Make Your Business Uniquely Irresistible so You Can Make Money with Digital Products While You Sleep

Last night I was just about to set my phone down and close my eyes when suddenly it went “Cha-Ching” like an old cash-register, and I got so excited! My phone makes that sound each time an order is placed in my Etsy shop, so obviously it wasn’t time to sleep. It was time to get online and check out what was happening in my shop! To my startled surprise, I had just sold one of my digital products! Talk about timing! After all, today I want to talk to you about digital products and selling them while you sleep.

The Best Day Ever

Most of you already know my story, so you know that life is a blur right now. Nothing is easy, time doesn’t exist, and we are on one crazy roller-coaster ride trying to keep our heads above water. Originally, when I opened my business, I wanted to focus on custom wedding stationary and decor. Well, I’ve booked one wedding in one year, and it was my cousin. Outside of that amazing opportunity to create all her stationary, programs, welcome bags, guestbook, tablecloth, and signs, I’ve had a lot of interest in my enormous glitter banners and my Trophy Wife t-shirts. In addition to those products, I’ve started developing some new products that are slowly gaining in popularity: printable unplugged wedding signs, printable social media hashtag signs, and some printable wedding invitation suites.

Unplugged_Wedding_Frame2 Flower_Wreath_Invite_1_MU1 Customizable_SocialMedia_Frame2

So why the shift between custom wedding stationary and decor to printable stationary and decor? Well,because digital products are selling right now. Everyone wants what they want, when they want it. They want the instant gratification that comes with the ability to download a digital product as soon as they make the purchase. People want to go shopping in their pajamas and get the product before they head to bed. And moreover, people want to pay less for products that rock!

People want to go shopping in their pajamas and get the product before they head to bed.

Adding digital products to my business has already begun to make a difference in my business success. I’ve had bunches of people liking my shop and favoriting my printable products. It’s gotten more eyes on my small business. However, they aren’t selling! I know these products are great or people wouldn’t be taking the time to check them out, to favorite them, to like them on Facebook, or to heart them on Instagram, but what am I doing wrong? They just aren’t selling like I want them to, and they aren’t making me the money I need to to fill in the gaps between the full on custom wedding design that I do. I’d say I need to adjust my strategy!

So what do I do when I need to adjust my strategy?
I turn to some amazing entrepreneurs and their expertise, that’s what!

In this case, I’m turning to April Bowles-Olin, whom I just adore. Why you ask? For two reasons:

  1. April is successful at selling digital products (I’ve bought some of them!)
  2. April is going to be at CreativeLive teaching two classes in November! One is Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep and the other is Make Your Creative Business Uniquely Irresistible.

I could not be any more excited! This woman knows what she is talking about. I just know that with her help, I am about to take Pretty Much to all new heights. Get ready because great new things are coming soon. I’ve already RSVP’d, cleared my schedule, and set my reminders because when April teaches, you have to listen. When you have an opportunity to learn from April, you take it!

In April’s class I am hoping to learn several great things, but I really hope to learn about better copy-writing and better marketing for my products. I want to find out what would take my products from good to great. Where could I make some changes in order to get better results? April talks about digital products making it possible to target more markets, help us make more money without working longer hours and price our handmade products higher. I want to learn everything I can about all of this, so that digital products can help me on my way to success and freedom.

Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.

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So, are you in? I sure hope so! I cannot wait for this class because I just know it’s going to be worth every second. If you are interested, you can check out April’s blog at www.blacksburgbelle.com. Even better, you can follow along on our blog tour too!

Hope to see you in the course chat-room on November 10-12th!
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Cover your bases, Cover your assets, Cover your ass. Small Business Bodyguard

Everything Small Business Owners Need to Know About the Legal Stuff

Cover your bases, Cover your assets, Cover your ass. Small Business Bodyguard

Is your blog legal? Is your small business legal? Is your online business legal?
Guess what bloggers? You have to pay taxes too. Calling all bloggers and small biz owners – don’t do business without reading this first. (IMPORTANT.) Everything an online biz owner needs to know about THE LEGAL STUFF.


I’ve had a lot of questions lately about my terms & conditions, my privacy policy, and my disclaimers. I’ve also had a few questions about my contracts. Yeah, I know they are pretty great, and no, I didn’t hire an expensive lawyer in a fancy suit. Since opening my business it’s been really important to me that I cover my ass. In fact, one reason it took me so long to open my doors is because I was scared shitless that I was going to do the wrong thing and get into a legal battle. Being a business owner carries with it a lot of responsibility, and with that responsibility comes a lot of stress.

Thankfully, I don’t have to stress too much, because I found an amazing resource to help me with all the legal stuff of running a business. This resource is a legal reference tool and probably the greatest investment I have made in my business. The best part is that this non-negotiable business expense is one that I can write-off! In the long run, Small Business Bodyguard is saving me money, stress & anxiety. I know that if I do business with a bad client and don’t have a contract, there is always that chance that I might not get paid, or if someone doesn’t like the way I do business and tries to sue me over it, I am covered because I do business the right way and the smart way.

The TMFproject If you are not familiar, then you need to get familiar right now!) edited & wrote this resource it in its entirety, with the goal of making it USER FRIENDLY, EASY TO DIGEST, AND EVEN AN ENJOYABLE READ. I read it start to finish over the course of about a week, and the whole time I was laughing and smiling and actually enjoying it. It wasn’t just some intimidating, bland, jargoney resource. It’s written for the average small business owner & blogger. People like you and me! Seriously! On top of that, this arsenal was lawyer-drafted and peer reviewed. Seriously!

So what am I trying to tell you? Well, take the time to cover your ass now, so you can do business like a responsible adult. If I had paid a lawyer to draft the contracts & agreements that are included in Small Business Bodyguard, it would have cost me over $5,000 alone. During the affiliate push week, the additional $3,000 in bonus contracts & templates makes this an $8,000 value. Now, compare that to the cost of $275 for Small Business Bodyguard, and it’s an obvious no brainer.

Did you see that little bitty price tag compared to the enormous value The Small Business Bodyguard contains? It’s a no-brainer. Remember this: If you own a business, you are legally responsible for it. Getting your business ducks in a row is a non-negotiable business expense. You MUST do it one way or another or your ass won’t be covered when somebody tries to steal your work, sue you, or not pay you.

Again, I can’t stress this enough, you need this resource. I use it every single day that I am in business whether it be here on my blog, over on my website, as a seller on Etsy, and in each contract I sign with a client.

At a minimum, you should at least get your hands on the FREE smart, simple, and surefire steps checklist to becoming legally legit. Yes, I said FREE! You can do that by clicking right here!

Do you still have questions in regards to what exactly this resource is? Fear not, check it out here.Need some more testimonials from business owners that use the Small Business Bodyguard? Check out tons of testimonials by clicking here. I seriously cannot say enough about this great resource, and I abslolutely think you need to check it out.

Small Business Bodyguard
FREE smart, simple, and surefire steps checklist.

With that, I leave you to have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy it!

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This post includes affiliate links, however, I only link to products I personally have used and love.

28 Days of Adding Happiness – Deliciousness in Lehi, UT

It feels so strange that this is my final post in this series. It seems so strange that this is the end of the series. 28 days has gone so fast! To end the series, I want to share another little business here in Lehi, UT with you.

My husband and I had been out and about running errands and taking care of some important stuff (aka boring stuff grownups have to do that we wish we didn’t) and we got some pretty great news that put us in the celebrating mood. Now, when I want to celebrate there are two things I do: 1) I go to Dippidee, or 2) I eat ice-cream! That particular day I was in the mood for ice cream, so I made the Mr get out his smart phone and look up a good ice-cream place. The first place that popped up was a fast-food chain that serves some pretty amaze-balls shakes, but I was in the mood for some thick and creamy ice cream, so that was out. The next place was one I had never heard of, Mia’s Italian Ice!2014-07-14 16.42.14Okay, okay, you are probably going to think I’m nuts, but I had no idea what Italian ice actually tasted like. I was kind of hesitant, but the next place on the list was 10 minutes away in the opposite direction and I didn’t really feel like driving all that way either. Yup, I’m lazy, and driving is still no fun for me after having my surgery. So, Mia’s it was.

The great news was that I was completely impressed with this little shop from start to finish! The moment we walked in the door we were greeted with a smile by the owner who obviously loves his shop and loves what he does. His face lit up with excitement as he explained how he makes everything from scratch. Then came the samples…. and we finally made a choice on what treats to order. They were amazing! This is a new favorite place to go, and I’m recommending it to everyone for any occasion whether they are celebrating a summer afternoon or a wedding, Mia’s is perfect!2014-07-14 16.13.03Not only do they offer Italian ice, but they offer custard which they make right there, cakes, and custard cakes. Word around town is that with the falling temps, they are even offering gourmet hot chocolate! Score! Seriously, if you are in the area, you cannot miss this place!

Today might be the last day of the series, but don’t think for a second that I’m going to leave this subject alone. Stay tuned for some more happiness, more celebrating, and upcoming announcements, and don’t forget to continue checking in at Sarah’s blog. I know that even though this fun series is over, she has a heart of gold, a creative spirit, and a lot of amazing ideas that will be sure to become great blog posts for your reading pleasure!

Much Love!

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Monday’s Are Magical

Mondays are MagicalIt’s been a few weeks since I posted up a Monday’s are Magical post. I really had intended to put one out soon, but sometimes when life is good, you just have to spend your time soaking it up!

The last couple weeks have been pretty magical in general. I’ve found new sources for canvas tote bags, and the new bags are even stronger and more durable than the last bags, plus they are white, and the straps are longer. They hang so nicely! They are really taking the glitter well, and they look so sharp! Here is a sample tote I created out of pure excitement:

Love Tote With the new glitter and foil coming in, I was inspired to create some t-shirts. At first I started with a prototype using a t-shirt I had in my closet. Unfortunately, I don’t think Old Navy would appreciate me selling their shirts, so when I discovered how many people loved the prototype, I ended up sourcing t-shirts for the shop. The initial response was so overwhelming, that I was able to offer a discount for the entire group! That’s pretty fantastic! The shirts will be in this week so that I can begin working on the orders, but in the meantime, here I am in the prototype:

Trophy Wife T-shirtThings just keep getting better and better. I’ve had a ton of inquiries in the Etsy shop, and just last night, I got a really big surprise. I’m not an INTERNATIONAL seller having made my first sale to a sweet lady in Australia last night. Apparently, I’m kind of a big deal! I could not be more excited about that! I practically had to pinch myself because some days it’s hard to believe that this is real life and that I left my 9-5 for this amazing life!

As you may have read yesterday, I just announced a new project collaboration with a Sweet lady named Sarah who lives in the Nashville area. Her adorable shop, With Love Paper Goods, is so much fun! The two of us will be teaming up to bring you 28 Days of Adding Happiness, because everyone knows we can always choose to be even happier than we are. It’s a project that is so dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to start sharing the series with you next week!

28 Days of Adding HappinessOf course, I am still working with Josephine over at Courage & Dash as a guest blogger. The latest DIY will be up really soon. It’s a fun one, so you will have to head over to her blog because you won’t want to miss it!

Lastly (is that a word?), I am really looking forward to Friday night. While the rest of you are sleeping in your beds, I’ll be flying above your heads on my way to Florida. The Mr and I are taking another trip to Walt Disney World. This year we have a lot to celebrate: 1) Our One Year Anniversary, 2)The success of Pretty Much as well as the new beginnings we have both started between school and work. and finally, 3) Over a year has gone by since my symptoms began, and now, although I still have a lot of trouble walking, driving, and generally doing everyday things, I’m on the mend and feel like life is finally getting back to normal, so we will be celebrating progress. His cousin, Krista, who was also one of my bridesmaids, is coming too. I cannot wait to celebrate with her over her first Disney trip. It’s always such a fun experience to be with somebody for their first time there!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! All my love!

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{Behind the Scenes} In the Office

I primarily work from my home. I have two rooms dedicated to Pretty Much. the first room is the office. This is a room you see as soon as you walk through the front door. It is the room that clients see when they stop over. The other room is the studio up stairs. Clients don’t see that for good reason! Maybe one of these days I will do a studio tour.

Today I wanted to share with you a few images from around the office. I love how pretty and bright it is in there! Alright, I will hush up, and let the images do the talking.

Bright Purple Flowers

 

Fun Artwork from the Free Artwork Project

 

Orange juice, pineapple juice, and cranberry tea

 

Colorful and bright salad

 

Whimsical pillows are welcoming

 

No matter what they say, you don't have to stay within the lines.

 

You are the... Canvas

I promise that very soon I will give you the full office tour, and I might even give you a behind the scenes pass into the studio where all the magic happens!

Have a great weekend!

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From Entry-Level to CEO in a Day

Yesterday I woke up expecting to return to my “day job” for the first time since September. I’ve been recovering from a pretty crazy surgery in which the doctor repaired a hole that had formed in my inner ear. It’s been a roller-coaster ride – almost literally. Half the time I feel as though I’m on a roller-coaster while I simply sit on the couch in my living room. Let’s rewind…

My “day job” or the job that I have in order to afford the mortgage payment is a pretty interesting one. If I were to break down my job description into one sentence, I train soldiers to maintain and repair unmanned aircraft (drones if you are into Call of Duty). I used to fly them myself, but now I just do the dirty work! As most people in my field attain their training from the military, my position is considered Entry Level despite over 6 years in the field, nearly 3,000 flight hours, Instructor certification for flight and maintenance, etc, etc. I was the low man on the totem pole.

How does a high school cheerleading captain, color-guard captain, pep club member, founder of the Spirit squad, student counsel treasurer, honor-roll student, art club member end up training soldiers to fly drones in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yeah, I have no idea! I often wonder that myself. I especially wonder how all that happened while I simultaneously studied/ taught photography, studied Interior Design, studied Graphic design, and visual communications. Somehow despite my right-brained creative self, I managed to also be a complete science/math nerd and get ahead in a male-dominated world.

All this time I have been sitting at home recovering from the craziness of my inner ear problems, I’ve been contemplating this all more and more. I’ve been thinking about the things that truly make me happy and the things that I really love to do. I started to spend my free time creating decorations for weddings, designing logos for small businesses, and trying to figure out how I could possibly do this type of thing all the time.

Fast-forward to last week, when I finally got the okay to start working from home at my “day job” again. I was finally in the later stages of recovery where I would be able to sit in front of a computer and re-establish all of my certifications through reading technical manual after technical manual. As much as that sounded like pure torture compared to making pretty things every day, I knew it was going to pay the bills and I was prepared to jump right back into that life again, but then the phone rang.

In a matter of minutes I went from that entry-level position studying manuals and technical language, to being unemployed. They no longer needed me. I wanted to cry…and then I realized the reason that I wanted to cry wasn’t because I had lost my day job, but it was because I was finally free from my day job. I was finally free to pursue my dreams of owning a business; free to work from home, to create pretty things, and to love what I do for a living! In that moment I realized that I wasn’t an unemployed mechanic. I was the CEO of an incredible Design business called Pretty Much, and my dreams were coming true!

 

New Beginnings, Starting a Business, and Setting Goals

A blank screen and a blinking cursor – Yikes! I started my business back in December, but I’ve put off the obligatory first post for the blog simply because it overwhelmed me. Starting a business is easy, but blogging your thoughts is really scary! I fought with myself over what exactly the perfect content was for an initial post. I have so much to share with the world that I just could not decide where to start. I want to introduce myself, explain the roller-coaster year that ultimately led to me becoming a small business owner, and of course talk about all my goals of last year while listing my excuses for not completing more than few of them! The cursor kept blinking and the blank page stared back at me!

Forward to this morning. I woke up, showered, decided there was no time like the present to begin a new practice of oil pulling, threw on some clean pajamas, and sat down at my computer. All current projects could wait; I just had to write that first blog post. I had to begin today or I would continue to put it off everyday until the point of having a blog was completely lost and my enthusiasm for new beginnings went out the door with it! I sat down, took a deep breath, and then took several more. My mind was blank. I took another deep breath and placed my fingers on the keyboard. Nothing came to me. I decided that eating a cookie (a home-baked snickerdoodle of course!) was the missing piece to the puzzle that once complete would picture me, a complete success, jumping up and down as glitter fell around me. The outcome wasn’t quite that dramatic, but while eating that hard-as-a-rock-because-I-got-distracted-and-left-it-in-the-oven-for-a-half-hour cookie, it occurred to me in the most cliche fashion that perfection was over rated, and if the story of my morning was good enough to make me chuckle, it was good enough for my first blog post.

So what can you expect when reading the Pretty Much blog? Oh…pretty much anything! There will be posts about new beginnings, starting a business, and setting goals. There will be posts with pretty pictures, some creative ideas, and lots of glitter could be involved as well! Pretty Much is a design studio based in Utah, and I, Renay, am the Art Director. I create small business branding packages with logos, color schemes, stationary, etc. I create gorgeous party decorations, event themes, and wedding packages. Lastly, I am the creator of the Pretty Much Pretty Busy calendars, planners, and organization tools. You can find me on my personal Pinterest page, the Pretty Much website, the Pretty Much facebook page, the Pretty Much Pinterest page, the Pretty Much Etsy shop, and the Pretty Much Twitter page @HelloPrettyMuch.

Please do stop in to say hi! Comment as much as you can or want. I do my best to respond to all of my followers. Let’s have fun! Come back often for new blog posts. I’ll be starting a blog schedule soon to include featured posts. You will not want to miss all the great things in store for 2014. Oh, and don’t worry, glitter will be involved!