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branding

How to Build Your Ecommerce Website with Shopify 

E-commerce is one of the biggest trends happening right now. It is a great way to make money and be an entrepreneur while doing a side hustle. I have helped dozens of websites (even on Shopify) launch their online shop successfully.

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Here are some great benefits to using Shopify:


  1. Easy To Set Up And Use: Shopify is very user-friendly, anyone can use it. You do not need to have a lot of site knowledge to use Shopify, but it is always wise to have a website developer or designer so that it gets done properly and professionally.

  2. Eye-Catching Online Store: There are so many templates that you can use and integrate them easily into your online shop. You can customize a lot of elements, including colors and fonts. You can even have a developer use HTML or CSS code.

  3. App Integrations: One of the best aspects that I love about Shopify is the app integrations. There are so many great ways for one to use email pop-ups, email campaigns, and much more. You can even use Facebook and Instagram for your app needs as well. There are great integrations.

  4. Powerful Marketing Tools: There are a lot of great marketing tools for Shopify. I personally love the version with SEO features along with advanced e-commerce analytics. You can even add in gift cards, discount coupons, store statistics, targeted email marketing, and more.

  5. Mobile Responsiveness: Mobile responsiveness is the key to the success of an e-commerce store right now. If your website doesn’t show up on mobile properly, then you will lose a customer for sure. However, the Shopify themes are mobile responsive, which means that it can be used to avail mobile-optimized stores. That ability is such a great benefit!

  6. Outstanding Customer Support: Those at Shopify don’t expect you to know everything. Shopify experts are available 24/7 via email, live chat, or phone to resolve any queries and keep the store running flawlessly at all times.

Shopify is an awesome platform, period. If you are launching an e-commerce website, you will want to jump on the wagon and get Shopify.


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Spring Promotional Items

For most people, the spring season is a great time to enjoy and indulge in outdoor activities. However, it is a great time for marketers to promote their business as well.

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Here are some great spring promotional items to put into use.

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  1. Tote Bags: Custom tote bags are the perfect accessory to put your message on a portability curve. It will be seen daily in front of tons of people.

  2. Sunglasses: Who doesn’t love to have an extra pair of shades? Get super stylish and fun sets to stand out.

  3. T-Shirts: One of the most popular handouts among promotional gifts is custom T-shirts. A trendy T-shirt is all it takes to turn heads. Choose a custom T-shirt with a perfect design.

  4. Beach Towels: Custom beach towels create your brand message. They can reuse them seasonally.

  5. Sports Bottles: Reusable fitness bottles will keep your clients hydrated during hot weather while maintaining your eco-friendly values.

  6. Hand Fans: The perfect outdoor item for spring events. These portable fans will be a huge hit for everyone during those warm months.

  7. Frisbees: These toys will add fun and joy to anyone, especially kids. Customize these with your brand and message to make it unique and special.

Spring is a great time to stand out with your brand. Don't let your marketing slip away because of warm weather; use it to your advantage to stand out and create brand awareness.

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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 Top Six Things Every Designer Needs

I have tons of designer friends and know how hard it can be to find good tools for designers. Finding new and exciting things is my jam. They are all super affordable and will help bring out the creativity in you. Am I missing something that you love? Share it in the comments!

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Must Have Photography Equipment

Did you know that my career began with photography? Yes that is true. I always loved photography and took as many photos as I could. I even had in my early years a photography business... Things changed. I enjoyed photography, and still do, but I felt that I wasn't reaching my full potential. I do my own custom photography for my business, as well as other businesses too! It has been such a blessing to incorporate it.

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Here are some of the best photography equipment finds:

and... don't forget to check out Creative Live. They always have amazing classes for creatives!!



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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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Branding Helps Businesses Grow

Branding is one of those words that everyone cringes at when they hear the word. They either get it or they don't. They think it is merely a logo, but it is so much more than that. To understand branding, you need to grasp a few points about how to establish it first.

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DEFINE AND REFINE YOUR “WHY?”

Understanding and defining your purpose is essential. Why do you do what you do? What is your unique value? What makes you different than the person down the street from you?

OUTLINE YOUR VALUES AND STORY

Every brand needs a narrative story. Set the core values and tell a story about your brand. Live it, breathe it, embrace it. Think of the big name brands and how they convey the same story in every location, packaging, etc.

RECORD YOUR GOALS

These are business goals for the next six months, twelve months, etc. You want your target to include branding; get as specific as possible when developing these goals.


SET STRATEGIES

If you do not know how you are going to achieve those goals, then it won’t ever happen, and it is a waste of time and money.

CREATE MEANINGFUL CONTENT

Content marketing is critical for your branding, voice, and storytelling. It is what sets you apart. Be authentic, real, and true to your purpose.

BE CONSISTENT

Exhibit consistency not only with content, graphics, images, etc. but also in the way you conduct every aspect of your business. This action will improve the quality and value of your service, which will help you reach profitability quicker.

These quick tips can be used for your business and branding as you think about taking it to the next level. Be sure to let us know how you are bringing your brand to the next level in the comments below.


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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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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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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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