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

In today's world being a talent interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have 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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Aug 18, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is A.J.Wilcox and he brings a brand new topic to the show. In the more than two hundred episodes that have aired over the past year and a half, we have never before discussed Linkedin and so A.J. has just become our Linkedin Guru. LuAnn has never considered Linkedin to be a particularly hot platform for the Interior Design Industry, because Interior Design is a very visual industry, which makes use of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and Linkedin seems a little serious by comparison.

LuAnn does have a Linkedin profile, however she does literally nothing at all with it. In fact, she recently told a story on one of the podcasts about a Designer who reached out to her with a private message on Linkedin, complimenting her about the show and LuAnn knew nothing about it for almost three months! She knows, however, that every bit of social media and marketing is really valuable and if you're going to do something, you need to do it right, so she's really glad to have A.J. on the show with her today. Listen in to find out what you really need to know about Linkedin. 

 

A.J.'s a tri-athlete and he lives in Utah with his wife and four kids.  He fell in love with Linkedin back in 2011 and he liked it so much that he started an agency which focuses on Linkedin ads only. When LuAnn found out that his company car is a go-cart, she knew that this was going to be a really fun interview!  Listen in to find out how Linkedin can really work for you, as Designers. It's a very good platform for being professional.

 

Show highlights:

 

  • A.J. explains some of the basics of Linkedin and where it's value really lies.
  • Some really nice short cuts that you can take, when setting up with Linkedin, to get what you do out there and in everybody's minds. You can ignore the rules and work out of the box!
  • About three or four months ago, Linkedin underwent a re-design and changed a whole bunch of stuff around. Now they've added a free form field, for your profile. Use that to explain what you're all about and why people should care about you and want to hire you.
  • There are portfolio editions of Linkedin, where you can add video clips. This is very powerful to help you prove your worth.
  • A.J. would not necessarily treat the resume section of the Linkedin profile as such. He would rather talk about the results you've had and why you're worth paying attention to.
  • Linkedin seems a bit stiff and professional, so it's worth injecting your unique personality into it, to make you really stand out.
  • Talk simply on Linkedin and assume that nobody has any idea of what it is that you do, so you'll be educating them. Try to be fun, because then you really will stand out.
  • A.J. has a really cool hack, for getting yourself out there on Linkedin.
  • Linkedin bought a company called Pulse, which is a news app, with the goal to bring people to their platform more regularly and to get them to spend more time there. They've made it socially interactive, so you can comment and like- and even go viral.
  • If you post your status on a project on  Linkedin, all your contacts will see it. This is a really great opportunity to connect with some powerful business people with a great deal of disposable income.
  • A post on Linkedin can even stay up on your feed for a day and a half. This can really save you time.
  • You want to generate a reaction. Ask for feedback. You want people to comment so that your post spreads. 
  • Run a quiz or ask a question, to get people to react.
  • You can now tag people on Linkedin.
  • Endorsing for skill sets- This is to provide social proof of your most proficient skill sets.
  • Be very targeted about who you want to have relationships with and who you want introductions to, on Linkedin. 
  • Once you're connected to someone on Linkedin, you have unlimited free messages between the two of you. You also then have access to their email address. 
  • The benefits of upgrading to the paid version of Linkedin- their Premium Profile. 
  • The Influencers on Linkedin.  If you write an article that gets a lot of response, it could be kicked up and get to reach a huge number of people.
  • How to write an article on Linkedin. It's just like writing a full blog post, with features and all.
  • Use Linkedin to drive traffic to your website.
  • You can also find specific groups on Linkedin and interact with people there. It's a great way to grow your network.

Connect with AJ:

His website

http://b2linked.com 

His twitter
@B2Linked
 
His LinkedIn:
linkedin.com/company/B2Linked
Aug 16, 2017

Today, we have the second show in our sponsored content series by Cruelty Free Design. Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Design and the founder and creator of Cruelty Free Design, has sponsored three shows. The first show was episode #212, where we spoke in depth about Cruelty Free Design and the program that she has developed. Today's show is going to feature the marketing and the resources that you get, when going through the Cruelty Free Course. The third show will be airing in a few weeks and that will be an interview with a Designer who has completed the course. If all this is new information for you, if you haven't heard any of these shows before, LuAnn suggests that you start off by listening to episode #82, where we first met Deborah Rosenberg, a really smart lady who runs a great business, and there she discussed her Design Firm, DiMare Design in Miami. Then, in episode #117, we discussed her certified Cruelty Free Course in more depth and about how it was getting ready to launch. LuAnn really hopes that you're enjoying this series and that it's something that's making you think. If animal rights, veganism and Cruelty Free is a passion of yours, all the better, because it certainly is a very profitable avenue to consider, from a marketing standpoint. Listen in now, to find out more.

In today's show, we are going to talk about the second set of information, which is important for you, as Interior Designers in this emerging field. Here's the thing about Deborah- if you go back and listen to the other episodes with her, you'll see and hear her commitment for yourself.  She's the creator of a fully accredited, online educational course, geared for students, designers, retailers, manufacturers and companies, in the Design and Textile Industry. The course, Certified Cruelty Free, educates businesses and consumers about Cruelty Free alternatives and provides them with vegan resources. Deborah donates a portion of all the proceeds from both companies, towards saving the lives of animals, killed for their skins, in the industry. This is really a mission of love, for Deborah. Listen in as we talk about the resources that are available to you, as Interior Designers and also about how you, as a Designer, would approach the marketing of these products. (Remember, that if you actually take the course, you will get access to the full 'bible' of resources.)

Show highlights:

  • Deborah gives a quick description of what Vegan Design is all about.
  • Deborah discusses some of the fabulous alternatives that can be used, instead of wool, silk or animal skins. The faux alternatives are durable and well priced.
  • Even Bentley, (the car) who were known for their leather interiors, are coming up with a vegan car as an alternative, because their consumers are now demanding vegan interiors.
  • Banana silk looks and feels exactly like silk. It even has that sheen.
  • Kravet have a huge amount of faux leathers as well as tons of other resources and fabrics which are vegan.
  • Deborah's company is reaching out to many manufacturers, to have their badge put on the fabrics which are acceptable as vegan alternatives.
  • According to research, one in three Australians are willing to pay more for socially responsible products.
  • Deborah's company now has it's own line, called Arthur Avenue, which has completely vegan custom upholstery pieces.
  • There are also vegan alternatives available for the less expensive lines.
  • There is a company in New York, called Aurora Lampshades, who do vegan lighting alternatives.
  • A lot of paint contains a mineral which comes from cows. Vegan paints are available, however they are a little difficult to apply.
  • How a Designer can go about approaching clients about this subject.
  • Faux leather actually performs better than real leather, when they are placed side by side.
  • Vegan alternatives are most conducive to someone who has allergies, or even to children with autism.
  • There is a huge network of support available for Designers doing the Cruelty Free Course.
  • Deborah offers some great tips for marketing vegan options. The key is really to surround yourself with like minded people.
  • Vegan Design is not only about the animals. About ninety percent of the people working in tanneries in India die before the age of fifty, due to the disgraceful environments that they work in.
  • The world is changing really fast. Over half of all Americans won't buy a product that they believe to be unethical.
  • Creating a peaceful space that has no blood, or tragedy in it.

Deborah explains all about her Cruelty Free Course. Go to www.certifiedcrueltyfree.net to get the details, or to sign up. The course is usually $350, however if you put in the promo code  LuAnn, you will get 20% off, so you will only pay $280. After doing the course, you will be added to Deborah's database.

Aug 14, 2017

Have you heard of the Morpholio Project yet?  Well, today LuAnn has something pretty cool to share with you. Morpholio is an IOS app and LuAnn has the co-creator, Anna Kenoff, with her, on the show. This app was designed as a tool for your presentations, for working with and collaborating and critiquing presentations, with your clients.  The news about this app has been featured in Wired, Fast Company, USA Today, ABC News, Arch Daily, Dwell and also a dozen other outlets. LuAnn really thinks that you're going to like this awesome and groundbreaking app for your design business, so listen in to find out more about how it can really save you time and energy!

Anna,  is an Architect who found a need, while doing her work. Like many other brilliant people that have been featured on the show this past year, she gathered some of her smart friends and together and they built an answer to her problems. And so, Morpholio was born! Anna has had some really significant projects, as an Architect, including the Queen's library, in collaboration with New York City's Design Excellence Program, New York's first edible school yard, in Brooklyn and Public Farm One, commissioned by Moma PS One. She has a Master's in Architecture, from Columbia University and a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture, from the University of Virginia. Listen in now, to find out more about this really innovative new app and it's really awesome features for Designers.

 

Show highlights:

  • Anna explains what Morpholio is all about, what it comprises of and how she came up with it.
  • Anna walks you through how a Morpholio Board will work for you, in real time, during a presentation.
  • Anna explains some of the technicalities of working with the Morpholio Mood Board.
  • Morpholio has a curated library of thousands of amazing pieces of furniture, fixtures, fittings and finishes. Anna explains how this works for you, when you're designing a Mood Board with Morpholio- and you can create and add your own library too.
  • The really sophisticated and smart tools that Anna and her team create for iPads.
  • Morpholio can really hold tons of information, in a much smaller format.
  • Pinterest is such an important way that Designers and their clients communicate, so Morpholio has a portal directly to Pinterest.
  • Morpholio has recently partnered with Pinterest, so it's the only app on the planet that they are allowing to portal into your Secret Boards.
  • You can adjust the colors on the images, with Morpholio.
  • The research mindset that Anna and her team started out with.
  • How you, as a Designer, could use Pinterest in conjunction with Morpholio.
  • You can actually manipulate the images when you import them into Morpholio.
  • Morpholio is a really efficient tool for smaller businesses- and its almost revived the iPad!
  • How to become a member of Morpholio.
  • Go to #morpholioboard on Instagram and have a look!
  • It really doesn't cost much, to use Morpholio. It's only $3,99 for the Entry Level App and $11,99 for the Pro Version.

 

Links:

 

The Morpholio website: www.morpholioapps.com

 

You can also find Morpholio on Facebook and Instagram

Aug 11, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Natalie Eckdahl and LuAnn is absolutely delighted to welcome her to the show! Natalie has really helped LuAnn in her journey and even after thirty years of being in business, there are things that she's learned from Natalie and taken back to Window Works!  Listen in to find out what Natalie has to share with you today.

Natalie is the founder of the Biz Chix Community and she's the host of the Biz Chix Podcast. She's a Business Strategist and a High-Performance Coach, helping high achieving women entrepreneurs to build, grow and scale their businesses and she does this across all industries and time zones. Natalie, who holds an MBA, has been recognized as one of the top women in business to listen to and she's been featured in Inc, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur. She has twenty years of experience and she's done over two hundred podcast interviews and is famous for doing her really valuable on-air coaching calls. Natalie is a very intuitive lady, who recognizes the little nuggets in people and really helps and moves them.  In addition to all of this, she has a husband, Mark, and three kids, aged two to fifteen. Natalie really is one busy lady! Listen in, as Natalie shares her expertise with you, on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Some of the common things that ring true with people who are struggling with their businesses.
  • Dealing with confidence issues and your mindset, when starting out in business.
  • Let people know what you do, in your business- you never know who is going to have a contact for you.
  • Using the art of balance, with your postings on social media.
  • You really do need a separate business bank account, when starting out in your business. You will really feel like the boss when you eventually transfer your profits to your personal account, for your family to spend, or save.
  • Knowing your numbers in business- this is very important! Also, get some advice from a Tax Professional.
  • It's really worth hiring a book keeper, to get your business set up. Then you can check in with them on a quarterly basis. It will save you time and money, going forward.
  • Focus and work on your strengths. Outsource the things that you really find hard to do.
  • Why, as a Designer, you shouldn't charge too little. Have the confidence to charge what you really are worth.
  • Most women really struggle with issues of confidence. Having an accountability partner really helps.
  • How Natalie mixes her Masterminds.
  • Giving yourself permission to take some time off from work. Remember that Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
  • Being accountable for your time. You can even hire people to set deadlines for you and help you to get creative things done on time.
  • Developing boundaries with your clients. They often don't realize that they're asking more of you than necessary.
  • If you're married and money's not coming in from your business, your husband is not going to take your business seriously- he's going to think you have a hobby. Creating a regular amount that you can commit to the family will smooth this out and make you feel confident about yourself and your business.
  • Natalie discusses the Live Event that she's planning for Women Entrepreneurs in Orange County, in between San Diego and Los Angeles, from the 18th to the 20th of October this year.

Links:

Natalie's Podcast:

Biz Chix Podcast - Female Entrepreneurs Women in Business

You can go to Natalie's website. www.bizchix.com  and click on the yellow 'community' button, to get an invitation to join her free, open Facebook Group for women.

Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/bizchixpodcast/
Aug 9, 2017

Today, we have Kate O'Hara back on the show. Kate handles the marketing for Martha O'Hara Interiors and she has managed to grow their Facebook Page to two hundred thousand followers- enough to almost make LuAnn's brain explode! A lot of Designers have Facebook Pages, so Kate has graciously agreed to come back on the show, to help you to figure out and understand how you can try to duplicate what she has managed to do for her Design Firm. Listen in as Kate gives you some really actionable ways to do this.

Show highlights:

  • It really makes sense to go back and look at how you have things set up on your Facebook Page because every few months, something on Facebook is changing and you don't always know what that is and what you can do that's new. It's important to often check how you're set up and to update your page and your profile, as time passes.
  • Firstly, you need to think about the Facebook platform itself and what you want it to do for you. It can really be so many different things to different businesses.
  • You need to be creating consistent posts that you know your viewers can rely on, that they will The posts need to be relevant to the people who are following you.
  • There is a lot of success to be found in the more subtle nuances of social media- Facebook in particular. For example, are you trying to attract new clients, or are you wanting to build and interact with your community?
  • Putting thought to who you want to reach out to, may change the type of post that you're going to put together.
  • Kate explains how you're going to set up your Facebook Page: 1) Go back and look at how you've set up your business page (this must be separate from your personal page). 2) You may want to adjust your custom URL. 3) Fill in your 'about' page. All that info really is important. 4) Make your page really visually appealing- the cover photo is a huge opportunity for businesses.
  • A Call To Action can even be a contact button.
  • Take the time to fix things that look unprofessional- otherwise, you will appear
  • The posts that you're creating are really important! You need to share your work in ways that are meaningful to the people that you're talking to. They need to be fun and engaging.
  • Ways that you can add that extra layer of fun, or usefulness of the images that you're posting.
  • You will serve yourself best by being as mutually promotional with other firms, as you can be.
  • A little Facebook secret- when you're looking at your news feed, you see both what is recent and what is popular. Likes, shares, and comments are really important! Think quality over quantity.
  • Facebook really gives you great and direct feedback. Go and look at your analytics and adjust your course, if necessary.
  • Pay attention to what people are saying in their comments. Respond, or even edit things, if necessary.
  • You are ultimately in control of the tone that you're willing to accept on your page.
  • Schedule out your posts in batches, to remain consistent and save yourself time.
  • Consistency really is key with your posting.
 
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oharainteriors/
 
Website: http://oharainteriors.com
Aug 7, 2017

Welcome to a solo show with a big purpose! I’m dedicating this episode as a bona fide, unsolicited shout-out to Rachel Moriarty of Design + Style. I mention her often on the show because she is always impressive, but she just now hit the one-year anniversary of going Facebook Live to her consumer community EVERY DAY FOR ONE YEAR. To show my significant high five to Rachel for her accomplishment, let’s talk about some of the inspiration she has spread around in the design community.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Why Facebook Live?
    • Use it to make connections, grow your business, and help people
    • How Rachel’s interior design tips and advice have helped her fellow designers
  • Since her “challenge” began, she and Dixie Willard have started the Design + Style podcast, using audio AND video to stay on the cutting edge of delivering content
  • How Rachel’s success is impacting me to take advantage of Facebook Live and why I’ve been so hesitant to do it because of the work, commitment, and consistency required to DO IT RIGHT
  • Why Rachel and Dixie are soon launching another podcast
  • Other Facebook groups that are valuable to designers:
    • What They Don’t Teach You in Design School, with Veronica Solomon
    • Interior Design Business Strategies, with Claire Jefford
  • The myth (and the fear) is that you shouldn’t share “your secrets” with your competitors, but here are the facts:
    • Your brand is WHO YOU ARE
    • Don’t be afraid to share your systems
    • No one will connect with your consumers like you do
  • In honour of Rachel’s accomplishment and what she’s created, it’s the perfect time to launch my Facebook Coaching podcasts, so stay tuned for more inspiration in design!

Resources:

Rachel's podcast: Design+Style
 
Rachel's website: Rachel M Interiors
 
Her episode on our Show #55: Rachel Moriarty – Message to solopreneurs – Act As If the World is Watching
 
Rachel's Email: rachelminteriors@gmail.com
 
Her Face Book Page for Designers: Design And Style Podcast
 
Claire Jefford’s group: Interior Design Business Strategies
 
And Veronica Solomon’s group:
What They Don’t Teach You In Design School
Aug 4, 2017

Welcome to another episode of Power talk Friday! Today LuAnn has Stephanie Chung with her on the show. Stephanie has a company called Stephanie Chung and Associates, where she offers Sales Training, Executive Coaching and also Small Business Mentorship, to companies nationwide. Stephanie also has a course, called High Ticket Selling Made Simple which has been designed to help business owners sell more and make more. Listen in to find out more about Stephanie and her company.

Stephanie used to work as a Sales Executive in the Aviation and Private Jet Industry, where she mastered the art of high ticket selling. She has mentored and coached numerous people, including some of the highest paid, most elite Sales Professionals in the country. She serves Business leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Sales Professionals, using her proven Executive Coaching and Sales Training. Stephanie is a contributor on ABC, CBS, and NBC and she's authored Profit Like A Girl- A Woman's Guide To Kicking Butt In Sales And Leadership and also Embrace The Suck- How To Grow And Succeed In Business. LuAnn is really beyond tickled with all of this, so listen in now, as she and Stephanie discuss the mindset moves that are necessary to really scale your sales.

Show highlights:

  • What it all really comes down to is your own version of your own self-worth. Your financial beliefs play a role in the whole equation and sometimes people tend to struggle with that when selling their intellectual property. Stephanie digs into all the factors that contribute to that struggle.
  • Financial self-worth and your mindset- why you should be very careful to never let your own financial beliefs creep into any sales conversation.
  • It's never about you- it's always about the buyer in front of you.
  • Stephanie explains how you can break out of a limited mindset. Remember that it's not your concern how much your customer can afford. You need to ensure that your presentation of your product (your digital footprint), or service actually aligns with your product or service.
  • Run your business with excellence.
  • If someone agrees to meet with you, it means that they've already done some research about you and they have already decided that you are going to be worth their time.
  • Always approach a conversation with a buyer by looking at what it is that they want or need.
  • Ask the buyer questions that go a little deeper, because sometimes the buyer can't really articulate what it is that they need.
  • Use the power of silence.
  • Really knowing your stuff and getting results will help build your confidence.
  • Stephanie shares a technique that she uses with her VIP clients, called Pre-emptive Strike. Know the objections that are going to come your way and bring them up in advance, so that you can control the message.
  • Remember to never bring your price down, if the buyer can't afford it. Rather take something away. This way you keep your price integrity.
  • Only ask the buyer questions that you don't know the answers to. This will help you better understand how to solve their problem.
  • After setting your agenda with a client, mention that you're not necessarily the Designer for everyone.... Great for getting the right
  • If you really want to become a better salesperson, there is ample information out there, for you.
  • Stephanie has done courses before, specifically for Interior Designers. (For example, High Ticket Selling Made Simple)

Links:

Stephanie's website: www.stephaniechung.com You can find loads of free resources there.

To get a free download of Stephanie's book, go to: www.profitlikeagirl.com

Aug 2, 2017

Today's show is a special one. It's a sponsored show- sponsored by Cruelty Free Designs, which is the brain child and love project of Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Designs in Miami, Florida. Deborah has been on the show before, on episodes #82 and #117 and now she's sponsoring three shows, to tell you- her colleagues, all about Cruelty Free Design. Listen in to find out more.

These three shows will cover firstly what it really means to be Cruelty Free Design, then the resources which are available for Cruelty Free Design and then there will also be a special episode with a Designer who has taken Deborah's course. LuAnn really hopes that you will enjoy this little series! Listen in now, to the first episode, with Deborah Rosenberg, where we're going to take a little time to give the back story of why this is so personal to Deborah- why she has transitioned to making her whole business cruelty free and why this really is such an important thing for you to think about.

  • Show highlights:
  • Deborah has developed a Certification Course in Cruelty Free Design and she explains how this came to be an undertaking for herself and her Firm to develop and also why it's so important to her.
  • The really cruel and inhumane ways that animals are treated, within the corporate industry, being viewed as commodities, rather than sentient creatures. It's really hard to believe what human beings are actually capable of doing to animals!
  • There really is no such thing as responsible wool, or responsible fur.
  • Does it really cost too much to be compassionate?
  • This cruelty mostly happens in countries where there are no regulations.
  • The really awful conditions for humans in tanneries.
  • 56% of Americans stop buying from sources that they view as unethical.
  • The importance of getting educated about all this, as a Designer.
  • Going vegan and the environment- these things are all connected.
  • Sixteen million people in the US are now vegan- many of these people have become aware of the cruelty in these industries through watching videos.
  • The different ways that you could approach this, as a Designer.
  • Animal fur, or leather can cause problems for children with autism, or for people with allergies.
  • Deborah's Certification Course In Cruelty Free Design has now become accredited.
websites:
http://www.certifiedcrueltyfree.net
http://www.dimaredesign.com

 

Jul 31, 2017

Today's guest on the show is Carly Waters, the Principal of Carly Waters Style. Carly has really loved design ever since she was a little girl. As the daughter of an attorney, however, she followed in her Dad's footsteps and became an attorney too. Listen in to find out how she ultimately managed to change that and follow her heart and her dreams.

Carly graduated from UC Hastings in 2010 and started out in what would be a career in Family Law, at an esteemed Law Firm in San Francisco. Her heart really wasn't in it though, so when she went on maternity leave while pregnant with her son, she rediscovered her love for interiors. She designed their apartment in San Francisco and got it featured on Apartment Therapy. This was when she started taking on some Design clients, on the side. After going back to practicing Family Law, however, she realized pretty quickly that it was time for her to leave the law behind. So, when they moved to LA for a job opportunity for her husband, Carly decided that this was the right time for her to strike out on her own, so she started Carly Waters Style in 2014. Here's the thing- in these three short years, Carly has been featured in My Domain, People, Rue, Simply Spaced, Apartment Therapy and Martha Stewart. Listen in now, to find out how Carly managed to achieve all of this, in such a short period of time.

Show highlights:

  • Carly explains how she managed to achieve all that she has, only three years after opening her firm. She really went about it in an intentional way and hired a Coach, Annie Little, who specifically helps attorneys to leave the law. She also spent a full six months making preparations and getting her ducks in a row.
  • Carly really made use of her friends and connections to get ahead in her business.
  • Carly started out initially with organizing clients.
  • After about six months, she decided to take things further and started working with a Realtor and found a house to renovate. This was the house that she used for her portfolio and it was also shot for her My Domain feature.
  • Carly realized that she can't do everything, so she hires people who are experts and she oversees them. She helped a friend with her office, in exchange for putting all her drawings onto CAD.
  • What really stood out for Carly, from her first big project was that you should not try to 'band aid' the problems in the house, because it will eventually end up costing you a whole lot more.
  • It's really important to have your plans and drawings ready, before bringing the contractors in. You will always have problems to solve, however it really does help to be prepared.
  • Carly has really learned to see her worth and understand her value, over time.
  • Carly has really made full use mentors and her network of friends and connections, to help her to learn out about the aspects of the business that she needed to understand.
  • How Carly managed to be published in so many publications in such a short period of time. She used her contacts and knew that she really had to have professional photographs, amongst other things.
  • Carly explains about her hourly rate and about her minimum fee of $5000, both of which she's stated on her website.
  • You really need to surround yourself with people that really support you and elevate you.

Links:

Carly's website: www.carlywatersstyle.com

Jul 28, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Yian Quach.  Yian, who is originally from Seattle, Washington, has been designing websites since 2015 and he helps professionals in the Design Industry to cure their web site pain so that they can grow their businesses. There is a particular mention, on his website, that LuAnn found quite interesting- in addition to his role as Website Doctor, Yian really loves educating and his original career was as an English Teacher!  Listen in as Yian explains all about his real genius ways with websites.

Yian's clients have been published in a number of top shelf magazines, including Architectural Digest, Lux, Hudson Mod and Editor At Large. The thing about Yian is that he has a rare combination of skills in the areas of Website  Design, Copywriting and Coding and he's also familiar with all the nuances of the Interior Design Industry. He regularly attends Industry Trade Shows, so you may even know him. In the past year, he's been at High Point Spring Market, Brooklyn Designs, ICFF (where he and LuAnn did a Facebook Live for Curated Kravet), The D and D Building Spring Market and later this month, he'll be at Las Vegas Furniture Market. Listen in now, to learn about the really actionable ways that Yian works to help people to cure their website pains.

Show highlights:

  • The kinds of website pains that Yian cures.
  • Yian explains the details of his Criteria List of twelve items, which he uses to evaluate websites.
  1. Does the website feel clean and easy to use?
  2. Does the website feel complete and up to date?
  3. Does the website feel thoughtfully written and succinct?
  4. Does the website feel fresh?
  5. Does the website feel guided?
  6. Does the website feel beautiful?
  7. Does the website feel personal enough?
  8. Does the website feel cohesive?
  9. Does the website/designer feel endorsed?
  10. Does the website/designer feel credible and authoritative?
  11. Does the website feel actionable?
  12. Does the website feel polished?
  • Yian tests his very simple Grading System (A+ to E) that he uses to evaluate websites, on his own website.
  • Consider hiring a wedding photographer to get a really great video for your website.
  • Yian helps LuAnn to evaluate her website, using his Criteria List.
  • Yian points out some missed opportunities on LuAnn's website.
  • The impact of having website photos that fill the whole screen.
  • The cohesiveness of the voice on websites is something that is often overlooked.
  • Yian points out where LuAnn's website could be more actionable.
  • Yian assists LuAnn with ways to tweak the logo and header on her website.
  • Yian encourages you to take advantage of his Website Review.
  • Yian's Free Giveaway- Yian will be giving away five free Website Reviews to the first five professionals in the Design Industry, to contact him at housedigitaldesign.com/a-well-designed-business and articulate their particular web site pain, within one week of this podcast being aired.

Yian will be covering the Las Vegas Furniture Market, later this month, on the Tastefully Inspired Facebook Page, with lots of live videos. Like the page and ensure that you get the notifications when it goes live.

website:
https://housedigitaldesign.com
Jul 26, 2017

Today's guests, Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson,  are the two industry pros and the brains behind Savour Partnership. They create magazine quality, custom branded e-publications for your website, or blog. This really means that they create opt-ins and lead magnets, for you to attract and grow an email list. LuAnn urges you to hang on and really listen, specially if you find your eyes are glazing over at the mention of growing your email list, because these two really are experts at this and today, they're going to explain precisely why it's so important, for the health of your business, to grow your email list. Listen in to find out more.

Sam Henderson is the owner and Creative Director of Savour Imagery, which is a Food and Lifestyle Creative Studio, located in Dallas, Texas. Sam and his team create photography, video, and graphics for numerous national brands and media outlets. He uses his knowledge of food, lifestyle, and travel together with his experience as a Designer, to create content for HDTV and DIY Network. Sam also writes a weekly article on Design trends.

Leslie is the CEO of Kaleidoscope Partnership, which has more than thirty-seven years of experience in the Luxury Home Furnishings and Interior Design Industry. This year, her company celebrates it's the fifteenth year. Leslie pioneered the use of Social Media Marketing and Influencer Marketing nationwide and she has helped to build the brands of major manufacturers, retailers, software providers, individual Interior Designers and Trade  Shows through her website, her Blog Management work, Social Media and Content Marketing. These are brands like Havly Court, Wilson Kelsey Design, Four Point Design Build, The New Traditionalist, Meredith Corporation, World Market Centre, Las Vegas, ICFF and more than thirty-five others! Leslie speaks frequently at Industry Events and she is often quoted as an Expert Resource in National Publications. She wrote the Retail Ideas Column for Furniture Today Magazine for nine years and her micro-blog, @TKP Leslie, has more than thirty-six thousand followers and was named, by Decorex, as one of the top one hundred most influential Interior Design blogs in the world! Together, Leslie and Sam are the co-founders of the recently started Savour Partnership. Listen in to find out how they can really help you to position yourself for success, elevate your brand and grow your business.

Show highlights:

  • Leslie gives you the basics of what she and Sam do with their Savour Partnership (in layman's terms) and why you, as a Designer should care about it.
  • Why it would be worth it to you, as a Designer, to sit down and write an ebook, to offer to your prospective clients.
  • Sam explains their system, which offers templates, yet remains true to each Designer having a unique look.
  • Leslie explains about how to drive traffic to your blog, or website, through their Savour Partnership Group on Facebook, in order to grow your email list and create a means of passive income for yourself.
  • Rich Pins On Pinterest- a number one way to drive traffic towards your blog or website. (Click on the Note on Leslie's Facebook Page, The Kaleidoscope Partnership, to get the details of how to set up a Rich Pin.)
  • Sam shares some other really great tips for how to drive consumer traffic to your website, or your blog, using Pinterest.
  • Affiliate Marketing- what it is and how it can work for you.
  • How Affiliate Marketing could generate a passive income for you, as an Interior Designer.
  • How you can make an Affiliate Commission, which is really another kind of passive income, through selling products via your website, to the consumer.
  • Why you really need to have something to trade with the consumer, for their email address.
  • Leslie will hold your hand throughout the entire process of assisting you with the development your e-publication and she really has the utmost respect for the artistic quality of whatever you produce.
  • Their work is so professional and of such a high quality, that it really seems so easy!
  • Why you really do need to be putting out a call to action, to the consumer.
  • Sam and Leslie can even help you with Copywriting, if necessary, to help you elevate your business.
  • Leslie will be speaking at the Bold Summit, in Chicago in September. Sam will be there also.
  • Although Leslie does not have a personal blog, she has written between seventy-five and eighty percent of all the content for the really successful Havly Court Blog, so she invites you to join her new Facebook Group so that you can learn how to drive consumer traffic to your blog.
  • You can sell a blog as a separate business asset.
  • There are Design Bloggers right now, who have only been focused on blogging for five years and they are making, on their blog, over $200 000 per year! This is a very real income opportunity for you!
  • This is how you really can create more freedom for yourself, over time.
  • You can put a three page PDF together for yourself on one Sunday.
  • Creating affiliate links on your publication.

Links for Savour Partnership:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/savourpartnership

Instagram: www.instagram.com Savour Partnership

Email: savourpartnership@gmail.com

Jul 24, 2017

The guest on today's show is Susan Yeley, of Susan Yeley Interiors, in Bloomington, Indiana. A few weeks ago, Susan contacted LuAnn, because she listens to the show a lot and she thought that the particular challenges that she faces in her Design Firm could make an interesting topic. After learning a little more about it, LuAnn agreed and she really hopes that you will too. Listen in to find out about the challenges that Susan faces in her business, which is really defined by the area she lives in.

Susan started out as a struggling graduate student in Religion and Philosophy at Indiana University. She later took an unpaid internship at Thomas Jobb, a furniture and fabric showroom in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and became hooked on Design.  She then enrolled at the Harrington College of Design and eventually landed a job at a high-end Residential Design Firm in River North. Susan and her husband finally returned to their roots, a few weeks prior to the birth of their first daughter, in 2005. Listen in now to find out more about Susan and the specific challenges that she faces, when it comes to her business location and the fees that she charges.

Show highlights:

  • Susan explains what the demographic is like where she does her business and also what the factors are, that contribute to making it a little different to LuAnn's usual conversations.
  • Susan's really intentional, yet flexible approach to her business.
  • Many of Susan's clients have never worked with a Designer before.
  • Trust is a really important factor in business, in Susan's close knit community.
  • The packages that Susan used to offer, to sell to her value and services to her small town community.
  • Why she eventually discontinued the packages.
  • The conversation that Susan had with a friend, that caused her to examine the perceived value of her services. Now she makes no mention of figures on her website.
  • Susan's Gut Check On A Potential Home.
  • The really interesting blend of personalities in Susan's wonderful team of really skilled staff.
  • The rationale behind Susan's website.
  • Susan loves the small town life, even though it really makes it harder for her as a Designer.
  • Most of her money is made from once-off, hourly consultations, so Susan is really forced her to think creatively about how to make money, every day.
  • It's not been a feasible option, so far, for Susan to make any money from product mark ups, so she and her team have to think really creatively about what Interior Design looks like in their particular culture.
  • Some of the ways that Susan is trying to generate an income, in her tricky community.
  • Susan's online initiative, to sell things through her website. It's almost like a Town Gallery.
  • The mid range price point items that have been identified, that Susan and her team are working hard to make 'trade only available', in order to generate some more income, via her website.
  • Making money from property flips.
  • Incorporating Enoch Sears's (#202) idea, to collaborate with local Architects.
  • The three P's that Susan relies on- Planning, Priorities, and Patience. They really work for her!
  • Susan's take on Design Therapy.

Susan's website: 

www.susanyeleyinteriors.com

Jul 21, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is a really special force to be reckoned with! She's is also the very first guest to be talking about Twitter on the show! Madalyn Sklar is a Business Coach, Consultant, and Twitter Marketing Expert. Other than being an expert on Twitter, she's the host of #Twitter Smarter Twitter Chat and Podcast. She has the weekly #Social ROI Chat, she blogs and she creates courses and also speaks and teaches courses at Madalyn Sklar.com. Listen to getting some awesome advice about marketing with Twitter from Madalyn.

Madalyn, who really has some visionary skills, is known for being the Number One Social Media Influencer in Houston, a city which has a population of two million people. She has been blogging since 2000 and she's been founding online communities since 1996 when the internet was new and she saw it as a really great way to connect people. Listen in now, as LuAnn interviews Madalyn, someone who really has the knack of being an early adopter of all things tech!

Show highlights:

  • Why you really should care about Twitter.
  • Engaging is really where the magic is, with Social Media.
  • Get on Twitter and listen to where the conversation is.
  • Madalyn's Twitter Secret Sauce- to help you to start meeting people and enjoying Twitter.
  • Create a Twitter List, either public or private- it's really a great way to organize.
  • Twitter Chats- #an awesome way to make connections with people.
  • Using Twitter Chats to get your business seen and heard.
  • Creating a really effective and clear Twitter profile.
  • You can boost your bio with a bit.ly link.
  • A great tip to check the traffic to your Twitter profile- you may be in for a big surprise!
  • Why a Pen Tweet really is such a great idea to build your hash tag following.
  • Go to Madalyn's Twitter Smarter Twitter Chat and podcast, to learn more about Twitter.

Link:

Madalyn's website: www.madalynsklar.com

Go to www.madalynsklar.com/chatlist to get to a page with a variety of charts that you can look through.

The best place to meet Madalyn- on Twitter! #madalynsklar

Jul 19, 2017

Today, LuAnn  is shaking it up a bit and introducing a new monthly feature, called  Design Biz Live. On the third Wednesday of every month, she will be talking with Judith Neary of Roadside Attraction Design Studio and Corey  Klassen of Corey Klassen Interiors and they will be discussing the specific problems and challenges that you are facing in your design firm. Somewhat similar to what LuAnn's been doing for the last eighteen months, however, with Design Biz Live, she will be dealing with the questions that you have by asking them of these two talented designers. So, it's the same, but different... Listen in to find out what it's all about!

 

If you'd like to know more about who Corey and Judith are, you can listen to episode #170, where LuAnn first met them and there you can hear all about their firms and their backgrounds. What really makes this new feature so actionable and worthy, is that Corey and Judith run two entirely different kinds of firms, with Judith's being a solo operation, on a small island and Corey's in a big city, with staff. This will be really fun and interesting and it will also give you two very different, yet valid perspectives.  What makes it live, is that in addition to this podcast version, there is also a video available, of the three of them, which will be posted on LuAnn's Youtube channel, A Well Designed Business, as well as on the LuAnn Nigara Facebook Page. LuAnn wants you to know that this format is a bit more laid back- more like a coffee jam session- and she also warns you about having these three crazies all in one place! Make no mistake about it, however, they're still going to be covering the business principals that you need to know, in order to be successful. At the end of the day, the goal is still to help you to be more productive and profitable. 

 

They've decided to start off with an introduction of the philosophy of both Corey and Judith, so they have each made a list of the top things that they think you should do, or you should know, in order to be successful in the Design Industry. You don't need to take notes, because if you go to www.windowworks-nj.com/designbizlive1, you can get your free PDF download of 'The things I learned from Judith and Corey Design Biz Live Episode #1'. Listen in now and enjoy the new show!

 

Show highlights:

 

  • The first thing on Corey's list- To be really completely obsessive about drafting and graphic communication. And also...please spell correctly! Corey explains why your construction drawing really needs to be a work of art.
  • The number one thing on Judith's list- Install a toilet, upholster a couch, hang wallpaper, mud and prep dry wall. In other words, get dirty. You really need to have an understanding of not only your trades and what's involved with the different aspects of the product that you're specifying or selling, but there is a respect aspect to this too, which you can only gain through getting a real understanding of the various skill sets involved with doing all of this- and doing it really well. Without this you're not going to be able to really connect with those trades.
  • Number two on Corey's list- You need to take accounting classes. You really do need to know the difference between a mark up and a margin, gross profit and net profit and how much you cost- not how much you earn. The latter includes overheads, facilities, equipment, your hourly rate and your costs for  getting back and forth. 
  • Number two on Judith's list- Work on a finish line at a Cabinet Manufacturers for at least two weeks. Not going to happen easily, but you should try! This is because you really have to have an understanding of the human element involved here. There are going to be imperfections- this is in the nature of the business, so this understanding helps lessen the shock or surprise value when something does go wrong.
  • Number three on Corey's list- Visualise the details. Stand in the room for five minutes and design it in your mind. If you really can't do that, you're going to have trouble getting through the whole process.
  • Number three on Judith's list-  Run the plumbing for your bath design and then do the tile installation. Think this through from the beginning. This is a fundamental, as it's about the reality of what happens on a job site, vs your drawings, vs life, vs product, vs the variation in the installation  process. This is, again, about having an understanding of  and a compassion for the trades. You can only get that through hands-on experience
  • Number four on Corey's list- Don't think for a second that going out on your own is going to be easy. It isn't! It's going to be the hardest stuff you've ever done in your whole entire life, but, it's really so rewarding and so fun!
  • Number four on Judith's list- Date a Lawyer and learn how to argue effectively. One of the huge challenges in the industry is that there's always conflict and conflict often comes up in communication.  This isn't about arguing, it's really about problem solving. About getting to the issue of what the conflict is about. It's about how to resolve things effectively and professionally, without creating more conflict.
  • Number five for Corey- Use really solid contracts with clients. Don't kill them with the contracts, though. ASID has a set of contracts that you can purchase.
  • Number five for Judith-  Take out your nose ring and go and work at Nordstrom for a year and learn how to dress. Find a style somewhere between Brad Pitt and Iris Apfel. It's really important for Trade Professionals to look professional. You really can make a personal statement and find a way to be neutral and appropriate to the situation, without challenging your customer. 
  • Number six on Corey's list- Take credit cards. The fee that's charged is usually offset by the amount of work that you save from having to go to the bank to deposit a cheque. 
  • Number six on Judith's list- Learn grace under pressure. Experience and manage customer triage. Work at a Big Box Store for a year. Great to learn to manage multiple clients at the same time and maintain grace, think on your feet in and do problem solving in a retail environment. Don't hire anyone without any retail experience.
  • Number seven on Corey's list- Follow through on everything and think about the big picture. This is really important to solve those unresolved things that are hanging around and to nip them in the bud. 
  • Number seven on Judith's list- Go old school and learn how to use a sharpie and paper to quick sketch your concepts.  This is just basic artistic ability- not tech. You can go to an art school to learn this. It's a really respected and impressive technique.
  • Number eight on Corey's list- Document everything. You never know when you're going to need it!
  • Number eight on Judith's list- Design something and build it. Not a 3D printed model- really build it yourself. You'll really get a fundamental understanding of how things are put together this way.
  • Number nine on Corey's list- Don't cheap out on software and solutions. They really are your best efficiency machine. You can do the same amount of work and charge the same amount of money, or you can do less work and charge the same amount of money...
  • Number nine on Judith's list- Learn the difference between a professional rejection and a personal one. They may not like you, but they should at least respect you. It's often hard to separate the two as creative professionals. This is learned usually through experience. Develop a professional perspective.

 

Links:

 

Corey's website: www.coreyklassen.ca

 

Judith's website: www.roadsideattractionstudio.com 

 

Jul 17, 2017

Today's guest is Lane McNab, of Lane McNab Interiors. Lane, just like Darla Powell, who appeared on last week's show, has also come to Interior Design as a second career. Listen in to find out all about Lane and how she's developed her really successful Interior Design Business.

Lane grew up in Florida and attended school in both Tennessee and San Francisco. She continued her education at Oxford University and at Il Globo Institute, in Italy. Lane's Interior design career is backed with her vast experience and her work and her expertise have been featured in many places, including The Today Show, the East Bay AIA Tour Of Homes, Dwell, Modern Sanctuary, Lux Pad, 24 East, My Domain and also in her home town publication, Berkeleyside, as the go-to Interior Designer, for approachable ways to modernise an historical home. Listen in today, to find out how Lane's career path and the lessons that she's learned along the way have contributed to her success, both as a Designer and as a Business Person.

Show highlights:

  • Lane talks about her first career, as a solo opera singer, in the San Francisco Bay area- prior to her becoming a mom.
  • How Lane first started out in 2004, working with a contractor on her own projects and how this eventually developed into Lane McNab Interiors.
  • The Today Show wanted to include one of Lane's Design Projects in an article they were running, at a time when she still didn't even know if she really wanted to have a business.
  • The point at which Lane realized that she could really take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that were coming her way, and start her business.
  • Lane eventually shut down her blog and took a year to stay focused and she worked very closely with Julia Malloy as well as with a number of other consultants, prior to starting her business, as she realized that she really needed a jump start.
  • The huge amount of confidence that Lane gained, from working with Julia Malloy.
  • Lane always writes down anything that she doesn't understand, so that she can research it later because different projects always require different amounts of knowledge.
  • Lane explains how she found the necessary help when making her transition to a much larger project.
  • The really sage advice from Julia Malloy, that Lane still holds on to- 90% of successful entrepreneurs have the consistent quality of a high E.Q.
  • Explaining to clients not only what the best design is, but why!
  • The typical things that tend to trip Designers up, when working with construction.
  • A memorable challenge that Lane faced with the cabinet guy, which became a valuable learning experience.
  • Using a mistake as an opportunity to develop a really great relationship with the client.
  • Lane's way of working with her vendors, or trade sources.
  • Dealing with clients who aren't happy about having their project photographed.
  • Not taking the first 'no' for an answer...
  • The importance of being collaborative, as a Designer.
  • Lane's outsourcing of her expediting- how and why it works for her.
  • The importance of keeping really detailed notes as a reference, for Lane.

Links:

Labe's Website: lanemcnab.com

Jul 14, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Kathy Knowles, a former HR Director who has become an entrepreneur. Her company is called Intuitive Strategies and Consultants and Kathy has become known as The Soulful Business Mentor. She really understands the challenges one faces, when leaving behind a successful, yet unfulfilling six figure career, to build a more satisfying business and life. Kathy has more than twenty years of experience of maximizing people and potential, as an HR Director, which has given her a real advantage in helping you to create your own Heart and Soul Business.

She and her team share proven strategies and formulas, to help you to establish a growth strategy that makes you more money and frees up more of your time. Magic words, right? Kathy's mission is to help more business owners and entrepreneurs to create a life of a business that they love, without sacrificing integrity, income, or sanity! There are really so many things that Kathy, as a talented Business Coach, could have discussed today, however, LuAnn decided to zero in on 'Help Business Owners Hire Right The First Time'. Even though LuAnn has owned a business for more than thirty years, she's really looking forward to this discussion, because for her, hiring really is one of the most troublesome parts of being in business. So, listen in, to get some great insights from Kathy's more than twenty years of experience.

This is going to be a really jam-packed episode, as Kathy has a ton of information for you. She has prepared a list of questions that are very helpful in assisting you to make the right hire. Several of the questions will be discussed in the interview today, however, her list is really much more in-depth, so if you are about to hire, or if you struggle with how to do that, you will enjoy this interview. To get Kathy's really valuable list of questions, go to www.windowworks-nj.com/kathyk and click on The things I learned from Kathy Knowles. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Kathy explains that the process of hiring starts with you and being crystal clear about where you want to go with your business.
  • Hiring around the things that you're not good at.
  • Getting intuitively in touch with your business, in order to really grow your email list and to know which team member to hire.
  • Knowing how to choose the right person, when hiring someone for the very first time- using the List Of Four and then breaking it down a little further.
  • How to know when it's time to hire someone.
  • Asking the right questions when interviewing a potential employee.
    Talking about money during an interview.
  • Understanding that the way that someone interacts with you during an interview, will be the way that they will interact with your clients, should you hire them.
  • The importance of asking specific questions during an interview, even if you really hit it off with them.
  • Why you really shouldn't talk too much, when interviewing someone.
    The kinds of questions that are more likely to elicit a true response from an interviewee.
  • The importance of employees being accountable.
    Some suggestions for great questions to ask a potential employee, during an interview.
  • Creating interview questions around a personality profile- like Disc or Kolbe.
  • Links:

Kathy's website: www.kathyknowles.com – This is where you will find her free Gaining More Loyal Customers resource.

For Kathy's free Find and Fill resource, go to: www.kathyknowles.com\find-and-fill\

Kathy's email: kathy@kathyknowles.com

Jul 12, 2017

The guest for today's show is the truly remarkable Darla Powell, of Darla Powell Interiors, in Florida. Darla and LuAnn initially became friends through the social media of the podcast and then continued their friendship with conversations on the Designer Facebook Groups that they were both in and also through Instagram. It's not unusual for LuAnn to become friends with the people that she interviews for the podcast, and she and Darla also have a few friends in common (Mark McDonough from Tastefully Inspired and Karina from Superior K Interiors), so she really thought she knew all about her, until she went out and did her research for the interview. Then she was truly surprised to learn a few things about Darla that she didn't know before! Listen in to find out all about these surprising details.

Mark McDonough was actually the person who suggested to LuAnn that she should consider having Darla on the show. He pointed out that this was a second career for her and that she was going to be a truly amazing Interior Designer, as she was really putting her all into it, after having retired from her first career. Listen in now, to find out more about Darla and how she came to be doing what she does now.

Show highlights:

  • Darla talks to LuAnn about her first career- in Law Enforcement, for eighteen and a half years, as a Detective Sargent with the Miami-Dade Police Department, where she thought about quitting her job and becoming an Interior Designer almost every day!
  • Darla talks about her long journey from Law Enforcement to Interior Design.
  • How Darla really became really motivated to become an Interior Designer, after listening to one of LuAnn's podcasts, with Mark McDonough.
  • Darla's Instagram is only seven or eight months old and it already has way over seven thousand followers!
  • The biggest tip that Mark McDonough gave to Darla, about finding brands that align with her work and commenting on their posts straight away.
  • The great value in taking the time to be genuine and really engaging with people on social media. This makes you human and really helps your brand- and gets people to stay with you.
  • As long as you're putting out great content, your fans will still love you, even if you don't follow them back.
  • LuAnn and Darla discuss the portfolio which is up on Darla's website, which is actually her entire own home, done on a limited budget.
  • Darla talks about the fabulous blog, which is called Wing-nuts and Wallpaper and really reflects her brand voice.
  • How Darla boosts her following with her blog and with her Facebook posts.
  • How Nicole Heimer, (Episode #125) a really rockstar brander, has really helped Darla.
  • Some areas where Darla has felt a bit overwhelmed with her new career and what she's found helpful at these times.
  • How Susan Winterstein really helped Darla with her process, with an organized chart to inform the client about the whole design process.
  • Why Darla quit her first career way sooner than she originally intended to do so.


Links:

Darla's website: www.darlapowell.com, where you will also find Darla's blog, Wing-nuts and Wallpaper.


Resource:

Business of Design, Volume 3- Win The Flat Fee Game by Kimberley Seldon

Jul 10, 2017

The guest on today's show is Enoch Bartlett Sears, a licensed California Architect and the founder and publisher of Business of Architecture. He's the creator and host of The Business of Architecture, the number one podcast for Architects and he is also the co-founder of The Architect Marketing Institute. LuAnn had to wait quite a while to get to interview Enoch, as he really is busy, so she's grateful and very glad that he found an hour for her today and she thinks that you're going to be glad too! Listen in, to find out how you can increase both the income and the efficiency of your business, with the fantastic resources that Enoch has for you.

LuAnn came across Enoch because of his podcast. She's a regular listener and really enjoys his show and thinks that what he does is really terrific! She finds that he actually does a lot of the same things that she does on her podcast, except that his target is Architects, so she just switches the word 'Architect' in her mind, for Interior Designer. Enoch interviews Architects on how they run their firms and what they do to increase their income and efficiency. He also talks with outside Industry Experts, as does LuAnn on her Power Talk Fridays, to help Architects to increase the profitability of their firms. This is why LuAnn thought that this would be such a great fit for this show. Enoch is also a Business Coach and he's become famous for helping Architects to grow their firms and their income and increase their freedom, through the use of effective Client Strategies.

Enoch went through one of his very actionable strategies, a Twelve Step Questionnaire process, called Twelve Questions To Ask Before Your Meeting- So You Know What Hot Buttons To Push, which he recommends to Architects, with LuAnn. This was developed by Enoch's partner, Richard Petrie, who's known as The World's Leading Architect Marketing Coach. LuAnn was really impressed with it and as she went through it with him, she found that it could be translated right to Interior Designers. So listen in now, to find out more about this questionnaire which you could apply to yourself, to help you to attract your ideal Interior Design projects and clients.

Show highlights:

  • How to deal with the fears and insecurities that often exist between Design Professionals.
  • A tip for Interior Designers, to deliver more value when wanting to do work with Architects.
  • Enoch goes through his Twelve Questions To Ask Before Your Meeting- So You Know What Hot Buttons To Push.
  • Number one- Asking if are all the decision makers are present.
  • Number two- Setting the format and the ground rules for the meeting, in order to maintain an alpha position.
  • Number three- Framing the meeting's purpose and it's time frame with the client.
  • Number four- Asking the client some background questions, to discover their current situation or the 'now'. You really need to be quiet and listen carefully here!
  • Number five- Understand the client's goals and objectives and their vision for the future and also, how they want to feel in the space. Try to get the emotional impact of what they're going for.
  • Number six- Ask your success criteria questions, about how the client would know if they've achieved a successful project with you. This would involve helping them to imagine the future and to talk to you about what they are imaging.
  • Number seven- Ask your client what it would mean to them, to have achieved their objectives. This will be an emotional question, bringing out emotional answers, to discover their emotional drivers.
  • Number eight- Ask their current plans to achieve their objectives and find out the degree to which they are already on track. This is where you find out about any obstacles or challenges they may be worried about and also, how much time they have for the process.
  • Number nine- Ask them about the consequences, if they don't meet their objectives. This is about discovering their degree of motivation, to do the project and follow through on it and helping them to connect their current decisions with the consequences of those decisions.
  • Number ten- Ask the timing questions, about when they want to get their new results completed.
  • Number eleven- Map out the road to success with your client, with their options. This is where you really need to bring all your professional training to bear and look at the gap between where they are now and where they want to get to.
  • Number twelve- Book the next few meetings, if you feel that this client is a good fit.
  • The really great value in Designers creating contacts with Architects.
  • How you as a Designer, can best reach out to an Architect, to arrange a meeting about the possibility of working together.
  • What Architects really want to work on.
  • Ways that you can bring value to architects, as a Designer and get them to work together with you.
  • What Enoch does on his podcast and how you can find him, at The Business Of Architecture, on iTunes.

Links:

https://archmarketing.org/
https://www.businessofarchitecture.com

For some awesome, free giveaways:

Go to: www.archmarketing.org/awelldesignedbusiness and give your email address, to get your free PDF download of the questions and frameworks mentioned on the show, as well as the two questions that Richard Petrie calls his Mind Cannon.

Jul 7, 2017

The guest on today's Power Talk Friday is Dorien Morin-van Dam, the Owner and Social-Media Consultant with More In Media, which is located in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dorien helps Small Businesses Owners with their strategies, planning, and execution, around Social Media. Listen in to find out more about Dorien and what she has to share, to help Small Business Owners with their Video Marketing on Social Media.

Dorien is a Coach and Trainer, who concentrates on Video Marketing and  Social Media Management. She particularly enjoys working with Video Coaching and helping people to overcome their fear of the camera. This is something that she runs into all the time, with local clients and Small Business owners who really need to be on camera, yet have real fear around doing that. Dorien has found that here is such a great need for this right now, with Video Marketing being so popular, that she is also busy writing a book about it. Dorien, who's a Mom with four teens and three dogs, loves to run marathons and cook and eat vegan food. She also really enjoys teaching, blogging and speaking about Social Media. Listen in now, to find out more about how Dorien helps people to overcome their fears about appearing in front of a camera.

Today, Dorien talks to LuAnn about:

  • The fear that so many people experience, of appearing on camera.
  • That there really is an easy way to overcome that fear.
  • That although she has no fear of the camera, she did have another extreme fear, through which she developed the necessary empathy to help others to overcome their fears around cameras.
  • The story about her epiphany- which enabled her to overcome her own fear and help others to do the same.
  • How she helps people to get ready to appear in front of the camera.
  • A new acronym for FEAR- that, instead of Fearing Everything And Running, you can learn to Face Everything And R
  • The Rise of Video in Social Media and the tremendous opportunities that it can bring for you, with this year being The Year Of The Live Video in Social Media.
  • The fantastic new developments coming up on Facebook, for Virtual Reality Meetings.
  • That the reach of a video is so much greater than either using pictures, or text.
  • Facebook Live- how it's pushing Video and where it's going.
  • Why Dorien thinks that you can't fail with Video- if you go through her process.
  • Low-cost ways of creating Videos.
  • Replacing your fear of how you look with a love for your brand.
  • The more you watch yourself on video, the more you get over your fear of it.
  • Really awesome tips for creating really great, confident videos of yourself, before going live on Facebook.
  • Being authentic, to better connect with people on video.
  • How to catch people's eye in the first few seconds, with your video.
  • Some ideas for you to use, to market yourself with video.
  • Using what's going on around you currently, as a topic for your video.
  • Creating great content for your videos.
  • How to straddle the fine line between oversharing and too little content on your video.
  • Re-purposing your content, for great results.

Dorien's book, No Fear Video, which will be coming out later this year.

Links:

Dorien's website: www.moreinmedia.com

Jul 5, 2017

Today's show is taken from LuAnn's presentation that she gave at the I.W.C.E.

LuAnn starts her presentation by explaining the mix that goes into creating a really successful business. She points out that you are actually your own magic pill and that you really do have the ability when it comes down to making decisions. All that you need is to have confidence in yourself and to know that you have a good business and that you're a good business leader. Then, you have to identify the obstacles and make a plan, rather than running away from them. The really important part though, is to make the decision, as confidence and a plan are nothing without a decision. So, every day, as a business person, you have to choose to go out and do what is necessary. Listen in now, to LuAnn's really valuable presentation.

LuAnn explains that Window Works was initially a franchise which started in the early 70's and went until the early 90's and that she and her two partners owned three of them. From year one and for the next ten years, two of their three franchises were number one and number two in highest gross sales, every year!  Today, LuAnn talks about the things that she has found when looking back, that have really contributed to their great success. Number one being Leadership, number two- Systems and number three-  Excellence. Listen in, to find out how to use these three ingredients to really attain the kind of success that you would love for your business.  

Today, LuAnn talks about: 

  • Her A Well Designed Business Podcast and what it's all about.
  • What goes into creating and being a terrific leader- 1) Establishing your company's mission. 2) Establishing your company's core values and 3) Establishing accountability.
  • What you will gain from having a really well thought out Company Mission.
  • Why you need to make your Company's Core Values, which are non-negotiable, really clear to both yourself and to your employees.
  • Why it's really so important to establish accountability in your business.
  • The book, The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and why the three business roles that it refers to are so important to understand.
  • Working on your business as well as working in your business.
  • That System is the number one thing that contributes to the success of your business.
  • The reason for the Red Pen System that they use at the Window Works office.
  • Why systems really do make your life (and your business) so much easier.
  • The real importance of impeccable customer service- and that often means that you have to let go of being right!
  • That it's sometimes hard to keep to your business systems and decisions, but it's really worth it!

Resources:

Book: The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber – An amazing book for small business owners.

Jul 3, 2017

Today's guest is Manuella Moreira, one of LuAnn's long time early listeners to the show.  In May, there was a big event at the insanely gorgeous Ethan Allen Showroom in New York City, where Manuella works with Barbara Viteri, the Designerlebrity.  You can go back and listen to the audio of that show (#185 ), or you can see the video of it on A Well Designed Business Youtube channel- something really well worth seeing! Listen in to find out more about Manuella and her fabulous career.

Today, we're talking about Manuella's fascinating career, working for Ethan Allen. What LuAnn finds interesting is that it's really so completely different from what she would have expected an Ethan Allen Designer's career to look like and she points out that the opportunities that this brings for Manuella are truly remarkable. Listen in now, to find out more.

Today, Manuella talks to LuAnn about:

  • The research that she did and the decision-making process that she went through in 2013 when she had the opportunity to go to Ethan Allen.
  • That the CEO personally approves each Designer employed by the company- and there are fifteen hundred of them!
  • Why she chose to work for Ethan Allen rather than any other company.
  • That at Ethan Allen, they really value the Interior Design portion of their company.
  • The different levels of Designers at Ethan Allen and their ongoing training processes for their Designers.
  • Their really different approach to working with their clients.
  • That there really are opportunities for new Designers at Ethan Allen.
  • How Manuella and Robert Nelson, the other Lead Designer, assist the other Designers in the company to execute their projects successfully- they're really not competitive.
  • How they, as a company, manage the huge number of walk-in customers, who come into the showroom.
  • That the Designers at Ethan Allen don't really work specific hours.
  • That Manuella created her website for herself and feels as if she's running her own business but under the Ethan Allen umbrella.
  • That each Designer within the company really has their own approach to marketing themselves.
  • That Ethan Allen has really given Manuella the freedom to be creative.
  • That they only do their sourcing from Ethan Allen's product.
  • How they're evolving at Ethan Allen, as a brand.
  • That Ethan Allen's in-house Designers design 70% of the products that they have on offer.
  • Designing in such a way as to stay relevant.
  • Their two different Trade Programs at Ethan Allen and the credit and also the commissions that you could earn from purchasing from them, as a Designer.
  • That they're trying to work more and more with Designers, at their new Flat Iron location and the 25% discount they offer to the clients.
  • The whole online scenario for Ethan Allen and the new features on their website. Go to ethanallen.com to find out.
  • That one design project really seems to lead to the next- and it all starts with a conversation.
  • How much Manuella really loves building relationships with her clients.
  • The really awesome video on Manuella's website. (manuellaMoreira.com)
  • All the recognition and awards that Manuella has earned.

What's coming up on the horizon with Ethan Allen and Amazon and Manuella's role in that.

Links:

Manuella's email: manuella.Moreira@ethanallen.com

Manuella's website: www.manuellaMoreira.com

Manuella's Instagram: mgmdecor

Jun 30, 2017

Today is the first of two shows sponsored by Designer Inc. If you haven't yet heard of Designer Inc, be sure to go back to episode #85, where Heather Gillette, it's founder, was first introduced onto the show. On that show, LuAnn talked to her and to Designer, Mark Cutler about the introduction of Designer Inc to the marketplace. Today, Heather is back, joined by her co-founder, Dorothee Fischer, to share all of the latest developments to this valuable Interior Design Business tool. Listen in to find out all about these developments.

By using the To The Trade Only Designer Inc, you can cut your sourcing time by half. You can source by using filters- by product, by the showroom, by price point, by color, or even by dimension. It allows you to create client project folders, to organize your finds and you can share customized tear sheets with your clients. LuAnn points out that this software does not replace a Management System like MyDomo Studio- Designer Inc works in conjunction with your Client Management System, which is one of the really genius parts of it. With Designer Inc, which has all the trade sources on the site, you don't need to go back and forth to each individual site, when looking around for a particular item. You can search within the Designer Inc platform and compare, get quotes and purchase- all right there!  You can do this for multiple vendors for a single project, or a for single check-out experience. Once you've made your selection, you can simply go back and import your selection to MyDomo Studio and you're off and running! Sounds pretty fabulous, doesn't it! Listen in today, as Heather and Dorothee fill in all the gaps and tell you about the newest features to Designer Inc.

Heather Gillette is a tech person, who has specialized in early stage start-ups for the past twenty years, with a focus on the operations end. She founded and headed several departments at Youtube, including copyright enforcement, content review and user support departments. This was both pre and post-Google acquisition. Her teams kept Youtube legal and clean and processed millions of videos and user communications daily, with very little manpower. Heather is also the founder of New Decor, so she really knows the challenges that you face as Interior Designers, as Designer Inc was created specifically to increase their firm's productivity.

Dorothee Fischer is the co-founder and the Chief Marketing Officer of Designer Inc. She was also an early Youtube employee and she was their first post-acquisition marketing hire. She has twenty years of marketing behind her, nine of which she spent mastering social media. Her other areas of expertise include User Acquisition, Content Marketing, Partner Marketing, and Branding.

 

Today, Heather and Dorothee talk to LuAnn about:

  • The really special kind of relationship that gets built in, almost automatically, when people listen to this podcast and the people that LuAnn interviews. Heather can tell from the get-go, when people sign up for her site, that there's a different kind of relationship, due to this.
  • Heather explains the basics of what Designer Inc really is.
  • Heather explains some of the recent developments to their purchasing service, and why they launched it early.
  • How the quoting process works, within the Designer Inc site.
  • That Designer Inc will come back to you to confirm, should you have made multiple choices.
  • That you would pay no more order through Designer Inc, than you would if you ordered directly from the manufacturer.
  • How they make their money, at Designer Inc, through kickbacks from the manufacturers.
  • The loyalty program that they're developing, to offer you more savings.
  • That the commission will still be paid to the manufacturing or sales reps, for your order.
  • How the shopping experience actually happens, on Designer Inc.
  • Their Shop By Showroom filter.
  • Using the price filter on Designer Inc.
  • The various other filters that you can use, like style and dimension.
  • The flag feature that you can use, for your feedback, to make corrections on the site.
  • The save searches that you can use, to narrow down and save your searches as you build your projects.
  • That you can share items on the site, by inviting your client, so that they can also comment.
  • The really huge number of well-known vendors, on Designer Inc.
  • That they're a bit like the High Point Market, or Amazon, for Interior Designers.
  • What happens when an order goes wrong...that they take the responsibility and handle all of that, on your behalf.
  • That they handle all the shipping logistics, to the first destination.
  • That they really want your feedback, at Designers Inc.
  • How you, as Designers, can now invest and own equity at Designer Inc.

 

 

Link:

To invest in Designer Inc, go to: www.wefunder.com and search for designerinc

Jun 28, 2017

Today's guest is Joe Cariati, an award winning glass blower, artist, craftsman, and educator, who has had more than twenty years experience as a designer, maker, and mentor. Listen in to find out more about Joe and his really arty craft.

Joe opened his own studio in Los Angeles, California in 2003, where he still continues refining his craft and pushing his boundaries, both as a glass blower and as a designer. He launched his own business, Joe Cariati Design, in 2015. Listen in today, as Joe talks to LuAnn about his career, the things that he's learned about being a Creative and running a profitable business, and also about the new line of glassware, lamps, pendants, and accessories that he now has available for you, through CuratedKravet.com.

 

Today, Joe talks to LuAnn about:

  • His background, starting in college and the many years leading up to where he is today.
  • The thousands and thousands of things that are made in his studio every year, today, with a very small team of three.
  • His simplistic, yet complex way of making things, to get a particular quality that his glass has.
  • The risk he took in forming his own company, which finally solidified in 2007.
  • His desire to create a legacy company, where it could be passed on to his son, Vincent Cariati, should he want to become a glass blower.
  • The really close, family vibe within his company.
  • Joe's particular requirements for anyone wanting to come and work with him.
  • What happened for Joe in 2007, when he applied and was accepted to the New York Now Show.
  • How it was for him when he met Kravet for the first time in 2008.
  • The validation he got as a designer/maker, from being recognized by Kravet.
  • What he did to prepare for his meeting with Kravet back then.
  • What's available and the things that are happening with his new line at CuratorKravet.com- with exclusive colors and products!
  • How he arrived at the particular color groupings that were settled on with Kravet, for his exclusive collection.
  • All about the colors he uses and how that challenges him, as a Creative.
  • The aspects of his business that he's most active in.
  • How he figured out all the processes in his business, before deciding which aspects would be best done by him, personally.
  • How to set yourself up in your business, and which people you should hire, in order to move in the direction that you really desire to go.
  • Thriving off of a repeatable process and getting predictable results.
  • The design scene in America right now.

Links:

CuratedKravet.com

Jun 26, 2017

Today's show is a very different one. LuAnn is airing someone else's podcast on her feed and she really hopes that you will like it! She was a guest on Nicole Culver's podcast, called A Few Blissful Bites, a few weeks ago. Nicole is a podcaster and business person who teaches food bloggers how to turn their blogs into profitable businesses. LuAnn listens to Nicole's podcast because she truly believes that business principals are business principals and anybody who does a good job of expressing and teaching them, is worth listening to. So she asked Nicole to be a guest on her show, but the funny thing is that Nicole said that LuAnn should be on her show too! Listen in as LuAnn and Nicole talk about building a business that you can be proud of.

 

The thing about Nicole is that she's very actionable. She runs a community, she has a Blogger To Business Support Group, where she offers training and resources, she does workshops and she does goal check-ins and live Q & A- and she brings all of this to her food bloggers. LuAnn knows that if you're an Interior Designer who's blogging, and you would like to turn that blog into something that earns money for you some day, that Nicole's resources and her community will be valuable to you. LuAnn points out that she has no financial investment in this at all- she just knows that good business strategies for a Food Blog will be good business strategies for a Design Blog. Listen in now, as LuAnn and Nicole talk about the things that really drive business and profit.

 

Today, LuAnn talks to Nicole about:

  • Why, if you were to take the word 'design' out of her podcast, it could apply to the food (or any other) industry also.
  • How LuAnn actually got into podcasting.
  • That what LuAnn and her partners have as their core belief is that you have to stick to your company mission.
  • That you have to filter your new ideas if you want to be really successful with your main bread and butter business.
  • That there is a hurdle to doing podcasts consistently and well- it has to support your main business.
  • LuAnn tells a story to highlight the real importance of her partners and herself having understood who their customer was, in the beginning, with their brick and mortar business.
  • Figuring out your niche and positioning yourself for your ideal market.
  • How LuAnn deals with competition without letting it affect her business.
  • That you need to know your competition, but not worry about them.
  • LuAnn's intention for her podcast and how it's really helped her business.
  • That LuAnn really understood her priorities and her passion, when she started doing her podcast.
  • What LuAnn did to attract her ideal listener for her podcast- working with intention.
Nicole's website: 
http://nicoleculverblog.com
Jun 23, 2017

Have you been considering putting your toe into the podcast pool lately? If so, you will really learn a lot from today's Power Talk Friday, as LuAnn interviews Rob Greenlee, a pioneer in the Podcast Industry. LuAnn often talks about your 'only' on the show. Well, Rob's only is that he is the very first person to take a radio program and turn it into a podcast and that's pretty exciting!  If you're wondering why she's talking to a leader in the Podcast Industry, it's because Interior Design Podcasts are busy popping up all over. Although LuAnn and Nick have been covering the business side of the industry on their podcast, the consumer-facing side of podcasting has more and more Interior Designers joining their ranks. LuAnn has had a number of previous guests who'd had their own podcast by the time that she had interviewed them and this is apart from the dozen or so other shows that have launched in the last year or two, that LuAnn has not yet had a chance to engage with. These are all consumer facing and talking about the things that LuAnn doesn't talk about- the pretty stuff. Listen in as Rob indulges you a bit and LuAnn picks his brain about where this field is heading and also to help you to decipher some of the in's and out's of it.

 

Rob is the head of Podcast Content at Spreaker.com, a really huge name in podcasting. He is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Podcast Network, Podcast 1.com. He is also the former Content Manager of Podcast For Windows Phone, Zoon and Xbox and he currently co-hosts the new media show at Geek News Central Live, every morning at 9 am (Pacific time). Rob is also the former founder and lead host of Web Talk World Radio Show and Zoon Insider Podcast. The really cool thing is that Web Talk Radio was an eight year running national, syndicated terrestrial broadcast radio show and it's recognized as the very first broadcast radio program in the world, to begin podcasting! Listen in now to find out more!

 

Today, Rob talks to LuAnn about:

 

  • Why it's really not too late to start a podcast right now.
  • What's coming in the future, technologically, with podcasts?
  • How long it really takes to build a new media.
  • What current research about podcasts is showing.
  • The really powerful medium of podcasting.
  • What makes a successful podcast host.
  • Podcasting as a really viable form of advertising.
  • That you have to offer value, before you receive value, with this medium.
  • That authenticity and trust are fundamental qualities for success in this medium.
  • That your particular slant on design can really come across on the podcast.
  • Using video to supplement your podcast.
  • The best approach to podcasting as a marketing arm of a business.
  • What it takes to inspire the listener to have a visual experience through audio.
  • Ways to use listener's questions to create a podcast.
  • Why your Interior Design Podcast can really be unique.
  • That consistent production of shows really builds an audience.
  • Building a loyal base of listeners.
  • Choosing the best hook for your show.
  • Why you should really just jump in and do it!
  • That it's really okay to learn and evolve as you grow, with podcasting.
  • That it's really hard to predict where you will go with this particular 'box of opportunity'.
  • Doing your research, if you intend doing a podcast.
  • How you really can become an expert in your field through podcasting.
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