Why You Should Share

I got an email newsletter the other day with a link to what looked like a useful tool (an ROI calculator).

Lovebirds [Not; They're Lories]
Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr

Since I’m always on the lookout for additions to my “cool tools for creatives” feature, I filed it for future use.  Then yesterday, someone on Linkedin was asking how what a good response rate was and how to figure ROI for direct marketing.  I thought, oh, I know, I’ll post the link to the tool.

I clicked back to the email, clicked on the link, and started to post it.

Then I stopped.

The link went to a sign up page, which seemed to be for the newsletter I was already receiving.  Since I didn’t want to sign up twice.  I left.  I didn’t post the link either, since posting a link to a sign up page (even if it wasn’t mine) seemed rather rude (and not helpful).

The person who created the tool lost a link.  I lost the opportunity to help.  Did anyone benefit? Creating new tools or ebooks (hey look, there are three of them in the right sidebar) or videos helps spread your ideas, get more links to your site, and introduce yourself to new potential new customers. But not if you hide them.

Sure, there are times when putting something behind a sign up page makes sense.  But why try to build your list with people who are already on it?  And if you make a useful free tool, why not spread it? Even birds know it’s good to share.

What do you think?

9 Cool Tools for Freelancers and Creatives

lincoln log crayons

It’s the little things that can make your life easier and better. Here are some tools that can help you remember your great ideas, keep you out of trouble, and spiff up your web site.

1. Google Goggles for Gmail

Ever send an email and wish you hadn’t? Google Goggles (for gmail) forces you to stop and think first. You can’t send the email until you solve some simple math problems. Set it for a particular time of day (or all the time). Open up gmail and go to settings/labs/gmail. More details at google tutor’s post how to avoid sending embarrassing emails.

2. Font Finder

What’s that font? Need to duplicate a font and not sure what it is? Check out the Linotype Font Finder. Answer a few questions and presto! Your mystery font is identified.

3. Jing

Need a quick video? Don’t have Camtasia? Try Jing. It’s free and will make a 5-minute video capture of your screen.

4. Jott

Haven’t got a pen handy (god forbid), or want to leave yourself a note? Try Jott. It takes your voice messages (or messages from your clients and friends) and turns them into text messages. So, you don’t have to retype (or type at all).

5. Basecamp

Bascamp is a web project management and collaboration tool. Keep track of each stage of your project, make edits, and keep files all in one place. It’s especially helpful when you’re working virtually.

6. Maczot

Maczot – Sort of like woot for Mac software. One cool Mac software tool every day, at reduced prices.

7. Buttons!

Here’s a tutorial for making buttons in Photoshop. Step-by-step instructions.

8. Ebook covers

How-to tutorial on creating 3-d ebook covers (with template outlines). Or, buy 3-D box software.

9. Google Analytics Link Tracker

Yet another cool tool from Google (thanks to Paul Cunningham for pointing this out). This is a Google Analytics tracker. It lets you track clicks back to your site when you publish an ebook, or a newsletter, or an article. It’s especially helpful with a free ebook or report that you want to spread.

Share your own tools

Got a  tool you can’t live without?  Share it in the comments.

More about tracking tomorrow.

Image thanks to: laffy4k