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Launch Your Online Course With Thinkific

Thinkific is a software platform that enables entrepreneurs to create, market, sell, and deliver their online courses. Their mission is no less than to revolutionize the way people learn and earn online by giving them the tools they need to turn their expertise into a sustainable business that impacts both them and their audience.

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Create, market, and sell your online courses

Thinkific’s powerful, all-in-one platform makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale the business you already love. Whether you’re educating ten students or ten million, feel confident that you’ve got the most user-friendly technology and best support in the business.

Everything you need to run your education business exists under one roof.

  1. Build your course. Easily upload videos, build quizzes, and organize all your learning content with our drag and drop builder. Set pricing, schedule lessons, and automate your content to curate a learning experience your students will love.

  2. Powerful customization - with the click of a button. Set up your courses in no time flat. Design your course site as you desire. Easily customize 100’s of features so you can build your perfect course business or membership site without any tech stress. No coding required.

  3. Total control over your content, pricing, and data. You have the freedom and flexibility to run your course business however you choose. Market and sell to your heart’s content. Take full control over site design, content, course pricing, student information, and more. You get paid instantly and own 100% of your data.

  4. Seamless automation lets you work without worry. Automatic onboarding, student messaging, completion certificates, and more ensure your students get a world-class education every time, so you're free to tackle your big picture goals. Plus, integrate with 1000+ business tools you already use.

  5. Designed for you and your students. The most successful course creators know that seeing results for their business depends on delivering an exceptional learning experience to their audience. Supporting your students with this platform couldn’t be simpler.

Every Thinkific feature, from their landing page templates to their state-of-the-art learning environment, was designed so you can enhance your students’ experience and grow your business for long-term success. Start building your course today!

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Benefits of FreshBooks:

The FreshBooks mission is to execute extraordinary experiences every day. They uphold a longstanding tradition of providing exceptional customer service and building a product that helps save you time because they know you went into business to pursue your passion and serve your customers - not to learn how to do accounting.

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Benefits of FreshBooks:

  1. Create Professional Looking Invoices in Seconds: You’re the real deal, be sure you look like it. FreshBooks makes creating professional-looking invoices for your business ridiculously easy. It’s simple to create and customize your invoice, add your logo, and personalize your thank you email. You will wow your clients.

  2. Save Time and Accept Credit Cards On Your Invoice: No more chasing clients for checks or waiting in the line at the bank. Allow your clients to pay you online and get paid up to 11 days faster.

  3. Put Your Business on Autopilot: From sending reminders to securely charging your client’s credit card, you can automate as much (or as little) of your business with FreshBooks. Let FreshBooks follow-up with clients so you can focus your time on what matters most.

  4. Get Paid Upfront with Deposits: No more paying expenses out of pocket or waiting until the end of a project to get funds. Request a deposit on your invoice, and you’ll sleep peacefully knowing you’ll get the money you need at the start.

  5. Bill For Exactly What You’re Worth: You’ll always charge for all the work you did and any costs you incurred. With FreshBooks, you can easily add your tracked time and expenses to your invoices so you’ll never leave money on the table again.

A Few More Powerful Invoicing Features You’ll Find in FreshBooks:

  • Add invoice due dates

  • Customize invoice payment term

  • Easily offer discounts

  • Automatically calculate taxes

  • Preview invoices before sending

  • Choose your preferred currency

  • Instant updates when an invoice is viewed and paid

  • Invoice from anywhere with the mobile app

Sign up for a FREE trial

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Why Stock Images Don’t Work

As a brand strategist, I know what works and doesn't work. But more importantly, why doesn't it work? The biggest factor that I notice is stock images on websites and social media. This element can downgrade your brand.

I take time each month to create my images and take pride in doing so whether it is the creation of digital images or photography. Performing this task helps keep my brand on point and cohesive like I tell my clients about all the time.

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Here are the top reasons why stock images don't work for your brand.

1. I thought I just saw that image. Chances are they have seen it somewhere else and just got your brand confused because they are thinking of the previous picture they just saw, possibly from a competitor. It now sticks to their mind that it wasn't original, and they are left confused.

2. Stock images won’t connect your audience with your brand. If it doesn't match your brand and audience, you are leaving everyone puzzled. You have just wasted time and money when you could have done it correctly the first time.

3. I don't know about you, but before I invest in any company, I do research and make sure that I see brand awareness and consistency. Stock images don't make you look authentic. Let's be real. People sitting at a conference table with a white background seems fake; get creative and fun and show your personality.

4. Too many stock photos make you seem fake. Have you ever visited a website with so many stock images you didn't even know what they were offering? Does it look like a fake rather than a “real” company? Maybe, maybe not. I would back away, though.

There are plenty of other reasons why stock images don't work well for any business. I understand that it might be pricey to have a brand specific photoshoot, but it will be well worth it to stand out. Not to mention, if you don't even have copyright releases to these images, are they even worth using? Invest your money on custom photography so that your audience will mark you as professional and genuine.

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The One Tool Every Business Owner Needs

If you are trying to manage emails and find yourself getting lost in them, I have the perfect solution for you. If you are a business owner looking for the next best thing to get your emails and documents under control, then you want to check out G Suite.

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One Tool I Use Every Day in My Business

Dubsado is the best tool for the productive business owner. They build software that allows you to take back your time, money, and attention and reinvest it into your business, family time, or whatever else you're hoping to do in life.


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3 Easy New Ways to Double Blog Traffic

Everyone wants traffic to their blog and website, right? The problem is how do we get the numbers there? It might seem like social media is the key, but there are numerous other opportunities out there.

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3 Easy New Ways to Double Blog Traffic

  1. Do a Massive Vanity Post:: This way is when you create a massive round-up post of the best advice or tips from a minimum of 25 other relevant bloggers, experts, and influencers. You will want to make sure it is a good quality article, and that the contributors have a good audience. From there, of course, ensure your SEO is on point. Then comes the fun time. You send the link back around to everyone who has contributed and see if they’d also like to share this amazingly useful content. It's a win-win for all involved. You can boost this blog post and tag the others on social media to truly help gain traffic to your website. It's super easy!

  2. Create A Mega Pin For Your Best Post: Graphics are a huge item to create to help get a flow to your website or offerings. The best step you can take is to create infographics, excellent and informative infographics. (You should always have pinnable images on every blog post, but for this one specifically, make a nice infographic to interest people.) You should know your audience and know what they want. So, create a few different infographics, and schedule the images on Pinterest. Keep it simple and picturesque.

  3. Guest Blog:Guest blogging is a great way to increase exposure. You literally write for someone else, and they publish the piece. It links back to your website and social media as long as THEY promote it for you. You want to check that you have unique and fun topics, but always with heavy SEO keywords throughout the composition. Here, you are the expert, so have an editor review the article a few times so that the internet can be 'wowed.'

Do you find other ways to help gain more publicity organically when it comes to your blog posts? There are many fun and free ways to do this; these are merely my top three ways.



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Influencer Marketing - Top Five Elements in a Media Kit

If you desire to work with a brand of any sort, you will want to have a media kit. You should make sure that you have everything covered and it is top quality. A lot goes into a media kit, and I am going to break down the top five elements a media kit should include.

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1 ABOUT ME: People want to know more about you (especially if you are an influencer). Throw in a little backstory about how you got started, and add in some of your interests or passions. People want to know that you are human and want to be able to relate to you; this helps you stand out from the crowd.

2  STATS: This information is hands down the most important you’ll include in your media kit. You need to add your social accounts, media outlets (like a blog, podcast, writing credits, etc.), and your analytics for each. Numbers don't always mean everything; they just want to check that you are active and have a following of some sort. High engagement rates can sometimes beat out a larger amount of followers.

3: FOLLOWER DEMOGRAPHICS: You need to have many followers that fit your niche and interact. So, find insights to show them who your audience is made up of (like real data). Get as specific as possible here! This info is super important for brands trying to target their ideal market.

4: OFFERINGS: You should also incorporate what sorts of collaborations you can provide to your potential partners. There are a ton of possibilities for this section. Will you do social posts, videos, stories, write sponsored or guest blog posts, write recipes, create freebies, host takeovers, contests, etc.? Define as much as you can and add in the rates for these charges.

5: CONTACT INFO: Include your email, phone number, and anything else they might need to reach out to you. Make sure to enter links to your blog, website, podcast or any other social media profiles as well.

So, ready to get your media kit together? Hit the contact us button below, and we can help start the process to put this together both visually and content driven.



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Why Your Website Needs a Wireframe

Let’s back up and talk about what a wireframe is first. For those looking to build a website of any size or shape, wireframes are the foundation on which to begin building. Wireframing usually comes after the site architecture has been determined by a sitemap or flowchart of the website’s pages and before the creative design phase.

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What is a wireframe?

Wireframes are simple black and white layouts that outline the specific size and placement of page elements, site features, conversion areas and navigation for your website.

They are devoid of color, font choices, logos or any real design elements that take away from purely focusing on a site’s structure.

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We often say that they are much like a blueprint to a home, where you can easily see the structural placement of your plumbing, electrical and other structural components without any interior design treatments.

Here is an example of what a wireframe looks like:

Overlooking this step to get to the look and feel is a huge mistake that would prove disastrous for any website or any contractor building a home. To reinforce the importance of this phase in a web process, I have outlined seven fundamental reasons why you need to wireframe.

1. Wireframes display site architecture visually

A sitemap can be a bit abstract, especially ones that are quite large. Taking the sitemap to wireframe starts the first concrete visual process for a project. Wireframes turn the abstract nature of a flowchart into something real and tangible without distractions. This step ensures that all parties are on the same page.

2. Wireframes allow for clarification of website features

In many instances, clients may not understand what you mean when you say “hero image,” “google map integration,” “product filtering,” “light boxes,” and hundreds of other types of features. Wireframing specific project features on a website provides clear communication to a client about how these features will function, where they will live on the particular page, and how useful they might be.

Sometimes you may decide to take out a feature once you see the wireframe because it just doesn’t work with what your goals are for the site. Observing the components without any creative influence allows a client to focus on other equally important aspects of the project and clarifies any expectations about how to execute features.

3. Wireframes push usability to the forefront

This step is one of the most critical points of the entire wireframing process. Creating wireframes pushes usability to the front in showcasing page layouts at their core.

It forces everyone to look objectively at a website’s ease of use, conversion paths, naming of links, navigation placement, and feature placement. Wireframes can point out flaws in your site architecture or how a specific feature may work. And this is a great tool.

4. Wireframes identify ease of updates

For clients who purchase a content managed website, this point is especially vital. A wireframe will immediately identify how well your site will handle content growth.

For example, if you only have ten products offered right now, but in six months you may have 100, you will want your website to accommodate this growth without impact to the website design, site architecture or usability. Wireframes will identify these crucial areas of content expansion.

5. Wireframes help make the design process iterative

Instead of trying to combine the functionality with the layout and creative with the branding aspects of the website in one step, wireframes ensure that these elements get taken in one at a time. This method allows clients (and other team members) to provide feedback earlier in the process.

Skipping wireframes delays this feedback and increases the costs of making changes because reworking must happen on full design mockups, not just simplified wireframes

6. Wireframes save time on the entire project Wireframing spares time in a multitude of ways Your designs are more calculated. Your development team understands what they are building. Content creation becomes much clearer. You avoid hacks later on in the process. Everyone from the web team, the agency and client are all on the same page about what the website is supposed to do and how it should function.

7. Experience shows it works

Building a website is a process. Wireframing is one of those parts of the web process that you should not skip, just as you wouldn’t construct a house without a blueprint, or live in it without decoration. Each step has an essential place in a larger process.


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Top Five Keys to Your Successful Logo

There is more to a logo than just a graphic. A lot of time goes into the creation, but there is also a lot of knowledge behind it all. There is a reason why logos cost a great deal of money. I don’t always like to hear the word logo; I tend to tell people the logo is your brand.

Think about all the logos that you see on a daily basis.

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The best logos have several elements in common. Here are five keys to a successful logo:


1. Simplicity.

Let's talk about the good old Apple logo, it was rainbow-colored, while the current one’s rendering is in solid black or grayscale. This simplicity makes the logo easy to look at, which customers appreciate. When it is uncomplicated people can look at it and enjoy; They can recognize the logo right away.

2. Brand consistency.

Your logo communicates messages to consumers about your brand. This part is the most important to ensure that the design fits your message. Whenever we see the logo, we know what the brand is; it creates brand awareness.

3. Memorability.

This piece is how people remember your brand and logo. They can quickly identify it from miles away. They understand your brand. Think of a time when you were traveling, and you needed to stop for food. You see the big McDonald’s sign; you recognize it. Your logo should help the audience remember that you exist and what you stand for/offer.

4. Remark-ability.

This key is what makes you unique; what stands out from your competitors and makes you, you. This element is what makes you different than your competitors in a sea full of similar brands.

I get that you want to be frugal about your spending, but this isn't the time to do so. If you want your audience to take you professionally and invest in you, then you need to invest in yourself. Find a designer that you believe in, that fits your personality and gets you, and invest in them.

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What Website Platform to Use

Having a business can be expensive; we know that. Getting a website set up can be both time consuming and costly. There are 30 million small businesses in the United States; that is a lot!!

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According to the 2018 Small Business Profile Report from the US Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States! These small business owners work incredibly hard, and while the benefits of being a creative entrepreneur are many, ensuring that the financial rewards are worry-free is paramount.

You can set up a Weebly website, but did you know you can sell with 0% Weebly transaction fee? They also have the ability to add unlimited products to their stores and have access to a variety of powerful e-commerce tools including inventory management, reviews, tax calculator, and more. The Weebly Business plan is just $25/month when paid annually

Is Your Business Just Starting Out? No problem!

Weebly's Starter or Pro Plans are great for entrepreneurs who are just getting started or want to test the waters. While there is a low 3% Weebly transaction fee on these plans and a reduced set of tools available, the Starter and Pro plans can be very cost effective for new businesses while they fine-tune their product lines and strategies. The Starter plan is available at $8/month when paid annually, and the Pro plan is available at $12/month when paid annually.

We encourage you to create new content and posts for your site, especially around the Weebly Business and Performance plans. If you need help setting up your website, feel free to contact us below.

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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