What I want more than anything is to help artists & creatives succeed, whether they hire me or not. So in that vein, here it is, my ever-expanding list of resources, helpful sites, and useful apps for creative businesses!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are referral/affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase an item, I’ll get a small commission. Not much, just some extra towards my coffee habit, at no added cost to you. I also never link to products I don’t believe in. See my full disclosure statement here.
Resources about/for convention vendors
The Abundant Artist – Cory Huff is a great resource for all artists trying to make a living
The Business of Art – Russel Nohelty of WannabePress has a great podcast full of great resources on selling at conventions and more.
ComixLaunch – Focusing mostly on how to have a successful crowdfunding campaign, covering mostly Kickstarter but also going into detail on Patreon and other avenues.
The Nerd Burgers – Monica Ng offers tons of useful information for those looking to sell their handmade wares at craft fairs and shows.
Legal Help for Creatives
The Artist’s J.D. (Kiffanie Stahl) – Her blog and checklists have been AMAZINGLY helpful in answering legal questions. I strongly recommend her website to everyone.
Seth Polansky – focuses on contracts, intellectual property, and startups. His blog often has helpful news and tips.
Counsel for Creators – If you are in the LA area, this firm focuses on creatives in their practice, and they have a service where they will review contracts for/with you.
Rational Unicorn Legal Services – If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, this firm focuses on creatives and small businesses
The Bookkeeping Artist – A money mentor for creatives, she specializes in taxes, business entities, profit strategy, business growth, bookkeeping and more.
Paper and Spark – While focused on Etsy sellers, they have a lot of useful spreadsheets and tips that will benefit any small business.
Business Planning for Creatives
Right Brain Business Plan – Jennifer Lee, of ArtiZen Coaching offers a very right-brained approach to setting up your business plan. Very visual and colorful, while still covering all the needed details.
Create and Thrive – Jess Van Den’s blog and resources are great!
Tara Swiger – I LOVE Tara, her tips are great, and so is her personality. As a maker herself, she shares what she has learned along the way to other creatives. Even when her posts don’t relate directly to me, I end up reading or listening to every word.
Freelancers Union – A great resource for anyone working independently.
Productivity tools and apps
Visual/Graphic Design Tools
Canva – This is my go-to. I love their templates and options and it’s easy to use. There are a lot of templates to get started from in all of the right dimensions, from social media to flyers and blog graphics and even resumes. Canva is a great place to get ideas, and create high-quality graphics quickly.
PicMonkey – PicMonkey is another basic photo editing software that’s easy to use.
GetStencil – Stencil is like Canva or PicMonkey but in a Chrome extension. You can create images easily in custom sizes with the click of a button, and it also includes access to over 50 million free stock photos.
Unsplash — Unsplash has high quality photos, a great search function, no ads, and an easy scrolling layout.
Stocksnap.io — Stocksnap offers a bit more variety and options, a nice search function and a photo editor.
Pexels — Another great option with a lot of good images
FreeRangeStock – very standard stock photos, but a decent variety and totally free to use
Giphy – tool to create your own gifs for social media or your website. Also, there is the Giphy Extension for Chrome that helps you quickly search for the perfect existing gif to add to your posts.
Hootsuite – Schedule and publish all your social media posts for multiple platforms, monitor your social media presence and more. Hootsuite tracks things like engagement, and monitors what people are saying about you on social media. The tool also includes automatic short-linking
Buffer – Buffer is another great tool for publishing all your posts, like Facebook posts, Tweets, and LinkedIn updates, from one platform. You can schedule posts based on when people have historically engaged with your content. They also have an extension that allows you to create posts from any page you’re on.
Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet – a super helpful link with the current image size dimensions that work best on each social media site.
Websites/ website Help
Dreamhost – Website hosting services and more. While there are many hosts out there, we have used Dreampress for security, hosting, domain names, and backups for years and have always had a good experience.
Jetpack – the best tool for getting the most out of your WordPress site: security, design, marketing, and more.
WooCommerce – the best way to have a web store on your site.
Site Beginner – this is a free WordPress website setup guide with basic info for setting up your first page.
SiteBuilderReport – this site reviews various sitebuilders like WordPress and SquareSpace and some basic website building tips.
Expand Your Revenue Streams
Interested in my work from home journey?
Work at Home Summit – This is the FREE series of videos and lectures that introduced me to some amazing online business coaches and info about transitioning to working from home full time.
Work at Home School – The actual program that allowed me to quit my job and work from home. So much valuable info at any of the purchases levels!
Lifehack Bootcamp – From time management training to a full productivity bootcamp, Carey & Demir are amazing and inspiring. They have free content as well as paid programs, and everything they put out has value.