By Rachel Shuttleworth
Looking to do more with less and further enhance your communications work? There are several free online tools that can help you do that. Here are some of the top picks for communications professionals.
- Canva (www.canva.com). With this simple graphic design software, create banners, social media images, reports, posters, brochures and more. Some images are free and others are low cost. Design, download and enjoy.
- Hemingway (www.hemingwayapp.com). Improve your writing with this free web app. It uses colours to identify grammatical errors and long complex sentences. The tool also assigns a readability grade.
- Pexels (www.pexels.com). Get free stock photos for personal and commercial use. No attribution is needed for the images you use. Browse through popular photos or use the key word search to find what you need. The site also offers some free stock video footage.
- Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com). A free limited plan is available for one user. Manage three social media profiles and access basic scheduling functions. Plus, hone your skills with free social marketing courses at the Hootsuite Academy. Courses are 30-minutes and cover topics like social media strategy, growing your online community and social advertising.
- Piktochart (https://piktochart.com). With this graphic design software, create professional looking infographics. The free account lets you access a wide range of functions and images. You can then share your work through social media or download it as a JPG or PNG file.
- HubSpot (https://www.hubspot.com). HubSpot offers several free versions of their marketing and sales tools. HubSpot Marketing Free helps you capture leads, track their activity on your website and convert them into customers. HubSpot Sales Free provides basic inbound sales features like email integration and scheduling. With HubSpot CRM, you can organize up to 1,000,000 contacts for free. Track customer interactions through email, social media and calls with this CRM.
Some of these tools give you the option of paying to access more features or functions. However, the free versions are valuable for communicators and may be just what you need.
What free tools do you use and love? We want to know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Shuttleworth has 15 years of experience in communications, marketing and management. She is the Executive Director of the Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area and volunteers with the Board of Directors of the IABC Golden Horseshoe chapter as the co-Vice President of Communications.