My Business Resource List | PART ONE: ONLINE TOOLS
I love talking productivity with my clients and other business owners. And since I’m a huge research nerd I’m always on the lookout for new programs, services and apps that can make running my business easier.
I also love getting a behind the scenes sneak peaks at other businesses. Here at Nash Franks Creative I’m an open book. So I made a list of everything I use to keep my business running. Some of the links I share are *affiliate links, which means that if you sign up or purchase something with that link then I make a small commission. Don’t worry though amigo, I’d never share anything that I don’t believe in 110% and use myself.
There’s something else I have to confess to you guys. In addition to being a research nerd, I’m also a course junkie. I’m not kidding… it is a little out of control, but I love to learn and there are so many smart people out there. I’ve made some purchases that were..eh not so great, but I do wanna share some that I learned a lot from and I constantly refer back to as I’m working with clients and doing the day to day of online business life. So in addition to sharing the tools and programs I use to run my business I’m gonna share with you my most favorite and helpful courses that I’ve taken.
As I was writing out this list, it started to get out of hand. So I decided to break this post down into 3 parts: Tools, Courses, & Misc (+ stock photo sources).
Let’s dive in with Part One: TOOLS. These are my day to day, go to programs and apps.
My site is hosted on Squarespace and I build my client’s websites there too. I love their templates and how easy they are to customize. I really love them for my clients because they are easy for them to update and keep up with if they don’t want to keep hiring me to do updates. I think it is also very easy for clients that blog to work with as well.
I pay for G Suite so that I can have my @nashfrankscreative.com email address. I love my gmail, so it seemed like a no brainer. PLUS, my email is not tied to my web hosting service, which means that should I ever decide to change in the future, I don’t have to worry about moving my emails. G Suite also offers upgraded additional storage space for all my business files. I signed up for it through Squarespace and it's $50 a year.
This s the HUB of how I keep track of projects and to-dos, both in business and in life. In this YouTube video I shared how have my daily review set up in Asana. I also use it for client projects. We can communicate through Asana and I can assign tasks for them to accomplish too. Best of all it’s FREE (if you have less than 15 team members) and it’s really powerful. I honestly can’t believe it’s free.
Along with Asana, Dubsado is how I keep my client process running smoothly. I use Dubsado to send contracts, invoices, host a client portal and I can even email through Dubsado with my email. They are constantly updating and adding new features, and best of all.. They are SO NICE. They are very kind people who are always willing to help. Just love it!
I started out with Mailchimp, and I do still love it, but they way Convertkit works with forms and tagging just works better with how my brain works. I don’t have a huge list.. Yet, but I’m willing to pay the cost of Convertkit (vs free Mailchimp) just because it works with how my brain works, and I’m all about saving brain bites for other more creative endeavors!
//UPDATE - 13 SEPT 2019//
I just signed up for a new email provider called Flodesk* It’s so pretty and so simple, I’m really liking the simplicity so far. I still have Convertkit and really love it still, but I wanted to try Flodesk because they don’t charge you more the more subscribers that you have. This isn’t really a concern for me right now since my list is small, but I’m thinking long term here. What is also super cool about Flodesk is that I signed up with a friend’s affiliate link and locked in $19/month for LIFE! That saves me $120/yr over Convertkit (which would also increase in price once my list gets bigger). Interested? I can also give you 50% off for LIFE if you sign up with the code: NASHFRANKS
The jury is still out whether or not I’ll like it better, but for savings that great, I’m willing to give it a try. It would also be a great alternative to MailChimp at this low of a price point.
Ok, so yeah, I know I’m a graphic designer, but my clients aren’t…. and that’s where Canva comes in handy. I use Canva a lot to design templates for my clients to use and customize for their businesses. And sometimes Adobe Illustrator is giving me fits and I just need to make a social media graphic super fast, so I go to Canva. They do have a mobile app, but I honestly hate designing on it and can’t ever figure out how to just get my image onto my phone so I can upload it to Instagram or Facebook. But desktop version is great and it’s also FREE! If my clients think they will use it a lot, I recommend Canva for work. They can pay to have upgraded features, like uploaded fonts, which helps them when they are creating their own social media graphics.
I use the free version of Planoly to plan my Instagram feed. I use it to save hashtag lists and auto-post, so I don’t have to worry about posting at a certain of the day. They are an official partner with Instagram, so I know I don’t have to worry about breaking any Instagram rules. Don’t wanna mess with that algorithm ;)
Oh.. I do love Adobe Illustrator so much. This seriously is what I spend the majority of my time using for my business. It’s so powerful and has so many features, I’m sure I’m missing a ton, but I learn more every day it seems. As far as the Creative Cloud goes, I also use Adobe InDesign and I’m learning more about Lightroom too for editing my photos.
Slack is like the best group communication tool out there. It seamlessly flows between my laptop and my iphone. Why not use a Facebook Group? You might ask… well I find FB to be a serious time suck. Slack is just about communicating and I love how you can have different channels for various topics. I can also DM individuals in my group. I also find that it is MUCH easier to search for content within Slack than on a FB Group, which can be super helpful when you’re in a group with a bunch of rockstars who are super friendly and full of helpful information.
Speaking of a community full of rockstars!!! This business group is seriously one of THE TOP investments I’ve made in my business this year (well starting last year to be technical). There are super friendly amazing business owners who are sharing their stories and advice. There is just this spirit of community and generosity and desire to help each other succeed, which I love. Kyrsten, of Copper Kettle Co is the founder of LBG and she has big plans on how to keep making the community even better so this isn’t a group you’ll just want to join for a month or so… there is longevity to the group. FOR.SURE.
//UPDATE - 13 SEPT 2019//
Launch Brand Grow is now Bloom Boldly and is run by the sweetest human on earth, Vanessa Ryan. The same amazing people are still in the community, with even more awesome folks joining and sharing their expertise.
I just started using Zoom for the Mastermind that I’m teaching in the LBG Community and I’m really enjoying it. It’s super easy to use. I can record the calls and re-purpose them as video or even audio, so I love that.
WOW… that’s quite a list, and it’s only Part 1. Next post will be all about Courses, so stay tuned for that. For now, I want to know what tools do you love using for your business? Do we use some of the same? Anything that I missed that you think I HAVE to check out? Let me know in the comments por favor!