Top 5 FREE small business tools to help you find new market opportunities FAST! | InspireHUB

 

With a drastically changed economy, many businesses are finding the need to pivot to embrace new products and services quickly. Being agile means survival.

There are a handful of simple, FREE tools that will help you understand the opportunities emerging within your market in real-time. It’s like having a team of virtual assistants whose job is to gather market insights and competitive intelligence and drop them on your doorstep, allowing you to find the right resources and ideas to adapt quickly.

The differentiation strategy that helps you not only survive but thrive is only a click away!

 

Here are 5 FREE tools that make it easy to find what you need to quickly pivot your small business:

1. Neil Patel's Ubersuggest

Say you own a small winery, and you want to tap into the very best resources, curated by people like you who have been searching for them too, offered to you based on trust and authority? While Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is designed to help people find the best keywords to tuck into their websites to help them build their search engine traffic (also a useful exercise to get more qualified leads to the top of your sales funnel!), it’s also a simple way of tapping into the most authoritative resources to do a quick competitive analysis. While other small wineries are faced with closing their doors because of pandemic tasting room lockdowns, some are thriving. What is it they’re doing that’s resulted in a 477% online sales increase since last year, and which of their best practices can you adopt as differentiation strategies of your own? Here’s a quick way to see this in action. Type in the term “small wineries” and then click on the linked phrase in the search results.

Ubersuggest -  small business owners example

Sometimes casting a broad net -- for instance, “small business owners” -- will bring back resources and ideas and resources you hadn’t considered.

Ubersuggest - small wineries example

One of the most useful things about Ubersearch is that it’s intended to bring back the most highly ranked and trusted resources, making it easier to filter the noise and quickly find what you need.

Ubersuggest is available here.

Want it available in just one click? You can add it as a Chrome extension here. (Looking for a quick way to understand how to use it and get started? Neil has more on that here.) Enabling the Chrome extension will also add Ubersuggest results to your Google search pages, giving you real-time insights into the questions and comparisons people are typing into searches with a button that lets you export a report to see the top related resources with just a click.

PRO TIP: Ubersuggest is just one of the many valuable tools Neil Patel offers to help small businesses. Take time to wander through his digital library to discover some of the other free resources he provides to help you grow your business.

 

2. Google Alerts

Google Alerts - small businesses pivoting during COIVD-19Google Alerts is a free digital assistant that watches for new things being added to the internet, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then emails you linked content snippets based on what you would see in Google search results.

Wondering how you might reboot your business to keep your doors open during lockdowns? Add an alert for “small businesses pivoting during COVID-19.”

Want to make it relevant to your industry? Try “restaurants pivoting during COVID-19” (replacing “restaurants” with your industry or niche).

Want to be sure to know as soon as new “small business relief funding” becomes available? It’s simple to create an alert to watch for new content added for that too!

PRO TIP: Why not set up Google alerts to track your business name and separate alerts to follow your competitors? this gives you a quick way to keep on top of what's being shared about your business, and also a way to see some of the innovative new things others in your industry are doing to adapt!

You can set up and manage custom Google Alerts here.

 

3. Feedly

Feedly - let it gather resources from the web or curate and share your ownWant to teach your digital assistant to be a little smarter about the resources it brings back?  Aggregation and curation tools like Feedly use artificial intelligence so you can teach them to bring back resources that are more closely aligned with your personal preferences.

Rather than emailing you results, Feedly gives you a hyper-personalized, magazine-style feed that lets you follow many different things all at once, categorizing and sorting them in the way that makes the most sense to you. You can have Feedly fetch from trusted sources that you specify instead of, or in addition to results harvested from the web at large, and can tell it to exclude sources for which you don’t want to see content.

You’re also able to share "boards" on your Feedly stream with your network, adding in your own favourite content too.

While Feedly is free, you can upgrade for a small fee to tap into a broader range of filters as you grow.

Feedly is available here.

Looking for alternatives to collaboratively research and share key industry trends with your team on private hubs? Or maybe you want to aggregate and curate content with your clients to build your professional brand through an automatically-generated blog? You might consider these tools, which not only allow you to gather and share insights with your team and your network but automatically publish them as a branded newsletter and instantly share them out to your website and social media accounts:

Why does this matter?

PRO TIP: Curating content and inviting engagement helps build community, and building relationships drives sales. Sharing content that people subscribe to gives you a chance to build your mailing list, one of your most valuable assets. People have given you permission to share with them. Using that content to create additional opportunities for engagement helps establish you as a trusted authority, keeping you top-of-mind when it comes time to make purchase decisions. A terrific resource to help frame that journey:

 

4. Google Trends

Google Trends - resource harvesting and competitive analysis in one easy toolData can be used to tell stories, including about the creative ways that people are busting the current economic crisis and turning it into an opportunity. Google Trends is not only a really useful tool for tracking the pulse globally and regionally but also an excellent discovery engine for ideas and resources to help small businesses solve problems and grow.

For instance, here’s what’s capturing the most attention worldwide around:

You can limit the results in a number of ways, allowing you to see how a particular trend evolves over a month, a year or years, detecting patterns of interest over time. You can filter results based on categories like “Business & Industry”, “Food & Drink” and so on. You can also drill down geographically. If your small business is based in the U.S., you can limit the results to your location nationally, or even regionally if you want to limit results to state, county or community.

For instance, if you're a boutique winery owner targeting California, you can drill down in more detail by narrowing the categories filter to "Food and Drink" then use the region filter to zoom in.

Google is currently featuring Coronavirus Search Trends, allowing you also to take a closer look at daily trends. While at first glance this may not seem like a small business resource, being able to see what people are interested in gives you a chance to see where you may be resources or knowledge to help solve those pain points. What do the people in your community, state or market need that you can provide?

PRO TIP: Overly specific search queries may be useful in general Google searches, but don’t do well when searching for trends. For instance:

In these instances, simply using Google search and leveraging the featured snippets and related searches returned with top-ranked results can quickly get you the resources you need.; Instead of using Google Trends for deeply targeted questions like the ones above, type them into Google search:

If you added Neil Patel's Ubersuggest Chrome extension to your browser, you'll have the added benefit of deeper insights and one-click reports to get you to the top-ranked, trusted resources straight away. (More details in tool #1 at the top of this page.)

Want to filter results based on real-time headlines? Click the “News” tab on the top of the Google search results page to get the most current daily resources. With a constant stream of new content, this can provide a different perspective.


Tap into Google Trends here.

 

5. LinkedIn Hashtags and Groups

LinkedIn - use hashtags and groups to find new resources and opportunities and resourcesHashtags aren't just a way to signal intent on your content; they're great magnets for discovering new ideas and natural allies.

They act as "channels" that we can tune in to, much like following our favourite news, business, science and history channels on tv.

Where your general feed will share content filtered by the people you follow (what they share, what they are liking and commenting on), hashtags give you a quick way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio by filtering with topical intent.

Here are a few simple ways to put them to work as discovery engines for what you care about most right now …



  • If you look down the right-hand side of any hashtag page, you will also see “Today’s news and views” offering a glimpse into what’s currently on people’s minds through the day’s top professional news stories and conversations.

 

Hashtags also help us discover LinkedIn groups where those conversations are happening regularly and in a very intentional way. Don’t belong to any groups yet? You can search other trusted communities that share and support your goals.

PRO TIP: Not sure where to start? Click on the hashtags on the bottom of LinkedIn posts and articles you find helpful to discover new filters worth following.

In a previous article, I talked about some of the ways that small businesses might consider using LinkedIn hashtags to tune in to crisis management and business continuity resources with just a click. You can tap into those insights here:

 

Want more great resources? We're here to help!

 

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Topics: small business, business tools, digital engagement, competitive strategy, differentiation strategy, ecommerce, Digital Rescue Kit, business strategy, change management, growth strategies, crisis management, business continuity, pivots, omnichannel marketing, engagement strategy, relationship marketing, grow your business, market insights, competitive analysis, digital assistant, curation, digital marketing, virtual assistant, aggregation tools

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