Creative business idea number 4: the best best creative business online tools and apps to help you.
Over the years as I’ve built up my own creative business, I’ve built up a really useful box of online tools I couldn’t do without. So, I thought I’d share the best creative business online tools and apps with you to help you run – and grow – your business too!
Best creative business online tools & apps
Best creative business online tools #1 – Tailwind
Scheduling app Tailwind is the best tool for putting your Pinterest strategy into practice – so I would heartily recommend you give it a try if you’re not already using it. You can get a month’s free trial before you commit. I love working with Tailwind and it has been absolutely crucial in allowing me to grow my Pinterest to over 2.5 million viewers a month. Have a read of my post about creating a solid Pinterest strategy to get ideas for your own business.
If you do decide to give it a go, this is a really helpful video tutorial to get you started:
Best creative business online tools #2 – Canva
I always used to use Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator for everything. For complicated design projects, they are definitely the best software for the job. However, I have found that free-to-use Canva is a fantastic, easy way to create graphics and designs really quickly and easily. And because time is money, I would recommend you try Canva for creating graphics and designs (there are ready-sized graphics for specific social media which I have found particularly handy). I save a template once I’m really happy with it and then use this with new images to create further graphics).
To edit or crop images, Canva Photo Editor is simple and effective (and also free.)
This tutorial video is really helpful to get you started:
There’s lots of help and advice available when you’re on the website – including Design School, with tutorials and courses. There’s lots of content to help you create a strong brand identity and great designs from there.
Best creative business online tools #3 – Flodesk email marketing
I spent years with Mailchimp, spending way too much for too little. I designed the best templates available, but always felt underwhelmed by the finished look and feel.
The game changed totally for me when I came across Flodesk. As soon as I laid eyes on the clean and simple email design templates by Flodesk I was in love. And a little bit excited – which is how really good design makes you feel isn’t it? I knew I’d found something special and wanted to know more. It had just launched and I got chatting to founders Martha and Rebecca before I made the leap over. They answered all my questions and I have only ever been happy I made the move. That was a couple of years ago now and Flodesk is going from strength to strength, with new features and functionality brought in all the time.
Great news: you can Save 50% on the most beautiful email template designs with Flodesk with this unique affiliate link: https://flodesk.com/c/FROMBRITAINWITHLOVE
Click here to see an example of a recent newsletter I sent out with Flodesk so you can see if you like the look and feel too…
Newsletter sign up box
Whatever your social media following, the one thing you actually own yourself is your email list and it’s a hugely valuable asset. These are the people who have actively taken the time and trouble to say that they want to hear from you. Your email subscribers are worth their weight in gold – and you need to make them feel this.
I’d advise you to prioritise building up an email database from day one.
With Flodesk it was really easy to create a beautiful newsletter sign up pop-up box that brings in newsletter sign-ups all the time – 50K new subscribers just since I moved over. And the click throughs and opens rates are so much higher than they were with Mailchimp.
Don’t underestimate the value of personalising the wording as well as the look and feel of the design. This is your audience, so speak to them in your own voice and make them feel your appreciation.
Best creative business online tools #4 – Buffer for Twitter
Buffer is the scheduling app I find works best here and is particularly useful for posting lots of content to a specific twitter event (such as #ethicalhour #HandmadeHour #UpcycledHour…). That way you’re free to be more active in responding to the chat and interactions to your content. I have sponsored a few hashtag events within my community and without Buffer to take care of regular tweets throughout the hour, it would have been impossible to keep abreast of all the comments and interactions when everything starts to kick off. Because I only use Buffer for one social media platform, the basic free plan works fine for my needs.
Best creative business online tools #5 – Asana
To be honest, I am old school when it comes to To Do lists and prefer a nice notebook and sturdy pencil or ink pen. But I have dabbled with Asana when I’m organising a complicated project with multiple strands and set deadlines. It’s quick and easy to set it all up and you receive alerts and reminders to your phone as deadlines approach. I must admit I stopped using it for daily organisation as I’ve come to realise I’m a somewhat obtuse individual who doesn’t take kindly to being hassled. Even if it’s by an app that I have set up myself to do just that. I can only accept that it must be something to do with getting older. Now, where’s my notebook and pen? That’s the only downside with the old school approach. I do tend to have a couple of notebooks on the go because I’m always losing them…
They are my favourite tools and apps to help me run my creative business. I hope you found something useful to help you run your creative business more effectively. I would love to know what yours are too!
I’ll be sharing other online tools and apps, such as photo editing, in the Social media post, so watch this space…
I’m sharing my 10 Steps to Creative Business Success in a series of separate posts, as well as a PDF with all the information in one place for you to download and keep at the end.
The 10 steps I’ll be covering are:
- Website design inspiration using WordPress and Squarespace
- Photography tips for makers
- Don’t underestimate the power of a solid Pinterest marketing strategy
- The best online tools and apps to help you
- Social media marketing, photography, storytelling and strategy
- Profitability & how to build a sustainable business
- Make a clear marketing strategy plan
- Don’t be afraid to learn from mistakes
- The power of planning to help you build a sustainable business
- Sometimes forget the plan and seize the moment
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A PIN TO SAVE TO PINTEREST