6 Must-Have Tools To Grow Your Creative Business in 2023
Steal my tech stack to fast-track your growth and build a thriving creative business.
As a creative entrepreneur who has been running a writing business for close to two years, I understand the struggle of finding the right tools to balance business growth and personal peace.
It took me several trials and errors to finally settle on a tech stack that works for my business.
In this article, I want to share my personal experience and the six must-have tools that have significantly impacted my business growth. These automated several aspects of my business allowed me to buy back my time so I could focus on the things that make me happy.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for a while, I hope this article helps you simplify your operations and easily reach your goals.
What it does: Think better with networked note-taking that mirrors how your brain works.
Cost: 33 cents a day (14-day free trial available.)
As an entrepreneur, you have a million things that need to get done. You have to manage crucial business tasks daily, track your projects, conduct team meetings, and more.
This leaves little room to process new ideas, and it’s nearly impossible to remember everything. Your brain is swamped with so many “urgent” tasks that you cannot focus on the “important” work.
That's where Reflect comes in — to help you think better.
Reflect is an extension of your brain that connects all your ideas through backlinks — just like your memory.
It enables frictionless thought capturing and recall. You can journal in the daily notes and backlog details from books, meetings, articles, etc.
You can backlink important details like people’s names, websites, locations, etc., by typing ‘[[’. This makes idea associations effortless.
Reflect connects all your notes in the form of a neural network. The more you take notes and backlink them, the more the web grows. It’s impressive to see your new brain in the making.
The tool is intuitive; you can do everything with your keyboard without using the mouse for quick note-taking. Press ‘cmd /’ on Mac or ‘ctrl+k’ on Windows to list all the shortcuts.
Reflect’s AI integration is a game changer! You can use OpenAI’s GPT3 in your notes to list takeaways from articles, fix spelling and grammar, rephrase your writing, write emails and tweets, suggest blog titles, etc.
In the image below, I asked AI to list key takeaways of this article's “Reflect” section. It came up with the following points.
The AI palette comes pre-loaded with prompts, but you can write your prompts and ask it to do the work. It’s so much fun to play around with and lets you create content quickly.
What it does: Creates a personal dashboard where you can organize your work and life.
Cost: Free to get 1,000 text or media blocks Unlock unlimited blocks at $8/month on an annual plan of Personal Pro. xTiles offers free 5-year subscriptions for students and non-profit organizations.
After you’ve refined your ideas with Reflect, you can organize them visually using the xTiles thinking dashboard.
This tool organizes and speeds up the creation and content process, allowing you to create a big picture of your work in one space.
With a 4.96 stars rating on Product Hunt, xTiles is widely used by creative entrepreneurs for its flexibility in organizing work.
You can create your personal workspace that houses all your project details, research, documents, photos and videos, and everything you need to complete your work.
It’s intuitive and easy to use. You can put in commands using the backslash as you do in Notion. You can structure your ideas and collaborate with your team Using its blocks as you do in Miro. This tool is an excellent combination of both.
To start using xTiles, choose a pre-made template that matches your goal. Embed the files you need to get through your project. You can create sub-pages, multiple tabs, insert links, etc., to keep everything in one place. This helps you stay focused and organized.
The quick notes feature of xTiles is quite useful. You can use the mobile app to save notes on the go. This will sync them with your web app, and you can place them inside your workspace whenever needed.
In case you forget where you saved a particular note, enter a few keywords and hit on search. The tool will find relevant notes, documents, and other content.
This makes organizing your data fun. You won’t miss an important note, idea, deadline, document, etc., again. xTiles keeps them safe and organized for you to access anytime.
What it does: Create a professional video in minutes.
Cost: Unlimited videos for free (upgrade at $8/month billed annually to remove branding.)
When your content strategies are organized, it’s time to create the actual content. Videos are a unique way to manifest your content ideas.
According to Statista, over three billion users watch videos at least once every month in 2022. This number is projected to increase to 3.5 billion by 2023. This is too big to ignore. As a creative entrepreneur, posting videos can be your most significant advantage over competitors.
But most video editors are complicated to use, and editing videos take a lot of time.
That’s where Animoto helps.
It’s a simple yet powerful video editor where you can make stunning videos in minutes.
Creating videos on Animoto is as simple as drag-and-drop. It offers 1000s of in-built, ready-to-use templates. Choose the one that matches your goal and customize it with your text, images, brand colors, transitions, and more.
The video output is impressive. Unlike other editors, it doesn’t need hours of learning to add a simple transition in Animoto. If you get stuck, the helpful tutorials and guides will get you going.
When your video is ready, download it in the size and format you wish to share with your network.
With Animoto, you can view video engagement statistics from your blog, social platforms, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. It shows the number of times people have watched or interacted with your videos. You refine your content strategy based on your audience stats.
I’ve used Animoto to create an intro video here. This hardly took 5–10 minutes and I loved the video quality.
Do you want to create similar videos to hook the attention of your audience? Start using Animoto. It’s free.
What it does: Removes background noise from your podcast or audio recordings.
Cost: Free to use for 30 minutes. No credit card is required. ($10.88 for 10 hours to process audio in a month)
Like videos, audio content is also catching insane traction. According to statistics, the podcast industry is growing at an annual rate of 31.1%. A big reason is — people can listen to podcasts while driving, walking, or working out without looking at their phones.
With podcasts, you can conduct interviews, host audio discussions, or share your thoughts with your audience without stressing over the visual elements of the content.
But editing podcasts is a tedious task. You don’t want unnecessary background noise to distract your listeners.
That’s where Cleanvoice comes in.
Its AI automatically eliminates unwanted sounds from your audio recordings.
The tool can detect and remove filler words like um’s, ah’s, etc., in multiple languages like English, French, and German. Its smart remover understands the context of your speech and adds silence to replace redundant words, keeping your podcast’s flow natural.
The AI removes any background noises, such as dog barking, traffic noise, loud music, etc. With Cleanvoice, you can record podcasts from the noisiest place in the world and still have studio-level quality.
It enhances your audio to produce the cleanest recordings and helps you effectively engage with your audience.
Here’s a quick walkthrough of the tool:
Step 1: Sign up here and click on “Upload.” Then select “Single Track” — if you have all your audio in one file or “Multi Track” — if you have your audio in different files. Click on “Continue.”
Step 2: Click on “Clean Everything!” and hit “Upload.” This will allow you to use all the features of Cleanvoice.
Step 3: Now upload your audio files and let AI do its work. It can take up to 5 minutes to edit.
Step 4: Once done, you can download your edited audio file along with timestamps and markers.
This is all it takes to clean your audio with Cleanvoice!
You can even generate transcripts and subtitles from your podcast in multiple languages. This saves you a lot of time and the hassle of manually transcribing your audio. The transcription quality is top-notch. You can easily convert them into blog articles by expanding on critical insights.
Moreover, Cleanvoice summarizes the transcription of your audio so you don’t have to read the entire transcript to understand the key points.
Stop wasting hours editing and repurposing your podcasts. Let Cleanvoice do the job for you.
What it does: Offers a vast library of royalty-free music for your podcasts, TikToks, videos, etc.
Cost: $9.99/month billed annually in the Creator plan.
For a limited time only, you can download unlimited music for life for a one-time fee of $199. Use code: ANANGSHA to get 50% off the lifetime deal (offer only valid for first 50 people.)
Your videos and podcasts are incomplete without music. If content hooks people’s attention, emotive music keeps their attention till the end. You need both to win the social media game.
But finding the right music is hard. The internet is filled with average fillers that don’t match the vibe of your content. Good tracks often come with copyright headaches.
That’s where Melodie comes in.
Melodie is a music library that houses 20,000+ diverse tracks from award-winning composers and independent artists.
It’s loved by creators and marketers, and is used by top production houses in shows like Ninja Warrior and Love Island.
The quality is consistently high, and each track is copyright-safe for all platforms. Melodie’s exclusive catalog covers a wide range of styles and moods of music. Using Melodie, you’ll never have to worry about takedowns or content muting again.
To use Melodie, browse music and select your favorite mood or genre. It’ll pull out an extensive list of audio tracks to choose from.
You can use its AI ‘reverse-audio’ search feature to find the right music. Paste the YouTube link or MP3 track link on the search bar; it’ll list the matching music options for you.
Play a few tracks and pick the one you love the most.
The best part?
When you download music, you’ll be directly supporting the artist.
Melodie adds fresh music weekly. The licensing covers all online platforms, podcasts, and live streaming.
With Melodie, you’ll never have to struggle to find good music again.
Download your first track here.
What it does: Allows you to plan, create, approve, and schedule your social media content in one place.
Cost: Free to create up to 50 posts ($11/user/month on an annual plan to develop unlimited posts.)
Planable is a powerful social media management tool that helps you collaborate with your team in real time.
Once your content is ready, you can use Planable to:
- Gain quick approval from your team,
- Do any last-minute content changes, and
- Schedule content across platforms.
This saves you the hassle of going back and forth with feedback over texts and emails.
The interface is visual, intuitive, and beautifully designed. Once you onboard your team on Planable, you can start collaborating on content ideas.
The content appears precisely the same as it will when it goes live on social media platforms. You can focus on the formatting and aesthetics of your post and seek edits or approval from your team members on Planable through comments and replies.
This helps you make quick edits and saves you from long email chains discussing ideas or feedback.
Once the content is finalized, you can plan its posting across seven popular channels (Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Google My Business) using Planable’s in-built social media scheduling calendar.
This helps you track the timing of your posts and manage schedules for all platforms from a single interface.
But social media is just one facet of content marketing. What about other formats like blogs and newsletters?
Planable’s Universal Content feature allows you to create, plan, collaborate, and request approval on content formats such as blogs and newsletters. Your social media, blog, and email marketing content is finally in one place.
If you want to take your collaboration game to the next level, add Planable in your arsenal.
Start using Planable for free.
Summarizing, here are the six must-have tools to grow your creative business in 2023:
- Reflect: Helps you think better with interconnected notes.
- xTiles: Creates a personal workspace to organize your work and life.
- Animoto: Generates professional-looking videos in minutes.
- Cleanvoice: Removes background noise and fillers from your audio recordings.
- Melodie: Provides copyright-safe music while supporting the artists.
- Planable: Plan, create, and schedule your social media content from one place.
I hope you found some excellent tools to grow your creative business in 2023. Which of them are you going to use first? Let me know in the comments.
Author’s note: The links mentioned in this article are sponsored. I love these tools so much and only shared them with you because I think they can add fantastic value to your journey as an online entrepreneur.