Being a business owner has its perks but it also has its drawbacks. Jennifer talks about the flexibility her job has given her, but also discusses the amount of effort and time she’s spent building her business. In this episode you’ll also learn valuable tips on how to build a following on Facebook.
Jennifer Davis is the owner of Scrapbook Expo, the premier scrapbook show; Weekly Scrapper, a blog for every day scrappers; and, Party Solutions, a party supply rental company. She’s also extremly knowledgeable when it comes to Facebook as she has been able to amass a following of close to 110,000 likes on her Scrapbook Expo Facebook page.
Jennifer’s scrapbooking business started out as a hobby and it gave her an opportunity to get out of her job which she hated. She started out as a vendor at a Scrapbook show she attended and saw what the owner of the conventions were able to do and she thought she could do it so she started her own Scrapbook Expo.
She was one of the first scrapbooking businesses to start a new show. She put on her first show in San Diego and now she puts on shows in 17 locations. In the late 1990’s it was real easy for Jennifer to get support for her Scrapbooking shows because they would choose a location and word of mouth was really the only marketing they needed.
When the economy started to go down hill it became a lot more difficult to attract customers and she resorted tto learning how to market for her business. She started doing print advertising, email marketing and she finally turned to social media marketing and does almost all of her marketing online.
At a Scrapbook Expo scrapbookers would have access to 100 different booths related to scrapbooking to shop at. They hold workshops all day to learn different techniques to scrapbooking. There is also scrapbooking crops which are held at the show where scrapbookers get together to scrap all weekend long. Ladies get an opportunity to get together, share ideas and have a great experience. Different groups like different activities. A lot of the people who attend the shows are groups of four or five women who make a weekend getaway of the Scrapbook Expo. They rent a hotel room, they shop together, they sign up for workshops and they participate in one of the crops.
There are also make and takes which are very popular which is where they can visit a booth and take part in a project where they create a finished product within 5 to 10 minutes.
Jennifer was very instrumental in my success as she’s been able to help me in a variety of different ways. We first came in contact when she put out an ad for a tutor and I helped to tutor her son, Nick. After which, she became my first client for my Internet marketing business as I helped to build the online Twitter presence for @ScrapbookExpo. My sister and I have been working for Scrapbook Expo ever since from social media marketing to email marketing to search engine optimization (SEO) to website design.
Jennifer also mentored me and made being an entrepreneur accessible to me. I had never met an entrepreneur before Jennifer and her help and guidance helped encourage me to this path for which I will forever be greatful.
Jennifer doesn’t use Facebook personally and it took her a long time to figure out how to use it for her business. She knew that Facebook fit in well for hobbies. And she learned how Facebook was used to market her business and has found it to be very successful. Scrapbook Expo now has almost 110,000 Facebook Likes and is growing daily. Jennifer has really mastered the art of Facebook and has learned that Facebook should rarely be used as a sales tool, but mostly to build an online community.
Because Scrapbook Expo has such a high user engagement Scrapbook Expo uses Facebook to get access to users email addresses. Last month they gave away 100 prize packages, but had to give them their email addresses to get an opportunity to win those prizes. Because they were so respected through their Facebook presence it was easy for their fans to give their email addresses and during their giveaway campaign they gathered over 10,000 email addresses. They then can use those email addresses to sell services or products to customers.
Word of mouth is a huge benefit to using social media to promote Scrapbook Expo. Every customer who attends the show has the potential to reach dozens, and even hundreds of more people. If you can get one person to endorse you on social media you have the ability to reach more people.
Jennifer recommends not using social media to sell. Businesses who are failing in their use of social media is that they are not asking themselves what the customer wants. Businesses need to find out what the customer wants and they also need to be consistent.
Jennifer also owns a party rental company, Party Solutions, and Scrapbook Expo started buying their own decor for the Scrapbook Expo and because they weren’t using their equipment throughout the whole year they figured they could rent out the equipment they had when it was not in use.
One of Jennifer’s mistakes in business was that she was not a good sales person. She was great at marketing and promotion but lacked in her ability to sale. At first, sales came easy, but after the recession hit she needed to learn how to sale or how to hire others who could sale. Now, Jennifer has hired sales people who are helping to grow her business and have more of an impact.
Currently, Jennifer has more than 100,000 emails of people who are interested in Scrapbooking and she’s currently marketing that list to advertisers.
Jennifer is very thankful for the flexibility that her business allows her. She says she works twice as hard as her wage working friends, but the results more than make up for it. As a single mother, being a business owner gave Jennifer the opportunity to take time off when she needed to in order to spend time with her son.
- What are you thankful for?
- What is important to you?
Links to Great Stuff:
- Scrapbook Expo – “Visit the Scrapbook Expo to find an Expo near you! Scrapbook Expo combines Scrapbooking, Paper Crafting and Stamping and offers YOU the crafter the most amazing crafting experience you’ll ever find.”
- Weekly Scrapper – Interested in scrapbooking? Weekly Scrapper has regular updates on their blog providing tips and advice to scrapbookers all over the world.
- Party Solutions – “Party Solutions has been part of the event planning industry since 1997. It is our goal to eliminate the stress in planning your next event.” If you’re holding an event contact Party Solutions for all your event and party needs.
- “Success would be finding something that you enjoy and being able to turn a profit to support yourself.”
- “If you make yourself an expert and you market yourself there’s a lot of opportunities and I see a lot of people who lack taking that first step.”
- “The beauty of social media is it’s viral and word of mouth . . . is the best form of advertising.”
- “The majority of what we post is useful posts that interest them as far as learning how to scrapbook.”
- “On Facebook, if you have a hobby related business . . . it’s very easy to find and connect with other people who have that same interest.”
- “You don’t go into business you grow into business.”
- If you’re interested in learning more about Scrapbooking or Scrapbook Expo, please visit Scrapbook Expo or Weekly Scrapper.
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