For Designers looking to step up their game. An online course + mentorship program to help freelance designers take their businesses to the next level by transitioning from “pixel pushers” to trusted advisors for their clients. Build your expertise, authority, and business by transforming your clients’ websites into more profitable ecosystems. Create more value for your clients and increase your own bottom line. Self-study, Community, and Mastermind versions available, as well as a limited Summer School offering.
Digital strategy can take you from winging it and crossing your fingers to having a much more intentional plan for your online success. You can move forward with confidence and have real numbers and insights to back up your assumptions.
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This guide won an honourable mention as part of Gumroad’s Small Product Lab 10-day challenge.
Things I love and recommend:
Disclosure: Some of the links below are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend tools and products I love and can 100% stand behind!
Skillshare is one of my absolute favourite places to go for learning new skills quickly! In particular my favourite Skillshare class has been Get Stuff Done Like A Boss: Design Your Workflow and Double Your Productivity in 21 Days. It’s a must for anyone who ever feels overwhelmed because they don’t have a system for taming the chaos of email, ideas, and documentation. (Not just in a business context, but a LIFE context!)
Basecamp is the project management tool I have been using I first started my business. It’s so easy to use, and works seamlessly with email. Whether you have a single project or 100 projects going on at once, you can see everything going on at a glance. Everyone involved in a project can work together, and you can set different permissions for internal employees, etc. I use every single day, so it’s a huge part of my business, and I highly recommend it. (They also offer a 60-day free trial)
Freeagent is probably one of my favourite tools of all time. It is probably the most fun you can have with accounting (I’m not even joking). Designed for small business and entrepreneurs, you can see all of your finances at a glance, send estimates and invoices, manage expenses, and keep everything totally organized come tax time. It is one of the most valuable tools that I use in my business, and have been using it since I first started my business. Cannot recommend enough! (Free trial, + 10% off if you use this link)
I use Shopify to build websites that are mainly online stores. It’s incredibly easy to work with for both developers and clients alike. Add products, adjust inventory, set shipping prices, and you’re ready to go. They handle the hosting as well, so no need to worry about security or SSL.
Illana Burk from Makeness Media has produced a useful and clever guide to helping you hire a web designer. Hiring a creative professional of any kind, for any purpose, is a partnership, and like all good partnerships, you get out of it what you put into it. The purpose of the guide is to help you feel informed, prepared, and professional as you embark on the creative process.
I use Mail Chimp to deliver my email newsletters. It’s so user friendly and easy to use, it’s perfect for the majority of business owners, and free for the first 2,000 users.
I use Elegant Themes to build beautiful premium WordPress Themes: Elegant Themes. I use and highly recommend their Divi template for it’s flexibility and ease of use.
I use Contactually to manage my customer relationships, and keep things organized. It’s been a huge time-saver and helps me keep my contacts top of mind, preventing relationships from slipping through the cracks.
CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop editorial calendar for WordPress that puts your blog posts and social media messages on the same schedule.
Create beautiful, next-generation online forms with Typeform, the form & survey builder that makes asking questions easy & human on any device.
ConvertKit is the email marketing tool that I use to create email courses and flexible opt-in forms. It’s more advanced than mailchimp and allows for more custom segmentation.
NeuYear is where I get my absolute favourite yearly and weekly planning tools. I get a Neu Year calendar every year for yearly planning, and I use their Weekly Dominator planner which works really well with the 12 Week Year system.
Schedule your hours, and you’ll spend no time tracking them. As a designer or developer, time tracking is a huge part of your routine, whether it’s weekly, daily, or even just a few hours ahead. Move your schedule to Timely, and you will be logging hours simultaneously.
RescueTime is highly recommended for those who wants to manage their time. It’s an app that will help increase your productivity by monitoring your computer use and letting you know your distractions.