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One Tool I Use Every Day in My Business

Dubsado is the best tool for the productive business owner. They build software that allows you to take back your time, money, and attention and reinvest it into your business, family time, or whatever else you're hoping to do in life.


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Why Your Website Needs a Wireframe

Let’s back up and talk about what a wireframe is first. For those looking to build a website of any size or shape, wireframes are the foundation on which to begin building. Wireframing usually comes after the site architecture has been determined by a sitemap or flowchart of the website’s pages and before the creative design phase.

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What is a wireframe?

Wireframes are simple black and white layouts that outline the specific size and placement of page elements, site features, conversion areas and navigation for your website.

They are devoid of color, font choices, logos or any real design elements that take away from purely focusing on a site’s structure.

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We often say that they are much like a blueprint to a home, where you can easily see the structural placement of your plumbing, electrical and other structural components without any interior design treatments.

Here is an example of what a wireframe looks like:

Overlooking this step to get to the look and feel is a huge mistake that would prove disastrous for any website or any contractor building a home. To reinforce the importance of this phase in a web process, I have outlined seven fundamental reasons why you need to wireframe.

1. Wireframes display site architecture visually

A sitemap can be a bit abstract, especially ones that are quite large. Taking the sitemap to wireframe starts the first concrete visual process for a project. Wireframes turn the abstract nature of a flowchart into something real and tangible without distractions. This step ensures that all parties are on the same page.

2. Wireframes allow for clarification of website features

In many instances, clients may not understand what you mean when you say “hero image,” “google map integration,” “product filtering,” “light boxes,” and hundreds of other types of features. Wireframing specific project features on a website provides clear communication to a client about how these features will function, where they will live on the particular page, and how useful they might be.

Sometimes you may decide to take out a feature once you see the wireframe because it just doesn’t work with what your goals are for the site. Observing the components without any creative influence allows a client to focus on other equally important aspects of the project and clarifies any expectations about how to execute features.

3. Wireframes push usability to the forefront

This step is one of the most critical points of the entire wireframing process. Creating wireframes pushes usability to the front in showcasing page layouts at their core.

It forces everyone to look objectively at a website’s ease of use, conversion paths, naming of links, navigation placement, and feature placement. Wireframes can point out flaws in your site architecture or how a specific feature may work. And this is a great tool.

4. Wireframes identify ease of updates

For clients who purchase a content managed website, this point is especially vital. A wireframe will immediately identify how well your site will handle content growth.

For example, if you only have ten products offered right now, but in six months you may have 100, you will want your website to accommodate this growth without impact to the website design, site architecture or usability. Wireframes will identify these crucial areas of content expansion.

5. Wireframes help make the design process iterative

Instead of trying to combine the functionality with the layout and creative with the branding aspects of the website in one step, wireframes ensure that these elements get taken in one at a time. This method allows clients (and other team members) to provide feedback earlier in the process.

Skipping wireframes delays this feedback and increases the costs of making changes because reworking must happen on full design mockups, not just simplified wireframes

6. Wireframes save time on the entire project Wireframing spares time in a multitude of ways Your designs are more calculated. Your development team understands what they are building. Content creation becomes much clearer. You avoid hacks later on in the process. Everyone from the web team, the agency and client are all on the same page about what the website is supposed to do and how it should function.

7. Experience shows it works

Building a website is a process. Wireframing is one of those parts of the web process that you should not skip, just as you wouldn’t construct a house without a blueprint, or live in it without decoration. Each step has an essential place in a larger process.


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What Website Platform to Use

Having a business can be expensive; we know that. Getting a website set up can be both time consuming and costly. There are 30 million small businesses in the United States; that is a lot!!

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According to the 2018 Small Business Profile Report from the US Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States! These small business owners work incredibly hard, and while the benefits of being a creative entrepreneur are many, ensuring that the financial rewards are worry-free is paramount.

You can set up a Weebly website, but did you know you can sell with 0% Weebly transaction fee? They also have the ability to add unlimited products to their stores and have access to a variety of powerful e-commerce tools including inventory management, reviews, tax calculator, and more. The Weebly Business plan is just $25/month when paid annually

Is Your Business Just Starting Out? No problem!

Weebly's Starter or Pro Plans are great for entrepreneurs who are just getting started or want to test the waters. While there is a low 3% Weebly transaction fee on these plans and a reduced set of tools available, the Starter and Pro plans can be very cost effective for new businesses while they fine-tune their product lines and strategies. The Starter plan is available at $8/month when paid annually, and the Pro plan is available at $12/month when paid annually.

We encourage you to create new content and posts for your site, especially around the Weebly Business and Performance plans. If you need help setting up your website, feel free to contact us below.

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

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What to Include in a Media Kit

A media kit proves essential for every business; there is NO exception on who should create one. A media kit contains information about your business or event. The point of a media kit is to catch someone’s eye and make them want to work with you. It should be a one-stop shop for all of the necessary information. Media kits can be print or digital; it depends entirely on the person and preference. I recommend always having both because most places like to have both an electronic and a physical version.

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What should your media kit contain?

A few basic items should always be in your media kit.

  • Contact Details: You should add the contact details (phone, website, address, email, etc.) of the person who can interview.
  • Social Info: People like to have your social media information (links, stats, and following). They want this data for a couple of reasons: one, because they can see you have an audience and two, they like to tag and share with their audience.
  • Brands Assisted: Always enclose the companies/businesses you have worked with before. Prior experience gives the credibility/testimonials that you need.
  • About the Company/Person: Provide a quick, yet informative bio. Try not to make the blurb more than three paragraphs per person/business.
  • Media Release: Plug in some details about the event/service/product. Your media release should have quotes from the person available for interviews.

TIP: Put some images in your media kit that journalists can use.

If you have recently appeared in the news or other publications, make mention of this to increase your social proof and credibility. You don't need to use media kits all of the time. People don't always care about the numbers, etc. They want to make sure that you are a great fit and credible!

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The Top Five Promotional Items For Holiday Gifting

Holidays make for a wonderful time of year to give gifts to clients, employees, and relatives. Promotional items create the most powerful and effective marketing tools. Promotional products have always been a trend and are a go-to brand marketing strategy for just about anyone. They are also highly affordable. With all that said, ‘tis the season to give back. You want to provide practical gifts that are also fun and memorable.

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Here are some holiday promotional gift ideas ideas:

  1. Cashews, Nuts, and Other Delicious Snacks. Food is a wonderful gift for the holidays. People in the office can enjoy something a little salty or merely appreciate a relationship. Nuts can be ideal for anyone (as long as they aren't allergic) because they are the best snacking item out there.
  2. Anything Chocolate! Chocolate is everyone's best friend, am I right? There are many options: chocolate covered cookies, pretzels, or even almonds. YUM! You decide what you want to gift.
  3. Popcorn and Pretzel Tins. Fill up tins with either popcorn or pretzels. You will be amazed at how these can be such a huge hit. If you are sending to a company that has 5-10 employees, you can bet that they will eat this up!
  4. Gourmet Gift Boxes. Create your favorites and put them together in a box. Want a mixture of everything? GREAT! Let's put it together for you! We can get something custom for your needs.
  5. Fresh Baked Cookies Of course, cookies! These are, again, a delightful snacking treat. You need to decide if you will do one kind of cookie or a variety of cookies. The holiday season is a time to indulge a little and people won't feel guilty doing that if they receive these goodies!

ALL of these items can be customized with your logo, or even brand colors,  as well. Just use the contact us button and let's get started!

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Stop Wasting Time with Your Unorganized Business!

Plan your Days Effectively, Manage Client Projects & Business Information, and Scale your Business with Ease. Use the EXACT System that Saves Me 20 Hours Per month!!

Save five hours per week of wasted time searching for files and documents with an all-in-one business headquarters! Develop, implement and streamline a project workflow that simplifies your workload & allows you to bring on more clients!

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Collaborate with team members & clients for smooth communication and interaction and LESS EMAIL just by using this program. 

Manage your daily tasks to effectively boost your productivity and get rid of the stress and anxiety that comes with unorganized chaos! I'M TIRED OF MY UNORGANIZED BUSINESS!!


The Ultimate Done For You Business Management System for Increased Organization, Efficiency & Productivity. I spent the entire first year and a half of my business trying to keep track of everything on post it notes, legal pads, notebooks and IN MY HEAD! I was forgetting to follow up with leads, I was missing deadlines, I was forgetting client projects & my stress level was THROUGH THE ROOF!! 

No Organization Means I was wasting time looking for documents, trying to find my post it notes and crying in a corner because I was letting my clients down. A successful business is organized with processes and systems that allow them to work more efficiently. AN UNORGANIZED BUSINESS = MISSED DEADLINES = LESS CLIENTS = LESS $$$ & MORE STRESS

That's when I said enough is enough. There has to be a better way to keep track of #allthethings and moving parts in my business.I wanted to have an all-in-one place to store everything about my business, my client work, my team and WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER!

I created the Complete Trello Business Management System to Organize all of my business information, tasks, projects, client work and communication, team communication and even home and family stuff!! 

After doing that I was able to stop wasting time trying to find post it notes and documents, I spent less time stressing about missing deadlines and being overwhelmed, my business was more structured and streamlined, I saved myself hours of headaches and MY BUSINESS STARTED GROWING!!

I want you to have my ENTIRE system setup PLUS training videos to
increase your business organization, decrease your stress and grow your business!
Boards & Trainings:

Receive These 13 Trello Templates, Video Trainings, Worksheets & BONUS Videos!

  • My Week Planner Use this board like a calendar to plan out your entire week and never miss another deadline!! 
  • Business Management Planner This board serves as your business headquarters so you can easily find pertinent information without wasting precious time searching through files.
  • Referrals Board Networking is crucial as an entrepreneur. Keep track of those coffee chats and interactions with this template!
  • Content Marketing Planner Map out your entire marketing plan in hours, not days and reuse content to save wasted hours! 
  • Client Onboarding Workflow Spend less time on boarding new clients, manage client tasks and communication without a million emails and never look unprofessional again!
  • Project/Launch Management  Map out all of your long term projects and launches to see future business plans and deadlines. 
  • New Team Member Templates Add a new team member to your team with ease using this board to assign work. No more missed communication!
  • Resources Board This template is your toolbox! Add resources for yourself and your clients that you can revisit any time!
  • Marketing Manager Board Adding a marketing manager to your team,  collaborate using this board to track projects.
  • Multi-Client Project Onboarding Learn how to automate your workflows in Trello and let Butler do the heavy lifting!
  • Program Launch Template Launching a new program or offer? Stop reinventing the wheel for all the tasks that need completed. Use this template each time you create something new
  • Vision Board Use this board as a visual representation of what you want in all facets of your life!

Use Planyway to manage all the moving parts of your business & client projects!

 

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3 Reasons Print Media Isn't Dead

I am pretty big on digital design and marketing these days, but I always tell my customers not to put all their eggs in one basket. What if tomorrow Facebook is down? Where does that leave you? You never know, and you can not do only one advertising field.

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Long live the traditional forms of print media, right? No. It is still very much around these days. Some might not think it is, or is as large as it once was. But, it is still here.

Before I get into the reasoning for print design, let's talk about what it even is. There are so many items that define "print design". It is anything printed: signs, booklets, direct mail, banners, brochures, fliers, label packaging, calendar, clothing, flag, folder, gift voucher, greeting card, invitation, leaflet, letterhead, manual design, postcard, sticker, or tickets.

There are endless options for print design, as you can see all of these items are still around us every day.

  1. Print establishes an emotional connection. Print design captivates the eyes and hearts of an audience. You can create fun effects to it such as texture, embossed, die cuts, folds, foiling, etc. These help an audience to remember your brand and build a connection with you.
  2. Print triggers a response. With print, there is something fun and unique. Print design has individualized messaging which helps increase engagement and response among consumers; in other words, your return on investment is phenomenal.
  3. Print informs. A print is informational and reliable. Print media can be saved and referred to again and again. I love being able to keep the print design and looking back at it. Digital cannot replace packaging on specific items, such as hazardous signs that need to be on products. 

Print design is still around and still going strong; it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. You always need to have a purpose or campaign for it to be useful though. Digital media remains critical, but print holds a different, special meaning.

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Create a Campaign For Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer is very close to my heart, for many different reasons. Whenever the time comes near, I like to make sure that people know what great products are out there for a wonderful cause. Promotional items for Breast Cancer are the best route to go! 

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5 TIPS TO HELP YOU SAY “NO”

People.  Situations.  Commitments. Does a combination of these things have you totally overwhelmed?  Have you figured out why you continue to say "yes" so easily but find it so difficult to say "no"?  Women in particular seem to fall into this trap. We feel an obligation to say "yes". Being unable to say no can make you exhausted, irritable, stressed, and leave you with absolutely no time for your own list of things to get done.  We want to be liked. We have the need to be accepted. Showing we are a team player or not wanting to hurt someone's feelings are reasons we choose to say "yes" too.

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Top 5 Back to School Promotional Items

Can you believe that summer is over and school is starting up again soon?

Whether it be college or pre-school, all educational institutions can benefit from school promotional products. Using promotional items for schools is the best way to create school spirit and facilitate repeat brand exposure for dozens of students and more!

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