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Getting Started with Email Marketing: A Primer

If you have been anywhere near online marketing trends lately you will know there are just two words on everyone’s lips: email marketing. And business owners are talking about it for good reason. Email marketing has one of the highest rates of return over any other inbound marketing channel. They say that for every $1 dollar invested in email marketing, you could see a 40% ROI. For online shop owners and small businesses, this is great news.

I see it daily with my clients. Email is the single best tool for getting in front of your prospects and customers, for building a relationship with them, and for triggering sales. At the heart of it, email marketing is about having a conversation with people who are interested in what you do or sell. What better audience to have then an engaged and targeted group of individuals who have invited you into their inbox? You can easily see why email marketing has the potential to become the single biggest source of traffic and revenue for your site (tweet this!).

The only thing standing between you and this great influx of massive results is getting started with email marketing. If you have some hesitation or are unsure where to start or what to do, I’ve broken it down for you with these 4 steps that outline how to get started. Let’s dive in.

Start a list

Choose an email service provider software such as MailChimp- one of my favorites! Set up a list in your email program of your choosing.

When it comes to creating your list you might be wondering if you need several or one will do. I recommend starting with one master list. Sticking to one list, as opposed to managing several lists in your account, will help keep confusion at bay and save you from making errors down the line. This will be the list that your signup forms and opt-ins will feed into.

After you have your list set up, create a signup form for your master list. Then place the signup form in various spots around your website. The goal is to create as many opportunities to capture individuals' email addresses as possible. Getting the email address of a site visitor is the best way to ensure the potential for an ongoing relationship; otherwise, that visitor can just come and go on your site and possibly vanish forever.

A great tool for capturing signups on your site is the use of a pop-up. While some feel that this approach is slightly too aggressive, I think that as long as you create a compelling offer and word it well then it’s a great way to go. Just be sure that the pop-up has a quick and easy way to X out of it.

Rookie Mistake Alert: When naming the master list within your email program, be aware that the list name can be seen by your contacts. So avoid giving an internal name to your list and choose one you are fine with your prospects and customers seeing.

Create an incentive

List growth is a vital element of your email marketing plan- you always want to be growing your list. One of the best methods for doing so is to set up an incentive to offer when your prospects or customers join your list. We all love getting free things and feeling special, so when you create that experience around your email opt-in, more of your site visitors will sign up. Come up with creative offers that fit with your brand, are appealing to your target customer, and relate to the products or services that you sell.

Service based businesses can offer up exclusive content in the forms of special reports, e-books and downloadable lists (like One Woman Shop's 28 Secrets to Growing Your Community slideshow!). Popular incentives for product based business are offering some form of discount. Test between offering a dollar amount vs. a percentage to see what yields the best results for your business.

Set up a welcome email

This next step is a crucial one. A welcome email is the first piece of communication you have with your new contact; it is the email that gets sent out immediately after they've opted in.

The bond between your business and your new contact is at its strongest in the moments just after they’ve opted in. A welcome email is there to acknowledge your new contact and let them know what to expect from you in the future. Setting the stage for your future communications will go a long way in the effectiveness of your email marketing. Welcome emails typically have very high open rates so really prioritize what you put inside the email and what the main point you want to get across is.

Some things to consider including in your welcome email:

  • A branded experience- this email should show off your brand and creating a lasting memory of it for the reader
  • The incentive you offered as an opt-in bonus
  • Introduce yourself or point them to your About page. Give them a chance to get to know you a little better
  • Highlight or feature the top benefits of your services or products you sell
  • A next step. Do you want them to make a purchase, contact you or follow you on social media? Give them clear direction of what to do next

Rookie Mistake Alert: Keep the focus on just a few top points and don’t over-stuff the welcome email.  Include what you think is the most important and be confident you will have more opportunities to expand on your brand in future emails.

Get regular

After a prospect or customer has joined your list, the worst thing you can do is to never email them again. They’ve shown an interest in hearing from you so be in touch with them frequently. Start by committing to how often you will be sending emails to your list. Decide if you will be sending your emails weekly, bi-weekly, at a different regular interval, or just when you feel you have something important to say.

Schedule those dates into a calendar and get started on content creation. Develop a theme or topic for each email while ensuring that every email has a goal and objective. Don’t send emails just for the sake of sending them; rather use them as powerful tools in your business and make each email count.

Before sending an email make sure you have answered these 4 questions.

  1. Why are you sending this email? Assign an outcome you want the email to have
  2. Who are you sending this email to? Be clear on who will be reading it
  3. When are you sending this email? Know when it’s being sent and how it fits into your broader editorial calendar strategy
  4. What are you including? Based on the above answers, be sure you know how the content and design of the email will achieve your goals and objectives

Try these steps out in your business and see how straightforward it can be to get started with email marketing. Feel confident that you are investing your time and resources into an area of the business that will come back ten-fold!

grow your community online

How to Make Guest Blogging Work for Your Business: A Primer

Guest blog posting is a popular marketing tactic for increasing awareness of your business.

There is a lot of great things about guest posting, especially if you are in a build stage of your business, as it can help increase site traffic, drive subscribers to your email list and position you as an expert on issues related to your business.

You know you should be doing guest posts, but the question is how to actually make it happen in your business. Let’s face it. Guest posting is only one marketing activity, and marketing is only one part of running your business. As a one woman shop, there is a whole load of things to get done every single day.

Creating a 90-Day Plan for Your Guest Posting

As the saying goes, failure to plan is planning to fail- and guest posting is no exception. Start by creating a 90-day plan for your guest posting program that establishes:

    • The goal for your guest posting program. It could be a certain number of posts or a percentage increase in traffic to your site.
    • Your specific stories and themes for guest posting. Too often people start by deciding on a place to guest post, when they should really take the time to get clear on what stories they should be sharing. What issues in your niche need to be addressed? What things can you take a stand on?
    • The target audience for your guest posting efforts. Get really clear on your audience and where they hang out. This will help you determine targets for guest posting and keep you focused.

Putting these pieces in place will help make a major difference as you get started as you will be able to avoid shiny object syndrome. Consider guest posting in the context of your other marketing/sales activities and how it can support or leverage what you are already planning. For example, if you have a new service you’ll be offering, guest posting on topics related to that would be a great fit.

Creating Systems for Guest Posting 

Once you have a plan, the next step is to operationalize your guest posting. By creating systems to support your efforts, it will help make the most of the time you spend on guest posting.

Specific systems to support guest posting may include:

    • An electronic folder with all of your assets for pitching guest posting including different versions of your two-line bio, your headshot, copies of your pitches and more.
    • A tracking sheet with all of the opportunities you identify and all of your activities such as when you sent pitches, when you followed up, and when your articles are submitted.
    • A pitch template to help you shortcut writing pitches (editor's note: we love using Gmail's Canned Responses for this).
    • Email folders or labels to track all correspondences related to guest posting.

Practical Tips for Keeping Guest Posting Going

Guest posting should be a year-round part of your marketing and publicity strategy, not just something you do when you have a launch coming up.

Over time, your enthusiasm for guest posting may wane or other things may start to feel more urgent.  The true power of guest posting does not come from a single article but from you building up a body of work as an expert.

To keep guest posting going, first and foremost, be realistic. Map out a plan to pitch things in waves so you don’t become overwhelmed with writing, editing and submitting posts.

If possible, break down your 90-day plan into monthly and then weekly activities so you can set aside a block of time every week for guest posting. One week you may spend time on research, the next week on writing/sending pitches and the other on writing posts you’ve secured.

Finally, team up with a friend or colleague if you can to share resources and lend each other support. Brainstorming story ideas, researching or proof reading can be much more effective when there is two of you involved.

Guest posting offers a great way to get you and your business in front of new audiences and build your credibility but you need to make a priority in your business. By creating a plan and systems for guest posting, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Editor's note: You might find our editorial calendar resources useful for your guest blogging efforts too!

How do you make guest blogging work for your business?grow your community online

 

How to Develop a Better Network Online: A Primer

It’s all about the relationships. At least, that’s what I’ve always been told. Successfully growing a business depends on developing leads and nurturing connections with other people. You can’t do it alone, even if you’re a One Woman Shop.

Believe me. I know. I’ve been working on my solo business for quite some time now and I’m the first to say that a strong network makes all the difference between getting ahead or falling woefully behind.

With the advent of social media tools, it’s become so much easier not only to connect with existing contacts but to create an entirely new network of people to help you grow your business online.

If you haven’t been taking advantage of social media in this way, it’s time you started. Here are a few ideas to get you well on your way.

Leverage LinkedIn

If you’re not active in some way on LinkedIn, you’re missing out. It’s the go to place for professionals across a multitude of industries to connect. LinkedIn provides an opportunity to continue the conversation with someone you’ve met in person or online in a professional context.

Take these things into consideration to get the most out of using LinkedIn to develop your network:

    • Always write a custom note when asking someone to accept your connection request, especially if you don’t know them personally. Using the default message is akin to not having a professional looking photo for your profile. It says, “I’m not putting any thought into this.”
    • Share value added content with your connections and within groups that you’ve joined. Join in on the conversations and be willing to answer questions whenever possible. This shows you’re willing to be engaged and displays your expertise within your niche.
    • Give praise and acknowledge accomplishments. Check the news feed and key into what your connections are doing.

Join a few Facebook groups

Facebook has seen an explosion of groups over the past couple of years. Groups within Facebook fall within two camps: open and closed. Open groups are ones that anyone can join while closed groups require acceptance by the group’s administrator.

Depending on your interests and/or profession, you can do a search on Facebook and see if there are any that strike a chord with you. Getting recommendations from others is the best way. For instance, I belong to a women’s entrepreneur group called Thrive Hive that serves as a kind of giant mastermind and support network. It’s been a phenomenal place to bounce ideas off of others and develop leads for my business. While this one is closed and has a fee to belong, there are plenty that do not.

Get beyond the phone call

Skype and Google Hangouts are tools that should be in every small business owner’s arsenal. Even if you’re not looking to connect with people outside of your immediate area, you never know when meeting virtually may seem like the best option.

Both are free. Google Hangouts allow you to have multiple people join the conversation and be seen on the screen at one time.

Think of using either one of these tools to connect with clients, potential clients or people in your industry in a more personal way.

    • Invite some of your clients to a Google Hangout where they can get some of their burning questions answered about their businesses.
    • Better connect with someone in your industry via Skype who you’d like to develop a strategic partnership with.
    • Offer a 15 minute Skype chat to discuss your services with an interested potential client.

Don’t forget email

Last but not least, don’t forget about email. Contrary to popular belief, email is not dead. Within 24 hours of making a meaningful connection at a networking or professional event, I send that person an email. I reference where we met, what we talked about and the fact that I would like to include him or her in my network.

From there, I connect on LinkedIn where I hope to stay on that person’s radar.

Which brings me back to the need for reaching out across multiple platforms to keep your connections alive; not everyone is comfortable or interested in being active with all the virtual social tools. Find ones that work for you and those people you most want to cultivate working relationships with online.

The more you do, the more you’ll find how much value you can get out of them.

OWS Experiments: Learning to Code with Skillcrush Blueprints (Part II)

One Woman Shop Experiments: Learning to Code with Skillcrush, Part II

One Woman Shop Experiments: Learning to Code with Skillcrush, Part II

Welcome to One Woman Experiments, where daring business women experiment with different parts of their business in order to find best practices. We hope these experiments help improve your business and inspire you to test-drive new strategies. Have an experiment you want to test out and document? Check out our ideas and guidelines!

This experiment in web design + business building is currently being embarked upon by OWS community member Ashley Rustad, who is on her second Skillcrush Blueprint and is kindly documenting the process for us here! Take it away, Ashley.


(Editor’s note: Last month, Ashley broke down how a Skillcrush Blueprint works for us as she was completing the Web Designer Blueprint. Now, she’s on to the Freelancer WordPress Developer Blueprint, and is letting us following along!)

April was all about transitioning from the Web Designer Blueprint I completed during the winter and beginning the Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint. The first class? Introduction to WordPress. This class is the primer on all things WordPress: It teaches the history of WordPress, how to install it, the WordPress Admin (which includes Posts, Pages, Setting, Widgets, Themes, and Plugins), Introduction to PHP, the WordPress loop, debugging, creating a homepage, QA, launching WordPress, and security.

Also, throughout the course there are “career sections” which include revamping your resume, using Adobe Photoshop, using social media to get hired, and writing cover letters. Needless to say, there is a ton of stuff packed into this first month of the three-month Blueprint. Below, I’m sharing my takeaways, as well as who this class might be a good fit for (and who it might not be).

Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint: Takeaways

I have one overall takeaway that I should share first: This class is the primer for the rest of the Blueprint. That being said, if you already know certain aspects of WordPress, some sections may be more of a review for you than others. That was the case for me.

Takeaway #1 - If you know the WordPress Admin, be prepared for review. If you know nothing about WordPress, there is a big learning curve, but everything is explained very well.

By “knowing” the WordPress backend, I mean you can create a post and page, you know what all the settings are and what they do, you know how to create and organize widgets in the sidebar and footer, you can create menus for the navigation bar, and you can download and install themes and plugins. If that’s all in your wheelhouse, those parts will be a refresher, which was the case for me. But...that’s all I knew.

Takeaway #2 - The bigger learning curve comes with an introduction of PHP. (Already know PHP? This may be a review for you, too, but can be a really good refresher.)

I didn’t know any PHP, which is the programing language that WordPress uses. (It’s amazing.) The Blueprint taught the sections by recording Adda write PHP, having us then copy her on our computer. (It sounds much easier than it is because if you miss one character, it won’t work.) Since this was all new to me, I had to go back and watch a few sections over again to see what I missed. I was never worried about not being able to figure it out -- Skillcrush also provides the written out pieces of code to compare against, so I could easily see where I may have gone wrong. Truth: It could be frustrating at times, but when I got it right on the first time, it felt amazing! There was no better thought than, “I’m actually getting this.”

Takeaway #3 - The videos are well done, but be prepared to pause, rewind, and rewatch when it comes to the actual PHP programming.

One thing I didn’t like about the PHP videos is that they went too fast for a beginner like me. Adda is a pro-programmer, so her mind works quickly, sometimes making it hard to keep up with her. Having the video at my fingertips to watch at my own pace meant rewinding to go back and see exactly what she typed. And when all else failed and I couldn’t quite figure it out, the Blueprint provides the actual code to install if I just wanted to move on. Patience is key in learning code.

Takeaway #4 - It’s not just about learning to code; it’s about learning how to apply it as a career.

The program is broken up into weeks and days. There’s homework each weekday for three weeks, then the fourth week is filled with what Skillcrush calls “Career Content.” These weeks have information-packed webinars about the career side of becoming a web developer.

There are three Career Content sections: revamp your resume, Photoshop & social media, and cover letters. Each of the career content sections have a webinar-style video that’s at least 45 minutes long. Skillcrush includes the webinar slides and sometimes an e-book type of download for further reading. I haven’t actually watched all the webinars yet, but ones I have watched have been super informational and helpful in the career aspect of the class. Since they are webinar style, they don’t have the extra graphics and video quality like the rest of the videos from the class, and I do wish they were divided up into shorter segments since they are so information rich. I would have preferred to watch four, 15-minute videos over the course of a week about cover letters.

Who is/isn’t this course for?

The introductory class of the Skillcrush Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint is great for anyone who has little-to-no knowledge about WordPress and/or PHP. With an introductory level knowledge of WordPress and PHP, this course would be a good review. Since I’d worked with the WordPress Admin in the past, that portion was a review for me, while the PHP section was brand new, and more challenging for me to learn.

Overall, I really enjoyed the course and learned a lot. Learning all about WordPress and PHP are the building blocks of becoming a great WordPress Developer -- and I can’t wait to go through the next two courses of this Blueprint. Before long, I’ll be building websites for clients and helping them get their message out into the world.

Stay tuned for next month, when I share the behind-the-scenes of the second course in the Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint: Git, Github and the Command Line.

What questions do you have about Skillcrush and/or tech skills, in general? Leave ’em in the comments below!

We are affiliates of and may receive commission from sales of Skillcrush Blueprints. As always, we only promote products and services that we love and/or think you might benefit from — and Skillcrush is among the best of the best!

100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs

The 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs from One Woman Shop
Editor's note: Want even more? Check out the 2017 list of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs!

Welcome to the second edition of 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs.

The online world is at once both a very small and a very large place. As a solopreneur, it’s not exactly tough to find resources to help grow your solo business -- but it’s a true challenge to find the very best resources that will provide the insight, advice, and tips you need to build the business that makes you want to shout from the rooftops: “I’m a solopreneur!!!

That’s what #100BestSites is all about -- and this year, it’s back and better than ever. Our nominations tripled this time around, making our job of compiling, editing, and polishing these entries pretty tough -- but we’re confident that what you’ll find below is a goldmine of resources that will provide both inspirational advice and actionable how-tos when it comes to rocking your business. (Oh -- and a little something else, too. Our last category is a new one!)

Dig in… and be endlessly inspired to better your biz.


Digital Marketing

The sites to visit for all things marketing: blogging, social media, SEO, building your list, and developing a website that works.

AmbitionAlly

Nathalie Lussier -- who you’ll see again later on this list -- and her husband say it best: “As allies in our marriage and business, we're here to become your favorite allies for growing your business with elegant software solutions!” The AmbitionAlly blog reflects this -- and more -- with content about everything from WordPress plugins to influencer outreach to video opt-ins.

Must-read post: 5 Examples of Gamification in Marketing

Blacksburg Belle with April Bowles-Olin

“You absolutely loooove what you do, but you hate that you don’t make any {or enough} money doing it.” If this is you, enter: April -- AKA Blacksburg Belle and CreativeLive star. In the words of OWS member Amanda: “She's a business coach for creative women, and she's got a no-nonsense style, and you can tell it's because she cares so much.”

Must-read post: 10 Reasons Your Marketing Efforts Aren’t Working

ConvertKit

ConvertKit -- the newest player in the email marketing platform arena that people (including us) can’t stop talking about -- has an equally valuable blog. In between sharing best practices for making the most of their platform, they break down general best practices for email marketing. Color us “converts.”

Must-read post: The Anatomy of the Perfect Email

Design Your Own Lovely Blog with Marianne Manthey

Calling all DIY-ers! If outsourcing design and tech work isn’t in your budget (yet) or you’d love to master basic tech skills, you need Marianne and DYOB in your life. Suddenly, HTML and CSS don’t seem so scary, are we right?

Must-read post: Don’t Put Off Learning HTML + CSS! Here’s What You Need to Know

House of Brazen with Elise McDowell

We had a tough time choosing a category for Elise’s online home because, in her words, it’s a site built for those who are “ready to build a profitable business that allows you to sleep in, go for a hike in the middle of the week or take a vacation when you feel like it...” (Solopreneur mindset + lifestyle, anyone?) But in order to get there? You’ve gotta kick ass online, which she’ll help you with.

Must-read post: Why Micro-Adventures are Good for Business

Jess Creatives with Jessica Freeman

Jess says she could live on chai lattes and peanut butter and she has a dog named Morgan Freeman. (Just a few reasons you can love/trust her.) But don’t just take it from us -- one nominator said: “I really enjoy how Jess breaks things down to simplify them,” while another noted her “insightful posts on design and freelance topics.”

Must-read post: Why Etsy and Facebook Can Not Be Your Only Online Presence

Kyla Roma

With a bio section in her footer that’s headlined with “Who dat, who dat? K-Y-L-A,” we can’t help but get psyched when we land on Kyla’s digital homebase. As a business coach and digital strategist, Kyla’s blog runs the gamut from building a better web presence to eliminating distractions from your essential work.

Must-read post: How to Build Community Around Your Business Before You’re Ready

Lara Eastburn

Besides the fact that she’s a PhD-bearing geek who also loves wine, we’re drawn back to Lara’s site on repeat because of what she helps small(er) businesses do: “Speak Human. Win the Internet.” Lara’s site is a go-to for everything social media: from Facebook Ads to using “linguistic disruption to restore real gratitude” in tweets. (For real.)

Must-read post: Thank You (Yawn) For Sharing

Liz Lockard

Liz’s tagline sums it up: “Getting more traffic doesn’t have to be so hard.” What a relief. As Tara Gentile (another #100BestSites winner) testifies: “If you’re listening to anyone else but Liz on search, you’re wasting your time. I’m just so tired of people being taken advantage of when it comes to SEO. I love her approach and what it stands for in terms of both business strategy & people-centric thinking.”

Must-read post: The Vanity Metric That’s Killing Your Business

Marketing Creativity with Lisa Jacobs

Marketing Creativity is the brainchild of Lisa, the owner of an Etsy jewelry shop-turned-marketing consultant. Who better to learn from about the ins-and-outs of marketing an online store than someone who has, you know, actually done it? And if you love gold and glitter? Bonus! You’ll feel right at home on her site.

Must-forward post: How to Support the Creative Entrepreneur in Your Life

Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa Griffin is the artist formerly known as the head of The Nectar Collective. We can’t promise that visiting her site won’t inspire a serious bout of the comparison trap (then again, most of these sites probably will), especially with her enviable income reports. But we can promise that she’ll offer you killer digital marketing advice backed with stats and examples.

Must-read post: How to Use Bonuses in Your Business to Turn More People Into Customers

Nathalie Lussier

If her name looks familiar, it’s because Nathalie’s a rock star who made this list twice. (See AmbitionAlly, above.) We couldn’t neglect her namesake site, though -- which is perhaps best known for its 30-Day List Building Challenge -- but is all about creating “a digital strategy that matches your ambition.”

Must-listen episode: Tech Checklist for a Successful Launch

Sarah Von Bargen

We confessed last year that we’ve nicknamed Sarah Von Bargen “SVB” because we reference her so often. (We’re all about efficiency.) Every time we read one of her posts, we’re struck with a “Wow, that’s so obvious, yet we haven’t been doing it” moment. (You know that feeling, right?) She encourages us to think out-of-the-box when it comes to online marketing, be creative in order to maximize our efforts, and get more honest with ourselves.

Must-read post: Just Because You Don’t Like Something Doesn’t Mean You Can Ignore It

Skillcrush

The team at Skillcrush (ladies we happen to love) is out to promote freelancing and solopreneurship by making tech skills easy to learn. While their Career Blueprints rock, their blog is a stellar place to go for advice on freelancing, design and tech, and social media marketing. (And who doesn’t love a company who can make an awesome April Fools joke?)

Must-read post: How to Decide Which Programming Language to Learn

Tiny Blue Orange with Alison Monday

The team behind Tiny Blue Orange (that would be Alison and her two pups, Brutus and Pixel, of course) believe that security, sass + sweetness make the world go ’round. We <3 sites that can talk tech and make it oh-so-delicious.

Must-read series: Nerd Alert (obviously)

Wellpreneur with Amanda Cook

According to listener Helen, Amanda Cook of the Wellpreneur podcast “shares actionable advice, inspirational podcasts, resources and great courses!” Amanda has carved out a niche amongst health coaches and “wellpreneurs,” but her digital marketing advice is applicable to any online business owner who aspires to be “authentic, vibrant, creative, and caring.”

Must-listen episode: Being a TedX Speaker with Adria DeCorte

WP+BFF with Shannon Mattern

Last year, WP+BFF was a new-to-us site that landed on the list because of a nomination. This year, Shannon was hands-down the most nominated site, which is a testament to her community’s trust in her when it comes to WordPress site-building. In the words of Cate: “Shannon is authentic, fun, and provides the best information and support for building a website...” (We couldn’t agree more.) Emily adds, “She has helped me make my own WordPress site...using real language [not tech-speak].”

Must-read post: Are You Making These Mistakes on Your Website?

XO Sarah with Sarah Morgan

From creating passive income to doubling your blog traffic, Sarah Morgan is a web designer who’s out to help you make more with less. Her badass blog is a treasure trove of resources for design, productivity, Pinterest, blogging, product creation and much, much more -- and her Insta feed will make you want to drop everything and learn aerial arts.

Must-read post: 3 Blog Design Updates That Made a Big Difference in My Traffic, Subscribers, and Shares


Publicity, Launching and Sales

The sites to visit when it’s time to garner attention, build your launch strategy, and make more money.

Alexia Vernon

Alexia is all about helping rising female leaders (so yeah, you) develop their story and share it with the world. She helps followers “step into their moxie” through storytelling and speaking, with signature programs focused on “your spotlight.”  Oh -- and her movement has spread to the White House, where she was branded as a “Moxie Maven.” #heckyes

Must-read post: Haters, Copycats and Raving Fans (Why They Have Everything and Nothing To Do With You)

Amanda Genther

A seasoned designer and pro in branding, Amanda’s out to help you brand and launch your next online course. If you’ve struggled with making your ideas happen, pushing past resistance, or launching a digital program, it’s pretty much guaranteed that her site has a resource for you.

Must-read post: My 8-Step Process for Writing Sales Page Copy

Betty Means Business with Kate Byrne

Sales are slimy. Pricing sucks. Playing small is safe. ← We witness these mentalities all the time, but Kate, of Betty Means Business, has answers for all of them. Spend just a few minutes on this site, and you’ll realize that Betty really does mean business.

Must-read post: Business Slow? 21 Client-Winning Moves to Make Now

Emma Lawrence PR

In a fast-moving world of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, more traditional PR can often be overlooked. But it’s certainly not dead. Though it has evolved, the principles are still very much intact. And if you’re ready to take control of your own PR, you need the wisdom of Emma Lawrence, your new PR coach.

Must-read post: 5 Secrets to an Irresistible Press Pitch

Evolve + Succeed with Halley Gray

Halley Gray likes to do things like: send out mugs that read “Fuck yeah!” and host a series called Drunk Webinars. But amongst the goofiness, she shares some pretty powerful advice on booking yourself out with client work and rocking your launch strategies.

Must-read post: The #1 Mistake All Client-Based Businesses are Making (and How to Fix It)

Farideh Ceaser

The main calls-to-action on Farideh’s website are “I launch you.” “You launch you.” and “Songs.” So simple and practical, yet so attention-grabbing. Whether you’re in the market for a launch strategist, DIY launching wisdom, or clever biz songs (like the one called “Should I Do a Webinar?”), Farideh’s your girl.

Must-read post: 50 Ways to Build Buzz Without Doing a Webinar or a 3-Part Video Series

Femtrepreneur with Mariah Coz

Sometimes we want to skip the sugar coating and have someone give it to us straight. Enter: Mariah, who encourages -- nay, insists -- that you “stop screwing around with your blog and turn it into a badass, profitable business.”

Must-read post: The Truth About Content Upgrades

Hey Shenee with Shenee Howard

Anyone who uses Friends and Full House GIFs on their site is a-okay with us. Shenee also rocks long-form posts and is candid with her business struggles, which win her even more brownie points. If you’re looking for a "fist-bump and high-five...to get you going in the right direction,” it’s time to say “Hey, Shenee!”

Must-read post: 8 More Things Internet Marketers Don’t Want You to Know

Launch Grow Joy with Andreea Ayers

Andreea works with product-based businesses to get their products the attention they deserve. Whether it’s setting up an online store, getting more traffic, or gaining media coverage, her blog and podcast are a go-to resource for online store owners who want to launch, grow, and find joy. (Had to.)

Must-read post: How to Write a Product Description That Does the Selling for You


Branding, Copy, and Content Strategy

The sites to visit for tips on designing and wordsmithing the brand and content that tells your biz story.

Alexandra Franzen

Alex Franzen’s writing style is unlike any other. She draws you in with personal anecdotes and examples until you find yourself alone behind your computer whispering “Wowwww” under your breath and nodding slowly. She inspires you to take action, but more so, to shake up your mindset and start seeing things differently -- especially when it comes to sharing your business’ story.

Must-read post: How to Tell a Great Story -- Onstage

Brooks Editorial with Ashley Brooks

We bet at least a few of you reading will relate to Ashley’s bio: “I make the most of our rare warm weather by spending every spare minute on the front porch with a book. In a perfect world, I always have an iced mocha in hand and a book in my purse.” In addition to sharing our love for coffee, reading, and coziness, Ashley shares our love for effective content strategies.

Must-read post: 5 Myths You Believe About Content Strategies (That Are Dragging Down Your Business)

ByRegina with Regina Anaejionu

If you spend time on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen one of Regina’s branded images pop up on your feed. But a consistent brand on social media isn’t the only thing Regina does right -- she’s also the queen of content for infopreneurs. We wouldn’t be surprised if you do a double-take when you start following her due to the sheer volume of quality content she puts out.

Must-read post: How to Create Super Share-Worthy Blog Posts

Canva’s Design School

It’s time to go back to school. Design School, that is. Even if you work with a designer in your solo business (or are a designer in your solo biz!), mastering basic design skills can serve you well. In addition to being an image editing service, Canva offers design lessons and inspiration -- like the pros and cons of flat design and designs from around the world  -- through its “school.”

Must-read post: 10 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Images

The Content Direction Agency with Lacy Boggs

Doused with mystery but incredibly clear when it comes to content and sales cycles, Lacy is Director of The Content Direction Agency. Her mission is to help your content out of its identity crisis, and her “Eyes Only Content Library” shows you how. (Oh -- and if you liked a good game of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego back in the day, you’ll love navigating her website.)

Must-read post: How to Develop Your Own Brand Voice Guidelines

Copyhackers

Even if your ultimate goal isn’t to create a business based around copywriting, creating content is a crucial -- and inevitable -- facet of running a solo biz. Having some copywriting chops will make that next landing page or email campaign a heck of alot easier, and Copyhackers is the place to turn for all things copy. Fitting name, indeed.

Must-read post: Why Your Copy Needs to Pick a Fight with the Other Guy (Instead of Smiling and Shrugging)

The Crown Fox with Kaitlyn Kessler

You know we like pretty things -- but we also like incredibly helpful things, as well. You can find both over at Kaitlyn’s site. What we love most? How in-depth she goes on topics like re-branding, creating social media graphics, and gaining authority through design. In the words of OWS member Julienne, “Kaitlyn offers really great overview posts of branding do's and don'ts.”

Must-read post: Three Signs You Should Rebrand & One Sign You Shouldn’t

Elle & Co. with Lauren Hooker

A graphic designer by trade, Lauren has years of experience under her belt learning the ins-and-outs of building a brand and business. Through a wealth of step-by-step tutorials and how-to posts, she helps other small business owners and solopreneurs build brands, create websites, and grow audiences so that they’re poised to sell.

Must-read post: 10 Essential Design Resources for Creative Entrepreneurs

Garnishing Co. with Susannah Brinkley

It’s really no surprise that the brains behind the Feast and West blog, Susannah, would also choose a food-related term for a branding and design resource, and we can’t help but love her for it. Garnishing Co. is all about “helping bloggers and small business owners make their brands thoughtfully beautiful -- on a budget,” and despite being a relatively new blog, her resources go deep in helping you DIY your design.

Must-read post: Make Business Cards That Stand Out

Kayla Hollatz

Anyone who has a fierce love for writing, creativity, and hot chocolate is a friend of ours. But what adds fuel to Kayla’s fire is her passion for community building, something she showcases through her weekly Twitter chat and ever-evolving community, #createlounge. We love her blog for tips on cultivating creativity and using social media to build your brand.

Must-read post: The Difference Between Growing an Audience and Community (and Why Both Matter!)

The Middle Finger Project with Ash Ambirge

Sass, sarcasm, and smarts: Ash Ambirge puts it all on the table over at The Middle Finger Project. She provides “unconventional advice for unconventional women,” and while you have the option to switch from Snark Mode to Censored on her site, we highly recommend the snark. We can’t quite say it better than we did last year: Sometimes raunchy; always insightful.

Must-read post: Networking Event? Try This Creative Approach to Introducing Yourself

Nicole Baute

A “writing coach and story strategist,” Nicole breaks down the barriers that keep you from writing and helps you discover the voice that is your own. We appreciate her honest approach to creating copy and content, and her candid advice for making it work for your business.

Must-read post: Stop Sounding Like Everybody Else

The Rule Breaker’s Club with Courtney Johnston

Out to serve “rebels with a cause,” we turn to Courtney’s blog and videos when it comes to sales pages, emails, and when to ignore your audience. (You read that right -- she’s a rebel, remember?) Once you’ve experienced her “Rainbow of Sales,” you’ll never go back.

Must-watch video: Email Marketing Mindset

The Story of Telling with Bernadette Jiwa

Bernadette’s a two-timer on this list for a reason (or two): Her customer service-oriented approach and shunning of rational sales strategies makes us think twice, and her short-form posts pack a great deal of punch. Her real-world examples and focus on storytelling makes her resources all the more insightful.

Must-read post: What Do Your Customers Really Want?

White Oak Creative with Lindsay Humes

Lindsay isn’t your standard blogger -- she’s the blogger who also builds the WordPress themes you’re blogging on, which makes her blog a haven for information specific to blogging, including tutorials, resources, and design inspiration. The depth of her tutorials makes even the most tech illiterate of us (cough, cough) feel savvy.

Must-read post: Move Over, Grandma! Why Site Speed Matters + Tips to Improve It

The Write Life

The Write Life was built to help writers “create, connect, and earn,” but it’s safe to say that the site has evolved into an overall fantastic resource for building a brand as a freelancer. Whether you’re looking to improve your writing skills or your social presence, there’s likely an article for that.

Must-read post: Want to Raise Your Brand Awareness? Put One of These on Your Blog


Biz Growth, Systems, and Productivity

The sites to visit when it’s time to hunker down and grow your biz — and the systems and productivity tips that’ll get you there.

99U

Some business sites sell the idea that a business that runs like a well-oiled, revenue-generating machine is easy to come by. 99U reminds us that “‘Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.’ To truly make great ideas a reality, we must act, experiment, fail, adapt, and learn on a daily basis.” In a word? Evolve. It’s what the articles on 99U help us do.

Must-read category: Iteration

Being Boss

A team after our own hearts, Kathleen and Emily launched Being Boss as a podcast for creative entrepreneurs who identify as “the rebels, the quiet ones, the schemers, and the dreamers.” Through a mix of kick-ass guests and mini-sodes, they cover all aspects of “boss-ness” (that’s our made up term…), from launching to partnership and fitness to email marketing.

Must-listen episode: Playing Big with Tara Mohr

Devon Smiley

Whether you’re stuck on pricing a proposal or you’re in a sticky situation with a client and need to find your way out, Devon’s your go-to girl. A negotiation consultant who’s “out to make sure you’re not getting the short end of the stick when you do business,” her Smiley Sessions (bite-sized, action-driven videos) are fantastic for solopreneurs at any stage of the game.

Must-watch video: A Quick + Simple Bottom Line Booster

The Freelance to Freedom Project

We think it’s safe to say that freedom -- with your schedule, your energy, your creativity, maybe even your location -- is something all of us solopreneurs aspire to. While we don’t think it can happen with the snap of your fingers, we think it’s possible through strategic work. Enter: The Freelance to Freedom Project, where Featured Writers share their wisdom on just that.

Must-read post: You Can’t Do It All. Do This Instead

Heartmade Blog with Mayi Carles

In between showcasing her handmade illustrations, quoting The Lion King, showing off her adorable baby, and throwing in a few Spanish words to bump up our vocabularies, Mayi gives tips 'n tricks on running a multi-faceted business and ditching the idea of balance.

Must-read post: Turn Life’s Messes Into Creative Triumphs

Heather Crabtree

We say “savvy,” you say “Heather Crabtree.” Heather’s got the lockdown on savviness through posts about everything from creating on-point Pinterest profiles to branding on a budget to networking for introverts. Oh, and we <3 this: “Do you feel those big virtual hugs I am giving you right now? (Sorry if you are not a hugger. Sometimes I forget to ask before I hug.)”

Must-read post: How Hiring a Virtual Assistant Can Benefit You Emotionally

Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris

An audio engineer by trade, The Stacey Harris (yes, The) has more than 250 podcast episodes under her belt and loves sharing her secrets for making it work. (Hint: She dispels a lot of myths.) Beyond podcasting, she’s a natural resource for all things social media. Take it from reader Barney: “Pink hair, brash straight talk served up with community love and goodness!”

Must-listen episode: 3 Things You Must Know About Launching a Podcast

IttyBiz with Naomi Dunford

The irony behind “IttyBiz” is that Naomi’s out to help you become less little -- and in the words of OWS reader Nela, she does it in a way that’s “hype-free, honest, down to Earth and focused on what really matters.” Her posts go in-depth on the barriers holding you back from growth in your business and provide tangible (and entertaining) advice on how to break them down.

Must-read post: 11 Warning Signs Your Business Has a Serious Upper Limit Problem

Leah Kalamakis

You might recognize Leah’s name from her claim-to-fame (well, one of several): Freelance to Freedom. In addition to creating and facilitating the FTF community, she also builds valuable content about business systems and processes to help you stress less and impress -- which is (not coincidentally) the name of her popular course. OWS member Julienne says that Leah “gives a great overview, so you really feel like you understand the purpose -- not just the how.”

Must-read post: Why You Need More Than a Simple Contact Form

Lucky Break Consulting with Lela Barker

What’s in a name? If we’re talking about Lela’s biz, it’s a lot of luck. But she knows it takes a lot more than luck to build a business, and is out to help the handmakers and creators of the world price their products, gain those products visibility, and ultimately run an empire.

Must-read post: A Friendly Tutorial on Those Vexing UPC Codes

Marie Forleo

We know it’s cliché to worship at the feet of Marie Forleo, but we just can’t help it. She delivers boatloads of valuable content every Tuesday through MarieTV -- and her perfectly shiny hair and gorgeous wardrobe don’t help our severe bout of envy either. Luckily, she manages to stay relatable with her silly intros and her philosophy that “We take our work seriously, but not ourselves.”

Must-watch episode: Redefining Success with Arianna Huffington

Nice Ops with Amber McCue

Upon landing on Amber’s website, you’re greeted with messages like “Get an A+ in running your business” and “Operations are sexy...if you’re doing it right.” We love her coy copy and her call to own a business “instead of your business owning you.” Also important? Her reminders that, even as a solopreneur, leadership and systems are crucial.

Must-read post: Is it Time to Fire Yourself?

Organized Creatives

If we could summarize Organized Creatives in one word, it would be: simplification. (Are you surprised we didn’t cheat and use “organized” or “creative”? Come on, we try harder than that!) Organized Creatives is all about simplifying your life, both online and off, so that you can spend time on the things you want to pursue creatively.

Must-read post: How to Let Go of Physical Clutter

Paul Jarvis

If we had to sum Paul Jarvis up in three words, it would be this: The original freelancer. Of course, that’s not exactly true, but Paul certainly knows what’s up in the realm of freelancing. From dealing with clients to launching courses, he tells it like it is -- and offers insanely valuable tips for other freelancers in his Sunday Dispatches and on his podcast, The Freelancer (among many other places).

Must-read post: There’s No Such Things As a Big Break

RM Harrison

RM works with service-based creatives to find “business alignment” and strengthen their brands -- and we particularly love her talk on client love. Here’s what OWS reader Devon has to say about the #RMTruth blog: “RM gets right to the heart of what I'm struggling with, and helps me through.”

Must-read post: How to Clone Your Favorite Client

She Owns It

We love this site for its magazine-style quality and breadth of topics that help “celebrate, support, and connect women entrepreneurs.” (A cause after our own hearts!) From networking to leadership and healthy lifestyles to inspiration, She Owns It serves as inspiration to grow our biz and better ourselves.

Must-read post: The Fortune Is In the Follow Up

Side Hustle Nation with Nick Loper

We know many of you are rocking the side hustle while working full-time jobs. (Mad props!) If this is you or you just want some out-of-the-box revenue generation ideas (think: raw land investing, brand ambassadorship, and voiceover acting), you’ve got to check out Side Hustle Nation.

Must-read post: The Mini-Victory Theory and 17 Mini-Wins You Can Get Today

Tara Gentile

Tara’s perhaps best known for her Quiet Power Strategy, “combining intense focus with uncompromising vision and strategy." We love her focus on focus (see what we did there?), and in the words of OWS member Amanda, “She's strategic, fun, and nerdy.” (So, basically, what we’re all about here at OWS.)

Must-read post: Have Trouble Creating an Action Plan and Sticking to It?

The Uncaged Life with Rebecca Tracey

Rebecca is like your older sister who tells you the things you need to hear -- even when you don’t necessarily want to. Whenever we read anything of hers, we think “Dang. Now that girl gets it.” Then she adds in some sexual innuendo humor, which seals the deal for us. (Her signature offering, which is about creating packages in service-based businesses, is called “Hey, Nice Package!” See what we mean?)

Must-read post: Is Your Business Coach Full of Shit?

Unsettle. with Sarah Peterson

“Unsettlers are a group of people who are unsettling from the status quo, challenging career and work norms and building their dreams.” Sarah’s site isn’t for everyone -- but if you’re someone ready to do the work to make a change, check out the blog and podcast to find a roadmap for identifying your skills and interests, and grab the resources to help you get started.

Must-read post: An Insanely Simple 3-Step System to Building a Business On the Side


Finance and Law

The sites to turn to for the “logistics”: what to do with that money you’ve made, and how to protect your business.

Blonde on a Budget with Cait Flanders

If minimalism is your jam (...or you would like it to be) and you could stand to improve a bit on your personal finances (um, who can’t?), Cait’s site is for you. Her bio says it best: “Blonde on a Budget is Cait Flanders' journey from being a maxed out, overindulging girl to becoming a balanced and financially sound woman.” We think it’s safe to say that our brunette and redhead friends are welcome on the site too.

Must-read post: You Weren’t Born to Pay Off Debt and Die

Careful Cents with Carrie Smith

Follow Carrie for a bit over on the Careful Cents blog, and you’ll wonder what she doesn’t do. Her site is a goldmine for tactical resources on freelancing, finances, and productivity. (Oh -- and breakfast. Yes, breakfast.) We turn to Carrie for incredibly helpful tutorials on all things logistics, and can’t help but mention that she’s one half of the Budgets & Cents podcast with Cait, listed above.

Must-read post: How to Find Affordable Health Insurance When You’re Self-Employed

Creative Genius Society with Patrice Perkins

When’s the last time you got sucked down the rabbit hole when it came to legal biz logistics, and loved every minute of it? Patrice has a way of taking something we all like to put in the very (very) back of our minds -- the law -- and make it...fun. (Yes, we really mean that.) She knows how to take topics like trademark law, contracts, and business structures, and make them digestible. Oh -- and she’s a self-described “American Bar Association Legal Rebel.” (Love.)

Must-read post: Why You Should Hire a Trademark Attorney + The Real Cost of DIYing Your Trademark

Freelancers Union

We’re not gonna lie -- buying health insurance and putting away money for retirement don’t rank super high on our list of favorite things to do within our businesses. But, since we know they’re important for our mental and financial well-being, we appreciate sites like Freelancers Union that step up to make it easier on all of us. “Building a better future for the independent workforce,” indeed.

Must-read post: 4 Ways to Put Your Tax Refund to Work

Making Sense of Cents with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Beware the rabbit hole: Michelle’s a former financial analyst who’s now self-employed and traveling the US full time in a RV, and her blog is updated daily on all things budgeting, debt reduction, retirement, and much, much more. Though her blog is packed to the brim with helpful advice, her approach to life is that of a minimalist -- an added layer that we love.

Must-read post: Why Would A Person Choose To Live A Frugal Life?

Rodgers Collective with Rachel Rodgers

What if you could consistently learn from someone who’s not just a creative with a business-centered mind, but also has an ultra-firm grasp on the law? That’s Rachel, creator of Small Business Bodyguard and owner of Rodgers Collective. You’ll want to hit up her blog for advice on cash flow, income, and “intelligent law + business strategy.”

Must-read post: Why (And How) to Project Your Business Cash Flow

SCORE

SCORE is a veteran organization with a mission of helping small businesses succeed from the ground up. The organization is particularly helpful for securing free, in-person business mentoring, but supplements its physical resources with online articles covering start ups, marketing, finance, technology, and more.

Must-read post: If You Don’t Value Yourself, Who Will?  

Sweeter CPA with Helena Swyter

We hear that ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your business finances and taxes. (We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, friends.) Helena of Sweeter CPA keeps you up-to-date on important but often overlooked issues, like sales taxes, depreciation of property, home office deductions, and in-kind advertising. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, we promise that Helena will make the whole process feel a bit “sweeter.” (Get it?)

Must-read post: Small Business Taxes: Getting Started, Quarterly Estimates, and Forms 1099s


Mindset and Solopreneur Lifestyle

The sites to visit when you need a fresh start, a different take, or a reminder to love the life you’ve built as a solopreneur.

Alex Beadon

Alex is all about helping you discover what you love to do, get past the fear of doing it, and learn how to make money in the process. Though she rocks social marketing and blogging (she shares the behind-the-scenes of her entrepreneurial life via Snapchat stories), it’s her Monday Mantras that landed her back on this list.

Must-read post: Monday Mantra -- “How You Do Anything is How You Do Everything”

Art to Self with Steph Halligan

A stellar cartoonist, Steph started creating illustrations to accompany her daily notes to herself -- then decided to share them with the world. And we’re so glad she does. From getting started to getting past mental blocks, her daily notes in your inbox or RSS reader are the perfect way to start the day as a solopreneur.

Must-read post: Let It Ebb and Flow

Best Kept Self

Us solopreneurs are a proactive, independent bunch -- but who can’t use some assistance in kicking ass, taking names...and making it back home for our bedtime? That’s why we love Best Kept Self’s tagline: “Self-help for the self-employed.” Even more than that? We love their Instagram bio: “Because you should invest as much into your soul and mind as you do your website and biz cards.” All we can say is: YAAAAASSS. (Sorry, we had to).

Must-watch video: Concrete Takeaways for Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Chasing Creative

Despite having just been born in early 2016, Chasing Creative quickly joined the ranks of this fine list for its unique topic: Making creativity a priority in our busy lives as women. Ashley and Abbigail bring on writers, musicians, photographers, and more to talk about what keeps their creative juices flowing when the day-to-day grind takes over.

Must-listen episode: Make A Mini Creative Retreat with Jennie Moraitis

Clarity on Fire

For the ladies who don’t feel like you’ve found your “sweet spot” where your passion meets your skill set: Clarity on Fire is for you. Our favorite way to take in Rachel and Kristen’s insight? Through their #ClarityGems. In their words, “Think of #ClarityGems as your weekly shake of the good ‘ole Magic 8 Ball...you never know what might bubble up and how it might be exactly what you need to hear today.”

Must-read post: Confession: I Have No Desire To Be a #GirlBoss

Coach Jennie with Jennie Mustafa-Julock

If you’re in need of a bit more tenacity in your life, you need a dose of Coach Jennie, our resident giver of “cathartic shoves” and the Queen of Blab (our favorite video platform). If that’s not enough to tempt you to check out her site? Go there to discover who the heck Hilda is. (We guarantee you know her.)

Must-watch video: Stop Standing In Your Own Way

Danielle Dowling

With a title of Dr. (yes, Doctor) Danielle pairs psychology and life coaching to inspire lasting change that helps you “say yes to you.” (For sanity’s sake!) We absolutely love that Danielle is “unabashedly intellectual,” putting those masters and doctorate degrees to work serving women the world over.

Must-read post: Dear Danielle: Help Me Be a Confident Introvert

Danielle LaPorte

Don’t let your fear of the “woo woo” steer you wrong: Danielle LaPorte knows how to get after it, from expressing your creativity to building relationships and clarifying your purpose to owning the fact that you’re a woman. Her “Public Library” is chockful of reading material that is bound to light a white-hot fire inside of you, sister. (/woo)

Must-read category: For Your Ambition, and Your Doubts

Danielle Zeigler

Sometimes, in addition to being great writers themselves, the bloggers we love to follow are amazing curators of content. That’s Danielle. We love how she combines the best of both health and business-related finds into her weekly roundup, Sunday Link Love. Sunday afternoons have never been so fun.

Must-read post: How Your Physical Environment Affects Your Work

Design*Sponge

Besides being a one-stop shop for DIY and interior decorating advice, Design*Sponge shares stories of entrepreneurship through their Life & Business section. Want to know what types of profiles and topics you’ll find? We spotted the following titles: “Art Meets Recycling,” “Unhooking from Praise and Criticism,” “What Baking Has Taught Me About Business,” and “Rolling with the Punches.”

Must-read column: Life & Business

Get Gutsy with Jessica Lawlor

Whether the call to #GetGutsy lights you up or instills fear in the pit of your stomach, we bet you’ll love Jess’ approach to getting out of your comfort zone. And if you need more inspiration to #GetGutsy? Just follow along with Jess’ transition from a side hustler to a CEO in her Becoming CEO blog series.

Must-read series: Becoming CEO

Jess Lively

Whenever we hear the word “intention” in everyday life, we immediately think of Jess Lively and her tagline, “Designing a life and business with intention.” (No, really, we do.) If you’re ready to stop living and working aimlessly and instill more intention in your actions, you’ll love her blog and her podcast, The Lively Show (cute name, right?).

Must-listen episode: Better Than Before: Mastering Habits Based on Your Personality With Gretchen Rubin

Kylie Patchett

Since we’re big fans of alliteration, Kylie immediately had our attention with her fun job title: “Mind, Money, + Mojo Coach.” If learning to “bust through fear, self-sabotage and overwhelm to grow [your] business” sounds pretty darn tempting, you’ll want to check out Kylie’s work. (Warning: A serious case of accent-envy is in store when you watch her videos.)  

Must-read post: The Whole Truth About Entrepreneurship (It Ain’t All Sunshine + Lollipops)

Ladypreneur League

Sometimes as a solopreneur, you don’t want to read marketing advice or productivity tips. You want to crack open a bottle of wine (how many times do you think we’ll mention wine on this list?!) and focus on life outside of work -- whipping up a meal, reading a book that’s been on your Amazon wishlist a little too long, or flexing your yoga muscles. For those times, Ladypreneur League is for you.

Must-read post: 5 Tips for Keeping Fit – From Your Desk!

Laura Simms

As people who like to cuddle up with a mug of coffee, a good book, and a cozy blanket at home, we feel an instant connection to Laura’s tagline: “I’m Laura Simms, and I help people find careers that feel like home.” She adds, “Using an approach that is practical and holistic, you can find a meaningful career that also supports the kind of life you want to live.” Speaking our language, sister.

Must-read post: The Top Three Traits of People Who Do Meaningful Work

Lucky Bitch with Denise Duffield-Thomas

Maybe you’re all about the money. Or maybe thinking and talking about money makes you want to hide under the covers (with a glass of chilled white wine and Netflix, obviously...does that count as #NetflixAndChill?). Either way, Denise gives you a “fresh and funny roadmap to create an outrageously successful life and business.” We’ll take it!

Must-read post: 3 Money Taboos Nobody Talks About

mindbodygreen

Wondering if we’ve spelled and capitalized mindbodygreen correctly? In their words, “...we want to give you everything that’s great for you: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and environmentally — because we believe these pillars of wellness are vital and interconnected. Hence mindbodygreen (one word, not three).” Our response? Bring on the wellness!  

Must-read post: 5 Days To Eco-Friendly: One Simple Swap To Make Every Day This Week

The Mogul Mom

Not everyone in our community will be a mom one day, but for many, mompreneurship is a current or soon-to-be adventure. The Mogul Mom -- led by Editor-in-Chief Melissa Bolton -- will help you navigate running a biz alongside your mom duties with posts on everything from creating a media kit to whether moms should put themselves first.

Must-read post: Transitioning from Motherhood to Entrepreneurship

Project Healthy Happy Me with Naomi Arnold

When we saw the name of Naomi’s site, we were sold. Add in that her community member Fleur says Naomi’s work “radiates love,” and we couldn’t stay away. Naomi calls it “a safe place for big-hearted and mission-driven people who want to make a difference in the world” and she provides that by highlighting worldwide events like Global Sisterhood Day and sharing insights from Elizabeth Gilbert.

Must-read post: How to Give Back as a New Business Owner or Coach

Raspberry Magazine

The content in Raspberry Magazine is as fresh and inspiring as its name. From overcoming business burnout to recipe writing, creator and editor Alana has created the perfect digital magazine for the female entrepreneur who knows that business and life overlap. Subscribe to get the newest issues first, as well as a pass into the library of back issues, with cover stars like Alex Franzen, Natalie MacNeil, Hilary Rushford, and more.

Must-read article: How Gratitude Can Help You Navigate the World With Ease

Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette

When we think about why we love Real Talk Radio, we can’t get past Nicole’s description of it: “refreshingly honest conversations about the wonderful mess of being human.” That’s exactly what it is, and exactly why we can’t stay away. Each season (she’s had four so far) brings on a mixed bag of athletes, entrepreneurs, parents, artists, and more, to talk things like self-care, productivity, secret dreams, and guilty pleasures.

Must-listen episode: Emma Gannon on Freelance Life, Supporting Other Women, and Avoiding the “Shoulds” of Life

Seth Godin

You might wonder how Seth -- a kingpin of digital marketing -- ends up under Mindset + Solopreneur Lifestyle on this list. Well, Seth’s been blogging for two decades, and somehow his daily posts continue to completely shift our mindset -- often in 200 words or less. The brain behind the man with the yellow glasses is extraordinary, and he often makes us think twice about commonly-held beliefs in business and life.

Must-read post: Getting Ahead vs. Doing Well

Soul Rising with Lindsay Weisenthal

We’re suckers for pretty visuals that help us better understand a message -- and Lindsay’s got ‘em. There are line graphs. There are pyramids. There are Venn diagrams. *record scratch* (Wait, whaaaa? Showstopper.) And all of them are geared toward understanding and feeding your soul, both at work and in life.

Must-read post: My Fake Plants Died


A Little Something Extra

Running a solopreneur biz is about more than accounting, marketing, and branding -- you know this. These sites and apps provide just a little something more for the solopreneur who wants to develop personally, give back, and decompress.

Calm

Just landing on Calm’s homepage inspires instant stress relief, but it’s the app that we love the most. Calm brings simplicity to meditation, making it easy for even the most stubborn meditators (cough, cough) to make it a habit. And the calendar tracking feeds our little Type-A hearts.

Must-try series: 7 Days of Calm

Clients from Hell

Whenever we need someone to confirm that we are not going crazy and that, yes, our clients are wackos, we first turn to the One Woman Shop community -- then to Clients from Hell. We’re all about taking responsibility as solopreneurs, but sometimes we just need a good ol’ dose of “WTF?! That actually happened?” to make us feel better about our own situations. The name says it all.

Must-read page: Top Client Stories

Happify

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We’re nerds. So a tagline like “Science-based happiness games and activities” makes us giddy with...well, happiness. If you love gamification and don’t like stress, head here to get measurably more happy -- starting today.

Must-view graphic: This State of Mind Is Where Your Best Ideas Come From (Is The “Tortured Artist” a Myth?)

Highbrow

If the endless learning you experience while running your solo biz isn’t satiating your appetite for knowledge, Highbrow is for you. They offer “bite-sized email courses delivered to your inbox daily” but the catch is that you can only sign up for one at a time in order to avoid overwhelm. Courses include The Fundamentals of User Experience, Trials That Shaped the Modern World (for our fellow The Good Wife lovers out there), and Most Important Numbers in the World.

Must-try course: Incredible Female Leaders Through History

Kiva

Wanna know something that has been proven to increase your happiness? Giving. And more importantly, it serves others. Kiva “works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems.” You lend; you get repaid; you re-invest. It’s that easy.

Must-join Lending Team: The One Woman Shop Team 🙂

POPSUGAR Fitness

We think taking care of ourselves physically is pretty freakin’ important for solopreneur sanity. That’s what POPSUGAR Fitness is all about. The site talks about everything from cardio hip hop routines to mason jar lunches and killer plank variations to the importance of rest days.

Must-read post: Here’s Your Primer on HIIT Workouts

And, because we’re so generous, we wanted to leave you with a bonus resource. When you need to escape for a few minutes and meditation or Netflix aren’t cutting it, we recommend the game 1010. You’ll either love us or hate us once you become addicted...TBD.


And with that, there you have it: 100 101 amazing resources to make your solo biz incredible. And, if you’re not fully satiated yet, why not read some stories of solopreneurs who are making their way toward success? Download The Road to Solopreneur Success ebook for free today for even more actionable insights into running your solo biz.

What You Can Learn from TheSkimm as a Business Owner

theSkimm lessons for business owners

theSkimm lessons for business owners

By now, you’ve probably heard of theSkimm, the startup run by friends and business partners
Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg. In case you haven’t: It’s a daily email that rounds up news from around the world in a bite-sized, snarky format. If you’re not yet convinced, keep this in mind: Oprah reads theSkimm every day, they’ve received $6.25 million in funding, and in just two years, they hit 500,000 subscribers.

How does this relate to your solo business, even if you aren’t necessarily looking for venture capital or a business partner?

Here are a few lessons from Carly, Danielle, and the rest of theSkimm team that you can apply to your solo biz:

Make opting in the obvious choice

Shaming your readers? Probably not the best idea. Gently poking fun at them? Gold mine. theSkimm does this by making people feel silly for not opting in. When you land on the site, a pop-up appears with two choices: to click the sign-up button or to click the button that says “No thanks, I prefer to be miserable in the morning.” Kinda makes signing up seem like the obvious choice, right?

You can apply this in your business by utilizing a pop-up that evokes the same emotional response (it probably sounds something like this: “Haha! Welllllll...okay!”) or providing an opt-in that’s so valuable it seems silly not to sign up.

Tell people what to expect

theSkimm markets itself very clearly as a daily email delivered to your inbox at 6am EST. Their tagline is “We read. You skimm,” which notifies potential subscribers that they should expect an easily digestible format.

We’re not saying you should send out a daily email to your community (in fact, that seems like a completely unnecessary undertaking for a solo business owner!), but you too can capitalize on this transparency in your business. We sought to create consistency by scheduling The Hot Seat, our weekly “talk show,” every Wednesday so that people know exactly where and when to find us. Another common example? Marie Forleo followers know that every Tuesday, Marie will post a new episode of MarieTV.

Telling people what to expect isn’t limited to scheduling. Marketing a blog post as a “primer” or “101” instantly tells people that it’s basic, introductory content, just like titling a YouTube video “Quick Tip” indicates -- you guessed it -- that it’s a short video.

Create an instantly recognizable brand

You’ve probably heard more about branding than you care to know. (No? Then check out our Personal + Professional Branding theme!) But it bears repeating: your images, your colors, your tone, and your formatting should be recognized by your community no matter where you happen to be, online or off -- your site, on social media, in the comment areas of other blog, or while giving a live presentation.

We’d wager a guess that any Skimm reader could tell you their signature color (Skimm Blue, as they call it), a few of their memorable subject lines (like Gobble Gobble in honor of Thanksgiving and Espresso Yourself), some of their frequent categories (Quote or Word of the Day, Repeat After Me, Skimm Reads), and their classic first line, “Skimm’d” which is always completed with both cheeky and relatable examples like “over Pillsbury cookie dough,” “watching the Emmys” and “from bed.” They even have a name for their “language”: Skimm-ese.

Capture your own signature pieces and rock those babies anywhere and everywhere.

Speak to your audience

It’s immediately obvious whenever you interact with theSkimm -- on their site, on their Instagram account, or in their actual emails -- who their audience is: busy millennial women who want to stay up-to-date on world events but don’t necessarily have the time or energy to seek it out. How do we know that’s their audience? They tell us -- through that shade of Skimm Blue we mentioned and through references to white wine, “Law & Order: SVU” marathons, Equinox gym memberships, and the US Open.

How can you do this in your solo business? We’ll assume you know who you’re speaking to. Make two lists: one list of things that you identify with and another of things you constantly hear about from your community. In an actual or figurative Venn diagram (love us some Venn diagrams!), find the overlap. This is a version of the method we used to create some of our most popular offerings, like our Solopreneur Sanity Handbook (from conversations about productivity and self-care) and our Location Independence Month (from conversations about the desire of so many in our community to be able to travel and run a business simultaneously).

Make people feel included + incentivize sharing

We personally can’t stand the Mean Girls-inspired graphic circulating on Instagram that says “You can’t sit with us.” We’re opposed to references to exclusion and love the opposite approach: inclusion. theSkimm makes people feel included -- and therefore, more inclined to share -- in several ways: by mentioning all reader birthdays and by encouraging people to become Skimm'bassadors.

We do the same by allowing people to carry the #OneWomanShopBaton on Instagram, providing a badge that our members can put up on their sites, offering opportunities for members to be featured in the Member Spotlight, and choosing a Member of the Week at random, not to mention special little treats like a chance to win a Starbucks gift card (for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, of course) if you send out a tweet on our behalf.

Find creative ways to loop your community into your mission -- and then make it easy for them to showcase their participation by creating Swipe Files of the content you want them to send out, including pre-drafted Click to Tweets, for example.

For goodness sake, make it fun

We imagine it’s a bit of a challenge to make serious world news both informative and fun, but theSkimm does just that. Likewise, teaching people about WordPress, for example, could be incredibly dull, but Shannon of WP+BFF does it in a fun, relatable way. Talking to people about productivity + self-care, like we do in The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook, could feel heavy-handed and boring, but we do our best to make it relatable with personal anecdotes and examples.

How can you make things just a bit more relatable, digestible, and yes, flippin’ fun for your community of clients, customers, and collaborators today?

Is It Time to Outsource a Task? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

outsourcing for your solo business

outsourcing for your solo biz

Editor’s note: We’re kicking off outsourcing month here at OWS! This post serves as a primer for deciding what tasks you might want to hire a pro to take on.

For many of us, we start our businesses out in bootstrapping mode.

You Google search. You consume blog post after blog post. You ask for advice in Facebook groups. Basically, you biz hack.

And even though this is more time consuming (and can be more frustrating) than turning to an expert, the DIY method does have some tangible benefits for a new business.

For one, it gives you as the biz owner a clear picture of what it takes to complete a task. (This is helpful intel to have when you do eventually hire support.) DIY-ing can also save you some cash in the short-term, something that is usually crucial for new business owners.

Let’s be honest, though. No matter how much of a well-oiled machine your one woman shop is, you’ll eventually need to call in reinforcements.

As your income streams diversify, you may no longer want to do your own bookkeeping. Maybe you'd like to hire a copywriter to really get that sales page converting. Or you might need a VA to get your newsletter off your plate and on a regular schedule.

Everyone will need support at some point. But how do you know when it’s the right time? How can you tell if your biz has hit that magic tipping point where your energy is better spent on other parts of your business? When I’m trying to make that call, I do a mini biz audit.

Here are the three questions I ask myself that help me know when it’s time to outsource a task:

1. Is it out of my zone of genius?

Does copywriting or web design stump you? Is it stopping you from expanding your biz? Could your time be better spent elsewhere?

No need to fret if you’re not great at a particular task. You’re good at what you do, so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself about the things that keep getting pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. While yes, there’s a case for learning some skills (read more about how to evaluate where you invest in your education here), unloading the tasks you’re not suited for will free you up to better serve your clients.

2. Is it a have to and not a want to?

Are you capable of completing this task, but you simply don’t want to? Is it simple, but too time consuming? Does it light you up, or inspire an “ugh?”

If you don’t want to do it, then don’t! It’s important to build a business you love. Naturally, there are going to be tasks that you aren’t enamored with as a business owner, and it’s normal not to love every minute, but there’s no sense escaping the 9-5 and bravely launching into self-employment just to feel like every day is still a drag, right? So go ahead -- outsource that stuff, girl.

3. Is it necessary?

In other words, should you even be going after this at all? Or is it a dead end? A shiny object project? Should it be on a stop doing list?

In Good to Great, Jim Collins says that successful businesses should not just have to-do lists but stop doing lists. Some things just distract you from doing what you do best and they need to be cut out for your business to meet its goals and grow. IF it’s a “stop doing,” it might not even be worth outsourcing -- but you won’t know until you evaluate all of your tasks and activities by these parameters.

How did you answer the three questions above?

If you’ve found a task that’s out of your zone of genius, is a “have to” and not a “want to” and is absolutely necessary to your success, don’t be afraid to don the boss lady pants and consider outsourcing.

Get your mini biz audit on, and get outsourcing

It can be a scary thing to bring another person into this business you've built with your own two hands. But taking the time to reflect will really make you more confident that you're making a smart move -- one that could propel your business forward.

One Woman Shops: What have you considered outsourcing -- and what’s holding you back?

PS -- Outsourcing isn’t limited to “business tasks.” Why not outsource some of your personal life, too?

Get Your Legal Ducks in a Row with Small Business Bodyguard

Small Business Bodyguard

Most of us solo entrepreneurs and freelancers are really great at doing our thing, but behind-the-scenes business tasks can throw a wrench into our smooth-running operations.

The worst of those dreaded business chores? Legal issues.

Many entrepreneurs pretend legal considerations don’t exist because they don’t want to deal with lawyers. You’re just designing a logos or selling knitting patterns . . . do you really need to pay an expensive lawyer?

Not necessarily. You do need solid legal advice, but you might not have to shell out thousands of dollars to a business lawyer. Enter: Small Business Bodyguard.

What Small Business Bodyguard is all about

Small Business Bodyguard is a resource for anyone doing business in the US . . . and “doing business” includes everything from selling ebooks or running an Etsy shop to writing a blog that includes the occasional affiliate link.

SBB was created by Rachel Rodgers, a practicing business lawyer and intellectual property expert. She’s on a mission to bring affordable legal protection to entrepreneurs everywhere and in plain (if irreverent) language anyone can understand.

This comprehensive guide covers the most common legal questions entrepreneurs and bloggers are likely to run into, including a handful many people are unaware of! Chapters on setting up your business, recordkeeping, writing contracts that work, and managing your intellectual property do a fantastic job of communicating what you need to know about doing business legally, without giving you a headache from all the tricky lawyer-speak you might hear elsewhere.

The best part? The Small Business Bodyguard includes copy-and-paste templates and scripts for you to use in your own business! You’ll be able to whip your biz into shape in no time with done-for-you contracts, privacy policies, and more.

All this legal goodness is available as a PDF download for $595 (or two payments of $327). Note: that’s a lot cheaper than hiring a traditional business lawyer!

How this real-life entrepreneur uses the Small Business Bodyguard

I grabbed the Small Business Bodyguard for my editing and content marketing business in early 2014. I’d been operating for more than a year without knowing exactly what I was doing legally, and I knew it was time to step up my game.

Since I jumped into the SBB after my business was already up and running, I skimmed over some sections (like how to set up recordkeeping, or deciding which business entity is right for you), but I dove into others headfirst.

The chapters on staying safe and successful in the online world prompted me to finally get my blogging shiz together with a privacy policy and terms and conditions. (Are you blogging without these legal terms publicly posted? If so, you’re breaking the law!) Next, I made sure my contracts were airtight by combining some of the phrasing from the done-for-you contract template into the contract I was already using. Last but not least, I learned about the inner workings of intellectual property and copyright so I’d be prepared when I published my first ebook (and so I didn’t accidentally violate someone else’s copyright!).

I don’t need to look at the SBB as often now that my legal ducks are all in a row, but it still comes in handy from time to time. If someone stole my writing or images or I needed to brush up on the finer points of advertising laws, you can bet that the SBB is the first place I’ll turn. If my business ever reaches the level where I’m ready for personalized legal advice, the SBB has my back with a list of additional legal resources in each state.

How to know if the Small Business Bodyguard is right for you

So, is the Small Business Bodyguard really going to be worth it for your business? It depends. If any of these scenarios sounds like you, getting the SBB is a good bet:

  • Your business operates out of the United States
  • You’re a fairly new or aspiring business owner
  • You’ve never been clear on exactly what’s expected of you legally as a business owner
  • You hold your breath every time you send a contract because you have no idea if it would hold up in court
  • You’re unsure about when it’s okay to use someone else’s writing/photo/recipe/etc. on your own site and how to give proper credit if you do use it
  • You’re producing intellectual property like ebooks or courses with no idea how to protect your products
  • You don’t have time to Google the answers to all your legal questions (or you don’t understand the answers you find)
  • Your legal strategy up until now has involved crossing your fingers and hoping no one sues you

New or established business owners who have been steadfastly ignoring the legal side of business would do well to hear what Rachel Rodgers has to say in the Small Business Bodyguard.

Then again, this resource isn’t for everyone. If this sounds like you, you may want to think twice before buying:

  • Your business operates outside of the United States, or you do business with many international clients
  • You’re an established business owner who has already pieced together a solid plan for your business entity, contracts, copyrights, and recordkeeping and tax paying
  • You run a business that has special legal considerations, such as licensed therapists or accountants
  • There’s no doubt in your mind that your business and website are operating legally
  • You already work with a reputable business lawyer

The information in Small Business Bodyguard is only applicable to the US, so it won’t do much good for international entrepreneurs. And if most of your clients are outside the US, it’s probably best to hire a lawyer with international business experience to make sure you’re complying with laws in those countries especially when it comes to taxes.

SBB is a general primer to doing business legally. If your business is already well established (as in, you know for a fact that you’re rock-solid legally) or your business has special considerations that won’t be addressed in a broad overview, you’re better off getting personalized help from a lawyer in your area.

The bottom line

Lawyers are expensive, but so is getting sued. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law (unless you’re totally okay with paying fees, settlements, and overdue taxes).

Every entrepreneur needs to know the legal implications of running a business (even if you think you’re just small potatoes). Ignorance is, unfortunately, no excuse for not running your business according to the laws of the land.

No one is excited about paying for legal counsel, whether it’s thousands of dollars for a business lawyer or $595 for Small Business Bodyguard. But I’ll leave you with one final caution: getting your business set up legally from the get-go is a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for it down the road.

We are affiliates of and may receive commission from sales of Small Business Bodyguard. As always, we only promote products and services that we love and/or think you might benefit from!

Weekly Finds

Weekly Finds for the SolopreneurWelcome to One Woman Shop Weekly Finds - where we scour the web to bring you a curated list of posts, links, and resources that we think will help your solopreneur business — and maybe even your life!

Just starting out and wondering how in the world you can budget for life as a self-employed freelancer? We love this simple, yet thorough budgeting breakdown from Erica Gellerman over on the Everygirl. (Might we add that Solopreneur Finances is a fantastic way to get your feet wet?)

If you're no stranger here, you know we <3 our location independence. So we were psyched to see the team at CloudPeeps featuring Amy Rigby, a fellow One Woman Shop, on their blog. Read her interview to see how she builds a routine around freelancing and travel, and get a glimpse at a few of her favorite resources. (Thanks for the call out!)

New to Twitter chats and completely overwhelmed? It happens. That's why we love this simple breakdown on how to get the most out of chats from Ashley over at Lilly & Lemons. Our favorite tip(s): keep a spreadsheet with contact info for people you connect with in the chats, and don't be afraid to reach out after the chat. Building your online community, at its best.

In our last edition of Weekly Finds, we shared a primer on using Trello as a project management app for creatives. This time around, we're getting a little more niche to show you how Kristin of My Life as a Teacup uses Wunderlist as her digital to-do list! Oh, lists -- how we love you.

Finding great images for your blog is a major headache for many-a-solopreneur. The thought of creating them? Even more overwhelming. That's why we are digging this post from the team at The Nectar Collective on cheap, easy, and attractive backgrounds you can use for your blog images. (And Pinterest-worthy, at that!)

Oh so many new sites, oh so little time. But we're seriously into what's going on over at Blab.im. Social Media Examiner breaks down what Blab is and how to get started here -- and once you're in, be sure to subscribe to our upcoming Blab with Coach Jennie on 9/15!

Podcast alert: I (Sara) am newly addicted to Magic Lessons, a podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert. It coincides with her soon-to-be released book, Big Magic, and explores creativity from vantage points of real people. And if you're a total book-aholic like me, you'll love the "guest appearances" from people like Cheryl Strayed and Ann Patchett. (#nerdalert)

Secrets of Solo Business Mompreneurs

Solo Business MompreneursSolopreneurship is an amazing thing. We pour our hearts, souls, and every ounce of hustle we have into building the business of our dreams -- one that both fulfills us financially and emotionally. We work day-in and day-out, often from dawn to dusk (and sometimes from dusk to dawn…) to make it work so we can enjoy the freedom and the choice that come from being our own boss.

But there’s a certain kind of One Woman Shop that often goes underappreciated: the mompreneur. The ladies hustling to make the baby that is their business work, while also taking care of their real babies, whether they’re two months, two years, or 20.

Seeing that we’re just a few days away from celebrating moms the world over, we thought it was a perfect time to chat with a few of our fellow solo business owners -- who just happen to also be mompreneurs -- and ask a simple question:

What are your must-haves for successfully managing motherhood and your solo business?

Here’s what they had to say:

"Be brave: ask for time, space, support, and babysitting from your family, friends, and community; try a short and sweet daily meditation practice; add a little movement and nature to your day; read empowering books; and approach it all with self-compassion and humor. I could name specific tips and technology but, truly, I create by using these simple practices in tandem." - Julie Fiandt, Create in Tandem

"My monthly planner (both paper and digital), byRegina’s Epic Blog calendar combined with my WordPress editorial calendar, and a (kiddo-free) scheduled planning day each month to automate my recurring tasks and get administrative work done. I became a solopreneur so I could stay home with my (now three-year-old) son and the only way for me to stay balanced is for me to keep a healthy dose of realism." - Desiree Jester, A Place to Nest

"My must-haves are intuition and action. I successfully manage motherhood and my business by acting on my intuition without delay. No second guessing, no doubt, no fear." - Lisa Ball, Mompreneur Assistant

"I’ve found that is it essential for me to 1) know my priorities, 2) have a good handle of how much time I can spend on my business and the corresponding, realistic output I can demand from myself (currently loving the Pomodoro technique to maximise my time), and 3) have clear boundaries with my son over when Mama’s work hours are. (Shushing the Mommy Guilt that may crop up whenever I have to say no to that sad puppy dog face!)" - Joy Ycasiano-Dejos, Mommy Proofing Coaching

"For me, it's a constantly updated to-do list. Because I know that I may only have 10 or 15 minutes in which to get a quick work item done, I have to have a really clear, prioritized menu of tasks available at my fingertips. I use the Bullet Journaling method to keep my to-do list organized and up-to-date." - Amy Simpkins, Life Architecting

"I'm still figuring things out since my baby is only eight months old, but I couldn't do it without my husband's support. He takes care of baby when he gets home from work so I can have all afternoon to work and makes sure I have everything I need to focus on getting things done." - Lilly Garcia, LillyGarcia.com

"My email, Google calendar, and Facebook are indispensable for managing my mompreneur life. They keep me organized and focused in regard to scheduling, blog ideas, communication with others, and client work." - Jennifer Lopez, Live Simply, Live Thrifty, Live Savvy

"My iPhone -- if it is not in my phone calendar, it does not happen; Dropbox -- I can see my files on the go whether I am waiting at sports warm-ups or in the dance lobby; my planner from Target -- I need to visually SEE what the heck is going on, too! Finally, peppermint pedicures -- It is one of the things I do for myself where no can talk to me. I don't take my phone and I just relax in the moment." - Sang D, http://www.Sangtastik.com

"Reliable humans! Since welcoming baby, I've added a team member to my business and regular baby care at home, both of which I consider indispensable." - Laura Simms, Create as Folk

"Designated office/work time and reliable child care to help make that happen. As a mother of three, knowing when I can answer emails, add items to our online shop, and correspond with clients and colleagues is a must. Knowing that the kiddos are well taken care of sets me at ease and therefore helps make a happier, more productive work environment." - Veronica Staudt, Vintage Meet Modern

"While I rely a lot on tools like Wunderlist and Pocket to help me keep track of to-dos and resources, my true must haves are flexibility and community. Children are constantly growing and changing, and I try to build some wiggle room into my schedule while still remaining reliable for my clients. And I love my community of mompreneurs to bounce ideas off of, relate to, and be inspired by." - Nikkita Cohoon, nikkita.co

"Focus. I manage my day with the​ WIN concept -- “What's Important Now.” It's all about fully ​dedicating your precious attention to the task in front of you​, no distractions. That way you know whatever you've done, you've done well and with intention." - Melissa Bolton, TheMogulMom.com

"You know the saying “it takes a village”? Well that is definitely the case here, and a few go-to apps help too. First, I’m very, very lucky to have a husband who is willing to take on a good share of the parenting and household management. We use Cozi for scheduling, to do lists (we keep a permanent “travel prep list” for our road trips) and shopping lists. For my solo business, I use Redbooth plus a couple of paper planners (Passion Planner and The Day Designer). Gotta go, my turn for bedtime routine!" - Rachel Formaro, Blu Pagoda

"My biggest tip is having a good support system, I couldn't work on my business without my husband sharing our family responsibilities. I also separate work stuff from home stuff. I have set working hours, during which I ignore the house (ok, I might do a load of laundry, because as we know, there is always laundry!), and when my son and husband are at home, I work really hard on focusing on family stuff. I'd also be lost without my Filofax planner, which helps me to keep up with everything." - Francine Clouden, Callaloo Soup

"I am a runner and making time to run helps to keep me mentally fit, and allows me to have much needed me-time for about an hour every morning. We spend so much time worrying about our clients, families, and other responsibilities, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of just making time for yourself." - Nancy Laws, Afro-Chic Mompreneur

"Two things: 1. You don't have to answer e-mails in the evening or late into the night. Put down the phone and make some time to snuggle with your babies. This is sometimes hard to do, but I love the snuggle time. 2. Schedule your work day around your children. I wait to start my work until my son is ready and off to school; I then take a break to pick him up from school. That way we get some special time together." - Katie Radke, KR Creative Designs

A huge thanks to the mompreneurs sharing their secrets with us!

Fellow mompreneurs: what’s on your must-have list? Tell us in the comments below.