In my time as a marketing professional, I’ve amassed a list of resources that have helped me – especially in the early days before I’d really learned to flex my design muscle. Here are some of the tools I use (or have used). Many are free or low cost… all of them can help you promote your business on a budget. As technology changes, so do I. Make sure to bookmark this page so you’re always getting the latest content.

Stock Photos

Picjumbo – free stock photos that look anything but! They have a subscription based option as well.
morgueFile – free stock photo site, without restrictions
Pixabay – free stock photo site, without restrictions
Flickr – photo site with the ability to search Creative Commons open licensed photos which are free with appropriate attribution
Big Stock – paid stock photo site with free trial

Design Tools

Canva – make posters, social media pictures, desktop wallpapers and more. Designer looks without the steep learning curve.
Creative Market – free and low cost ready-to-use design assets, templates, fonts, themes and more.
PicMonkey – free online photo editing
Rhonna Designs – low cost app for iPhone and Android. Allows you to make graphics and social media content easily and intuitively.
Instant Eyedropper – find out the colour values in RGB, CMYK, HTML and more from any application on your computer.
DaFont – an online directory of free fonts available for download.
Google Fonts – an online directory of free fonts available for download.
MailChimp – free electronic newsletters with built in or DIY designs
LibreOffice – free office software including word processing, spreadsheets and more

Services

Fiverr – a directory of services available, starting at only $5! Logos, photo and video editing, press release writing and more.
SurveyMonkey – free basic survey tool, perfect for market research. More features available with subscription.
HootSuite – manage all of your social media feeds and mentions in one spot. Basic service for free with extended features with subscription.
Bitly – shorten URLs for easier sharing over social media + tracking
Square – credit card processing with low transaction fees & no monthly fees (Full disclosure: This is an affiliate link and we will both receive free transactions if you sign up under it.)
Peek – free videos of your website being tested by actual users

DIY Websites

Boho Fox Designs – is the *only* DIY website I recommend. There are 7 templates to choose from, each with their own personality, and can be customized to your brand for under $200. They’re built on the Divi theme for WordPress, so you get world-class SEO and blogging capabilities.

Printers

Docuplex – Vancouver-based small printer with personalized service
TPH – Canadian printing company for on and offset jobs
MOO – International printer (this is the Canadian shop) with BEAUTIFUL and unique options
Vista Print – budget printing and marketing supplies
Staples – print jobs in store and online

Web Hosting

I Recommend SiteGround for Web Hosting

Now, I’m adding this little blurb in even though it isn’t a free resource, because I think it’s really important to know who to trust in the online space. I don’t make referrals easily – someone needs to show me they’re trustworthy before I’ll send my peeps their way, and SiteGround has the chops.

We’ve all heard the nightmare stories… Hosting companies with lots of downtime… With unhelpful support staff that you need to social media shame to get any help from… With no backup plans so if your site DOES crash, it also goes ka-put. It’s scary stuff, and you know what, I’ve had ZERO issues with SG. No downtime, super friendly staff, great pricing. They’ve earned my trust, so I’m comfortable sending you their way.

Full disclosure: I love SG so much that I became an affiliate, so if you do buy from this link, it’s possible I will receive a small compensation from them. Let me be clear – I’m not doing it for the kickback. I use SiteGround for my own hosting and recommend them to my customers and prospects.