I have been collecting information about a wealth of helpful tools for small businesses – some of which are apps, and some of which are websites. Because small businesses are always concerned about cost, my reviews will focus on the helpful tools that have a free basic version, but that can be upgraded as your business expands.
Here’s a look at three of the tools I’ve been looking at (and using) over the past few months.
Ripl is an app that helps you create animated images to promote your business. There is a free basic service, which includes a limited number of templates and font/color options. The animated images are created as short MOV files, which can then be uploaded to your social media profiles, or put on a website.
Ripl is fairly simple to use, but it is only available as an app to use on your smartphone or tablet. There is not a desktop option.
For those of you who love Instagram but find the “only one link, and only in your profile” limitation to be problematic, Linktr.ee is a handy workaround. This free tool allows you to create a “tree” of multiple links that you can quickly and easily change around as needed. The “tree” is accessed with one link, which is the link that you can then put in your Instagram profile.
I created a Linktr.ee link for my own Instagram profile. Here, you can see what the link looks like on my profile. Next to it, you can see what the visitor sees when they click on the link (as well as the links when they scroll down).
This way, no matter what I’m posting or how often I post different links, when I say “Click the link in my profile,” a follower can access the info days/weeks later. I can just keep adding links to my tree. The free plan even allows for an unlimited number of links. If you want to customize it with your own brand colors or a custom page title, you can upgrade to the Pro Plan for just $6/month.
Creating a Linktr.ee account is simple: log in using your Instagram account, using either your smartphone (via browser) or via the Linktr.ee website using your PC browser.
If you have not yet heard of WeTransfer, it’s kind of like Dropbox, but much simpler. With the free option, you can quickly upload a bunch of photos or large files (up to 2GB at a time), then send them via a link in an email to another person. The files automatically disappear after seven days, so that you don’t have to deal with storage limit issues.
Businesses that will use WeTransfer on a regular basis (think professional photographers) can upgrade to WeTransfer Plus in order to customize the look of their WeTransfer account, change the default deletion period, or password protect their files.
Bernadette Geyer helps small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creatives expand their reach through clear, concise, and compelling copy in English, so that they can attract more customers with consistent and memorable marketing content. She’s also the author of Branding for Beginners: Why consistency is the key to creating and maintaining a brand image.