As a branding expert I always love to find books that can inspire me along my journey. I always used to get told, if you aren't learning and reading then what are you doing? I love to sit back and get inspired so that I can potentially grow my business and self. In fact, lots of people always come to me looking for advice, or the best design books, so I thought I would share some of my favorites.
Did you know that Instagram marketers who use nine or more hashtags per post get more than 2.5x the engagement? (Tailwind).
Let me tell you a little story, I love hashtags and have gotten incredible results from my hash tags, especially on Instagram. Tailwind has been a lifesaver for my Pinterest and Instagram needs. They just launched a BRAND new feature, that is to die for. I mean it’s a money maker and time saver for sure.
Business owners, automate your finance.. YES you read that right. Have I told you that I love Freshbooks? I am not a fan of numbers and math, but this program makes my life one hundred percent better. Whenever I find something that is worth my while, I share it with others.
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.
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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What I am reading: Big Debt Crises
What I am loving: Alexa Voice Remote for Amazon Echo
What I added to my wish list: Green Botanical Illustrations - Set of Four Prints (8x10) Unframed - Great Kitchen Decor
What is on my list to get: Small Faux Aloe Succulent in White Geometric Ceramic Planter
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.
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.
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.
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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What I am reading: Emotional Intelligence 2.0
What I added to my wish list: AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio
What is on my list to get: Etekcity 24" (60cm) 5-in-1 Portable Collapsible Multi-Disc Photography Light Photo Reflector for Studio/Outdoor Lighting with Bag - Translucent, Silver, Gold, White and Black
** 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.
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.
You can always read more about Freshbooks https://www.visions2images.com/blog/2019/1/10/benefits-of-freshbooks
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What is on my list to get: Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet
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.
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 I am reading: A Smarter Way to Learn HTML & CSS: Learn it faster. Remember it longer
What I added to my wish list: Fashion Laptop Backpack Contains Multi-Function Pockets, Tocode Durable Travel Backpack with USB Charging Port Stylish Anti-Theft School Bag Fits 17.3 Inch Laptop Comfort Pack
What is on my list to get: Headphone Stand with USB Charger COZOO Under Desk Headset Holder Mount with 3 Port USB Charging Station and iWatch Stand Smart Watch Charging Dock Dual Earphone Hanger Hook for All Headphones
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.
Benefits of FreshBooks:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I know that I am always intimated by accounting and software, so Freshbooks is a life saver for me in many ways. Leave it to the professional program to take care of all of your accounting needs. I know that I am not good at accounting at all, so I make sure to hire this out and use the program that makes my life 100x easier!
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
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What I am reading: The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively
What I am loving: Meifigno Selfie Phone Camera Ring Light with [Rechargeable] 36 LED Light, 3-Level Adjustable Brightness On-Video Lights Clips On Night Makeup Light Compatible for iPhone Sumsung Photography (White)
What I added to my wish list: KobraTech Cell Phone Tripod - TriFlex Mini - Flexible Tripod iPhone & Android + Bluetooth Remote
What is on my list to get: OtterBox Commuter Series Case for iPhone XR - Retail Packaging - Ocean Way (Aqua SAIL/Aquifer)