The featured TAPinto franchisee for the month of May 2020 is Jon "Ferris" Meredith, who owns and operates TAPinto Wayne. With a background in sales and an entrepreneurial passion, Meredith has made TAPinto Wayne a household name in just a matter of months registering over 224,000 pageviews in March 2020 alone!
Q. Why did you want to franchise a TAPinto site?
The last company I worked for was a start-up and ended up going into bankruptcy. 80% of us were laid off all at once. I didn’t want to go work for another company, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I knew I could write, having written both technical for one company and two fiction novels. I also have a sales background. So, when I came across TAPinto, I saw an opportunity that would fit two of my strong skillsets and I just loved the idea of writing objective news the way it is supposed to be done.
Q. You have an interesting background. Can you tell us about it a little bit?
I’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit. While in college I started a family entertainment business and performed at parties as a comedy magician, a balloon artist and a DJ. This became my full-time living for more than fifteen years. After more than twenty years performing, I was ready to hang up my clown shoes and shifted very suddenly into medical sales as a commission-only independent medical sales representative. I started my career by selling a medical diagnostic device to cardiologists with one-day of training and a whole lot of chutzpah. I then sold laboratory services to pain-management doctors and addiction treatment centers, and then found a passion for neuroscience by selling for a company that provided a brain health platform to aid with addiction. Unfortunately that company was a start-up and did not last, so I ended up taking the J.O.B. that I mentioned above. When that went belly up, I began to write a novel and then it’s sequel – neither published…yet. Then a friend introduced me to TAPinto and I began this new adventure. Six months later and I’m the featured franchise. I must be doing alright.
Q. What do you enjoy covering the most in Wayne?
I love writing about the good works of the people of Wayne. This Township prides itself on its volunteer spirit and I get to meet, interview and then help to publicize what these great people do to help others. I personally find it inspiring.
Q. Is TAPinto full time for you? If not, what do you also do?
Until the coronavirus outbreak put an end to it, I was Ferris The Great -comedy magician and balloon artist extraordinaire. I retired from performing eight years ago, a little burnt out from decades of performing, but I came back with a new-found love and appreciation for the joy of making children laugh. Hopefully I can get back to it soon!
Q. How do you think businesses and readers can best utilize TAPinto Wayne? What advantages does TAPinto have that other marketing platforms lack?
Given the number of readers who come to my online, hyperlocal news site, there is a thirst for what I am providing: unbiased coverage of actual Wayne news, completely focused on Wayne without all the sensationalism and hype. Wayne residents come to my site to read local news on a daily basis. This gives businesses the chance to focus their marketing efforts and to be seen repeatedly over and over again which helps establish credibility and Top of Mind Awareness. Plus, because we are a franchise system, businesses can share their message beyond Wayne and into our other hyperlocal sites in different towns throughout New Jersey. And that is just advertising. Content marketing is huge and TAPinto can provide a variety of ways to communicate with our readers from featured articles to columns, press releases and more.
Q. What are some of your business strengths? What’s something you would like to work on?
I feel that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing with my life right now. I provide a needed, valuable service for readers and a needed, valuable services for businesses who want to reach my readers. One of my strengths is helping people to connect and that’s exactly what TAPinto Wayne does: connecting local readers with local businesses.
Q. Describe the TAPinto culture.
Hard-working, entrepreneurs, determined to do the right thing by reporting objectively. Supportive of each other, always sharing, teaching and encouraging. I never feel alone.
Q. What are your goals at TAPinto? Any future plans for TAPinto Wayne?
Right now, my goal is to make TAPinto Wayne THE central source of communication for the Township of Wayne. I am well on my way to accomplishing this, but more time is needed. Once this is established, I have thoughts of opening up new franchises in the surrounding areas.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to say
I would like to say Thank you to Mike Shapiro, Tim LeCras and Steve Lenox for teaching me how to be a good journalist and for supporting me all along the way. I am a better person and in a better place in my life because of you.