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A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: 2017
Nov 1, 2017

Welcome to today's show! We have Michelle Woeller as our guest and today she will be talking to us about how to build a new client base, after relocating to a new area. Michelle and her family relocated to Cape Cod about a year ago and today she discusses what she had to do in her new community, and the strategies she employed, to get her Interior Design firm off the ground there.  Listen in now, to get some awesome tips from Michelle.

Michelle graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising and she also studied Interior Design at the same university. After a career in Retail Settings and Product Design, she took some time off, to focus her attention on raising her children. Then, in 2006, she became the lead Designer for her husband's Landscaping Company, where she and her husband collaborated in the designing of outdoor spaces for both residential and commercial properties. In 2013, Michelle launched Summerland Homes And Gardens, a Design Studio dedicated to beautiful design, for both indoor and outdoor spaces. Then, in the summer of 2016, Michelle and her family decided to move to Cape Cod, so now Michelle works with Cape Cod home owners, to transform their homes and capture the wonder of seaside living.  Listen in to find out how Michelle built up her client base, in this new location.

Show highlights:

  • What it was like for Michelle, to find her feet in a new area.
  • How Michelle did her marketing, found new vendors and formed a network, in her new area.
  • The challenge of finding new clients in an area where most people only live for part of the year.
  • How much Michelle's business increased over a four year period, due to paid marketing.
  • The whole real life process that Michelle went through and how it felt for her, to identify and reach out to the Architects and Builders in her new area.
  • The importance of not taking things personally.
  • The value of reaching out to some people who are not directly involved in your industry.
  • Weathering the off-season in Cape Cod.
  • Michelle and her husband's experience of attending a three day Ten X Growth Conference Event in Miami.
  • Some of the things that Michelle learned at the Ten X Growth Conference.
  • Michelle's practice of starting each day with positivity, to put everything into the right perspective.
  • The way that Michelle and her husband collaborate with their businesses.
  • What the operational side of Michelle's business looks like.
  • Michelle's dilemma of which direction to take her business and whether or not to expand it.
  • How Brittanie Elms has really helped Michelle. (Go back and listen to episode #149 to find out more about Brittanie.)
  • Michelle shares about what it was like for her, working with her husband.

Links:

http://summerlandhomesandgardens.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Summerland-Homes-Gardens-660101854019470/
https://www.instagram.com/ellesummerland/

Go to www.curatedkravet.com and use the code CK Podcast, to get 10% off your entire first purchase!

Oct 30, 2017

Welcome to another episode of A Well Designed Business! Today we have Adam Scougall on the show. He's someone who has become quite famous to all of us through the Facebook groups that we're in, where he's become our good friend and also someone that we really value! Today, Adam and LuAnn have decided to zero in on some really interesting topics, including photography and leaving your day job to become a full-time Interior Designer. Listen in now, to find out what Adam has to share with you.

Adam, who is an artist as well as an Interior Designer, opened his Interiors Consulting Business in New South Wales, Australia, in 2010 and ever since then, he has been creating and studying Residential Interiors for his clients, across New South Wales. His work has been featured in many national and international publications, including Home Beautiful, Real Living, Grand Designs Australia and Singapore's Metropolitan Home Magazine. What really hooked LuAnn about Adam is that he also has a full-time corporate job, which he has no intention of leaving in the foreseeable future. LuAnn really found this is very interesting, especially when they discussed the pros and cons of having a full-time job while running a Design Business on the side. So, listen in- you may find this really interesting if you are possibly in a similar position to Adam, working full time, while building your Interior Design Business.

Show highlights:

  • The really amazing support and information that you can access, by joining Facebook Groups.
  • What Adam is focusing on at the moment.
  • Adam explains how he goes about saying 'no' to projects that aren't a good fit for him.
  • How Adam manages his time.
  • How Adam selects his ideal clients.
  • The criteria that make something really photo-worthy for Adam.
  • How Adam manages to get everything done for his Design projects while working full time.
  • Scope Creep- what it means and how Adam manages to deal with it.
  • How Adam structures his fees, to make an allowance for the amount that he has to pay his professional photographer.
  • Adam, who does all his own styling currently, explains why his photography is so effective.
  • Why Adam would consider hiring a stylist in the future.
  • Adam explains his philosophy of telling a story, through his photo shoots.
  • If you're looking to learn more about styling your own photo shoots, you can go back and listen to episode #108.

Links:

Adam's website: www.adamscougall.com.au

website and social:
Oct 27, 2017

We have Jessica Brace with us as our guest on today's Power Talk Friday. LuAnn is very appreciative and happy to have her on the show, because she's  really well sought after in podcasting circles, due to her expertise in Internet and Video Marketing. LuAnn has also enjoyed several other podcast episodes, where Jessica was the featured guest, talking about Facebook Live. So listen in, as Jessica shares some of her expertise about Facebook Live with you, today.

We're doing a whole series about Facebook Live on the show and statistics have been mentioned by more than a few of the guests recently, that by around 2020, approximately eighty percent of all social media will be done by video.  We also know from others in the Design Industry, about how important Facebook Live, Instagram, and Snapchat have become.  LuAnn finds Facebook Live to be a particular conundrum though, because, on the one hand, she sees it as a great platform for our really visual  Industry, however, on the other hand, Designers do tend to struggle a bit with the mechanics of how to do it and sometimes even with the content.  So listen in, as Jessica sheds some light on how to get going with Facebook Live and how to keep going, from there.

Show highlights:

  • Jessica starts off by explaining what Facebook Live really is and also, why you should consider doing it.
  • The two types of video that Jessica uses for Facebook Live.
  • When you would use either pop-ups or pre-planned video content on your Facebook Live.
  • The difference between the videos on Youtube and those on Facebook Live.
  • Why consistency is key, with Facebook Live.
  • A strategy that works really well, with Facebook comments.
  • The best way to get people to share your Facebook content.
  • How to go about doing your Facebook Live and what you'll need, in order to do it.
  • Writing a compelling headline, which is key to getting people to watch your FB Live.
  • Introducing yourself, on your video.
  • How FB Live videos are automatically embedded on other social media platforms, to reach a really huge audience.
  • Why it's okay for your videos to be casual and relaxed.
  • What to share, on your FB Live video.
  • The fun things that you can do with your Facebook Video Library.
  • Uploading captions on your video.
  • There is an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for getting everything done on FB Live.
  • How the transcripts for FB Live work.
  • Why perfection is really the lowest standard!
  • The fun things you can do to educate your audience, with Facebook Live.
  • Jessica's Genius Extraction on Facebook Live.
  • Building momentum, in order to become established on FB Live.
  • The programs and freebies that Jessica has to offer, on her website.
  • Go to facebook.com/groups/shebroadcasts for Jessica's group She Broadcasts.

Links:

Give away for listeners: Free FB Live Cheat Sheet: http://purplemermaidstudios.com
her email:
Oct 25, 2017

Welcome to another episode of A Well Designed Business! Today we have Kendra Bester with us on the show. She's an Interior Decorator who runs her own firm in the Toronto area and today she talks to LuAnn about some of the challenges that she's faced and the things that she's learned in her first three years in business. She also discusses the importance of setting up great systems in your business and ensuring that you really have your finances in good order.  Listen in to find out more about Kendra and the way she runs her firm.

Kendra received her degree in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph. She then switched career tracks and enrolled at Humber College, in their Interior Decorating Program.  She graduated there with first-class honors and she's now a Certified Interior Decorator. Listen in today, to find out more about Kendra's take on the business side of Design.

Show highlights:

  • Some tips for new Designers about the right kind of questions to ask during the initial consultation with a client.
  • How to find the personal style for each client.
  • Developing a set of questions, to help your client figure out what they're actually looking for.
  • Using Pinterest to help you discover patterns that your client could be gravitating towards.
  • The second consultation is really important- this is usually the make or breaks one.
  • Looking for clues to better inform you about your clients.
  • Dealing with situations where you feel you're not the right fit for the project.
  • Gearing your portfolio towards the kinds of projects you'd really like to be doing in the future.
  • Pictures are really powerful! Take loads of them!
  • What it really takes to be the Boss Lady.
  • The importance of being in the know about the financial aspect of your business.
  • How Kendra handles the interview and hiring process.

Links:

A Link to Kendra's bio here:
 
Her Website:
 
Her Instagram:
 
Find Kendra on Facebook:
 
Pinterest:
 
Oct 23, 2017

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! Today we have a really special treat for LuAnn (and hopefully for you too). We have Interior Designer Marina Umali of Marina V Design Studio in New Jersey with us and on today's show she discusses the art of Feng Shui and how she uses this practice in conjunction with her Interior Design work. At the time of recording this show, both Marina and LuAnn were really looking forward to the  Lunch And Learn, where Marina presented Five Easy Steps To Invite Success Into Your Personal And Your Professional Life, With The Art Of Feng Shui, at the Window Works Showroom. Although the Lunch And Learn has already aired, you can still go over to www.facebook.com/awelldesignedbusiness and find it. Listen in to find out more!

Marina is a New York State Certified Interior Designer. She's lead accredited and she studied Architecture at Parson School Of Design and Interior Design at The Fashion Institute Of Technology. Marina worked as an Interior Designer for a number of different Architectural firms in New York City, before starting Marina V Design Studio. She is a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner and she is about to start her second term on the board of the International Feng Shui Guild. You may even remember Marina from the My Doma commercials that she recorded over the summer. Listen in now, to find out more about Marina and how she uses the art of Feng Shui to enhance her  Designing.

Show highlights:

  • What initially drove Marina to learning about Feng Shui.
  • Marina gives an example of how Feng Shui really changed someone's life.
  • How changing the décor of your home, using the art of Feng Shui, could really bring changes to other, unrelated areas of your life.
  • How Feng Shui really works hand in hand with Interior Design.
  • Marina's common sense approach to using Feng Shui in conjunction with Interior Design.
  • What the course that Marina did, to learn about Feng Shui, entailed.
  • There are a number of different schools of thought about Feng Shui, so this should be kept in mind, when selecting a school, if you're considering studying it.
  • Some of the differences in the various schools of thought about Feng Shui.
  • Why you should care about Feng Shui, in Marina's opinion.
  • How Fung Shui talks to other, seemingly unrelated areas of people's lives, via their intention.
  • Marina explains how Feng Shui is working with LuAnn and her partners, at Window Works.
  • Marina gives some things to bear in mind about Feng Shui, when making some changes, or designing a space.
  • Playing around with the various elements of Feng Shui, to create a more harmonious space. (Water, wood, fire, metal)
  • Why the position of your bed is more important than you'd think.
  • Marina's intuitive use of Feng Shui.
  • What to look out for, in terms of Feng Shui, when looking at a home.
  • Using Feng Shui when changing the layout of a house.
  • What the Feng Shui Guild has been set up for.
  • Marina is going to host a workshop for interior Designers, on how to incorporate Feng Shui into your designs and also about what you need to know about Feng Shui, to inform your clients.

If you, as an Interior Designer, have any questions relating to Feng Shui, you can email Marina for answers. (marina@marinavdesignstudio.com)

Link:

Use the link www.mydomastudio.com/awelldesignedbusiness to access the goodies that are there for you!

Oct 20, 2017

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday! This is the next episode in our Facebook Coaching Series and we have the fabulous Molly Mahoney joining us on the show today. Molly is the Prepared Performer, the Camera Confidence Coach and she's also a Facebook Live Ninja! She really has an incredible amount of energy and passion for showing Entrepreneurs, Artists and Business Owners how to up their visibility and online presence by leveraging all the latest and most powerful features that Facebook has to offer. Listen in to find out more!

Today, Molly gives some really awesome tips on how to identify your ideal client, so that you can attract them to your Facebook Business Page. She also talks about how to understand Facebook Ads and about how to host Facebook Live broadcasts, to provide great value and build deeper relationships. Molly is the very first guest on this show to talk about Facebook Messenger Bots, which can really help you to attract more of your perfect clients and customers in a unique and reliable way. It is a bit complicated, so pay close attention and you're sure to get it. Molly also has a free gift for you today, so be sure to stay with us right to the end of the show. Listen in now, to learn about the really useful strategies that  Molly has to share with you, to help you to effectively engage with people and to draw them into your Facebook Live Videos.

 

Show highlights:

  • The real point behind everything that Molly teaches.
  • Focusing on the way that you address a mass audience.
  • Content and confidence- they're both really important.
  • Figuring out who you are. You really are the most important element of your business.
  • An exercise that Molly created, called “The Quesadilla Of Awesome”, to help you discover your own, uniquely awesome skill set.
  • Working with the way you look (and feel about the way you look) on camera.
  • A trick to open your mind, to really embrace the space that your ideal client is in.
  • Molly explains how to start your live video. It's one of the keys to her formula for creating really awesome live videos.
  • Using Messenger Bots to get much higher open rates for your Facebook messages.
  • Tips for staying platform specific and still getting people to 'click this link'.
  • How Messenger Bots can save you having to create PDF's.
  • Awesome ways to use your video to build viewership, even if nobody shows up to watch it.
  • Better ways to boost your video.
  • How Molly does her Facebook Ads as Engagement Ads.
  • Why (and how) you should have your Facebook Ads on the news feed and not on the sidebar.
  • Molly explains all about Messenger Bots, how to use them and what you need to have in place, in order to use them on your Facebook Business Page.
  • Messenger Bots can be overwhelming and confusing, so Molly has created an awesome mini-course called The Messenger Automation Academy.
  • Using Growth Tools as ways to build your subscriber base.
  • Why you should not be doing business on your Facebook Personal Page.
  • How Molly works her Facebook Personal Page to enhance her Facebook Business Page.
  • Molly has a 'done for you' Bot Service because it really can be so confusing for some people.
  • Molly has some really great, free resources for you today!

Links:

To access everything that Molly has for you today, go to: www.thepreparedperformer.com/design

Her website:
www.thepreparedperformer.com
 
Her social:
https://www.facebook.com/thepreparedperformer
https://twitter.com/prep2perform
https://www.instagram.com/thepreparedperformer/
https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePreparedPerformer
https://www.linkedin.com/in/molly-mahoney-072a1024/
https://www.pinterest.com/mollymmahoney/
Oct 18, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Corey's website: Corey Klassen

Judith's website: Road Side Attraction Studio

Download the Skills Worksheet Here: www.windowworks-nj.com/designbiz2

Oct 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

Links:

Her website:
http://trioenvironments.com/angela-harris.htm
Social:
Oct 13, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Her email:
captain@smoothbusinessgrowth.com
Her social and website info:
Twitter  and  Facebook:
Oct 11, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Email:
jason@thedesignnetwork.com
Website: 
Oct 9, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Email: Carla@CarlaAston.com
Her social:
Her website: CarlaAston.com
Oct 6, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/acuityscheduling
http://twitter.com/AcuitySchedulin  
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavin-zuchlinski-30b06885
Oct 4, 2017

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

Marc's Facebook Group: www.theccoachinjungle.com

His Email: marc@naturalborncoaches.com

His website: http://www.naturalborncoaches.com
Oct 2, 2017

Today we have Katharine Earnhardt on the show! She's the Founder of Mason Lane Art Advisory, a Brooklyn-based company that styles walls with art and objects to fit client's taste, space and budget. 

Keeping up with the art world inventory, resources and pricing is a full-time job, and Katharine explains how designers can get support in this area so they can appropriately source and pitch the right art to clients. 

Katharine has a B.A. in Art History and Economics from Williams College and an M.A. in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute. Katharine has experience working in the Management office of the Museum of Modern Art, in business development at Christie's, and leading the business development team at a international art appraisal and advisory firm, Gurr Johns. Katharine is well versed in Art History and art market dynamics and works with designers through by straight referrals as well as through her trade program called Mason Lane Partners (MLP).  

Listen in to find out more about the kind of assistance that Katharine offers to Interior Designers through her boutique art advisory service. 

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Katharine’s website: http://www.masonlaneart.com

Katharine on Instagram: masonlane_art. 
 

 

Sep 29, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

His email:
stephan@stephanspencer.com
Sep 27, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Claire's website: www.clairejefford.com

Sep 25, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

Shea's website: www.studio-mcgee.com

Sep 22, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

For Tabitha's free courses, go to courses.tabithacarro.com

Sep 20, 2017

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

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

 

More from this episode:

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

Links:

www.kimberleykayinteriors.com
 
https://www.instagram.com/kimberleykayinteriors/
 
https://www.facebook.com/kimberleykayinteriors/
Sep 18, 2017

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Visit www.windowworks-nj.com/designbiz2 to download the self-assessment!

Sep 15, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

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

http://giftologybook.com/design/

Pick up your copy of Giftology by John Ruhlin

http://ruhlingroup.com/

Sep 13, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

Links:

Her social media:
https://twitter.com/CynthiaSpenceSF
#itsallabouttheedit
https://www.instagram.com/cynthiaspencedesign/
Sep 11, 2017

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

What you’ll hear in this episode:

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

Resources:

Drexel University Interior Design Program:
http://drexel.edu/westphal/academics/undergraduate/INTR/
 
Maria's website:
http://violainteriordesign.com
 
Email Maria: maria@violainteriordesign.com
Sep 8, 2017

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

 

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

 

 

Show highlights:

 

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

 

Links:

 

Jody's website: www.newvisioncpagroup.com 

 

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

 

Jody on Twitter: @jodypadarcpa 

 

Sep 6, 2017

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Resources:

Kamila's website: www.kamilasocial.com

Her podcast:
The Kamila Gornia Show: Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Leadership with Heart Behind Hustle
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