There are certainly no shortage of programs and services out there that you can use to run your creative business. A simple Google search will pull up at least (10) CRMs - customer relationship managers - recommended for photographers alone. Add in photo editing software, accounting platforms, social media planners and publishers, equipment rental and servicing companies, legal products and services - the list goes on - and you truly have hundreds of options. It's overwhelming, even for someone who's been in the industry for awhile, let alone if you're just starting your creative career. While I certainly haven't tried every one out there, I've invested money and time in my fair share of business collateral over the years, so I wanted to create a cheat sheet: my go-to list of programs and services for creative business owners that I personally couldn't work without. If you find it helpful and you want to know more, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this post to receive my free business resource, the comprehensive list of every program and service I use for my creative business!
The programs and services I use in my business not only make my life easier, the automated systems and programs have actually made me money. The time I save as a result of not doing those tedious tasks has allowed me to think big picture and focus on more large-scale details that move my business forward, like alternative marketing strategies, long-range goals, and continuing education, tasks that previously got pushed way down on the to-do list when I wasn't utilizing outsourcing and automation.
Programs and Services I Love
For example, after months of struggling with Mailchimp I made the switch to Flodesk and I’m never looking back. I was able to migrate my mailing list, create and schedule a beautiful email, and enable a pop-up for email signups on my website within an hour. With Mailchimp, those same tasks would have taken up my entire afternoon - and frequently, did take an entire afternoon.
As a photographer, I’m always looking to try out new cameras and equipment - and I always, always rent before I invest in a new piece of gear. Lensrentals is one of my favorite companies for rental equipment and it doesn’t hurt that they have great customer service and easy returns. Head over to my What’s in my Camera Bag Blog Post to see what equipment I use and recommend. You can find most everything available in a variety of brands and price points over on Lensrentals if you’d like to try before you buy - plus you can save an additional 15% on every rental by using my code: SARACOFFIN15.
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Now that you’ve gotten a peek at a few of my favorite programs and services, sign up for my newsletter to receive the free list of my must-have programs and services for creative business owners, complete with honest reviews of each one plus some discount codes (like one for 50% off monthly or annual subscriptions of Flodesk and Dubsado!). I promise, always, in thanks for signing up that I won’t send dozens of emails spamming your already-overloaded inbox. Just free tips, early access to special offers and promotions, and special announcements, as they arise. Scouts’ honor.