This week we’re chatting with another inspiring social studio shop sponsor — Chatbooks! You may have seen them killing it on social media (with everyone raving about them) or have some of their photo books in your home–because at $6 for a 60 page book who wouldn't want one (or ten)? If this is your first introduction to this awesome company, you're welcome! The people behind this creative concept gets social about their love of printing tangible memories, how the Chatbooks idea came to be and how they built their brilliant brand presence on social media.
We’d love to hear more about Chatbooks & how you got started. . .What does your company specialize in?
Chatbooks are super easy, super affordable photo books. In fact, we've made the process of creating photo books automatic with our Instagram Subscription Series. And at $6 a book it is a no brainer!
What idea sparked this company into reality & when did you know this was a business worthy idea?
Record keeping in our family has always been important. My husband and co-founder, Nate, was an avid journaler and I was super into scrapbooking. But as our family continued to grow and our lives got busier and busier we found we weren't doing either of those things anymore. We spent a couple of years building a family social network that we hoped would make recording our family's story easier but in the end, what we really wanted was something we could hold in our hands. We wanted books!
Where do you find inspiration for the books?
Despite the busyness of our lives we somehow found time to share photos on social media, like Instagram. We noticed our friends and family all doing the same. So we decided to take what we were all already doing, like posting to Instagram, and create something we really wanted. That is how we came up with our Instagram Subscriptoin Series. Of course you can also make Chatbooks with pictures you add directly from your camera roll or computer, but the Instagram Books were our big A-ha moment!
In a creative field that is booming, how do you set yourself apart?
There are several photo book companies out there that give their users many options to customize their books. I've tried making books with just about every one of those companies. I found that having so many options actually makes the job harder. I found myself testing out all of the different fonts, templates, and design elements before I could settle on the perfect book. With Chatbooks we decided to do it differently. We kept our design super simple and clean and we let the photos be the star of each page. The less there is to do, the easier the job is to do, and the more likely it will get done!
How do you get the word out about your company?
Instagram has been amazing for spreading the word about our company! From the very beginning we were very lucky to have friends of ours with large followings post on Instagram about us. SmallFry, the Alison Show, and Freshly Picked really helped put us on the map! We also have awesome customers who post about how much they #loveChatbooks on Instagram and their blogs. We offer "Share the Love" codes for a free book when ordering a new Instagram subscription and people are sharing them!
What has surprised you most about owning Chatbooks?
Nate and I continue to be stunned when we meet people who have heard of Chatbooks. It's crazy to think that we have actually built something that people really use and love! Our favorite thing to do is search through the #loveChatbooks hashtags on Instagram and see so many happy Chatbookers. I particularly love when I get to hand deliver books to people and I get to see their reaction. There is something magical about seeing our pictures in print--magical and emotional!
What’s your favorite social media network and why?
Of course, Instagram! My younger sisters introduced it to me a few years ago and right off the bat I loved how easy it was to make my pictures look so much better with all of the filters. But the real fun was in posting for friends and family to see and seeing all of their posts. I am the oldest of 12 children who are now all spread out over the country. And we are not phone talkers! If it weren't for Instagram, and now Chatbooks, we wouldn't have any idea about what's going on in each others' lives.
If you could give other entrepreneurs one tip of advice, what would it be?
Stand down!! Honestly that is what my husband would say out of duty and obligation. The entrepreneurial life is not easy and isn't for the faint of heart. However Nate was bit hard by the entrepreneurial bug while he was in business school and he knew it was what he HAD to do. So I've spent the past 16 years supporting him through this wild ride as he's worked on 3 different companies. This is actually our first time officially working together on a company. My advice would be do something you are passionate about and then listen to your customers! You'll never succeed unless you give your customers what they really want.
What exciting things does Chatbooks have in store for us in 2015?
We are working hard at Chatbooks to streamline our shipping and hopefully go global. We are also working on making it even easier to add photos for those that don't use Instagram. And soon we hope to announce a Chatbooks solution to video!
*Want to get your first Instagram series book for free? Use code SOCIALSTUDIO at checkout!
images c/o Chatbooks