The Top 15 Tools You Need to Know to Grow As A Creator

Jesse Clemmens
Jesse Clemmens
Co-Founder @ HiBeam
Cover Image for The Top 15 Tools You Need to Know to Grow As A Creator

Anyone can be a Creator or Influencer; that’s the beauty of social media. All you need is a phone, internet connection, and some ingenuity. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok bring unparalleled reach into the hands of the Creator. 

Most Creators and Influencers get started by posting something unique, authentic, and engaging, and grow from there. However, with new growth and opportunities, heightened expectations follow - for yourself and from your followers. 

Leveraging the power of supporting software can help manage these expectations. Whether it's a desire to increase productivity, avoid burnout, or simply free up more time so you can be creative, there are tools to help. 

You should set aside a few days a month to research new tools and services and think about adding something new to your Creator Kit. As more investment pours into the Creator space, there are new solutions practically every month! 

Here are our Top 15 Tools to help you grow your community. 

Tools for Communication and Engagement 

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to maintain and grow your audience or community, you have to stay engaged. At some point, you may feel overwhelmed, guilty, non-responsive, or simply missing exciting opportunities that might be buried in an onslaught of notifications and DMs. 

There are two ways that Creators often find themselves in a bind to stay engaged. The first is rapid growth from adding new and active followers. The second is platform expansion, opening up new audiences on new platforms. For example, you might be an established Instagrammer with a new and growing TikTok audience (or vice versa). It’s also possible you simply want to do more: more consistent outreach, more timely response, etc., but you are overwhelmed. 

Here are our favorite tools to help you stay engaged with your community:

  1. HiBeam for DMs and Comments. If you find yourself overwhelmed with notifications, DM’s, or missing opportunities, you might need a Message Management solution. Our favorite is HiBeam, a game-changing new app that consolidates and sorts your incoming messages so you never lose track of important messages again. It’s a snappy and clean interface and puts your Instagram and YouTube messages in one place for quick response.

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2. MailChimp for email. With increasing awareness of algorithmic volatility and demonetization, many Creators are setting up direct connections with their audience, “owning” their community or follower list rather than “renting.” While there are a ton of ways to do this, none are as tried and true as an email list. With email, you choose exactly when to show up in your follower’s inbox; MailChimp makes it easy to create audience segments and they offer tons of beautiful email templates. If you looking to start email marketing, MailChimp is a fantastic solution. 

Tools for Planning Your Content 

There are countless "tips and tricks" out there for growing Creators and Influencers, but one of the most effective ways to keep engagement strong is consistency.

Unfortunately, creativity doesn’t follow a timeline. Creative activity can come in spurts and waves (or ebbs and flows). Sometimes you feel inspired and full of energy; other days you might feel burned out and want to shut your brain off

Luckily, planning helps address the disconnect between creativity and consistency. It is about investing now for a payoff later. 

Tools to make planning a breeze:

  1. Schedule your Content: There’s no better way to be consistent than to front-load posting activity. When you’re feeling inspired, it's easier to get your best work done.  While the best Creators look easy, the reality is many of the most productive accounts are doing the work upfront and then carefully selecting when to post that content later. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive and easy-to-use tools to put your creativity bursts to use.

    1. Later can help you build a phenomenal Instagram feed, with tools to help visually plan your content. With features like best times to posts, the ability to post to multiple social channels, Linkin.Bio software, and top-notch analytics. Later is a great one-stop-shop.  

    2. Buffer makes it easy to schedule your posts on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. It also provides simple to use analytics tools so you can understand what’s happening with your audience. You can even import directly from Canva!

  2. Establish a Content Calendar: Rather than waiting for inspiration to strike, you can pick a theme or align with seasonal topics and much more. By picking a planning window (1 month in advance? 3 months in advance?), you can work backward and avoid stress. Depending on your needs and budget there are a few solid options: 

    1. Monday.com is a visually pleasing and oh-so-satisfying way to break your content plans into a to-do list.

    2. Trello is a project management tool that allows you to put content ideas on “cards” that you can drag, drop, and mark as completed. 

    3. Using Google Sheets might seem obvious, but sometimes the OG solution is the  best - and free. Segmenting and dating your content plans and ideas on a simple calendar built on Google Sheets is a low-cost, no-frills way to stay organized.

Tools for Editing and Production 

Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok all have great editing tools built into their software. The native editing experience is sometimes all you need, but sometimes you have a specific look/idea/technique that you need a little help with. This is where editing and production tools come in. 

Below are just a few of the best out there. 

  1. VSCO  lets you touch up photos to achieve vintage film looks with a vast library of presets. Their more advanced tools can bring an image from good to great. 

  2. Canva makes graphic design a breeze for beginners. With endless templates, fonts, and even professional design help, Canva has quickly become a favorite tool in our Creator Kit. 

  3. Kapwing is similar to Canva but for video - add captions, subtitles, resize, or choose from hundreds of templates that can make your video pop!

  4. Descript is a powerful tool for audio editing. Instead of clicking around in an audio file, Descript transcribes your words to text so you can edit audio as easily as deleting and replacing words on a document. When you’re done, run your audio through Studio Sound, it’s like you used a professional studio.

 Tools for Selling

The latest wave of e-commerce is Creator-driven, and it’s easier than ever to monetize your brand or channel by selling physical goods or even knowledge-based products. While there are a ton of options out there, here are a few to start selling hassle-free.

  1. Amazon Influencer Program allows content creators to earn affiliate fees on items they’ve curated. Whenever an audience member makes a purchase, you keep a portion of that sale. While not as lucrative as selling directly, you don’t have to worry about shipping or fulfillment. This can be a good option for Creators in niche segments or those receiving messages and comments asking for product recommendations or how-to advice. 

  2. Shopify is a turnkey solution for selling products yourself. Shopify allows you to easily set up a store and start receiving orders. While there are other solutions out there, few can match the simplicity of Shopify. It’s a great way to get started selling products as a Creator or influencer. 

  3. Spring promises to help you create and share while handling production, shipping, and customer support. You can choose from hundreds of white-label products to overlay with your brand - theoretically deploying your own branded store and products in minutes. 

  4. Linkin.bio if you are selling products, Linkin.bio allows you to connect your Shopify store to your social landing page. Converting your feed into a shoppable mini-site. 

  5. Native On-Platform:

    1. Instagram Shops are immersive full-screen shopping experiences built right into Instagram. 

    2. YouTube live-stream shopping is currently in testing and apparently coming soon.

Summary  

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting your unique combination of tools and service (we call it a Creator Kit!). Depending on what you are looking to achieve, there is a tool for you. Whether it’s managing DM’s and comments with HiBeam, editing photos with VSCO, or selling mugs with Spring, today’s tools for Creators are better than ever before. You bring the creativity and these solutions can help you transform your ideas into a reality.

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