Are you about to embark on a creative endeavour but don’t know where to begin? Check out these 10 incredible creative tools that I used to kickstart my journey and you won’t go far wrong!
1. Female Entrepreneur Association
It would be an understatement to say that getting started on my creative journey would have been harder without the Female Entrepreneur Association (FEA). The founder, Carrie Green, is such a beautiful soul and has built a community of over 5,000 female business owners.
As a member, you get access to 50+ masterclasses teaching a variety of skills such as branding, graphic design, Pinterest, creating a website, plus many more! However, special attention is paid to mindset too, which is without a doubt the creative entrepreneur’s biggest obstacle.
And this is not the best part (in my humble opinion). It’s the valuable connections you make and friends you meet through the Facebook “Members Club” (more than 5,000 strong) and virtual meet up events. It’s the huge sense of community and solidarity that you feel through Carrie and fellow members in her monthly goal-setting sessions. The live coaching sessions that come with the new masterclass released every month.
I joined in October 2020 on a $1 introductory deal and have truthfully never looked back – the resources are too valuable and are well worth the monthly fee. This is not just a place for entrepreneurs, but a whole host of creatives who want to make connections.
If you’re interested in becoming a member, click here to find out more.
In the meantime, why not read about Carrie’s entrepreneurial journey in her inspiring book She Means Business, taking you back to when she created her dream business back in 2011! Get your copy here 😊
2. Secret O.W.L. Society
My obsession with everything the Secret Owl Society does has grown since I bought my first product a little over a year ago. My discovery of Michelle Rohr, the founder, was during my early days of being a member of FEA and I was instantly inspired by her story.
Michelle’s business began with her realisation that she had “lived the same year twice” when working as a waitress in a cafe. She then decided to “take 100% responsibility” for her life and this motto became the stem of her first planner “The Ultimate Life Binder” and the ethos of her business, the Secret O.W.L. Society.
By the way - O.W.L. stands for "Obsessed with Learning - isn't that awesome?!
Since then, the popularity of her products grew and grew, resulting in tens of thousands of sales on her Etsy store. Michelle has since created many beautiful printable and digital planners, whilst teaming up with Aimee (her joint venture business partner) teaching students how to create their own, through online courses.
Their signature course “Passive Income Planner Girl” has been a huge hit, combining planner creation with personal development and following your intuition. Although I am now a proud student of PIPG, I began my journey with budget-friendly PDF Glow Up for just $50 and this was more than enough to get me started with the basics of creating digital planners. Within their courses Michelle and Aimee offer such incredible value and they are packed with really simple to follow instructions and templates to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
If you are beginning your creative journey and not sure which creative outlet to focus on first, learn how to create a planner with one of these courses! Honestly, it is the best therapy and you can have so much fun – plus you learn a lot about yourself.
Ready to Dig Into Your Inner Magic?
For those who love all things mindset and self-reflection, Michelle and Aimee also offer The Magic is You group coaching which is honestly incredible. As a member, I have learnt to love myself so much more and not settle for less than I deserve.
When you join, you have access to a ton of awesome resources, including a whole library of past coaching calls which are filled with goodness - plus there are few different payment plans to suit your needs.
Are you ready to step into your power? Click below to check out The Magic is You and other programs.
My creative interest began with my blog back in 2019, and this meant that one of my first points of call was creating a website. After purchasing my domain and creating my WordPress blog, I chose to host my website on BlueHost, and I recommend that you do the same.
Not only is it very reasonably priced (a few dollars annually), but the interface is user-friendly and the customer service is great. Bluehost integrates perfectly with my WordPress site and is a wise choice for creatives just starting out on their journey – no eye-watering WordPress Premium plan prices thank you very much!
Are you looking to create a website without breaking the bank? Click here to check out Bluehost for yourself!
4. Active Campaign
If you have a longer-term business vision for your creative passion, then you may wish to start an e-mail list and have a weekly newsletter sent to your subscribers. I have used Active Campaign from the start and never looked back. It was recommended on the Blogging Fast Lane course and started to question my decision when I saw that many others were using the likes of ConvertKit or Mailchimp.
The latter is great for free plans and small mailing lists as you begin growing, however, you will need to pay more as your subscriber count increases. Additionally, there can be limited features on the free plans, such as no marketing automation option (trust me, this one is a game-changer if you’re serious about your e-mail list).
I pay only $15 per month and it suits my needs very well, give it a spin and see what you think by clicking here.
Another amazing platform to check out is Flodesk - which I recently switched to from Active Campaign! You can create some gorgeous e-mails and they are super user friendly. PLUS - you pay one price for any number of e-mail subscribers!
5. Canva Pro
I challenge you to find a person who says a bad word about this magical graphic design platform!
Canva is quite simply genius, as it simplifies the process of creating social media posts, workbooks, magazines, CVs, Invoices, Presentations, Business Cards – pretty much any kind of documents, visual content, or stationary pieces that you can imagine. There are templates available for everything, along with beautiful fonts, shapes, elements, and stock photos. It is super easy to use, with a basic drag and drop interface.
The magic does not even stop there with its design offer. There is a presentation feature, where you can record your slides onto a video, and they offer printing services with discounts for bulk orders. Want to schedule your social media posts? Canva allows you to do that too, by connecting your accounts.
Even better, it’s a totally free platform.
Can it get any better?
Upgrading to Canva Pro is honestly one of the best things I ever did! Now I cannot remember what the basic version looked like because I just couldn’t survive without this premium plan. At just $12 a month, it is worth every penny and I’ll tell you why.
Background remover (exclusive to Canva Pro and it is just fabulous for cut-outs from photos)
Access to tens of millions of stock photos (many more than the free plan)
Resize any template (Need to create an Instagram post AND a new Pin? It’s never been so easy)
Premium fonts and elements (there are some truly gorgeous designs here, I nearly every time find myself using these ones without realising)
Brand Toolkit (Input your brand’s colours, fonts and logo into here to easily generate posts in your own unique style)
Those are just several of my favourite Canva Pro features, but honestly, you learn best by just playing around and getting a feel for it yourself. Get your free trial of Canva Pro to test it out for yourself.
Warning: it is highly addictive!
6. Creative Market
These online marketplaces are a creative’s dream, selling beautifully designed social media templates, design elements, stock photos, textures, fonts, patterns etc. Whatever you are looking for, it will likely be available on either of these websites (you will most likely get distracted by lots of other gorgeous products).
The value you receive is awesome, as you will often come across huge bundle packages with many other wonderful designs – sometimes all for a lower price than just 1 font or element that you were looking for in the first place!
In addition, every Monday you receive 6 FREE downloads when you subscribe to Creative Market’s e-mail list. This is usually a mix of fonts, textures, templates and icons, all really fantastic quality. Check out Creative Market here!
Although I would recommend using Pinterest if you have a blog or product-based business (it’s a great traffic driver), this search engine tool is just perfect for creative inspiration. Whether it’s for your next design, or simply just figuring out your brand colours!
Simply create boards for all your interest categories, then start searching and saving pins in that area. Again, it is easy to get stuck down the rabbit hole of pins…
This is not the first online course provider that I have come across, in fact, it is a more recent love of mine. Skillshare is my favourite online course provider primarily because it has a really generous free trial period that actually gives you time to test out the platform. I was lucky enough to get a 60-day duration but usually, it’s 30-days – this is still a great deal! Plus – if you are able to recommend it to a friend, you can receive a free month for every referral.
Unfortunately, I was looking to cancel at one point because I was having to be stringent with my outgoings, but ended up staying because I was offered a whopping 65% off the annual fee of around £80.
The courses are so ideal for creatives in particular – very bitesize and targeted at specific ability levels. Some (particularly “arty” courses) are in the form of workshops too, so students can share their work and thoughts on the topics.
9. Blogging Fast Lane
My interest in starting a blog peaked at the point that I came across Anna and Tom’s “Blogging Fast Lane” online course. Their story is so inspiring – working around the clock on their blog whilst working full-time jobs, to 10k monthly income whilst travelling the world. I was sold!!
In Blogging Fast Lane learn everything about starting a blog, from setting it up on WordPress and deciding on your topic area, to the art of SEO and how to implement affiliate marketing effectively. They are such lovely humans who are always available for advice in the BFL Community Facebook group, so you know that the support is there for you beyond the course.
Click below to watch their free training and learn more about what Anna and Tom teach you!
OK – you may wonder why I have included this one. After all, what does eBay have to do with this topic?
Put simply – if your creative journey requires some investment, meet your new best (financial) friend. There will be times when you come across an amazing resource / product that would set your creative business on fire, but it’s going to dent your bank account slightly. Or, it could just be a new creative mindset book that you’ve discovered.
A great way to justify a new purchase (or even fund it in my case!) is by selling any unwanted or unused items on eBay. The app is super simple to use, after a few snaps with the camera, you can have your item up for sale in under a minute! My best piece of advice? Don’t overlook anything – as long as you list any flaws in the description and take photos, you are good to go. Honestly, people will buy pretty much anything, there is always someone out there looking for old pairs of sunglasses and perfumes.
I hope you loved reading about my absolute favourite creative tools that boosted my creative journey like nothing else. Which one of these will you be trying first? Also, let me know in the comments what your favourites are!
Looking to find clarity on your creative business idea? Check out my mini-course on using my 3-step method to become unstuck and get clear on your big idea going forward.
Want to achieve more fulfillment in your life by starting a creative journey? Follow Creative Goddess Club on Instagram and learn how you can discover and connect with your creative passion in the least-resistant way. Also, you can take my fun quiz and receive e-mail updates to stay in touch!