By Stephanie Design


20 Collateral Item Ideas for Your Creative Business

Design, BusinessStephanie Hamilton18 Comments

We all know how essential consistency is to a memorable brand. 

Cohesive fonts and colors, logos and patterns imprint your brand into potential clients and customers mind until they start to associate them with your business. 

Take Apple for instance. 

You don't need to see their logo to identify their sleek, modern packaging or their minimal, attractive design that enhances the usability of their website. 

Or if you notice someone carrying a signature blue box with a white ribbon, you know they made a purchase from Tiffany's. You don't have to see the logo to recognize the brand. 

These design elements are central to a visual brand; consistent across all touchpoints. 

The same is true and beneficial for your business - and the easiest ways to do achieve brand consistency is through collateral items. 


20 collateral item ideas for your creative business

20 Collateral Item Ideas for Your Creative Business

As mentioned above, a collateral item is any branded design element a customer comes across when in contact with your business. It can be as simple as a rack card at a venue or a seasonal door decal on a storefront window. 

When thinking of collateral items, it's important to think of your marketing and which items the customer would get the most use out of. From there, your designer can infuse your brand into each unique collateral piece. 

Here are 20 ideas you may implement in your marketing to create a professional experience with your customers and clients. 


1 | Social Media Images

Convey your brand beyond your site (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter) with social media graphics with social media images. Are you going to share quotes, tips, stats, or how-to's? Create templates to maintain consistency and save time and energy in Photoshop. 

2 | Gift Cards

Example: By Stephanie Design

Everyone loves gift cards - they're simple and no fuss, yet they work at retaining new and existing clients for your business. So it's a win/win! 

photographer gift card template - by stephanie design

Make it fun for others to pass on your services to others with a branded gift card. 

3 | Media Kits

Example: By Stephanie Design

Anyone that is looking to connect with brands and create sponsorship opportunities should start with a media kit. They come in the form of multiple-page PDFs that provide blog statistics and audience demographics to prospective advertisers. 

fashion blogger media kit template - by stephanie design


Create a positive first impression in a sea of blogs with a well-branded and professionally-designed media kit and stand apart from the crowd. 

4 | Email Signatures

A consistent, professional brand is carried across the big things and in the small things, too. Email is a common place for people to come in contact with your brand. A simple email signature creates brand recognition and encourages people to follow along with you elsewhere. 


5 | Contracts, Timelines, and Quotes

Don't fall victim to a basic Word doc to correspond with clients. 

Make them more visually appealing and professional by adding your brand colors and fonts. 


6 | Blog Post Graphics

Example: By Stephanie Design

Would viewers recognize your blog graphics if they popped up in their Pinterest feed? 

blog post graphic templates - by stephanie design


Design blog post graphics with intention by aligning them as closely as possible to the aesthetic of your overall design. Remember, they should always compliment your site design, too. 

7 | Facebook Header & Profile Photo

Create recognition with your fans every time a post pops up in their feed by having a simple, memorable icon or logo displayed. The cover photo is where you can flex your creativity! 

8 | Shop Banners

If you run a shop on Etsy or another online platform, you're probably already aware of the need for a branded banner to attract customers to your shop. 

9 | Pricing Guides

Example: By Stephanie Design

Even if you feature your pricing on your website, it's a great idea to have a pricing guide PDF on hand to send to prospective clients via email to give them a well-rounded picture of your offerings. 

photographer pricing guide templates - by stephanie design


Foster a positive first impression by putting more intention into the design of your pricing guides. Streamlined fonts, colors, and photos consistent with your website create a cohesive branded image. 

10 | Business Cards

Example: By Stephanie Design

Whether it's at a networking event or simply to create a connection, having a business card on hand is a pretty good idea. Even more important in this digital age to have your website URL and social handles at the ready. 

business card template - polka dot - by stephanie design


There's no need to use a boring business card template when you can create a custom design that blends seamlessly with your brand. 

11 | Brochures

Example: By Stephanie Design 

Whether you're preparing for a promotional event, creating a go-to menu, or outlining your different services packages, a brochure that is consistent with the rest of your brand will attract your ideal clients easier. 

photographer pricing templates  - by stephanie design


12 | Greeting Cards, Postcards & Notecards

You might incorporate snail mail into your client experience. If you're a shop owner who sends out orders on a regular basis, don't underestimate the importance of a simple greeting card in creating brand recognition and enhancing professionalism.  

13 | Stamps & Stickers

I'm a sucker for great packaging! Give your packaging alittle facelift with branded stamps and stickers to appear more intentional and professional. 

14 | Email Templates

Example: By Stephanie Design

Your followers on Twitter might only be interested in articles you share. Your followers on Instagram might only be following you to see pretty photos.

e-commerce email template design psd - by stephanie design


But with email you have direct access to your customers. Create a strong e-mail marketing presence by creating templates to maintain consistency, save time, and create recognition with your audience. 

15 | Mugs, Shirts, Bags

These are the most common things that come to mind when 'collateral' items used for promotion come to mind. 

While business in the digital age means an entirely different means of marketing, these still may be used in fostering brand awareness. 

16 | Presentation Slides

Hosting a live webinar or speaking at a conference? 

Show your work and company profile on another level with branded slides for that lasting impression. 

17 | Handouts

Along with branded slides, it's often helpful to have a handout or a worksheet to help participants of an online course, workshop, or consultation to follow along and take notes. Incorporating your brand fonts, colors, and borders goes a long way in making your presentation more professional. 

18 | Social Media Icons

Example: By Stephanie Design

It's really in the details. Even something as small and seemingly insignificant as social media icons can reflect the rest of your brand and make your site appear more professional and cohesive. 

rose gold social icons - by stephanie design


19 | Event Badges

Event badges are great for giving out to those who attend your business or blogging event. Make them more visually appealing (and professional) by branding them! 

20 | Signage

This is probably a no-brainer, but signage is an important collateral item. Have a pop-up shop or brick-and-mortar store? You'll need a sign with your logo to help customers find you! 

There may be restrictions or guidelines you have to follow depending on where you're renting your space, but is worthwhile to consider this important facet of a consistent, professional brand. 



These are just a sampling of collateral items that may be helpful for your brand. Little details are easy to overlook, but once you have a foundation laid you'll see how easy it is to create consistency, professionalism, and memorability throughout the touchpoint of your brand. 


Are there any other collateral items you’ve utilized for your business? How many of these visuals have you already created for your brand?

Want to Get a Jumpstart Started Creating Collateral Items? 

The Design Shop is full of ready-made, professionally-designed marketing templates, including business cards, pricing guides, email templates, blog post images, gift cards, and much more! 



5 Modern, Easy-to-Edit Media Kit Templates For Bloggers

Design, BusinessStephanie Hamilton12 Comments

Many bloggers know a media kit is essential tool to have on hand if you want to work with brands. But putting together a well-designed media kit that has companies excited about what you have to offer while managing the time-consuming tasks of running your blog can seem daunting. So, I've done a lot of the legwork for you - simply plug in your text and customize the template to suit your brand! 

Additionally, if you're interested in learning what you should include in your media kit as a blogger, I've put together a comprehensive post that takes the guesswork out developing one custom-tailored to the clientele you're trying to attain! 

5 modern, easy-to-edit media kit templates for bloggers | by stephanie  design


Now onto the media kit templates! 

fashion blogger media kit photoshop template

1 |  Fashion Blogger Media Kits 

This 4-page media kit tells a visual story of your brand as a fashion or beauty blogger. If you're looking to stand out and get noticed, this media kit has all the right information that brands are looking for! 

Purchase this Media Kit


modern media kit templates for photoshop and indesign | by stephanie design

2 | Clean Media Kit Template

Anyone that needs a media kit and is unsure where to start, I'd suggest choosing a very clean, chic design like the above. You can easily customize the look and feel to fit your niche and brand without a custom price tag! 

Purchase this Media Kit

3-page fashion blogger media kit templates for photoshop and indesign | by stephanie design

3 | Modern Press Kit Template 

A beautiful and professional media kit tells your brand story and helps convince brands your blog is the right investment for your their advertising purposes. Quality design engages the customer and helps establish yourself as an expert in your field. My templates aren't overly-designed, but still provide enough simple design elements to make them fun and easy to use. 

Purchase this Media Kit

blogger media kit template | by stephanie design

4 | One-Page Media Kit Template 

This one-page media kit provides brands a quick yet thorough snapshot of key facts & statistics of your blog to get you up and running. You can easily add, move, or change sections to suit your needs. 

Purchase this Media Kit

elegant blog media kit templates | by stephanie design

5 | Elegant Blog Media Kit Template

With a sophisticated type selection and muted color palette, this 2-page blogger media kit allows your work to shine. Save it as a PDF and send it along with an email correspondence, or print it out for in-person meetings. 

Purchase this Media Kit

with love suzannah - by stephanie design

"As a blogger, Stephanie’s media kits are super useful. They’re easy to use — you just input your brand/blog info using Photoshop. These media kits are also the perfect tool for brand collaborations or simply keeping track of your personal brand and its growth. This is my favorite media kit template and I’m obsessed with this business card template. Love!"

These customizable designs were created to be simple, yet beautiful and can stay with you as your business and brand continues to expand and grow! 

- Suzannah, Style & Beauty Blogger
With Love, Suzannah Hyche


What makes a media kit stand out to you? Which of the above is your favorite design? 


My Advice for Aspiring Graphic Designers

Business, DesignStephanie Hamilton2 Comments

Many of the posts on this blog are geared at potential clients, such as How to Make a Media Kit That Sounds Out, How to Choose the Perfect Color Palette for Your Small Business, and How to Create Your Signature Brand Style, but I thought it would be beneficial to share little bit of my own background in the field of design for those new to the blog and may be interested in transitioning into a creative role. 

Upon graduating from design school I immediately accepted an internship at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in their design/production dept. It was my first taste designing a cohesive visual identity across all platforms and mediums for a large brand.

After that I held at role at a marketing agency, working on various campaigns for small to medium-sized businesses before starting my own freelance business for small business owners in need of graphic design services for their brand. 

Whether you hold a 4 year degree or are self-taught, I really think there is room for everyone with a passion for design to pursue it. So if you're just starting out in the field of graphic design and looking for some advice, I'd come up with a few key takeaways from my years of experience in the field you may benefit from.. 


My Advice for Aspiring Graphic Designers - By Stephanie Design

Always Start With the Fundamentals 

Design is all about communication. You should always strive to effectively communicate the right message to a viewer, foremost. 

With the technology right at our fingertips, it's easier than before to dive right into these programs in hopes of creating pretty things we think will resonate with our ideal customer.

Before you get occupied trying to learn the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite, it's really important to have the basics of design in your back pocket. 

Have you ever viewed a magazine and thought the layout just didn't 'flow' in a way that is natural, or thought a logo or website didn't accurately reflect a business' mission? 

Designers solve complex problems visually through the use of fonts, colors, graphics, illustration, and patterns. 

If you're interested in learning more I suggest starting with the principles of Visual Hierarchy, Color Theory, and Typography to hone your skills. One you understand the reason why certain colors work together, why a pair of fonts compliment each other so nicely, and why certain layouts contribute to a better user experience for a website, you'll be able to clearly communicate your design decisions to clients and build credibility with clients. 

Related Posts: How to Chose the Perfect Color Palette For Your Small Business

Foster Postive Client Relationships

When a customer takes the leap to invest in their business with me, they are entrusting me to help establish their online presence. I don't take that investment lightly. whether it's a purchase in my shop, or a brand design package

Clear and easy communication is therefore essential. In order to clearly visually communicate the mission or purpose of a brand, I have to understand the business behind it. The best way to do this is to ask as many questions as you can upfront before the design process begins, ensuring you and the client are both on the same page. 

I have an in-depth questionnaire I give to all branding design clients, and I make sure to check in with them throughout the design process for feedback and input. Once the project wraps up clients are welcome to email with with any questions about their brand or advice, as well. 

With my online store I've gotten numerous requests for tutorials to walk customers through how to edit the templates in Photoshop, so I've since implemented a video tutorials section that helps them easily navigate Photoshop and make adjustments to their template. 

Listening to customers can take many different forms for your business, but I'd start by clearly laying out your design process, create in-depth questionnaires, and being receptive to feedback throughout the process. The more clarification you have upfront, the more the design process and client relationship will the built on trust, honesty, and respect. 

Want to make sure you're hitting every mark of the design process? Download my FREE design process cheatsheet below and make sure you're including them in your brand design process. 

Build Your Portfolio 

If you're just getting off the ground, utilize the time you have building up your business by developing a portfolio of the work you'd like to do. If you don't yet have paying clients, create your own hypothetical design projects. I'd suggest sticking to a timeline when creating these projects, that way you have a realistic picture of how long it will take you to complete and can accurately estimate when your paying clients come. Don't be afraid to put these projects in your portfolio, as these self-initiated projects are still an example of the quality of work you can deliver. 

Related: Mark Bowley has penned an excellent article on preparing and talking about your design portfolio.

Done is Better Than Perfect

As designers we tend to be perfectionists. While this can be an asset, it can also hinder you in many ways, too. If you've ever struggled with finding a stopping point with a project because you think there's something missing or it can be better, you know what I'm talking about. 

This is another benefit of adhering to a timeline and having designated steps within your design process - it forces you to utilize your time wisely, do a great job, and leave the endless tweaks and adjustments by the wayside. 

Show Confidence 

It's important to note that even designers that been through rounds of critiques in design school, have field experience, and hold a degree even have bouts of self-doubt at times. This uneasiness can show through and affect how seriously a client takes you.

This feeling of uneasiness will dissolve with time and experience. Looking at the examples above of how to foster a positive client relationship is one jumping off point. You should do everything you can to show the client their in good hands, including educating them throughout the process, explaining your concepts, and helping them through decisions, showing confidence in your own abilities even in times when you're not 100% feeling it yourself. 

Continue to Learn 

The only constant about the design field is change! Just when you think you've learned every software, tool, or trick of the trade, something new comes along to keep you on your toes. By staying up-to-date and adhering to these new methods of learning it's so much easier to stay inspired and avoid burnout. So subscribe to design blogs, take a class and learn a new skill, or simply update your software or download that new app to keep your skill set current.


I know I only brushed the surface of what being a Graphic Designer entails, so I'd like to take some of my own advice and ask fellow designers if you have any advice of your own you'd like to add? 







How To Make A Media Kit That Stands Out

Design, BusinessStephanie Hamilton14 Comments

You put a lot of work into producing high quality content for your business and blog so when the time comes that a potential client asks for all you have to offer, the best way to seal the deal is always through a media kit. 

Many people assume to media kits are only for bloggers with very large audiences - but that couldn't be further from the truth! That's really only half of the equation when brands look to partner with you.

If you focus on creating high-quality content, and develop a personal brand that establishes your credibility in the industry along with strengths apart from your business, companies will take notice.

So, how do you broach the conversation of sponsorships? A media kit is the simplest and most effective way to get started.  

how to make a media kit that stands out - by stephanie design



First, What is a Media Kit?

Let's begin with the basics: A media kit is a document that encapsulates who you are and what your blog is all about. In the same way a resume presents your experience in your chosen field, a media kit is essentially your 'blog resume,' allowing you to put your best foot forward and show advertisers how they can benefit from working with you! 

You can use your media kit for a variety of means, such as to help sell ad spots on your site, write sponsored posts, offer product reviews, receive publishing offers, and create brand partnerships. 

Second, How Do You Make a Media Kit?

Since media kits are comprised mostly of text, I use Adobe InDesign to create mine which allows you the most range of tools to fully-customize it, but you may also use Photoshop or Canva. 


What Should You Include in Your Blog's Media Kit? 



That beautiful new logo you had created should make an appearance in the header of your media kit to establish professionalism and memorability. 


It's a good idea to have a professional portrait at the ready so brands can readily identify you and put a 'face to the name.' 

Purpose of your blog:

The Who, What, Where, and Why's you want to answer. If you don't want to bucket yourself in a niche, strive for finding and honing your voice and stick to that. Make note of how you are different and what makes you unique! You don't necessarily have to specialize in one topic (ex. bloggers that cover a lot of topics such as travel, fashion, lifestyle, fitness, career are a prime example). In any case feel free to be personable - brands like when they feel they can relate and connect with you! 

Short bio about yourself:  

Marketers need to know more about the person and blog reaching out to them. Things to include in your bio include how old your blog is, what kind of topics you write about, and any special info that would appeal to that advertiser. Again, any details that make the advertiser read your bio and think "Hey! They'd be an excellent fit!" 


 As with any business that wants to get results from working with you, statistics help paint the desired outcome. As I mentioned before, they don't encapsulate the entire picture, but they give you an indication of your audience and reach. For statistics I recommend including the following: 

  • Your subscribers: RSS, social media, etc.
  • Monthly pageviews
  • Monthly unique visitors
  • A quick overview of demographics of your readers, which may include age range, gender, etc

List of brands you have worked with: 

If you already have some collaborations, then be sure to include them. This can take the form of their brand logos or more complex such as a case study from a previous collaboration. Be sure to note the results of the collaboration, such as giveaway entries received or clickthrough received. This will show you have the experience and give prospective collaborators an idea of what to expect when they work with you. 

Services provided: 

This is where you can list all the ways brands can work with you! Common options include:

  • Sponsored Posts
  • Giveaways
  • Sidebar Ads
  • Social Media Promotion
  • Product Reviews

Contact information:

Last but not least, don't forget to include contact information so that the brand can easily get in touch!


Now set some time to create a quality media kit! Your blog and brand is so worth it! 


Shop Media Kit Templates!

media kit templates - by stephanie design

"As a blogger, Stephanie’s media kits are super useful. They’re easy to use — you just input your brand/blog info using Photoshop. These media kits are also the perfect tool for brand collaborations or simply keeping track of your personal brand and its growth. This is my favorite media kit template and I’m obsessed with this business card template. Love!"

These customizable designs were created to be simple, yet beautiful and can stay with you as your business and brand continues to expand and grow! 

- Suzannah, Style & Beauty Blogger
With Love, Suzannah Hyche


10 Steps to Rapidly Grow Your Pinterest Traffic

BusinessStephanie Hamilton15 Comments

It's no secret Pinterest is a major game changer for blogs and businesses looking to stand out and get more traffic to their websites. As of right now Pinterest accounts for over half of my overall traffic and contributes heavily to my email list growth. So today I'm sharing a few tips that will help you leverage Pinterest successfully as a business owner and blogger to kick up your traffic and readership. 


10 steps to rapidly grow your pinterest traffic - by stephanie design


1 | Convert to a Business Page

The major advantage of using Pinterest as a business owner is you're able to verify your site (allowing Pinterest users to view your site as a trustworthy source), and more importantly you're able to take advantage of Pinterest analytics! It's here you're able to see what is being pinned from your site, how many people are repining images, and gauge the interest of your pinners. This is beneficial as I can see which pins I should be pinning to Group Boards at a later date to maximize my traffic! 

It's also mandatory to have a business account if your ever want to run Promoted Pins. 

Watch the video below for an overview of Pinterest Analytics or download a detailed how-to guide:

Just click here to either sign up as a business or convert your account! 

2 | Organize Boards 

People are busy so I like to keep my most relevant, on brand boards first. If my aesthetic doesn't capture their attention at first glance, chances are they won't scroll down to the rest of them. If you have to, delete boards that aren't relevant to your blog or business niche, Keep your ideal audience in the back of your mind - what kind of boards would appeal to them? How are your products or services related to those topics. And don't forget if there's something you've been brainstorming and don't want your ideal client to see just turn it into a 'secret' board and they won't even know it exists. 

3 | Make New Relevant Boards

Long before I started up my business I pinned anything that piqued my interest - regardless of whether they coincided with my business. I've since chosen boards that are a great representation not only of my design tastes and aesthetic but are a good reflection of my blog/business. And, of course, the first couple boards are showcasing my items exclusively. 

As you begin to organize your boards you may realize there are boards that you should have but don't! Make a list of 5-10 boards that are your best ideas and then create them! Spend some time pinning atleast 5-10 images to them to keep them from sitting vacant. 



how to increase traffic from Pinterest - by stephanie design

4 | Update Cover Boards

Once I have the foundation laid I like to go through and update the cover image of each board to reflect my products and offerings. Once again, I try to convey a similar vibe across your account that all relates back to my brand message. Pinterest is an extremely visual platform so high-quality images and a similar theme will go along way in attracting your ideal client and increasing click-throughs. 

5 | Apply for Group Pinterest Groups 

If you're just starting out and want to get your pins out there and seen, I'd highly recommend joining a few relevant group Pinterest boards. Try to only join boards that are relevant to the content that you want to post and where content that is posted gets re-pinned. 

6 | Allow Readers to Pin Directly From Your Site

If you share great content, chances are visitors would want to pass it on, so make sure to enable the Pin-it Button for images. This small hover link makes your site 'Pinterest friendly,' 

For Squarespace users, you can enable the 'pin-it' button under Settings > Share Buttons. If you're using Wordpress or Blogger, you can find instructions for adding a Pin It button to your site here.  

I've also recently installed the SumoMe Social Sharing Widget which I've heard many positive reviews about. Any means of making it super easy for visitors to share your stuff is worth it. 

7 | Create original pin-worthy images and graphics

I know I'm more likely to re-pin an image that is well-designed an eye-catching over a myriad of options that flood my feed, so keep in mind to create high-quality images that grab user's attention when developing your social media graphics. Colorful images and pictures with a background are often a hit on this visual platform, so taking time to craft them is well worth the free marketing Pinterest offers. 

8 | Make Boards Titles & Descriptions SEO-friendly 

Many people lump Pinterest into platforms like Instagram and Facebook, causing them to view it as another social media platform. This can sometimes skew their Pinterest strategy, though.  Pinterest is like a mini search engine (you may have heard of Search Engine Optimization) - keep in mind the words and key phrases that your ideal client would enter to arrive at your pin. Make sure each board includes a relevant keywords, and your board description is filled with words you'd find yourself searching for most for the topic. And don't forget to take advantage and write lengthy, keyword-filled descriptions: think 2-4 sentences that someone would search for in relation to your pin. 

Also, when user's pin images directly from your site the name of the image appears in the pin description so make use of this prime real estate when uploading blog post images by entering a descriptive, keyword-rich phrase.

9 | Pin Consistently 

The more consistent I am with pinning the more I show up in people's feed and, hence, the more people  that will see my pins. I try to make it a point to pin 10-15 new, high-quality pins a day to help out other businesses and grow my following while Boardbooster is running the rest of the work on autopilot. 

10 | Sign Up For Boardbooster!

Finally, once your finished with the initial setup it's time to run it on autopilot! Boardbooster has saved me so much time in Pinterest and has rapidly grown my followers on average over 50% each month. It schedules, loops, and basically runs the show for you once you set yourself up in their system. It's definitely a tool I'd recommend for those that want to cut down time spend on social media. 


What Pinterest tips have you found most helpful in driving traffic back to your site? 




My Favorites Tools and Resources for Growing My Brand

BusinessStephanie Hamilton8 Comments

As an online business owner and designer it's hard not to miss all the new tools, resources, and classes at our disposal to enhance our business and ultimately our lives so much easier. 

I'll admit though it can be overwhelming - I'm cautious to spend any money if the return is insignificant to what I might be paying. 

Nonetheless, I've found some tools that I love that work for me, and I'm happy to share them with you below: 

my favorite tools and resources for growing my brand - by stephanie design

It doesn't matter if you're a Graphic Designer, Photographer, or other creative entrepreneur. These tools can definitely benefit your small business while keeping the anxiety of running it smoothly at bay:

1. Buffer 

Remembering to update your social media profiles throughout the day is no longer an issue with Buffer. The initial setup requires a couple hours of your time at most, but it's well worth it to have an automated system in place that allow me to focus on my design projects and other miscellaneous tasks that demand more of my time. 

the best tools I use to market by business - by stephanie design

Since I view Buffer as a funnel to drive traffic to both my store and website, I'm careful to promote a good percentage of my own work (new shop additions, blog posts) along with helpful content from fellow businesses and creatives.  Because tweets disappear fast I schedule around 9 posts a day across my social media channels - allowing me to maximize Buffer's fullest potential while increasing my engagement and conversions. 

2. Boardbooster

Before using a scheduling software for Pinterest my process was for promoting my content and growing that account was more much happenstance. I figured if I shared my work on a few group boards and pinned a lot of great content from other designers and creative entrepreneurs that suit my niche that would be enough.


best pinterest social media scheduling tool - by stephanie design


 Ever since I've utilized Boardbooster beginning this year my engagement on this search engine platform has grown exponentially. I've utilized the looping feature predominantly, which takes old pins on your boards and recycles them by re-pinning back to the top again. It also goes through though and deletes duplicates. Such a helpful feature! 

3. 17Hats

Before I started using a project management tool to manage all my brand design projects I sometimes felt like I may be missing a step of my process. Having a reliable program to manage the back-end not only keeps both me and the client on the same page throughout the duration of the project but I feel rest-assured knowing my contracts, invoicing, and time-tracking are all neatly organized in one handy PM tool! 

17 hats review - by stephanie design


4. Convertkit

When I heard a gross amount of emails from Mailchimp end up in user's spam folder, I knew it was  time to switch email providers! I've heard great things recently from various sources about Convertkit, and although the initial set up left much to be desired, my email marketing for my online store is pretty much streamlined now. 

Amongst Convertkit's many handy features are "Link Triggers." These features are excellent for many types of businesses. For example: if a subscriber opens an email from me and clicks on a click to purchase a magazine template, but doesn't purchase, I can send them an email reminding them about the magazine or offering them a discount to incentivize buying. 

Either way, I'm landing in the 'Primary' tab on Google now so more people are seeing what I'm sending! 

Try Convertkit!

What are you favorite tools for running your business?