Danielle Magestro

Wondermaker. Magic-teller. Elemental Biz Seeker.

Ontraport wrecks the competition. And here's why you can't afford to let this go.

No more multi-system drama? Check. 

No more freebie Mailchimp account with zero support? Check. 

No more using the lower end emarketing systems to capacity and duct taping your lists together? Check.

These are my thoughts on Ontraport and a special offer for those who want to switch. 

This week Ontraport released a much anticipated lower cost BASIC version for $79! That's right for just $79 buckaroo's you can have a more beautiful and intelligent way to keep in touch with your subscribers. 

Want an even deeper discount? Pay for the year in advance and get it for just $65.83 per month!

This has been a pretty magical move for them. They have now publicly declared that they want to help those with lists under 1000 and do not intend on leaving them high and dry like their competition. In the past, if you had a list of under 1000 you would have to make due with systems that didn't let you really dig into the psychology of your subscribers. 

For those of you that don't know, Ontraport is an all-in-one system. It's been considered one of the higher end systems for years and is Infusionsoft's direct competition. I've been supporting the system for over five years and started my adventure with them by moving an Australian client from Mailchimp over to their soon to be defunct system Sendpepper. Sendpepper worked well but it just didn't have a ton oomph if you ask me. 

A few years after that migration one of my star clients came to me and asked if I thought she should move to Infusionsoft or Ontraport ( actually called Office AutoPilot at that time). I had been working in Infusionsoft for a few years and really disliked it. I'm highly technical by nature and once I dug in I realized all the illogical setup wasted so much time and decided to no longer support it. I did the research and recommended Ontraport without ever having really using the system. The decision was based on my interactions with their staff and my impression of Send Pepper. 

Hard Truth: Most people who purchase Infusionsoft STAY with Infusionsoft for life because of the amount of cash they've had to put into the system. This makes them afraid to velcro themselves away. The rest, look for a way to have more harmony in their business automation, that's where Ontraport comes in. 

Once I understood the the basis of the technology and I saw how great Landon and his team were, I was in. 

One of my biggest issues with their competitor was always support. They were nice enough but sometimes you just felt like you had to go through so many corporate hoops to get stuff fixed. It was like dealing with the government lol!

Ontraport on the other hand ( or Office AutoPilot back then ) just had a real down to earth feel. If they messed up, they told me, if they knew I was wrong, they were nice about it. I felt like I was dealing with a group that really cared about their customers and their experiences. Down the line they decided to change their name and became a stronger, more streamlined version of what they already were. They became Ontraport and they didn't compromise the heart of their biz, their customers. 

Now with the inclusion of a lower end offering they can scoop up what I call the inbetweeners. Those who are making money but haven't done much list building and could use a leg up. The new basic offering includes up to 1000 contacts and unlimited emails. It also includes their new signature Ontrapages system which takes the place of leadpages! 

I think this was done so that they could knock their other competitor, Simplero out of the water. Simplero is a great system, it's just still in the baby stages and Ontraport is for badasses. 

Scroll to the end of the blog for my special offer!

So if you find yourself feeling like Mailchimp, Aweber, Active Campaign, Campaign Monitor, and Get Reponse really isn't making the grade you may want to have a look at Ontraport. Out of all of those I'd say Active Campaign comes the closest to what Ontraport Basic is minus the beautiful landing pages. 

One of the cons I can see in regards to the basic level is you don't get the full system. The full system includes being able to sell stuff, setup membership sites, an affiliate system and more - it's a true all-in-one. Also if you have more than 1000 contacts you'll need their high end system as there is nothing in between (for now). 

That doesn't mean that you can't sell stuff, it means that you would have to piece together a few tools to get any people on your list via a sale. 

Not ready for Ontraport but really want to have a way better, less expensive option for building landing/lead pages...try Ontrapages!

Additionally this week they released a stand-alone version Ontrapages which is their webpage/landing page builder. They have both a forever free version which will just collect names into a spreadsheet (then you manually add to your system)  or a $15/month paid version that is actually pretty damn awesome. Folks who have Ontraport have been using this tool for a few months and I was happy to see it being released to the public as well. Ontraport is NOT required for Ontrapages!

To use Ontrapages without Ontraport ( as in use it with Mailchimp, Aweber, Infusionsoft etc) you just need the URL of your hosted form from your preferred email provider. There is no code to fudge with, thanks Ontrapages!

Click this link to view an Ontrapage that I sent up in less than 5 minutes using the free version. (Note that it isn't live just a sample to view)

And here is a screenshot. 


Here is the pricing info for Ontrapages from their website: 

Free Forever
10 Pages
Unlimited Templates
All mobile responsive page templates
10 ONTRApages
2,500 visits per month
Get your leads delivered immediately via email
Unlimited images
Analytics: Visitor and conversion stats

$15/month (or $99/year)
25 Pages
Use Your Own Domain
Everything in Free Forever, plus...
25 ONTRApages
25,000 visits per month
Send leads to any email service or CRM
Use your own domain
Remove ONTRApages branding
Split testing

Click here to view my complete review of Ontraport.

Bookmark this blog as I'll be updating you on more features soon. 

And now for my special offer.

I don't want you to miss our on all of this Ontraport badassery so I'm offering you a hell of a deal on setting up the system. 

If you want to move your current list building over to the $79 Ontraport Basic and you have 1000 contacts or less, I will perform the installation for FREE if you purchase through my link.  

If you have more contacts and just want to make the switch to Premium Ontraport, I can help with that too! I'm offering special pricing to all my readers. 

Get in touch with me asap for more info. Also feel free to get in touch if you need help deciding if Ontraport or Ontrapages will work for your business model. 


Disclaimer: The above blog may contain affiliate links. I only link to products I 100% believe in!






I'm an Entrepreneur

I'm a cliff jumper.
There is no fear of heights.
As I race towards the edge, I imagine the salty, crisp water, bubbling over my skin.
Tingling up from my toes, to the back of my knees, to the small of my back, then on to my neck and head.
My heart races, I let out a roaring smile.
I leap.
I fly.
I splash.
I swim.
I'm an entrepreneur.


We interrupt your business day to talk to you about interruptions.

Today, a badass copywriter that I know reminded me of a simple, but accurate fact about working from home.

"Interruptions: On average it takes you 23 minutes to get back to the original task."

I've also read that it takes up to an additional 30 minutes to return to the flow of productivity.

Are you struggling with interruptions? 

Try this article from the New York Times. It enlightened me on the psychology behind this theory or maybe this one from Inc Magazine about making your workplace a little more private ( works for home offices too ).

Need something with a little more depth? Try 9 Ways to Create Time, Space and Stillness for Meaningful Work from Ernest Barbaric.

Are your interruptions actually people in your house/office?

First, set boundaries. Tell everyone in your home that have set work hours or if you are a creative like me, have a way to notify them that you are working by using a sign or signal. I used to rely on just telling them verbally but we can all guess how well that worked. I would hold conference calls, tell everyone what I was doing, and then 15 minutes later my daughter would bust into the meeting screaming MOM I POOPED. Yes really.

Boundary setting can be tough but it's something every person who works from home has to deal with. This is a great article with practical advice about working from home and setting boundaries. How do I get through this?  I struggle, daily, but I make it work by communicating with everyone in my home about how important it is that I have uninterrupted time to work. In the past I tried getting up early or staying up late, and well my 5 year old and I are in such a rhythm that most of the time she just adapts her sleep schedule to mine and it defeats the purpose. If I got up at 4 am, I'd hear the pitter patter of her feet as she ran into my office to see where I was. We've got creaky wooden floors from 1931, I can't get away with much these days.

What about you? Any tips or are you struggling with interruptions as well?





Where business begins...

Business begins at the intersection of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and  being serious. Business begins at the inception of an idea that you can now sell.

Business begins at the moment you realize that comparing your business to another business, is completely useless.

Business begins at half past your bedtime or in the shower, when your best ideas come to you.

Business begins when you realize your reputation is everything.

Business begins when you are present, and make conscious decisions.

@@Business begins when you are able to do what you love not just what you like.@@

Business begins when you accept that you are in the public eye, no matter how much you try and hide.

Business begins when you take care of yourself, and realize you don't have to be overworked to get things done.

Business begins when you invest, carefully, in the things you need for your business and not the things everyone else needs in their business.

Business Gut Checks, Do you do them?

This month has been explosive for my business. First, I've (FINALLY) built a dream team of higher level monthly clients, that I've fallen completely in love with.  I have room for one more so I've been chatting with my waiting list, and a few other potentials and I think I've made made my decision. In reality, I could take on 10 more (And be pretty well off) but the quality of my work is important to me, and my business model isn't setup to just be service related offerings. I can't trade ALL OF MY HOURS for dollars, so the name of the game is LEVERAGE.

I tend to look at my business as several chunks that make up a whole cookie.


On the creative front, I've booked in three websites this month. I'm excited, and honored to work on these projects. If you want to talk about a future web project, get in touch. More on that later, and for now I have a ton of even more FUN things coming up. Speaking of creative.....

Today I'm featured over at A Freaking Great Company's blog as their Playlist Guest DJ.



Seriously, how freaking cool is this??!?!? See when I said this MONTH was MY MONTH. I meant it. InI was also asked to write for a famous newspaper and I'm just digging to find the time to do all of this!

Whenever I find myself feeling like my walls are expanding, I always try to do a business gut check, which consists of:

  • Doing a check in with myself, and my business or marketing plan
  • Making sure my decisions in the past few weeks have kept my big goals in mind
  • Making sure I celebrated every little accomplishment
  • Making sure I learned from every little mistake
  • Looking at my work billed, income and spending to make sure it's in balance

Doing this often helps my business so much.

On the last business gut check, I had to make some decisions such as letting go of older clients who didn't fit within my latest business model. It had been over 3-4 years since I had began working with some of them. I carefully approached each one and proposed a future working relationship. I let them know what I wasn't going to be doing work wise, where my rates were going and how our relationship would change. If my business changes weren't ideal for them, as sad as it made me, I needed to go ahead and accept this. This process was heart wrenching for me, and in the past, I would have avoided it and compromised my big goals. Doing this basically lead me to be broke and exhausted. Something I've promised to never ever do again.

So tell me, no matter where you are in your business or blog adventure, do you ever do gut checks? If you don't I highly suggest it. If you do, let me know down in the comments below how they work for you.



Business doesn't have to be gory, but it does take guts!

Sometimes I can't believe I've managed to get such a cool business off the ground. While it's been pretty bumpy, it's also been 5 years of mad personal growth. Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me of why I do this. I mean, of course it's also because I get to work with some killer people, and make an infinite amounts of money. That's great stuff, but yesterday I locked my whole family out of the house, and let me tell you, it became pretty stressful. While it was happening I went into a panic thinking oh my god what is going to happen while I'm away from the computer ( and my phone was about to die). Then it happened. I realized that I had plenty of room to breathe and deal with it, which was nice.

Five years in and I can tell you that my business looks nothing like it did when I began. I'm stronger, it's stronger, and together we make nothing but pure rock and rock.

Over the summer, I toyed with several ideas of how I thought my business should continue to evolve. I replayed the times I went running from my desk in tears, over and over again in my head. I asked myself, how do I avoid this in the future? The funny thing is, the answer was always inside me. I just didn't have the guts to figure it out.

I've been both the driver, and the passenger in my business, but it's always been my car.  Anytime I pulled over to rest, it was well deserved, and even the times I felt like I was going to have a business breakdown, I knew I had to keep going.

Strip it all away and I have worked bloody hard to get here.

[Tweet "'I have worked bloody hard’ - Richard Branson "]

So tell me, right now, right this second, how do you feel about your business?

Why don't you ever follow through?

This is a guilty thought that runs through my brain often. I posted here a few weeks ago and said I'd do income reports monthly, and weekly updates at the very least. Did it happen? Nope.

My income from the blog has been minimal, and it's been mostly because of my lack of posting. You have to have content to have readers, and you have to have readers to make money. Now I'm lucky to still have my readers, so that's a cue to write more.

Why haven't I been posting? Well I have written several drafts and clicked save for later. That counts for something right?

The truth is, I've been happily consumed with paying work and this has changed my focus. In the past I spend most of my days filled with overwhelm, exhaustion, and dread. I was taking on the wrong work, and not focussing on my talents. I gave myself wholeheartedly, as I always do, but sometimes it just wasn't a good match.

So I've decided to let it go, and not in the annoying Frozen song kind of way, I mean for real. I've hired back in one of my bestie's to help me with internal work. I've shaken up my core offering and had a chat with my waiting list to see who was ready for big things. I've also opened back up my creative boutique, and good god it feels amazing. I'm mentoring brave new souls and it almost feels like I'm somehow giving birth to the next generation of big business.

The message in all of this? It's ok to evolve, and it's ok to morph. Both of those things breathe life into your business ( soul, self, whatever you want to come alive ).




Book Review: Becoming an Online Business Manager by Tina Forsyth

About 2 years into my Virtual Assistant stint I realized that I was destined for more. I remember chatting with a friend (mentor really) who grew  her biz from being a VA, to a Multiple VA firm, to an Online Business Manager, about how she got where she was. She mentioned Tina Forsyth's book, Becoming an Online Business Manager, and recommended that I have a read. A few days later I bought the book and when it arrived I flipped through anxiously awaiting the wealth of magic I was about to learn. As I read through the book, I ended up not connecting with it and put it down only to let it collect dust.

Fast forward to the future and I was cleaning out a box of business books when I came across it again. I started reading chapter 1 which was titled "To be or not to be" and it hit me. The first time I read the book not only was I not ready for it, I was clearly looking at my business from the wrong angle.

Since then this book has sat on my desk and become a reference for my daily ops as well as my clients. It also serves as a wonderful tool in my mentoring sessions.

When I read the book for the first time I can recall thinking "is this all?" and "I'm already doing this stuff" so I totally blew it off. The truth of the matter was, I may have thought I had all the answers but did not. It actually took me failing as an OBM in order to see those things. Around that time I was juggling the wrong clients, as well as the wrong type of work for the wrong amount of money. I began to dislike all that was my business.

Around that same time I also struggled with combining my business entities into one. I was highly technical, but didn't want to create a stuffy old business. I wanted to be sure everything I was offering was cohesive and something my ideal clients would want. It started with branding and everything just fell into place. I often had to remind myself that I am building my own thing, not copying anyone, so it's OK to do things differently.

[Tweet "I am building my own thing, not copying anyone, so it's OK to do things differently."]

Ok back to the book.....

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from Tina Forsyth's, Becoming an Online Business Manager. 

  1. Becoming an OBM requires you to ask yourself  "How can I help grow this business" rather than "How can I make this business owners life easier". This is 100% true.
  2. Client's determine where the bus needs to go, it's the OBM's job to make sure we all get there. It's called driving the bus. I'm a bus driver are you?
  3. All business owners want to make money but most are allergic to managing it. There is an entire insightful chapter on this. All gold.

So if you are looking for a little direction, even if becoming an Online Business Manager isn't in your realm of thinking, this book will help. I pretty much recommend it to any of my Administrative/Executive Assistant, Virtual Assistant, Online Business Manager or Administrative Consultant type friends and clients.

P.S. I have used my affiliate links in this blog, but know I wouldn't promote anything I don't feel 100% confidence in and only promote things I've personally used or experienced.

Business: That moment when work is no longer work

Jumping in to take a quick look at my business over the past month and I'm quickly identifying a hole. You see business was so good I had zero time to write. Zero time to write means no quality content and probably no increase in traffic. (We'll see!)

I plan to look at the numbers and publish my monthly income report by the end of the week.

In the meantime, I'm going to revel in the fact that I have absolutely the greatest clients on the face of this earth and that my entire course class asked to purchase mentoring sessions from me. I also booked in two additional mentoring sessions and had an absolute blast meeting with the clients. I didn't work any more hours, I just managed to take on the work I love most. Now it wasn't all cake, I did have some really heavy projects I worked on ( some still in progress ) and I'm ok with that too.

One thing I think that happens when you run any kind of business is you can easily get caught up in the daily grind. You can start to feel like you aren't moving enough and it can affect your attitude as well. The truth is if you get a chance to really have a blast and make a difference in people's lives, it stops feeling like work.

No matter if you run a tire shop, or you are a hairdresser, or if you run an online business, you deserve to spend your days doing whatever the hell it is that pleases you most.

End of the Week Business Review

Really trying to build habits here. Friday is now my dedicated day to do client reporting ( this is a struggle ) and I've decided to also start reporting back to my readers. So, recap.

Once per month I'll do an income report. 

Weekly, most likely on Friday's, I'll do a report of what's going on in my business and what tweaks and changes I'm working on. 

I decided to do the weekly thing because on my monthly income report I'm not reporting income related to clients (YET). I realized that I needed to change that or at least find a way to report what I was up to while keeping my clients privacy. I also forgot to add my payment processor fees to the income report so still figuring it all out.

Disclaimer: Due to a few personal things going on, this week isn't one of my typical work weeks. I took some time off to grieve and help support some of my friends who are going through a lot at the moment. Having a business like mine has been wonderful for life events like this. There was no one to 'ask' for time off that I needed. I just had to be sure I was on top of client work and made everything work. At the end of the week I also found out my grandmother is very ill, and this weighs very heavy on me.

So the short update to my short week...

  • 1 new 3 month client slipped into an Ontraport support slot.
  • 1 freelance gig to write an HR report.
  • 13 inquiries about my services or mentoring.
  • Contacted all of my waitlist clients for Office Autopilot / Ontraport to get an idea of who wants a slot in Sept. I had originally froze this as many of the people on my list were waiting for the *new release* to be ironed out OR they were going on summer vacation.
  • Helped publish 4 client blogs &  2 youtube episodes.
  • Helped a client design his Mailchimp.
  • Helped come up with a few project plans for live events & webinars.
  • Helped a client launch a group coaching course.
  • Moved a client website off of GoDaddy and on to a better host.
  • Did lots and lots of research on Google Analytics, Keywords and SEO.
  • Chatting with my client who is in China working on a cool business venture.
  • and much much more.

This week I took a step back and decided to figure out where I could improve my services. It meant doing lots of reading and research

I also:

  • Implemented affiliate income streams into my website. Can't wait to look at the numbers on this at the end of the month.
  • Decided that I will sell ad space on my website. (holla!)
  • Committed to writing a book in the next 30 days.
  • Had 7 enrollee's for my Gypsy Summer School e-course.
  • Created a new e-course.
  • Got my guest blog for a major website approved on the first go. (more on this later)

I also refined my summer reading list. I can't believe how many books are on this list now. I need to stop adding more and actually read a few. Best part is I have two amazon accounts and my other wishlist has over 50 books on it.

Here are the latest books that are sitting on my desk:

Minding My Business: The Complete, No-Nonsense, Start-to-Finish Guide to Owning and Running Your Own Store

Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead

Mouthwatering Vegan: Over 130 Irresistible Recipes for Everyone (A personal read. The photos just looked amazing!)

I'm working on building my full reading list and I'll share it with you soon. I also plan to review all books that I will be reading.

So there you have it. This was my week, now tell me about yours?