A Well-Designed Business™ | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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A Well-Designed Business™ | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success


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Oct 18, 2017

We are back together for another installment of Design Biz Live, in spite of all the obstacles and scheduling conflicts we’ve had to overcome to make it happen! I’m back with my trusted experts, Judith Neary of Roadside Attraction Design Studio, and Corey Klassen of Corey Klassen Interiors. One of our goals is to cover all aspects of the flat fee vs. hourly rate question that designers face. What we have discovered is that there is a more basic issue at stake that we must turn our attention to first. The issue is that YOU, as a designer, need to know what you are and are not most efficient at in your business. In other words, you need to break down the work of a designer into your personal strengths and weaknesses. Corey and Judith have developed a self-assessment for principals to use in evaluating all the different things we do for our clients. As industry leaders, Judith and Corey have spent a lot of time speaking in front of their peers, and they have developed this tool with the purpose of evaluating your skills as they relate to your design firm.

In this show, I talk with Judith about how solo firms and smaller firms can use the assessment to develop their fee structures.Let’s jump into this conversation!

Show highlights:

  • Gear your services toward your skill set according to the self-assessment
  • How Judith and Corey got the idea for developing this helpful tool
  • The three phases of the assessment: concept, execution, and administration
  • Debunking the “ideal client” myth
  • Why you need to get clear on what you do really well
  • A basic fundamental that a designer must figure out via the self-assessment:
    • What am I most efficient at?
    • How can I fill in the gaps that I’m not best at?
  • Look for opportunities to improve your skill set
  • Your business evolves and grows as a living, breathing entity
  • The relationship between your strengths and weaknesses and the question of flat fee vs. hourly rates
  • For the client, services needed in each of the three phases and their associated fees
  • Segmenting your services in each distinct phase
  • How the designer controls “the process”
  • Setting the project and the team up for success
  • How designers get into trouble when they tackle things they aren’t good at
  • How Corey graphed his and his employees’ strengths of skill and how the result measured up to their perceptions
  • When you as the business owner-need to change the outcome
  • How to have the difficult conversations with employees
  • “Am I interested in rehabilitating this employee or do I want them to leave my firm?”
  • The “show-tell-do” and feedback process
  • Reach out to get an honest evaluation of your performance as a designer
  • How to ask questions to former clients for feedback about your fee structure


Corey's website: Corey Klassen

Judith's website: Road Side Attraction Studio

Download the Skills Worksheet Here:

Oct 16, 2017

Welcome to today's show and happy birthday to LuAnn!

Today's guest, Angela Harris, is the principal of Trio Environments and she is a real dynamo! Trio Environments is one of the fastest growing Interior Design and Visual Merchandising firms in the USA today and in less than ten years, it is on track to becoming an international leader in Market-Driven Design. The company currently has over twenty employees and it manages more than seventy-six projects at any given time, both locally and nationally. More than twenty-one thousand homes have been sold with the assistance of Trio Environments, who has also generated over seven billion dollars in revenue to date, from Commercial and Residential clients. Listen in to find out more about Angela and the amazing success she's had with Trio Environments.

Angela has a B.S. in Marketing and Management, from the University of Colorado. After obtaining her degree, she went to work in an Engineering Firm but wasn't really happy there, because she didn't feel that she was living up to her full potential, so she dropped everything to pursue her dream career in Interior Design. She enrolled in an Interior Design program and spent her last five hundred dollars on business cards, direct mail and a few another start-up costs and then she launched Trio Environments.  Angela also has a Masters Degree in Sustainable Design, from the Philadelphia University and she sits on the Denver Home Builders Association Board of Directors. She manages seven councils through the HBA and she sits on the Sales and Marketing Council for the National Association of Home Builders.

Angela has developed a three-part process, to give her company a competitive edge- it assesses a client's baseline value, through their Design program, it introduces Market Design principals and finally, it executes a design that's innovative, attractive and profitable. Listen in now, to find out how important it really is to be prepared and to have good systems in place and also to experience the passion that inspires Angela to fuse her market-driven approach with the creation of really beautiful spaces.

Show highlights:

  • Angela describes the types of relationships that she has built her business on, with builders and developers.
  • How Angela has been able to expand her brand, to really handle the entire creative process.
  • Angela describes her company's creative process, which really allows them to be a part of something bigger.
  • Angela explains how their process is really all about the experience of their audience, where every detail is relevant.
  • Angela discusses the enormous amount of work that they do on the upfront side of their projects, in terms of Market Research and Market Data.
  • Why Angela thinks that her company has been so much more successful than most Design Firms.
  • Angela explains her initial process of creating relationships with builders and developers- what it takes and how you, as a Designer, could learn to do the same.
  • Angela explains the best way to start out with doing the types of projects that she does.
  • Angela discusses how she went about creating a really awesome team, with great synergy.
  • Capitalising on people's strengths and passions, rather than their weaknesses, to make the whole machine work.
  • Angela explains the way that her whole team works and what everyone focuses on. They really want to help and support one another.
  • The tight systems and solid processes that they have in place.
  • How they actually developed these processes.
  • Angela's Colorado Companies To Watch video, where they were awarded recognition, as one of the Companies to watch.
  • The criteria that actually earned Angela the Award.
  • What is involved in the bidding process, for projects?

Please give LuAnn a bit of birthday love today and go on over to iTunes and rate and review this show. She will really appreciate it!


Her website:
Oct 13, 2017

We have Lyndsay Phillips with us on today's Power Talk Friday. LuAnn is really looking forward to sharing her with you today because Lyndsay is a self-confessed organizational freak, appointed task manager, and project ninja. She's also a warrior VA (read Virtual Assistant) for Business Coaches, Accountants, Small Business Owners and Online Entrepreneurs. Her business is called Smooth Sailing Online Support and she also has a podcast called Sailing To Success Podcast.  Listen in to find out more about Lyndsay, who really understands the challenges around hiring someone to help you, when growing your business and reaching the next level.

Lyndsay and her super team of VA's support entrepreneurs, just like you, who have fast-paced businesses with fast-paced growth. They really help people, by managing their back office, implementing their Marketing and strategizing and implementing their Social Media Campaigns. Listen in now, to find out how Lyndsay takes care of the detail and the moving pieces, which can all be quite overwhelming for really busy people.

Show highlights:

  • Lyndsay explains why asking for help is not a weakness- in fact, it actually shows strength.
  • Lyndsay explains how she and her team really are expert at everything that they do, in terms of supporting a business.
  • Lyndsay's team really do understand the importance of proper postings on Social Media.
  • The services and the packages that Lyndsay offers, to fit the unique needs of every client.
  • Lyndsay has an enormous amount of resources and some really useful blog posts on her website. (
  • Lyndsay's suggestions for how to be really productive in the 'working at home' environment.
  • Lyndsay even turns Skype off, if she really needs to focus on something, because derailing her focus makes her less productive.
  • Why you should schedule breaks into your day.
  • Ways to implement internal deadlines.
  • Not allowing social media to be a major distraction in your day.
  • Ways that you can use little systems, to minimise the need to reply to emails.
  • Using the Boomerang App for emails, to avoid unnecessary distractions.
  • The impact of your environment on the way that you feel and on your productivity.
  • Go to for your free copy of Lyndsay's Client Attraction System and you can also go to for more information about what Lyndsay does.
  • Lyndsay also works with brick and mortar businesses.


Her email:
Her social and website info:
Twitter  and  Facebook:
Oct 11, 2017

Today we have Jason Harris on the show and he's someone that LuAnn's been hearing a lot about recently. There seems to be quite a buzz going on around his relatively new platform, The Design Network, yet while doing some research about Jason and his background, LuAnn found herself very intrigued about his primary business, Furniture Land South. So on the show today, they talk about this primary business, as well as about the innovation and development of the Design Network. Listen in to find out more about Jason, his family business, and his really successful Design Network.

Jason's father started his business, way back in 1968, and in just one generation, he created Furniture Land South, the largest retail furniture store in the world! It covers one point three million square feet of space, they have a hundred and sixty Design Consultants working there, they represent more than a thousand brands of home furnishing companies and they turn over a hundred and fifty million dollars per year.  Listen in now, to find out more about Furniture Land South and about how Jason developed the Design Network.

Show highlights:

  • Jason talks about what it was like, growing up in his dad's business.
  • The really explosive growth of the business, which took place between 1990 and 2000, after they moved to a new campus.
  • How Jason contributed to the successful business, between 1990 and 2000.
  • What Jason learned from working in the business.
  • How Jason's passion for sales and marketing developed, through his years of working in the business.
  • The innovations that Jason brought to the business, as a young person, fresh out of college.
  • Jason's initiative in transforming the business from paper-based to an automated system.
  • How Jason's Dad involved both his sons in the business, from very early on.
  • Jason explains how he's never even thought of doing anything other than working in their family business- it's something he has always been really passionate about.
  • What inspired Jason to create his Design Network, which was started as a completely independent platform from Furniture land South.
  • The difficulties that Jason had, in keeping the Design Network separate from Furniture Land South.
  • Jason discusses how consumers can connect with Designers, on his Trade Direct Program.
  • The great benefits for Designers who sign up for Jason's Trade Direct Program.
  • What makes the Design Network a really great solution for Designers- they are really leveraging this resource now, more than ever.
  • How Designers can interact with the Design Network platform.
  • The Designer Boards, a unique feature of the Design Network and a great way for Designers to make a passive income.
  • How consumers are being driven to the Design Network platform.
  • The explorer section on the Design Network website.
  • How the Designer Network is really making it easier for consumers to design their homes.
  • How people are being reached at an entertainment level, on the Design Network.
  • Finding a Design Consultant that's the right fit for you, on the Design Network platform.


Oct 9, 2017

LuAnn is really happy to have Carla Aston as her guest on today's show! Many of you may know Carla from her Design Blog, Designed With Carla Aston, where twice a week, she shares quality content and also her passion for Interior Design, with her two hundred thousand loyal followers. When Carla's inbox started getting really full of questions and messages from her readers, she branched out and started doing E-Consultations, where she personally and intentionally addresses home owner's questions about Design, via email. Then Carla realized that if she made E-Books on the same topics and dilemmas, with the same solutions as her E-Consultations, she would be able to sell these on her website too. Listen in now, to find out more about Carla, her Consultations, and her E-Books.

Carla, a very smart lady,  obtained a B.F.A. In Interior Design and then spent nine years working in Architectural Design Firms, both large and small. Since then, Carla and her family have lived in Norway and Australia, which has really given her a great perspective on culture, lifestyle, architecture, and design, all of which she brings to both her business and her blog. Carla has invested time and money and she has built her career very intentionally, so listen in, because you are really going to love the way she explains all of this, on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Carla, who has a really clear and perfectly laid out website, explains why she likes to educate her clients, prior to working with them.
  • Carla explains how she tailored her business over the years, to become a perfect fit for her.
  • Carla explains where her Designed In A Click E-Consultation service came from and how works.
  • Carla explains her alternative service, Designed By Styling.
  • Carla explains all about her ninety minutes Designed With A Consultation service, which is done in the way that she really prefers to do things.
  • Carla discusses the purpose behind the Outlet Area on her website, which mostly consists of PDF's on various topics that she's dealt with in her blog posts, available for between $10 and $12.
  • Carla talks about which of her services provide the best revenue streams.
  • The value in re-purposing certain content, that has already been used on your website.
  • Carla discusses the biggest piece that she's selling currently, a nineteen-page PDF based on her own experiences, which deals with the issues and concerns that Designers tend to have when doing consultations.
  • Carla discusses the components of her successful blog, Designed With Carla Aston, which is really a huge catalog and also the gateway to everything that Carla is selling.
  • The branding mistake that Carla made, prior to getting started on her new, improved platform.
  • What really drives Carla.
  • The Consultant/Coach that Carla hired for the first few years before she found her own, unique voice.
  • The most common questions that Carla gets from Designers.
  • Carla's advice for a Designer who lives far out, in a rural area.
  • Carla's plans for the future.


Her social:
Her website:
Oct 6, 2017

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we are very happy to have Gavin Zuchlinski on the show.  He is the founder of Acuity Scheduling, which is the slickest way for businesses to automate and manage their appointments online because it actually allows your clients to schedule themselves.  LuAnn has an inkling that the features of Acuity Scheduling may be even better than the one she's using, so she may be switching over... Listen in to find out more.

Gavin is a self-professed Tech Geek and an Espresso maniac, and he's also a really fun guy who truly and wholeheartedly believes that business should be fun. Acuity Scheduling currently supports over fifty thousand businesses, all of the different sizes, from solo-preneures to major corporations with thousands of employees. They have a really efficient Customer Service Department and their focus is on making life way easier for entrepreneurs and business owners. Listen in now to find out how Acuity Services could make your life much easier and help you run your business.

Show highlights:

  • Gavin explains what his company does, to help you to run your business.
  • How you can customise this service to suit your specific requirements.
  • How this service can really help you to be prepared and allow you to be more efficient.
  • Gavin discusses the different ways that you could use this service.
  • You could even embed Acuity on your website.
  • How a potential client could actually schedule an appointment with you, online.
  • How the service can make it easier for you to connect with potential clients and coordinate appointment times.
  • About forty percent of all appointments are booked after hours when businesses are already closed for the day.
  • How this service can help you to follow through with a potential client and convert.
  • Even if you don't yet have a website, you can still use this service.
  • You can even filter different kinds of requests for appointments to different parts of your calendar.
  • How to set up and manage different appointment types.
  • Getting reminder emails for your appointments.
  • The monthly charges for the various services.
  • What you can get from Acuity Scheduling, absolutely free.
  • How you could give gift certificates via this service.
  • You can customise this service with your own logos.
  • Gavin explains how he initially came up with this service, to help his Mom.
  • The six-hour work days for Gavin's Customer Support teams.

If you'd like to try Acuity out, go to for an extended 45-day trial. (It's normally only for 14 days.)

Oct 4, 2017

Today's show is another in our Facebook Coaching Sessions Series, where we're tackling the various aspects of Facebook and how to best leverage them, for your Interior Design Firm.

Today's guest is Marc Mawhinney and he is particularly skilled at working with Facebook Communities, so today, he will be discussing the best ways to go about setting these up and he also discusses the different nuances of Facebook Communities. At the end of the show, you will hear about the course that Marc is offering, called Facebook Gold. Listen in to find out more.

Marc, a lifelong entrepreneur, is a Coach for Coaches. He does this through his programs, via his Podcast, Natural Born Coaches and also through his particularly successful Facebook Group, The Coaching Jungle. When LuAnn asked the peeps in her Podcast tribe about who is really good at creating Facebook Community Groups and Facebook Pages,  Marc was the man that everyone told her to invite. So, today, we are going to be finding out from him all about Consumer Facing Facebook Groups, where you would be helping and teaching consumers about Interior Design, hopefully with the end result that they would hire you, to be their Interior Designer. Listen in now, as Marc explains some great strategies for setting up a really vibrant Facebook Group.

Show highlights:

  • Marc uses a great analogy to clear up some of the confusion around the differences between Facebook Business Pages, Facebook Group Pages, Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Public Pages.
  • How Marc's personal Facebook profile has changed since Facebook has become his business.
  • A Facebook Group as really a great way to build your business.
  • Why size isn't everything, with a Facebook Group.
  • What Marc would do to build a community for a brick and mortar Interior Design business.
  • Setting up your Facebook Group and making sure that you have the right keywords in the title.
  • How often you need to show up, in your Facebook Group.
  • The most powerful kinds of Facebook Groups.
  • Why monetizing your Facebook Group, or your Podcast, is really the way to go.
  • Some great tips for starting a Facebook Group.
  • The three choices that you will have when starting your Facebook Group.
  • When a Secret Facebook Group would be an appropriate choice.
  • When a Closed Group would be a good idea.
  • Setting up the rules for your Group.
  • Giving great value on your Facebook Group.
  • Why Marc has Promotion Fridays in his Group.
  • Why Marc suggests having Theme Days, on your Facebook Group.
  • How to let people know about your Facebook Group, if you're starting from scratch and how to get people to engage with you, once your Group has been set up.
  • Why you shouldn't just add people to your Group, without asking them.
  • You can access Marc's Facebook Gold Course, to help you set up your own Facebook Group, through (It has a 60-day money back guarantee.)


Marc's Facebook Group:

His Email:

His website:
Oct 2, 2017

Today we have Katharine Earnhardt on the show! She is the Principal of Mason Lane Art Advisory in Brooklyn. Keeping up with the art world is actually a full-time job, so today, Katherine explains why it would be to your advantage, as a Designer, to work with someone like her, who really knows and understands what to know and where to go when selecting art. Listen in now to find out more about Katharine and how she assists Interior Designers with getting art for their clients. Katharine has a B.A. in Art History and Economics from William College, and she also has an M.A. in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute. Katharine learned about what drives a world-class museum through working in MoMA’s Management office (Museum of Modern Art). She later worked at an entrepreneurial hub of Christie's, where she was leading the business development in New York, London, and Singapore. She then moved on to lead business development at Gurr Johns, a global art

Katharine has a B.A. in Art History and Economics from William College, and she also has an M.A. in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute. Katharine learned about what drives a world-class museum through working in MoMA’s Management office (Museum of Modern Art). She later worked at an entrepreneurial hub of Christie's, where she was leading the business development in New York, London, and Singapore. She then moved on to lead business development at Gurr Johns, a global art appraisal, and advisory that handles art, jewelry, and wine among other valuables. Katharine is very well versed in Art History and the art market. Through her new program, Mason Lane Partners, she shares her expertise with other Interior Designers, (just like you) so you are well equipped to increase scope, source art and finish a space. Listen in to find out more about the kind of assistance that Katharine offers to Interior Designers, through Mason Lane.

Show highlights:

  • Katharine talks about the Interior Design Forum, called In The Mason, that she hosts in her living room. It's a really great networking opportunity!
  • The pain points around buying art that Katharine helps and educates Interior Designers and her clients with.
  • How Katharine helps people to spend smart when buying art.
  • The aspects of art that go beyond the aesthetics, which can really add to the quality of the piece and also to how one feels about the work.
  • The value in educating your client about the meaning behind an artwork and why it's actually worth the price.
  • Sometimes a client doesn't need new art, they could just rearrange, or re-frame what they already have.
  • The ideal height to hang your artworks- a great place to start!
  • Katharine's upcoming Webisode, where she goes through the kinds of problems that Designers tend to face when advising their clients about art. Go to to sign up.
  • Why Katharine created her Webisode.
  • Some great tips for you, from Katharine's Webisode.
  • The best places for you, as Designers, to source art.
  • Some great online resources for art.
  • The actual point behind, and what you will get from working with Mason Lane Partners.
  • How Katharine really saves a lot of money for Interior Designers.
  • A really fun rule around the use of color, form, and design.
  • Coordinating the light fixtures with the art.
  • A frame can really make or break a piece of art!
  • Some tips for creating professional-looking gallery walls- they really take a lot of planning.


Katharine's website:

Katharine on Instagram: masonlane_art. Katharine will make it known on Instagram when her Webisode series will be available.

Sep 29, 2017

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! LuAnn is very excited to introduce Stephan Spencer, who she spent a short time with,  just a couple of weeks ago at the chaotic, yet exhilarating Podcast Movement in Anaheim. LuAnn and Stephan first met in a Mastermind about the future of podcasting, which was given by LuAnn's friend, Edie Burke. When Stephan placed a copy of his (really thick) book on the table, LuAnn didn't think she would ever be able to understand any of it and that really made her want to get to know what goes on in his brain. She's been looking forward to having him on the show ever since then, so listen in now!

Stephan is an SEO expert and a best-selling author who has written has three books, all published by O'Reilly. They are The Art Of SEO, Social E-Commerce, and Google Power Search. In 1995, Stephan founded a multi-national SEO Agency, called Net Concepts, which he sold in 2010. His client list includes Zappos, Sony, Quicksilver, and Chanel.  He also has two Podcasts, the one is called The Optimised Geek and the other is Marketing Speak. Today Stephan answers some of LuAnn's questions, which are related to SEO and to Stephan, as both a Podcast Host and a seasoned Podcast Guest. He also talks about his Podcast, The Optimised Geek, where he spends time speaking to people about how to improve their health and their wealth and also about how to reboot their lives. Listen in now, to find out more about Stephan, his Podcasts, and SEO and also to get some really actionable tips.

Show highlights:

  • Stephan shares his really inspiring story about Tony Robbins, who became a catalyst for Stephan's own 'life reboot'.
  • What Stephan gained from having been part of Tony Robbins's amazing Platinum Partnership, for three years.
  • Stephan explains what SEO does and why it really matters.
  • Some of the ways that you can enhance your SEO, to really stand out from the rest.
  • Google will reward you for having really remarkable content in your website.
  • What Stephan needed to do, in terms of SEO, in order to appear on TV.
  • Using a dog to create a hook, to increase the emotional content of a TV segment.
  • Stephan explains the kind of 'R and D' that he does, in order to find inspiration for the very best content.
  • Using BuzzFeed to inspire you.
  • How to create the kinds of connections that will become 'the rising tide that lifts all boats'.
  • The two processes that Stephan does in tandem, to help him with the discovery of the amazing content that he's created.
  • Who Google sees as the really big influencers. (Stephan calls them the Linkeratti!)
  • Pitchbox- a tool that Stephan uses regularly.
  • Identifying the content that's linked to the influencers- these will all be powerful links for you to use.
  • Writing authentic blog posts that are actually geared towards the big influencers.
  • Creating a really solid pitch, with a great hook.
  • Pinterest- it has way more staying power than Instagram does.
  • Why Google hates guest posts and guest bloggers.
  • A great tool to see if what you're thinking of targeting, is actually going to be a popular keyword, or not. (
  • The services that Stephan has to offer. You can contact him at


His email:
Sep 27, 2017

Today we have Claire Jefford on the show! LuAnn knows that hundreds of the Interior Designers that are in the three different Facebook Groups she's in are really cheering like crazy now because they all know Claire from her Design and also from her inspiring leadership, so listen in to find out more!

Claire came into Interior Design in 2011, after a career in Human Resources and People Management. She found her way to Interior Design and then started her own firm. Her really exceptional organizational skills, combined with her drive, have contributed to the great success of her business, which is still fairly young. Now, in addition to Interior Design, Claire offers Coaching where she teaches other Designers to replicate her success. Although Claire has done some really great things in her career, today we will try to focus on a particular super power of hers- creating quality video content for her Design firm.  Her videos have a big part to play the success of both her firm and her Coaching business, so listen in now, as Claire shares some of her best tips for creating really professional video content, on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • Claire's incredible level of interaction, leadership, and expertise, on her Facebook Group, Interior Design Business Strategies.
  • What Claire's career in Human Resources involved and how it's informed her career in Interior Design.
  • Claire explains how she manages to produce her really professional looking videos- all by herself!
  • The difference between doing a Facebook Live and doing a Youtube video.
  • The importance of having a plan, ahead of time, for your video.
  • How and where Claire uses her videos on the services she offers. People really relate to them.
  • Claire explains some of the technical aspects of how she makes her videos.
  • You really don't need a fancy setup to make professional looking videos if you're using a smartphone.
  • If the content is good, people are going to watch, even if you don't look your best.
  • How Claire edits her videos and the software she uses to do that.
  • The numerous things that you can do with the Camtasia App.
  • Creating a moving video out of still pictures with Camtasia.
  • How long it took for Claire to become adept at using Camtasia. It really isn't that complicated.
  • How Claire cues herself when making her videos.
  • How Claire manages to re-use her video content from Youtube to Facebook Live, Instagram, or even to send to a client.
  • How to let people know where to find your videos.
  • The benefits of not being perfect.
  • The marketing value in producing a body of work on Youtube.
  • Why you need to keep asking your clients for reviews for your videos.
  • How Claire goes about asking her clients for reviews.
  • Claire's great, actionable tips for new Designers who don't yet have a portfolio.
  • All about Claire's soon to be launched a course on making videos. There will be a special launch price.
  • The great resources available for those of you who are looking for more in-depth information from Claire, on how to market your business through video. 


Claire's website:

Sep 25, 2017

LuAnn is extremely happy to let you know that she has Shea McGee, of Studio McGee, in the house today! It's been a long time coming, as she's a very busy lady, but she's here today, and you are not going to be disappointed, so listen in to find out about the journey that Shea's been on and the challenges she's faced.

If you're one of the few people who are not familiar with Shea, LuAnn assures you that she and her husband, Sid, truly are the real deal! They are the creators of Studio McGee and today you will hear how Shea realized, only after obtaining her degree in Public Relations, that what she really wanted, was to be doing Design, so she went back to school, to learn how to do that. Soon after, Shea found that she was attracting more projects than she'd ever before thought possible. She and Sid realized that with his business experience and her creative vision, they would really make an amazing team. So they decided to sell their home in California and move to Utah, where they put all their life savings on the line and started a business. Shea used the power of Instagram to grow the business and now, just less than three years later, they have over five hundred and forty thousand Instagram followers, a team of thirty, two multi-million dollar businesses (Studio McGee and McGee and Company) and they have projects all over the country. Listen in today and find out how Shea and Sid manage to run their operation and their family and also, the pro's and con's of working with a spouse.

Show highlights:

  • Shea explains how they have managed to get such great results, in such a short time.
  • How Shea and her husband manage their hectic work schedules and still find time to spend together, as a couple and to be parents to their two little girls.
  • The growing pains that Shea and Sid experienced, early on in their business, before they found their ideal way of working together.
  • The real importance of separating the roles of each spouse, in a business partnership.
  • Why you really need to sort out your personal dynamics, as a couple, before entering into a business relationship.
  • Some ways to create the necessary balance within your business. You don't have to do everything yourself!
  • Ways to divide up the different responsibilities, within a business.
  • Shea gives the backstory behind their really successful businesses.
  • How Shea stretched her content, to tell her story on Instagram when she first started out.
  • Why they made the move from California to Utah.
  • Shea talks about the initial dream that she and her husband shared, for their business.
  • Shea's advice for Designers wanting to step up above the noise, with Instagram.
  • Some tips to take a good and well-styled photo- one that stands out from the rest, in order to create a really great vignette.
  • How Shea creates her content for Instagram now, as compared with when she first started out.
  • Shea explains her strategic way of growing her Instagram following.
  • How Shea manages to keep up with the engagement on Instagram, with their really huge number of followers.
  • Where Shea draws her design inspiration from.


Shea's website:

Sep 22, 2017

Welcome to today's episode of Power talk Friday! Tabitha Carro is the guest for today and she is the leader of Smart Phone Marketing School. LuAnn really struggles with so much of what it takes to be productive, in using a smartphone and she says she has ninety thumbs, so she's very excited about having Tabitha on this show today, to help her to figure some of this out. Listen in as Tabitha explains what to do, and apps that you can use, to add that extra little 'something' to your marketing, using your smartphone.

Tabitha's background is as a Certified Elementary School Teacher. She was also the owner of a Curriculum Design Business, from which she developed another business when she realized that she really needed to be able to do things quickly and easily, from her iPhone. She took the bull by the horns and taught herself all the necessary design techniques with the iPhone and so developed her new business, called Smart Phone Marketing School. Now, she has tons of content, videos and tutorials, to teach the people in her Facebook and Membership communities how and what apps to use, on their iPhone, to make their social media marketing way, way easier. She teaches where things are in an app and how to tap into them and get what you want. Listen in now, as Tabitha sheds some light on how to use your smartphone to market your self really easily, even when you're on the fly!

Show highlights:

  • Tabitha explains all about the super cute and direct labeling app called This by Tin Rocket, which could be really useful in the Design Industry.
  • Which apps Tabitha uses, on her iPhone as well as on her desktop.
  • The best ways to utilize the Legend App, to announce across social media, that you're about to go live.
  • Why what Tabitha teaches is great for everybody, even those that aren't so 'techy'.
  • Why Tabitha really thinks you should care about Instagram stories.
  • Facebook Live or Instagram Stories? When to use each one.
  • How you can increase your engagement on Facebook Live with Instagram Stories.
  • Apps that can really enhance your Instagram Stories.
  • A way to put something on Instagram Stories, without showing yourself.
  • If you have 10 000 or more followers, you can link that up with Instagram Stories.
  • Some tips and great apps for using an iPhone with Pinterest. Tabitha has a blog post about this.
  • Why Tabitha actually prefers using a phone screen, when working with Pinterest.
  • Tabitha has a Facebook Live session to teach you how to use Adobe Spark on your phone.
  • All the fabulous free content that Tabitha has made available for you.
  • Tabitha's not all about selling, however, she is opening up a paid membership program.


For Tabitha's free courses, go to

Sep 20, 2017

What is your vision for your design business? How do you manage to balance work and life? Are you managing it, or has the business taken over your life? When you’re in the middle of the day-to-day of running a business, it can be easy to forget why you started in the first place. Whether it is creative freedom, income to support your family, or a dream that has finally taken flight, it is so important to keep the values you hold dear close at hand. This podcast is all about giving you tools that you can use to launch your design business. Today, I am thrilled to bring to you Kim Worswick, who has been in business for just five short months and is already operating close to her values. What’s her secret? This podcast!

Kimberley Kay Interiors is Kim’s solo firm and boy has it taken off! Kim has a strong Instagram presence, where she films these great short videos that are zany, fun and full of personality and great design. Kim’s business is based on referrals so that she can ensure that she is only taking the right amount of projects at a time. Work-Life Balance is so important to Kim, so she has set up her business around that value. Today, we will share how Kim launched her business, sticks to her values, and overcomes mistakes and challenges as her business has grown. It is encouraging to hear how this podcast has changed Kim’s life, and I would love to hear from you too! Give this episode a listen, and then reach out to me to let me know the ways our guests have transformed your design business.


More from this episode:

  • Kim talks about her crazy, zany Instagram videos.
  • Take a little inspiration from Kim who used tools from the podcast to launch her business.
  • Kim operates off of her 5 Key Values.
  • Work-Life Balance is the basis for Kim’s business model.
  • Using Interior Design as an act of community service.
  • Growing a business only to the point where it fits within your lifestyle.
  • Working underneath a lead designer was beneficial, but creatively stifling.
  • Why a bookkeeper should be your first hire.
  • Learning from mistakes and celebrating triumphs.
  • Gaining customer loyalty by doing whatever it takes to get the design right.

Sep 18, 2017

We are back together for another installment of Design Biz Live, in spite of all the obstacles and scheduling conflicts we’ve had to overcome to make it happen! I’m back with my trusted experts, Judith Neary of Roadside Attraction Design Studio, and Corey Klassen of Corey Klassen Interiors. One of our goals is to cover all aspects of the flat fee vs. hourly rate question that designers face. What we have discovered is that there is a more basic issue at stake that we must turn our attention to first. The issue is that YOU, as a designer, need to know what you are and are not most efficient at in your business. In other words, you need to break down the work of a designer into your personal strengths and weaknesses. Corey and Judith have developed a self-assessment for principals to use in evaluating all the different things we do for our clients. As industry leaders, Judith and Corey have spent a lot of time speaking in front of their peers, and they have developed this tool with the purpose of evaluating your skills as they relate to your design firm. Let’s jump into this conversation!

Show highlights:

  • Gear your services toward your skill set according to the self-assessment
  • How Judith and Corey got the idea for developing this helpful tool
  • The three phases of the assessment: concept, execution, and administration
  • Debunking the “ideal client” myth
  • Why you need to get clear on what you do really well
  • A basic fundamental that a designer must figure out via the self-assessment:
    • What am I most efficient at?
    • How can I fill in the gaps that I’m not best at?
  • Look for opportunities to improve your skill set
  • Your business evolves and grows as a living, breathing entity
  • The relationship between your strengths and weaknesses and the question of flat fee vs. hourly rates
  • For the client, services needed in each of the three phases and their associated fees
  • Segmenting your services in each distinct phase
  • How the designer controls “the process”
  • Setting the project and the team up for success
  • How designers get into trouble when they tackle things they aren’t good at
  • How Corey graphed his and his employees’ strengths of skill and how the result measured up to their perceptions
  • When you as the business owner-need to change the outcome
  • How to have the difficult conversations with employees
  • “Am I interested in rehabilitating this employee or do I want them to leave my firm?”
  • The “show-tell-do” and feedback process
  • Reach out to get an honest evaluation of your performance as a designer
  • How to ask questions to former clients for feedback about your fee structure


Visit to download the self-assessment!

Sep 15, 2017

Today we are in for an incredible treat. John Rhulin is the founder of the Ruhlin Group, a powerhouse company that helps high-end firms reach their audience, maintain customers, and gain referrals through Gift-Giving. John has roots as a salesman, but by seeking opportunity, reaching for excellence, and learning the huge value of gratitude, John has created a Group with high-end clients such as the Chicago Cubs and Electrolux. 

With such huge clients, it might seem like a stretch to think that John has wisdom for you and your design business. Well, that simply isn’t true! The elegant principles of good gift-giving are universal, and they will help you win referrals and maintain clients. The secret is in the gift itself: personal, unexpected, and filled with authenticity. Today, you will learn what gifts to give, when to give, and how to keep your clients close at hand. It’s time to stretch those generosity muscles and make someone’s day. Winning clients and growing your business is really as easy as that!

Show highlights:

  • John shares his first selling experiences with Cutco that shaped his business acumen.
  • Building a company around gratitude.
  • Hear John’s incredible story about the Brooks Brothers.
  • John has unparalleled employee relationships to change the way they do service.
  • John’s advice to small business owners who are trying to gift their customers well.
  • The best gift John has ever received.
  • Re-defining the way that we treat our customers.
  • Make referrals happen by taking care of the “inner circle.”


Follow the link for John’s gift to our listeners! 10 Gifts to Avoid Giving.

Pick up your copy of Giftology by John Ruhlin

Sep 13, 2017

Today, we have Cynthia Spence on show with us. She is the Principal of Cynthia Spence Design, which is a Full-Service Interior Design firm,  located in the San Francisco Bay Area and it caters to both Residential and Commercial clients. Cynthia feels that the world has become increasingly more noisy and so it's really important to her to create environments that are both soothing and restorative for her clients. Today, she spends some time talking about how her previous career, in Marketing and Management positions in prominent Entertainment and High Tech companies, informs her Interior Design career. Listen in to find out more.

Although it's not the typical route to Interior Design, Cynthia's experience in Relationship Marketing, Creative Services, and Project Management has had a role to play in shaping her business and has also contributed largely towards its success. You will benefit from this experience too, as she really goes into a lot of detail about the skills and services that you need to have, in order to create a truly successful firm. Listen in now, to find out what Cynthia has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • How Cynthia's past career created a framework and positioned her perfectly for an Interior Design business.
  • Why the skill of listening is really so important, in the Interior Design business.
  • Cynthia explains her approach to her clients because every client is really uniquely different.
  • Some of the nuts and bolts of how Cynthia's management experience informed her, when she started out with her own business, twelve years ago.
  • Why you really need to take great care of your vendors- and even possibly defend them at times.
  • Creating the right balance between your strengths and weaknesses.
  • The real value in making mistakes.
  • The importance of ethical behavior, honour, and integrity, for your business.
  • Cynthia explains how her business is set up and what it looks like.
  • How to let your client know that you have their project under control. (Even if it doesn't seem that way for you at the time!)
  • Some advice about home automation, for new Designers.
  • Cynthia talks about her super powers.
  • What made Cynthia transition her career to Interior Design.
  • The better you are at what you do, the more in demand your services will be.
  • Why it takes a lot of resilience, to start your own business.
  • Learning to stand in your client's shoes, to really understand them.
  • Cynthia's goals for the next few years.
  • Cynthia discusses the creative aspects of working as an Interior Designer.
  • Some advice for people who are trying to work out how to market their firm.
  • The type of aesthetic that Cynthia prefers.
  • Spinning your own take on a particular style.
  • Creating your own brand.

If you have used any Kravet product recently, take a picture of it, post it to social media, use the hashtag #instakravet and tag Kravet, as they will repost some of them.


Her social media:
Sep 11, 2017

My guest today is Maria V. Kutruff, principal of Viola Interior Design, which is located in the Philadelphia area. Over the last 14 years, Maria’s work has ranged from designing custom furniture to designing office spaces to the renovation of entire residences. She is active in the American Society of Interior Designers, having served on its board and received several awards. She received her master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design from Drexel University, where she currently teaches design at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. Our focus today is around what it takes to be an adjunct professor, including the pros, the cons, and the nitty gritty. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Why the curriculum is set up to help design students explore their creativity
  • Our goal in teaching design: to learn about design first and then budget issues
  • Advice to all design students: Take a business class not related to design
  • Why Maria chooses to be an adjunct professor
  • Stay open to new ideas and stay relevant!
  • New things outside your comfort zone
  • The endless possibilities in networking and connection
  • Requirements to be an adjunct professor and the process in acquiring this position
  • How to reach out to colleagues and cultivate a relationship with a university
  • How to prepare your curriculum and how to teach it
  • The time commitment required as an adjunct each week
  • When mature decisions have to be made about balancing a design business and teaching
  • Term-by-term flexibility as an adjunct
  • Build up your credibility as a new adjunct
  • The possibility that exists in having a full-fledged design career along with a corollary career as an adjunct
  • Get to know people and bring value to them


Drexel University Interior Design Program:
Maria's website:
Email Maria:
Sep 8, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Jody Padar. She's a CPA and she also has a podcast called 'Let's Get Radical', so she goes by the name 'The Radical CPA'. Jody is the CEO and the Principal of New Vision CPA Group, which is a Public Accounting firm based in the Chicago area. Jody joined her father's firm more than ten years ago and today, we talk with her about what happened when she first joined, what it was like and what transpired from that. Listen in to find out more about Jody's radical approach to accounting and how it can really be of benefit to you, in your business.


LuAnn knows that at times, we all have to hear the same thing a number times before the light bulb actually goes on in our heads. Jody, as The Radical CPA, has a very different way of going about helping business owners and small businesses to navigate their way around the accounting side of their businesses and stay on track. It's a far cry from the old and staid model of accounting and this is why LuAnn has invited her on the show today, to put the bug in your ear again and to remind you that it really is time to grow up and do things right in your business. So, listen in now, for some great insights from Jody, about how accounting technology can really work for you, in your business.



Show highlights:


  • Jody talks about what it was like when she joined her father's firm and what happened there, once she joined. 
  • The realization that Jody had about her business ten years ago, as a result of working with all the new technology and software that became available to her through the internet.
  • How Jody banded together with other young CPA's seven years ago and they became coined as a movement of doing things in a different way- or Radical CPA's.
  • The value and insight that a CPA should be bringing to a business, should be in in the forward-looking and the cash flow projections and helping to build the business.
  • In the past, CPA's were so busy doing things, that they didn't have the time to step back and work in an advisory capacity. Now however, they can work in that capacity, because the technology is doing all the work that they used to have to do.
  • What you, as small business owners or Interior Designers, need to know, in order to ask an Accountant or CPA the right questions. 
  • If you're still living in a paper world, the first thing is that you have to automate, because the power is in the data.
  • Working with Cloud Based Accounting. You can put the information in and the technology (the software program) does 85% of the work.
  • Jody suggests using Quick Books Online, or Zero. These will allow both you and your Accountant to log in to your data.
  • Working with your Accountant, in order to realise your goals- It's important to think about where you want to go, in your business, because the way that your Accountant is going to work with you, will be based on your values.
  • Why Jody thinks that CPA's stand in the best position, as Business Coaches.
  • Accounting is the language of business, so you need to be open to the advice of your Accountant, to face the facts and grow your business.
  • It's very important to find the right Accountant- the one that you can really relate to.
  • New school Accountants are building advisory into their practices.
  • It's best to work with an Accountant who is working in a timely manner, in real time.
  • You want to be talking to your Accountant four times a year, at minimum.
  • Most Radical CPA's work in a fixed fee model, charging a subscription based monthly fee. This is to encourage communication.
  • Your choice of entity is your number one tax saving factor. 
  • Sales tax is a huge issue, so you, as Designers really need to talk to a professional about this. 
  • is a great place to go to check out the Sales Tax Laws.
  • You need to keep trying until you find the Accountant who is exactly the right fit for you and your business.




Jody's website: 


You can listen to Jody's podcast, Let's Get Radical, on iTunes or Stitcher.


Jody on Twitter: @jodypadarcpa 


Sep 6, 2017

Today we have Kamila Gornia, a Digital Marketing Strategist, on the show and she's here to help demystify Facebook Ads for us. LuAnn is particularly interested in this topic, because she herself, doesn't have a very good grasp on it. This means that she's tended to put the brakes on with the use of social media in her business, not really knowing if it would be effective enough to be worth spending money on. However, with all the reading and listening that she's been doing around this topic recently, she feels that the time has now come to get to understand it. LuAnn tends to make the assumption that if she's struggling to understand something, then others out there will surely be too, so listen in today, as Kamila helps you to understand how Facebook Ads really work.

When Kamila was only twelve years old and still living in a small town in Poland, she got her first computer. This was very exciting for her, so she dove right in and got a little nerdy. She's the kind of person who, if she sees something that seems exciting to do, she just does it! So she learned HTML and created her first website around Japanese Manga and Anime comic books (not very popular in Poland), and started marketing– without even realizing that that was what she was doing! Her approach to it was very organic and the response that she got via the chat room culture of the time was great, so it actually took off. She found it pretty easy to bring on volunteers to help her to make this available to other people, because everyone was so excited about being part of this really cool venture, even though there was no money being made. She actually managed to get to forty thousand views, without any social media or pay traffic, in less than five months! Listen in now, to find out from Kamila how you can really get Facebook Ads to work for you and your Interior Design Business.

Show highlights:

  • Kamila explains about the two different camps of people when it comes to paid advertising on Facebook.
  • Kamila explains the first things you need to know and have in place, before spending any money or putting your toe into the water of the ads and the paid portion of Facebook.
  • Crafting an offer (or funnel) that you can send the Facebook Ads traffic to.
  • You need to have a very specific and focused way of getting the traffic to your website, so Kamila gives you some really great options for this.
  • Understand that with your email list, you are actually building an asset.
  • Kamila gives some ideas for Interior Designers to create and grow a following.
  • Why Kamila really likes creating quizzes.
  • A mistake that many people tend to do, with making things DIY.
  • Using E-books, Training Programs, Questionaires or Schedule a Call, to create a Call to Action to drive traffic to your website.
  • The Design Industry is very visual, which makes the process a lot easier.
  • Designing your Call to Action, based on your goals.
  • How to format your Call to Action, through using Facebook Ads.
  • Understanding who you're targeting and also what people will be seeing, with your Facebook Ads.
  • What a Carousel Ad
  • The images are the most important thing with Facbook Ads, then after that comes the headline and ad copy.
  • Get straight to the point, with the copy in your ad.
  • Working with Conversion Objective Ads, using pixels. (You can download a Facebook Pixel plug in.)
  • How to add a snippet of code on your Thank You Page, to turn a conversation into a lead. This can be a more profitable way to do things.
  • Understanding who your ads are going to be shown in front of- either a warm audience or a cold one.
  • Creating a warm audience on your website, through using pixels with your Facebook advertising.
  • What it would cost you, to create  Facebook Ads. The prices really vary a lot.
  • How much to budget for, if you're new to Facebook Advertising.


Kamila's website:

Her podcast:
The Kamila Gornia Show: Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Leadership with Heart Behind Hustle
Sep 4, 2017

My guest for today’s amazing show is Candy Scott, the Principal of MOOD Design + Build, based in Chicago. She gives practical advice on launching, growing, and sustaining an interior design business. Candy has 15 years’ experience in both commercial and residential design. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, with a BS in Interior Design. You’ll hear her describe how her early experience working with a large developer and  with large corporate clients, outfitting high-rise condominiums, lobbies, model homes, and showrooms all contributed to some of the principles and lessons she brings to her own business. She founded MOOD Design + Build in 2014, and continues to work with residential clients and small business owners with their homes, offices, and small-scale commercial interiors.

Show highlights:

  • Candy’s background and experience after design school
  • Benefits to working at a furniture store, learning customer service and different segments of the business
  • Making mistakes in the early years: “falling down and getting back up again”
  • The consciousness it takes to “get out of the drama”
  • Finding the place of relating to clients, vendors, and contractors with a sense of mutuality
  • Meeting clients where they are: hearing their frustrations and fear
  • The range of services offered by MOOD Design + Build
  • How the design phase and the build phase differ
  • Breaking down a project into smaller increments and tracking the data
  • How to be the go-to for referrals for the business that larger firms don’t want
  • Why you must attend networking events
  • Weekly sales activity: why you can’t let this part of your business go
  • Developing relationships with realtors
  • Candy’s blog post with 7 Initial Questions for Developing a Beautiful Space and 5 Steps to Making a Beautiful Space (check out her website!)


Candy’s website and blog:

Her Twitter:

Sep 1, 2017

Great news! We have Fred Berns back on the show today, for Power Talk Friday! Fred has been with LuAnn in episodes #22, #48, #96 and #174, so they really go way, way back! If you're new to this show, you have a really great treat in store, because Fred is a Coach, specializing in the Interior Design Industry. He has been coaching and writing promotional copy for Interior Designers for more than thirty years and he is the only Interior Design Business Coach and Speaker who creates promotional materials and personal bio's for Design Professionals, right across the world. Listen in to find out more.

LuAnn just adores Fred, who has really brought so much value to the Design Industry! He creates online profiles, websites, social media copy, blogs, and marketing forums.  Fred believes that the Fall, which he calls The Prime Time For Promotion For Designers, to be the very best time of year for Design Professionals to market themselves. Today, Fred and LuAnn discuss ways that you can sell yourself to the same customers and clients that you have, and also to some new ones, so listen in now, as we find out from Fred why he believes this to be the very best time for you to be promoting your business.

Show highlights:

  • Fred explains why he sees the Fall as the time for gold.
  • Fred explains his concept of a September Letter and what should go into it.
  • The main motive behind the September Letter is to re-introduce yourself to the market place and to remind them about the fabulous services that you have to offer, with your new, killer bio.
  • All the different people that you could send a September Letter to.
  • What Fred sees as the number one obstacle for Design Professionals around the world.
  • Some great ideas for Fall Specials.
  • Fred's thoughts on giving special offers, without having to lower your fees.
  • Snail mail sometimes has more impact than emails.
  • Fred goes over his Champions Checklist.
  • LuAnn gives some great ideas for Marketing yourself in the Fall and building your networking muscle.
  • Fred reminds you that you miss a hundred percent of the shots you didn't take.
  • What your blog posts need to be addressing, right now.
  • Some ideas for a Fall Fix Up Session.
  • More good reasons for marketing yourself in the Fall.
  • Both Fred and LuAnn are going to be at America's Mart, in Atlanta, in the last week of September.
  • If you're looking for some help with your September Letter, or with your Fall Strategy, go to for a thirty-minute session with Fred.


His website:
Aug 31, 2017

You're probably wondering what LuAnn's doing here on a Thursday, right? Well, this is a news flash that needed it's own show and its own announcement,  so here it is: LuAnn, together with Nancy Ganzekaufer, the first person on the show to introduce the concept of niching in Interior Design (episode #9), is launching a ten week, Live Coaching Session and it's called Money, Mindset And  Sales. LuAnn really wants to make sure that you've heard about it and that you have the chance to be in on this program, so listen in now- it's going to be killer!

Nancy and LuAnn hatched this idea about a week and a half ago after they had a conversation about how they both love talking to people and teaching them about sales and they've been discussing this idea, almost constantly, since then. They also really love to see the breakthrough when someone has a shift in mindset about something, so they made a snap decision to do a Coaching Session together. No grass grows under their feet, so listen in to find out how to really kick it out and bring it home in this year of 2017.

Show highlights:

  • Nancy was back on the show for episode #159 and there she gave a list of what you need to do, to get really confident and clear on what you offer to your Interior design clients.
  • LuAnn explains how the program, which is starting on the 13th of September, is going to work.
  • Every session will be recorded and made available to you in your inbox, on that day, in case the time zone doesn't work for you.
  • You will also have access to LuAnn and Nancy through a Facebook Group, for your questions.
  • There will be a limited number of people accepted for this program.
  • The two free coaching sessions that you will get with this program.
  • Together, LuAnn and Nancy have fifty years of experience in high ticket sales.
  • LuAnn explains what her goals are, for this program.
  • LuAnn discusses two more goodies that you will get, with this program.
  • LuAnn talks about her book, The Making Of A Well Designed Business.
  • LuAnn discusses Nancy's fifteen module course, called Nail Your Sales Training.
  • LuAnn gives you the cost of their Money, Mindset, And Sales coaching session.
  • Go to for all the information and to see a video of LuAnn and Nancy describing the course.
  • This course can really help you to kill it in the last quarter of 2017!


Aug 30, 2017

Today is the third show in the series which has been sponsored by Certified Cruelty Free Design, which is the heart project and brainchild of Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Design in Miami, Florida. If this is the first time that you're listening to this show, you can go back and listen to #82, where we met Deborah Rosenberg, to find out more about her and how she runs her business.

Then, in episode #117, she explains in detail about the CEU Course that she created, in Certified Cruelty Free Design. Then there is the sponsored show, with this being the third show of that series. In episode #212, Deborah spoke about her Course and about why it's so important for you to consider, as a Designer. In episode #218, Deborah explained the resources and marketing of Certified Cruelty Free Design. Go back and listen in, because all these shows are really well worth listening to.

Today, we get to meet Rachelle DiCecco, an Interior Design Student in Australia. Rachelle is in her final semester and when she heard about Certified Cruelty Free Design, she decided to take the course. On the show today, Rachelle shares her impressions of the course and her opinions about its content and also, how she expects to make use of it in her career as an Interior Designer. Listen in now, to find out more about the ins and outs of Deborah's Certified Cruelty Free Design Course.

Show highlights:

  • Rachelle explains what compelled her to take the course. She found no other course like it when doing her research.
  • Rachelle explains, in practical terms, how one goes about taking the course, the time it takes and what it consists of. The course is extremely flexible and you can jump in and out of it whenever you want to, so it's very easy to work with.
  • Rochelle talks about the content of the course. There was way more content there than she expected to find.
  • Rochelle explains about the fantastic support system which has been set up for everyone taking the course, all around the world.
  • Rochelle found that she was completely satisfied with the whole course.
  • Rachelle talks about the impact that the course has had on her and what she's come to realize, since taking it.
  • The kind of responsibility that follows the Cruelty Free awareness.
  • How Rachelle intends to incorporate what she's learned in the course, into her future career.
  • The great response from Rachelle's lecturers, towards her taking the course.
  • How Rachelle intends to deal with clients who want to use leather or other non-sustainable products.
  • Becoming part of this worldwide socially conscious, ethical network was a really huge thing for Rachelle. It's way bigger than she previously thought.
  • Rachelle will never look furniture in quite the same way again.
  • The vast amount of ethical alternatives that Rachelle intends to bring to the attention of her future clients.


Rachelle's Website:
Certified Cruelty Free
Her Twiter:
Cert Cruelty-Free

Dimare Design

Aug 28, 2017

The guest on today's show is Allison Fannin, the Texan Principal of Two Thirty-Five Designs. LuAnn invited her on the show for a very specific reason- and then, while researching her, she discovered that Allison actually had twenty-seven thousand followers on Pinterest! Allison graciously agreed to make the focus of today's discussion about the figuring out of the whole Pinterest thing. So, listen in, as LuAnn and Allison pick this topic apart. 

In episode #209, LuAnn interviewed Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson, of the Savour Partnership. During that interview, Leslie pointed out that if you're not using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, you're actually missing the boat. LuAnn didn't even know how to do that, so she took some steps to find out. Then, shortly afterward, she received a message from Darla Powell, asking if she was going to get a Pinterest expert on the show. LuAnn decided that if she and Darla were both wanting to find out about it, most likely you were too.  So listen in now, to find out more about how to use Pinterest and also Instagram and Facebook, to drive traffic to your website.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn explains how she and Allison came to be connected, through a crazy picture and caption on Magazine Living, on Instagram.
  • Allison's huge number of followers on Pinterest and Instagram, where she herself, only follows a fraction of that number of people.
  • Allison talks about how Pinterest, which has really become a massive search engine, has evolved, over the years.
  • Allison explains how Pinterest works and how you can use it best, to get more traffic.
  • Group Boards on Pinterest.
  • Allison explains why she has so many more followers on Pinterest than the number of people that she follows, herself.
  • The amount of time that Allison actually spends on Pinterest.
  • Allison explains how Pinterest works, as a technical driver of traffic to your website.
  • Using Rich Pins and Keywords for SEO, when using Pinterest.
  • Why it's a good idea to have a Business Account on Pinterest.
  • How Rich Pins work in conjunction with your website.
  • Why you should put your blog name in the title of your pictures.
  • Pinterest has become a lot like Instagram- it's really about the pretty stuff.
  • The method of using re-pins effectively, for a constant flow, on Pinterest.
  • Titling your pictures properly on Pinterest, for optimum SEO.
  • You can follow selectively, on Pinterest.
  • Using basic words to name your Boards on Pinterest.
  • There are several services that you can use, (like Boardbooster) to schedule out your pins on Pinterest.
  • You can go back to old posts and edit them- don't forget to re-pin when you do!
  • Coming up with the right titles for Pinterest posts.
  • Using subtitles on Pinterest.
  • How Allison's following on Pinterest and Instagram has translated into money for her.           


Allison's website:

Allison on Facebook and Instagram:

Aug 25, 2017

On today's episode of Power Talk Friday, LuAnn has an absolutely ridiculous treat for you!  She has Lee Cockerell with her, who's name may or may not be familiar to you... He has spent his career leading operations all over the world, for Hilton Hotels, Mariott Hotels, and Walt Disney Company.

He spent more than twenty years with the Walt Disney Company, where he ultimately became Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Operations. Since then, he has gone on to form his own company,  where he shares what he has learned and he makes available his breakthrough methods for becoming a better manager and a great leader. LuAnn is really busting at the seams because this is truly her kind of topic!  Lee is also has a podcast called Creating Disney Magic, where he shares his Disney experiences in an effort to help people like you become better leaders and managers. 

(Episode no.1 of that podcast is a really interesting one, where Lee literally goes through his entire career.)  At Disney, they created an environment where every employee matters and they know they matter. In addition to that, he has written four books, called Creating  Magic- Ten Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney,  The Customer Rules-Thirty Nine Essential Rules For Delivering Sensational Customer Service, Time Management Magic- How To Get More Done Every Day And More From  Surviving To Thriving  and his latest book, Creating Career Magic- How To Stay On Track And Create A Stellar Career. There are three things that Lee and his team do better than everybody else, which really makes all the difference, they hire better, they train better and they treat them (their employees) better. That is the key that either creates success for most organizations or not, according to Lee. Listen in now, as LuAnn (who is literally beyond herself right now) talks to Lee about his thoughts and processes, on the show today.

There are three things that Lee and his team do better than everybody else, which really makes all the difference, they hire better, they train better and they treat them (their employees) better. That is the key that either creates success for most organizations or not, according to Lee. Listen in now, as LuAnn (who is literally beyond herself right now) talks to Lee about his thoughts and processes, on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Lee talks about his philosophy around ways to really set your organization apart, in the eyes of your customers and your employees. It's really important to be very clear about your level of expectations.
  • According to Lee, there are three things that you have to have, to be successful- You have to have a skill, you have to have the right positive attitude and you have to have passion.
  • Hire slow and fire fast.
  • Disney has a hundred and thirty questions that potential employees have to answer, before even being granted an interview. Lee relates some of these to a Designer, or a small firm, considering making their first hire. (His book, The Customer Rules, has a chapter on how to hire the right people.) In Lee's opinion, most people don't know how to conduct a proper interview.
  • Lee recommends reading Don't Hire Anyone Without Me, by Carol Quinn, to help you to hire the right people.
  • Obstacles are the name of the game. The way people have handled obstacles in the past will be a good indicator of how they deal with them in the future.
  • Lee talks about training people the Disney way. Everything matters! A bad employee will kill your business.
  • The key to great training is remembering that the customer is more important than anything else! Everyone needs to understand where they fit in and how they matter.
  • All Disney contractors go through the same training as their employees.
  • Lee explains his concept of firing fast. Be careful who you hire!
  • When you're clear with people, you get better performance.
  • People only change for two reasons- education, or crisis.
  • It's important for your employees to understand that when you pull them up about something, you're only coming to them to help them to be better.
  • Role modeling is very important for employees (and children!)
  • Lee's advice for great time management. Discipline and a good system for planning are really most important here. Fix yesterday, every day, before it gets out of control because regrets are really tough to handle. (This is reflection.)
  • Excellence is a state of mind.
  • Provide Free Fuel for your employees every day: Appreciation, Recognition, and Encouragement. You can hand these three out all day, to increase your employee's levels of commitment.
  • Fix one thing you've been putting off for years-next week!
  • Do things on purpose. Life will get a whole lot better, real quick!
  • People really notice a good attitude and discipline.


Lee's website:

His podcast: Creating Disney Magic
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