In this list I have compiled some of the websites that I use to help facilitate my creative businesses. There are different types of creatives out there, of course, so keep in mind that these websites are what I use as a performer, teacher, and creator. If you are reading this, chances are you consider yourself a multi-hyphenate as well! I am also willing to bet you are trying to build multiple sources of income streams, or at the very least multiple avenues in which people can find your work. Here is a list of websites that I use that have proven to enhance my creative life.
Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, or any other website builder
Building a website gives you a platform to link all of your stuff! I can’t tell you how many times my simple website wowed new clients. Websites are a great way to present your portfolio, show your resume, link your social media, link your online shop, and show your personality! Having a website alone will make you more professional. The website builder I chose (and still use) is through Weebly.com. I might transition to Square Space as Weebly consistently has issues with supporting videos, even though I pay for a subscription that allows videos on my website. Weebly is great, but it is not as good as the others in my opinion. (It is outdated.)
Instagram is a place where people go to see what you’re all about and build a community with you. It’s a scouting tool and networking must. (I totally understand if you choose not to have a social media presence, though.) If you do choose to use social media as a tool, having a presence on Instagram will help you build trust with your audience. Period.
Like instagram, having a Facebook page for your business is essential in terms of building trust with your community. Facebook ads are affordable for brand new businesses and will give you a lot of reach! Most of my students come from Facebook and I think it’s because Facebook makes it easy for potential clients to thoroughly vett you. I mean we’ve all creeped on Facebook at least once… right?! Put simply, people think they know you after they creep your Facebook profile regardless if that is true or not.
Google Business Profile
If you use the internet, chances are you use Google. A lot. Join the party and make a business profile for your services. Google Ads are definitely worth it. I have gotten a lot of traffic to my website thanks to Google and have even landed on a South African online bulletin board (I am in the USA) all because someone snatched up info on Google and shared it. I am glad they did because I got two regular clients out of it! It’s always a plus when you can say that your business operates globally.
Side note: I also use Gmail and Google Drive a heck of a lot and definitely can’t imagine not having a Gmail account because of this.
I know what you’re thinking… sketchy much?! But hear me out, if you are smart about your interactions on craigslist, it can be an amazing way to build great connections with people. Craigslist is not as busy as it once was, but there are lots of people who still peruse the listings. Many of my students have come from craigslist and on top of that, I have found THREE awesome long term jobs on there and one creative project that to this day is one of my favorites to look back on. None of them were weird! Pro tip: if you are advertising an online service, post your listing in multiple cities. (Keep in mind that there is a small fee per listing.)
These days it is insanely easy to make print on demand products. If you aren’t a creative maker already, you can 1) design some merchandise 2) slap it on some t-shirts with a print on demand site like Printify and 3) link it up with your Etsy store. I like to use indie musicians as a model for creating multiple platforms and income streams. Creating merch is a great way to get your name out there and it doesn’t have to be complicated! I like Etsy because it is easy to use and takes care of the sales tax for you.
For a long time I ignored Canva, despite the fact that I heard about it from multiple creators who use it DAILY. This website is a gamechanger. In Canva you can customize anything from mugs to flyers to videos to banners, you name it. Don’t sleep on Canva, use it up and create your own brand! The first logo I made for myself was on Microsoft Word. Don’t do that. You really don’t have to do that anymore. Oh, and it’s much easier to use than photoshop.
Having a YouTube channel is a lot like having a Facebook. Just having an account in general helps put you on the map. Another great thing about the tube is that these days you can learn ANYTHING on YouTube if you know what to search. Having a YouTube account allows you to create video playlists, like videos, comment on videos, and subscribe to other creators. YouTube is the best place to show your audience who you are. They can see your face, hear your voice, and get a sense of your essence better on YouTube than any other social media platform.
If you’re making YouTube videos, why not extract the audio and make a podcast? Anchor makes it easy to get your podcast onto Spotify, iTunes, and other podcasting sites with a click of a button. Having a podcast is yet another great way to get yourself out there and build an audience.
These are just a handful of sites that I use, but they are the most crucial ones that I use. Of course there are tons of alternatives to each of these, but I can say that all of these sites are easy to use and cost little to no dollars! The cool (and also a little scary) thing is, with these sites anyone can make a creative business within their home. Will it be successful? Well, that’s up to you, the market, advertising, and a little bit of luck. These sites are my recommended starting point in building your online presence.
If you are interested in a free 30 minute consultation to help you get started, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this blog post!