Every scrapbook is unique and inviting; as a creative scrapbooking professional, your marketing should be as eye-catching and irresistible as your creations. Even if you have only a few hundred dollars to spend, you can absolutely woo clientele using grassroots methods to showcase your creative scrapbooking acumen.
Educate Others in the Art Form of Creative Scrapbooking
One of the fastest ways to turn yourself from an unknown scrapbooker into a creative scrapbooking “expert” is to teach a class on the art of creating a fabulous, memorable scrapbook.
Though you might initially be wary that if you tell others your creative scrapbooking “secrets”, they won’t use your creative scrapbooking business, that usually doesn’t happen. Instead, what occurs is that your students see you as a professional in the arena of scrapbook design and development. Thus, when they want an important scrapbook (e.g., for their daughter’s Bar Mitzvah or husband’s retirement celebration), they will immediately think of you. After all, they might enjoy creative scrapbooking, but they don’t necessarily feel confident enough to construct a special scrapbook on their own.
You can work with many community centers, schools, college campuses, and libraries to offer your creative scrapbooking courses. Expect to spend a bit of money on advertising, room rental (though you can often snag a free space if you’re a start-up), and creative scrapbooking paraphernalia, though it’s still much less of an investment than if you paid for a full page, 4-color ad in the Sunday paper.
Write About Scrapbooking
Another way to become an instant creative scrapbooking “guru” is to write articles or tips about creative scrapbooking. Sometimes, smaller community papers will print such items as “filler” for their circulars. Alternately, if a local sewing center or arts and crafts store offers a newsletter to patrons, you might be able to become a “guest columnist.” (Or perhaps you can offer to write your own “creative scrapbooking newsletter” gratis if they agree to pass it out to consumers.)
Will you receive a ton of creative scrapbooking business from this type of subtle “marketing”? Probably not. But you will be building your reputation as your area’s premier creative scrapbooking authority. You will also be able to tell prospective customers that you’ve published items on the topic of creative scrapbooking, always an impressive credential to tout (and a resume booster as well.)
Start a Scrapbooking Blog and/or Web site
In today’s cyber society, blogs and Web sites are fairly inexpensive, so there’s no reason not to get online and start talking about your creative scrapbooking know-how and burgeoning creative scrapbooking company.
For example, you could quickly set up a blog 100% devoted to the tricks of the creative scrapbooking trade in an effort to attract persons from around the world to your site. Though most of them won’t become clients, you stand to gain instant exposure. And who knows? The family down the street may wind up stopping by your creative scrapbooking Web site and hiring you to redo their three sons’ baby books!
Never Stop Selling Yourself or Your Scrapbooking Abilities!
It’s critical that you never stop selling yourself and your creative scrapbooking business if you are serious about succeeding in this infant industry with huge profit potential.
This may mean stepping out of your “comfort zone” and becoming a master at self-promotion. If you have an innate fear of networking, it’s time to overcome your worries and learn how to shake some hands. Remember that you won’t be the first entrepreneur who took a plunge into the unknown.
To become a better press generator on behalf of your creative scrapbooking business, you’ll have to force yourself to try again and again. However, if the process becomes achingly difficult and hampers your desire to scrapbook, it may be time to hire someone to promote your business on your behalf. Yes, this is a “last ditch” measure, but if it keeps your dream alive, it’s worth the cost to bring on a partner who isn’t afraid of a good sales pitch. (And many individuals will work with start-ups on a commission basis, which is terrific news for your budget!)
A Final Note about Ethics and Your Scrapbooking Venture
Though it’s imperative that you keep up standards and operate ethically and legally (the tax man will cometh whether you like it or not!), that doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative. Constantly seek out ways to differentiate yourself from other scrapbook artists and allow yourself to grow personally and professionally.
Love your work, and that positive attitude mingled with creative scrapbooking talent will draw customer inquiries and have you wondering why you didn’t begin your creative scrapbooking company sooner.
About the Author:
Michele Cardello, director of marketing and creative for Life Imprints, a creative scrapbooking supplies company also offering contemporary picture frames, in Cleveland, Ohio, has worked in the photo packaging industry for 10 years. Cardello helps customers find creative ways to preserve and appreciate a lifetime of memories.
Article is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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