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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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Now displaying: August, 2017
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

 

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