The creative and marketing process, while necessary for business growth, can be all-encompassing and eat away at your time – the one commodity small business owners must greedily protect. If there are parts of your business you need to implement the “do-it-yourself” approach for any reason, we’ve curated a list of some of our favorite resources to help you prioritize your time.
Adobe tops the list because, without top-notch, high-value content, you may miss the opportunity to visually connect with your audience. The reality is the average consumer is faced with over 5,000 ads or pieces of content per day. If you want yours to stand out you must be able to create and then tell captivating visual stories. Adobe offers some of the best, easy-to-use applications to do just that. My favorites are Lightroom, by the desktop and mobile versions, for editing photographs. Adobe Spark, Rush, and After Effects are amazing for creating some stunning, stand-out videos that showcase your brand’s personality.
It doesn’t matter if your focus is solely on social media, photography, or design, Adobe offers a bundle of apps and resources to meet your creative needs.
Limited on time? Limited on resources? Perhaps even limited on ability? Have no fear (and have no shame), Creative Market is an ideal marketplace for consultants, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. At Creative Market, there are literally millions of ready-to-use projects you can license for professional use, to save time in your content creation and design process. There are custom graphics, custom fonts, templates for websites, templates to enhance a social media aesthetic and so much more. Not only is it a great place to find and buy designs, as a creative, but it’s also a great place to sell designs, including stock photography.
It’s free to create an account on Creative Market. I encourage you to sign up and explore if you are in the need of inspired assets for your brand.
As a business owner, you understand the importance of knowing the journey your prospective customers should take in order to convert into a paid customer, in other words, a sales funnel. One of the products I love to use in helping to build a conversion-focused website is Thrive Themes. Whether I am using it to create opt-in forms or landing pages and funnels to optimize conversions, Thrive Themes is my go-to. It’s a great product to use in helping to generate leads and building an email list.
If you don’t have a designer on your team, it’s not a problem. As a paid user of Thrive Themes, you’ll have access to Thrive University, a knowledge base, product tutorials, and a user support forum to help you navigate any of the Thrive products you invest in as a part of your digital strategy.
We’ve established that time is a precious commodity, no matter the size of your business. However, when you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, the value of time seems to hit differently. That adage “work smarter not harder,” turns into a daily mantra.
I have found that when it comes to planning and executing social media, Later is an exceptional platform for multiple reasons, one of which is it helps to saves an immense amount of time when it’s used correctly.
With Later you can manage your Facebook and Twitter account from the platform (and if Pinterest is a part of your brands’ strategy, count that one in too). That means you can load your content, visually map it out within the platform so it follows an aesthetic that pleases you (Instagram only), schedule it, and view the analytics of your live content, depending on your level of plan.
If that hasn’t piqued your curiosity enough, Later offers a tool called Linkin.Bio, in essence, a landing page that mimics your Instagram feed. Linkin.Bio makes it easy to shop your Instagram feed by displaying your posts as clickable images. Later does this since Instagram only allows one clickable link in your bio. It’s an ideal way to track and increase conversions from Instagram while delivering the type of content that results in maximum engagement from your audience.
Whether your team consists of, “me, myself and I,” or you are minimally staffed with some headcount or contractors, Evernote is essential to staying organized across devices, and in a sense, across your team. There is a free version of the application on the Web, iOS, and Android that allows you to sync important files or notes you may be working on, save Web pages for future reference (with highlights), capture photos that you may be used for mood boards or inspiration, create task lists, and record voice reminders. You can save files + notes by categories you create. Evernote is quite handy and incredible. I love it and I think you will too!