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The 6 Best Free Design Tools to Create Social Media Graphics

In the past, it was more than enough to share an image on social media every now and then. Now, if you’re not using images, you’re already behind.  The images you create should immediately catch your follower’s eyes and contain something that will influence them to click and share and continue looking for the next great thing you post. You also don’t want to spend a lot of time or money creating these images, because social media posts have a very short lifecycle.

The great news is there are a lot of tools out there to create engaging images that stand out on social media, and many of the best are free.

 

 

Canva is one of the best free tools for powerful template-based graphics creation. It offers a wide range of templates, image and illustration assets, dozens of fonts and text styles. The best thing about Canva is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve never designed an image in your life. It uses a simple drag and drop interface that allows beginners to start quickly and with just a minimal effort to create high-quality images that are great for sharing on social media or blog, design attractive graphics, presentations, and posters.

 

 

This free tool lets you choose from several professional templates sorted by industry category, design type, and size and then customize that template with easy to use filters. You can also replace template images with one from Adobe’s royalty-free library, or one of your own uploads. Unlike many tools, Spark makes it easy for you to change the design layout or even the entire template. Beyond their “post” graphic design type, Spark also provides two other project types: pages and videos.  

 

 

Created by the social media scheduling tool, Buffer, Pablo is the best tool for quickly creating great social media images.  The workflow is very simple: Choose a template or just an image for your blank template provided by sites like Unsplash and Pixabay. From there, choose from one of three sizes, each fitted specifically for Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook/Twitter. Image customization is limited—choose from a few preset filters, designed to provide the right level of contrast between your image and your text.

 

 

Desynger is a mobile app that lets you design polished social media images. Start with a template for the social media network of your choosing, or start from scratch. From there, build your design with Desygner’s library of royalty-free images and design elements such as shapes and icons. Even in its mobile app, Desygner doesn’t skimp on features. Multiple menus allow you to hyper-customize image and text settings, while never becoming cumbersome to use on a small screen. Desynger’s web app works almost identically, with sidebar menus to help you select the design assets and effects you need.

 

 

Snappa is ideal for text-heavy social media images. It includes a thorough template library, although it puts more emphasis than other apps on getting the background image just right. From there, Snappa offers an effects sidebar that helps you create the perfect image effects for your post–whether that means darkening or coloring the background image to make white text pop or brightening the image to highlight dark text.  Snappa is similarly thorough when it comes to text. Easily edit your text from the sidebar, adjusting font, size, alignment, line spacing, and opacity.

 

 

Best for more advanced social media graphic design. It includes many of the classic graphic design functions of tools like Photoshop, Sketch, and GIMP—such as layers, drawing tools, grouping, shapes, text, effects with a much more simplified, easy-to-learn interface. While Gravit Designer is ideal for building your own designs from scratch, it does come with a small library of templates, illustrations, and icons that are pre-sized for uses like blog posts and social media images.

These graphic design apps are great whether you want to draw extra attention to a blog post you’re sharing or you want to design a full-blown branded Facebook ad campaign.

5 things to know when setting an online shop

In the world of the internet these days everyone needs a website. But if you are selling a product than eshops are best friends for small businesses. These shops are a good way to set up an online store for your products with very little cost and kick off your business in just a few days time. If you have a physical store, on the other hand, having an online shop can extend your reach worldwide. And with a potential to get more audiences and customers.

But if your main concern is handling online payments keep in mind that there are multiple accounting and invoice tools and software that will help you deal with this part of your business.

But what are the key points you need to pay attention to when launching an eshop?

 

Start with the basics

 

If you don’t have a website, create a simple one that will have: a list of your products with photos, descriptions and price, a shopping cart where customers can create their orders, an option to process payments via Payoneer, PayPal or credit card, feature to protect important data, like credit card numbers and customer information, different discounts promotions or gift cards options.

 

Third party platforms to begin with:

 

Using a third-party platform like Amazon or eBay. This way all you need to do is set up a seller account and you will ship the products directly to the customers. Setting up an online shop using a third-party platform is easy, but in most cases, you can’t really play with branding.

 

E-commerce provider as a next step

 

If you are not willing to start from scratch and build your own store, you can host your online store using platforms like: Shopify, or BigCommerce. There you can choose different themes and you can control what you want to show in your online store. Some of them will even show your product in their own stores.

All of these platforms are paid and the subscription cost covers hosting, payment processing with your designated merchant providers, and security.

 

Doing it on your own

 

If you decide to do it on your own and host your own online shop – the best choice for you is use a content management system like WordPress. WordPress gives you the variety of themes, layouts, and designs that can fit you vision about the online shop. For hosting provider, you can choose either Bluehost and WPEngine, for a shopping cart, such as Magento or WooCommerce, for security and protection Akismet or similar, a merchant provider to process payments, such as PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer or Authorize.net and of course you will SSL certificates and secure backup solutions for additional security on your online shop.

 

5 things to know when setting an online shop

 

To start selling you will need to

 

Give your merchant provider or third-party platform provides your business ID, banking information and sales tax information. For merchant provider, you can choose Payoneer, PayPal or Stripe (all of them work with credit-card payments). The most important part is to verify test deposit transactions for banking and merchant processing – when you do that you are good to go.

 

Don’t forget the details

 

Setup shipping and payment information somewhere on your website. Keep in mind to give your customers Free shipping, Next Day Delivery or Free Delivery options to build more customer loyalty. Use marketing campaigns like email marketing to inform your customers about Sales or Discounts and even New Items Arrival, keep them engaged with Remarketing and Retargeting options and make them love your store.

 

The e-commerce business can be filling business or an excellent addition to your physical store, that will make you accessible to a wider audience and of course in trend with the tech. All you need to do is start following the first steps and ask us for additional questions.

5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients when starting a business

Did your business just started to boost, and you are caught in the maze called invoicing instead of working on getting more things done? If so, even though it might appear complicated, we all can, at some point, become invoicing masters.

Here are 5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients:

 

Start at the beginning

The first and most important thing you need to understand is the anatomy of one invoice. It doesn’t matter if you are handling your own invoicing or you hired someone else to do it for you. Here are several things you need to be familiar with:

  • Your invoice should include both yours and your client’s contact information
  • Your invoice should include Invoice number and Due Date
  • Your invoice should include a breakdown list of the service your provide
  • Your invoice can include a Terms and Conditions
  • And of course, your preferred payment methods you want to use like for ex.  PayPal, Stripe, Payoneer or credit card

 

Get paid at once.

Did you know that only 18% of the people who are waiting to get paid more than 90 days, get paid from clients? To avoid not getting paid on time, establish a good paying time cycle for you and for your clients, in order to send invoices promptly. You can have a recurring invoicing schedule and have a specific time when to send your invoices. In the beginning, the best time to send out an invoice is immediately after completing the project/service. You can also assign yourself a day in the week that will be spent on invoicing every week.

 

Track your income and invoices

Same as using a time tracker tool, you can start using an invoicing software which can help you track your expenses, completed projects, clients, send invoices, and much more depending on the software. Some invoicing apps have also recurring payments features and sending automatic payment reminders features that can help you automate your invoicing process and get paid faster.

The good thing about using an invoice software is that you don’t need to worry about tracking the numbers of your invoices or worry if you added the right email address, or contact name, even if your invoice looks professional enough. Almost all of them will take care of those problems and help you save time while invoicing your clients.

 

Don’t forget to follow-up

It’s so frustrating when we have to chase our clients for due payments, spending time in emailing and phone calls instead of focusing on our business tasks. That is why most invoicing solutions have features that will help you set up a reminder emails to remind your clients for due payments.

5 things you need to know in order to create the perfect professional invoice for your first clients when starting a business

Be nice and always ask for a testimonial

It’s professional and polite to say “please” and “thank you”, which will increase your chances of invoices being paid on time. Your customer testimonial is always important, don’t forget to ask for a testimonial from your clients.

7 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE INVOICING

2017-07-03 | Invoicing | No Comments

7 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE INVOICING

As a freelancer I have been doing business with companies for a long time now, during which I have come to see few common mistakes they tend to do concerning invoicing.

Most small business owners would agree with me that accounting is their least favorite task to do. Plus, invoicing seems like a boring, repetitive task that does not require full attention.  In order to keep your business’s cash flow healthy, it is crucial that invoicing is done properly.

Here are some common invoicing mistakes to avoid:

Not sending or forgetting to invoice on time – One of the most common mistakes is not sending invoices at all or not sending them on time. Often enough, teams are very busy with completing their tasks and getting the job done, that once they finish it they forget to charge for it. This causes a delay in payments and the whole business suffers. Using an invoice scheduling feature is very helpful in sending out invoices to clients on time. The best time to send out an invoice is immediately after completing the project/service.

7 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE INVOICING Envoice

Sending invoices to the wrong person – Sending out invoices to the wrong person/email address or department is also very frequent. This means resending the invoice, wasting a lot of time and delayed payment. Make sure to get the correct billing details from your clients.

Having unclear terms – Using vague language is not recommendable when invoicing. Especially because the client may not understand what you are charging for and ignore the invoice. Make sure that the item description, prices, and quantities are clearly stated. Also, clearly state the due date for payment and any consequences or interest on late payment if the terms are broken.

Missing details on your invoice – In order to prevent any misunderstandings, and depending on your company’s and client’s jurisdiction, your invoice should include the following details:

  • Full legal company name and number
  • Office address
  • Your client’s name and address
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice date
  • Any tax numbers required by local law
  • Payment terms
  • Contact details so your customer can reach you if anything is unclear

Not storing a backup – A backup of the original invoice must be kept for future references. Online solutions like Envoice help you keep a PDF copies as well copies stored in the cloud.

Unprofessional invoicing – Spelling errors, incorrect amounts, Excel formatting can make your business look unprofessional. Involves that are created poorly tend to be more often ignored and not taken seriously. Using online tools, like Envoice, can eliminate mistakes and customize the creation of invoices with company branding on them.

Not using your invoices as a marketing tool – Besides being a tool for payment, invoices can be used as a marketing tool as well. Since they are read through with great attention, invoices can be a great way to market to your existing customer base. You promote a new product or service at the end of an invoice or offer a discount for further purchase. You can even offer a referral incentive for recommending your company to friends.

 

If you take into account the above points, your payments will be faster and you can increase your future revenue stream. One other important thing that owners should pay attention to is following up on unpaid invoices. Even if your invoicing process is spotless, there will be times when clients miss the due date or simply misplace the invoice and forget about it. Sending automated reminders about unpaid dues, or contacting them is your responsibility.

After all, you finished your part of the deal and you should be compensated for it.

Find your most financially lucrative freelance services

As freelance professionals, we are best at a limited number of freelance services we are offering. As such we should focus on what we do best. And what is most financially lucrative for us.

The question to be asked is “How do we know what is most financially lucrative service we can offer?”. Speaking of it, we can easily answer this question. If we look at our financial details in the past years.

Selling logos has brought us more financials. That means we should put our focus creating logos instead of focusing on low-income jobs.

If you feel that you can contribute to our collections with your blog posts or some other blogs worth sharing. Feel free to reach out via our in-app messenger or on reachout@envoice.in.

How to handle customers who won’t pay

If you’ve ever found yourself in such situation with your customers. Don’t worry there are several things you can try to get paid.

  1. Offer your customers to pay their due in several payments;
  2. For the hard nuts – call them daily;
  3. Try to understand the reason behind that behavior;
  4. If you’ve signed a legal document, discuss with your lawyer;
  5. Ditch the client if the amount is insignificant – your health is your priority;

If you feel that you can contribute to our collections with your blog posts or some other blogs worth sharing. Feel free to reach out via our in-app messenger or on reachout@envoice.in.

How to increase your earnings from less paying customers

We all have had some less paying customers who just wanted a small portion of work to be done. A fix here and there.  Some color changes, small copy changes on the landing page.

Those gigs can have a hidden potential and we should try to get from them as much as possible.

First of all, we should schedule a meeting with our client. To understand his vision about whatever he is trying to build. After we have this meeting we will have a better understanding of our client’s business.

Furthermore, if you’ve been paid to do some small UI changes, you can offer your client service to assess his current user experience. And to improve over what he has at the moment.

Basically, the idea is to understand his business and offer your services to help your client out.

If you feel that you can contribute to our collections with your blog posts or some other blogs worth sharing, feel free to reach out via our in-app messenger or on reachout@envoice.in.

7 ways to thank your top customers

As successful freelancers, we have to maintain good relations with our top customers. This will help us to bring our relation to the next level and to improve our collaboration.

There are many ways to say thank you.

Write a thank you note;

  • Invite your customers over for a dinner;
  • Send them a gift – People do like books;
  • Praise them on your social media channels;
  • Send them a treat;
  • Give them a discount;
  • Send them a swag;

If you feel that you can contribute to our collections with your blog posts or some other blogs worth sharing, feel free to reach out via our in-app messenger or on reachout@envoice.in.

Knowledge-Center-Your-Collections

As professionals we believe that we need to educate ourselves daily and each time to learn something new. Expanding our knowledge will help us to become better and more efficient at our work. Becoming a better professional is our duty.

In Envoice we have collections, like those on Product Hunt, crafted by our community, which will help you to learn more about a certain topic.

Together with our community, we’ve prepared several collections for you to start with:

  • Tutorials and how to’s;
  • Clients & Gigs;
  • Managing projects;
  • Leading teams;
  • Brand development;
  • Productivity;
  • Communication skills;
  • Learning skills;
  • Managing finances;
  • Legal;
  • Community;
  • Member stories;
  • Featured;
  • Life & Fun;

If you feel that you can contribute to our collections with your blog posts or some other blogs worth sharing, feel free to reach out via our in-app messenger or on reachout@envoice.in.

Stay in the loop with the Action Center

In Envoice we have several ways to inform you about your latest activities regarding your invoices. In case you’ve missed out our emails and SMS messages, you can always return to the action center to find out the latest activities for all of your invoices.

You will be notified of the following events when an invoice has been:

  • Created;
  • Set as draft;
  • Duplicated;
  • Sent to the client via email;
  • Sent to the client via SMS;
  • Sent to you via email;
  • Sent to you via SMS;
  • Opened by the client;
  • Viewed by the client;
  • Rejected by your client;
  • Updated;
  • Marked by you or paid by your client;
  • Marked as unpaid by you;
  • Marked as overdue;
  • Paid on PayPal;
  • Paid on Stripe;
  • Sent to your accountant;
  • Downloaded as PDF by your client;

If you’ve already got exhausted from reading the list, don’t worry you will learn them on the way. You just need to focus on your business and let us do the rest.