I've been in the small business game a few years now, and along the way I've consumed a lot of content, and I'd like to say I've learned a lot too. I would love to share a couple of resources that have really helped me grow as a business owner, and also a couple I've seen other's use and rave about.
Unsplash - For Stock Photography
Not everyone has an insta-worthy home all of the time (I certainly don't), so it's often a bit frustrating seeing every other small business and their dog sharing polished, dreamy photos of their home and workspace, when you're sat surrounded by yesterday's tea mug, an empty packet of biscuits, and a million scribbled post-it notes.
Here's the secret- you can fake it. Yup. You can open up Unsplash, find stunning photography that matches your brand voice, and it's all completely legal and legit. You think my desk looks like that? I'm currently sat on my sofa surrounded by no less than three mince pie wrappers.
Obviously add some sort of brand personality in there at some point, the best part of your brand is its personality, so make sure you post a few pics of your own (hastily tidied) desk every once in a while.
Pinterest - For Inspiration
Look, if you aren't on pinterest, you really do need to be. Not only is it a great place to market yourself, it is also the first tab I open on my browser every day. It's THE best place for inspiration, whether that be as a branding designer, product owner, or blog writer. Inspiration is one of the most important things as a creator, and there is a lot on there to take inspo from. (Also, while you're at it, give me a follow)
Studio Cotton - For Advice
I've been reading Studio Cotton's blog for a long time, and every time I'm feeling a bit frantic or lost with business stuff, their site is always the one to get me back in gear. They provide really amazing tips on all things business- SEO, marketing, design- you name it. Take a look through, but be prepared to lose an hour or two getting stuck in!
Creative Market - For Ready-Made Design
Now, I am a designer, so recommending ready-made design in any form is a bit painful for me. BUT Creative Market has some absolute gems on their site, and- used correctly- some of the designs on there can elevate your brand and make DIY marketing a lot more professional and shiny.
They offer basically everything you could need design-wise, at a much lower budget than hiring out people like me- canva templates, vector graphics, fonts, product mockups... the possibilities are endless.
HOWEVER. And I do have to put a however. The reason I do what I do is because branding is much more than just pretty visuals downloaded from a site. Branding designers are here to provide not only pretty visuals, but also strategy, research, and have that reflected in things like your social media posts, website designs, and packaging.
So, if you're on a budget, 100% creative market is an amazing resource, but definitely not the best option (that option would be hiring a designer like me, if I didn't make that clear).
What are some of your favourite resources as a business owner? I'm always looking for new things to try, so give me a follow on insta so I can learn some of your tricks of the trade!