Whether you're an entrepreneur, freelancer, artist, or a curious human who stumbled here from the internet, this resource archive contains all the tools you'll need to run a successful business.
Imagine notes, Google Sheets, GCal, and your favorite to-do list app had a baby. That's Notion—the absolute best place to keep track of your entire life. I keep everything here, from project calendars, to restaurants I want to eat at, to everything in between.
As business gurus always say, "make it easy for clients to say yes to you". This is the absolute best way I've found. Easily keep track of clients, contracts, invoices, payment plans, and friendly reminders. (And get 20% off by using my code, KLEIST.)
Ready to wow your prospective clients with the most gorgeous project proposals they've ever seen? Run, don't walk, to use Search and Grow's Dubsado template. You can customize all the colors, photos, and re-arrange the sections. One of the best biz purchases I've ever made.
The days of coding your Mailchimp inline forms are over, my friends. Flodesk is the elite email marketing platform: sleek, beautiful, user-friendly, and designed with the modern entrepreneur in mind. Get 50% off your first year with code KLEIST.
If you're stressed about creating consistent content, allow me to introduce you to Tailwind, the best app for scheduling Instagram and Pinterest posts. Manage your entire content calendar and schedule posts! Try it here.
Did you know that Instagram Reels suppresses video content that is posted with the TikTok watermark? (They're so shadyyyyyy, lol.) I use SSSTikTok to download my TikTok videos watermark-free so that I can repurpose it to Instagram.
A classic—Quickbooks is probably the most popular bookkeeping software out there. There are different tiers, but I use Quickbooks Self-Employed to separate my business income and expenses from personal stuff. Get 50% off for 6 months here!
A high-yield savings account that my business bestie, Sara Noel, bullied me into getting after I told her I didn't have one. I thought it would be more complicated to sign up for than it actually was. Start earning more interest on your emergency fund here!
I heard a staggering statistic on a podcast once that the average woman is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars by not investing. Ellevest is an app made by women for women that takes the guesswork out of investing. Get started with three months free here!
This online tool helps you identify keywords, analyze your current standing, and evaluate your competitors. The free version comes with 3 searches / day, but you can upgrade to lifetime access for an affordable price, as well.
A Wordpress plugin for the avid blogger; we all know that blogging helps with SEO, but Yoast helps you optimize your blog posts for the best search-engine-optimized results. Check within your Wordpress admin, but you can also read more about it here.
Did you know that image size can affect your SEO? Truly wild. Since Google prioritizes websites with fast page speed, you can use TinyJPG to reduce your image file sizes without reducing quality. Compress up to 20/day for free, or upgrade for unlimited.
Before I used Loom, I would send clients my concepts and type out a bajillion paragraphs explaining what I designed for them, hoping they'd understand what I was talking about. Now, I create Loom videos and show them in real time. It's the best. Get your discount here!
If you're a website designer, social media manager, or some other visual creative professional, you'll want to know about Markup.io! Upload your project into the database and clients can easily make comments directly on your design. Try it here for free!
Presented by yours truly! I teamed up with ShowIt (my preferred website platform) to bring you a free webinar on all things TikTok—learn the algorithm, strategies for more views, and how to start your account off on the right foot. Watch the workshop here!
Another workshop presented by yours truly, but in partnership with Kari Lynn Cotone (one of my favorite copywriters). In this free webinar, we go over the four V's to building a brand: values, vision, voice, and visuals. Watch the webinar here!
This free course presented by Hubspot teaches you the basics of organic, inbound marketing here in 2022. This is a must-watch for beginners in the business space. Plus, it gives you a little certificate at the end, which is always fun!!!
Reach Out Party is a course created by Carly Valancy and based on a book called Reach Out by Molly Beck — to say this course was life changing for me was an understatement. I simply would not have a business without it. Learn all about the magic here.
Great for beginners in the content creation game! In this course, you'll learn how to pick brand pillars, create blog posts pertaining to each pillar, and then repurpose your blog post content across all other platforms. Check it out here.
Hubspot's free email marketing course is wonderful for those just starting out in the email world. Learn how to keep a healthy list, how to optimize for the most amount of opens & clicks, and engage by serving your audience instead of selling.
If you're a paper-and-pen queen like me, then you *neeeeed* to know about Golden Coil's completely customizable planners and notebooks. I've been a loyal customer of theirs for 4+ years, and in 2020 I accidentally went super viral talking about their stuff. Shop here.
If you've never read Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, you're missing out. This is a workbook designed for creatives and artists to find their unique voice. Seven years after my first read, I am still doing the morning pages, a daily journaling practice. Get the book here.
There's a good chance someone else invented this, but as far as I'm concerned, this is my own creation. Out of every daily practice I've ever adopted, this is the best. Watch this TikTok video I made about how to create your own.
Seth Godin's This is Marketing is the absolute best book I've ever read on marketing, telling stories, and creating offers that align with your audience. (Like, it's so good that it basically inspired my entire business.) Run, don't walk.
What would happen if you reached out to one new person every single day for 100 consecutive days? Well, I've done it—and it's life changing, but all thanks to Molly Beck's book Reach Out, which fundamentally changed the idea of "networking" for me. An absolute must.
Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic is a love letter to the creative muse inside all of us. This book is about showing up, allowing yourself grace, and allowing your creativity to thrive. I take something new away from this book every time I read it.
Created by Tori Dunlap of HerFirst100K, Financial Feminist is a podcast seeking to destroy the patriarchy, one investment account at a time. Tori offers helpful tips to upleveling your financial game while also discussing the intersections of race, gender, class, and climate.
Why yes, the father of marketing DOES have a podcast! Seth Godin's Akimbo is a great, quick commute listen—each week he offers mind blowing insights on business, innovation, marketing, and more. Highly recommend for the engaged entrepreneur.
If you're a designer or online business owner, you gotta listen to Off-Air! Hosted by Katie Proctor from Wildflower Design Co., this podcast spills all the tea on running a successful design business; from process to contracts to client horror stories and more.
My business bestie, Sara, at Between the Lines Copy is your go-to gal for all things website copy, sales pages, brand messaging, email sequences, freebies, blogs... you name it. She's also one of the smartest and funniest people I've ever met, so there's that.
Fellow performing artist and copywriter / brand messaging strategist, Kari Lynn Cotone provides website copy, brand messaging,and content writing for creative entrepreneurs. I love Kari because she is continuously led by her values, and it shows up in her writing too.
Rounding out my list of favorite copywriters is Maggie Rhodes, who is *also* a performing artist! Whether you're a floral designer, nutrition coach, or artist yourself, Maggie Rhodes offers everything you need for your biz to thrive.
20+ years of combined marketing agency experience rolled up into one biz, Duo Collective—Abbey and Courtney are the QUEENS of SEO, strategy, social, design, and more. (Not to mention, their SEO group coaching program is amazing.)
Looking for instagram strategy? TikTok consulting? Influencer and brand management? Look no further than Hillary Applegate at Social HQ—she also has an insane resource library of free training videos all about social media. Check it out!
Stressed about Pinterest but have no idea where to start? I love following Sarah Burk on Instagram. She stays hip with the algorithmic trends on the platform so that you don't have to—and offers incredible educational content along the way.
Mainly known for her wedding photography, Ruby Olivia Photography offers gorgeous, minimal, editorial, classic style photography. But she also does *incredible* branding work. (I have a session coming up with her soon, too ;). Stalk her on instagram here.
Editorial-like edge mixed with a fun & funky editing style, and you have Sy. I love recommending Sy because she truly does it all; branding, studio, editorial, headshots, you name it. Before our shoot, she planned everything—run, don't walk to hire Sy.
Rebecca is a master of lighting—while you can usually catch her photographing NYC's hottest theatre events, she also does great branding, lifestyle, and outdoor shoots for creative entrepreneurs. Love her work so much — stalk it here.
Brand video is all the rage these days, and PrimmeTime Video Services is *incredible* at getting B-roll footage of large groups and events. I had the pleasure of working with PrimmeTime footage on a luxury event company website and it was exactly the elevation we needed.
Is there anyone better for personal brand videography than Natalie Bergfalk? I think not. While she also does weddings, Natalie specializes in cool, edgy, editorial video footage for creative entrepreneurs. See her work here.
Mainly known in theatrical circles for his music video work, Brian Russell Carey is *incredible* behind the video camera lens. (And shoutout, 'cuz like me, he's also a fellow actor.) Hit him up for anything artistic and/or musical.
Austin-based luxury photographer and certified mindset coach Felicia Reed will help you ooze confidence, no matter how you hire her. I love following this queen on instagram (and not only because I used to be her assistant ;)). Stalk her content here.
Esteemed performer and NYC-based makeup artist Katie Lamark is a visionary in the makeup space. She founded MakeUp Theory Session, which is a 1:1 makeup coaching for anyone and everyone who feels overwhelmed by makeup. I've taken it, and it was amazing!
Melissa Litchfield is a paid ads expert specializing in Facebook and other paid traffic. I love to follow her on instagram because every time she posts, I feel like I learn *so* much! If you're ready to scale up your marketing efforts into the paid ad world, check out Litchfield Media.
I always get asked what mics I use in the instagram covers I make! Truth be told, my partner is a music producer so I am very spoiled and get to use this microphone in our home studio. However, the AudioTechnica4040 is a budget friendly option!
For the video aspect, I usually switch off between my iPhone (currently have the 13 Pro Max) OR my Nikon D5500. I set either of these two up on a tripod in a naturally-lit studio, set up the framing, record, and edit in Final Cut. Feel free to reach out if you have any further q's.
Occasionally, instead of going to a studio, I'll set up a classic paper backdrop and film from there. I like to have fun colors and no glare, so I always get paper! Here is the one I have. Another fun trick is to pick whatever color you think the character you're playing would pick. :)
I like to design my actor resumé in Canva— so much easier to format than in a Google Doc, and it's free! If you do this, be sure to check out their free resumé templates— most of them are formatted for the professional world, but with a little tweaking you can make them work!
If you're not psychotic like me—AKA you actually value your free time and don't want to create your own reels—I recommend Reelarc for TV/film reels and Gab Mariella Films for Vocal/Reels/Music Videos. Both are amazing!
Lifestyle photography can tell the story of your artistry in a way that your headshot will never be able to. (I'll die on this hill.) My favorite NYC-based lifestyle photographers are Viveca Chow, Sy Chounchaisit, and SM Hawkins Photography.
Sub/Urban photography is absolutely perfect for bold and bright studio shoots, and leaning into your personal style. (And I don't just say this because I love the owners! Although, I do. My headshot is from them.) Visit their website here for more info.
Justin Schuman is a Broadway actor, headshot photographer, personal brand enthusiast, storyteller, and fellow TikToker who I discovered fairly recently thanks to that beautiful TikTok algorithm. Head to his website to get the scoop on his services.
A queen of self-love, rebellious theatre, and capturing the true you. Mia is known for her bright use of natural light, pops of color, and soft photographic glow. (I also used to do Shakespeare with Mia, so I can personally vouch for her character both behind and in front of the lens.)
Among all the communities for actors that I've ever been a part of, JWS is the whole package—what Jen Waldman has created is pure magic. At JWS, you can take classes in acting, musical theatre, entrepreneurship, mindset work, and much more.
IVS, Innovative Voice Studio, is the brainchild of Jenna Pastuszek and Tim Russell. At IVS, they train their singers like athletes and use 5 principles of sports training: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit. They're extremely talented, and just plain good humans too.
If you've ever wanted to hire a personal trainer that won't make you feel like absolute shit about yourself, Emma Terrazas is your gal. Her training program focuses on being full, cultivating strength, and feeling good. Endlessly grateful that this queen came into my life.
Before I fell into my business accidentally, I never understood how people started in on projects that others eventually wanted to hire them for. Once it clicked, though, I made a TikTok video laying out the roadmap on how to start. Watch it here.
After you've got a proof of concept (i.e, you've got a couple happy clients under your belt and you've identified the need for your skillset), you're ready to market it. Honestly, I have so much marketing advice that you might just wanna head over to the blog.
Eventually, there will come a time where you are doing so much work that you are burnt out, overwhelmed, and generally drowning in a to-do list at all times. That's when you know it's time to establish systems and raise your rates! Check out the organizational tools above for more.