Being a freelancer in the music business is tough stuff. Not only do you have to be skilled and talented at your craft, you also need to be a capable boss, accountant, project manager, administrative assistant, talent scout… I think you get the point. 😉
Below is a list I’ve put together to try and help you become more profitable. Your time is your most valuable asset and my hope is that you’ll learn about some new apps or resources below to help you grow your business. Enjoy!
Many of you will know several options for creating a site. It is 2017 after all… 😉
However, you may not care to spend much time researching which platform is the right one for you; so I took some time to do it for you and I found this: http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/
There’s a super short quiz on their homepage that will help you pin point which web builder/platform to go with. I was so impressed I had to share it with you.
Personally, I use WordPress and I’m thankful that I spent the time several years ago to learn it (who am I kidding, I’m still learning WordPress LOL), but it’s not for everyone. If you aren’t a patient or tech savvy individual, you’ll probably want to just go with a slick page builder like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace.
*Quick tip: If you choose a page builder like Wix and you can justify it financially, upgrade to remove their logo from your site. Nothing screams amateur hour like a website with other companies’ logos on it.
I can’t say enough good things about the amazing people at Bench.co. Since turning things over to them, I’ve been free of the tedious bookkeeping responsibilities involved in running your own business. Their service isn’t free, but if you’re in a position to outsource your bookkeeping, look no further than Bench.
Side note: When I first hired Bench, I didn’t think I could afford them, however, keeping the books in order was extremely time-consuming for me personally and I’ve found that hiring Bench MAKES me money.
Accounting apps I’ve struggled to use in the past (before I turned things over to Bench), include Nutcache, Quickbooks, and Freshbooks.
A great app for booking pre-project consultations, post-project follow-ups, or if you’re a recording studio, studio tours. Calendly allows you to automate most of the communication process which will save you a ton of time!
This is my go-to app for managing projects. From grocery lists and family goals to organizing my business and mix revisions, Wunderlist can help you keep your life in sync.
From making tutorials and premium training courses to private videos to help instruct my assistants, Screenflow gets the job done. No need to be a professional video editor with this app. With a couple of clicks (and hopefully not too many takes) you’ll have your very own video recordings to share with the world.
*Quick tip: Use Screenflow to create a video guide for your potential customers. If you’re a mixer, try creating a step by step series on preparing files for the mix. Maybe even some editing tips to help alleviate the load you’ll be taking on.
My go to app for all things design. I’m no pro, but Canva makes me feel like it sometimes. Haha.
Most of the images, graphics, etc. on my sites are designed by yours truly in Canva. If I can do it, anyone can!
There’s a free plan that gives you a TON of features. If you’re even slightly creative (you’re in the music biz, aren’t you?) than look no further than Canva for all of your design needs. The pro plan is what I subscribe to and it’s only $12.95 per month currently.
*Quick tip: Remember my Screenflow tip? Maybe you’re not comfortable on camera. That’s okay! Use Canva instead and create a PDF guide for your potential clients. 😉
Maybe you’re capable, but you’d rather not spend the time designing your own images/graphics. Perhaps you’re looking for something a tad fancier? The first place I’d check is Fiverr.com.
My logo? Fiverr. My YouTube intro? Fiverr. The product boxes for my courses? Yep! Fiverr.
Think of Upwork as a premium version Fiverr. Don’t get me wrong, there are some talented freelancers on Fiverr, but Upwork takes things to another level. Both in quality and price (so be careful with your $$$).
I recommend Fiverr for smaller jobs and then look to Upwork for your more technical needs.
This is something I recently found and am exploring for my business. I’m sharing it more as a cool find than anything else.
I have a ton of these to share… I’m always on the look for cool apps and hope you find a few in this list to help you.
f.lux’s website describes the app as “software to make your life better”. This is exactly what it does! Here’s an excerpt:
“f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.
Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.”
*I have to thank my friend, talented mixer, music mind and just all around great guy, Jake Antelis for the hook up on this one! Thanks, Jake!
Hands down, my favorite email app. I’ve tried them all and I can assure you that Spark wins by offering just about every function you could imagine. Updates are frequent and bugs are few and far between.
I don’t know about you, but I type sloppy. On top of that, I’m pretty particular about grammar. #badcombination
eXtra Voice Recorder makes it easy to record voice memos and then drag and drop them into an email response. I love answering emails this way. 1. Because it’s more personal and 2. I don’t have to re-read my email 100 times to make sure my spelling and grammar are in line. Lol!
Let’s face it, not every email can be returned with a voice memo. This is where Grammarly comes in. Not only has this app helped me to send more professional emails, but I’ve also learned a ton! From fixing commas and other punctuation to adjusting redundant words or phrases, Grammarly makes you a better writer. Period.
*Don’t forget to install the extension for your browser of choice. I’m writing this guide in WordPress using Google Chrome and everything I type is being analyzed by Grammarly for real-time correction suggestions. You’re welcome!
Want to send out a 320 kbps quality stream directly out of your DAW? Nicecast is for you! I’ll partner this app with GoTo Meeting or Skype to work through production or mix revisions with my clients. This has saved my butt more than once. It also makes the client feel warm and fuzzy to be a part of taking their baby to the finish line. #winning
Record Skype or FaceTime calls with a click of a button. This can be great for recording a client meeting. Especially for when you forget to take notes. Lol
Noah Kagan says it best; Alfred is like Apple’s Spotlight feature on steroids! The built-in shortcuts will save you a ridiculous amount of time.
I’m new to Buffer so I don’t have enough time with it to give an opinion just yet, but it looks awesome!
Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
I probably didn’t need to include these on the list, but for the sake of being all inclusive… 😉
I’m new to BackBlaze, but their support has been solid and I’m happy to have a cheap web-based backup solution for my websites and studio projects.
Have something to add? Let’s help each other out!
Leave me a comment below about which app or resource you’re most excited to try out. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!