What apps to use for your creative small business
Updated: Feb 22
Ever wondered what apps you can use to create and edit your artwork and/or make your product photos look as professional as possible? Do you need to create professional videos, documents, brochures, posters or magazines?
Here's the apps I've found most useful with creating, editing and marketing my artwork over at www.picsandsquiggles.com.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on any of these and if you would recommend others?
It's a well known fact that social media posts need to keep people engaged and due to our short attention span as human beings it's difficult to do this however, this app is perfect for creating a captivating video. I'd go as far as to say it's possibly the best video editing app I’ve ever come across and I've tried a few. Capcut is great for making Facebook / Instagram reels and Tik Tok videos with cool effects and what you get for free as well is amazing. I’ve never had to pay although I use it so much I would be happy to pay if I needed to.
This is a brilliant digital drawing app and one that I couldn’t do my job without. Procreate is an app that allows artists to create digital artwork on their iPad. The app offers a variety of tools and features, including brushes, layers, and customisable palettes. You can download and create your own additional fonts and brushes as well so it’s very versatile. I think I paid £9.99 for this app 2-3 years ago.
An app that’s part of the Adobe family, it really adds that finishing touch to my artworks before printing. I use the free version to manually adjust the image to give it the perfect finish and that's enough for me.
Canva is a graphic design app that offers a wide range of templates, graphics, and images. It's perfect for creating social media posts, flyers, and other promotional materials. Canva also offers a range of tools and features, including the ability to upload your own images and customise your designs. It’s definitely worth paying for and currently costs £10 a month although there is a free version.
I’ve found this app really useful for collages and amending the colour of artwork to offer alternative options. I only use the free version as it suits me fine.
This fantastic free app is a great way to quickly resize images but of course you could use most of the apps above for this.
Instagram is a social media platform that's ideal for promoting your products. Artists can showcase their work through images and videos, and engage with their followers through comments and direct messages. Instagram also offers features such as stories and reels, which can help artists create engaging and interactive content. I'm a big fan of Instagram, I find it straightforward to use and far easier to be seen than some other social media platforms so long as you:
engage with others,
use trending audio
use relevant hashtags.
Some posts will flop and some will do well but I don't stress too much about that. You can follow me on Instagram here (@picsandsquiggles)
Facebook is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with potential customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales. With apparently over 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook provides a massive audience to target with your products or services. I've found that Facebookers (I know that's not a word) prefer posts to reels so just be mindful who your audience is and what type of posts will get more engagement on each of the social media platforms. Follow me on Facebook here
Twitter is a powerful platform that can be used for many purposes, including selling products and services. If you want to see the power of Twitter read my blog here which shows the impact of one retweet for my business. If I'm honest I'm still getting to grips with it all but it seems that if you engage, use hashtags and build a strong presence it can be a really useful tool to raise awareness of your products. I'm also a member of My Helpful Hints Small Business Directory which provides access to a large network of other small business owners, a newsletter and use of the popular hashtag #MHHSBD which helps build my presence across all social media, especially Twitter. Follow me on twitter here
TikTok is another popular social media platform which provided some entertainment for me on a personal level during lockdown (don't judge me by those posts). However I turned my profile to a business one and much like Instagram reels, I've found it's a fab way to showcase products and reach a large audience. It's great for showing process videos, close ups or to demonstrate why your product is needed however, as with all social media, you have to be consistent with your posting and use popular hashtags and audio. The Tik Tokers seem to want entertainment more than a sales pitch so I feel I'm still getting to grips with it all, much like Twitter. Follow me on Tik Tok here.
Pinterest is a visual discovery platform that enables businesses to showcase their products and services through images and videos. By creating a business account on Pinterest, you can reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website. My Etsy shop has a lot of traffic through Pinterest and it's something I'm working on currently to drive that traffic to my website as well. Once I've got the hang of pins, idea pins and boards I'll update via another blog. In the meantime you can follow me here.
In conclusion, editing and marketing your artwork is essential for promoting yourself and reaching a wider audience. Whether you're an artist who creates digital art or traditional artwork, these apps can help you create professional-looking designs, showcase your work, and keep your business organised. So, explore these apps and find the ones that work best for you!
Etsy is popular online market place for creative business owners to sell their handmade products. I've been using Etsy since 2020 including the Seller app which has changed over time and has helped me manage customer messages and product listings from my phone and iPad anywhere in the world. I do find it is a bit restrictive, for example I'm unable to edit some parts of a listing on the app and need to log on to a PC to do it, but overall it's a really useful tool and it makes a wicked 'kerching!' when you make a sale. I plan to write a blog about Etsy so stay tuned and sign up to my newsletter so you don't miss it.
Don’t forget to tell me in the comments any apps that you use other than the above and if you're wondering where to sell and market your artwork take a look at my next blog - Selling Your Art Online: Tips and Tricks