I love a good deal, and free is a very good price when the product or service makes sense. If you're on a budget (or just really smart), you'll love my picks for great marketing tools that cost absolutely nothing:
What it is: Instantly convert documents into PDFs.
Why you need it: Why pay for something that you can get for free?
What it is: Cheap fast printing with online interface.
Why you need it: Serviceable business cards that get the job done. Choose from a bunch of templated styles, or pay a little to get even nicer cards.
What it is: Online appointment-setting.
Why you need it: No more phone tag, and no more waiting to check schedules; with GenBook, your clients can choose from your available times and book appointments online.
What it is: Customizable online survey tool.
Why you need it: Because market intelligence is a handy thing to have. Free version allows you to gather essential data from up to 100 prospects and clients per survey.
What it is: Communication software for instant messaging, video chatting, and member-to-member calling.
Why you need it: Free calls to other members, including international.
What it is: Local search business listings. (Click at the bottom of the page: Business Solutions, then choose Local Business Center.)
Why you need it: Help local folks find you, AND get great info on what search terms they were looking for to find someone like you.
What it is: Email marketing and mailing list manager; free for up to 500 subscribers.
Why you need it: Gather the contact info of interested prospects, stay in touch, and analyze the results.
What it is: Free conference (bridge) line.
Why you need it: Host a teleclass, teleseminar, or simply a conference call for prospects, clients, and others interested in working with you.
What it is: Website builder and host.
Why you need it: Yes, you can put up your own website in one hour for zero dollars! Yes, you get more features and support if you actually pay for them, but for a free hosted site builder like either of these is a heck of a deal.
What it is: Blog.
Why you need it: In addition to or in place of a standard website, you can express your thoughts, create a community, or just tell it like it is on your own blog.
What it is: Article bank of free content for newsletters, blogs, or just information.
Why you need it: Posting your articles on these sites costs nothing, but yields big results in terms of capturing the attention of prospects looking for information in your area of expertise, plus it can drive qualified traffic to your site, not to mention the increase in your site's ranking due to links.
What it is: Press release distribution. Upgrade to paid for extra services.
Why you need it: Get the word out about your products, services, information, or accomplishments to radio, TV, magazines, newspapers, news feeds, and other organizations.