When January rolled around earlier this year, I had set some pretty lofty goals for myself and my business. I wanted to double my email list, grow my Facebook group, launch new services, and those are just a few of the business goals I set. I also had some big things I was working on personally. Little did I know three months into the year I’d find out I was pregnant, which meant that my goals for the year took a major shift.
Luckily I had a pretty easy pregnancy, but that didn’t mean that I wasn’t quietly backing away from certain things and desperately looking for other resources to make my online life easier because I already had a pretty clear idea of what I would want next year to look like before we even met Emma.
Today I want to share with you guys the top 5 resources I put to work for myself and my business this year that all turned out to be life savers in their own way. You may have already heard of these from me or other business owners, but I wanted to chat about how they helped me make more time to step away or better my business this year.
Smarterqueue: Social Media Scheduler
I can remember sitting at my parents’ house last November when I was home for Thanksgiving scheduling tweets for my account and Coded Creative. I’ll admit, I wasn’t doing a lot else, but does anyone other than social media people actually enjoy scheduling tweets? Enter SmarterQueue.
I can’t remember exactly when I signed up for it, but man oh man, I LOVE this tool. I’ve stopped scheduling tweets for my own account, but I still use it for my Facebook group and the Get Back to Design account, and it’s really nice to be able to keep tweets looping so I don’t have to try to remember to keep rotating posts. I just pop in new tweets and it rolls on by itself. Amazing.
Twigyposts: Stock Photos
I’ve been taking my own photos for my Instagram and blog almost all the way back to when I got started (there are some pretty awful photos back in my blog’s archives), but at some point, running multiple IG accounts (I manage mine, CC, and GBTD while Krista manages CC + GBTD on other platforms) it became really overwhelming and tiresome to handle taking photos for all platforms. Enter TwigyPosts.
We used Jana’s photos on our Market theme because I loved them so much, but when she introduced the membership to her stock photos I quickly jumped on it. It’s paid off amazingly because I not only use her photos on our new themes, but I also use it for my social media account mixed in with some of my own shots. It takes SO MUCH pressure off my shoulders to constantly be taking photos, and I know it’ll be even more beneficial once our little lady is here and I don’t have time for shoots.
Also, if you’re looking for more stock photos. Shay Cochrane recently announced Social Squares, which I’m also in LOVE with. I’ve always loved her photos and definitely got a membership to that, too, to have nice variety in my choice of photos.
Share-Worthy Design: Course for Designers
The past year has been really interesting in my business. It’s almost as if life was preparing me for what I wanted things to look like after we had Emma. However, the drop in work has given me a huge opportunity to re-evaluate how I do things, so I knew when Jamie announced that she was opening her Share-Worthy Design course earlier this year that I’d want to grab it. It was totally worth it!
I have really loved this course, and even though I’m pretty much done with it, I’ve gone back and referenced things again and again. I love how transparent Jamie is with her business and process in this course. I’m also excited to be trying out some of the things she teaches with my own projects!
Dubsado: Client Management
I’ve always been hesitant to invest in any kind of client management software because I kept thinking “I can do this all myself – why do I need to pay for something that can make it take 2 seconds less”. Well, because it’s worth it. I jumped on a yearly plan for Dubsado in January of this year after a little bit of testing, and I haven’t looked back.
Even though I haven’t had quite as much work this year, it’s still been really amazing to have this tool in my back pocket. It makes sending proposals, contracts, and invoices so much easier and more automated. I even recently heard from a past client who I used the platform on for the first time this month that she really liked how smooth it was. Me too, gal!
I’ve been buying PowerSheets since 2014, but it wasn’t until the middle of last year that I really started using them. I grabbed them again for this year, and even though I skipped using them for a few months, they’ve still been an actual life savor throughout the year.
It’s so easy to go off track with your goals or find yourself in the middle of the year not even remembering what you wanted to accomplish in that year, but the PowerSheets keep that from happening. This year I’ve launched a few different things and had several personal projects going on, and the PowerSheets have helped keep me on track with the big things and even the little daily goals. I’ve already been using my 2018 set to brainstorm goals for next year, and it’s getting me more excited about next year.
Those are my top 5 resources, what are yours?
I know everyone has their few main resources that they’re putting to work for their business, and I’d love to hear from you about yours in the comments. Are you using the same tools as me? Do you have any different ones I should hear about?