The LegalZoom Customer Story Contest is a new video contest that asks customers to tell their LegalZoom success stories for a chance to be featured in LegalZoom's next commercial.
Last time we asked our customers to tell their stories, we found Janet Long, co-founder of Elaine's Toffee Company. Thanks to a LegalZoom TV commercial, millions of people have seen the story of Janet and her business. See what Janet has to say about her newfound celebrity and how the commercial has affected her life and business. (And don't forget to enter the Customer Story Contest for your chance to star in a LegalZoom commercial and win up to $5,000!)
First the Dream, then the Ad Campaign
For many entrepreneurs, a national ad campaign is out of reach. It can cost millions of dollars to produce and air commercials. Winning the opportunity to be featured in a national ad campaign is a little like winning the lottery for a small business owner.
Janet Long, co-founder of the specialty sweets company Elaine's Toffee Company, was the featured success story in LegalZoom's recent advertising campaign. The story of transforming her late mother's English toffee recipe into a family business aired nationally and helped bring things to the next level for Janet's business.
Trumping Sales Records
"We could see a direct correlation to toffee orders. Our business increased one-thousand fold and our internet business took off," Janet says of the ad campaign. More and more customers were ordering $45 specialty toffee shipments for friends and family.
LegalZoom, she says, gets a lot of the credit. "The commercial gave us a national presence and national recognition. [Customers] recognize the box and the name. We were beginning to feel like 'Wow, we could become the premiere English toffee in the country.'"
She and her family were happily surprised when their summer sales exceeded expectations. For those in the business of indulgent treats, the bathing suit season typically means slower sales. But the summer the commercials aired, Elaine's Toffee set new sales records.
As you might expect, Janet has also become something of a celebrity, much to the amusement of her kids. It's not just being recognized at the grocery store. At industry events, chefs, retailers, and other manufacturers ask to take their picture with her. Janet remembers one of the more enthusiastic responses from the early campaign launch. Her postal carrier jumped up and down exclaiming: "I just saw you on TV!"
To meet with increased demands, Elaine's Toffee has moved to a larger co-packer. Elaine's Toffee is now distributed through mega-store Dillard's and many other boutiques and wholesalers. Janet says she often gets calls from companies who say, "We just saw [your commercial] and want to carry you in our stores.'"
Helping Others Succeed
Janet's keeping busy and has even become something of a mentor. Now that her story has inspired other entrepreneurs she says, "I'm answering people's emails all the time. It's amazing how many requests I get: 'I've got my grandma's recipe or my mom's recipe and I don't know where to start.'"
Janet jokes that she's going to need to create an automated email that sends people straight to LegalZoom to get started.
"The biggest thing for us is that people love the story. They want to know more. I'm constantly telling the story of the company, and the story of getting the commercial, and doing the commercial, and how exciting it's been and what's happened since then." For Janet of Elaine's Toffee, telling her LegalZoom story could not be sweeter.