I can always go for a good cinnamon roll…
Note: Some links are affiliate links which means I get some cool thank-you money for you purchasing through them. 🙂 BUT–rest assured, I only brag on stuff I actually use, serves me well, and I think would be a good fit for you too.
Flashback to 2020 (don’t run away yet!) and my husband got me a watercolor palette for my birthday. To paint another picture for you, my birthday is April 30, so 1 day before the “official” stay at home order ended, and about 2483759 days until it actually ended. Hmm.. has it? We’re still PRETTY MUCH at home.. But I digress…
In 2018 I had started this little side-gig as an artist painting ornaments and paintings of people’s houses, dogs, etc. You get it. It was a holiday thing (mostly), and it was enough at that time to pay the outstanding bills we had (cut to the financial crisis we went through in 2018 that led to the necessary side-gig as a stay at home mama of 2 kiddos 2 and under and 7 months pregnant with baby #3)…
When I opened the paint palette in the middle of having been stuck at home for 2 months by myself (hubby was an essential worker), it felt like the heavens were opening up for me. TRULY. Sounds a little bit “out there” I know, but that’s truly how I felt.
Clearly, we were very much stuck at home. When I painted, I could be in open fields. I could go anywhere. I could do anything, and as a mom in quarantine trying to make it through the day, even though it sucked to be stuck at home, that palette gave me the push I needed to paint my very very very first collection.
So, why bring up that watercolor palette? Because it was the first real RESOURCE that gave me confidence as an artist. No one told me being an artist IS MORE THAN JUST PAINTING. My guess?! They didn’t really know either or they didn’t really think it would happen.
Either way, being a creative entrepreneur (especially a one woman show) is WAY more than just painting. BUT that palette? It started the painting which made me start this business for real which led to where we are here and now.
Today I’m sharing my go-to business resources as a creative entrepreneur that I cannot live without (and while I do include that paint palette, it’s not one of them! Unless you’re into that sort of thing, then click here and get yours!).
And all of these? I WISH I would’ve known about them in 2018 instead of starting in 2020 saying things like, “What’s an email list?! What’s a CRM? What’s a graphic?!
I wrote a whole post about why I chose Flodesk over the competitors and here’s the basic info:
I love Flodesk. I started with just plain old Google (yup!), then tried MailChimp (too much work and couldn’t figure it out) and loved ConvertKit but wasn’t ready to fork over that kind of cash for my email list of 5 (including my mom). Flodesk’s design capability is unmatched–I don’t have time as a homeschooling mama of 3 kiddos to spend hours creating the perfect design, then uploading it, etc. Flodesk is beautiful.
Also? Sometimes Flodesk can get a bad rap BECAUSE of those beautiful designs (I know–I love it too, but some people love copy-focused emails). But guess what? Flodesk is perfectly 100% amazingly capable of creating the perfect copy-focused emails. I definitely stand by the thought that copy dictates design, and not the other way around.
As Ashlyn Carter says, “Don’t let conversion die on the hill of “but I just want it to be pretty.” Flodesk? It can do BOTH. Pretty & focused. Bonus? Flodesk just started Flodesk University where they’ll go through TONS of great info on email marketing.
Client services? YEP. HoneyBook is a game-changer. I use it for communication with clients–it helps keep ALL the good stuff together. Wanna know a secret?! It also can store all your template emails so you can respond at the click of a button with a few simple tweaks.
I LOVE that HoneyBook keeps track of ALL my clients in one place. If you didn’t know, there’s a LOT that goes into commissioning artwork, and I make sure my clients are 100% happy with their purchases. I’ve never had a complaint, but I’m always up for learning more–this system allows me to stay on track with each of my collectors, keep their meetings, commission information, and payment information all in the same place. For someone scatterbrained like me, it helps SO MUCH. Mom-brain kicks in if I don’t write things down. This helps like CRAZY.
I had literally never heard of it before Ashlyn Carter’s Primed to Launch, but after taking her advice, I store everything in Trello. I have my client workflows accessible. I have captions written out. I bank my story ideas here. I keep track of important brand information that I always forget (oh hey, PO Box number…), and so much more. If you’d like to try it, (not an affiliate link) but Ashlyn Carter has a great resource to help you. Click here to get it. I’m all for making things my own, but why reinvent the wheel when someone already made it so well! Am I RIGHT?! Work smarter, not harder.
You may not know this, but I never write on the platform I’m working on. All of my writing happens in my Google Docs.
Blog Posts? Yep–I’ve got a template I copy and paste each time I write a blog post (also an amazing share from my virtual BFF Ashlyn Carter) Google her and click free resources (also click the link above)
Email copy templates? Yep–gang’s all here.
Website copy? Absolutely–so much easier making edits on my Google Doc than trying to reconfigure all the Squarespace squares.
Literally everything is there. And thank goodness, because when I was a teacher in the before times my computer DIED and I lost EVERYTHING–all my lesson plans, all my data, EVERYTHING. I only had what was in hard-copy form or on the cloud in my google drive. Lesson LEARNED. Always save, and save it to the CLOUD.
I’d provide you a link, but I’m preeeeettttyyyy sure you can figure out how to use Google. Go to google.com. 🙂 Very figureoutable.
Last but certainly NOT LEAST–Canva. Oh Canva, I am so thankful for you. Talk about making creating graphics a BREEZE.
The only note I have is that if you don’t know what your brand looks like, take a moment and think on it before you just start playing around with all the templates. There’s about a bazillion and your brain might explode a little bit with excitement, but nothing will look similar. (speaking from experience…)
Create social media graphics, stories, and so much more. Spoiler alert?! I even used Canva to hack some non-code related things on my website (because code? What’s that!?).
There’s some juicy stuff here, friends, and while each has some work on the front end, each is TRULY a time-saver on the backend. Speaking from experience, work smarter not harder.
JUST FOR YOU–I’m including a quick and dirty download of MY FAVORITE RESOURCES (and a few I didn’t list here. Click here to get yours.
And, because I’m an artist and can’t let you leave without this amazing freebie—here’s a free landscape download to add peace to your office space—8×10 and easily printable at Walgreens. 🙂