The Ultimate List of Tools and Resources for Creative Entrepreneurs

best online tools for creatives
As a creative solopreneur your big likely include growing your online business, building a bigger and better community, and to connect with entrepreneurs and bloggers all over the world.

There’s nothing more inspiring than connecting with other successful people, and hearing how they overcame their financial struggles and can now help others to do the same.

To do that you need some serious tools and resources so you can learn all the ins-and-outs of running a successful business online. Here are my favorite tools and resources to help get you started towards making your business a massive success in 2013!

Get Your Business Organized

1. The Mint Manual, from Tim Murphy ($29 ebook). Finally there’s a step-by-step guide that will save you tons of time and headache trying to figure out how works. Tim doesn’t just do the cut and dry tips either – he includes screenshots, secret tips and even a cheat sheet. He also uses his own finances as examples and even displays a few super nerd sections (that you can skip if you’re not a business nerd like I am).

2. Make it Rain, from Caleb Wojcik ($29 10-week Course). This 10-week course is the class we should’ve had in college or high school. This 10-step weekly checklist teaches you how to take command of your money. Maybe you don’t know where to start when it comes to money, or you’re on the right track and want to make maximize what you’re saving and earning, this is the class is for everyone. Oh, and if you sign up for the course, 25% of it goes to help build clean water wells in Africa.

3. Thirty-One Days to Improve Your Financial Life, by PT Money (FREE resource). Don’t let this blog post fool you. Not only is it free and open to anyone, it’s full of epic information, actionable tips and resources for you to turn your financial life around – in just 31 days! And Phil Taylor (PT) doesn’t just share stuff from his own blog, he shares links to top financial blogs on the internet.

4. How to Design the Ultimate Home Office, from Hassan Osman ($9.95 ebook). Do you have an unorganized, cluttered work space? This is one of my favorite books for learning how to make the most of your space. Packed with efficiency tools, layouts, basic steps for designing and maintaining a clutter free work space. The guide is very easy to read and filled with pictures, prices and the direct links to products, that Hassan actually uses, so you don’t have to waste your time researching.

5. Getting Rid of It, from Betsy and Warren Talbot (Kindle: $4.99 Print: $7.99). Did you know the average person spends one year of their life looking for lost things? In this “intervention” of a book, you learn practical steps to getting rid of stuff. But it’s more than that, not only is it a step-by-step guide, this book addresses the emotional and peer pressures of decluttering and why we accumulate stuff.

Be a Writing and Blogging Expert

6. Rockstar Blogging, from Shannyn Allen ($24+ ebook). Everybody loves free stuff, but how about $1K in free products, sponsorships and fans all for your blog? This guide has it. But more impressively, the know-how to get noticed by brands you love and how to pitch to them. No matter what your blog topic, big or small, this is the guide to get noticed!

7. Successful Blogging Guide + Paid to Blog course, from Tom Ewer ($29 guide). Tom Ewer writes an awesome book about how to launch or elevate your freelance business further all by writing for blogs. This book tackles the issues of how to set your rates, attract new well paying reputable clients, and of course how to make more money. I’m even featured in the book!

8. The Ultimate List of Better Paying Blogging Gigs, from Sophie Lizard (Free PDF). I’ve used Sophie’s tips and advice (and even interviewed her on the blog) for building my successful freelance business. This guide offers a giant list of sites and blogs that will pay you $50 or more per article you write for them. It’s packed with other tips like how to format, how to really impress the editor and more!

9. Become a Freelance Writer in 30 Days, by Shawndra Russell ($30 guide). Whether you’re a new writer or just want to learn the basics of getting your website loaded with content, this is the perfect guide for you. You’ll find the exact tips, strategies and step-by-step guidelines for becoming a successful writer in 30 days.

Stand Out on Social Media

10. How to Create a Freakin’ Fabulous Social Media Strategy, from Alexis Grant ($59 ebook). Become a social media hero for your boss or client! Alexis is a digital genius who’s passionate about making a life on her own terms (check out her interview). This guide will help you craft a winning social marketing strategy so you can reach your big goals. It even includes a sample strategy so you can see how one digital strategist puts all the pieces together.

11. Use Social Media to Get Freelance Gigs, from Carol Tice ($197 4-week bootcamp). If you’re overwhelmed by social media and not sure how to get a foothold for your freelance business, this 4-week class covers everything. How to use social media to market and grab new prospective clients. Carol gives real-time tips in her interactive sessions, making it quick and easy to understand and to follow by example.

12. Thrive Hive, from Sandy Sidhu and Jules Taggart. ($15/month private forum). Thrive Hive, an online community, is your total entrepreneurial cockpit for women entrepreneurs who are serious about growing their business and spreading the word about what they do. With speaking opportunities, live video chats with experts and more, Thrive Hive is the place for women who: thrive on collaboration, want a fertile testing ground for new product and service ideas/launches and to learn from other successful entrepreneurs who’ve been where they want to go.

13. The Careful Cents Club, from Careful Cents (FREE private forum). An exclusive club I created for other creative solopreneurs looking to take the leap to full-time biz owner. We share tips, advice and questions for creating work-life balance, increasing revenue and all the other things that come with being your own boss! 

Go Against the Grain

14. Location Rebel from Sean Ogle ($297 program). “Everything you need to work from anywhere.” This is an online program that gives you the tools to run your business from anywhere and how to make money on the go. Regardless if you want to travel or not, this book will still give you valuable means to improve you life. Once signed up there are interviews to watch that are concise and to the point. Blueprints on what exactly to do, how to find clients and all the skills you need with the resources to learn them. And a forum that is filled with helpful folks to support you and answer any questions.

15. App Academy, from Benny Hsu ($99 course). If you have an idea for an app but no idea where to start, the App Academy is what you need. Benny made almost $17,000 in one week of his FIRST app launch! You will learn the tricks he discovered and use these ideas to rise to the top, even if you have no experience in app creation – at all. He teaches how to develop your ideas, outsource it, how to look good and be found in the app store, and everything in between.

16. Start a Blog That Matters, from Corbett Barr ($97 weekly sessions). This course contains 13 weekly lessons to guide you through starting a blog that matters over the next 90 days. You’ll start with choosing a great topic and setting up your blog and end with building your audience and spreading your influence. Whether your goal is to build a business around your blog or just to have fun with it (or both), this course will build a great foundation for your blog.

Got another to add? Name one online tool or product you’ve used to make your business better!

[All the items listed are products I use personally. Some of them are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn a small commission at no cost to you! However, the opinions here are my own.]
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About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and owner of Careful Cents, a site that helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. She recently launched her new course called, Solopreneur Finance: Managing Money On Your Own Terms. When she’s not writing about finance, and geeking out over numbers, she enjoys painting, sketching, and making food with her chef husband. You can connect with her in real time on Twitter or Instagram: @carefulcents.

26 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own

  • jennyblake January 11, 2013, 10:36 pm

    Thanks so much for the mention, Carrie — I really appreciate it!

    • Carrie Smith January 12, 2013, 6:40 pm

      My pleasure Jenny!

  • Kickstart Kitchen January 12, 2013, 8:52 am

    Thanks for including us Carrie, AND wow! thanks for compiling such a fantastic list. What a great resource!

    • Carrie Smith January 12, 2013, 6:39 pm

      Thanks for the support! I couldn’t do it without all of your amazing tools for making successful entrepreneurs.

  • Caleb Wojcik January 12, 2013, 10:44 am

    Thank you for mentioning Make It Rain Carrie! I appreciate the support. :)

  • Budget & the Beach January 12, 2013, 11:04 am

    Great list Carrie! Bookmarked for future reference!

  • Sandy Sidhu January 12, 2013, 11:16 am

    What an awesome resource, Carrie! Thanks for including Thrive Hive!

    • Carrie Smith January 14, 2013, 10:38 am

      I love being a part of Thrive Hive, and a resource I can’t help but share! Thanks for making such an inspiring tool for female entrepreneurs :)

  • Tahnya Kristina January 12, 2013, 1:00 pm

    Great resources Carrie! Love the roundup.

  • Joe Cassandra January 12, 2013, 5:16 pm

    No brainer Bookmark, thanks Carrie and congrats on YEC :D

    • Carrie Smith January 12, 2013, 6:40 pm

      Thank you Joe :) I’m really excited about YEC.

  • Benny Hsu January 12, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Thanks Carrie! That’s a great list and think there is definitely something for everyone.

    • Carrie Smith January 14, 2013, 10:38 am

      Thanks for creating such an awesome resource Benny! I’m honored to have it as part of my list.

  • Hassan Osman January 13, 2013, 9:51 am

    Thanks for the mention Carrie! This is a fantastic list!

  • Sophie Lizard January 13, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Carrie, this is insanely useful! I’ve found a few things here that I didn’t know existed – including your Freelancers Club – going to check those out now. Thanks for the mention, and I hope you have a HUGE 2013!

    • Carrie Smith January 14, 2013, 10:33 am

      So happy you found my suggestions useful Sophie! Anytime you’d like to be part of the Freelancers Club, you’re absolutely welcome. We share your stuff in there all the time – it’s super helpful!

  • Chris A Stumble Forward January 13, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Awesome list I definatly like the book on designing a home office, I’m looking to do this in a few years with my basement.

  • Dana Sitar January 14, 2013, 7:05 pm

    Amazing list, Carrie! Thank you so much for including me in this great company :) I’m going to need days to scour through all the resources on this list.

  • Jordann January 15, 2013, 6:41 am

    Wow this is an amazing list! I’m so busy with other life commitment that I have absolutely no time to read them, but I’m bookmarking this for future reference!

    • Carrie Smith January 15, 2013, 9:50 am

      Thanks Jordann, I’m glad you found it useful and hope you can take a peak at some of them in the future. Good luck with your to-do list!

  • Jeffrey Trull January 15, 2013, 11:40 am

    Super list! I use a few of these already, and I agree they’re very helpful!

  • Shannyn January 15, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Aww, thanks so much Carrie, I appreciate the mention!! :) You rock!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money January 16, 2013, 10:49 pm

    This is one heck of a list! I will definitely have to check some of these things out. Thanks for putting it together.

  • Maegan Anderson January 25, 2013, 1:03 am

    Almost all the information needed to become successful in online entrepreneurship were posted on this article. Thanks for sharing all stuffs Carrie, this is a big help especially to those online entrepreneurs who wants their business become more productive.

  • Anthony Mazzocchi January 28, 2013, 3:22 pm

    What an amazing list! I have a pile of books getting ready to be read….time to add a few more…

  • Stacey Harris March 1, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Great resources! Great job Carrie. I’m already a part of a few of these groups but I might be adding to my reading list thanks to you.

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