One of the most common questions that people ask me is: “How do you get it all done?” The answer is that it’s impossible to do it all, and there are a lot of times that I feel like I’m on an uphill climb, BUT there are a lot of tools and tricks I’ve found along the way to help alleviate that feeling. Efficiency has become a core value of LISH creative – we love being able to provide value to our clients by serving them efficiently. Here is a peek into how we do that:
1. STREAK for email management
There are two key features of Streak that I LOVE. The first is email tracking, which enables you to see if/when a contact has viewed an email. This is especially useful for follow-up purposes, you no longer have to wonder if your message was sorted to spam. The second, which I use almost daily, is email scheduling. I sometimes like to work outside of working hours, but I respect my clients and contractors and never want to appear in their inbox outside of working hours. So instead of sending that email at 3pm on a Sunday, I schedule that email to appear in their inbox at 8am the next morning.
2. ASANA for project management
Speaking of email, sometimes it’s hard to manage an ongoing project through various threads and subject lines. It can also be hard to delegate and assign tasks to multiple team members in an efficient manner. To combat this, we use Asana for both big picture project tracking and managing the details of every project we’re working on.
3. PLANN for Instagram design and planning
The key to an aesthetically pleasing feed is planning in advance. Plann allows you to drag and drop images to plan your feed layout, captions and hashtags in advance! The company started as a mobile app, but Plann is now available on desktop too!
4. AIRTABLE for concepts & client feedback
Airtable is like a traditional excel spreadsheet on steroids. You can drag and drop rows and columns, everything auto-fits, and I love the way that you can upload images as attachments (no more adjusting the cell for every photo…)! We use Airtable to share concepts and gather feedback from our clients. If they like what they see, they can even add a little green “approved” checkmark!
5. BENCH for bookkeeping
I’ve been through a couple of accountants over the years and have switched for a few reasons. Some were too expensive, and the cheaper ones made too many mistakes….so I just started using Bench.co. I will let you know how it goes, but so far it is super efficient and easy. I love their online messaging feature and analytics.
6. GUSTO for automated payroll
Since switching from an LLC to an s-corp, Gusto has been a lifesaver! As an s-corp, I am considered an employee of my company, so I have to run payroll and pay the taxes that go along with that. Gusto handles EVERYTHING! You just plug in a salary and it direct-deposits each month and takes care of taxes for you too. Such a gamechanger.
Last year, LISH creative worked with more than 30 independent contractors to help keep the business running. We utilize a financial planner, a project manager, photo editors, models, makeup artists, art directors, assistants, a lawyer, social media managers….the list goes on! If there are things that you can easily train someone to do, or if you need someone with more expertise than you do, go out and hire them!!! Stay on the tasks that are most interesting/relevant and important to running your biz. Outsourcing also applies to personal stuff too. With me running a company and Graham working as a medical resident, time is our most valuable resource. We now outsource our lawn care and house cleaning so that we can focus on our careers and spending downtime together when we can.