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Stop Saying “ROI”

Did I ever tell you that I hate the word "ROI"? Yes, I do. People use this term day in and day out. It's like the word is used to say whatever you’re trying isn't working. But can you prove it isn't working?? It's hard to see if anything is working.

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Let's get technical here. "To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. In the above formula, "Gain from Investment” refers to the proceeds obtained from the sale of the investment of interest." GAHHH what does this even mean?!

Seriously. My head spins whenever people talk about ROI. It is hard to tell what is working and what isn't. I mean, you can see some statistics and understand... but ROI IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. In fact, it could take months or years. I am not kidding.

Being a business owner is a risk in itself. Right. If you aren't willing to take a chance, then you won't ever get ROI. You have to keep growing and pushing forward to really get the ROI you want. It only works if you put forth a consistent effort.

"That being said, one of the downsides of the ROI calculation is that it can be manipulated, so results may vary between users. When using ROI to compare investments, it's important to use the same inputs to get an accurate comparison." https://investinganswers.com/financial-dictionary/technical-analysis/return-investment-roi-1100

So now people can lie about ROI too? Breaking news, there is no real way to track a return on investment other than data. But even data won't show the full potential.

Check this out. I hired a sales coach and am a part of her mastermind. It was a "large" investment for me. But, I knew I had to do it. I thought by joining the mastermind that I would get ROI and would make so many sales. NO, I had to do the work and move forward to get ROI.


Now I am confident and can sell, so the ROI is 100% there, but the problem is it took time. Like anything does. So, you can not expect the ROI to happen magically. I always hear people tell me this for social media, branding, marketing, or whatever the avenue. But, you need to be patient and put in a lot of time and money up front before you can move forward and receive that return you’re seeking.

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The Best Social Media Marketing Books

Social media is so important for any business to survive. It is almost like a given for them to have it, after all if they don’t are they even legit? There are so many platforms, questions, and problems with social media. Do you have time to be on it an know each platform? I bet not. I don’t either.

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The Best Stationary

There is something about having great stationary, I love being able to write in doodle. Not everything should be done on the computer. When is the last time you took sometime to write in a journal? Or notebook? Owning a business this is critical for me! I need to constantly have notebooks.


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Is Your Brand Hurting You?

People often don’t know what branding is and why they need it. I am here to tell you that your branding can be hurting your business if you are not doing it correctly. YES, that is true. You are reading that right. We have gone over what branding does and how it helps you, but let's talk about how it may be HURTING YOU.

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Are you not getting enough business? If you are not getting enough business, it is more than likely because you do not know how to attract the ideal client. This issue spans everything from the colors you use to your fonts to everything in between.  

Do you know who your audience is? This element is one of the most important to remember to be successful and grow. You need to get as specific as possible and ask a ton of questions. This narrowing should be the first step to any business. Whenever you go through a branding phrase, you should always have a strategy in place with a professional.

Are you consistent? You want to be clear on what you offer and consistent in everything. This aspect is what I preach most to my clients simply because they want the user experience, and they will get it when you have your audience defined and can carry it through everywhere.

Are you giving your audience quality? If you are not giving the customer the experience and the consistency as above, are you really taking care of your business/brand? Always take care of your customer so that they will return and refer others to you.

These quick facts can help you get your branding and business out of the dog house. Contact us today for your free one-hour consultation.

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FreshBooks Double-entry Perks!

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

I always dreamed of being a business owner, but what I didn’t dream of was all the accounting and invoicing that is involved with it. It is one of my biggest problems. I hate it…. Up until I started using Freshbooks. 

Freshbooks has been amazing… and puts my mind and finances to ease. Freshbooks has amazing customer service, and their product helps save your time and money! They know how much pain and expenses there are as business owner. It helps you to better serve your customers and be more efficient with your time. 

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Real quick… let’s talk about Freshbooks. They create professional looking Invoices in Seconds. Nothing is worse than getting an unprofessional invoice! FreshBooks makes creating professional-looking invoices for your business so easy and worth it! It’s even simple to create and customize your invoice: add your logo, and personalize your thank you email.Your customers will be amazed. 

Now here are some quick benefits to Quickbooks: save time and accept credit cards on invoices, put your business on autopilot, get paid upfront with deposits, bill for exactly what you’re worth. Doesn’t that make you so happy just hearing those things?? I know it does for me, who has time for extra steps? 

However, I am happy to share with you, their new feature “double-entry accounting.” This is such a great benefit to their program! 

What is double-entry accounting? It is an industry-standard method that bookkeepers and accountants use to track and manage a business’s financial records. 

FreshBooks’ double-entry accounting functions have eight new features that are part of the industry standard system, including Cost of Goods Sold, Other Income, General Ledger, Trial Balance, Charts of Accounts, Accountant Access, Bank Reconciliation and Balance Sheets.

All of that sounds like a headache to me, but it is super easy knowing that Freshbooks takes care of it for me. 

Let’s talk about each item real quick.

Accountant Access: You are able to share your information with your accountant or CPA. It is super easy, and you both can see everything at the same time and same way. It’s a win-win. 

Chart of Accounts: This helps you stay organized and has a complete listing of every account in your accounting system such as assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses.

Balance Sheet: Sometimes we need to have a big picture of our business financial position and this does that for you. You can factor in the company’s assets, liability, and equity. Stop stressing about business finances with this simple snapshot. 

Bank Reconciliation: You will be able to automatically connect payments and income into your Freshbooks account. You will be able to see any new expenses, payments, or income. It helps make sure your records and reports are up to date. 

General Ledger: This tells your business finances story. You will be provided with a complete record of all accounts a company uses. 

Cost of Goods Sold: As a business you will need to get equipment and supplies to run a successful business. However, you might need to get a type a good that is essential such as a particular tool for a contractor for a specific client. This is different than expenses. 

Other income; You might get income from other places, you know those small jobs that you hustle for. You can record the extra ways you make money so that your taxes will be smooth. 

Trial Balance: You will be able to double check your accounting to make sure your list of debits and credits match up. 

Sign up for a FREE trial 

You can always read more about Freshbooks https://www.visions2images.com/blog/2019/1/10/benefits-of-freshbooks


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THE BEST ENTREPRENEUR BOOKS

Being an entrepreneur has a lot of up’s and down’s. It requires a lot of knowledge and up keep. You have to constantly be growing each day, otherwise you might fall behind.

I do enjoy podcasts and audio books, but every now and then I do enjoy a nice reading book., It’s a great way to sit down at night and unwind. Reading really is good for the soul.

Here are some of my top favorite entrepreneur books.

  1. Start Your Own Business, Sixth Edition: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need 
    Tapping into more than 33 years of small business expertise, the staff at Entrepreneur Media takes today’s entrepreneurs beyond opening their doors and through the first three years of ownership. This revised edition features amended chapters on choosing a business, adding partners, getting funded, and managing the business structure and employees, and also includes help understanding the latest tax and healthcare reform information and legalities.

  2. Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur  Women around the world have responded to Cara Alwill Leyba’s Girl Code with a resounding YES. Companies like Kate Spade and Macy’s have brought her in to teach “the Code.” Inc. magazine named Girl Code one of the “Top 9 Inspiring Books Every Female Entrepreneur Should Read” alongside Lean In, #Girlboss, and Thrive.

  3. The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage  The instant New York Times bestseller from Shark Tank star and Fubu Founder Daymond John on why starting a business on a limited budget can be an entrepreneur’s greatest competitive advantage. Daymond John has been practicing the power of broke ever since he started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens. With a $40 budget, Daymond had to strategize out-of-the-box ways to promote his products. Luckily, desperation breeds innovation, and so he hatched an idea for a creative campaign that eventually launched the FUBU brand into a $6 billion dollar global phenomenon. But it might not have happened if he hadn’t started out broke – with nothing but hope and a ferocious drive to succeed by any means possible.

  4. Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business Romi Neustadt is passionate about helping others build lucrative direct sales and network marketing businesses that help create lives with more freedom and flexibility, greater purpose and a lot more fun. In this book she offers you the same direct, no-BS coaching she’s given to tens of thousands to help you acquire the skills to build this sucker and teach your team to do the same. And, equally important, she’ll work on your mindset so you stop over complicating it all and stop letting the negative voices in your head win.

  5. She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur  Are you ready to turn your ideas into reality and build a wildly successful business?There has never been a better time to say yes! With a computer and an Internet connection you can get your ideas, messages, and business out there like never before and create so much success.In this book, Carrie Greenshows you how.Carrie started her first online business at the age of 20—she knows what it’s like to be an ambitious and creative woman with big dreams and huge determination . . . but she also knows the challenges of starting and running a business, including the fears, overwhelm, confusion, and blocks that entrepreneurs face.

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The Top Five Ways To Increase Your Website Traffic

Everyone wants more traffic to their website; it can be tough to do. You need to know your audience and have a good brand behind your business. Once you have those elements identified, the ways for increasing your traffic will be easier.

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Here are the top 5 ways to increase your website traffic.

1) Natural Channel -

This step is the organic way for traffic to your website. This way relates to how people are finding you and clicking through your links. They are typing in keywords organically and land upon your links.

Speaking of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), write for your readers and not for Search Engines.

2) Referral Traffic Sources -

This option is a quick traffic source, and bloggers can easily find their ways around it. This source sends traffic to your website from links on other websites.

Generally, you can easily garner this through blog commenting and guest posting. Commenting on CommentLuv enabled blogs can significantly boost this traffic source.

Other referral resources are forums, Q&A sites, mentions on other sites, etc. If you create highly engaging content, readers will link back to your posts, and that will bring you referral traffic.

3 ) Social Media -

Social media is an excellent way of gaining traffic period. The best part is that it saves comments, links, guest posts, Q&A, reviews, and so much more. It is one of the best ways to build your business and website. Know that, with everything on social media, you cannot change or adjust it, so it is very much real.

Tip: do not worry about the numbers, focus on the engagement and discussions happening.

4) Direct Traffic Source -

This choice is when people directly type in your website URL. That means not searching on the internet, but rather a direct URL. They find this URL when you give it to them such as on your business cards, invitations, calendars, phone calls, brochures, etc.

5) Email List -

Email lists are a fantastic way to lead traffic to your site, as long as you use them correctly. There is nothing worse than an email that is 100% about sales. Each time you are sending out an email, include URLs to your website.

Building a business online can be challenging, but there are many wonderful tips and tricks to get it going. I have helped over twenty companies grow and develop their online platform. This fact is why you should hire a professional to make sure that you are seen and by the right audience.


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What is Branding?

Branding is a term that many people do not understand. It is more than a logo. We need to understand more of what branding is so that our businesses can be successful and grow. Your brand is how your audience portrays you. It is everything from your voice, colors, logo, fonts, and so much more.

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So what is branding?

1. Influence: It is how your audience feels when you work with them and the feeling that you give them.

2. Visuals: This identifier is the logos, icons, patterns, and images so that your audience can identify you and create brand awareness.

3. Foundation: This mark is the mission, vision, and values that are behind a brand. Audiences like to feel a connection whenever they invest.

4. Words: This step is the copy that you convey on blog posts, videos, podcasts, and even advertising copy. This part consists of how you speak to your audience and connect with them!!

So why is branding so important?

1. It Tells Your Story: It is a visual way of storytelling and a way to communicate with your audience. It defines who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Think about the brands that you invest in and see every day. You buy into those because of their brand.

2. Increases Your Value:

This action lets your audience know that you are professional and have values in your business. Are you willing to invest in a brand if they haven't even invested in their branding?

3. Gives You Direction:

It doesn’t matter where you are with your business; you need to have a clear vision for your audience and employees. This measure allows all your vendors and employees to be successful and keep the branding on track.

4. Promotes Recognition:

Think about your favorite brand and how it has elicited recognition. Mine is Apple. I get super excited and butterfly feelings with any product associated with their brand. A strong brand will be remembered and shared with others.

5. Generates Leads & Increases Revenue:

Isn't this everyone's goal? This factor is the biggest that you need to have for your branding. You want people to share and shout to the world about your business, and this will happen when you provide good branding and customer service

Branding is the single most important element for any business to be successful. Let me know, does your brand have all of these things? If not, click below and contact us for a free consultation 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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