While you get paid to be creative for a living, it can be hard to get out of creative ruts when it comes to your own business. I totally get it. And when you do get out of a rut, it can be equally difficult to find the time to elevate your marketing. I put together 7 tools that can help take creative stress off your plate. Whether you’ve invested in branding with a design already, or are still in a DIY stage, these tools will be your creative besties to help you implement great branding.
Please note: I am not currently an affiliate for any of these companies, I just really love their services and know they’re helpful to creative and wedding entrepreneurs.
1. Organize your client experience with Dubsado.
I use Dubsado for my own client contracts, invoices, and questionnaires, and I love it for two reasons. You can set up solid, efficient systems for your business and it looks good. I’ve also heard Honeybook is great and haven’t used it personally, but have heard from some business owners that Dubsado allows you to customize more of the visual aspects.
Through Dubsado, you can customize your client experience and make sure your client feels taken care of throughout each step of your process. You can add your brand colors, create or purchase styled templates, and build out form templates so that you have forms like questionnaires ready for each time you need them.
2. Take the stress out of social media with Later.com. One task that seems to loom over all of us like a grey cloud is the ongoing task of social media. Personally, I love social media! I get a lot of energy and inspiration from the platforms I use, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get overwhelmed by the time it can take. I enjoy scheduling batch sessions. I sit down for 1-2 hours at a time, plan out my content, then schedule posts in advance. I use Later.com to schedule my posts. The platform is very visual, which I find makes it easier to get inspired by my content.
3. Find free, beautiful, and inclusive stock photos on Unsplash.com, The Gender Spectrum Collection, Nappy.co, and Pexels.com. I’m smiling as I write this one, because these sites make me so happy. I realize that in an ideal world, we would all post only our own photos to social media or our websites, and that’s definitely encouraged (especially for photographers!). But sometimes, you really just need a great stock photo that you don’t want to spend a hefty subscription cost on. When you’re planning out your next round of social media content, I suggest taking a look at these sites. Sometimes I even go to Unsplash to build out mood boards or look up a topic before I start on designing.
4. Hoard ideas on Pinterest. Okay, I know this one is a little obvious since Pinterest is kind of like the ultimate portal for the wedding industry. But for real, don’t undervalue the power of Pinterest. I have plenty of secret boards that I build as mood boards for clients. When I’m stuck in a creative rut, I take a look at past boards or do a few searches to see what new ideas can come up.
You can even get inspiration for your wedding business branding here, and save ideas for a future branding project.
5. Get some design inspo and assets from Vecteezy.
I think Vecteezy may be overshadowed by Canva. While you can’t build graphics in Vecteezy, it’s a brilliant library for icons, illustrations, images, and mockups. I personally like the options on Vecteezy better than Canva.
As a designer, I have the talent to create nearly anything I need from scratch, but even I will use elements from Vecteezy for certain projects. For example, I’d have loved to spend time drawing custom flower illustrations for our Save the Dates, but I just needed to save time, so I went to Vecteezy.
6. Grab visual inspiration from The Noun Project.
I loooove The Noun Project and have been using it since college. When I can’t quite remember how an icon should look or don’t know how to visually represent an idea, I do a quick search through this site. I have the bonus of being able to draw icons myself in Adobe, but you can also purchase or use some of their icons for free.
7. Book a half or full Creative Spa Day with me! I offer half and full day rates where I reserve time strictly for your business and getting through a laundry list of creative tasks that you’ve been meaning to get to. This can be anything from designing Canva templates to making your Dubsado templates look nicer to a simple brand refresh. They’re designed to be fun and low-stress for you. Half days are $1,000 and full days are $2,000, a lower investment than a fully custom branding or website project. You can reach out with questions or interest in a Creative Spa Day here.
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Brand photography by Enliven Photography except where otherwise credited.
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Designing out of Portland, Oregon for creatives around the world.