Tag Archives: Relationship Marketing

Episode 41: Take Action and Adjust Along the Way | Lain Ehmann from Layoutaday.com

Lain Ehmann does a lot of work online in the scrapbooking industry where she does online events, webinars, and has been able to monetize that to make a very successful business for herself.  In Episode 41 of the Defining Success Podcast Lain discusses how she’s been able to build a massive online following and been able to monetize her online efforts through event, webinars, and more.  When Lain first started she had no idea on the direction her business would take her, but she’d advice anyone interested in starting a new business to take action and adjust along the way.

Lain Ehmann Take Action and Adjust Along the Way on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Lain Ehmann

Lain is a fast-talking, fast-scrapping human dynamo with three kids, tons of ideas, and more books than she could ever read in this lifetime. The author of several books on scrapbooking, including “Snippets: Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking” and “20 Simple Secrets of Happy Scrapbookers” (co-authored with Stacy Julian), Lain loves sharing her philosophy of guilt-free, simple scrapbooking.

Lain Ehmann got involved in scrapbooking shortly after her son was born. Lain was a freelance journalist who mostly wrote on business and finance.  She was invited to a Scrapbooking party where people bought and shared scrapbooking ideas and she fell in love with scrapbooking.  She was also a born story-teller and scrapbooking fit in very well with her passion.  She started working less and less in journalism and she began writing more and more in scrapbooking magazines.  She began teaching classes and then dove headfirst into scrapbooking as her career.

The scrapbooking magazines that Lain were working for were declining and eventually both magazines she was working for folded and so, she was without a job.  She started a blog as a way to keep in touch with the people she was meeting as she was meeting at scrapbooking conventions.  She saw that a lot of knitters were doing webinars and she spent a year learning about Internet marketing, podcasting and hosting and in May 2010 she launched her website layoutaday.com.

The favorite thing Lain enjoys doing is live events which have really become the cornerstone of her online presence.  She does live virtual events and every month she puts on a scrapinar, a free monthly education session that is centered around a video training in a state-of-the-art webroom.  They use Cisco’s webex event center that Cisco uses for its international sales meetings.  It’s very robust and steady and is a great platform for everything they want to do.

They do video trainings once a month where Lain gets on the camera live and either provides some kind of training or announces someone who is going to give the training.  The training session is recorded, there is live chat and people arrange their schedule in order to attend the virtual event live.

In addition to her monthly session, several times a year she puts on larger events with 15 or 16 instructors in two days.  Lain serves as the host, produces the event and features the instructors.  It’s kind of like a Scrapapalooza.

Scrapbooking companies love the event because companies can’t be everywhere and this live event gives them access to scrapbookers all over the world.  These companies are allowed to target their customers like never before during these live events that Lain holds several times a year.

In the chatroom, people will chat and you get immediate feedback that you can not get in any other way and people love it.  The instructors can get the replay again and instructors can see where people were engaged and where they lost momentum.

Lain Ehmann Take Action Defining Success Podcast

Lain Ehmann

If you live in rural Ohio, the idea of traveling to a foreign city to attend an event is a barrier for a lot of people.  Lain realized she could bring instructors to people.  Scrapbookers have a lot of stuff and it becomes difficult to transport.  With these online virtual events, people can enjoy, chat and scrapbook along with others.  It’s really a lot of fun and they enjoy the live virtual events.

When you go to an online event there are no clicks, everyone is talking to everyone and it’s very friendly, open and supportive.

Many people find Lain online through social media.  She does a lot of YouTube videos, search engine optimization, relationship marketing, affiliate marketing, and podcasting.

Lain Ehmann has multiple streams of income:

  • Several big events a year where attendees pay to attend.
  • Monthly scrapinars are free to attend, but after a month, Lain charges her customers to get access to the content.
  • A membership site, scraphappy.org where people pay a monthly fee to have access to the site.
  • Sponsorship opportunities

It seems like Lain does a lot of work, but she’s been really good at establishing repeatable systems.  She’s also been fortunate enough to hire people who have been able to help her manage the workload.

Lain started with one product, the layout a day class that she offered several times a year.  Originally she did it for free and didn’t see it as a big revenue generator and things began to evolve over time.  Things began gradually improving from there in order to get more customers and make more revenue for her business.  Everything grew from the natural progression of the business with people offering suggestions for improvement and Lain seized those opportunities and has been able to grow a successful business as a result.

Lain is most proud of bringing a group of passionate scrapbookers together who are willing to help each other learn and grow.  People know that they are going to come to Lain and get a dose of positivity.

In the future, Lain hopes to take the events she’s doing and model that for companies and manufacturers to reach her audience.  She has a large audience of scrapbookers who listen and follow her and there are companies that want access to that.  She can create these live events for companies and bring it to her audience.

Sometimes there is a tendency to look for the cheapest way to do anything and when I started I wish I didn’t do that.  The first live event I held was the cheapest and she had a problem with it.  But, finding people you trust for advice and investing where they tell you to invest.

A layout is a scrapbook page with the photos on it, also known as a scrapbook page.  A month-long class where she started a layout a day which she’s built on since to incorporate more of her business.

If you’re interested in hosting your own live events, Lain recommends taking a look at your audience and what you’re trying to accomplish to determine the best route to take when starting your live events/webinar.  Write down what you have to have and find the solution for that.  Once you find a handful of solutions, test them out to make sure it works before you do your event.

Lain Ehmann Take Action

Lain Ehmann

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever attended a webinar?
  • What are your thoughts on scrapbooking?
  • Have you been procrastinating to take action?  Why or why not?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Layout a Day – “Take a helping of Rachael Ray, a sprinkle of Martha Stewart, and a dash of Ellen DeGeneres, shake well until blended, and what do you get? Lain Ehmann, scrapbook lover!”
  • Scrap Happy – “Want to Join the Happiest Group of Scrapbookers on the Interner? Well, We’d Love to Have You!”
  • Layout a Day: The Simple Scrapbooking Podcast – “Professional scrapbooker, author, and instructor Lain Ehmann talks the scrappy talk. Simple scrapbooking advice, fun stuff, updates, and more!”
  • Scrapbook Expo – The Premier Scrapbook Show
  • Weekly Scrapper – For the Everyday Scrapper

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is knowing what your passion is, working hard and helping other people through that.”
  • “Start by finding mentors, experts or coaches and following their advice.”
  • “Life is good, even if it’s not perfect.”
  • “A lot of it was really listening to my audience, hearing what resonated with them and doing more of that.”
  • “My number 1 goals was to make enough money so I didn’t have to go to work in an office.”
  • “These scrapinars allow the instructor or manufacturers to reach customers all over the world.”

Special Requets:

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Episode 29: Relationship Marketing is Viral Marketing | Christopher Mance II from Nichevertising

Christopher Mance II is trying to get entrepreneurs to build power connections and work together to market together and give them a chance to get their products and services to go viral.  Nichevertising is attempting to use relationship marketing as a way to manufacture viral marketing by bringing businesses together to reach out to consumers.

Viral Marketing and Nichevertising with Christopher Mance II

Christopher Mance II

Christopher Mance II is the owner of Nichevertising.  Nichevertising is a product designed for entrepreneurs from all walks of life looking to get their mobile apps, books, music videos, websites, products and events to go viral.

Christopher has been involved with the Internet since 1996 when he was attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.  All freshman were given access to the Internet and while Chris attended the school he tried to build online websites.

The first website Chris built was devoted to hip-hop music.  The website he built was a hub for news about the artists Christopher was in to, like the Wu Tang Clan and Nos.  He saw himself as a curator of content and got the news from the hip hop community and people began visiting his website in more and more numbers.

Christopher tried to run many different businesses, but they were always part-time businesses.  Looking back, Christopher saw himself saw himself as more of a wantrepreneur than an entrepreneur, which helped make him decide to become an entrepreneur full-time.

In 2011, Christopher came up with the idea of trying to bring people together to help them advertise their business.  With the goal being that people could then bid on projects in order to make those businesses develop strong viral marketing campaigns. But, he decided to shift the direction to what it is today . . . nichevertising.

The concept being that Christopher is trying to connect businesses with the same demographics so they can collaborate together to help each other and each others campaigns go viral.  Multiple businesses can join a campaign together and help each other go viral.

Christopher and his wife have been business partners since they began dating.  At first, they had an online magazine that they used to sell advertising with.  The only way they could have an online magazine back in 2003 was that they had to be a coder and both Christopher and his wife were coders which meant they experienced a lot of success prior to 2006.  In 2006, blogging became a much more mainstream activity and they had lost their competitive advantage.  Many of the blogs began to reach out to Christopher and his wife to see if they could promote their blog . . . which is how the idea for Nichevertising began.

Christopher began thinking of ways that he could automate the process of connecting and collaborating businesses and blogs.  Right now they are working in a closed beta test and are slowly getting the kinks worked out, but very soon it will be an open marketplace for businesses to connect with other businesses.

In order to sign up for Nichevertising, first you have to visit their website and sign up, then self select yourself into a niche, create your marketing campaign and then connect with a who’s who of entrepreneurs who are looking for partners as well.  Looking at their database and campaigns to determine who is a good match for you and it’s up to the business if they want to accept the partnership you’re offering.

One campaign is composed of five different businesses coming together and it’s about creating a scale of partnerships.  Going viral is not the same for you as it is for say, Time Warner.  For a young entrepreneur, viral marketing is not the same as it would be for those large organizations.  Your goal as an entrepreneur is not to get a million views, but it should be your goal to bring people into your world so they will refer you.

The biggest mistake Christopher says he’s made is thinking that he could be a successful entrepreneur while he was working for somebody else.  He thought he would be able to start online businesses and make enough of an income to replace his income from his full-time job.  Christopher wishes he would have started right away building his lifestyle around being an entrepreneur.

The people who created the Harlem Shake video were people who were very passionate about dancing and the reason for its ultimate success was that they were passionate about the project.  The original Harlem Shake people were constantly making videos and eventually their Harlem Shake video went big, but it’s because they had a built in audience from their other videos.  When you get to the point where you are good at what you’re passionate about then and only then will you have developed a great viral marketing opportunity.

Hubspot is a great example of a company that went viral. They created the concept of inbound marketing and an entire industry has now sprouted up around the idea of inbound marketing. Hubspot managed to go viral though by creating great content day in and day out.  All entrepreneurs should think of how they can go viral like Hubspot went viral. There are loads of companies that offer inbound marketing advice now though, you can learn more here if this is something that interests you.

Viral Marketing with Christopher Mance II from Nichevertisting

Christopher Mance II

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think it takes to make something go viral?
  • What do you think about relationship marketing?
  • What do you think about viral marketing?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Niche.fm – We fast-track the process of “going viral” by: providing a secure web-based software application for entrepreneurs like you to join a cooperative advertising network; providing a way for you to double, triple and even 10x the reach of your campaigns; and vastly increasing the likelihood that your campaigns goes viral!!!
  • HubSpot – “HubSpot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 8,000 companies in 56 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love
  • Sunny Coast Skate – Creators of the Harlem Shake.”
  • West Point – “The United States Military Academy has been educating, training, and inspiring leaders of character for our United States Army and for the nation for more than
    200 years. West Point provides a 47-month leader-development program steeped in
    academic rigor, military discipline, and physical challenges, all built upon a
    moral-ethical foundation. The academy is an internationally recognized
    institution for academic, military and physical excellence, and we are proud
    that today’s cadets will become tomorrow’s military, public and private-sector
    leaders.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is not defined by credentials.  It’s really defined by your mental health, physical health and the relationship you have with your family.”
  • “Focus on your authenticity and not try to fake it.”
  • “If you are not passionate about cats then do not try to create a viral cat video.”
  • “If you create great content or have great customer service and you get great referrals you’ll continually go viral.”
  • “Nichevertising is a simple idea of a business finding a partner, getting a partnership connected and getting a campaign out in the world.”

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