“How I Scaled My Agency In One Year.”

Over the past year, Susie has grown as a person, mother, and business owner. She is giving away FREE tips, tricks, and mistakes she made that helped her overcome many obstacles.. (she never gives away free advice so make sure to take advantage of this) #knowyourworth Which in turn led to “How I Scaled My Agency In One Year.”

Here are the THREE topics for you to listen to and enjoy:

Susie Liberatore is the owner, and Art Director, of Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over a decade of agency and corporate experience, she brings businesses’ visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.

Susie helps businesses grow their brand presence and connect with their target audience.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

9 Ways A Divorce Made Me Better

I used to think that getting a divorce was so horrible and that I would never go through it. The truth is so many people have gone through it and it is ‘normal.’ Even though I completely disagree with it, but I guess people change. 

What I have learned since being on my own and going through a divorce has been an amazing feeling. You feel like you have hit the wall somedays but other days you feel on top of the world. Here a few ways divorce made me a better person:

  1. independence: say goodbye to those days when you need a handy man. There were times when I wish I had one… My toilet was clogged one day and it literally was stuck. My lawn mower didn’t start. You name it, I went through it. Sometimes I asked for help, other times I prayed, and other times I youtube. Through it all I realized nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and to take deep breaths, because it all will pass. 
  2. new friendships: I was ashamed at first to tell people about my divorce. Actually people started to open and become my friends. They all had stories of something similar to them or their family. I made a ton of new friends and realized that I could rely on them for venting, hanging out, etc. It is a great feeling. 
  3. better finances:  I am still working on this, however… I know that I am doing much better than when we were together. I am able to not have to worry about every single little transaction that has been made. I used to hate when my ex would go to the gas station, or stores, literally ten times a day. Little things add up. I am able to really budget and be frugal the way I want to. 

  4. reconnections: Again, I was ashamed or embarrassed at first, so I didn’t share with a lot of people. As time went on I knew that I was fine, and I opened up. I connected with a lot of old friends. These friends were people that I haven’t talked to in years, but still did care. Being out of state with my hometown friends was always hard but now I talk a lot more to some of them that matter. 
  5. self love:  For far too long, I let people bring me down or I would second guess myself. I learned that I am worthy and that I really love my personality and self. I learned that I like my body and that is that. If anyone wants to tell me different, then I just close them out, I don’t allow that negativity to enter my world. 
  6. time management: since being a single mom I need to be extra careful about time. Every single minute, hour, and second, matters. If I am in the car waiting, I try to get whatever needs to be done, done. I learned that grocery pick up is amazing and so is the drive through pharmacy. There are so many great things I have done for time management. 
  7. confidence: when I started to see that I don’t need any man in my life, I realized I was worthy and can do all things. It might sound rough to say that, but it is the truth. I stopped second guessing myself and I stopped questioning things. I realized that all along I have been diligent, smart, and worthy. I will not ever let anyone treat me the way I have been treated in the past. 
  8. motherhood: With all the above,  and more, I was able to take care of my son and devoted much more time and love to him. I focused on making sure that I could be the best possible mother for my son. Regardless of what his dad does or says, I know that I can control how I raise my son.
  9. freedom: There is a lot to this. I don’t mean I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Rather I can be free, that I don’t have to feel guilty if I am late from work, or if I am working, or if I am not cooking or cleaning for one day. As a wife and mother I felt like I was in the constant stress and battle with all of that, and now I don’t have to worry about any of that; I go at my own pace. 

So if you are going through a divorce, or already have, know that you are not alone. There are tons of people who have gone through it, and it can make you better if you let it. I stopped over thinking about the good times, the bad times and what could of been and focused on myself. This helped me become a better person, and happier. If you aren’t happy with yourself no one else can EVER make you happy. Truth bomb. 

So when is the next time you are going to go on a ‘mom vacation?’ —> Join me over in my private little clubhouse for FREE RIGHT NOW, before we no longer accept new members!!     

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We can all learn something from our competitors

A long time ago someone who is very close to me and smart, told me to not look at competition the same way. I thought what does that mean? After much time of being a business owner I have realized that this is now more true than ever. There is NO such thing as a competitor… Hear me out.

Each “competitor” is different. We all have something different and unique. We all have something more personal for each business. If my competitions offer the SAME EXACT THING, they might not get the same price, experience, or professionalism as myself. It is important to be aware of your competitors, but to not feel threaten.

 

Whenever I travel, I can see different food options, I have to decide which one I want. Do I go with Burger King or Wendys? They both have burgers but each have different branding and tastes. So which one am I in the mood for? I have to choose between this, but I am not limited to either. I can choose one now and one later, but I still go to both and do not close out competitors.

What if I told you that I work with other designers when they have a workflow overload? We need to rely on one another and help each other out. That being said those people I do do design overflow for, I have learned so much from and gained so much insight from it.

The point is that we can help each other and motivate from one another. We can learn something from each other and help cultivate each other. So take it with a grain of salt and understand that your competitor isn’t truly a competitor.

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Top 10 Photography Books

I grew up loving art, dance and photography. All of these things made me have a creative gene in me. I love every moment of being creative in any capacity. I love how photography can be such an interesting challenge and topic. There seems to always be something to learn and gain from it. However, I have learned the best way to grow with photography is to read and implement. Even though I am a visual learner I still prefer books over youtube when it comes to this.

Here are my top 10 Photography Books:

  1. Advancing Your Photography: Secrets to Amazing Photos from the Masters Take your photography to a whole new level. Advancing Your Photography is an easy to use handbook packed with tips from some of the world’s best photographers. Now you can apply their secrets for capturing amazing photos.

  2. The Beginner’s Photography Guide: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Manual for Getting the Most from Your Digital Camera The Beginner’s Photography Guide, 2nd Edition is DK’s bestselling manual for any novice photographer who wants to unlock the potential of their new digital camera. Assuming no prior knowledge, this guide’s easy-to-follow, step-by-step layout makes it accessible as it takes you through every technique you need to create stunning images, from exposure to flash to image enhancement.

  3. Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera Understanding Exposure has taught generations of photographers how to shoot the images they want by demystifying the complex concepts of exposure in photography. In this newly updated edition, veteran photographer Bryan Peterson explains the fundamentals of light, aperture, and shutter speed and how they interact with and influence one another.

  4. Mastering Digital Cameras: An Illustrated Guidebook for Absolute Beginners (Digital Photography 101 Are you tired of learning photography by trial and error?If you understand how a camera works, everything else about photography will make more sense. What if you understood why certain Aperture and Shutter settings work so well and had a mental image of how these settings affect the light entering the camera?

  5. The Landscape Photography Book: The step-by-step techniques you need to capture breathtaking landscape photos like the pros Have you ever dreamed of taking such incredible landscape photos that your friends and family say, “Wait a minute, this is your photo?! You took this?” Well, you’re in luck. Right here, in this book, pro photographer and award-winning author Scott Kelby teaches you how to shoot and edit jaw-dropping landscape photographs.

  6. The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression This is an updated and newly revised edition of the classic book The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression. Originally published in 1994 and first revised in 2010, The Art of Photography has sold well over 100,000 copies and has firmly established itself as the most readable, understandable, and complete textbook on photography.

  7. DSLR Photography for Beginners: Take 10 Times Better Pictures in 48 Hours or Less! If you want to stand out from the crowd and capture all those magic moments for posterity, you have come to the right place. Most guides to Digital SLR photography will overwhelm you with jargon, but you and I both know that’s not what photography is all about.

  8. Mastering Portrait Photography No more formal, corporate-style poses—this book offers a modern, vibrant approach, capturing a moment in the subject’s lifestyle. It discusses technical aspects from equipment to exposure, aperture, metering, shutter speed, depth of field and white balance settings, in addition to how natural light, color and movement affect an image.

  9. Photography for Real Estate Interiors: How to take and create impressive interior photos (Real Estate Photography) From gear to editing, composition, lighting, settings, techniques and more, real estate photographer Nathan Cool provides a comprehensive guide for shooting high-quality interior real estate photography from start to finish.

  10. Basics of Photography: 2 in 1 Learn to Capture and Edit images

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5 Things Successful People Do Every Day

Being a business owner has changed me for the better. I have learned how to get things done efficiently and as best as I can. I have learned along the way, made mistakes, and changed my mindset. I changed my habits and knew that I couldn’t keep going the way I was with getting overwhelmed and stress.

The minute that you change your habits and mindset is when you see your full potential, AND CREATE that potential! Yes, that is the truth.


Here are my top 5 tips that I do daily:

  1. I focus on minutes, not hours. When I am waiting to pick up my son, I respond to emails. I make every single MINUTE MATTER. When I am laying in bed, I make sure I have my calendar ready for the next day. These time management skills have helped me increase my sales.
  2. I focus on only one task. I create a daily list of things to do and make sure the top two are the must get done for the day. I focus on one item at a time and complete it with high quality.
  3. I use a notebook. I print out notes from my computer and create checklists. Then, even write daily in my notebook, random thoughts, lists, and ideas. It is a necessity for my chaos to be organized.
  4. I process emails only a few times per day. My email signature states that I check my email from 10-11 A.M. DAILY. I create CRM and project boards for clients so they can communicate, and if it is an emergency, they text me. I do not look over emails all day, every day.
  5. I avoid meetings at all costs. I only do phone or computer meetings now. In-person meetings are kept to a minimum if done at all. The travel time, the wait time, and the meeting time ends up being a waste, and let’s focus on number 1 — all that time matters. We can use it in a much better way.

BONUS: I delegate a lot. I know where my strengths lie. I know how to communicate, and I use those skills. I outsource whenever the opportunity arises for writing, editing, SEO, sales, and even some marketing. I focus on the graphics that people buy because that’s what sells.

Share with me what you do to be successful with your business? How have you transformed over the years or even months? Do you agree with my list?

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Think You Want to Work From Home? Here’s the Truth

The idea of working from home always sat in the back of my mind. I was lucky enough to have a few jobs before working for myself that allowed me to work from home as time permitted. You know it sounds dreamy, and people are jealous of it.

But when you are a business owner and work from home on top of being a parent, let’s face it. It’s 1000x harder because you don’t have that accountability.

If you are really making the transition to work from home life, here are some of my BEST TIPS:

 

  • TIME MANAGEMENT IS REAL: Do not waste any minute or second of the day. You will want to have a routine and schedule: period. No matter what your career is, set those hours and routines as if you were in the corporate world. You know what you are capable of, how long something takes, and how much time you have, so use that time VERY wisely.
  • YOU’LL FIND YOURSELF WANTING TO NOT WORK FROM HOME.: You are going to find excuses or reasons. You know, I can do work while the kid watches tv or sleeps. NO. It is never that easy, there is always something, take my word for it. You know that one task will take a whole ten minutes, but the kid is screaming, and the dogs need fed, and you can’t get it done. So, you beg someone to take care of all your problems. Coffee shops, and even the library or a bookstore, are my best friend. I can really DIG IN and tackle the work that matters most.
  • YOU’LL LEARN TO GET VERY CREATIVE.: You learn that you will find a way. Whatever way that is. I remember when my ex told me he couldn’t take my son to his school on Thursday mornings anymore. Instead of being mad and changing my routine, I was able to create a solution and hire a babysitter. That was my creative choice. You find a way when you need to.

Working from home has its pros and cons like anything else. IF you want to work from home simply to do it, then you won’t be successful or productive. You need to have systems, detailed organization, and time management to truly succeed.

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Three Things I Outsource

As an entrepreneur, I can’t do it all. No business owner can. You can’t keep all the profit and expect to live a happy life; there’s just no way. That’s why we price items so strategically so we can plan for these moments. Trust me, I know. I want to save and have more profit, but I can’t do that when my time gets wasted. Outsourcing is critical.

I hope to outsource more in the future for sure, but right now, I outsource three things:

 

  1. Writing and Editing: I have a writer as a contractor who edits and writes as needed; it’s that simple. She is highly affordable and does an amazing job. My gibberish sometimes doesn’t even make sense, so it amazes me how great she writes!  
  2. Accounting: Math is my weakness by far, hands down. I have an accountant and a CPA. My CPA helps me get everything ready for quarterly taxes. My accountant does all the other boring stuff!! It is one of those tasks that I hate doing, and will not ever touch again.
  3. Admin Work: I have someone who helps keep business going — from making sure numbers one and two are being taken care of to having a flow from client on-boarding moving into monthly client retention. It’s almost like an assistant, but it is a life saver!

I have systems in place. Plus, I have a fantastic team and will keep growing my team. I hope to continue expanding them the way that they need to increase. It brings me joy to be able to outsource whenever possible. What do you outsource?

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5 Books for Women Entrepreneurs

I have been reading a lot more lately, and I enjoy reading books that actually help me grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and professionally. Being an entrepreneur we always need to grow and keep learning. I know that you all can enjoy these books as well. Let me know which ones are your favorite.

  1. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 Into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran After failing at twenty-two jobs, Barbara Corcoran borrowed $1,000 from a boyfriend, quit her job as a diner waitress, and started a tiny real estate office in New York City. Using the unconventional lessons she learned from her homemaker mom, she gradually built it into a $6 billion dollar business.
  2. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso​ 
  3. Body and Soul: Profits With Principles by Anita Roddick  The founder of England’s Body Shops explains how she developed her philosophies on greed, hype, caring, and communication, and why she thinks her business can change the world
  4. The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It The Glitter Plan While working together at a Los Angeles boutique, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor became fast and furious friends over the impossibility of finding the perfect T-shirt. Following their vision of comfortable, fitted T-shirts, they set up shop in Gela’s one-bedroom Hollywood apartment
  5.  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes​ The journal is broken out month by month, day by day, with each month highlighting a theme (“Yes to Doing,” “Yes to Help,” “Yes to Who I Am”). Daily, you can track what you say YES to and keep notes
    You will enjoy these books, for sure if you are looking for something different that can help you grow! All of these books have helped me with my mindset and business. You can enjoy them as well!

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Three Things Successful Women Never Do

I feel that women are often put down, especially business owners. People do not think that women can be successful for whatever reason. Or maybe they don’t like to see a woman living successfully. Honestly, I am not sure. What I do know is that I have grown over the years of being a business owner + have made changes in my life to become a successful woman. Here are some mistakes that I have learned and seen along the way of what successful women never do:

Successful Women Never Ignore Their Fears: Being a business owner means you deal with a lot of fears and self-doubt. I can’t tell you how many times I was so scared of my business. I kept trying to find ways to get out of my business and trying to talk myself out of it, but instead, my business coach gave me pep talks day in and day out. It is critical to have a tribe for times like these.


Successful Women Never Look At Their Past As A Mistake: I do not have any regrets in life – none. That is right, no regrets at all. Everything has led me to where I am today. It was a stepping stone to get there, and I needed to make all of these ‘mistakes’ to be successful. I have learned along the way and know how to analyze information before implementing.

Successful Women Never Miss Opportunities To Shine: There have been so many times, that I could have passed up times to shine. Presentations and speaking gigs are the first ones that come to mind. Now, I can talk in person or online much better. I am special, worthy, and know that I can shine. I had to put the fear and doubt past me for my business mindset.

People do not think that women can be successful for whatever reason. Or maybe they don’t like to see a woman being successful. Honestly, I am not sure. What I do know is that I have grown over the years of being a business owner + have made changes in my life to become a successful woman.

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What is Success?

“What does success mean to you?” Someone asked me this the other day, and it got me thinking. What does success really mean? Furthermore, what does it really mean to me?

Most people think being happy and having a lot of money is key, but it is not. There is much more than having a luxurious life and money.

Some might define success as not having to work more than 40 hours per week, and another person defines success as having a million dollars in the bank account. I’m somewhere in between, I’d say.


BUT…

I also know that success is meeting MY goals. Success is closing those sales. Success is keeping clients happy and content. Success is providing for my son. Success seeing my son happy and working with him.

I think most can relate to the fact that when you start a business, you come in knowing you want to make six figures plus. My goal was to make what I was making in my corporate job. LAME. I made it in no time. Then what?

Some people want to make millions or billions and that equals success to them. But for me, it’s giving the results that my clients want. It is providing for my son in the way that he needs. It is following through and having full creativity with client work.

YES, money is a great part of success, but think outside of the box. You have to set goals; if you do not set goals, then you can’t ever really define your success. Agree?

Whenever I feel down and out, I make a list of people I admire both professionally and personally. This action helps me to understand success and goals for the future.

So tell me, what does success mean to you? Does it mean having money or having a good job? Or something else? Know that you are successful, and set those goals so that you know you are successful.

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