The List of Zero-Dollar Marketing Hacks Your Biz Needs to Make Life a Little Easier


Starting and running a company from square one is no piece of cake. Especially if you’re a party of 1 doing it all on your own.  Trust me, I know. I’m giving you a virtual hug right now. I applaud you for all you do, and reaching for your goals each and every day.

But, it sure is frustrating when you feel like all your to-dos are scattered across planners or calendars, your social media efforts are falling short because you’re more focused on giving your own clients and customers some love, and you don’t have the extravagant budget to run with each and every idea that pops into that creative brain of yours. If only you could clone yourself and be in multiple places at once, doing everything imaginable to grow your biz, right?

Unfortunately, no one has figured out how to do that quite yet. So, you’re probably wondering: how can I make my life a little easier? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m here to give you the list of zero-dollar marketing hacks your biz needs to start using today to free up some of your precious time.

All for when you…

need to get organized:

I used to love, love, love writing out lists and to-dos on a piece of paper. I mean, I still like doing it, but something else takes the cake. And, that something else is called Trello.

It’s a productivity and organizational must-have. Being a visual list tool centered around “boards” (a digital cork board for sticky notes so to speak), you can stay on top of everything in both your biz and personal life. I like to think of it as my “work spouse” as I can’t get much done without it and it keeps my life tidy.

Create different boards for different projects, then create cards within each board for different to-dos. After that, you can drag and drop cards onto different boards, create deadlines for each card, and so on.

Use it for project management, to plan your week or a vacation, keep your family updated, you name it. Whatever it is, Trello is your go-to tool for when you need to whip your life into tip-top shape. Looking for some help with getting your organizational juices flowing? Check out this article on the creative ways you can put this hack to use.

need to connect with fellow entrepreneurs:

Working for yourself can be tough. And, if you’re anything like me, you get way too comfortable with talking to your dog throughout the day. Because, after all, she is my CFO. But, sometimes, a girl just needs to get out and about to mingle with fellow entrepreneurs.

That’s where Boss Project comes in handy. There are thousands of #ladybosses in the Facebook mastermind group that have your back throughout this rollercoaster life of entrepreneurship. All from the comforts of their own homes while kicking back in their PJs or athleisure attire with a cup of joe in hand. Who knows—you might just find yourself connecting with a local gal through the group to meet up with in real life!

Also, this isn’t the only Facebook mastermind group out there. When you muster up the small amount of courage it takes to join any of these, however, keep it to a minimum. Your goal is to be intentional in your “membership,” so to speak—staying active within the groups by asking and answering questions, and just supporting others who are in the same boat as you. I’m currently in 3 in addition to my business coach’s FB group. Any more than that, and you’ll be feeling completely overwhelmed by the constant flow of updates, questions, and notifications.

Plus, are you a military spouse entrepreneur like me? Good news! There’s a good amount of fabulous groups you can join to network with not only female entrepreneurs, but also spouses who are tackling the unpredictability of this beautiful thing we call military life. I just joined Milspo Project, which offers chapter meetups across the country, annual events, a book club, and so much more. I’m so excited to dive into this community and I hope you’ll join me!

need to avoid going mia on social media:

Ahhhh. Social media. I’m first to admit I give my clients’ social media accounts way more love than my own. So, how can you strive to do better and steer clear from going completely MIA, leaving your fans and followers in the dust? Add a few scheduling platforms to your marketing arsenal.

Many like to talk up good ole HootSuite, but I’m going to give you something different to consider: Buffer. Go ahead and free up the time it would take for you to push out one-off posts. Batch ’em all instead, tackling them in one sitting for a month at a time. Here, you can manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram in the same place. Talk about a life saver, am I right?

And, even though Buffer has my back with Twitter, I still like using TweetDeck to monitor tweets, engage with other brands, and follow specific hashtags. Automation… it’s a wonderful thing.

need to create pretty graphics (& you’re not a designer):

When you’re first starting out, especially if you have zero design experience, it can be tough for you to resist the urge to hire an ah-mazing graphic designer to hand off all your visual needs. But, let’s save you some precious money. We don’t want to go breaking the bank right off the bat.

Canva is your answer to making every visual, from social media graphics, covers, and so much more, looking like it came straight off a designer’s desktop. The platform makes it easy as pie to create images that are easy on the eyes. They even have templates you can build off of. Score!

Another favorite of mine if you’re looking to spend a small amount of money? Creative Market. Need styled stock photos, but not quite ready to dish out a hefty amount to get some tailored specifically to your brand? Done. Looking for a certain font style? You got it. On average, I’ve found design bundles on this site cost anywhere between $15-$35. But, boy is it nice when that download comes your way within a matter of seconds after purchasing, allowing you to keep your projects moving without the wait.

need to spell check all your content:

No matter how stellar your marketing is, it definitely drops down a notch when your readers come across a spelling error. I can’t stress enough how important it is to spend time proofing your content before it goes out to the masses. And, I know this can be an absolutely lousy to-do, especially if you weren’t bitten by the grammar police bug like me! But, there’s a tool calling your name when you don’t have the leisure of a second set of editing eyeballs at your beckon call.

That tool is called Grammarly. You can quickly install a browser plugin to help ensure any and all of your messages, documents, and social media posts are completely clear and, most importantly, mistake-free. Wahoo! Man, does that make us grammar freaks do a little happy dance.

When you’re first getting started, there’s nothing wrong with some bootstrapping to get things up and running in the right direction. Put these hacks to good use and you’ll feel the load you’re carrying as an entrepreneur lighten up a bit, all while spreading the word about your biz and inching your way towards success.

If you’re needing some extra love and assistance with your marketing efforts, schedule a free virtual coffee date with me!

BusinessCarrie Ashley