Friday, December 7, 2012

Recipe for a Successful Paperly Consultant

My daughter and I recently finished a book titled "Stir It Up!" by Ramin Ganeshram, published by Scholastic Press.  (Yes, my 11 year old, 6th grade daughter still lets me read to her and I love it!  Aren't I the luckiest dad around?)  Briefly, the story is about a teenager whose dream is to become a chef.  Ingeniously, the author sprinkles throughout the book life lessons disguised as recipes. I've taken the liberty of including one below, called "Recipe for Ambition", which I thought could easily be re-titled, "What Makes for a Successful Paperly Consultant". (Hopefully I won't get in any trouble for photocopying a page of the book ;)

To me, the author perfectly outlines the key ingredients to success: desire, hope, moxie and well-laid plans.  I believe all 4 need to be in the mix for success to occur.  However, the 1 ingredient most often missed is moxie, which is described as energy, courage and determination.  It's not easy being a Paperly entrepreneur. You have to absorb some "no" before you get to "yes". But if you exhibit energy, courage and determination - otherwise known as moxie - I'm convinced you can be wildly successful running your Paperly business.

After reading the recipe below, I'd love to hear your ideas as to what you believe is necessary to be successful in whatever you choose as your profession. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

- Jay Rudman, CEO/Co-Founder, Paperly

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Paperly Story: Fall/Winter 2012-13 catalog

Paperly is preparing to release its Fall/Winter 2012-13 catalog. I am so excited! As part of that release, I have the honor and privilege of expressing my thoughts on the inside cover. I am especially proud of this catalog's theme because I believe it's time for Paperly to take its rightful place as a leader in the direct selling industry. After reading this catalog's preamble (see below), I welcome your feedback.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly


Direct selling, which is the idea of independent Consultants sharing their passion for products via fun, at-home parties, has been a successful business model for generations. The Rockwellian image of "The Tupperware Party" evokes a strongly positive memory for most of us. While Paperly plans to follow a similar model of the past, we plan to lead the industry towards an exciting future.

Paperly’s products – personalized stationery & gifts – perfectly combines the consultative nature of at-home parties and today’s advanced technology to produce one-of-a-kind products exactly to the customer’s specifications within days of the order. Wow! Custom products delivered within days was unheard of before Paperly began, and now we’re doing it daily.

We started Paperly to enable those who love personalized products the opportunity to start a rewarding business. We also wanted to remind people that the personal note is alive and well. We remain true to these initial objectives, but now, we plan to change the world of direct selling. We invite you to join us. We’re confident you’ll enjoy the journey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paperly's Starter Kit: Different is Okay

Paperly's Starter Kit is different. Different can  sometimes feel good, but other times different can feel unsettling. I thought I'd take a moment to explain the rational behind Paperly's "different" Starter Kit.

The Past
Originally, Paperly's Starter Kit was $249. Wow! That was a big investment for a new Consultant. However, the Kit was full of samples, printouts of training & promotional materials, 2 different catalogs, etc. Unfortunately, the Kit was a big, heavy, cumbersome mishmash that didn't meet the needs of the Consultants for a number of different reasons:
  • It was too expensive. The $249 price tag prevented too many from joining Paperly.
  • The training & promotional materials were outdated almost as soon as they arrived on the new Consultant's doorstep. Paperly needed a more timely and accessible repository of documents.
  • But most importantly, the samples were too generic. Sure, it's nice to receive a platter in a Floral design personalized with "Jane Doe". But what if the Consultant didn't like Florals?  Or didn't like the font we chose?  Or worse - what if her customers don't like Florals? Not surprisingly, the generic samples didn't generate the passion and enthusiasm from the new Consultants we had hoped.
We knew we had to make a change.  But equally as important, we knew we had to make Paperly different so that it would standout from the crowd.

The Present
In January 2012, Paperly launched its current Starter Kit and we believe it solves all 3 of the problems listed above: price, timeliness and passion.
  • Paperly's Starter Kit is now only $99. We stripped away the extraneous pieces but retained everything critical for new Consultants to start and grow their Paperly business.
  • Paperly's training & support documents are now available instantly online. As soon as a new Consultant enrolls, they can login to their Virtual Office and immediately begin reviewing critical training documents such as Paperly's "12-Week Roadmap to Success". Plus, we are no longer terrified of included an outdated promotion into the Kit; instead, it's always online and accurate.
  • Most importantly, we removed many of the generic samples and instead began offering new Consultants "40% off for 40 Days".  Now Consultants can choose the exact product they want, in the exact design they want, with the exact personalization they want. We have found Consultants are 100x more passionate about a sample when it reflects their personal style.
We are confident the ability to personalize the Starter Kit with the exact products a new Consultant wants makes Paperly sufficiently different. Yes, sometimes it's unsettling to a new Consultant - i.e. "I now need to choose my samples?"  But all in all, we are VERY proud of Paperly's current Starter Kit.  And yet... in order to remain ahead of the curve, Paperly has further plans for what it offers new Consultants.

The Future
Paperly's Starter Kit needs to continue to evolve. The "40% off for 40 days" promotion has been a huge hit, so I expect to keep it.  And yet, I want to include additional samples into the Kit.  For example, it makes sense to include a Paperly-branded key chain or bag tag, doesn't it? And instead of single sheets of Paperly's notepads, we probably should include entire notepads, right?  Also, we could add some timeless promotional & training materials - such as Hostess Rewards, the Commission Plan, etc. - and not worry about these documents becoming extinct instantly.

In conclusion, I am confident Paperly's Starter Kit will always be a bit unique, but will always far exceed its primary purpose: To help Consultants start and build their Paperly business. In the end, I'm okay with being different.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marketing Lessons from a Lemonade Stand

You can learn a lot from a kid's lemonade stand. Please let me explain.

This weekend, my 11-year old daughter and 8-year old son wanted to set-up a lemonade stand. They were incredibly patient as we first created a grocery list (e.g. lemons, sugar, ice, poster board, etc.) then discussed how to pay for everything (i.e. we each "invested" ~$8 into the endeavor). It was so much fun talking with my children about how much to charge per glass, how big a glass we should use and whether or not we should add a mint leaf to each serving.

Skipping ahead in the story, we set-up the stand in a highly foot-trafficked area and were ready for our first customer, when WHAM, I learned my first marketing lesson:

Customer engagement is critical

As potential customers walked by, my children sat idly hoping someone would stop and purchase. Argh! I quickly explained that they needed to market their product.

(Note to all direct sellers: This is analogous to a multi-vendor event where you sit behind your table and hope someone stops to chat. No!!! You need to stand in front of your table, smile, say hello to everyone who passes by, strike-up a conversation, ask them what product caught their eye, etc.)

To their credit, my children quickly took to the idea of "customer engagement" and started saying to each customer that walked by, "Lemonade, 50 cents." A few customers started buying, but I could tell from my children's faces, they weren't satisfied. WHAM, I learned my second marketing lesson.

The message is everything

Instead, of the boring and mundane "Lemonade, 50 cents", I suggested to my children they try a variety of message, a few of which I've listed below.
  • Sensory: "Just made, fresh lemonade. Includes a sprig of mint, fresh from the Farmer’s Market."
  • Value: "Quench your thirst on a hot day for only 50 cents. Refills only 25 cents."
  • Emotional: "Buy lemonade and help 2 kids contribute to their college fund."
(Note to all direct sellers: Stop marketing your products as kitchenware, jewelry or stationery. Instead, market them as items that simplify, beautify or express gratitude. Moving away from function and towards sensory, value or emotion will go a long way to helping you market your business.)

To make a long story short, the lemonade stand was a huge hit! My kids nearly doubled their investment and learned a lot about business. But that was nothing compared to the marketing lessons I learned:

Customer engagement is critical &
messaging is everything

I'm curious if you have had an "a ha" marketing moment outside the walls of your office? If so, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks in advance for sharing. And thank you to my children for making me a better marketer.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Paperly’s Core Values

This past week, I went through an interesting exercise to identify Paperly's Core Values. The business coach who guided me through this exercise, Neil Phillips, defines Core Values as follows:
"Your Core Values express [Paperly’s] company's character and non-negotiable principles. They are the elements of your culture that unite you and your employees. When you make the day-to-day decisions, you align your actions with these qualities. If you consistently adhere to these qualities, [Paperly] will eventually be known for these traits."
To get to Paperly’s Core Values, I first had to prioritize 120 words (such as Triumph, Comfort, Maintain, Socialize, etc.) as either a "1" indicating it might reflect a value of Paperly or a "3" suggesting the word does not appeal to me/Paperly in any way. If unsure about a word, I could mark it as a "2". I was also able to inject 20 of my own words that would be a "1" but didn't exist on the initial list.

Then, came the hard part...
  • The next email from Neil asked me to delete everything that wasn't a "1" and then pare down the 1's so only 20 remained.
  • After informing Neil that I had finished, he then asked me to narrow the list to only 10.
Gulp! All of a sudden, the easy became hard. How could I narrow down the list – which once again had started at 120 – down to only 10 words that represented Paperly's Core Values. Well, below is the list I decided upon, listed alphabetically. As you'll see, I cheated (and no, cheating is not a Paperly Core Value ;) I couldn't cut to 10, so I went with 11.
  1. Brand
  2. Creativity
  3. Fun
  4. Inspire
  5. Integrity
  6. Journey
  7. Learn
  8. Meaningful
  9. Passion
  10. Superior
  11. Wealth 
I'd love your thoughts. Do you think these 11 words accurately reflect Paperly's Core Values? Remember, these need to encompass the business, its employees, contractors, Consultants, Hostesses, and customers... basically anyone that interacts with Paperly in most anyway. So again I ask, do you think these 11 words reflect Paperly's Core Values?

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Friday, June 29, 2012

Paperly in 5 Years

Today, Paperly is the leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts. It currently has ~250 Consultants located in 39 states selling uniquely-designed Paperly products primarily through at-home parties. Paperly has been recognized by as "The Next Guard of Direct Selling" and has won 2 Product Innovation awards from the Direct Selling Association.

But where will Paperly be in 5 years? Below are 4 critical themes Paperly will focus on to ensure it remains an industry leader through 2017 and well beyond.

1. Hyper-Personalization, Hyper-Customization
All of Paperly’s products will continue to incorporate 5 key ingredients: personalization, inks, fonts, proprietary designs and blank substrates (e.g. flat notes, notepads, iPhone/iPad cases, platters, etc). When combined, these 5 ingredients can literally produce millions of one-of-a-kind products. Paperly believes hyper-personalization and hyper-customization drives hyper-satisfaction. It is this passion for Paperly’s products that will continue to drive Paperly’s success.

2. Technology Enabled Workflow
Within the next 5 years, a Paperly Consultant will carry nothing but an iPad and loose samples. Customers will browse through the loose samples and then, within minutes, create their personal product on the Consultant’s iPad. A typical conversation might be, “Sally, you like the Wildflower flat note? Here is what it would look like using your name, font #9 and pink ink. Oh, you like font #12 better? No problem, give me one second to make the switch. Do you like it now? Wonderful!” As soon as the “submit” button is pressed, the order is sent directly to Paperly’s production facility, and a few days later, is shipped directly to the customer.

3. A $100,000 Earner 
As a relatively new direct selling company, Paperly's Consultants are just now beginning to earn beneficial, but not life-altering income.  Within 5 years, Paperly aims to have dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of Consultants earning at least six figures. To accomplish that goal, Paperly will identify its fast-rising superstars and train them for success. Paperly will also likely readdress its incentive programs (i.e. Fast Start, Paperly Dollars, Annual Conference, cruises/trips, Business Development Leaders, etc.) to ensure they are motivating the next generation of $100,000+ earners.

4. Improve the Entire Offering
Paperly needs to elevate the quality of its offering - not its products. Paperly’s products are printed using cutting-edge printing technology, so the quality of the product is truly not an issue. However, Paperly knows its needs to enhance its offering by reduce its error rates to negligible levels, further beautify its packaging, continue to reduce its production time, and deliver all its products in the same box at the same time directly to the recipient.

Paperly is 100% committed to achieving this 5-year plan. In fact, I am confident Paperly is already taking the right steps towards achieving all 4 of these objectives.  This 5 year vision will ensure that Paperly continues to dominate the personalized stationery & gift industry.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Earn Back the Cost of Your Paperly Starter Kit

Here's a little secret: Become a Paperly Consultant in May and you can earn back the cost of your Starter Kit by the end of the month!


Actually, it's fairly easy. Paperly's May Hostess Promotion provides Hostesses with up to an additional $25 in free Credits, right?

Paperly's May 2012 Hostess promotion

Well, Paperly's Starter Kit is only a $99 investment - shipping included (but not sales tax). Paperly's average party in 2011 was ~$450.  For the sake of argument, let's round up to $500. (After all, that $50 difference is just a set of 50 personalized flat or folded notes. I'm confident you can sell that one extra set!)  Anyway, with a $500 party, May's Hostesses earn $90 in free product.

So a $99 investment in Paperly's Starter Kit can yield $90 in free product for a near average party.  Hmmm....

Now let's say your first party as a new Paperly Consultant is your own. After all, it's fairly common to start your Paperly business with a "Kick Off Party" where you are the Hostess and you invite your close friends and family over to share Paperly's amazing products.  So now you are going to benefit from the $90 in free products. Again, hmmm....

So not to belabor the math, but a $99 investment turns into $90 in free products.

And this is before you even count the $30 Paperly gives you to spend at Paperly's Marketing Portal on personalized items of your choosing (e.g. business cards, postcards, signage, etc.) as well as the 40% off Paperly gives you within your first 40 days as a new Consultant to purchase personalized samples.

$90 in free products (on average), plus $30 in personalized marketing materials, plus 40% off personalized samples, plus training, plus a replicated website, plus a Virtual Office, plus loose samples, plus, plus, plus... 

Paperly's loose samples
Paperly's Loose Samples

As one of my favorite commercials in Chicago states, "it's the biggest no brainer in the history of no brainers".

I hope you too decide to earn back the cost your Starter Kit.  It's truly an amazing opportunity.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Paperly: A DSA Rising Star?

Recently, Paperly applied for the Direct Selling Association's Rising Star award. The award is designed to recognize up-and-coming direct selling companies that have dedicated themselves to achieving a high standard of excellence in business operations. The criteria includes being board-approved members of the DSA for more than a year but having been in business less than five years, showing a consistent pattern of growth and illustrating a commitment to the DSA’s Code of Ethics. I thought you might enjoy reading a synopsis of Paperly's application.

Personalization at Paperly’s Core

Although “paper” is rooted in its name, “personalization” is truly at the core of Paperly’s product line. Approximately 50% of Paperly’s products are traditional stationery items (e.g. flat/folded notes, notepads and memo sheets), while the remaining 50% is comprised of personalized hard goods.

Consistent & Continued Growth: Consultants

One measure of Paperly’s consistent growth is the number of Consultants it has added year-over-year. For example, from 2009 to 2010, Paperly's Consultant base jumped 94%. From 2010 to 2011, it increased 63%.  And in the first quarter of 2012 alone, Paperly has already enrolled nearly 70% of its full-year total from 2011.

Another measure of Paperly’s growth is the scope and geographic diversity of its Consultants. From 2009 to 2011, Paperly’s presence grew from 8 states to 28 states coast-to-coast (not to mention Paperly also has Consultants located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and overseas U.S. military bases). These numbers suggest there are no geographic biases to constrain Paperly’s future expansion.

Consistent & Continued Growth: Volume

Beyond its growth in Consultants and states, Paperly has also seen tremendous increases in revenue, orders and guests. For example, from 2010 to 2011, it saw its revenues increase by 49%, its orders increase by 58% and its number of ordering guests increase by 48%. Even with Paperly’s dramatic growth, its average commissionable party volume has remained unchanged at $439, a strong indicator of the consistency and staying power of Paperly’s party-based business.

Commitment to the DSA Code of Ethics

In 2011, Paperly was recognized for its participation in the DSA’s Code of Ethics Communication Initiative. (Paperly has applied for recognition again in 2012.) Paperly’s recognition was based, in part, on its linking to both and, training Paperly’s sales force about the Code and including the Code within its policies manual. As a further sign of its commitment to the Code, Paperly has participated in all DSA-sponsored Chief Responsibility Officer teleconferences.

Well-Rounded Business Strategy

Paperly is proud of accomplishing the following milestones, each of which supports a pillar of its business strategy:

Training & Development
  • Paperly conducted its first-ever National Consultant Conference in Atlanta. Approximately a dozen Consultants participated in the 3 day event.
  • In 2011, Paperly graduated its first 2 classes of its Future Leaders Program. Class #3 began in February 2012.
  • Paperly hosted 5 Consultants for 3 days at Home Office in June 2011 for its inaugural President’s Council

Marketing Toolkit

  • Paperly’s replicated website,, enables its Consultants to accept online orders as well as manage their back office virtually.
  • Paperly launched an e-newsletter service to enable its Consultants to connect with her/his customers on a consistent basis.
  • Paperly’s Marketing Portal provides its Consultants company-branded, personalized marketing materials (i.e. business cards, postcards, banners, etc.) at discounted prices.


Although there was more to the Rising Star application, these were the highlights.  I hope they've given you further insight into Paperly. I'm proud of the path Paperly has taken to date, and I cannot wait to show you what the future holds. I hope you decide to come along for the amazing journey ahead.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call or email me.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paperly's Field Trip to Personalization Mall

This past week, I had the good fortune of being invited to visit Personalization Mall ( in Burr Ridge, IL. I've always held PMall in the highest esteem. Their line of personalized products is enviably large, their online preview technology is best-in-class and their belief that "nothing says 'you're special' like a personalized gift" mimics Paperly's.

I learned so much from my visit; I wish I could share everything.  However, I would never wish to betray their confidences. So instead of delving into specifics, I wanted to share a few general, but important, observations:

1. Personalization is HUGE. PMall personalizes everything from picture frames to doormats... and everything in-between. They have proved that it's big business putting names on things.  Paperly's personalization model is built similarly, but using a completely different distribution model.  Theirs is online; Paperly's is via at-home parties.

2. Personalization is SCALABLE.  Just a few years ago, it would have been impossible to successfully conduct "mass personalization".  Today's technology has made it incredibly do-able.  PMall has proven you can do millions of personalized orders.  Paperly aims to do the same.

3. Personalization is SPECIAL.  Paperly is built on the belief that the handwritten note - and for that matter, a personalized gift - will be forever treasured. Turns out, PMall is built on the same principle.  In today's electronic world, both companies appreciate the power of making connections via personalized products.

I'm honored to share the same competitive space as Personalization Mall (even though we compete using vastly different distribution models). I thank them for the office visit.  It meant a lot to me.  I aspire to be as successful as PMall.  Given Paperly's unfaltering path towards personalization, I'm confident we'll be their equal sooner than later.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts

Friday, March 2, 2012

Paperly's Leap Day Promotion

On February 29th, Paperly launched its first-ever Leap Day Promotion: For 24 hours, Paperly's Starter Kit was marked down to only $29. (The regular price is $99).  Paperly's Kit has never been priced so low and may never be again... until Leap Day 2016.

Wow! What a response we received! In those 24 hours, Paperly enrolled 25 new Consultants. I was utterly speechless!

Now that I've had a bit to digest the impact of the promotion, I thought I'd share a few of my thoughts:

1. Demand is high. It's exciting to know there are so many who want to be Paperly Consultants. And why wouldn't they?  It's fun and energizing to be part of a fast-growing, direct selling company that sells one-of-a-kind, personalized paper and gift products.

2. Sometimes time is your friend.  Was $29 ridiculously inexpensive, and therefore, hard to pass up?  Absolutely. But personally, I think the 24-hour time limit was even more potent. Knowing that the deal was fleeting caused the on-rush. That's a good lesson for all of us to remember for future promotions.

3.  The Field trumps Home Office.  I purposely decided not to promote this limited-time offer through corporate. Instead, I asked Paperly's Consultants to use their marketing prowess to communicate the promotion to their potential teammates. Their efforts far exceeded my expectations (and abilities)! Facebook, blogs, email campaigns... you name it, the Field tried it and they were wildly successful! I believe 80-90% of the new Consultants enrolled because of a personal connection with an existing Consultant. I was so excited to see this number, because these new Consultants now have a friend and mentor to help kick-start their Paperly business.

Now that the promotion is over, our job is to train, educate, mentor and lead these new Consultants towards a wildly successful Paperly business.  And of course, I've got to put on my thinking cap as to what Paperly's next great promotion will be.  Any suggestions?

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery and gifts

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paperly Consultant Map

It's been a bit since I last shared a map of where Paperly's active Consultants reside, so I thought I'd provide this quick update:

As you can see, there remains plenty of untapped areas.  Who wants to be the first Paperly Consultant in Utah? New Mexico? Arizona?

Hope you find this helpful!

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Key Learnings from Conference 2012

Hard to believe a week has already passed since the conclusion of Paperly's first-ever Consultant Conference. I'm not sure about the attendees, but I'm still on a post-event high. The Conference was so much fun. I met an amazing team of Consultants. I certainly ate way too much. And oh yeah - I learned a ton! Below is a brief summary of a few topics we discussed at Conference.

Best Practices: What has Worked for You?
I asked the Consultants to form small groups and share what has worked for them - i.e. best practices - across 3 topics: (1) marketing their Paperly business, (2) getting more bookings and (3) improving the Paperly party experience.  Here are a few of the ideas they shared.
  1. Marketing Your Paperly Business:  Facebook, email signatures, referral programs, mini look-books and in-package thank you notes.
  2. Getting Bookings:  Teacher’s lounges, lead sheets, open houses, “party on the go”, bring my store to you and delivering products.
  3. Party Experience: Prices on everything, image bank, samples of everything, thematic displays and taking pictures of your displays.
As you might imagine, it's impossible to capture all the ideas the Consultants shared, especially given the detail in which each was discussed, but I'm happy to provide additional details to anyone that is interested.  Simply contact me at your convenience.

Solving Paperly’s Heftiest Challenges
After sharing best practices, I then asked each group to tackle a couple of Paperly's most vexing corporate challenges: (1) enhancing Paperly's brand and (2) Paperly's technology. Here are a few of their solutions.
  1. Enhancing Paperly’s brand: How best to describe Paperly, who’s Paperly’s typical buyer, brand Paperly’s “P”, standardization and templating of materials, ensuring Paperly’s brand is on all its products and including Paperly in all email signatures.
  2. Paperly’s technology: Easy sharing of Paperly’s products/sales on all social media websites, focus on imagery in e-newsletters, emailed receipts rather than paper receipts and make MyPaperly a shopping focused website.
Again, I'm happy to elaborate if you'd like additional details. 

You may ask why I'm sharing these learnings. Well, I'm a big believer in sharing.  Sharing how smart Paperly's Consultants are; sharing how Paperly is listening to (and soon-to-be acting upon) Consultant feedback; sharing how Paperly is a continuously learning and adapting organization. I believe it's important for everyone - existing Consultants, potential Consultants, customers and hostesses - to know that Paperly is working very hard at becoming a world-class organization.  Nothing short of that will be accepted.

So thank you to everyone who contributed to the amazing learnings that occurred at Conference.  I'm already scheduling my next trip to visit Paperly's Consultants in their hometowns. My commitment to learning, and making Paperly the "right" organization, is tireless.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Paperly Conference: Day 2

It will be hard to beat the 2nd day of Paperly's Conference. The day started off with the objectives of Conference and goal setting by each of the attendees.  A common theme from the Consultants was "expanding their Paperly business beyond their immediate circle of friends & family".  I then spent some time on Paperly's past, present and future.  I feel it's incredibly important to understand Paperly's beginnings and its everlasting principles so we can collectively build the "right" business. Then, we were honored to dialogue with Joe Mariano, the Direct Selling Association's President.  Everyone loved hearing his perspective on the industry and Paperly's unique and compelling position within it.  After an amazing lunch (of way too much food!) we broke into small teams to discuss best practices across (1) marketing your Paperly business, (2) increasing bookings and (3) enhancing the party experience. We will soon publish the notes from these discussions.  Finally, we concluded the day with a page-by-page preview of Paperly's new Spring 2012 catalog. Now that it's "out", I can finally start sharing all of its amazing designs and products - yea.

Now it's off to a fun-filled dinner of pizza, pasta, salads and wine ;)  I hope tomorrow is as productive - and fun! - as today!

I'll write more soon.

- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts

Paperly's Conference 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paperly Conference Prologue

Well... it's finally here!  Paperly's first-ever Consultant Conference. I'm currently in Atlanta staring at all that I brought: goodie bags, treats, giveaways, samples from Paperly's new catalog, and so much more. The agenda is literally packed!  (I'm keeping my fingers crossed we can fit it all in ;)  I think I'm most excited about meeting all the Consultants.  They truly are a VERY special group. I also cannot wait to get their thoughts on (1) Consultant best practices, (2) solutions to Paperly's most vexing challenges, and (3) Paperly's new Spring 2012 catalog.  I've come to learn that Consultants want to learn some about Paperly, but more importantly, they want to listen and learn from each other. So it's my job to create the right learning environment and then get out of the way as fast as possible!

I promise to blog a lot more about Conference, hopefully throughout the event, but at the very least when I return to Chicago.  And yes - we will take lots and lots and lots of pictures and videos.

Remember - Think Big!
- Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly
The leading direct seller of personalized stationery & gifts

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Paperly's 2012 Initiatives

As promised in my last blog piece, "Looking Forward to 2012", I'd like to elaborate on Paperly's 5 key initiatives for 2012: team building, Starter Kit, Fast Start program, marketing & promotion, and training & development.

Team Building
Someone once told me, "Paperly will only go as far as its leaders take it." I completely agree, so I have made it a top priority in 2012 to support the growth of Paperly’s leaders’ by helping them build their team. How? By allocating inbound leads to existing and future leaders who have met pre-established monthly criteria including personal sales, attending training sessions, and subscribing to Paperly's website & e-newsletter services. I am confident Paperly's current leaders will cultivate these leads into the next generation of leaders. 

Starter Kit
On January 1, Paperly launched a new and improved Starter Kit. The new Kit contains everything a new Consultant needs to successfully start and grow her Paperly business, including catalogs, order forms, loose samples and training guides. But of equal importance, the new Kit is less expensive ($99), will arrive faster (it'll ship in 1-2 business days) and will provide the opportunity to receive more personalized products. To that latter point, take a look at Paperly's new program titled, "40% Off for 40 Days".

Fast Start Program
On a personal note, I'm aghast at how many new Consultants never attend a Paperly training session. Of course, I cannot force them, but I can reward them when they participate. Thus, in 2012 I will post a list of activities I expect all new Consultants to complete, and as they're completed, Consultants will earn Paperly Dollars.  These Paperly Dollars can then be used to purchase additional samples, personalized products or business supplies... all of which will help the Consultant grow her business bigger and faster.

Marketing & Promotion
I appreciate that not all sales will occur at a party. Therefore, I have decided to extend Paperly's Free Shipping promotion for the foreseeable future, thereby enabling easier one-to-one sales. I'm also excited to announce that Paperly will launch an e-newsletter service that'll make it significantly easier for Consultants to stay connected with their Customers. Lastly, Paperly is committed to continuously expanding its offerings - such as personalized and branded signs, car clings, banners, etc. - within its Marketing Portal.

Training & Development
Last, but certainly not of least importance, is Paperly's commitment towards training and development in 2012. We have already established our yearlong training calendar, making it even easier for our Consultants to stay abreast of Paperly's latest programs and announcements. We also will begin in February our 3rd Future Leaders Program. And finally, we're holding our first ever National Conference, plus we're hoping to hold our 2nd President's Council in the summertime.

Of course, these 5 initiatives are only the beginning.  We already have so many other amazing things planned for 2012 including a free cruise for those who earn it, new products, a completely redesigned single-catalog approach, and so much more.  I hope you decide to ride the wave, because I'm confident 2012 will be a year like none other at Paperly.

Jay Rudman, CEO, Paperly