#2: All the sh** I use to build & manage my business & brand
The following are some great free or cheap resources (all except Fiverr have free offerings) that will help you run your social impact focused business and save a hell of a lot of time while doing so.
Note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that by clicking and purchasing from of these links, I will receive a small commission. This list is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. I am not recommending anything I have not used and loved. For more information, please visit my Terms of Service.
People Map for instagram marketing
People Map is amazing. Its founder is amazing. It does exactly what I, a non-creative non-visual non-follower hunting business owner, need in managing my instagram marketing - it does nothing to get me more non value-add followers or more likes but does everything to help me organize prospects, clients, potential partners, and more. Use my link to get a free trial and $10 off when you decide it’s as amazing as I think it is.
Canva for graphic design
While I like to play around in Keynote to design my own graphics, I recommend Canva to everyone for amazing graphics – especially when you don’t have in-house support. There’s a ton you can do for free, paid plans aren’t that crazy, and there’s a free option for nonprofits!
Airtable for Organization
Organize everything with Airtable. Airtable is like Excel or Google Sheets on steroids, and I use it to keep track of absolutely everything! Read more on its many features in Airtable’s own guide.
Fiverr for everything you don't want to do
Fiverr is the best marketplace for all that stuff you wish you could do but don’t know how, don’t want to do, and don’t want to really go through hiring someone to do. It’s a freelancer’s marketplace for everything, from designing logos and pitch decks to organizing your CRM to . . . sending postcards to you as your fake girlfriend (true service offered starting at $5).
Mailchimp for marketing emails
Mailchimp is my favorite marketing email service and lets you send to lists of up to 2000 subscribers until you gotta pay. It takes a little practice to make the service intuitive, but the customer service is way better than I’ve seen in other marketing mail services (I’ve used them all) and there is zero reason to not use one – seriously, stop sending marketing emails from your mail server (Gmail or Outlook)!
Zapier & IFTTT for all those "I wish" tech moments
Zapier and IFTTT are the solutions for every single time you say hmmmm, I wish Software X would do this every time this action happens. For example, I wish I could automatically tweet my Facebook posts without having to press another button. Or I wish I could automatically add all CRM contacts to my mailing list. Or . . . you get it. Fair warning: It's easy to run out of your free or leveled limits with Zapier; I've had my account stopped a few times because too many auto-tasks happened. This hasn't happened yet with IFTTT, but I also don't use as many of its tasks. That said, I wouldn't give up Zapier's automation services. Seriously, check them out.
Hubspot for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Do you not have a CRM yet? Oh my. I’m not judging you, I’m pouring one out though for the time this could save! I use Hubspot and so far I have yet to pay them a dime. It took me a solid week to set up, but oh my gosh is it amazing. My favorite feature? All my emails are tracked in there!
Quickbooks for Accounting & Bookeeping
Quickbooks is what I use to manage invoicing (my clients can pay by check or credit card directly through the invoice) and bookkeeping. If you’re still using Excel, get yourself a system! If you’re currently a solopreneur or freelancer like I am, using this link will get you 50% off! A of my small business friends really like Freshbooks too; it just didn’t quite work for my accounting purposes right now but may be great for you!
Pixabay for stock photos
Pixabay is my favorite collection of royalty-free (read: actually free) stock photos licensed for commercial use. It includes the pics from some of my other favorite collections, and its search section is great. It's where I got nearly all the photos for my website.
Noun Project for icons
Want icons like those on my Results page? Look no further than the Noun Project. You can search and download thousands of icons, customize them with your brand colors, and more – all for no cost if you credit the artist or a very low cost if you choose not to do so.
Squarespace for web design
How'd I build this website? In Squarespace! Did I do it myself? Yup! Can you? Yup! Their trial isn't a subscription, it's a time period (fourteen days), so don't start playing around until you are serious to get the most of those two weeks, but I freakin love Squarespace. I've had to enter some custom code (which has literally been copy and paste), but other than that the templates are great. Pro tip: You may have heard Squarespace sponsor your favorite podcast but forgot to write down the promo code (guilty as charged). Don't worry; check out here; the code there will get you the exact same discount amount as any other promotion!
Badass Your Brand
Badass Your Brand is a book by my college friend Pia Silva at Worstofall Design. I pretty much inhaled the book when building my new website and launching this brand. It is well worth the $ and your time!