Creative Founders was born out of the desire to connect female makers and creators looking to nurture their creative passion into thriving businesses. Our goal is to connect a collective of like-minded women (like you!) with the best resources to support you on your entrepreneurial journey, which is why we’ve set up this handy resources page to share some of the products and services that we use and love, or come highly recommended from our peers. From website platforms to outsourcing, communications and more, these are some of our favourite tools that we use to run our businesses.
**Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links
Our Free Downloads:
Ultimate Hashtag Guide: Our Ultimate Hashtag Guide was created especially for artists and creative entrepreneurs, to give you the hashtags you need to grow and engage your niche audience.
The Art of The Perfect Blogpost – Checklist: We put together this checklist to make sure your blog posts get the attention you want and the results they deserve! Everything you need to do before and after you press publish!
Artist Marketing Tips Pinterest Group Board:
We created this Pinterest Group board to share the best art business content we can find on the web. It is a great resource so please check it out. If you would like to contribute, please follow us on Pinterest and drop us an email with your details. Follow our Artist Marketing Tips Pinterest board now!
Social Media Resources:
For Instagram, we’re currently using two tools: Planoly (it is so good we just upgraded to the paid version!) to organise our posts so they look lovely, and People Map by ILOVECREATIVES to help us research content. We’re absolutely loving People Map and think it is really worth checking out. And if you’re looking to learn more about how to manage and grow your Instagram account, we highly recommend the Instagram Marketing Course by ILOVECREATIVES
For Pinterest, we use Boardbooster. This tool is absolutely AMAZING and it has helped us grow our Pinterest account in a very short amount of time. We can’t recommend it highly enough!
WordPress – Creative Founders is built on WordPress because it gives us the flexibility to build lots of interesting features for the site. We originally started with Squarespace, but found that it wasn’t possible to get the functionality that we wanted, so we got in touch with some amazing developers and switched to WordPress. We love how easy it is to customise WordPress sites with plugins and code, and if you want to sell online, WooCommerce consistently gets rave reviews.
Squarespace – We’ve always been fans of Squarespace for their beautiful templates and user-friendly e-commerce platform that is super easy to set up, even with no development or design experience. For years we were frustrated with Squarespace because we loved the product so much but their payment gateway Stripe didn’t work in Singapore and Hong Kong, but now it does (whoop!) which is brilliant. Squarespace may not be perfect, for example, if you are selling online and want to show multiple currencies, they don’t have a currency converter feature. Saying that they are adding new features all the time, so Squarespace is definitely a user-friendly platform to consider.
Shopify – If you’re looking to sell online with a platform that grows with you, then Shopify is worth checking out. This all-in-one e-commerce platform offers monthly plans for all types of budgets, and they do pretty much everything for you from hosting to managing hackers and offering superb customer service. We often hear people say that it’s a bit expensive, but knowing that you have that extra bit of support as you scale your business is worth paying for in our opinion.
Ps: Still looking to do a little more research? Read our post What website builder is right for me?
ConvertKit – ConvertKit was created by bloggers for bloggers, so it has a ton of features that other email marketing platforms don’t. For example, you can automate your emails so that they arrive a certain number of days after someone subscribes or makes a purchase, you can exclude people on your list who have already signed up for your course or bought a product. We currently use ConvertKit and highly recommend it.
Mailchimp – Another great tool we like is Mailchimp because they have an easy-to-use drag and drop designer, they are integrated with tons of apps and platforms like WordPress, Facebook and Shopify, and they have multi-user accounts where teams can work together on projects and leave comments in the editing area. Even better, they have free accounts for new businesses that offer you up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month.
Hosting & Domains:
Bluehost – We use Bluehost to host Creative Founders because they offer super affordable packages that you can upgrade anytime if your site starts getting loads of traffic. They also offer free domain name registration if you host with them, and you can install WordPress in just a few clicks.
GoDaddy – When we’re purchasing domain names, especially for Squarespace sites, we buy with GoDaddy because it offers a super easy set-up process through Squarespace. There is also something to be said about the fact that they are the biggest domain name registrar in the world with over 14 million users.
There are lots of theme marketplaces out there, but some of our faves include:
A Prettier Web – Mel from A Prettier Web has been making WordPress themes for over 10 years, and she also offers great advice on free plugins, online tools and e-courses.
Teachable – Many of the ladies we see at the moment who are killing it with online classes are hosting their courses on Teachable. This super slick platform allows you to create quality e-courses with no coding or design experience necessary. You can choose a custom theme using your logo and colour preferences, add multimedia lectures using video, audio, PDFs, text or images, and add neat teaching tools like quizzes and discussion forums.
Thinkific – Thinkific is a Canadian company and so far our experience with them has been great, particularly their customer service. The platform allows you to build beautiful multimedia courses, launch with the click of a button, and get paid directly into your merchant account. They make it easy for you to run an online course.
Can’t decide which platform is right for you? Here is a handy chart by Thinkific with a comparison of the two.
Organisation & Productivity:
This is an important one! We know lots of ladies using Trello and Evernote but we are quite fond of Asana ourselves and use it to keep the team organised! Here are also a few other tools can help streamline your day:
LastPass – To help you remember your passwords. If you are anything like us and constantly forgetting your passwords, this is a great tool.
Google Docs – We use Google Docs for everything from storing our content calendar in Google sheets to managing all our files in Google Drive. Honestly, we couldn’t live without Google Docs.
Dropbox – We use dropbox for the storage of lots of our big files, especially photography. We particularly love how we can separate ‘business’ and ‘personal’ folders in our Dropbox finder, which makes it easy to distinguish between our files.
Ps: Looking for a few more Productivity Tips? Check out these Productivity tips on working smarter not harder.
Upwork – This freelancer site always been good to us, as we’ve found some great people there that have helped us out when we needed a little extra support.
Fivrr – All types of freelancers here.
Guru – Web development and design, graphic design, marketing, writing and research.
Constant Content – Writing support.
Zirtual – Virtual assistants.
MyTasker – Virtual assistants.
Photo Editing Resources:
We use Canva for our Pinterest images and any banners we need to create. It really is an amazing tool that allows people with no graphic design experience to make beautiful things. For general resizing, we love Pixlr (a free tool), and lots of our friends love PicMonkey too.
Business Cards & Stationery:
We are officially obsessed with Moo.com for their gorgeous stationery and the fact that they’ve got tons of different business card options available.
Fonts, Graphics, Music & More:
Creative Market – We recently purchased a great PowerPoint template from Creative Market, and we have been known to spend far too long exploring the different photos and fonts available. This is just a really cool site to peruse if you need assets for your creative business.
Envato Market – When we do videos, we often purchase music here. If you’re in need of a cool tune to play in the background of a video or course, this is a good bet.
Etsy – We never really thought to look to Etsy for logos or help with branding, but there are lots of amazing creative women hanging out there who can help you with anything from creating a logo for your website to a full rebranding project!
Smart Phone Apps:
Tiny Scanner – We don’t have a scanner in the office, so we often use this cool iPhone app to convert contracts and signed documents to PDF, then we simply load them to our Google Drive for safe storage. Tiny Scanner iTumes // Tiny Scanner Google Play
Headspace – Great for clearing out your mind, de-stressing and learning to live in the moment.
MyNetDiary – Log your daily exercise and food in this app to monitor your calories and stay motivated to eat healthier and stay in shape.
Elevate Brain Training – Elevate gives you new challenges every day to work out your brain and improve focus and comprehension.
Lead Acquisition Resources:
SumoMe – SumoMe is a suite of free and paid tools that help you grow your website traffic. We are currently using their Heat Maps, Image Sharer and Welcome Mat which allows you to make full-page calls to action. This is one you must check out!
LeadPages – Collect email subscribers to grow your list with lots of templates from LeadPages that allow you to create opt-in boxes, landing pages and even sales pages.
ClickFunnels – ClickFunnels allow you to create sales funnels, which direct people to not only your best-selling book, newly launched service or crafty product, but other products as well so you can upsell and make even more money in one go.
SEO & Analytics Tools:
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool and a ‘must-have’ for any website owner. GA is a powerful tool that allows you to keep track and report your website traffic. It is the most widely used web analytics tool on the internet.
We recently watched a super webinar with Neil Patel and he highlighted some of the tools he uses for SEO, some of them we have heard of and some we had not. Here is what was on his list:
Built With – This web technology profiler shows you what tools your competitors are using to run their businesses.
AHREFS – SEO backlink checker and competitor research tool.
Way Back Machine – This is pretty cool, it shows older versions of a website so you can see and analyse what changes they have made over time.
Buzz Sumo – Looking for content ideas or what’s trending in your niche? Type in your keyword to see what is hot at the moment. This is great for sourcing ideas for blog posts.
Open Site Explorer – OSE is a link research and backlink checker that lets you see what sites are linking to successful people in your niche and helps give you a better idea how to develop your link building strategy and potential people to reach out to for future partnerships.
SEO Site Checkup – Get a Free SEO analysis of your website.
**Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you click on them and buy something we will receive a commission. That being said, these are only products and services that we genuinely trust and use on a regular basis (or we know other people who have nothing but good things to say about them), so we wholeheartedly recommend them not for the commission but based on their merit and all-around awesomeness.
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