Do you have design skills? Do you wish you could market those skills? Or do you have a client who wants you to design their brochure or postcard — not just write it?
The cost of buying a full suite of design tools for just one job might put you off and make you think you can’t take the job. You could subcontract the design work out or act as a project manager for your client, managing the design work as part of the gig. But it hurts to farm out work you know you have the skill and the time to do.
Enter Adobe’s Creative Cloud. You can purchase a month-to-month membership for $75 per month, or if the project is a longer-term deal, you may be able to save $75 by purchasing a prepaid three-month subscription at Amazon.
If you only need one tool, such as InDesign, you can get a subscription for an even lower cost: $20 per month.
You could also sign up for a year-long commitment to get a monthly rate of $50. And the nice thing about this type of expense is that it is business related, so you may be able to write it off when you file your taxes for the following year.
Once you complete that first design project, you could leverage it to get enough work to justify purchasing full versions of the software. Or you could continue to subscribe. I wrote a post for EdCetera a while back that gives tips for when the Creative Cloud makes sense and when outright purchase is a better choice. In a ntushell, your need to upgrade is the best predictor of which option will save you money — if you want the newest software when it first comes out, you probably will do better with the Creative Cloud.
Once you try the Creative Cloud, you might want to look at other cloud-based tools, such as OFfice 365 or Google Apps. I personally use Google for most of my work because it is easily accessible from multiple computers and I am comfortable with Google’s word processing features. If I did more presentations or needed access to other components of the Microsoft suite, I would go with Office 365 to get the same cloud functionality.