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Below are recommendations from Serial Marketer founder David Berkowitz, an agency and tech alum who has vetted thousands of tech startups and founded the Serial Marketers community.
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To share this, use https://mrktr.net/toptech
Note: the newest additions are shaded green.
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CATEGORYUSE CASENAMEFREE VERSION AVAILABLE?ALTERNATIVE 1
ALTERNATIVE 2
ALTERNATIVE 3ALTERNATIVE 4TIPS & NOTES
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AdvertisingAccount-based marketing (ABM) adsTerminusNoRollworksTerminus optimizes ABM ad campaigns
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AdvertisingOut-of-home advertisingFive TierNo(client) Good starter packages for out-of-home ads
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CollaborationFile SharingDropboxYesGoogle Drive
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CollaborationCustom communitiesSlackYesDiscord
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Community managementCommunities: MarketingSerial MarketersYesOnline GeniusesWhat, I can't put my own first? Online Geniuses is the biggest, and I'm a big fan of the team there.
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Community managementSubscriptions / paymentsSpiffyNoLaunchpass
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Content managementContent ideation & publishing (premium)Content LaunchNoAnswer the PublicBlog Compass (Google)HubSpot Blog IdeasContent Launch is very impressive for content ideation and also can source writers cost-effectively. Answer the Public is a great free resource
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Content managementContent schedulingBufferYesLatelyI use Buffer all the time - it always delivers. Lately is very impressive AI-driven software to scale content publishing.
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Content managementContent publishing (visual)PlanolyLaterPlanoly and Later were both recommended by trusted sources
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Content managementContent sourcing (text)Content LaunchNoContent Launch is a useful content management tool but especially good for finding high-quality, cost-effective writers to scale your efforts
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Content managementCopywriting (automated)CopysmithNoUse AI to generate product descriptions, social and search ads, SEO metadata, and blog posts. Use code SERIALMARKETERS for 35% off 3 months. It's impressive tech, and you can try it for free for a week.
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Content managementImage background removalRemove.bgYesStickermuleRemove.bg is a free tool launched December 2018. Stickermule launched a free background removal tool in 2020, and you can use those images when printing products through them.
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Content managementImage productionCanvaYesVisageCanva is very robust. Visage was recommended by my friend Devin B for creating images on demand
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Content managementImage resizing (social, etc)Promo Image ResizerYesPromo has an amazing, free tool to instantly resize images a ton of ways for various social channels - a godsend if you're launching or relaunching a brand
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Content managementProject management for contentCoScheduleYesLoomlyI've used CoSchedule for this, and it's very robust with a wide range of plans. Basic free plan available but team functionality and full features are paid.
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Content managementQuiz productionRiddleNoApesterRiddle focuses on quiz development for lead gen. Disclosure: I'm an advisor.
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Content managementSocial media managementSprout
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Content managementStock photosDepositphotosNoPixabayScopioIcon8Depositphotos has some great credit plans (and periodically shows up in Sumo deals); Pixabay is a good free alternative. Icon8 is a very interesting model where you can customize photos.
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Content managementVideo production (enterprise/professional)StoryhunterNoUserfarmVidmobWochItI used to work at Storyhunter; Wistia was recommended by a friend, and Userfarm is an impressive crowdsourced approach. Vidmob has a strong, streamlined offering.
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Content managementVideo production (apps / tools)HeadlinerYesInvideoLots of options for creating custom videos for different lengths and social platforms
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Creative & designFace generatorThis Person Does Not ExistYes
Generated.photos
RosebudThis Person Does Not Exist uses AI to generate people who look 100% real but are 100% AI-generated. This can come in handy when you need headshots for mockups or other uses. Keep refreshing.
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Creative & designFont identificationWhat the FontYes
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Creative & designHeadshot editorProfile Pic MakerYesProfile Pic Maker takes any photos, removes the background, and then gives you a ton of ways to customize it so you have a great headshot or profile pic.
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Creative & designLogo designTailor BrandsNoTailor Brands has a good basic logo creator tool starting at $3.99/month, though I'm partial to going directly to Fiverr user bangbend from Indonesia who designed three logos for me so far
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Creative & designPresentation designBeautiful.aiYesSlides.aiBeautiful.ai is a robust, free presentation design tool. Slides.ai is designed for startup pitch decks, and there is also a free version.
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Creative & designWord brainstormingRelated WordsYesDiscover words that relate to others - but not just synonyms
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Customer relationship management (CRM)Customer ExperienceThryvHaven't used it but recommended highly by someone in Serial Marketers
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Customer relationship management (CRM)Text messagingNeoYesNeo was the #1 product on Product Hunt when it launched in the fall of 2020.
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E-commerceCrowdfunding managementBackerkitJellopCrowdoxI haven't had to use these, but I'm familiar with Backerkit, and the rest are highly recommended
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Email marketingEmail service providerMailchimpYesSendInBlueActiveCampaignMailchimp is not the cheapest but integrates with everything
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Email marketingEmail list cleanupNeverbounceYesNeverbounce has 1,000 free credits with lots of ESP integrations
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Email marketingEmail personalizationZembulaNoZembula offers an easy way to simplify email personalization with a single snippet of code
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Entrepreneurship Business plan creationLean CanvasYesStrategyzerTurn any pitch or business plan into the Lean Canvas one-page approach that can replace an entire deck. Strategyzer has a ton of tools, many available for free.
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EventsSpeed networkingUpstreamYes
Alex Taub's Upstream app has some of the best 1:1 speed networking functionality
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EventsVirtual event platformsShindigAirmeetHopinBrella
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FinancePitch deck creationThe Company Brief (NfX)YesVery useful tool from the team at NfX that produces a ton of smart resources (NfX = Network Effects)
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FunFace swappingReflect Face SwapYesA very impressive and entertaining use of artificial intelligence (AI) for face swapping
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HardwarePrinterHP OfficeJet Pro 8720NoI love this printer, recommended initially via Wirecutter. It's a great all-in-one device, very fast, and easy to set up.
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HardwareVoice assistantGoogle HomeNoAmazon EchoEcho has more apps and is versatile, but Google is better for productivity, especially if you use other Google services
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ITClean your PC / mobileCCleanerYesI've used CCleaner for ages - it's still the best
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ITSoftware subscription managementIntello
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Learning & DevelopmentAudiobooksAudibleNo (well, few books are free)OverdriveLibby
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Learning & DevelopmentBook synopsesReadwiseNoReadwise is a great service to receive highlights from books you've read on the Kindle - a great refresher, with some other useful features
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Learning & DevelopmentLanguage learningDuolingoYesLingvistQuizletLingvist is more basic but has a smart approach to flash cards
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Learning & DevelopmentEvents - marketingBeeler.techYes
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Learning & DevelopmentEvents - techTechmemeYesProduct Hunt
TechConferences.co
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MarketingAd industry gossipFishbowlYesAgencySpyFishbowl is an ad industry app with anonymous gossip and info-sharing
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MarketingBranded or custom URLsBit.lyYesLoom.ly
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MarketingEmail signature filesNewOldStampNoSigstrI started using NewOldStamp recently after seeing it promoted via AppSumo, and I'm impressed; it starts at $9/month. Sigstr is also a very strong player in this space.
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MarketingEvent spacesSplacerPeerSpaceBizlyHaven't used this yet but heard good things particularly about Splacer
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MarketingInfluencer marketing (influencer identification)KlearGroupHigh
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MarketingMedia MonitoringTalkwalkerYesGoogle Alerts
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MarketingNewsletter publishing (email)MailchimpYesMadMimiI use MailChimp's free version for my own newsletter, having downgraded from the paid version, and I still get 95% of the functionality. A friend highly recommended MadMimi (thanks, Julie S), and it looks great with various price points for SMBs and heavy email marketers.
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MarketingNewsletter spam testMail TesterYes
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MarketingPersona developmentMake My Persona (HubSpot)Yes
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MarketingSignature filesNewOldStampNo
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MarketingSocial AlertsBrandMentionsSpinRampAwarioDigimindFammioI've been using Brandmentions, and it works well for basic purposes. I've done some work with SpinRamp, and they are very impressive. For more enterprise-level recommendations, reach out to me, as I used to work for Sysomos and know the social listening space well.
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MarketingSwagVistaprintNoPrintfulStickermuleI loved Stickermule for stickers until I compared prices with Vistaprint, and the Vistaprint quality is great, especially for their premium products
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MarketingTwitter contact updatesSpoonbillYesMonitors Twitter for changes in bios of people you follow
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Office & Home OfficeBusiness cardsVistaprintNoMoo.comI was a longtime Moo fan, but the prices for Vistaprint are so much better, plus the variety is astounding, and the quality is surprisingly good
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Office & Home OfficeBusiness formation & documentation Zen BusinessYesLegalZoomMost things cost money with Zen Business, but they do have some free offerings, and cost savings were significant over LegalZoom when starting an LLC
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Office & Home Office Coworking (Part-Time)CroissantNo (but free trials)KettlespaceSpacious
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Office & Home OfficeCoworking (Full-Time)WeWorkNoGalvanizeNomadworksNomadworks was formerly Grind
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Office & Home OfficeFinance & tax managementQuickbooks Small BusinessWave FinancialFreshbooksI am a big Quickbooks fan. Via the link, get 50% off QuickBooks Online or 50% off QuickBooks Self-Employed for 6 months. I then started using Wave for invoices, and it makes it very easy to get paid.
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Office & Home OfficeFood deliveryDelivery.comYes (mostly no fees)SeamlessI'm a sucker for Delivery.com's rewards system
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Office & Home OfficeLunch dealsMealPalNoPre-pay for cheap eats from nearby shops
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Office & Home OfficeProposalsBonsaiHarvestProposifyI don't have favorites here but heard good things about these
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Office & Home OfficeStationary (snail mail)HandwryttenNoPostagramThanksterI loved Bond for formal notes, but it ceased operations. Handwrytten looks like a strong alternative with some added features. Postagram lets you send a postcard with a photo, so it's less formal but cheap and perfect for more personal use cases (eg thank you notes for baby gifts).
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Personal FinanceOnline DealsHoneyYesRetailMeNotHoney's the best browser plugin I've tried to automatically find discount codes.
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Personal FinanceRefunds for lower pricesEarnyYesDepending on your credit card, this can save you a lot of money; I've received a bunch of checks in the mail after purchase prices dropped. This one sounds a little hokey, but it works (or at least, it can).
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ProductivityBookmark & Organize LinksPinboardYesGoogle KeepPinboard's best for long-term filing,
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ProductivityBrowser organizers TobyYesThe Great SuspenderOne TabToby organizes all your tabs in one simple page so you can easily access them. It also works great for teams, and there's a free personal version. Note: I mostly use the Chrome browser.
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ProductivityCalendar SchedulingCalendlyYesMixMaxMeetFoxI love Calendly the more I use it. It saves a ton of time, and the customizations and integrations are even more impressive for the price.
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ProductivityCalendar TemplatesSmartsheetYesFree templates for Google calendar
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ProductivityDatabasesAirtableYesI still haven't totally figured out how and when to use it, but it comes highly recommended
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ProductivityDistraction blockerFreedomNoSet rules for blocking social apps/sites, news, entertainment, or other sites/categories where you feel you spend too much time, for desktop or mobile
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ProductivityDocument scannerTurboscanYesTurboscan pro lets you save unlimited documents; the free version works great too
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ProductivityEmail clientSuperhumanSuperhuman was recommended highly by my friend Charlene, and I will try it out as soon as I can
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ProductivityFeed ReaderFeedlyYes
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ProductivityFollow-up remindersFollow-up ThenYesFollow-up Then is a low-tech, crafty way to get email reminders about anything you want follow-up alerts for; there's a solid free offering, and pricing for premium plans starts at just $2/month
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ProductivityInternational clocksWorld Time BuddyYesFIOVery useful tools to show multiple time zones, including ranges of times
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ProductivityMessagingStationYesFranzI loved Franz, but Station seems even more robust and better functioning to bring a lot of messaging apps and other utilities all in one desktop app.
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ProductivityPDF reader / writerXodoYesXodo is a free alternative to Adobe with enough editing features
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ProductivityProject ManagementTrelloYesNotionMondayAsanaI've used Trello sporadically; a friend strongly recommended Notion (thanks Michael R.)
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ProductivityOutsourcing (quick)FiverrNo (free to browse, pay for projects)Try putting a project up for bid instead of finding a freelancer directly
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ProductivityOutsourcing (Longer term)UpworkNo (free to browse, pay for projects)FreeUpPangeaOnlineJobs.phI'm a big fan of Upwork but have sourced certain great hires from FreeUp. FreeUp vets talent and recommends 1-3 people at a time until you find the right one, and I use it often. Pangea is good for finding college student talent and recent grads.
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ProductivityRead / watch links laterPocketYesGreat for near-term organizing; Pinboard and Google Keep are for longer-term plans
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ProductivityText replacementTextExpanderNoTextExpander is a useful PC tool to autoreplace text via keyboard shortcuts
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ProductivityVirtual assistantsCoPilotNoCopilot has modest hourly rates and no minimum number hours to use; they use skilled workers with needs beyond standard 9-5 jobs
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ProductivityVoice transcriptionRev.comYes
Cheap Transcription
OtterTranscribeMeGong.ioRev was recommended by several friends (thanks K.A.). John Biggs started Cheap Transcriptions in 2019 and it looks great (at 1/10 the cost). Otter got a lot of buzz Q3 2018, but it's all AI-driven, and it isn't useful yet if you need a fully baked transcript.
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Professional DevelopmentCoachingHireClubThe code here gets you $20 off
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Professional DevelopmentEmployment lawyerSteven SackYes (free initial consultation)Amazing lawyer, reasonable rates, and very knowledgeable. Call him to review a new contract or a separation agreement.
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Professional DevelopmentIntroductionsBridgeYesBridge is my secret weapon for making and tracking introductions. I made so many more intros thanks to this app (150+).
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Professional DevelopmentJob search: agencySiftlyYes (for seekers)
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Professional DevelopmentJob search: executiveExecThreadYesExecuNetExecThread is a private community for executive-level jobs. ExecuNet has a lot of listings and charges for quarterly memberships.
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Professional DevelopmentJob search: remoteRemoteOnlyYesWeWorkRemotely
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Professional DevelopmentJob search: startupsVentureLoopYesAngelListStartup.jobs