Busy season is officially here! It made me think about all the awesome programs + tools that I use to run my business successfully. So many of these are lifesavers especially when I’m super busy.
Dubsado is a life-saver! I started using their online client management software last summer + fell in love instantly. They help me stay so organized with my projects + tasks, make sure I don’t double book + save me so much time with templates for emails, contracts + forms. There is also still so much more the software has to offer + can do, but I haven’t had the time to fully use it. It only costs $175 a year!
QUICKBOOKS SELF EMPLOYED
This is by far the most important software I use! I use Quickbooks Self Employed for ALL of my money related needs. They enable you to link up your bank accounts + credit cards + keep track of every expense + income. You can easily categorize expenses + incomes as business or personal. They easily generate reports (profit + loss, mileage log, receipts, tax summaries, tax details, etc.). This is the program I send all of my online invoices to my clients + it only has a small fee for each invoice. They also, calculate your quarterly taxes + give you detailed instructions on how to pay them (life-saver)! And lastly they have an app that lets you track all of your business driving miles + will deduct the miles as an expense. The program can do all of those things + only costs $10 a month!
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
Adobe software is the best of the best for any creative business. It only costs $30 a month to have access to ANY of their dozens of programs! I use Illustrator, Photoshop + InDesign for any type of graphic design work that I do. Illustrator is great for logo + screen printing designs. InDesign is great for layout + editorial designs. Photoshop is great for creating social media + email graphics. I use primarily Lightroom for all of my basic photo editing + Photoshop for more complicated touchups.
G-Suite is only $6 a month for their basic package. It includes a custom business email (with your URL), video conferencing, messaging, documents, spreadsheets + storage. I use it primarily for my business email + sharing graphic design files with clients through google drive.
Pixieset is an online site where I share all of my galleries with my clients. They are super user friendly + show your galleries so beautifully. They also recently updated their design features + they are amazing! Pic-time + Pass are other great photo sharing sites as well, I’ve just been using Pixieset for over 3 years now + haven’t felt the need to switch over.
Last January I switched my website from Squarespace to WordPress. I absolutely love how user friendly + easy to build Squarespaces websites are, but I switched over to WordPress in order to use the Flothemes templates. Flothemes has the BEST designs for creative business websites in my opinion. They are definitely not cheap, but not outrageously expensive. I would say that it is one of the best investments I made for my business! Having a beautiful site was a priority to me because it’s how I represent my business online. Their templates run from $275 – $650 depending on what design + add ons you buy.
This is the best + might I add FREE tool that I think every business should use. I primarily use Instagram, Facebook + Pinterest to market + share my work.
For Instagram I post every day in the morning (9 – 11am) expect on the weekends. I’ve just found that that works best for me + how I run my business. I recently started writing all of my Instagram captions, planning out my feed (UnUm is a great app for that) + researching my hashtags 2 weeks – a month in advance. This has helped me be more intentional about what I’m sharing, be way more consistent + also saves me so much time in the end!
For Facebook I post whenever I have a completed gallery whether that be a wedding, elopement, engagement, couple, family or travel work. I select highlight images from the shoot + write a little blog like post to go with it.
For Pinterest I post only my very best + favorite images. I usually post whenever I have time to resize the images + write small descriptions about them.
All of these programs + tools really all are life-savers + worth every penny!