where you’ll find all of the tools I’ve used to build my business from scratch.
I highly recommend Siteground for your website/blog hosting. After having a LOT of issues with another host, I switched to Siteground and I have been really happy with them. They migrated my entire site with no issues. Anytime I have an issue or question, I only have to wait a minute or two before getting someone on their live chat. The support team is always friendly and helpful!
My #1 recommendation for feminine WordPress themes is Hello You Designs. Not only are these themes beautiful and affordable, but they are easy to install. They offers tutorials and support if you have any issues once you have installed your theme. You can also pay a little extra to have her install your theme, which is 100% completely worth it!
Honestly, if you want to make it easier on yourself, purchase your domain from your hosting company if they offer it. It’s easier to buy it from your hosting company than to buy it elsewhere and transfer it. If your hosting company doesn’t offer domains, I recommend Siteground. Their domains are super affordable and easy to forward/transfer to your hosting company (if you don’t use Siteground).
Elementor Pro allows you to design WordPress pages without knowing any coding! With their easy drag-and-drop design, you can customize your website pages easily for just $49. They have a free version that works great, too, but the pro version gives more customization options and integration with your WordPress pages. If you have a WooCommerce shop, you’ll definitely want to consider upgrading to the Pro version for more custom integration.
If you use WordPress and you want to set up a shop on your website, then Woo Commerce is the plugin for you! I’ve never seen a WordPress website that didn’t use this plugin for their shop (nor have I seen a theme that didn’t use this plugin for the shop, either). It’s user-friendly and very easy to get started with this plugin.
If you’re like me and you hate creating landing pages from scratch, then you’ll want to invest in Bluchic’s landing page templates! I love these templates and have used them for so many products. Not only are they beautiful, but they are easy to use. You’ll need to get the Elementor plugin in order to use these templates, but they are compatible with the free version!
I use 17Hats to run my entire business and I love it. Not only do I manage all of my clients and catalogs with this program, but I also use it to send contracts, questionnaires, and invoices. If you use my link, you can save 10% on an annual (or higher plan) subscription!
I highly recommend using ConvertKit for your email marketing needs. I have tried other programs like MailChimp (see this blog post here), and ConvertKit is so much easier to use! If you’re not very tech-savvy when it comes to newsletters, ConvertKit is definitely the way to go!
I recommend Dropbox for transferring files between you and your clients. Dropbox is only $11.99 a month with 2TB of storage space. I work with huge files daily and I have never run out of space. It’s so much easier to use than a lot of other FTP programs. As a bonus, most of my editing clients already have Dropbox, which makes the process even easier!
I highly recommend The Contract Shop for contracts for your business. They have a contract templates for pretty much everything you can think of. This is a resource you might think you can get away with, but it’s one of THE most valuable investments you’ll make in your business.
It’s no secret that I love using styled stock photography, and I highly recommend the SC Stockshop for all of your styled stock needs. Not only are their images beautiful, but they’re so high-quality that you can use them for anything in your business.
I use Calendly to schedule mentoring and coaching calls. Once students check out using ThriveCart, they are redirected to a specific calendar where they can sign up for an available time. I can customize the calendars depending on the session and I can select my availability for each one.
I use GoDaddy Bookkeeping and it is amazing! GoDaddy Bookkeeping allows you to sync your Etsy shop(s), PayPal account(s), bank accounts, and much more. Once connected, the program imports everything automatically, including all of the fees Etsy and PayPal collect. Check out this blog post for more detailed information regarding this program.
I use PayPal to accept payments for my editing services from clients. PayPal integrates seamlessly with all of my other programs I use in my business. Not only that, but it’s easy and free for my clients to use. Yes, I pay fees per transaction, but it’s not more than any other service and it counts as a cost of doing business.
For a few of my services, I use ThriveCart to take payments and offer upsells. With ThriveCart, you can offer payment plans without the hassle of having to send reminders, and they take NO additional transaction fees! As an added bonus, you can also run an affiliate program using ThriveCart. Using my special link, you can get it for a one time payment instead of monthly.
I could not edit the amount of weddings I edit throughout the year if I didn’t have my Wacom Tablet. It is a game changer for the private editor, and a valuable tool that you will not regret investing in! Check out this post here for more information. *Make sure you get a medium size
For my wedding editing, I use Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. There are a lot of different versions of Lightroom, so it’s important you and your clients are using the same program or you’ll have compatibility issues. I recommend signing up for the Photography Plan. It’s the same price as just getting Lightroom and you get both Lightroom AND Photoshop.
For more advanced retouching, I use Adobe Photoshop. This is hands down THE best program around if you are wanting to do touchups. I recommend signing up for the Photography Plan. It’s only $9.99/mo and you get both Lightroom AND Photoshop.
The Blue Snowball microphone is not just a great-quality microphone, but it is incredibly affordable! I absolutely love mine, and as someone who is not the most tech-savvy person, it is so easy to use. Just it into your computer and go! If you are just getting started doing videos or a podcast, this is a great option to consider.
If I’ve learned anything in my 9 years in the photography industry, it’s that you need a good backup system. When I’m home, I want a reliable hard drive that can sit on my desk without the fear of having to risk moving and dropping it. For this, I recommend the Western Digital hard drive. I have never had one of these fail me!
When I’m on the road, I need a reliable portable hard drive that isn’t going to come lose out of my computer every time it gets bumped (the passport hard drive did this — it was terrible). I have used the Seagate portable hard drive for years now and I love it. I’ve had several of them and they have yet to fail me! I got this case for it and it’s been great!
I currently use YouTube to host all of my tutorials and business videos. With YouTube’s privacy settings, you can strategically use this platform in order to host courses, marketing videos, and even host online summits.
I use Skype for my video conferencing calls with clients. Skype is free with unlimited minutes during your meetings. Most of my clients already have a Skype account, so it adds another level of convenience for them.
Camtasia is a screen and video recording software. I use it for all of my tutorial videos and I absolutely love it. It is easy to use and allows me to create high-quality videos for my YouTube channel and social media sites.
Tailwind makes it easy to schedule pins on Pinterest during your peak times of the day. Not only that, but you also become part of a community where people can share your content. It can be a little confusing at first, so I recommend checking out the free trial before purchasing it. I wish I had signed up for Tailwind sooner because it has made a huge difference in my business!
Planoly is an app that I use to plan out my Instagram feed. With the free version, you only get 30 grid and 30 stories uploads per month. You also only get metrics for the last 30 days. Even if you use it to plan out your feed, you still have to manually post each post. Mostly, I use Planoly when I’m wanting to make sure the images on my feed are cohesive, so I do not use a paid version.
I used to use Linktree as an Instagram landing page, but then I realized I was sending all of my traffic away from my website! Now I have a page on my site that allows me to customize my Instagram links page and get more traffic to my website. Check out my Instagram Landing pages in my shop!
Shattered: Lessons in Survival & Strength
I Am That Girl
The Business Boutique
Happy Hand Lettering (pre-order)
The Total Money Makeover
The Best Yes
Make It Happen
Secrets of 6-Figure Women
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only share products I love and fully support.