When you’re starting out, there are so many things to pay for, and sometimes really beautiful design just shouldn’t be your highest priority.
Here is a list of amazing tools that will allow DIYers build a professional brand on a bare bones budget:
We build websites for our clients exclusively on Squarespace because it’s a solid platform that even the most tech-phobic can learn to use with relative ease. The templates are beautiful, and with a few nice photos and some catchy text you can have your website up ready to sell your services in minutes!
Are you a Wordpress fan, or have you heard rumors like Squarespace isn’t good for SEO? Read our comparison of the two platforms here: Wordpress vs. Squarespace
Online printing has come leaps and bounds in the last few years, and it’s hard to justify paying a higher price for a traditional printing company unless you are printing something very complicated (which you shouldn’t be!) For standard pieces like business cards, we love Moo. Their standard paper quality is silky, thick and delicious and because moo exists there is no excuse for having flimsy cards anymore. Your business cards are usually the first impression of your brand— if you cheap out on them you are telling potential clients you don’t value yourself. So how can they value you!?
Moo also has even thicker paper stock, foil stamping and other fancy offerings but if you’re on a budget, I don’t recommend splurging. You don’t have to! Their standard paper is gorgeous and it’s what we use for all of our clients.
A great tool for making beautiful designs for documents and social media posts. This drag and drop tool allows you to edit images like a pro without high powered editing software. Truth be told we haven’t played with this too much since we, you know, have the pro software, but our clients swear by it.
A free mail service with very robust offerings and similarly easy-to-use drag and drop features will allow you to start email marketing to your customers in a polished and professional way. Mailchimp also seamlessly integrates with Squarespace, making it simple to have people sign up for your list right on your homepage— again, without needing any coding or technical knowledge!
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Graphic designers are going to hate me for saying this but if you’re a solopreneur selling your services you can design your own brand and be successful and I’ll tell you why: YOU are your brand, and what is going to get people in the door is not the color of your logo or how fancy your website is, it’s your message, your offerings and how clear and compelling you are. Yes, it’s important that your brand and website look good, but with these tools it’s not hard to put something up that is simple, clean, and polished.
However, if it’s boring, cluttered, or unclear you are going to have a problem. Unfortunately, a lot of graphic designers are simply focused on making a beautiful design, they aren’t helping you with the messaging or how you’re actually going to sell your services. Without that piece, you have a lot chance of success.
Grab this checklist of 5 quick ways to Badass Your Website now.