How I Made a Commercial for the UPS Store (And My Book)


"Hey, good people of The UPS Store, would you be interested in selling my book in your stores?"

I'd just published Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs in January. In it, I write about how any entrepreneur can rent a mailbox at The UPS Store and set themself up with an official-looking business address. Once I dove into marketing mode, I thought I'd reach out to UPS and ask if they’d sell the book in their 4,700 stores around the country.

But they said no.

Then, magic happened. A woman who read my book tweeted publicly: "I just learned that you can get a UPS mailbox for your business from @foundingmom's book! Who knew?" You’d think I paid her to post it. So, of course I retweeted it, cc’ing @TheUPSStore and asking again if they'd sell my book in their 4,700 stores. Wouldn't that inspire thousands of their customers to pay for yet another one of their services? It would be a win-win for all!

But they said no.

And then! The direct messaging commenced. @TheUPSStore sent me a private note via Twitter that although they could not sell my book, they'd be happy to discuss other options. I responded fast.

But then nothing. Silence. Crickets.

And then! An email landed in my inbox, straight from the marketing department of The UPS Store’s headquarters. What did they say? That they would not be able to sell my book in their stores, but if I would shoot a quick flick in one of their stores they'd be happy to promote it on their social media channels and blog.

"Do you have a camera that you can ship me? I don't own one," I asked. They followed through and sent me a FlipCam. I arranged a date and time with my favorite The UPS Store location, showed up and shot some absolutely ridiculous scenes (one involved me hugging the leg of a store employee and crying about how much I love the store.) When I sent the clips in, the marketing department had the good sense to save my embarrassment and declined to use what I shot.

That’s when I called Ashbey Riley at Bum Bul Bee Photo + Films. I needed professional help and she was the girl for the job. She came up with the storyline, we went in sans script, and in two hours out came this:

Fortunately, they have 68,000+ Facebook fans… which, for now, will have to do.

Jill Salzman

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.  A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then launched a baby jewelry company before creating her current venture. Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, NBC5 and WGN TV. She is the author of Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, a columnist for NBC Chicago,  and she gave her own TED talk on 11/11/11. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.

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