Being an entrepreneur is rewarding, but can absolutely be hard and lonely at times. During my time operating a small business, I’ve learned a thing or two and gathered some incredible resources that I just can’t keep to myself. I use a lot of tools on a daily basis and am sharing our favorites + some killer discounts below.
I get it— I’ve been there. Launching a business is difficult and keeping it running can feel impossible at times. During business coaching sessions, we can cover an array of topics ranging from design specifics to marketing to creating an LLC and how to file your taxes. Reach out for availability or to book! Starting at $250/hr.
Business & Client Management
Honeybook has been a game changer for my business. It’s a client management platform that allows you to email clients, keep everything in one place, send invoices, proposals, contracts, track your time, claim job opportunities, and so much more. Visit my Instagram highlights to view a behind the scenes video of how I use it to manage EVERYTHING in my business. Click on the link above to save 50%.
No matter what, track your business expenses! I saved over $2,000 on my taxes last year by managing my receipts, business expenses and tracking business gas mileage through Quickbooks. When it was time to pay taxes, I clicked a few buttons, printed my voucher, and Quickbooks told me exactly where to mail it. Save 50% with my link.
Asana is a free project management tool that I use to organize projects and communicate with clients.
Calendly is a free scheduling tool that eliminates back and forth with clients and helps you book consulting calls faster and easier.
Golden Coil makes custom planners specifically for you. They’re $65 even which is obviously an investment, but you can customize them to have up to two years of planning dates in it. I ordered mine with both the weekly and monthly view, plus a blank page for planning each month and freelance finance management in the back. Worth every penny in my opinion.
DESIGN & MARKETING Tools
Forth Guide by Mattie Tiegreen
Forth is a PDF book full of resources for small businesses and creatives. It was one of the first things I purchased when I started my business and one of my most used resources to this day! Worth every penny.
If you’re a logo or brand designer like I am, you probably know how often clients need help understanding file types, color types, and guidelines for their brand usage. Melissa’s brand guidelines template is a 30+ page customizable PDF that I use with every single branding client to educate them and communicate how they can get the most out of their branding.
Planoly is a free social media scheduling app that includes auto posting for Instagram. It allows me to organize and curate my feed, add hashtag groups, and schedule posts without even logging into Instagram.
Creative Market is my go-to resource for fonts, graphics, and more!
Nibbler is a free site that lets you test the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for any website and shows you exactly what to improve to boost your SEO.
My collection of Pinterest boards full of inspiration, resources, and more.
Followers to Dollars by yours truly :)
In my first year as a small business owner, I made $25K in client projects that came directly from Instagram. With instructional videos, a course workbook, resources, examples of curated feeds we love most, and step-by-step details for how to obtain client leads through Instagram, this mini-course is sure to boost your social media revenue.
Branding with Bre by Rowan Made*
Branding with Bre is the single best investment I made in my graphic design business. Bre walks you through her entire process and includes free template downloads, shares her screen, and more. Use the code GIFTFROMLYDIA to save $25. :)
Illustrator Essentials by Melissa Yeager*
Adobe Illustrator is the software of choice for graphic designers. In Melissa’s course, she teaches the ins and outs of the program and includes an in-depth guide containing every program shortcut.
Small Businesses’ Guide to Finances by Peyton Rainey
Ah, finances. The single thing I am the worst at in all of life. Peyton worked with her accountant to create an in-depth guide covering everything you’ll ever need to know about finances for your small business. It’s a game changer.
Learn to Code Now by SuperHi
I credit this book for the majority of coding knowledge that I use to customize my clients websites uniquely and intentionally. Covering primarily HTML and CSS, Learn to Code Now starts at the very beginning, explaining everything about why coding is necessary, what it does, and where to use which coding language. It then moves into specific examples and how-to’s about building and customizing sites. Buy this book.
Storybrand Online Marketing Workshop by Storybrand
This course came highly recommended to me by multiple entrepreneurs— both in and outside the graphic design and marketing world. It helps companies understand what customers are looking for so they can tell their story in such a way people listen. If you’re not ready to invest in the course just yet, get started by reading the book.
*Please note that starred items are referral links; however, we only share resources that we use on a day-to-day basis and companies we respect and believe in. If you have any questions, please reach out or view our terms & conditions.*