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branding audit

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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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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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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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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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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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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