app keeps my writing in check. It lets you know when your sentences are getting too long and when the tone of your text is getting too passive. It grades your body of text like a school teacher would, but as you write it. It's easy to download and easy to use. I have it saved in my toolbar. I copy and pasted this entire blog post in it to check before allowing it to go live. Hemingway is the bomb.
3 | Unsplash
It is so important that when you are using images for your business that you have the right to use them. I have had clients ask me to use images from google, but this is a big no-no! You must have authorisation from the artist to use their images commercially. Using a stock image website is one way to do this. Check before you download each image if it requires artist attribution. Many of these sites can be super cheesy (picture men in business suits shaking hands) but Unsplash is safe.
4 | Pexels
Pexels is another great (not cheesy) stock image site with images that are free for commercial use. The beauty of this stock image site over the others is the size of the images. On Pexels you will find very large images available for use.
5 | CoSchedule
Another great tool for writers, or people like me who write blog posts but aren't trained or qualified to do so. This tool is all about headlines. It gives your headline a score rating and offers suggestions to up its status or ranking. I used CoSchedule to write the headline for this blog post.
6 | Instagram
I would say that Instagram for me has been the most helpful tool to help me build my businesses. I have made sales, generated leads, made genuine connections and gained new clients. I know some people find it cringeworthy, but use hashtags. They are the best way to target your audience to build your following. You get up to 30, I use 30 every time I post. Instagram is my favourite social media tool by far.
7 | Legend
This is an app that I have downloaded on my phone. It's free and it allows me to create animated content for my Facebook and Instagram pages. It is so simple to use and I always get heaps of engagement when I post my Legend animations. This app lives up to the name.
8 | Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics can be time frustrating and time consuming (well it was for me anyway). Having a clear picture of the traffic to my website allows me review what is, and isn't working for me. You can get detailed analytics about who is landing where and for how long on your page. I have the Google Analytics app on my phone which gives me easy access to this information on the run.
9 | Wordmarkit
This tool is AWESOME. Particularly if you are a designer. I have it saved on my bookmarks. It's a site that loads all the fonts on your system so you can preview your fonts (with the words you want) all on one page. Do it!
10 | Dropbox
I know most of you will be using Dropbox already (and if you aren't, it won't be long until you are). It allows you to upload and share files that are too big to send via email. It's only been in the last 6 months or so that I downloaded the app on my phone. Game changer. This is how I upload 90% my content on Instagram now: 1) Create content on the computer. 2) Add it to the Dropbox from my computer. 3) Open it in Dropbox from my phone and export it. 4) Open Instagram and retrieve it from my camera roll.
I hope these have been somewhat helpful. If there is anything in particular you would like to see in this blog, let me know. If you are wanting any design work, drop me a line at contact@designbycheyney. Have a great week. Until next time,