Life is expensive. Business is expensive. It seems like almost everything is expensive, making free things even more powerful.
How many times have you taken a free promotional magnet or T-shirt not because you needed it or even wanted it, but simply because it was there and it was free?
Even if you have no interest in branded Frisbees and pens, are you aware of how many free business resources are out there?
Every business sector can benefit from the right freebies. All you have to do is know where to look.
Free Advice and Expertise
Whether you work in marketing, accounting or project management, there are probably websites you read regularly and trusted resources that you know you can turn to.
Why stop there?
There are so many wonderful, interactive conversations happening in your industry. Smart people are offering up their knowledge and experience free of cost, so take advantage of it.
Twitter chats are an amazing resource. In a Twitter chat, people from across your industry gather together (virtually) to discuss a specific topic. A moderator often leads the chat, asking specific questions to keep the conversation focused and engaging.
One of my favorite Twitter chats is #CMWorld by the Content Marketing Institute. If you are interested in improving the content for your business and getting measurable results, this is where you should be on Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Each week has a specific topic and an expert guest.
Without spending a dime, I have learned from experts and got to know so many people who work in similar industries. I’ve built a network of people who I’ve never met, but can turn to for advice, opinions or industry news.
If you can’t find a Twitter chat for your industry, you can even create your own.
Free Resources and Tools
Are you spending money on business expenses you can get for free? There are so many tools that you can use without breaking your budget.
Tools like Dropbox or Trello can help you get organized, manage virtual teams and improve processes. Google Apps and Google Analytics can help you run your business from anywhere and measure the effectiveness of your online efforts.
You can work on design for your website or printed material using Canva. You can make and share presentations for free using SlideShare.
Spend a little time looking at what tools you are spending money on and see if there is a free option. Then brainstorm what other sort of tools would make your job easier and look for free options.
Trust me, your life is about to get much easier. When you’re ready to thank me, you can find me in a Twitter chat. I’ll be the one frantically trying to absorb every last bit of the free knowledge.
Erin Palmer is a writer and editor who is eternally grateful for all of the people offering such amazing business resources for free. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post.