Fingerprint Marketing is about more than marketing, branding and design. Like you, I love to DIY certain parts of my business. In fact, I’ve built our very own marketing strategy using some of the very same tools you use every day. Today, I’m pulling back the curtain and sharing the DIY marketing tools I can’t run my business without.

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  1. Google Apps for Business: Working with Google Apps allows me to collaborate with my team and my clients in real time. We can edit documents, hold video meetings and access files from anywhere. While I can do all of this with the free app, I made the switch to the paid version because it gives me peace of mind with more storage space, better data security and professional email. Also, having my domain’s email hosted by Gmail means I can manage my team’s Google-based accounts all from one place. (Cost: Free 30-day trial, then starts at $5/mo./user)
  2. Boomerang for Gmail: As a business owner, I can set my own schedule. Sometimes, this means working until late at night. But this doesn’t mean I want my emails going out at 11pm. With the Boomerang app, I can wrap up a project and schedule my client email to send the next morning. (Cost: Starts with a Free Basic Plan)
  3. COLOURlovers: If ever I need color or branding inspiration, COLOURlovers is my go-to source. It allows you to search for any color, like indigo or charcoal gray, and it gives you lots of options to choose from. Once you’ve selected a shade, you can scroll to the bottom of the color page and see which palettes have already been created with it. It also gives you the option to “love” a color or palette, which you can reference later via your profile. (Cost: Free)
  4. Pinterest: My clients aren’t designers, so verbally explaining a brand or logo idea effectively can be tricky. But with Pinterest, I can visually communicate with clients by creating shared mood boards for any type of project. This also means clients can share their ideas with me more easily without having to know designer speak. (Cost: Free)
  5. Lynda.com: What’s great about Lynda.com is I can build my professional skillset from anywhere – at the office, at the beach, or while traveling to a conference. It offers video tutorials and courses on topics like design, web development and business, which means I can learn, grow and continue to offer more value to clients. (Cost: Starts at $19.99/mo.)
  6. Evernote: There are so many ways to use Evernote. For me, it’s like a digital filing cabinet that’s highly searchable. I use it to track all of my important documents, store conference notes, plan for upcoming blog posts and more. (Cost: Free)
  7. Merchant Centric: Getting found online is made that much easier with Merchant Centric. You can connect your online listing accounts to this user-friendly platform, then manage all of your main online listings accounts and monitor reviews. Rankings are based on several factors, such as review ratings and consistency in your online listings. (Cost: Free 30-day trial, then starts at $49/mo.)
  8. Google Webmaster Tools: Every business with a website should have Google Webmaster Tools. I use it to make sure my site (and my clients’ sites) are healthy and free or crawl errors or broken links. It also provides me information that differs from Google Analytics, such as deeper keyword insights and looks ways to make the site load faster. (Cost: Free)
  9. Basecamp: A mobile-friendly project management tool, Basecamp gives me greater control over tracking projects. All tasks and details are shared in project workspaces, so they’re conveniently stored in one place (and not my inbox). It’s free for team members and clients to join and collaborate on projects with you, plus you can set up tasks so that team conversations and behind the scenes activity are hidden from client’s view. (Cost: Starting at $20/mo.)
  10. Freshbooks: Hands down, Freshbooks is the best software I’ve found for small business timekeeping and billing. My small team can track their time and any project-related expenses. Then at month’s end, I can review team timesheets, send clients customizable invoices, and take online payments via credit card or PayPal. It also gives me the option to set up recurring invoices for retainer projects, like website maintenance packages. (Cost: Free 30-day trial, then starts at $19.95 per month)

Over to You

What DIY marketing tools could you not run your business without? Let us know below!