Kevin Talks Logos for Small Businesses

Kevin Talks Logos for Small Businesses

In this video, I get to interview my graphic design partner, Kevin, about his process for designing logos for small businesses and entrepreneurs – and why it’s so important to understand the business’s goals BEFORE any design work is implemented.

Share This Post

Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can't wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I'm addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

About Foolishly Creative

I help ambitious entrepreneurs create and launch the website and branding designs of their dreams. I help them elevate their visual presence and inspire their dream clients to take action.

Free Workbook

You may also like …

[crp]

The 7 business systems your consulting business can’t thrive without

The 7 business systems your consulting business can’t thrive without

Having the right business systems in place can mean the difference between efficiency and overwhelm. Unfortunately, technophobic entrepreneurs shy away from certain systems because they either don’t know how to use them or know which systems are needed at all.

Fortunately, this post demystifies business systems for even the technically challenged among us. It’s time to let technology and applications automate all of the grunt work that we do on a daily basis, so we can get back to working within our zones of genius – and grow our businesses!

 

So what are the 7 essential business systems?

In increasing order of importance, they are:

 

7) Project Management

Do you offer a service with multiple tasks and deliverables? If so, you have a project. And a project management tool can be a major help for your consulting business.

Because otherwise: How do you plan to keep track of what’s completed and what’s still left to do?

A project management tool allows you to map out your project in advance so that you and your client are in agreement. It lets you know exactly where you are in a project and allows you to assign tasks to your clients (and other project members). A major benefit is that it reduces the number of “Where are we?” questions that occur on a project.

Certain applications also allow you and your clients to communicate directly within the program, which reduces the number of emails back and forth.

A project management example for a consultant or a coach:

You have a 6-month coaching program.  During that time, you give your client’s assignments to complete and in turn, you have deliverables to your client. You want them to finish a particular assignment within a week of a coaching session prior to booking a new one.

With your project management tool, you can assign a task and have the tool follow up with the client to complete that task. This frees you up that you can serve more clients effectively. Isn’t that better than no project management system at all?

A good project management tool needs to:

  • Be online and available to you and your client.
  • Allow you to create tasks or conversations by email (This helps if you don’t want to log in to update the project)
  • Allow you to create more than one project for either the same or different clients
  • Integrate with other applications such as Google Calendar
  • Notify you and your client when tasks are overdue
  • Have a mobile application
  • Be free or relatively affordable for a small team

I personally use Asana for my business as it meets all of the criteria.

Business Systems - Project Management

6) Password Management

You need a strong password for all of your accounts and each account should have its own password. With that said, unless you are a cyborg, there’s no way you can possibly remember all of you passwords. You could keep your passwords in a notebook, but what if you lose the notebook? What if it’s stolen!?

Enter a password manager.

By using a password manager you have only ONE master password to remember. All of your other usernames and passwords are encrypted with an encryption key. Only your username and password will decrypt your information. And by using 2-factor authentication (you must verify the login with your phone or another device), it’s way more secure than writing down passwords or using the same password over and over again.

A good password manager should:

  • Encrypt your data
  • Have a mobile app and browser extensions to facilitate your logins
  • 2-factor authentication
  • Be able to fill out forms and generate strong passwords for new accounts
  • Good reviews

business systems - password management

5) Client Relationship Management (CRM)

What is a CRM and why do I need one?

If you are just starting out, you probably have a few leads and a handful of clients. It’s easy to keep track of them and you can probably keep track of them with a spreadsheet.

However, as your business grows you’ll have a harder time manually keeping track of all of the people who have interacted with you. Most importantly, you’ll have no idea where they are in your sales funnel and how likely they are to buy from you. That’s why you need a CRM. it’s like a virtual Rolodex!

The major benefit is that your CRM can automate many tasks for you.

For example, a new lead fills out a form and answers a few questions from your website. The form will send her information to your CRM. Instantly, she’ll get another email from your CRM to book a time to meet with you. Or the CRM can send her a proposal for your services, which will also create an invoice for her to pay for what she needs. She opts for the payment plan and pays the first installment and your CRM debits future installments automatically.

Sounds cool, right? And this is only a very basic example of what a CRM can do for you.

A good CRM needs to let you automatically:

  • Collect lead information via forms or leading pages
  • Send proposals
  • Integrate payments
  • Create contracts – and allow people to sign them
  • Follow up on pending payments
  • See how you’ve interacted with the person over time
  • Provide basic bookkeeping or integrate within your existing bookkeeping system
  • Have templates for emails, forms, and documents

Personal Tip: If you are a small business owner who wants something powerful and affordable, you cannot go wrong with Dubsado. In fact, my recommendation will save you money because you won’t have to pay for additional proposal or document signing system.  I am a current Dubsado user and wouldn’t recommend something this strongly if I couldn’t stand behind it.

Ask me about Dubsado or use get 20% off your first month with my promo code: FOOLISH20

business systems - crm

4) Scheduler / Calendar

Once you use a scheduler system, you’ll probably wonder how you did without it. Eliminate the back and forth ‘Let me check with my calendar’ conversation and let the other person pick among your available times. It’s SO easy.

I help my clients set up their scheduler systems to sync Google or Outlook calendar. They can then share that link with their clients.

Want to know what this looks like for your business? You have set up the system to link to your Calendar. No one can book a time that you are unavailable or busy. You also configure the system for your specific office hours and can adjust your availability based on the type of appointment. You also prefer not to get new appointments within the next 24 hours and you need at least 30 mins between appointments. You configure your system to do this for you. Any time that someone schedules will be PERFECT for you.

A good scheduler system will:

  • Sync both ways with your calendar New appointments will show up on your calendar and your system will know when you are available
  • Allows a buffer time before and between appointments. This helps to prepare for the appointment, if necessary.
  • Sends both parties an invite and follow-up email or text reminders.
  • Can accommodate both free and paid appointments.
  • Are either free or have a low monthly cost.

3) Social Media Automation

Ever see some brands post content on social media all the time? Wonder how they do it?

They automate their social media posts. And you can too.

Here is how you do it. You want to remain visible on Facebook and Twitter. You have a block on time on the weekend to create your content, but you want to slowly distribute it over the next few days. You login into your social media manager and schedule your content to post automatically across different platforms for different days. This frees you up to do other things for your business. Later, you go into and analyze how your content performed.

Easy peasy! Best of all, you can do this for free. The free plans allow you to schedule a limited number of posts at a time. However, this should suffice for a week’s worth of content. If you are willing to pay, you have the option of scheduling more post across more platforms. (In addition to many other features)

Here’s a tip: Use more than one at a time. I used to use Hootsuite for my scheduled postings and Buffer for my evergreen content.

2) Email Marketing

At some point in your business, you’ll need an email list. This is a collection of people that have opted-in to receive communications from you. Most entrepreneurs have an email marketing system, but many do not.

Occasionally, I see entrepreneurs sending bulk emails from their Gmail address. This is wrong. Not only is there no way to track opens and sends, but more importantly, there is no way for someone to opt out of receiving them. (This is actually a violation of existing email marketing laws)

I recommend growing your list with MailChimp for free. As of this posting, it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers. If you need more subscribers or more features, you can pay a small amount each month for email marketing.

The great part about email marketing is the automation. You can create different an automation depending on your subscribers’ actions.

Here’s a great example: You have a lead page that captures email addresses. Once someone enters their email address, they automatically receive an email thanking them and welcoming them to your email program. 2 days later, they receive another email with more valuable tips and resources from you. Eventually, they receive about 5 emails over 2 weeks that introduce them to your business – all without you manually sending any email.

You can also segment your list to send different to those who engage more frequently with your email.

If you aren’t growing your email list, I suggest you start now. Remember, you need to collect only from people who consent to receive email. And you must not take it personally if someone opts out. It’s the nature of doing business. If you need assistance. let us help. 🙂

1) Bookkeeping/ Accounting / Invoicing

This is a no-brainer, but it’s important. I bundled these 3 together because most systems will handle all of them.

You will need some system to organize your income and expenses. AND if your CRM doesn’t allow you do so (or if you don’t have one), you need a way to send invoices. Set up your invoices right away so you can get paid while you figure out your other systems. (Should someone want to work with you asap)

There are many options available to you.

If you are just starting out, I recommend Wave. I like the price –  it’s free. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the most expensive services. But it gets you what you need so you don’t have an excuse not to have an accounting system.

But there are others, like Quickbooks, that are affordable as well.

No matter which one you pick, they all give your balance sheet, income statement, and transactions so you can easily get the financial health of your business at a glance.

It’s time to let technology and applications automate all of the grunt work that we do on a daily basis, so we can get back to working within our zones of genius – and grow our businesses! Click To Tweet

So there you have it. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Which system are you going to implement today?

 

Do you need resources? I got you covered!

Download my handy dandy resource list. It provides a resource for everything covered in this post.

Share This Post

Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can't wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I'm addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

About Foolishly Creative

I help ambitious entrepreneurs create and launch the website and branding designs of their dreams. I help them elevate their visual presence and inspire their dream clients to take action.

Free Workbook

You may also like …

[crp]

How Long Does It Take To Build A Website (Video)

How Long Does It Take To Build A Website (Video)

I often get asked, “How Long Does It Take To Build A Website?”

The answer isn’t always as straight-forward as people would like to hear. I lay out the truth in this video and tell you why the timing should be the least of your concerns.

Share This Post

Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can't wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I'm addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

About Foolishly Creative

I help ambitious entrepreneurs create and launch the website and branding designs of their dreams. I help them elevate their visual presence and inspire their dream clients to take action.

Free Workbook

You may also like …

[crp]

5 brand-killing mistakes that make you look cheap

5 brand-killing mistakes that make you look cheap

If you are a coach, consultant, or professional speaker then you know how important it is to appear professional. The way you position yourself will determine if you attract those high-value clients you are looking for. Try to avoid these brand-killing mistakes.

Running a business takes a lot of work and there is so much to constantly do. Unfortunately, I see entrepreneurs repeatedly making the same mistakes that weaken their online presence and make them look, well … cheap.

And a cheap image does not attract high-value clients. (or many clients at all)

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can easily uplevel your professional image with just a few tweaks.

 

Brand-killing mistake #1 – You don’t own your own website domain name

You likely do not own a domain name because you are using a free service. Don’t do this.

Your website should be <yourbusinessname>.com. The part to the left of the .com is supposed to be YOUR business name, not a subdomain of someone else’s.

Here 2 examples: <yourbusinessname>.wordpress.com or <yourbusinessname>.wix.com

If you are using a free service, you are promoting that business by not being able to remove their name from your email address or website.

You can purchase a domain name for as little as $20 a year through a domain registrar or through your hosting provider. Just make sure the domain name is available or look for alternatives if it is not. You can have your own domain in just a few minutes.

Need help >> Check out my tips for buying a domain name
Need domain and hosting resources >> Check out my resource list

 

Brand-killing mistake #2 – You are using a free email address

This is the #1 mistake that makes you look like an amateur. I constantly see it on business cards and on websites as well.

Stop using <yourbusinessname>@gmail.com (or yahoo.com, aol.com, etc)

If you are just starting out, using a free email address is the fastest way to separate your business email from your personal email. And this is a smart move. However, as you move closer towards your launch date and start generating leads, you’ll want to set up an email address with a domain name that you’ve purchased.

If you are in business, a free email address cheapens your image because it’s very easy to get. It also suggests that your business is not legitimate or that your business is not yet established.

You need an email address on your own domain: <you>@<yourbusiness>.com

Luckily, you can set up an email address with your own domain. Although many hosting companies offer email setup, I prefer GSuite for business. For $5 a month, you can connect your domain to Google and use Gmail the way you normally do. The experience is exactly the same.

 

Brand-killing mistake #3 – Your business name is not professional

I might lose some of you here so I’ll proceed with caution.

At first, I had some trepidation about naming my business Foolishly Creative because of the negative connotations around the word ‘foolish’. Sometimes I still need to explain my business name to those that don’t understand, but the overall reception has been positive.

With that said, you need to consider your ideal client and think about if your business name (and your domain name) is appropriate for that audience.

One of my pet peeves are names that substitute ‘s’ with ‘z’. Unless you are targeting teenagers or young adults, I’d advise you not to pluralize anything with a ‘z’. Not only will you lose favor with an older market, but you’ll constantly need to explain how to spell it. (and increase the likeliness that it will be spelled wrong)

Also, I would caution against using hyphens and dashes in your domain name. Most people will not remember to include them. If that domain already exists, you will drive traffic to someone else’s website. (which is not what you intend to do)

If you can’t get the domain you want, come up with sensible variations, or consider using your own name + whatever services you provide (i.e. annsmithcoaching.com/)

 

Brand-killing mistake #4 – Your photos are bad

A good design cannot make up for poor quality images. If your images aren’t good, your website won’t look good. You may be able to get away with your cell phone photos, but this should be a temporary solution.

I encourage all of my clients to use a professional photographer. The photographer will make sure you are properly lighted and will coach you on movement and posing. You can also hire a hair and makeup artist.

If you are just starting out, check out deals on Groupon. Depending on your city, you can get some photos for under $100. I was able to get 4 headshots in NYC for about $75 (that I still use today)

Also, reconsider your use of stock photography. Stock photography is fine to use on blog posts, but you don’t want to use stock photography of other people on your homepage or on your about page.

Depending on the photo’s placement, I encourage you to buy the photo. Paying for the photo decreases the likelihood that an image is widely used everywhere else. I use a combination of paid and free stock photos (I limit free photos to my blog posts only)

Need a resource for getting photos >> Here you go!

 

Brand-killing mistake #5 – You make it all about you

You are your brand. Or are you really?

It is true that your clients are buying into you rather than your particular service. But only after you’ve identified their problem and that you can solve it better than anyone else.

For example, if you have a website, do you start off by introducing yourself, or do you explain exactly how you help your clients. If it’s the former, you might want to reconsider your message.

There are 7 billion people in this world. You aren’t that special … but you are.

You are special in that you deliver value to your clients and it’s your duty to help them realize that. There are too many distractions online and you need to grab their attention quickly.

Here is a fast way to do this: Load your website. Before scrolling down, does your website explain what you do in plain ‘easy’to-understand’ text? If not, it should.

You should absolutely tell your story, but leave the long story for your “About Page” and remember to make everything centered around the client’s needs.

A cheap image does not attract high-value clients. (or many clients at all) Click To Tweet

I hope this list helps. These are 5 big mistakes that can be rectified with small tweaks, so you’ll get your brand back on track in no time.

If you need more help, I have another resource for you. My free Shine Online Workbook contains tips and tricks to make your website resonate with your ideal client and convert visitors into leads!

Share This Post

Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can't wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I'm addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

About Foolishly Creative

I help ambitious entrepreneurs create and launch the website and branding designs of their dreams. I help them elevate their visual presence and inspire their dream clients to take action.

Free Workbook

You may also like …

[crp]

Video: Solopreneurs shouldn’t have to do it alone

Video: Solopreneurs shouldn’t have to do it alone

There are no participation trophies for hustling!

In this short video, I go over why being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. I made this video to address a common belief that solopreneurs need to do EVERYTHING themselves.  Why?

We tend to believe that if we are busy, we are doing the right things. But are the things that keep us busy also the things we should be doing? What should we be doing? I answer that in the video.
(Pardon the creepy laugh in the beginning as I almost fell, I don’t edit my mistakes)

There are no participation trophies for hustling! Click To Tweet

Share This Post 

Kimberly Inez Mays

Kimberly Inez Mays

Online Brand Strategist, Founder

With over 10 years of web design and development experience, I help entrepreneurs build and grow their online brands. I love everything tech and can't wait to help you shine online!

I currently reside in NYC with my 2 selfish cats and I'm addicted to caffeine (which helps with the late night coding). 

Fun fact: My initials are K.I.M 🙂

About Foolishly Creative

I help ambitious entrepreneurs create and launch the website and branding designs of their dreams. I help them elevate their visual presence and inspire their dream clients to take action.

Free Workbook

You may also like …

[crp]

By submitting the form, you will receive occasional communications from me about new services and offers. I don't spam. You may opt out at any time.

Check Your Email! =)

Are you ready to confidently create a website that attracts your dream clients?


The Shine Online Workbook guides you through essential content and website planning exercises, so you can create a website that works for your business as a powerful lead-generation machine!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Are you wasting time looking for the right business systems?


Use what I use! Save your time, save money, and finally get back to running the business you love!

You have Successfully Subscribed!