I couldn’t do business without these 10 things. Some are obvious but I’m listing them anyway!
I’ll say it is my fave fave: my camera 😉 If you are sharing your work you need good pictures to show what you do and who you work with. If you don’t want the expense of a professional camera, smart phones are pretty damn good.
Along the lines of images (I am a photographer so I dig this stuff) you will want a good editing tool. Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop is a big dog, don’t stress yourself out using it unless you are a photographer). I use Lightroom solely. I rarely if ever pull anything into Ps. On my phone I use Lightroom also or these apps: Tezza and Instagram. Truly editing is pretty simple and easy. You need to go in and adjust lighting, highlights and shadows- just slide the sliders back and forth to see the effect and then tweak it to just the right spot. Use the color temperature slider to keep whites from looking yellow or blue and use the tint to add pink or green to offset the pink or green in the white areas of the photo. Sharpening is always welcome and contrast (but not too much). The blacks are nice too. Play around-that’s my best tip! I’m going to include my computer and phone to this must have section. I feel mentioning them is redundant since it’s obvious but I don’t want them to feel left out.
Client Management Software. I use 17hats but I have friends who use Dubsado and Tave. You need to look into what they offer and match that to what you need.
Flodesk for emails. I want easy, like always! So I use Flodesk as my email workhorse. It has segments and easy drag and drop design. I’m still a novice when it comes to lead magnets and nurture sequences but I’m learning 🙂
Canva! Whew, I am not sure why I snubbed them for so long. I think it was because I could do stuff in Ps so why would I use something ANYONE could use. That is the dumbest thing ever! Use this tool. It is simply the easiest thing out there to make a quick branded design. However when you are really in a rush and want to put a few words on an image and post while running out the door, I also love Word Swag. Super easy to use and they have stock photos too.
Speaking of stock photos, as a photographer I both create them and buy them. I’m a long long time client of Shay Cochrane since before she started Social Squares a monthly subscription for continually updated stock photos to use in your business. It’s affordable and she recently added all this amazing business education. Truly, you need her in your life. AND I just became an affiliate so if you want to sign up, please please use my link! SOCIAL SQUARES MEMBERSHIP
Social Media. You don’t have to be a mastermind at this but you should probably give some time to it. My fave place to share is instagram but I do stuff on facebook also. Even LinkedIn and Pinterest but most of my focus is the IG crowd. I help creative entrepreneurs and women-led businesses create gorgeous imagery for their brands and their social media feeds. These are of utmost importance. If you don’t believe me then please tell me if you actually stay on a website or a social feed you are led to if the images are craptastic and they don’t flow? I don’t. If you don’t care enough to have professional images then why should I care enough to shop or hire your services? My opinion isn’t solely based on that but it is a definite way for me to forget a business and reach out to someone else. You only get one impression including social media so get it to look pretty and work on your copy!
Google Calendar. I put everything on it and it’s wherever I go.
Dropbox. I’m not sure every creative business needs this and you could certainly go with Google Docs but as a photographer, Dropbox has been my go to for years and it works seamlessly with my computer and phone.
Quickbooks. This holds all my business financial stuff. It’s amazing for invoices and for reports. Easy to use (although my husband Scott does all my financial work) even for me.
These aren’t my only tools and they do change a smidge as I learn new things but as of today, I couldn’t do business without these things.