I’m gonna cut to the chase on this one… Here are 11 free online tools for creating branding assets and managing your marketing efforts that every musician should know about! “Marketing” is no longer a scary word used only by advertising executives. Indie musicians need good branding to rise above the masses of people able to easily post music. These are sites, platforms and resources I use all the time to help create and track my marketing efforts that are either totally free or free to try:

Bandzoogle – Before you can market yourself, you need to have your branding in order, and that starts with your website! The awesome folks at Bandzoogle have created a website platform that is SO easy peasy (they say “even your drummer can do it” but comeon, we know it’s the bassists that aren’t into self promotion). And because you’re a loyal reader here, you just use this special link to signup and get 1 month free and 15% off for the rest of the year! (And stay tuned for more on how to take your new website out into the rest of your branding.)

Bit.ly – Shorten links and see how powerful your post is by tracking clicks to the link. VERY useful to see where the link gets the most attention! It’s totally in line with one of my favorite work philosophies: Find out what’s working, and do more of that!

Branding-Marketing-logosCanva – Make THE best looking social media headers, profile pics, banners, posters, all with drag and drop templates.

Hootsuite – Once a week I schedule my important posts for my Linked In, Google + (social networks I don’t actively use throughout my day) and Twitter. Note- Facebook has its own scheduler and, the last I heard at the time of publishing this article, Facebook prefers you use that – it punishes (by not showing as often) posts from Hootsuite.

My other favorite scheduler is Buffer and I use it with Hootsuite (the free versions of both) to maximize scheduling when I’m in the zone. And I like Buffer’s interface a bit more.

Mailchimp – This one may seem obvious but every single musician should have a website and a mailing list. This is THE way to connect with fans on a focused, long-term basis. I use Mailchimp to put email signup forms in the prime website-real-estate: top right corner. On my blogs, it’s at the bottom of each article, in the side bar and in popups. Make separate lists for different projects, or from people who purchased music from you, or signed up at shows. Knowing who your fans are and what their interests are will keep them fans for life.

Pop Up Ally – If you DO already have a website in place and use Wordpress as your website host platform, check out Pop Up Ally where you can customize your popups (they are making a comeback for email signups). As an added bonus, try out the free 30 Day List Building Challenge to truly transform your email list!

Toggl – Track how efficient you are. This tool CHANGED MY LIFE. Period. Have fun!

Tweet Chat This is a great tool for joining twitter chats and keeping your replies quick and the feed focused. All you do is type in the chat (my favorite is #ggchat on Thursdays 3 & 9pm EST) and you’ll see the conversation flow in real time. You don’t need to put #ggchat at the end of your tweets because this does it for you!

Tweriod – Knowing your demographic, your target audience, is paramount in building relationships with your followers and fans. Tweriod can tell you WHEN to connect with them by analyzing your twitter followers and determining when they are most active on the platform. Now you can stop wondering when you should tweet that important photo of your latte. (Please don’t.)

Word Swag -Word Swag is my favorite app to quickly make a cool looking call-to-action graphic, spice up an Instagram post, or post a quote on a photo. It’s easy, has great text and font layout options, and makes you look like a pro designer!

So what are your favoring marketing and branding tools? Tell me in the comments below and I’ll add ’em to the list!

I totally geek out on musician branding, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, and definitely sign up for the free In The Key Of Success mailing list to get branding, marketing and musical money-making tips in your inbox! And if you’re SUPER serious about your career, and want to be in a totally new and awesome place in 6 weeks, check out my MX4 online course. It’s kind of awesome.

Please note that a few of the links in this article are affiliate links – meaning, I support the company so much that I’ve partnered with them and I get a little love when you sign up through my link. I only refer companies and sites that I fully support and/or use myself.

If you enjoyed this article, got any sort of value from it, please share it AND consider becoming a patron on Patreon… this way I can keep writing the goods and providing it for free. I love helping artists, so help me help you. (Is that from a movie? I think so).