Who is Jen Reed?
Who is Jen Reed?
Over the years, I have written so many bio pages about myself. They all blur together and
can be ARE very long. So let's cut to the chase.
Why you should work with me
[ The Short Answer ]
- I care about my clients. Your successes are my successes.
- I am efficient, reliable, and knowledgable about the marketing services that can make a difference to a manufacturer's rep.
- I can talk to you like a real person, not a techno babbling geek. I can explain something in layman's terms. You don't care how WordPress or Photoshop work, and I don't need to talk all techie to prove my knowledge. I won't have detailed knowledge of your niche industry either (e.g., electrical, HVAC, plumbing, IT, etc.) Being able to communicate is the key, and the outcome is all that matters.
- I'm a full believer in the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule). 80% of "marketing" won't have any significant impact on the daily operations of your business. Most manufacturer reps operate in this 80% space when it comes to marketing, which is why they don't see the 20% that will help them. They treat marketing as a luxury expense and not a necessary investment in their business. I believe with a focus on the right 20% of marketing, it'll impact 80% of a rep business's bottom line!
80/20 Examples for Manufacturer Reps
One well-messaged professional marketing piece could mean being awarded a new line worth thousands of dollars to your company's monthly bottom line.
Another marketing piece could result in a manufacturer giving you inventory stock in your warehouse.
Just one manufacturer-specific e-blast seen by your regional manager might immediately be forwarded to their president, giving him more confidence in your firm's ability to represent their line.
A professional modern line card and website show your customers and manufacturers that you invest in and represent your own business professionally which correlates to you representing their company professionally.
A Few Good Things
...PREVIOUS CLIENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT ME...
Jen has been the IT consultant and service provider for RAKScraps for 2 years now. Her support of the site is superlative, she is also willing to share her knowledge to help us understand each step of the way. I also have the priviledge of working for Jen as a designer at Scrapdish, as a employer she is reasonable, fair and has a terrific eye for detail. It has been a pleasure working with and for Jen in many roles.
— RACHEL DICKSON
Jen and I have worked together since 2000. I had always admired her unique web design style (and even borrowed a few ideas for my sites!). When she got into the hosting business I immediately switched to her along with all my web clients. Jen was truly like having a "friend in the hosting business"! She worked hard on our behalf to keep our sites up and running smoothly. When the occasional glitch came along, she worked tirelessly to get things back on track. In addition to hosting, Jen also does script installation and set up for several of my sites. She's prompt and is always great to work with (even when I present her with endless tweaks and questions!). I would solidly recommend Jen for her reliability, quality of work and her wonderful rapport with people.
— BETH MALLORY
Jen hosted my website for 7 years and I could not have been more pleased. She has always been very quick to respond to my queries and/or technical problems (which are far and few between)with resolutions stated in terms that I as a lay person can understand. Jen is always the consummate professional, courteous and knowledgeable. I am always both happy to make a recommendation and confident that any business would be pleased with Jen's service.
— ROBIN KRAMER
I hired Jen in 2001 originally, and I can honestly say I owe a great deal of my success to her. She is incredibly talented and an expert at what she does. I could not have acheived the level of business I did without her. She is honest and easy to work with.
— VICKI GOODMAN
I have had the pleasure of working with Jen Reed for the hosting of the site RAKScraps. Jen, with wide knowledge on the subject, was a large help in deciding on and implementing a change of hosts and all server-related aspects. Jen has also been a big help in the updating of vBulletin and PhotoPost on the site. I would highly recommend Jen Reed.
— CORREEN SILKE
Can your rep agency afford NOT to use professional marketing AND survive in the highly visual, highly technical, and ever-evolving info-driven world we do business?
Maybe for a short time. But not for long.
The story of me
[ The Looooooooooooooooooong Answer ]
[ The Geeky Design Skills Answer ]
- I have an extensive graphic design and programming background as well as a bachelor's degree with a double major in mathematics and computer science.
- I have been developing websites since 1996.
- I develop websites using WordPress. I am proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat (PDFs). I have experience with most newsletter services such as Constant Contact and MailChimp. I'm fairly knowledgable with complex formula spreadsheets and relational database structure. I can code, but I wouldn't call it my best strength. I'm familiar with various cloud-based CRM programs, but I'm not in love with any of them as the right solution for the rep business. Most are way too complicated for the average needs of a sales rep and won't get used. If I don't know how to do something, Google is my best friend.
[ The Business Answer ]
- In 2000, I started a web design and hosting business (RTech Solutions, Inc.) offering internet solutions for other at-home and small businesses. After a four year run, I sold my company in late 2004.
- During this time, the Chicago Daily Herald and Home Business Magazine featured me as a successful work-at-home entrepreneur.
- After selling RTech, I stumbled upon digital scrapbooking. I discovered I could easily mix my creativity and graphic design skills with my love of computers and began designing and selling digital scrapbook kits. Over the next three years, I continued developing digital products as well as overseeing all technical aspects of several "digital downloadables" shopping cart websites.
- This led to a partnership with another designer, and in 2007, we formed an art licensing company, Kristy Valshan, Inc. We worked with companies including Archivers, Costco, and Sam's Club and licensed our designs on various products. While I created product artwork, I also designed our tradeshow booths, product mockups for our portfolio, physical product comps, and the KV portfolio.
- After KV dissolved, I continued to design on my own and created a few military scrapbook products exclusively for Sam's Club while continuing to develop websites selectively.
- In early 2019, I decided to re-join the traditional workforce (after a nearly 20-year absence) and started working for a local manufacturer's rep, helping them with their digital marketing.
[ The Personal Answer ]
- I currently live in the suburbs of Chicago with my husband of almost 25 years, my 20-year-old twin daughters, and my 15-year-old son.
- We have a black lab named Rogue, a black cat named Raven, and a tabby cat named Pepper Potts.
- I enjoy reading mysteries, fantasy, self-improvement books, and excellent business-related books.
- I love a good D&D style computer game and admittedly can play for hours on end. My favorites include Witcher, Baldur's Gate, Divinity, Grim Dawn, and Pillars of Eternity.
- I enjoy a good business podcast and will listen to goofy things like best SEO practices or word press design or consulting podcasts.
- I enjoy great design and will often take photos of layouts or unique design pieces to later use for inspiration.
- While I have a degree in computer science (which means I took a shitload of coding classes in now obsolete languages), I don't consider myself a hard-core coder. But I do dabble and often find myself looking at web code to figure out how a developer coded something or what plugin they used.
- I love solving a coding issue/problem when developing websites. It's like a high to me when I have that "Eureka" moment.
- I played college basketball, and from 2012-2018, coached my son, starting with his 2nd grade YMCA team through 8th-grade travel ball.
- I'm not a "talker" or "sales-y", but I do find it refreshing to work with an industry that is all about the talk and sale.
And if you were interested enough to read through all this babble about my life and design skills, then you've already found a reason to work with me!
What are you waiting for? Let's jumpstart your rep agency's marketing now!
Ready to move forward? Or know you need marketing services but not sure how this will work for manufacturer's reps?
Book a call with me and let's talk about your current challenges and get you set up with a plan to move your rep agency forward with ongoing monthly marketing.