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How to Increase Your Instagram Leads

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link

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. 

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So, what happens with hashtags is lots of times we have to copy and paste from a notepad, or we have to add in the dots and break up the spaces so it looks neater and cleaner. Hashtags help drive engagement and increase your sales, no matter what type of business you have. Hashtags aren’t made to be pretty, no matter how you slice it. Tailwind has made an incredible feature..  

Put your hashtags in your first comment instead of the caption! Sounds super easy right? Not when you have to do it manually, and have to copy and paste, and remember to do it all the time.. So Tailwind now allows people to do this automatically when they schedule posts: 

  1. Add hashtags in your first comment with the click of a button 

  2. Hide hashtags in your caption 

  3. Separate hashtags if you’d like to keep a few in your caption and add the rest to your first comment 

These all sound like AMAZING ideas, right? 
Option #1: Hide Hashtags on Instagram in the First Comment

When you add hashtags to your Instagram caption in Tailwind, you’ll see a brand new check box, this lets you move your hashtags from the end of your caption to the first comment on the post. Super easy! Your post is ready. 

Option #2 Hiding Instagram Hashtags in the Caption

There is a way to put your hashtags in your caption. All you need to do is format your caption so that it adds line breaks, pushing your valuable hashtags into the “more” section of the caption. This will increase the reach and engagement, but aren’t easy to see. Sounds dreamy right? 

Option #3: Include Conversational Hashtags in Your Caption and Hide More Hashtags in a Comment

Hashtags have been around it just makes sense to include them in the conversation! You can add in hashtags in the first comment, and only the hashtags at the END of your caption will be moved to the first comment. 

All of these are great benefits and additions to Tailwind. You will not be disappointed you will be saving time with these simple features. You will increase your return on investment. 

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Sign up for Tailwind for FREE.

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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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The Top 5 Promotional Items

Advertising and marketing are critical to any expanding business, but you need to find a strategy that works. Promotional products are the best way to grow your business; they have been around for many, many years and people rave about how well they work!

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The most popular promotional items include:

•    Writing instruments

•    Tote bags

•    Sunglasses

•    Drinkware

•    Journals and sticky notes

•    Lunch bags

•    Hats

•    Company apparel

Writing Instruments: You honestly can’t go wrong adding your logo to promotional pens and pencils. People use them almost every day, and they will see your logo over and over again. It is one of the most effective promotional products.

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Tote Bags: If you’ve ever attended a show, you know they can be exercises of willpower. Tote bags are great for giveaways because attendee’s brochures, pamphlets, and other items can all be in one spot.

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Sunglasses: Sunglasses are the perfect, and best, promotional products for the summer. Make your brand part of the sunshine and promote with a good pair of shades. People can wear them just about anytime, anywhere.

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Drinkware: Water and coffee are a must; we thrive off these. Customers need something they’ll use every day, and by handing out promotional drinkware at your next event, you’ll make your mark.

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Journals and Sticky Notes: We always take notes, whether we realize it or not. We even doodle during meetings, which is why it makes sense to advertise with branded notebooks and sticky notes.

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Custom Hats: Custom hats will put your brand to the top of mind with everybody who receives one, especially if you have sports fans as your audience. In the cold months, beanies are a no brainer for a great product.
Company Apparel: Create brand awareness by printing your logo and company name on polos, jackets, or any other corporate apparel. Even if you shy away from uniforms, this is great for networking events. Brand recognition is critical at all times.

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What kind of promotional items do you use?

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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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