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Freebies, worksheets, checklists and more!

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We’ve put together lots of great resources for small business owners, nonprofits and creative freelancers. From worksheets created by our own marketing experts to free trainings and even tools of the trade recommendations and more! Check out the sections below to find the perfect resource for your project!

Software, hardware and even discounted rates!

Tools of the Trade

Whether you are just starting to tackle your marketing as a small business owner or you are a creative freelancer looking to up your game. Here are the tools we use each and every day to maximize the work we do!

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Asana

Asana is hands down the ONLY way we are able to manage deadlines, promised turnaround times and team collaboration here at Oakes Creative House. We love how easy it is to use and have all of our project workflows mapped out in one easy place.

WEB AND SOCIAL GRAPHICS

Canva

While not every design is a good fit to create in Canva (yet!), we love using Canva for web based graphics such as social media graphics! Their extensive library of templates makes it easy for even inexperienced designers to create beautiful graphics. 

DESIGN TOOLS

Creative Cloud

When you are ready to get serious about graphic design, video editing and more – it’s time to let some of those web based tools go. Use what the pros use! Yes, there is a learning curve with these Adobe programs, but their tutorial videos and help center are top notch and the possibilities are endless!

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

Loomly

Loomly is our all time favorite social media management tool. It allows us to collaborate easily on client projects and features a comment workflow that is so helpful! More importantly on each individual calendar we can tie into every major social media site and yes – it even has direct publishing to Instagram!

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

AirTable

We don’t know anyone besides Steven (our money guy) who loves spreadsheets, but sometimes they are necessary for mapping out the details of a project! AirTable is spreadsheets with some pretty added in. We love not only the aesthetic but the various fields you can put in such as multiple choice, single choice, photos and more! We use AirTable for all of our social media strategies.

FILE ORGANIZATION

Dropbox

One of the most stressful parts of business and marketing is ALLLL the files! Its best to keep them in one place – AND in a place that doesn’t damage or compress your images. Dropbox is my file storage of choice!

PRINTING

PrintPlace.com

We get asked all the time where to get quality printing at a great price. While they may not be the printer for every job, we find that printplace.com delivers quality at a budget friendly price. Also, their turnaround time options are great and they always deliver (5+ years of experience with them!)

COLLABORATION

Slack

Let’s face it, texting is not an efficient way to communicate with your team. And sometimes email isn’t the best fit either. Slack is the BEST instant messenger that works on all devices and all platforms. It saves us SO much time!

WEB HOSTING

WP Engine

Deciding who to trust to host your WordPress website can be daunting! Don’t leave it to chance, use who we use – WP Engine. We trust them to host our own website as well as countless websites for clients. In 5+ years we haven’t had any major issues and the minor ones (comes with the tech territory) are resolved by their support team in a matter of minutes!

Looking to purchase a domain name? We recommend GoDaddy for that.

EMAIL MARKETING

Mailchimp

There are lots of great email marketing platforms on the market who can honestly do some amazing things! But we recommend Mailchimp here because of its easy integration with your website, CRM system, online store, social media and more. Their pricing tiers are great for helping you move from one stage of business to the next.

CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT / INVOICING

Tavé

I am often asked which CRM system I use personally – well, this is it! This CRM system is made for photographers which is what I needed it for originally, however I’ve yet to find an aspect of my business that I can’t adapt it to. They were recently acquired by ShootProof (the system I use for online photo galleries) and I couldn’t be more excited for what is to come!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Rev.com

Writing great content can be SO hard sometimes! I often find myself hitting record on my phone and talking out what I want to write about. Then, I send that file to rev.com to have it transcribed and voila! I have a Word Doc full of text to get me started. Also great for adding captions to social media videos!

Hand Picked Resources

I am so often asked for recommendations for everything from what books I read to which automation systems I have set up in my business.

I am a researcher at my core and I love learning all the things, but I realize that not everyone is wired this way. Sometimes you just need someone you trust pointing you in the right direction, right? Well, here we are! We are going to edit this list often and add my new recommendations to it so you can bookmark this page as your go-to spot for all the things that will push you, challenge you, get you thinking outside the box and tools to help you in your business.

books

1268 hours the book by Laura Vanderkam

168 hours book: This book seriously changed my life and changed my outlook on time management. Not kidding! Knowing that I have the same amount of hours in my week as Beyonce was a total game changer! Now I get to look at my available hours and I decide how to use them each and every week to get closer to my goals.

dare to lead by Brene Brown

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown: Brené Brown’s books are ones I just can’t put down! Her down-to-earth way of writing and her humor always speaks to me. In this book, she shows us how to lead by daring greatly, rising strong and braving the wilderness. This is a must-read for all my leaders out there!

the one thing by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

The One Thing: Usually when I say reading… I mean listening! I am obsessed with audible and free audio books through the library! This particular book teaches you tips for dialing in on the ONE thing in your life that is going to move the needle and bring results and how to keep it in focus.

High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

High-Performance Habits: Shortly after finishing this book, I already started adopting some of the habits that he talks about in the book. PS: His podcast is 🔥 too!

journals

Start today journal that says made for more on the cover

Start Today Journal: If you know me even just a bit you know how much I LOVE Rachel Hollis – this Start Today Journal is how I start every day and I can’t even express how much this process energizes me to reach my goals. I wake up each morning, meditate, sit in my massage chair (spoiled I know!), read a few daily meditations and dive right in. Something about the process of writing your goals as if they have already happened is SO empowering! Tip they sell out fast!

The Happy Planner that says we rise on the front

The Happy Planner: This thing keeps me so organized! What I love most? I can design my own pages, print them out and hole punch with their special hole punch (that I got 40% OFF at Hobby Lobby) WIN!

apps

the libby overdrive app

The Libby App: If you haven’t discovered the Libby app yet then let me help you out my friend! Libby is the new app by OverDrive, i.e. the libraries app that allows you to check out audio and e-books for FREE!! All you need is a library card from your local library and you are ready to read/listen to your heart’s content!

the strides app

Strides App: Habits are on my mind right now! I’m all in with setting routines and making sure my regular habits are easy to achieve. The stride app is awesome for habit tracking!

youtube channels

marie forlio standing and smiling

The Marie Forleo Show: If you haven’t watched Marie’s YouTube channel you NEED to! She is not only informative, has the best guests ever but she is SO funny!

people to follow

Dave Hollis with his daughter Noah Hollis

Dave Hollis: Guys, this one’s for you. You NEED to follow him on social. He held an amazing job with The Walt Disney Company for the majority of his career and now serves as CEO of The Hollis Co. following in the entrepreneurship footsteps of his wife Rach. PS > His book comes out in March and I can’t wait! (P.S. Don’t forget to follow anyone who’s podcast or book I mention!)

podcasts

online marketing made easy podcast with Amy Porterfield

Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast by Amy Porterfield: If you are in the business of making money online, or want to be, this is the podcast for you! Amy digs into everything from how to build an email list, what your first course topic should be and more. If you want a podcast filled with actionable tips and tricks, this one’s for you!

Rise podcast with Rachel Hollis

Rise Podcast: Those of you who know me personally KNOW how much of a Rachel Hollis fan I am. Why? Because she is super real and honest about all the things! In her business podcast, Rise, she interviews influential business owners and entrepreneurs with a strong focus on women. You are sure to find a snippet of wisdom in each episode no matter what your journey looks like.

Goal Digger podcast with Jenna Kutcher

Goal Digger Podcast: I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing Jenna is and her voice is so great to listen to while you work, not distracting but not easy to tune out either. She is a photographer by trade, but focuses in this podcast on helping people build their dream careers.

Building a story brand with Donald Miller

StoryBrand Podcast: I LOVE hearing an out of the box approach to brand messaging. This podcast is wonderful – not only do they bring on amazing speakers, but their company is one to follow! PS > If you like this, you should definitely pick up the Building a StoryBrand book too!

How I built this podcast with guy raz

How I Built This Podcast: Ever wonder how extremely successful entrepreneurs did it? How did they balance life and business, take the leap for growth and do all the things? Wonder no more, this podcast from NPR features the best entrepreneurs!

Ed Mylett podcast

Ed Mylett Podcast:  If you are interested in inspiration, great ideas and strategies to improve your life then this is the podcast for you! This is Steven’s FAVORITE and we loved seeing him LIVE this past November!

business tools

business owner sitting and looking over calendar

Do a calendar audit: I did this for the first time this January looking back at 2019. I track my time diligently so it wasn’t too difficult, but OH so enlightening and empowering. It is so important to look at how you spend your time vs how you want to spend your time so you can make better decisions around how to allocate your time moving forward.

Loomly logo

Loomly: I get asked all the time which automation service I use for social media. I use Loomly because of a few key factors: price, scalability, ease of client approval and team collaboration and because their interface jives with me! You can try it for FREE for 15 days with this link.

*Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link so if you like it and purchase I will receive a small kick back.

canva logo


Canva:
 The best and inexpensive web based program to design graphics of all kinds. While I have extensive knowledge in all things Adobe, I use Canva often for quick graphics and especially social. Also, the team collaboration options are awesome!

stock photo example


Stock photos:
 Another question I’m asked often! The best free sites I’ve found are pexels.com and unsplash.com. I love me some shutterstock.com but if you are looking for the best bang for your buck that also includes graphics and fonts elements.envato.com is my go to!

Oakes Creative House Free Resources

Not to do list

Stop letting your life run you! Take control of your time by creating a Not To Do List! Reclaiming your sanity but letting go of the things that do not serve you, and that other people can do! Use this FREE resource to create your Not To Do List today!

100 Social media post topics

I get it, sometimes the hardest thing to do is just to start. That blank page (or Facebook post box) can be super daunting. So I sat down and challenged myself to write down 100 post ideas for small businesses that YOU can start using today to fuel your social marketing calendar.

Brand Audit

Just like you go to the doctor for a checkup – your brand needs a wellness exam too, and maybe throw in a spa day for good measure! 🙂 This is NOT a bad thing! This means that you are aware of the fact that your company is changing and growing (sometimes at a very fast pace) and maybe that your ideal clientele is changing, growing up, wanting more, etc…

In the PDF I will guide you through a simple 3 part process to re-discover who your brand is and give you a few tips on how to evaluate what you are putting out there to make sure it is in alignment with your voice and aesthetic.

Website Customer Journey

When you own your space online, you 100% control your client experience. It’s important to understand your customer’s journey in every aspect of your business, but it’s especially important when it comes to your website. You may think it’s easy to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, but is it really? Use this FREEBIE to think through the thought process a customer goes through in making a decision and how you can utilize that to make your website more effective.

Customer Avatar

Get super strategic with your marketing plan by knowing WHO you are marketing to! Use this customer avatar blueprint to find your ideal customer today.

Oakes Creative House Paid Resources

Plan Ahead, Get Ahead

Save yourself time, I took the best of the best and combined it into one easy-to-use document.

The Ultimate Resource: Community

The ultimate resource I’ve found in my life is community. I had this crazy idea to create a space, a community where entrepreneurs and freelancers can come together and surround themselves with people on the same or similar path. A place where everyone can share the mistakes they have made along the way, can ask for advice and support when they need it, and receive real help and feedback. A place where you can remember why you fell in love with your business idea in the beginning!

Being an entrepreneur can feel like one of the most lonely things in the world, but the truth is there are so many other people out there that get it! They have walked in your shoes, have stood where you are standing and have gotten to the other side. What if we could come together and help each other, pull each other up when we stumble and offer the advice that is needed and can actually help?!

So, I decided to go ahead and make that group! I would be honored if you would join me in this dream and join this group.

logo design

Your brand is communicating in a visual language, do you know what tone it's speaking in? I know what it feels like to need some direction to find out what it is that your brand should truly represent. So I did something fun! I put together a little quiz for you to find out your brand’s style.

Who is this for?

💁‍♀️ Newbies who don’t even have a business name yet.

🤷🏼‍♀️ Business owners who have DIY’d their own branding up to this point.

🙋🏾‍♀️ Seasoned pros who just want to check to see if they are on track.