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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 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.
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.
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 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.”