Tag Archives: Weekly Scrapper

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 17: The Flexibility and Price of Being a Business Owner | Jennifer Davis from Scrapbook Expo

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.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!
Scrapbook Expo - Business Owner Jennifer Davis

Scrapbook Expo

Recap:

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.

Weekly Scrapper

Weekly Scrapper

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.

Party Solutions

Party Solutions

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.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are you thankful for?
  • What is important to you?

Links to Great Stuff:

Success Quotes:

  • “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.”

Special Requests:

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