Looking for startup marketing resources because you're in bootstrap-mode and not quite ready to engage a specialized brand development + startup marketing agency like ours? No problem!
For you — the Founder, the Visionary, the Entrepreneur — we've put together this handy list of awesome marketing tools and the best free resources for startups that we recommend.
We not only recommend them, we stand behind them (many of them we use here in our day-to-day).
HypeLife loves ya baby, we got your back. So without further ado...
Social proof baby! ProveSource is an amazing (and very affordable) tool for letting users know how much buzz and activity your website generates (which is often tough to see, especially for e-commerce sites).
Got $50k/month in sales, or $500k/month? AWESOME, let people know via these beautiful notifications that will show during your users' website experience, without getting in the way of their customer experience. Just getting started on building up your web traffic and working towards your first sale? Fear not, this tool is great for your new business/startup too.
Why this tool is amazing and what value it can provide to your online community and e-commerce strategy:
And THAT's a win(!)
It is super easy to setup and can start working for your brand right away.
Click here to give their free trial a run and put this to work for you (yes, even while you're sleeping).
File Under: Social Proof
If your startup or business is looking to level-up on your Facebook marketing efforts, ManyChat is a great option for automating and combining the power of Facebook Messenger and SMS to grow your business.
Acting as a 24x7 sales rep for your business in the Facebook channel of your funnel, tailoring messages to new potential customers is a great way to warm up leads for your pipeline. ManyChat helps facilitate this by allowing to you design the conversation, and gather the information you need...even while you're sleeping.
After all, we realize that many startup teams are ultra-lean, and you need to be in many places at once, while also continuing to build and diversify your marketing mix, and your funnel.
With ManyChat, you can expand your startup marketing efforts quickly by helping convert leads into customers through simple, personalized messaging. With an average of 80% open rates and 25% click-through-rates (CTR), Facebook Messenger is a powerful and relatively new tool that we recommend any startup, or existing business looking to grow their pipeline, highly consider.
ManyChat starts at just $10 per month, so it is a great way to engage new leads without breaking your new business's or startup's bank.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
File Under: Facebook Messenger + SMS Marketing
Slidebean is a super easy-to-use tool for creating Web and Mobile-Friendly Startup PItch Decks. Their website also includes great examples and samples of early decks from the likes of WeWork, Uber, Snapchat and more (plus SllideBean's YouTube channel has tons of great resources as well for startups).
File Under: Pitch Deck Creation
Crowdfire is a social media management platform used by brands, businesses, startups, and individuals all over the world to help drive social media engagement and growth.
They've packed in tons of features, ranging from content publishing, rss feed pulls, content curation functions, andy beyond, all in one place at a competitive price, with scalable options for your growing social media marketing arsenal.
Crowdfire is fairly intuitive to understand, can help you save a lot of time, and has a host of features in a single place. It is a great tool to grow and manage your social accounts, even if you're starting from ground zero.
Try it out today right here.
File Under: Social Media
Since no one wants to answer a number they don't know—many of our clients' customers simply won't—there's the super slick Text Marketing service, SlickText.
With SlickText, you can easily put your brand's marketing message in the hands of the people you want to target. In fact, customers respond quicker to SMS messaging than any other form of marketing communication.
After all, your marketing message can't be effective if no one sees it. We trust SlickText to deliver every single word because they use the highest quality North American messaging routes to ensure delivery.
For us—and for our clients—quality matters. And SlickText is one of the highest quality text marketing services out there.
Find out for yourself and get 15% OFF YOUR FIRST MONTH with promo code HYPELIFE.
File Under: Text/SMS Marketing
Need an 800 number setup quickly and pain-free? Need to have multiple extensions available for your growing team at your startup? Want your old-school clients sending in faxes still to generate a PDF to your email? Grasshopper is the paper-and-pain-free answer.
Grasshopper is easy for the tech-savvy (and non tech-savvy) entrepreneur to set up. It's also super affordable, so you don't have to buy one of those old, clunky, and pricey PBX phone systems (we know, that's the last thing you want cluttering up your office).
Try it out for seven days for free too as there's lots of other cool features...most likely, it'll become The Jam when it comes to getting your professional, nimble telecommunication setup rolling for the modern era and your soon-to-be awesome startup (without everyone having to listen to those espresso machines whirring in the background).
Trying Grasshopper is easy, so startup here, and thank us later. ;-)
File Under: Communication
Are you or your business looking for DIVERSE & high quality images that vividly tell the story of any and every community?
Then look no further than Scopio.
The speedy (affordable) stock photography website provides unlimited photo downloads from around the globe with a style and flair we don't often see in most other stock photography providers (and believe us, we comb through a metric ton of stock photography here at HypeLife Brands).
So if you're needing high quality images from global photographers that power human-centered storytelling (with super easy, pain-free licensing), and you're a bootstrapping startup founder, we highly recommend Scopio!
Scopio also recently introduced a new board feature that can be shared with team members, designers, developers, and beyond, helping you facilitate easy collaboration without having to download numerous photos (and send those huge, clunky ZIP files).
File Under: Stock Photography
So you want to get your thoughts on [digital] paper for starting a Business Plan, gather costs vs. potential net profits, and also need some references + samples on how this is all put together from the start? LivePlan is an absolutely great and easy to use tool for developing a business plan.
After all, building a startup (read: a new company) requires much more than just a great idea, capital, solid timing with the market, and a basic website hacked together on WordPress or Shopify (hint: we never build WordPress or Shopify sites, but it's an ok place to start if it fits your business model).
As you’ll first want to really capture your vision for your brand AND your business FIRST, plus crunch lots of numbers in one place (no, not in 15 different spreadsheets!), LivePlan is a great place to take you through the ropes in the earliest stages (minus the hair-splitting of those 15 different spreadsheets).
If you need some guidance, LivePlan also offers over 500 sample business plans using their tool, video tutorials, and will even help drive you towards a one-page Business Pitch, which is great if you want to try your hand at pitching early to investors, if for nothing more than gathering feedback and learning more about what they look for in a new investment opportunity (that’s you!) when you're really ready, your brand is live to the world, and you're starting to see some customer traction.
Regardless of your industry, LivePlan is a great tool to help you get started in the first, and most important part of building any new business: Planning.
And hey, the stats don't lie: It's proven, companies that plan and track against their plan grow 30% faster than those that don't.
Start here and give LivePlan a try…it’s free to get started, and they offer a 60-day money back guarantee.
Remember: Ideas are a dime a dozen, but planning coupled with execution is Everything.
File Under: Business Plan Creation
Public data breaches have caused a climate of fear among consumers. As a startup or small business owner with a new brand in the marketplace, one of the first things you need to show potential customers is that you're one of the good guys. This is Marketing 101.
TrustedSite tool helps you do just that: let your visitors know your website is safe, and that YES, you are a real business and not a data pirate (arrrrr!).
The TrustedSite badge helps solve this problem by letting visitors see that your website is safe, alleviating security concerns while increasing engagement and conversions at the same time.
With the free version, you can display the floating trustmark for up to 500 visitors per month, at no charge, and installation is super easy. So easy that if you need help installing the badge, we'll help you get setup at no charge (just drop us a note in the chat bubble here in the bottom right once you've setup your account, and we'll get you on your way).
With TrustedSite trustmarks, visitors can also verify your security, contact information, and business integrity without ever leaving your site. Additional features like Shopper Identity Protection and Issue-Free Orders give visitors the confidence to engage with and purchase from your site knowing you're a brand they can trust.
It'll be well worth your while.
File Under: Website Security
Go ahead. Forget your passwords. 1Password remembers them all for you.
File Under: Tools
Hiscox caters to businesses of all shapes and sizes, even those startups just launching into the world without any revenue to speak of, and we highly recommend them to anyone (even our own clients).
You can get your options, quotes, and register for startup insurance coverage online at their website with ease.
Check out Hiscox for your startup's insurance needs and learn more right here.
File Under: Insurance
The Short Version: AppSumo has tons of great tools for all aspects of early stage startup marketing and companies bootstrapping their way along.
Looking for some of the easiest to use -- and best free resources for startups -- in order to start marketing your new business or startup? Need some initial ideas on branding your startup? Need a chat tool for your website that won't cost you an arm-and-a-leg on monthly fees? AppSumo more than likely has what you need, along with excellent white papers and training courses.
AppSumo is filled with many startup resources, and while many are in their early stages too just like you, there's plenty of opportunities here to try them out while getting lifetime memberships for being a flagship subscriber at a fraction of the normal cost.
Learn more about some great tools — from analytics to forecasting to automations and beyond — at Appsumo.com.
File Under: Marketing
Yes, clickfraud is a real thing, and it plagues your paid advertising spending, even at the smallest levels of spend.
Thankfully, you have now found a tool like Clickcease, which is a click fraud and ad fraud prevention utility for Google and Facebook ads.
Seriously...we don't leave home without this, and use this for every single client of ours (a benefit of working with us). But if you're trying to forge ahead on your own, this tool is a must-have, without question (you'll probably be astonished by the amount of paid traffic cleaning that will occur, and the savings you'll gain).
File Under: Advertising
While our clients needs in the digital and e-commerce department are often very specific (a custom digital platform is necessary 99% of the time), we know many startup founders are bootstrapping in the early days and using off-the-shelf e-commerce products like Shopify to get started.
If this describes you, Personizely is something you'll want to check out.
Personizely helps you easily collect shoppers' contact info (even if they don't purchase), promote limited time offers, and decrease cart abandonment rate using exit intent popups, recommended item cross-selling, upselling, plus remarketing opportunities galore. Also, there's many deep integrations available with MailChimp, WordPress, Shopify, Shopify Plus, Sendgrid, and beyond that can help you build customer traction + loyalty at every step of your funnel.
And with easy-to-install widgets, you don't have to be a coding wizard to put it to work for you.
Learn more by checking out Personizely right here.
File Under: Marketing
Drop us a note in the chat box in the bottom right if there's something you're looking for that's not listed here in our list of the best free resources for startups.
Check back often as more of the best free resources for startups, startup marketing tools, and more are being added regularly!