Fortunately, it’s never been easier to start a business. Unfortunately, it’s never been harder to get people to pay attention to it. Here are some low-impact and—even better—free sites and services you can leverage in order get your company looking its best and get the word out that you’re ready to work.
1. SHAPE UP YOUR SITE
Your website is your best salesperson: it works 24/7 for little to no pay, delivers consistent marketing messaging, and doesn’t stop to eat, drink, or use the facilities. So make sure you put your site’s best virtual foot forward by ensuring it’s loading quickly, looks good on mobile, has all its SEO ducks in a row, and more. HubSpot’s free Website Grader tool does just that: plug in your site, and it’ll return a numeric score out of 100, along with tips on fixing any nettlesome issues.
2. SOCIALIZE SYSTEMATICALLY
You know you should be on social media in order to build your brand, but posting to platform after platform all day long can quickly become a rabbit hole that yanks you away from doing, you know, actual work. Post-everywhere powerhouse Hootsuite has a free plan that’s half hidden on its pricing page underneath the paid tiers. It’ll let you blast out updates to three social profiles at once and schedule a generous 30 messages to go out while you’re working, sleeping, or otherwise indisposed. Not too shabby.
3. FEED YOUR FANS
There’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned email newsletter to keep your clients, customers, and followers coming back. Mail-blast specialist Mailchimp has a great, easy-to-use and free newsletter platform called TinyLetter that’s worth checking out. It provides you with simple sign-up forms for your site and social profiles, sports a clean editor for tapping out your updates, and allows for up to 5,000 subscribers—which should be more than enough to get you going.
4. MUSE TO THE MASSES
If typing’s not your thing, how about putting together a podcast? Give it a shot: it’s not as hard as you might think. Podcast purveyor PodBean offers a free tier that lets you store up to five hours of audio and stream 100GB to your listeners. Your aural masterpieces can be ingested via PodBean’s Android and iOS players, as well as via an embedded player you can share around the web. There’s built-in RSS and iTunes support as well, so you can make sure to reach as many people as possible.
5. PREVENT LOCATION FRUSTRATION
If your business has a physical presence, it’s probably being indexed by hundreds of disparate sites, services, and platforms. See how the big ones see you with Yext’s free online business appearance scanner, which is located in the middle of the front page of the Yext.com site. Simply type in your business’s name and phone number to see how it’s listed at a bunch of popular online services. More importantly, you can update the errant ones with the correct information.
AND DON’T FORGET
If you’re lucky, Google has already noticed your business has a website and shows it in results. If not, list your site for free with the search giant to give yourself the best shot at being found.