Marketing is one of those areas that creative people usually dread. Going out in to the world, singing our own praises? How vile! Well we here at Creative Plus Business think differently. We think you’re fabulous, and you need to tell the world through that most mondo of means – marketing (please forgive the daggy alliteration!). Below you’ll find links to people who can help you, places for more information, and free online resources. Enjoy!
Free Marketing Plans and Guidance
AusIndustry Support – www.business.gov.au
Ausindustry is the government’s business unit and this website offers simple and practical tools to help you with your marketing plan – and it’s all free! A plan will help you to coordinate all your marketing efforts and ideas so you can market your business effectively. It’ll also help you with structure, and give you some ideas about what to do.
MarketMyBiz – www.business.gov.au/MarketMyBiz
This free MarketMyBiz tablet app, developed by the Australian government and available for Android™ and iPad, provides a template to help you get started with marketing. It guides you through the process of creating a marketing plan to help you achieve your business goals.
Business Victoria – www.business.vic.gov.au
This website provides help with a content marketing plan, which will hopefully bring you new clients and make you some more money! This terrific website also offers loads of additonal advice and support.
Pulse Creative Marketing – www.pulsecreativemarketing.co.uk
A British organisations with a tonne of free resources to share, Pulse Creative Marketing is just amazing. In addition to their free Marketing Plan guide, you can also access information about direct mail, press releases, web copy and more.
Marketing Creativity by Lisa Jacobs – www.marketyourcreativity.com
Lisa is a marketing expert based in the US, and specialises in marketing for creative makers. She is an Etsy expert and a keen blogger, and she has a range of terrific free marketing tools , including a business boosting bundle of tips and tools.
Blacksburg Belle –www.blacksburgbelle.com
April Bowles-Olin is the Blacksburg Belle, based in the US, and has a huge array of free resources on her website for all kinds of creative entrepreneurs.She has written a beautiful book about marketing, and regularly posts blogs and videos that help with all aspects of creative business. In particular check out her Mini Marketing Makeover, a free e-course for creatives. Fab!
Improve Marketing – www.improvemarketing.co.uk
Paul and his team have put together a fabulous resource, the definitive guide to starting your own marketing, PR or advertising business. Even though some of the info is specific to the UK, it’s a really generous resource that we highly recommend!
Free Website Builders and Tools
There are a number of free (or freemium) website builders available that are very user-friendly and provide support for new users, as well as templates. Many of them also offer an additional design service for a fee if design is not your forte! Have a look at these (in no particular order):
WordPress – wordpress.com
Wix – www.wix.com
SquareSpace – www.squarespace.com
Weebly – www.weebly.com
DoodleKit – www.doodlekit.com
Coolers – www.coolors.co/app
And for a range of free resources and help, try firstsiteguide.com.
Free Social Media Help
Social Media Plan Template and Guide – www.business.gov.au
Free from the Australian government, this guide helps you to develop a plan to understand your goals and objectives, and to measure your success in social media. There’s also additional reading to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of social media, and choose which social media tools or websites are best suited to your business.
Social Media Examiner – www.socialmediaexaminer.com
Free resources, reports, podcasts, updates, newsletters and more – these guys have it all. An American company, they were the first ones to write about Telescope so they must be all over social media like a rash. A good rash, obviously.
The Beginners Guide to Social Media – moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media
A fabulous free book, which you can also download as a PDF, including chapters on such marvels as social media best practice, metrics and ROI, and all the best and most effective platforms.
Free Digital Learning
Google Garage – learndigital.withgoogle.com/
The Digital Garage Australia is your one-stop shop for mastering digital marketing. If you have what it takes to complete each of the 26 topics and unlock every badge, you can earn the esteemed Digital Garage Certificate of Online Proficiency. All free, all from Google!
Business Queensland: Digital Strategy – www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/it/
Business Queensland outlines how your business’s digital strategy works, including your business goals, your digital action plan, and how your digital activities integrate with your overall business plan.
Facebook Blueprint – www.facebook.com/blueprint
Find a selection of free eLearning courses about Facebook and Instagram marketing, organised by category or role, all free!
Printed Material Help
The days of the printed thing are not over! Brochures, business cards, and even merch like coffee cups – all can help you in your marketing endeavours!
Canva – www.canva.com
Canva is just incredible – a free tool that helps you create stunning designs for just about everything. It also includes an array of templates, from social media graphics to business cards and book covers. They also have a design school, which includes blogs, teaching resources and more.
VistaPrint – www.vistaprint.com.au
These guys have been around for a while and can do everything from super cheapy business cards to window decals and clothing! The shipping can sometimes be expensive, but they really do have a huge range.
Moo – www.moo.com
Moo are new to the marketing scene and specialise in gorgeous and creative printed work. Sometimes more expensive than their competitors, their shipping costs can be quite low and their templates are lovely.
Worldwide Printing Solutions – www.worldwide.com.au
The local printers are being priced out of the market, but these guys are still excellent and although a little more expensive really deliver on a wide range of printed materials. Also, shop local!
Officeworks Print and Copy – www.officeworks.com.au
Officeworks can help with pretty much everything, with a range of personal and business print services. You can use their online DIY products or talk to a print specialist about your needs. They even have a video!
Jukebox Print – www.jukeboxprint.com
Jukebox strive to offer the most rarefied products, newest and most groundbreaking materials and most extensive customer service of any online print company. They really are cool, check out their unique stylings!
Photography and Video Help
While we would always recommend that you use a fellow creative for your photographic and video needs, we also understand that sometimes budgets don’t allow for that. Here are a few resources we recommend.
Unsplash – unsplash.com
Unsplash is a platform fueled by a photographic community that has generously gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos. All images and videos on Unsplash are copyright free and you can do as you wish! Attribution is not required, but the photographers appreciate a credit as it provides exposure to their work and encourages them to continue sharing.
Pixabay – pixabay.com
All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required. It’s sponsored by Shutterstock.
Spark – spark.adobe.com/make/video-maker
Without the need for any programming or technical skills, you can use Spak’s powerful video maker to create videos the professionals would be proud of. You can also create other presentations, graphics and websites. Very cool stuff!
Real People who can Help You
Below are some of the friends of Creative Plus Business that help us and our clients with their marketing needs. We don’t necessarily endorse them, but we do recommend you get in touch with them and find out more for yourself.
Want to make sure your audience understands your creative business profile straightaway? Deborah will discuss with you how best to get your message across, and in close collaboration, will write, edit and check for pinpoint accuracy, consistency and clear expression. A writer and editor for over 25 years, she has worked with all sizes of business, professions, not-for-profits, community, creative, design and architecture, and educational organisations, getting to know them, delivering their stories and marketing their content. She also proof-reads a range of text, catching typos and other niggly errors to ensure it is correct and clear.
Keeping your website up-to-date with fresh content is essential to your online marketing strategy, but coming up with new ideas and content can be extremely time-consuming. Gidget Media offers premium content development for businesses, from blogs to SEO web content to social media. They will get to know your brand and develop online content and strategy to suit. Get in touch to find out about their blog packages.
Other Bits and Pieces
SourceBottle – www.sourcebottle.com
SourceBottle is a free and easy-to-use platform that connects journalists and bloggers with knowledgeable sources. The basic tool is free to use – it’s a bit hit and miss, but worth a try!
Flying Solo – www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing
We love Flying Solo, it’s an absolute wonderment of help for solo entrepreneurs. And since getting to grips with small business marketing is an essential element of solo success, you can find the support you need here!
HubSpot – blog.hubspot.com
HubSpot is a software development company that helps with inbound marketing, but apart from their priced offerings their daily marketing blog is really good. Just ignore the sales rhetoric!
Key Person of Influence – www.keypersonofinfluence.com
A little evangelical, but still – KPI are the go-to guys for expert strategy and using your own skills and knowledge as a marketing tool. They have an interesting book that outlines their method, and a free Scorecard to help you measure your ability to influence.