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First Impressions and Final Words: The Importance of Business Cards in 2019

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Business cards have been around since the 15th century.

They first originated in China as “visiting cards.” The Chinese visiting cards would express one person’s intention to come and meet another person.

Then in the 17th Century, the popularity of exchanging cards began in Europe. Without the right business cards, you were a failure in the eyes of the public.

There were also extremely strict rules and etiquette guidelines for people handing out their cards. Failure to have the right card or follow the rules would result in a social disaster.

As we fast forward to today, people are still using business cards as networking tools. Not having a business card or having the wrong kind can ruin your business relationships.

Approximately 10 billion business cards are being printed on an annual basis. However, almost 8 out of the 10 billion cards printed are being thrown out in less than a week.

Yet, studies show that your companies sales will increase by at least 2.5% for every 2,000 cards you hand out. Even if a prospect doesn’t keep your card, they’ll still remember meeting you.

After hundreds of years, your card is still a representation of who you are and what you’re all about. Read on to find out about the importance of business cards in the 21st century.

The Importance of Business Cards

When you network you’re actively making meaningful connections. Sending out your contact information online can be somewhat effective. Many businesses successfully use affiliate marketing online to generate leads.

However, when you only rely on digital communications you’ll miss out on making a genuine connection. When you give your card to a potential client, they can put a face to the name of the company. You’ll be able to stand apart from all of the other companies they were researching online.

A computer can’t look your customer in the eye and convey authenticity, but you can. The encounter gives you a competitive edge over others in your industry.

Here are a few different online tools you can use for creating your personalized cards:

Allow yourself to be creative as you explore the different designs. Prospects will enjoy sharing your creative cards rather than boring ones. Having people share your card means your brand will reach more potential customers.

No matter what type of business cards you end up going with, consider your options on going with a cool and unique design. After all, these are going to be used for many years and will be the first impression of your own personal brand and expertise.

Effective Business Cards

Making a great impression starts with the style of your card. Many people mistakenly believe that all a business card does is give information. However, they really are tools to make wonderful first impressions.

It’s important to design a card that expresses your companies personality and brand. It can help to ask for outside advice from a friend or family member. Show them the design you are considering and ask them how it makes them feel. If the way they feel reflects your brand, you’re off to a great start.

Show Prospects You’re Ready for Anything

Have you ever asked someone for their business card and they couldn’t give it to you? Chances are you had a negative first impression of that person. Your subconscious mind is always listening, watching and making conclusions.

Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, you’ll judge someone for not having the right tools.

The same will happen to you if you’re not ready to hand over your card when asked. Even if you take the time to write your information down, chances are they won’t be calling you.

Make sure you always carry your cards on you. A simple trip to the store could end up as a networking opportunity.

Always Accessible

When you use a business card, your information is always accessible. In today’s digital world, it’s hard to believe that anyone could ever lose access to the internet.

However, people are frequently in situations where they can’t go online. Imagine, your potential customer is camping in a remote area or staying at a cabin in the woods.

They don’t have internet access but they do have the ability to make phone calls. If they need to schedule a service or make a purchase, they’ll have to rely on their business cards.

Also, certain people don’t own digital devices or have trouble operating theirs. If your contact information is stuck in their phone, they may never access it.

Also, what happens when they lose or break their phone? A broken phone could take days to repair. Yet that doesn’t mean the customer will wait days to make purchasing decisions.

When the customer needs access to your company’s contact information, your card will be there to save the day. Giving your card means that no matter what the situation, customers can always reach you.

Stay Motivated

If your company is new it helps to have clear networking goals. When you go to different networking events you’ll bring your cards with you. Then you can set a daily goal for how many cards you need to distribute.

A good idea is to set a goal to hand out at least 50 business cards. If you’re having a difficult time, your cards will remind you to stay motivated. Make sure that as you hand out your cards you establish eye contact.

Your card will have your contact information and a brief summary of your product or service. If you’re looking for employment make sure to include a list of your skills.

The person you give your card to might not need your services. Yet, they might know someone who does need something you provide. With a list of your skills, the person with your card will know who to refer you to.

How to Make a Great First Impression from Day One

Yes, you could say that business cards are old school and not many people use them today. That might be the case, but if you are actively attending different conferences and trade show events, they will come in handy.

Just think about how many people are meeting with each other on any given day at these events. With hundreds of business cards changing hands, only the ones that stand out and leave a great first impression will be remembered.

When it comes to creating new business and partnerships, this simple one-up over the competition can equate to something huge in the long run.

If you are still using the same old traditional business card that gets scanned over for second and tossed away… rethink your marketing strategy and invest in yourself and your business today with a new design and business card. It’s one of the most important, yet cost-effective, investments you can make!

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7 Female Entrepreneurs and Women in Business to Follow Throughout 2019

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Women in business are now gaining more attention than ever before. It’s not just about a movement, it’s about women taking the opportunity to branch away from the standard, and also create business and financial decisions of their own.

What that in mind, what’s new in 2019? Who is making a scene or create waves among women entrepreneurs?

We scoured the web to see who’s hot and who’s not. We came up with these 7 top female entrepreneurs and business women.

Be sure to check out their sites and social media pages to learn more about why they’re considered “hot stuff” in 2019.

1. Isabel dos Santos

Isabel dos Santos is a world-famous entrepreneur, who gained attention for her business expertise and history in Angola.

In addition to various business and financial success, like many successful entrepreneurs, Isabel is also now focused on the better well-being and improvement of those around the world. Not limited to just equal pay and women’s rights in the workplace, but also heavily focused on Angola humanitarian efforts as well.

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Todos temos um sentido de missão com quem nos rodeia. Os nossos colegas, vizinhos, comunidade… este é espírito que eu defendo não só como mulher e angolana mas como empresária, e que transmito às minhas equipas. Na Sodiba estamos perto da Zona 3 do Bairro do Bom Jesus. Uma comunidade que nos dá tanto em alegria. Desde os pequeninos até ao Soba. E nós apoiamos o Bairro e estamos dedicados a estas famílias, desde que aqui chegámos. Temos feito actividades com os meninos, demos presentes, entregamos cabazes, ouvimos as suas histórias e sabedoria e queremos fazer ainda mais. Dar um pouco de nós todos os dias e assim fazer a diferença #SharingbyIsabeldosSantos #Sodiba #ResponsabilidadeSocial #Angola We all have a sense of mission with those around us. Our colleagues, neighbors, community … this is spirit that I believe in not only as a woman and Angolan but as a businesswoman, and that I pass it on to my teams. At Sodiba we are close to Zone 3 of Bairro do Bom Jesus. A community that gives us so much joy. From the little ones to their Soba. And we support the neighborhood, we are dedicated to these families, since the day we arrived here. We have had activities with the children, gave them presents, basic goods for their day to day life, we listen to their stories and wisdom and we want to do even more. We give a little of us every day and thus make a difference

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Today, Isabel dos Santos is the board member of a number of companies in Portugal and Angola. She also owns stakes in affluent businesses, which include ZAP, (a digital satellite television company), Candando (over 1,500 employees), Sodiba and also EFACEC — which is the largest Portuguese corporation in the field of energy, engineering and mobility, with many subsidiaries of strong presence in different international markets. In addition to all of this, Isabel dos Santos also shifted her focus on women empowerment and growing such opportunities through one of her businesses at Zap, which has been a major focus as of lately.

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Hoje é o último dia do Março Mulher, um mês de muita importância para mim. Lembro para todas as mulheres que se devem destacar, fazer mais e melhor, nas nossas empresas, nossas famílias e comunidades. Poder ver as nossas pessoas crescer como a Maria é um motivo de orgulho para nós na Zap. A Maria começou como assistente de loja e hoje é chefe do Departamentro de Contact Center. Nós acreditamos nas mulheres angolanas, investimos nelas através da formação. Queremos dar as melhores oportunidades para que um dia também possam dizer como a Maria: “o que eu faço é sempre com orgulho, é com amor. Eu digo que eu não sou a Maria Antónia, a Maria Sebastião. Eu sou a Maria da Zap”. Veja a história dela. #SharingbyIsabeldosSantos #Zap #Formação #FuturosLíderes #WomenEmpowerment Today is the last day of March Women, a month of great importance to me. I call every woman to stand out for themselves, to do more and better, within our companies, our families, our communities. Being able to see our people grow as Maria makes us so proud at Zap. Maria started as a shop assistant and today she is head of the Contact Center Department. We believe in our Angolan women; we invest in them through training. We want to give the best opportunities so that one day they can also say like Maria: "What I do is always with pride, it's with love. I say I'm not Maria Antónia, Maria Sebastião. I'm Maria Zap”. Watch her story.

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In November 2015, the BBC named Isabel dos Santos as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Be sure to keep an eye on Isabel be throughout 2019. And if you are interested, you can also learn more about her here.

2. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg cut her entrepreneurial teeth by working with Facebook as the #2 in charge in 2008. No one knew whether Facebook would be successful or not back then. But, with her at the second to the top, the company’s user base increased more than 10 times the size.

With such success under her belt, today Sandberg is also looked up to as an influential female entrepreneur for other women around the world as well.

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It’s #EqualPayDay. Let’s review the facts. ??? ??? Women in the United States had to work all of 2018 and this far into 2019 to earn what men did in 2018 alone. The pay gap exists across income and education levels – it’s largest for women with bachelor’s and advanced degrees. And it exists across industries, hours, and ages. Even when women get degrees, enter high-paying fields, and put in long hours on the job for years, that still doesn’t erase the gap. No matter how you slice it, women as a whole are paid less than men. And for Black women, Native American women, and Latinas, the pay gap is even wider.??? ??? If ever there was a cold, hard fact about our economy, this is it. And it must change. ??? ??? Equal pay is an economic issue: the pay gap can have a profound impact on a worker’s income, especially when compounded over a lifetime. For families looking to buy a house, send kids to college, save for retirement, or just have a little financial breathing room, the pay gap makes that harder. For single moms raising families on their own – and there are millions across the country – it cuts even deeper. ??? ??? And equal pay is a moral issue. It’s just plain wrong that one gender is consistently paid less than another. For anyone looking to reduce inequality, closing the pay gap would be a major step forward.??? ??? Year after year, we mark Equal Pay Day. And year after year, the pay gap persists. Still, there are signs of progress. Leaders here and abroad are making equal pay a priority. It’s more important than ever that we increase awareness. Join me in sharing the facts about the pay gap. Let’s bring more people into this fight. We can’t get to equality without equal pay.

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Now, because of her efforts and others, Facebook is considered one of the most wealthy and powerful companies in the world.

Today in 2019, Sheryl Sandburg is estimated to have a net worth of over 2 billion dollars and has written best-selling books for women entrepreneurs such as Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

You can find out more about Sandburg by following her Instagram account.

3. Tory Burch

Tory Burch is considered one of the top 10 female entrepreneurs of 2019 by the publication, “10xfactory.com.” There is a good reason for this. She is an American fashion designer as well as a businesswoman and philanthropist. She has her own company known as Tory Burch, LLC which features some of the best fashion styles she’s created that reflect different cultures of the world.

She was listed as the 73rd most powerful female in the globe by Forbes in 2015 and she continues to create inventive items that get the attention of the fashion world.

Find out more about Tory Burch on the Tory Burch Social Media site and follow her on Facebook and other media outlets.

4. Cher Wang

Cher Wang comes from Taiwan and is the co-founder of the HTC Corporation. HTC worked with the Microsoft Corporation over the past decade to develop the Windows phone with the HTC operating system on it, as well as the integrated chipset with VIA Technologies.

She graduated from the University of Berkeley in California and Forbes Magazine estimates her income, along with her husband, Wenchi Chen’s income, at around $850 million dollars.

Follow Cher on Twitter and find out how she made a monstrous deal with Google in 2017 that changed the way both companies operated in a big way.

5. Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks’s name may not be familiar by itself, but she is better knows as “Angie” of Angie’s Home Services.” People who are looking for help around the house to tackle big jobs or looking for specific types of help, always look to Angi for suggestions.

Celebrity Net Worth states that Angie is worth around $190 million. Not bad for a small town lady who started out as a simple business person.

You can find out more about Angie and follow her on Facebook to keep up with Angie’s work and achievements.

6. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey (better known to her fans only as “Oprah” has maintained her status of one of the top women executives and businesswomen of the world for over 2 decades. She has an estimated net worth of over 2.5 billion dollars, and she held the status of the richest woman in the world for a while. She still holds her OWN (no pun intended) and finds time for philanthropy work as well.

Oprah started out as an actress in “The Color Purple,” one of the early films of famous and well-acclaimed directors, Stephen Spielberg, and she quickly rose to fame as a talk show host, TV producer, and executive following this.

The original Oprah show no longer runs on the ABC network. But in its place on her own network and time slot is a new network run exclusively by Oprah called “Own.”

You can find out more about Oprah by following her Twitter feed.

7. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the founder of the Spanx company who has appeared on the “Shark Tank” show to display her idea for form-fitting undergarments that help women look shapely and slim underneath everything they wear.

This idea emerged from Blakely when she confessed to having spent over $5,000 trying to find something flattering to wear under white pants.

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Sometimes it's not about what you know but what you have to give. When I started @spanx I had $5,000 set aside in savings and I'd never taken a business class. I started as a frustrated consumer who was looking for better undergarment options under my clothes. But after standing on manufacturer’s floors and learning more about the industry (I grew up on a beach and knew nothing about the industry) I realized the people making our undergarments didn’t seem to care about how we felt, at all. I went from frustrated consumer to passionate women’s advocate. I really cared about how women felt in their clothes. I cared about giving women better options that allowed them to wear any color, fabric and style clothes with confidence. Did current undergarment options make us feel confident in our clothes? Were thongs really the best answer to visible panty lines under white pants? To me, the answer was "no." And I wanted to do something about it. @Spanx was really one of the first brands that talked TO the consumer rather than AT the consumer. I wanted it to feel personal, because it was personal. If you're starting a business or inventing a product, it's not about how many investors you have or even how much experience you might have.. it really all starts with how much you care. ??#Entrepreneur #MondayMotivation #Inspiration #Motivation #ICaredTheMost #SPANX

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Today, Spanx boasts a whole line of shapewear and it can be seen in stores across the U.S. including the exclusive Neiman Marcus stores. But she didn’t stop there. To date in 2019, Spanx is being sold in 65 countries around the world!

She now serves as a guest investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank” where she began “on the other side,” and she sometimes invests in startups with other female founders. She is estimated to have a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Follow Blakely on her Facebook page to see what she’ll do next.

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown of seven great female entrepreneurs and businesswomen to follow in 2019. We could have picked many others, as women seem to be taking the business world by storm lately. But this will do as a great sampling of what women are doing in the business world today.

If you are a woman and have big goals for the future, don’t despair. There are still plenty of opportunities and industries that are clamoring to find the next Oprah or Cher Wang.

All of these women started with something simple, but they grew their business idea until they made it their own and rose above the crowd to show the world that they were special.

What makes these women unique? As one female entrepreneur said recently, “We’ve got to stop apologizing.” She was referring to the way women tend to feel as though they’ll never catch up to the men who have traditionally help more CEO and entrepreneurial roles than their female counterparts.

The reality is that women and men alike who have strong leadership qualities, a marketable idea, and the desire to pursue it, will likely make it to the top in time.

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Entrepreneurship

3 Easy Legal Mistakes That Retail Businesses Make

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Running a business is no easy feat. Not only are you tasked with creating great products and services, building effective marketing campaigns, and ensuring great customer service, but you also have to handle all the less glamorous behind-the-scenes tasks. Legal procedures are rarely fun to deal with, but they help guarantee that your business is in good standing and that you won’t be risking everything you’ve worked hard for.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. Within the second year, 30% have failed. And within five years, 50% of all small businesses go under.

Image source: Washington Post

Of course, there are many reasons why these businesses aren’t surviving the infancy stage. Roughly 17% of businesses that failed lacked a business model or plan. But with the right legal actions, you can avoid some costly, crippling mistakes. Here’s what you should avoid:  

Filing Their Business Inaccurately

There are several business entities you can choose to file your business under. Among the most popular include sole proprietorship, limited liability company, C corp, and S corp. There are pros and cons to each, however, filing the wrong way can be catastrophic. For example, a sole proprietorship has no clear distinction between a business and the owner, and therefore, the business owner has zero liability protection. Yet many businesses set their company up this way simply because it’s easy, low-cost, and there are no corporate taxes or double taxation fees. But in a business economy where half of all businesses fail (more depending on the industry), you should take extra precaution. You could lose all your personal assets if your business doesn’t make it.

On the same token, many businesses choose to operate under a DBA, or “Doing Business As.” According to Incfile, “If you are a sole proprietor or cofounder of a partnership and you want to do business with a name that is different from your personal name, you can register a DBA name. This gives your business a certain marketing identity that is separate from your personal name, but it’s not the same as a corporate structure in the eyes of the law.”  Corporations can also do the same to use a different business name that’s separate from the corporation they’ve set up.

However, this can be extremely risky. When you operate under a DBA, you don’t have any official rights to your business name. And business owners that registers a legal entity using the same name would officially own rights to your DBA, which could hurt your marketing, credibility, brand, and bottom line. Similarly, you won’t be protected from your assets and the most you could do is have a business card with your DBA name on it.

Always be careful when it comes to choosing your legal entity. Consult with a lawyer to discuss what’s best for you personally, and what’s in the best interest of your company in the long-run.

Riding the Discrimination Line

Discrimination is a major concern for businesses today, and the line between what’s acceptable and what isn’t can be blurry. Whether you realize it or not, the threat of a lawsuit is real. According to CourtStatistics.org, the median costs of a business lawsuit for small businesses is around $54,000 for a liability suit, and $91,000 for a contract dispute.

There are countless examples of companies who have been sued for discrimination. Some of these companies are larger, and can afford to shell out hundreds of thousands on a discrimination lawsuit, while others could lose their business. IBM, for example, faced a class action lawsuit after three senior employees believed they were let go so that the tech giant could make room for a younger workforce.

The line can become even more blurry. The Wing, a renowned co-working space dedicated to women—faced another lawsuit after it was called discriminatory against men. Although the company’s branding, celeb guest speakers, and offices spaces—which include pink makeup rooms and breast pumping stations—have been consistently touted as a private space for women to work and network with other women, the company recently had to change their membership policy after discrimination complaints. Now, men can technically apply for membership.

If you’re aiming towards a specific target market, or targeting certain demographics, it’s important that you tread the line carefully. Think about who you could possibly be offending, and always err on the safe side.

ADA Compliant Signage

If your store isn’t accessible to handicapped persons, you could find yourself in trouble. Your retail space should include signage that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Handicapped people should have easy access to your restrooms, parking lot, cashier stations, entryways, and fitting rooms. Permanent signs should include Braille, and need to be mounted at specific heights. There are many other rules for compliant signage, and you should take your time learning each of them. Consider hiring a third party company that’s proficient with compliance laws.

Unfortunately, many businesses have lost their companies because they failed to comply with these laws. Case in point: one man based in San Francisco filed lawsuits against a handful of businesses who were not ADA-compliant. These laws are strict, and business owners will almost always lose. There are several serial lawsuit filers who take advantage of this, and then there are others who file out of frustration when they have to deal with non-compliant stores. Therefore, it’s crucial to have your store up to par so you aren’t on the giving end of a settlement.

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7 Ways Kajabi Has Made the Process of Selling Your Expertise Easy

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Time and time again you hear about people making hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions, by bringing their expertise and passion online. It’s nothing new, but the way this type of mentality, information, and business model is done on the internet is continually changing.

First off, if you really want to scale your business and get paid a much higher rate for your expertise, you need to have a business model that works for you 24/7. By working a 9 to 5 or on a client-by-client basis, you are limiting your full potential earnings.

The secret to finding success online with courses, consulting, and putting your expertise and passion to good use – is selling access to something you create once, and then selling it over and over again.

This is how some of the top names in the business world are generating thousands of dollars online, consistently, literally while they sleep.

In the past, if you wanted to create something like this you would need to hire a programmer, a designer, and set up a confusing backend platform to manage everything. From courses, to content, to customer billing… it was all a big headache!

One solution that has made this process a whole lot easier, is Kajabi.

Through their simple drag and drop platform, anyone can get started with an online business of their own in a very short period of time, while also only having to put up a small investment in the process.

To learn more about Kajabi and what they have to offer, let’s take a look at seven different ways you can start using their tools and platform to either start a new business, or grow your existing one to that next level!

7 Methods, Tools, and Examples to Grow Your Online Brand or Business

1 – Take it from the experts!

With so many different options out there to choose from when it comes to business software and platforms, it’s always a good idea to go with a solution that is trusted and used by experts within the industry.

This is what you will find with Kajabi, as big names like Chalene Johnson, James Wedmore, Billy Gene, and many others are generating millions of dollars through the platform – while also trusting the solution to power their business.

2 – All-in-one easy to use drag and drop platform

If the idea of not knowing how to get started with a business of your own ever held you back, then Kajabi is a great option for you.

In short, all you need to do is join Kajabi and then decide what type of site, product, service or business model you want to have.

After that, you will get to walk through their easy to follow “blueprint” processes and go live with your site in just a few moments.

Kajabi already has the tools, templates, and backend system in place for you to find success – you just need to customize the look and feel for your business.

3 – Create a course checklist

While Kajabi has a whole slew of tutorials, tools, and software in place to help you grow your business after you’ve joined their platform, they also have goodies for anyone still trying to figure it all out.

One such freebie, is their Create a Course checklist, which you can download for free.

Before turning your business and expertise into a profitable course, be sure to check out this PDF file and add in your own business ideas and see how it all comes together.

Best of all, it’s free and you can work at your own leisure.

4 – Youtube videos and tutorials

We all consume endless hours of video content on YouTube, but all too often it’s being wasted on frivolous stuff like funny cat clips or listening to music.

Kajabi has an excellent YouTube video channel and it’s loaded with tutorials, stories, case studies and more – each with valuable takeaways that can apply to anyone using their platform, or simply has a business of their own.

Not only is it a free learning tool, it’s also great to analyze the potential competition and getting inspired with new ideas in the process.

5 – Learn from the Kajabi heroes

In addition to seeing other industry experts using the software, wouldn’t it be great to see how average people are profiting from the solution as well?

Most definitely, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Kajabi Heroes section of the site.

Kajabi is always staying in contact with their customer and documenting their stories and progress as well.

Take a look at each of these customer stories, and maybe have yours featured on their site next!

6 – High converting templates that are ready to use

Again, the concept of hiring a designer or coder is history.

Thanks to the power of platforms like Kajabi, they have done all the work for you and now it’s just a matter of picking which colors, themes, and setups look best for your site.

With plenty of custom-built themes and templates available on their platform, it’s just a matter of deciding which looks best for your community site or project, then customizing it with your own content, brand story and logo.

7 – Membership sites, quizzes and surveys

Anyone can start a business online, but it’s the tools, features, and marketing that will make a big difference.

This is especially true for anyone looking to have their own consulting or online learning course or membership site. Through the use of easy to use quizzes and surveys, you can start generating leads for your business while also having fun and learning about your audience in the process.

Think Buzzfeed… but as a lead generation tool for your business. Implement these same tools and features into your course and discover new ideas on how to improve it even further. You can even use assessments to determine students’ learning retention and to segment them for later upsells and cross-sells.

How to Get Started with Kajabi and Growing Your Business

As you can see, there are plenty of great features that are built right into the Kajabi platform.

Selling online has never been easier, and it’s really just a matter of taking action and walking through the process.

Kajabi plans start as low as $119 a month when paid annually.

At the very least, be sure to check out their site and get some ideas from their free case studies, stories, PDF reports, and more.

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