January 16, 2024

Design Business Tools for Brand Designers in 2024

FILED IN: For Designers

Design business tools are so important. You’re more than likely going to need multiple tools to run your business. That’s totally okay! I’m not a fan of having things in different places, I just wish there was one platform that did it all. But the truth is, platforms have specialties for a reason, much like us as designers. It allows them to have one main focus and do it well. So, here’s some of my top design business tools that I love and why.

This post contains affiliate links. You can snag a sneaky discount with most of these links and I may receive benefits too depending on the link.

Project management & Business Organisation

Notion:

If you know anything about me you know I love Notion. It’s the king of organisation and is perfect for me as a brand designer. I use Notion to organise my business from content plans to client projects and everything in between. I built my client portal on Notion where I can invite my clients in and we can do the entire project there. It holds contracts, invoices, questionnaires, design deliveries, final files. And it allows my client to easily ask questions and track the progress of the project.

I actually have a bunch of Notion templates both free and paid for designers. There’s a Notion Business Hub that comes with a Content Planner, task list and Client Portal for brand designers. I also do provide the client portal and content planner on their own. There’s also a free SOP’s / Task Audit template which is perfect for streamlining your business so definitely grab that freebie!

And if you’re not interested in any of these templates and you’d rather make your own, that’s totally cool! You can sign up to Notion here, it’s free!

Hello Bonsai:

Hello Bonsai is actually something that I recently started using and I’m loving it so far. I can create inquiry forms, track client projects, send invoices and contracts etc.. Hello Bonsai has been perfect for me with my Branding and Coaching projects. There’s also a scheduling feature where clients can schedule calls on a date and time that they prefer which is great for my coaching sessions! You can sign up for Hello Bonsai Here!

Calendly:

If you’re looking for a scheduling feature mentioned in Hello Bonsai above but don’t need all the extras, Calendly is perfect. It’s free and your clients can schedule calls when it suits them best. You set your availability and choose when they can book! For example, if you take Friday’s off, you can block Friday off the calendar & a client can’t book on that day]. It’s super flexible and I used this for months until I joined Hello Bonsai and used their scheduling feature instead. I still prefer Calendly, but Hello Bonsai’s feature allows everything to be in one place.

Design Business Marketing Tools

Flodesk:

Ahhh Flodesk. My favourite email marketing platform. When I tell you email marketing is so important, I mean it. I chose Flodesk because it was the only platform I could find that charged a flat fee per month that didn’t change. Most platforms charge you more if you send more emails or have more subscribers. It got to the point where the amount of subscribers I had/the amount of emails I was sending was too many. It was costing me so much with other platforms. That’s when I switched and never looked back. Flodesk has amazing email capabilities and everything is super customisable. Way more customisable than other platforms.

Plus, a friend told me about Flodesk and they had an affiliate link which gave me 50% for the whole year so it was even cheaper. And guess what, I have the same link for you. You can sign up to Flodesk with 50% off your first year here. And the best part? Everyone on Flodesk gets an affiliate link, so you can earn if you share too!

Design Business Education

DBA University:

As a person who was completely self taught in design until joining DBA, this course is the most memorable experience ever. Not only is it a program that teaches you how to book high ticket clients and manage your business, but it connects you with an amazing community. The TBC Community are an amazing bunch, and I meet with them every Monday in Valedictorian Mastermind; a post-graduation program. My first ever design project? I charged less than $50. Within 2 months of graduating DBA University and implementing everything they taught me, I booked my first $10,000 design client.

Check out DBA here and I’ll see you in there!

Design business academy testimonials

Free Education:

I started my design business with no money so I taught myself pretty much everything I know until I could afford to invest in education. I found some amazing resources like Abi Connick’s Youtube Channel, Made By James’ Instagram and books like Obsessed By Emily Heyward. You can find a list of my favourite resources here on my website.

Design Business Resources

Showit:

When 2024 hit I re-did my entire website. I moved from Wix to Showit and it was the best transition I’d ever made. Showit is super functional and easy to use. And, there’s so many designers creating website templates for their clients on here. I know a lot of fantastic Showit Web Designers.

Showit integrates with WordPress so well [literally what I wrote this blog post on] yet Showit itself makes everything so customisable that my blog looks how I want it to. And that is so important for us designers!

I also snagged a discount [a whole month free] from a friend when I signed up. And again, you get one too. Sign up to Showit here.

Creative Market & Envato Elements

Creative market is my go-to place for fonts. They do a bunch of other things like graphics, illustrations and images but I mostly use the fonts. I know a lot of designers who also love Envato Elements. Envato is great but you sign up for a monthly free and download the resources as you need [i think?!]. But since I don’t even buy that many fonts, I stick with Creative Market. You can check it out here [literally my fave place]

But if you’re buying a lot of fonts or other graphics, Envato Elements might be a better deal! Check out Envato Elements here

And that’s all the design business tools I’ve got for now! These are my top resources for 2024. My goal is to make everything super streamlined and organised, eliminating unnecessary platforms. So there’s my list

If you’re a designer and you’re just starting out, you can check out a Podcast Episode I did called ‘The Essential Guide for Designer Resources’ where I literally list out every single platform I’ve ever used and weigh out the pros and cons. This is great for newbie designers or anyone looking to expand into bigger, better platforms and just need an honest review. Check that out here

HEY!
CALL ME ROBIN

I'm brand designer from the UK and I'm devoted to helping your brand become unforgettable.

If you're an unconventional entrepreneur or online business owner looking for someone to help you while keeping it real, I'm your person.

I know you want to craft a brand that your dream clients can't stop thinking about, so let's make it happen.

Nice to meet ya!

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