The #1 Thing to Consider When Running Your Own Business

The #1 Thing to Consider When Running Your Own Business

As a blog mentor and digital marketing consultant, my business’s online presence means everything. So today I want to share some thoughts with those of you also running an online venture – whether it’s full-time, part-time, or you’re hoping to use it to eventually leave your current 9-5, evaluating your online reputation is an absolute must.

Making a decision to purchase a product or invest in a service isn’t an easy one. If you own a business, it is important to not just attract good customers, but to retain them as well. There is more competition than ever, and customers expect to be delighted and thrilled at every turn. If your business falls short, they will visit your competitor– sorry, but that’s reality. More importantly, a customer will tell twice as many people about a bad experience as they will about a good one. As a business owner, it’s critical to encourage customers to leave reviews, and to respond to every single one.

For example, let’s say you’ve got someone looking at Charleston townhouses for sale, hoping to soon move there from across the country. Guess what? They’re also likely looking at other area businesses as well! You have to make sure you’re staying competitive by managing your reviews because you never know just who might be looking at you online, even if they’re not currently in your target area.

Managing Your Online Presence and reviews as a business owner

Getting Customers to Leave Reviews is Easy–Just Ask Them

Before you begin looking for reviews, take a look at your competitors. Read what their customers are saying, and most importantly, look at how they respond. Are they proactive in their responses?

When you’re ready to start culling reviews, start small. Getting too many reviews at once looks suspicious and can diminish trust of potential customers. Aim for 1-2 reviews per month, increasing from there. You can incentivize reviews, but it is very important not to pay for them or go a not-so-legit route. You want good reviews that accurately depict a customer’s experience.

So how can you actually encourage a customer to leave a review? It is as simple as asking.

If you have a customer who always praises your work, ask them if they would kindly leave you a review. After you ask them, send them a reminder to encourage them to do so. When you send that reminder, include a discount or coupon thanking them for leaving the review, and encourage them to spread the word. If you have employees, be sure to train them to ask customers for reviews–make this a regular part of everyday business.

Include calls to action on your social media channels that allow customers to leave a review right then and there and share the positive reviews you’ve already received. Thank every customer once they’ve reviewed your business.

Another effective method to encourage customers to leave reviews is the “tip” trick. This strategy works by having an employee tell the customer “If you had a good experience and include my first name in the review, the company will give me a $10 tip!” – this offers customers a little incentive to leave a review, especially when they’ve had good service.

Building Your Online Reputation

After you begin to amass reviews, take a few minutes to respond to each one, even if they are negative. Never ignore a bad review—that can backfire quick. It is important to respond quickly, usually within 24-48 hours. Always, ALWAYS be polite, no matter what the review says. Be authentic, staying away from using canned responses. Address the customer personally and offer to make it right. Give them the opportunity to visit your business again, and, with any luck, change their minds about their previous experience.

Always be sympathetic to your customers and respond offline wherever possible. Contact the customer after you’ve responded to their review and provide an opportunity to make things right for them.

By encouraging your customers to leave reviews, you’re making it a regular habit. Provide honest dialogue, even when the feedback is not what you’d hoped for. You’ll create raving fans of your business before you know it.

Why I Invest in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

Why I Invest in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (GBT) is something you can’t help but run across right now – whether you’re a professional blogger, other online entrepreneur, or do it only for the fun of it, the GBT is everywhere.

Now the question stands: is it because A) it really is that awesome or is it B) because everyone and their mom (myself included) are affiliates for them?

Answer: Mostly A, maybe a bit of B…BUT I say that with the disclaimer that honestly everyone plugs GBT because it REALLY is that awesome!

What is the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?

genius bloggers toolkit

The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is this amazing bundle of e-courses, books, trainings, and more, all neatly wrapped up and sold to you at a WILDLY discounted rate. Now if you know anything about my blogging mentor programs, you know that I don’t automatically equate low price with low quality, but c’mon now — nearly $7,500 worth of products for less than $100? How can that be??

Well if you’ve read my review on Ultimate Bundles before, you know that they’re able to sell these bundles at a low cost for a variety of reasons, namely that they’re VERY limited in the times that they sell them and also because of people (like me) who contribute their products in exchange for a higher affiliate commission fee. It’s a genius business model if you ask me.

My First Experience with the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

I first bought The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit three years ago, before I was an affiliate or even knew much about Ultimate Bundles! Along those lines, though, I do want to mention again that I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles and therefore links within may earn me commission at no additional cost to you.

genius blogger toolkit review

With that out of the way, let’s get back to my first experience with GBT —

I knew within moments of landing on that sales page that I was going to make the $97 investment because I immediately recognized SO many big names with courses I’d been dying to check out, but ya know…money and all. And guess what? Not only are there dozens of “big names” back again this year, but the bundle is nearly TWICE as big (and still only $97!!)

Will I Use Everything in The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit?

The toolkit contains such a huge assortment of blogging related topics, from marketing your blog to avoiding burnout, and so much more. It can be pretty overwhelming at first, but believe me when I say it is incredibly fun to dive into. Now does that mean you’ll use each and every resource within the bundle? No, probably not. But that’s expected, right?

The idea isn’t that now you have 94 resources on your to-do list to work through. Rather, it’s that you have access to all the ones that make sense for you and your blog’s needs as you need them, but at a fantastic price. Some of these will be perfect for you immediately and others you might not come back to for a little while. But when you’re ready for them, you’ll be so glad they’re there. Plus, most people will find at least a few bonuses that are a great value for them, so that’s an additional perk on top of the products.

Genius Blogger’s Toolkit Review

Do I Lose Access to the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit eventually?

You’ll have these eBooks forever, and access to the eCourses for six months, so there’s really no rush. They also organize everything so well to help you figure out what to dive into first so you can focus in on the products that best meet your blog’s needs.

Isn’t all this information already out there for free?

While you can find some of this information from the various authors on their websites, in their podcasts, through their emails newsletters, and all the good stuff they offer for free, most content creators save their very best content for the products they sell (and understandably so).

For example, last year I was lucky enough to be selected to include my Automation Education course – something that I normally sell for $49.

Could you go through and piece together everything I have within my course? Maybe…but probably not. And regardless, it would literally take you hundreds of hours and MANY trial-and-error attempts to put together the strategies within my course. And that’s only one course.

Still not sold?

Oh hey, did I mention that not only will you get access to an absolute gold mine of information, but it also comes with a 30-day guarantee. If for any reason, you don’t feel the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is right for you, simply email the Ultimate Bundles customer service team within 30 days for a full refund. How amazing is that?!

STILL not sold? Okay, how about if I told you that not only do you get access to all these goodies, but if you buy through my link, you’ll also get ANOTHER set of bonuses — a pitch-free strategy session with me PLUS a copy of P3 (the MUST HAVE business planner pack for 2020)!! That’s right — you’ll get everything in the bundle (again, that’s nearly $7,500 worth of products!) for LESS THAN HALF of what it’d cost you to JUST buy P3.

Insane? Maybe.

But you know you need it.

Act fast – this sale ends on Monday Oct 7th at 11:59pm!!!

Get yours now before it’s too late: https://ultimatebundles.com/sale/tgbtk2019-main?a_aid=a6870&a_bid=1cfa5539

Have you bought The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit in the past? Comment below, I want to hear about YOUR favorite resources!

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Making Money with Ultimate Bundles

Making Money with Ultimate Bundles

Ultimate Bundles is one that more and more bloggers are becoming familiar with – and for good reason! If you’ve read my post on affiliate marketing, you’re well aware that there are a number of options and routes to take when it comes to making money with affiliate marketing; that said, let me stop you right now and let you in on the one affiliate program you should join TODAY —

Ultimate Bundles Review

ultimate bundles review post

Now obviously I do want to throw a disclaimer in there that I am in fact an affiliate for them so should you sign up, I’ll earn commission, but this post was meant to be either way. They’re just that good.

(Don’t need anything more than my word? Aww, shucks, you sweet potato, you…sign up here to become an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles!)

Ultimate Bundles affiliate program - Click through to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing and Ultimate Bundles!

What is Ultimate Bundles?

Ultimate Bundles is a company that puts together HUGE bundles of e-books, courses, product discounts, and more – and they put them together in such a way that saves their customers literally THOUSANDS of dollars.

Now I first heard of Ultimate Bundles when the Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit was launched last year. This toolkit was a game changer for me and I absolutely fell in love with Ultimate Bundles. I knew I had to become an affiliate! And by the end of this post, I’m confident you’ll know you need to do the same. Why? Well…

Ultimate Bundles Payout

Affiliates for Ultimate Bundles typically earn 40% of each sale they make, with contributors earning 70%. That means that if you contribute one of your products to a bundle selling for $97, you stand to earn nearly $700 for every 10 people who purchase the bundle through your link! And that’s just ONE bundle! And even if you don’t have anything to contribute, you still stand to earn an average of about $40 per bundle you sell.

ultimate bundles proof of payment

This is only an example of potential earnings and should not be taken as typical results.

Ultimate Bundles Discounts

One of the downsides to most affiliate programs is that you can’t earn a commission on your own purchases (lookin’ at you, Amazon…) Well, I’m happy to announce this is NOT the case with Ultimate Bundles. Not only do you get an automatic 40% discount on a bundle because you’re an affiliate, but if you sell 5 of those bundles, they will refund your purchase and you get the bundle FOR FREE. Pretty nifty, eh?

The Quality

Since learning of Ultimate Bundles, I’ve purchased three bundles: Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, The Ultimate Work at Home Bundle, and A Very Merry Gift Certificate Bundle. And I can promise you that each one of them was worth WELL beyond what I actually paid for them. The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit contained programs and courses I’d been wanting to buy for months – programs and courses worth well over $3,000!! – and I got it all for $97. Then there was the Holiday Bundle – $180 worth of gift certificates for only $15 – which led to my buying all sorts of gifts (for both myself and friends/family) while only having to spend a few extra dollars on shipping. It was AMAZING.

The Variety

No matter who your target market is, chances are Ultimate Bundles has a bundle for them. And if they haven’t yet, they probably will. They’re even open to suggestions!

Past bundles include:

  • The Ultimate Work at Home Bundle
  • The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle
  • The Ultimate Photography Bundle
  • Genius Blogger’s Toolkit
  • The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle
  • Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle
  • Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle
  • Parenting Super Bundle

Affiliate Marketing Help

Ultimate Bundles doesn’t just toss an affiliate link at you and send you on your merry way, oooh no. Instead they offer up HOURS of free education for all of their affiliates.

Don’t know what sort of blog post to write to promote a bundle? They’ll walk you through it.

Don’t know how to go about e-mail marketing? They’ll walk you through it.

Don’t even know where to start with it all? Yep, that’s right…they’ll walk you through it!

And this information they give to you isn’t just applicable to Ultimate Bundle sales, but to your blog strategies overall! And again – it’s FREE!!

Ultimate Bundles affiliate program - Click through to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing and Ultimate Bundles!

The Catch

Look at you, readin’ all the way through and still not sold. 😉 Okay, okay so there is a catch…sorta. The bundles are only available at certain times throughout the year – meaning if you don’t take the time to plan out an action plan for these sales, you’ll be left scrambling and won’t make nearly as many sales as you’re capable of during the sale window. That said – see above. Ultimate Bundles is always there to help and they even have a Facebook community available should you have questions or need additional support!

So what are you waiting for?

Sign up for be an Ultimate Bundles Affiliate today!
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Clever Ways to Use Mason Jars

Clever Ways to Use Mason Jars

The uses for mason jars are innumerable! I love to collect glass jars, specifically mason jars. Weird to some, maybe, but they’re just so incredibly useful! Now I know I’ve written on why you should declutter to save money, so maybe you’re thinking “Amber, I don’t need anything else!” but seriously there are just so many amazing ways to use these jars!

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission should you click through to make a purchase; this in no way impacts your cost or my opinion of said products/services.

Build a window sill herb garden

Fresh herbs when you need them means saving time and money! This is especially easy if you already grow herbs in your summer garden. Before the first frost, take a snipping from each herb just below a joint. Put each herb in a jar and fill with just enough water to cover the joint. Swap out the water every few days and once roots appear, transfer to dirt.

You can take your gardening on a budget one step further by using yogurt cups or other used receptacles. Poke a few holes in the bottom, fill with dirt, plant your herbs, and set back in the mason jars. Mist every week or as needed, just be very careful not to over-water.

Make oatmeal jars

Oatmeal jars make for a perfect easy breakfast! I love how simple these are to modify and change up any time I find myself getting bored, there’s hundreds of recipes to be found online and it’s easy to figure out just how to make them to best suit you.

My favorite recipe is to sauté bananas in some coconut oil and brown sugar then fill a pint-size mason jar halfway with oatmeal, top with the bananas, add in some walnuts, and fill the jar with almond milk. Give it a good shake and let it set overnight. You can make five at a time to ensure breakfast is ready every day of the week.

Put leftover coffee to use

Pour some into an ice cube tray to freeze and the rest into a mason jar to stick in the fridge. In the morning, add the coffee cubes to the mason jar, pour in some heavy whipping cream or other favorite coffee add-ins, and you’ve got iced coffee ready to go! Yum!

Perfect for a gift exchange

Did you forget about the Secret Santa exchange at work? Grab a mason jar, toss in some hot cocoa mix and marshmallows, tie a ribbon around it and voila! A cute and easy gift that anyone will love. Don’t forget to grab a cute Hallmark greeting card from the Dollar Store!

Learn to can

Take advantage of the cheap summer produce and stock up to ensure you have access to healthy options all year round. Personally I love pickled foods (like seriously – my mouth waters at the idea of anything pickled!) but you can also make family-friendly treats, like crockpot apple butter!

Use them to store your homemade beauty products

I love to use apple cider vinegar as a facial toner and coconut oil as a moisturizer so I keep both stored in mason jars in my bathroom. This is also a great route to take if you’re into essential oils and need an air tight container for any blends you make.

Mason jar storage

Buy in bulk and use mason jars to store things like loose leaf tea, grains, sugar, etc. Bonus: glass jars are critter-proof!

Make your own household cleaning products

Vinegar makes for a great cleaner and mason jars are perfect to store those solutions!

An easy (and great smelling) cleaner is to:

  • Fill your mason jar with orange peels, or any citrus you enjoy.
  • Cover the peels with vinegar, seal, and then store in a dark place for 2-4 weeks.
  • Strain the peels, add to a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!

Just like any cleaning products, though, make sure you label them properly and keep them out of reach of the children.

Mason jar organization

From holding pens to store paper clips, mason jars can go a long way in helping your work area stay organized.

Make your own cold brew coffee

Toss 1/3rd of a cup of coarse coffee grounds into a jar filled with 2.5 cups of water. Sit in the fridge for 8-24 hours (depending on how strong you want it) then strain with either a cheese cloth or a tea infuser and coffee filter. Way cheaper than going to a coffee shop!

Keep your crafting and art supplies organized with mason jars

Just like you can do with your office, mason jars are great at helping you keep things like paint brushes, beads, glue sticks, and such quite organized. The smaller ones also make for great containers for DIY finger paints for the kids!

DIY Mason Jar Ideas

Mason jar diy ideas

Salad jars

Remember those McDonald Salad Shakers from the early 2000s? Yum.

You can make them yourself and make five ahead of time so you’re set for the week, just make sure you put the dressing at the bottom and the greens at the top (add your usual mix-ins, like sesame seeds or cheese, in between).

Mason jar vase

Don’t toss those dandelion flowers your son picked for you! Grab a mason jar and display them proudly.

Mason jar tupperware

Use mason jars instead of plastic tupperware to store and tote leftovers. They’ll last longer than your traditional plastic tupperware and it’s so much better for the environment!

Make a rootbeer float

This is seriously an amazing dessert and with far less sugar than a traditional rootbear float (which is especially great if you’re just starting a keto diet!) Fill the bottom of the pint-sized mason jar with heavy whipping cream. Cover and shake for 30 seconds then slowly add your root beer. Trust me on this – it’s AMAZING.

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Make your own mason jar candles

These work great as presents or for your own use. Hearth and Vine has a great tutorial to make mason jar oil candle lanterns!

Or make your own hanging lanterns…

Punch two side-by-side holes in the top of your mason jar and thread wire through. Drop in a battery-operated tea light and you’re good to go with a beautiful hanging lantern, perfect for frugal Halloween decor or any time of the year!

Use mason jars instead of disposable cups

Not only is this better for the environment, but you can use a cupcake liner to keep bugs out of your drink. Simply use the jar’s outer lid to secure the cupcake liner and then poke a straw through. This is especially great if you have young children prone to spilling.

Use smaller glass jars to store your spices

You can even add magnets to the tops to keep them on the side of your fridge and take back some of your much-needed cabinet space.

Create a time capsule with your kids

Have them gather up a few things representative of this time period and seal them in a mason jar. Decide on when you’ll open it back up and then pick a spot in the backyard to bury it.

Have some fun with the kids and make your own butter.

Just add some heavy whipping cream to a glass jar and shake, shake, shake! Keep rockin’ it for a few minutes and you’ll have whipping cream, keep going for a bit longer and you’ll end up with whipped, delicious, easy-to-spread butter.

Use them to celebrate the holiday season.

Make snow globes with your little ones by gluing a cute scene or decor to the inside of the mason jar lid. Fill the jar with a bottle of clear Elmers glue, about a quarter of a small jar of glitter, and water. Hot glue the lid to the glass and you’re good to go!

Get a little fancy at your next dinner party…

Serve individual desserts in some of the smaller jars and you’ll really wow your dinner guests. You can bake cakes directly inside them or fill with ice cream, set out bowls of toppings, and have a DIY sundae bar.

Make a mason jar bird feeder

Pick up a poultry feeder base from your local farm store, fill a mason jar with bird seed, attach some wire, and you’ve got a great little bird feeder.

You can find mason jars in bulk online, but I recommend looking around the next time you head out to garage sales or do an ISO (I Seek Out) post in a local resale group. I guarantee you can find some amazing glass jars for an even more amazing price!

Do you use mason jars?

What’s your favorite way to make use of them?