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Below you will find a list of commonly asked questions on becoming a scrapbooker for hire. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail for any other questions you may have: leusch_austin@hotmail.com

1. Is there a market/demand out there for a scrapper for hire?

Indeed! I started scrapping for others back in 2001. My only means for advertisement was via the Internet. Within 2 months of launching my scrapping for hire website, I was contacted by my first customer. It was slow and steady from that point with approximately one client per month. Within 2 years time I juggled 2-4 clients a month.

There are many people out there whom appreciate the craft, but lack the time, desire, or skill to complete their albums themselves. You can quickly build a client base by exemplifying professionalism and cleverly advertising your business. I have met many scrappers for hire that are as busy as they wish to be with their business.

2. How did you get started?

My business started with a free website hosted by Tripod.com...and here I am still today. DO NOT pay someone to create a website for you! It is simply way too easy to create one yourself. With tripod, geocities, blogs, facebook, or myspace, you can easily create a space on the Internet to advertise your talent!

Here are some tips for creating a website to advertise your business::

-If you create a website, learn about META TAGS. These are what webspiders look for when pulling up pages for keyword searches. You want numerous relevant keywords or phrases to the scrapping for hire business. The phrases most often used in a search are, "scrapbooker for hire" or "scrapbooking for others". Make sure that is the FIRST text you type at the top of the page! Redundancy of relevant search engine keywords in your text will get more hits by webspiders.

Here is a list of keywords I have in my Meta tag: scrapbooking for others, scrapbooker for hire, custom scrapbooks, custom made scrapbooks, custom scrapbook, custom made scrapbook, customized scrapbook, customized scrapbooking, customized scrapbooks, layout, layouts, scrapbooking layouts, scrapbooking for you, scrapbooking, scrapbooks, album pages, photo stickers, heritage photographs, generated scrapbook pages, heritage album, photograph, keepsakes, photo albums, gifts, scrapbook gifts, wedding, anniversary, special occasions, journals, archival, professional scrapbooker

Also, make sure you have a concise, well written description of your website content in a Meta tag.

The HTML is as follows (Note the red, bold asterics imbedded in the html code. Those would need to be removed in order for the html code to work in your website. The blue text is where you would insert the description of your website.):

<*meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"> <*META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="scrapbooking for others, scrapbooker for hire, custom scrapbooks, custom made scrapbooks, custom scrapbook, custom made scrapbook, customized scrapbook, customized scrapbooking, customized scrapbooks, layout, layouts, scrapbooking layouts, scrapbooking for you, scrapbooking, scrapbooks, album pages, photo stickers, heritage photographs, generated scrapbook pages, heritage album, photograph, keepsakes, photo albums, gifts, scrapbook gifts, wedding, anniversary, special occasions, journals, archival, professional scrapbooker"> <*META NAME="DESCRIPTION" CONTENT="Custom made affordable scrapbooks for those who love the art of scrapbooking and the idea of preserving memories but do not have the time to complete their projects."*>

-Provide an extensive online portfolio of your work for potential clients to get a feel for your style. I cannot express enough the importance of a gallery showcasing your work. If your website does not have the capabilities to support a gallery, simply link to an online scrapbooking forum gallery. If you do not have an online gallery, you can create a free gallery to link to at LifetimeMoments.com.

Ensure the samples you add to your gallery are a true respresentation of your work, not just your most elaborate and best pages. You want potential clients to be able to predict what you can create for them.

-The more information you provide on your website about your process, the better your chances are you will be contacted by a client. Potential clients want to know what to expect. You want to provide answers to all their questions on your website. The more information you provide them with, the more confident they will be in contacting you.

Below are links to my old website (2002) that detailed my creative process:

FAQ
About Me

Customer Agreement
How to Order
Testimonials
Price List
Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
Shipping Policy

-NEVER PUT YOUR ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBER ANYWHERE ON YOUR WEBSITE! Any contact information should be relayed to clients via e-mail.

3. What kind of time frame for completion do clients generally expect?

I would say 30% of my customers needed their album completed by a specific date. The majority of my clients were very flexible with a date of completion. Be honest to yourself and your potential client about how long it will take you to finish their project. One of your main goals should be to complete your projects on, or before, the projected deadline. I cannot express enough how important this is! Trust and confidence in your ethics will be questioned if you are slow in responding to e-mails or provide excuses for delays.

If you are just starting scrapping for hire, I would not suggest promising any more than a single page per day/5 per week. If a client is asking for 25 pages, offer a timeline of 5 weeks or more.

4. Do you have clients send digital files to you to print?

No. I would suggest to have clients print their own photographs to mail to you, or to upload to a reputable online photofinisher to then be mailed directly to you. The quality of the photographs should be the client's responsiblity.

5. How much do you charge?

I cannot advise you as to how much you should charge. Keep in mind that, as women, we tend to undersell ourselves. Consider how much your time is worth to you, what your price will include and not include, your price for product, etc. In the end, I charged $15 per page. You can find an old sampling of my price list here: Price List

6. How did you juggle multiple clients at once?

-It is all about organization and reusing your material!!!

-I had a definite process that was spelled out from my first e-mail to a potential client to my last email thanking them for their business. I had generic e-mail replies that I had saved under one document in my word program. For instance:

+My initial response to a potential customer
+The intro I post on their website describing the process
+E-mail response on how to proceed with an order
+My e-mail for setting up a phone consultation
+My questions for the phone consultation
+Questionaire about my services

Save all emails that you send to customers that can be used with future clients in a single word document.

-Have a stockpile of layout ideas. Especially layout ideas that incorporate numerous photographs. Also, recreate some of your favorite layouts for all your customers.

**I will note here that professionalism, and in turn confidence in you, is preceived via your e-mail communications:

+Don't use slang or acronyms
+All emails should start with a greeting and a closing
+Always proofread your emails and check for spelling
+Use proper grammar
+Make sure you write down all customer requests! You don't want to forget anything!
+Make sure to respond to all e-mails in less than 24 hours

- Create a list of questions for your customers to get a feel for what they are looking for:

+Do you wish for adjacent pages to coordinate?
+ Do you like simple, collage, girlie, masculine, bright or muted colors, etc.?
+ What are a few of your favorite colors?
+ Can I crop your photographs?
+ Can I use permanent adhesive?
+ When do you need the album by?
+ Do you want all your photographs used? (Customers will send you a TON of photographs...I generally edit out a few)
+ Do you wish for me to computer generate your journaling or would you like me to leave a space for you to handwrite your journaling?

7. How should I advertise?

Because I was one of the first scrapbooker for hires to advertise on the Internet, my site is generally within the top 10 for search engines. The Internet has grown exponentially since then, making it difficult for clients find you on the net via a search. Review Meta Tags as mentioned above and also submit your website to all search engines. Here is a link to Google's submission process:

http://www.google.com/addurl/

You should also contact your local scrapbook store asking if you can advertise in their store. It is an arrangement that can have benefits for both you and the store owner.

 

**Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I would be more than happy to help out any way I can: leusch_austin@hotmail.com