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5 Free Tools Every Business Graduate Should Use
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5 Free Tools Every Business Graduate Should Use

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Introduction

I remember one of the very last lectures in University. Professor was telling us about importance of working on our own personal brands. I took his advice literally and started treating myself like one. In a job market we all are competitors, we all are trying to sell ourselves for a higher price and literally compete for top jobs. To quote Suns Su “be where your enemies is not”. By applying this practice you will add additional skills and to your luggage and make yourself more attractive. In allot of cases some of your “competition” are already utilizing them in some shape or form, and the least you can do is to explore how available technology can help you to improve your performance. I combined together a list of tools that will give you a chance to apply same procedures other brands use.

1. Trello

I found this beauty few moths ago and must say I was amazed how such a simple design can solve so many problems. Replacing sticky notes this piece of software (which works on android too) to allows monitoring of collaborative project implementation. While still in university I was trying to adapt some sort of project management software. Must say it was not very popular decision. Yet now I am very please to be able to use something as effective as trello. Big brands are using project management software because due to the high level of activity there is no other way. As you will start to get busy with your own projects, standartised system will become pretty handy to maintain progress.

2. One Page CRM

I have already written article about how great One Page is. Lead management is crucial to all organisations. As a graduate looking for job you will be meeting great number of people who will help you in a future, yet they might not be able to help you right away. This is there CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software will give an edge. One Page is simple enough to be learned in a short period of time and integrates with Google apps, and has more to offer if you choose paid option MailChimp. Even if you embark on social media journey for your success. Monitoring relationships with your growing contacts, with all being documented will allow to use it all for a future reference. Imagine if you get so busy that you will need external help, all work you put in in crm will allow conversation to be continued from there it left off.

3. MaiChimp

Even there might be some emailing clients that provide more flexibility, Mail Chimp is free for up to a 1000 contacts. Now if you maintain good rapport with 1000 of your contacts via phone or in person? It would be great right? But if this relationship is automated, measured and even in one year time you would be a first person in their mind for your skill! If you are a marketer you will definitely be creating content. If you decided to have a blog or maybe create YouTube video, you want it to be seen. Newsletters will give you a chance to share it instantly with your subscribers and give you a boosts in traffic and impressions.

4. Google Drive

I remember using Google docs 5 years ago, and lets put it this way, there was definitely a room for improvement. Nowadays I actually don’t recall when I had problem with any of their products. All works just fine. I personally need someone to proofread my work. This platform allows live editing and communication on a document. For a projects in Uni we were even taking it one step further and with a Skype call were simultaneously creating live document hence saving time on lost meaning in communication. Google presentations makes a perfect platform to make e-books, there is plenty free fonts to import and all exports to PDF. Often I get ideas of what do add to my copy in most unusual places. Before some use to get lost on small pieces of paper, now its all typed up and safe on the cloud. For example to write this article I used my phone, tablet, mine and my girlfriends PC.

5. Canva

Prior to Canva for graphic design I was using Gimp. I even use it now, but when short in time and need to make some professionally looking graphics, rely on this tools allot. If you want to learn more about Canva, press here to read the article. Even it seems simplistic at the beginning, each time I spend playing with filters and fonts, it is still surprising me with something new I could do. Unified branding is required throughout all channels for brand recognition, so why should you treat yourself differently? And learning Canva will be way better than pulling your hair while trying to figure out Gimp or PhotoShop. I personally want to work with graphic designers in a future (because they are artists and know what they do), but understanding “language” will allow me to communicate my ideas better and make better mock-ups for creative briefings.

Conclusion

Even it seems not much, I believe that it is way more beneficial, for someone who is willing, to start small and learn properly. I really, really wish I have used all of the above tools way before than I did. It would definitely give me more experience and understanding about complexity of content marketing, taught me how to maintain group meeting which don’t happen because someone is missing, and just simply do cool designs for Christmas cards. I can’t stress how much CRM could help for maintaining relationships and for your benefit I went through a lot of them to give you something as easy to use as OnePage.

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