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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: January, 2018
Jan 31, 2018

Cheryl Luckett is the principal of Dwell by Cheryl, her interior design company. She has two areas of expertise that I’m interested in sharing with you today. She has taken her side hustle into a full-time profession, leaving the security of her corporate job. She actively engages in the business mentor/mentee relationship. Loyal listeners might remember a few weeks back, in Episode 267, with Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interiors. She described then how her mentor has helped her through the challenges of having a corporate job while working hard on the side in interior design. Cheryl is that mentor that Rasheeda spoke about.

Southern Home describes Dwell by Cheryl as “opulence in reach, with vintage treasures and ingenious restyles.” Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love. She describes her design as “sophisticated but approachable.” She launched in 2012 and continues to grow, with clients raving about her ability to transform a space on a realistic budget. It’s also her professionalism and attention to detail that earns her high praise. She shares with us about her 15-year career at a Fortune 500 company, along with her beginnings as a registered dietician and human resources professional. It was here that she developed her service skills and business acumen. I’ll remind you of Episode 6, where Erika Ward told us to “make sure that you think about and utilize your transferable skills when you open your interior design firm.” Cheryl will tell us how she has accomplished that.

Cheryl’s work has been published in Charlotte Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, Queen City Exclusive, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces, to name just a few. She is a five-time recipient of Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction, and in 2015, she was named one of the 15 best designers in Charlotte by Build Direct. Cheryl also believes in giving back, and she has partnered locally with agencies such as Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont and Metrolina Habitat Restores to promote non-profit retailers and their missions. Join me for this conversation with Cheryl!

What you’ll hear in the episode:

  • How I met Cheryl at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles in 2017
  • Insights on running an interior design firm while working a full-time corporate job
  • Cheryl’s path as a registered dietician, then in school foodservice, then human resources
  • Following her love of design and décor to start a blog and take design classes at the local community college
  • “I never treated this design business as merely a side hustle. I wanted to be ALL IN.”
  • How a Design Bloggers Conference in 2012 changed everything for Cheryl: “I felt like I was finally with MY PEOPLE.”
  • Planning an exit strategy from the corporate world
  • How Cheryl’s blog grew and spread to become an effective marketing tool
  • Looking for one YES
  • Juggling a full-time job while designing for clients and taking design classes
  • Why Cheryl had a “waiting list”
  • Finding interns through a design program for students
  • The criteria for leaving her corporate job, making the decision, and setting a time frame
  • The 36-month plan and Cheryl’s financial advisor
  • “Preparing for D-day”---building a website and putting systems in place
  • Cheryl’s relationship with Rasheeda and why she wanted to be a mentor
  • The guidelines and boundaries to the mentor/mentee relationship
  • Cheryl’s mentor and friend, Ruthie Staalsen, a designer in Dallas
  • Cheryl’s plans for this year’s Design Bloggers Conference
  • “Social media: the best money you’ll never spend on marketing.”

Resources:

Curated Kravet (Use code “ck podcast” for 10% off your first order!)

Her website and social:
Her website: Dwell by Cheryl
Her Blog: Dwell by Cheryl Blog
Her Instagram: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Facebook: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl
Her Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl/
Her Linkedin: Cheryl Luckett/
Jan 29, 2018

Today we are very happy to have Warren Pearl, the president of Lefroy Brooks, as our guest on the show. If you are a regular listener you may already know that Mr. Pearl has invited us to celebrate our second year birthday of the podcast on 21st of February, at his New York City showroom! Listen in today to get the details.

Lefroy Brooks has been in business for the last twenty-five years and they have showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. They are known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures and on the show today you will hear how and why they got this name. Lefroy Brooks create plumbing fixtures who's design would compliment any decor, from any era, from early 20th century all the way to the end. Cooper and Graham take it from there, with their elegant and forward-thinking designs for the 21st century.  In addition to having a really outstanding line of plumbing fixtures which are renown for their superior quality, Lefroy Brooks are a company who really believe in and support interior designers with their education and customer service. Listen in today to find out what Mr. Pearl has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • What earned Lefroy Brooks their reputation as the Rolls Royce of the plumbing fixtures industry.
  • The philosophy behind the Lefroy Brooks product.
  • How Lefroy Brooks became known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures.
  • The selection of 21stcentury designs that can be accessed through Cooper & Graham.
  • Some really awesome and interesting background info about Warren Pearl and the really famous people that he has dealt with.
  • The special kind of customer service that Lefroy Brooks provides to the trade.
  • The role of interior designers in Mr. Pearl's vision for Cooper & Graham.
  • Why interior designers who haven't yet broken into the high end, luxury market should not be intimidated by the Cooper & Graham product line.
  • The CEU's that Lefroy Brooks provide for interior designers.
  • The fantastic new plumbing technology that's coming up in the future for Cooper & Graham.
  • The classic elegance and authenticity of the Lefroy Brooks fixtures.
  • The unique way that Lefroy Brooks approach their marketing.
  • About the different Lefroy Brooks classic collections, many of which were designed in the 1940's.
  • The Lefroy Brooks presence, outside of the USA.

Go to My Doma Studio to find out about your special offer, as a listener of the podcast.

Link to RSVP for Birthday Party:

www.luannnigara.com/party

Resources:

Lefroy Brooks

Cooper And Graham

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Jan 26, 2018

We have some really happy news today! We have Fred Berns back on the show! Since the beginning of this podcast he has appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174 and #226 and if you are a new listener, Fred is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is really so actionable. Today Fred will be talking to us about the seven habits of highly effective luxury interior designers. Listen in now to find out more!

Fred is the only interior design business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promo materials for design professionals worldwide. He has more than twenty-five years of experience training design professionals, from Dallas to Dubai. He helps to create their online profiles, their websites, their social media copy, blogs, and marketing forums. In addition, he also offers a wide range of coaching services which include his High-Performance Coaching Program, his Bio Briefing, and his Website Once Over. Listen in to find out what he has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • What Fred is currently up to and how got to the information about how the really successful, top designers and architects got to where they are today.
  • The kinds of projects these really top designers and architects work on, and the famous people that they work for.
  • Some of the characteristics that these top designers and architects have in common.
  • Strangely enough, the top designers are not always the best designers- Fred discusses what actually makes them so successful.
  • The mindset of a lot of the high end, really successful design professionals.
  • How the really successful design professionals managed to tap into the high-end market.
  • Fred discusses some of the onlys of the top design professionals.
  • Optimising your
  • Pinpointing the pain points, problems and challenges of the high-end market.
  • Ways of creating really relevant blog posts, or videos for great marketing.
  • Positioning yourself in order to break into the luxury, high-end market.
  • What you really want to emphasize in your bio.
  • The seven common habits that the really top, successful designers seem to share.
  • Why it's important to get some price objections.
  • The real value of being stubborn and not quitting.
  • Fred's awesome Website Once Over- to help position you in a higher place.
  • Fred's Bio Briefing coaching program- for you to really come across as someone who is highly qualified and an expert in your field.

Links:

For Fred's Website Once Over go to Website Onceover

For Fred's Bio Briefing go to Bio Briefing

Jan 24, 2018

Today we have Jason Oliver Nixon, one of the dynamic partners of Madcap Cottage, with us on the show. LuAnn has really been looking forward to this interview because she and Jason Oliver are both going to be at the IWCE (International Window Coverings Expo) Conference in Tampa Florida in March, where Jason and his partner John Loecke are going be giving a keynote address. On the show today Jason will be talking about the IWCE and also about his business, Madcap Cottage, so listen in to find out more.

There are so many parts of Madcap Cottage that have intrigued LuAnn and she really admires that way that Jason Oliver and John stand so firmly in the space of their design aesthetic. These Madcap gents are well known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, really bringing their client's story-lines to life and their out-of-the-box website really says it all! Listen in today to find out about Madcap Cottage's really unusual and fascinating approach to interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Madcap Cottage came about.
  • The way that Madcap Cottage approaches the needs of their clients.
  • Jason Oliver explains how both his and John's former experience as magazine editors and television producers assists them with bringing their client's stories uniquely to life.
  • The way that they challenge and push their clients to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Prints Charming- the really awesome book that Jason Oliver and John have written as a primer to give people permission to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Why people come to Jason Oliver and John.
  • The reason why it's never a head-to-toe look from Madcap Cottage.
  • The intuitive and thoughtful way that Jason Oliver and John work with their clients.
  • How constant traveling really helps them to keep their eyes tuned and their clients well informed.
  • The evolution of the Madcap brand.
  • How Jason Oliver and John trained themselves as interior designers.
  • Where Jason Oliver finds the time to rest with his hectic schedule.
  • What luxury really means.
  • What to expect from Jason Oliver's keynote address.

Resources:

Book: Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Robert Allen fabric collection

Jason Oliver and John will be giving their keynote address at 8 am on 27th March the IWCE.

Jan 22, 2018

Big news! We are nearing February and the 2nd birthday for the podcast! Our 300th episode is coming on February 21; there’s a BIG party in NYC---and you’re invited! Listen to today’s show for details!

Today’s guest is Sandra Espinet, a luxury interior designer and the principal of SE Designs, based in Los Cabos, Mexico. Sandra is warm, genuine, intelligent, and a very smart businesswoman. She knows the nuances of catering to the luxury design market, and how it carries its own code and way of doing things. As a lifelong traveler, she embraces the concepts of relaxed luxury and casual international style in her designs.

Her experience and extensive travel have given her a unique perspective on her design style. Her work has been published in several international publications, and she has received numerous awards and distinctions, in addition to appearing on several HGTV shows and radio shows. Her first book is The Well-Traveled Home and her newest book is Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living, due for release in a few weeks.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How I met Sandra through Andrew Joseph PR: the similar focus on how they work with clients
  • Getting real with yourself about the client you want to work with and what you want to do
  • Why you can’t be an expert on everything, but you CAN be an expert in your field
  • Knowing what calls to you and attracts you
  • What it means to design for luxury clients
  • Understanding the client in THEIR world and in THEIR space
  • Locking down the intangibles to move to the next level
  • Finding the balance between “staying in your lane” and branching out
  • How to decline the projects that aren’t aligned with your focus and having the power to say NO
  • “If you know that you can’t lead, then be a follower, but follow the best person you can find.”
  • The other legs of SE Designs and the business positives that come from them
  • Staying conscious of your core clients, especially about social media exposure
  • How Sandra gets clients with NO advertising
  • Sandra’s recent award from AD Mexico as a Top Ten Designer in Latin America
  • How Sandra manifests her strengths in each job
  • Why Sandra works now with a smaller team and with fewer simultaneous jobs
  • The unique focus of each of Sandra’s books: one eclectic book about travel and one about casual lifestyle trends in the luxury market
  • Why Sandra LOVES to shop with her clients
  • Plan and focus: How Sandra’s shopping trips begin with a budget and a floor plan
  • Becoming fully immersed in the total experience with a client in the psychology of design
  • “I’m designing a stage for fabulous people to lead fabulous lives.”
  • The power and responsibility in spending other people’s money

Resources:

Website: Sandra Espinet

Find Sandra’s monthly blog: 7 Things I Cannot Live Without

The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living by Sandra Espinet

Facebook: Sandra Espinet
Instagram: Sandra Espinet
Pinterest: Sandra Espinet
Jan 19, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday. We are really very happy to introduce Jeff Bullas, an expert social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker from Sydney Australia, as our guest for today's show. LuAnn has been a great fan of his work for years and she has also been on his email list and following him for a really long time. Despite all the conversations that we've had on the show about blogging, there are still some things about it that continue to plague us, as designers. So today Jeff will be talking about why blogging really works and he will also be sharing some of his expertise about ways to get your audience to find you on social media and how to write killer headlines. Listen in to find out more!

Jeff is the author of the book Blogging The Smart Way- How To Create And Market A Killer Blog With Social Media. He is listed in Forbes as one of the Top Twenty Influencers of CMO's in 2017, he has been ranked by Apollo Research as the Top Twenty Influencers of Digital Marketing in the USA and he is also number one in Global Digital Marketing Influencer 2016. He has been named as one of the Top 100 Social Media Influencers in 2015 and he was featured in Inc.Com as one of the twenty digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Forbes ranked Jeff as number eight on The World's Top 40 Social Marketing Talent, and he gets over four million visitors to his site each year, so listen in to find out what Jeff has to share with you today about blogging and getting yourself known on social media.

Show highlights:

  • Jeff discusses his passion and philosophy and talks about how blogging can really become a positive force in your business.
  • Attracting an audience that really loves what you do.
  • Overcoming problems and challenges through writing blog posts about your pain points.
  • Why Jeff believes that content and blogging is so important.
  • Are you wanting to become an industry leader or a celebrity designer, or are you just looking for a stepping stone to creating more business for your business? Jeff explains the different tactics for the different goals.
  • Email is still the business tool of choice for communication, so Jeff explains some ways to inspire people to hand over their email addresses.
  • Creating really effective lead magnets.
  • Some awesome advice about titles and headlines.
  • What you need in order to build your distribution on the more visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Looking at what the top performers are doing in order to get some great ideas.
  • Developing the kinds of habits that will really work for you.
  • What deep work looks like and why you really need to do it!
  • Creating content of consequence.
  • A success habit that many smart people seem to ignore.
  • Some strategies to help your audience to find you.

Links:

Connect with Jeff:

Blogger at JeffBullas.com - more than 4 million people visit every year

Author of the Amazon Best Seller - "Blogging the Smart Way - How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media" 

Forbes "Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers - 2014" - Ranked #8

Huffington Post - "Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow"

Follow me on Twitter and join the community of more than 320,000 of your peers

Join us on Facebook 

Hangout with us on Google+ 

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn

Jan 17, 2018

Welcome to today's show! Today we have another show featuring a husband and wife team and we're really excited to have Morgan and Ryan Motsinger, the owners of Lot 35 Homes as our guests. Ryan is a contractor and Morgan is a designer and until recently they each used to do their individual jobs. During the summer of 2017 however,  they combined their skills and opened a business together and now they have a really cool thing going on! Listen in today as we take apart the way that Morgan and Ryan work together as a husband and wife team.

Lot 35 Homes is a full-service residential construction and interior design company, specializing in creating spaces that are relaxing, comfortable, functional and also beautiful. Ryan and Morgan really love their local community in Tillamook, on the Oregon coast and so they align their business values as closely as possible with those of their community. Listen in now to find out more about the really awesome way that they go about their business.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome website that Morgan created for their business. (lot35homes.com )
  • How they came up with the name of their business.
  • What lead them to the decision to combine their businesses.
  • How the great dynamic between Morgan and Ryan really works for them as a professional team.
  • The major contract that they have recently signed.
  • Where and how their new major client managed to find them.
  • Their intentions for the marketing of their business in the future.
  • The kinds of projects that Morgan undertook for her three guinea pig clients.
  • The merits of using iPhone photos on Instagram versus using professional ones.
  • Morgan's rationale behind the recent adjustment of her fees for consultations.
  • How Morgan developed the confidence to present herself as a professional designer.
  • The great features on their website.
  • How Morgan highlights other people's creativity through the services that she offers.
  • How Lot 35 Connect can really help make the lives of parents with special needs kids more comfortable.
  • Their goal with Lot 35 Connect.
  • Their game plan for engagement on Facebook Live.

Links:

Morgan and Ryan's website: Lot 35 Homes

Go to Curated Kravet, select the items that you want and use the code CK Podcast at the checkout to get 10% off your entire first order.

Jan 15, 2018

Welcome to today's show. Our guest for today is Caitlyn Waite, an interior designer from Mobile Alabama. Caitlyn has been chosen to head up the very first affiliate chapter of Savvy Giving By Design, a really wonderful organization started by Susan Wintersteen (#164) with a mission to provide comfort, healing, and support to families with a child facing a medical crisis. This is done by transforming the interior space of the bedrooms of the child and their siblings, at no cost to the family. Listen in to find out more.

Also, through her interior design business, Caitlyn has developed a relationship with a builder and she already has twelve confirmed projects lined up with him for 2018. Today she talks in detail about how this relationship came about and also about the kind of things that you, as designers, really need to know if you would like to duplicate in your design firm what Caitlyn has done in hers. Listen in today to find out more about Caitlyn's approach to cultivating valuable relationships with builders in order to create a really successful design form.

Show highlights:

  • How Caitlyn initially came to hear about Savvy Giving By Design through this podcast.
  • The whole legal process that Caitlyn went through in order to become set up with Savvy Giving By Design.
  • Caitlyn talks about her very first Savvy Giving project.
  • The story of Caitlyn's daughter's Angel's Kiss.
  • How Caitlyn found Georgia, the first child who's room she will be transforming.
  • The unforeseen difficulties that Caitlyn experienced in finding nominees for the Savvy Giving project and what Susan Wintersteen has done to help overcome this.
  • The kind of fund-raising that Caitlyn has done for the project- and how you can also get involved by making a donation.
  • There are even some tradespeople who are willing to donate their time to this project.
  • The way that Caitlyn works with the children to create a space for them that they will really love.
  • How this project differs from a standard design project.
  • The way that Savvy Giving is working as a cohesive unit towards attracting national fund-raising.
  • Caitlyn explains how she developed her relationship with a local builder and she discusses her business model for 2018.
  • Caitlyn's dream solution to the general difficulty that many designers experience in finding sub-contractors to execute their work.
  • Some tips from Caitlyn about the way that her finances are handled with Joe, the builder that she works with.
  • The freedom that Caitlyn experiences through the kind of work that she does with Joe.
  • Caitlyn discusses some of the challenges that she deals within her 'spec' design projects.
  • Some awesome advice about having a successful initial conversation with a builder who you may want to build a relationship with.

Resources:

If you would like to donate towards the awesome Savvy Giving By Design project, you can go to their donate page on Savvy Giving By Design.org

Go to My Doma Studio to sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial with My Doma Studio. Upon signing up for the trial, you will receive 20% off your subscription, as a listener of the podcast.

 

Jan 12, 2018

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday. We are really happy to introduce you to today's guest, Madeleine Macrae. Madeleine and LuAnn are going to be co-presenters at the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa Florida this March. Listen in today to find out more about Madeleine, why she's here on the show and why she's been invited to present at the Window Coverings Expo.

Madeleine is the highly motivated CEO, founder and chief innovator for M MacRae, a national learning, coaching and consulting firm which focuses on the development and growth of pros and companies in the home professionals industry. More than thirteen years ago Madeleine developed a time-tested process and also a language for bridging the gap between the needs and expectations of the corporate world and the needs and expectations of their greatest asset- the pros out in the field. In Madeleine's bio she says that she is connected and responsive, she has a three hundred and sixty-degree view and understanding of objectives, goals, and stakes and that she derives her energy from educating, inspiring and leading her clients. Listen in today, to find out what Madeleine has to share with you about creating really effective and manageable goals, both for your business and for yourself personally.

Show highlights:

  • The joint goal setting seminar that LuAnn and Madeleine will be doing.
  • The Five Days To Goals training that Madeleine does and offers to her clients.
  • Madeleine explains her philosophy around goal setting and she discusses how she arrived at her Five Days To Goals training.
  • Madeleine explains the steps that are involved in the goals training that she offers her clients.
  • Stop beating yourself up with the stick of blame.
  • How to do the Data Dump.
  • The value in keeping notes about the things you intend to do.
  • What you could gain by doing things as tasks, rather than as projects.
  • A sophisticated neuro-trick to use when making your lists.
  • The amount of information that comes at us, compared with what we can actually focus on.
  • Getting really clear about what you want in your life.
  • A smart way to work out what your priorities really are.
  • The hardest step for people to accept.
  • Daring to dream about what you really want!
  • The difference between a goal and a task.
  • Breaking your goal down into achievable milestones.
  • You really know so much more than you think you know!
  • Madeleine's Daily Blueprint- a really fantastic tool for attaining your goals.

Links:

To find out more information about the International Window Coverings Expo, go to: IWCE Vision

To get access to some of Madeleine's goals training absolutely free go to: Fast Track Sales Systems

Jan 10, 2018

Today's guest is Blanche Garcia, a certified interior designer with more than eighteen years of experience in commercial and residential design. Blanche is one of the principal designers featured in the Travel Channel reality series Hotel Impossible and she was also a contestant in season six of HGTV Design Star. Blanche owns a design business and she also does a lot of speaking at design industry events, where she shares her proven methods for 'surviving' her interior design business. On the show today she will be discussing how she runs the business side of things, so listen in to find out more.

Blanche is the owner of B. Garcia Designs which is based in Montclair New Jersey. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and she's also a 'Green Design' LEED Accredited Professional through the United States Green Building Commission. Listen in today as Blanche discusses her really focused approach to running a successful design business.

Show highlights:

  • How Blanche ended up doing so much public speaking for the design industry.
  • Where Blanche finds the time to do everything that she does.
  • What helped her to learn to figure everything out really quickly.
  • A simple way to teach people how to treat you.
  • Putting up parameters in order to maintain professional control.
  • Taking the pain out of the whole billing structure.
  • Having the right kind of agreement with your client.
  • Giving yourself the time to be creative.
  • How Blanche assesses what the budget of a project should be.
  • The importance of clear communication.
  • The insane amount of purchases that are going through Blanche's office.
  • Blanche's remarkable time management.
  • Her disciplined and focused approach to her work.

Resources:

Her website: B Garcia Designs

Her Book Link: Empowered Design

Instagram Link: Instagram

Twitter Link: Twitter

Facebook Link: Facebook

Photo Credit: Ciara Perrone

Jan 8, 2018

We have Anita Dawson with us on the show today. She is the president and owner of the Dawson Design Group, a full-service interior design firm based in San Diego Southern California. DDG specializes in all things modern, and since 2007 they have completed more than a hundred projects in Southern California, Chicago, and Atlanta. They have been awarded The Design Impact Award and Design Excellence Award by the American Society of Interior Designers; multiple Home of the Year awards from San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles and also an Award of Excellence- Architectural Rehabilitation award from the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board. Anita has a really unique and interesting story to tell, so listen in today, to find out what she has to share with you.

Anita founded Dawson Design Group to fulfill her true calling in a creative and hands-on environment after her previous successful careers in the performing and visual arts. Anita's clients gravitate towards the relaxed style and clean-lined approach that she has perfected in her design over the last decade. She and her team at DDG provide homeowners with sophisticated and interesting spaces which are unique to each client. Anita has been featured in HGTV's Professional Network and she is a Houzz.com influencer and a member of Design Trust Ltd, which is an exclusive group of leading interior designers across the country. Listen in today as Anita shares some actionable ways for you to make yourself really valuable as a member of a full-service design team.

Show highlights:

  • How Anita's firm got to be the type of firm that does the bigger projects.
  • The way that Anita's maturity has contributed towards her level of comfort around high net worth clients.
  • The importance of being able to give really clear direction to your contractor to communicate what you want to have built.
  • Developing the kind confidence that's necessary in order to get to the next level.
  • The value of not being afraid to say that you don't know something.
  • Developing collaborative relationships with experts in certain fields, so that you can give up your control in those areas in order to make for a better overall project.
  • Some lessons that Anita learned while she was leasing a workspace within the space of an architect, who ended up becoming an informal mentor to her.
  • Some of the really helpful people that Anita hired, in the beginning, to help her set her business systems up.
  • The kind of marketing that Anita did in the first three to four years of her business.
  • The value of using 'printed marketing' in conjunction with Instagram.
  • Anita's way of fast-tracking herself, while still maintaining her niche market.
  • How Anita managed to start attracting the kind of clients who are aligned with her values, through her whimsical and humorous style of advertising when she started out.
  • Some of the ways that Anita gave some value back to the architect who became her informal mentor in the beginning.
  • Some tips on how you as a designer can really bring value to the builders that you work with.
  • The importance of having a really great team for high-quality projects.
  • It's okay to boost your photo shoots with some accessories that you bring along yourself- the client may even want to buy them if they really enhance the space!
  • Why you really need to be physically present at all your photo shoots.
  • Building great relationships with your vendors is really very important for your business!

Links:

Things I learned from Anita Dawson:

https://luannnigara.com/anita/

Her website:
http://dawsondesigngroup.com

Anita's Social:
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter.com
Linkedin
Linkedin
Jan 5, 2018

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Adam Urbanski, aka The Millionaire Marketing Mentor and he's a real headliner in Online Marketing and Podcast circles! There are so many ways that Adam could really help and influence all LuAnn's Designer friends to get that extra 'something' to tweak their businesses, so today, she's decided to go with Adam's Dream Business Design Process. Listen in to find out how this process helps Designers to identify what they want to sell the most and also how to sell to the most clients.

Adam, who has been in business for seventeen years now,  is really the 'go-to guy' for Coaches, Consultants and other Service Professionals who want to attract more clients, convert more high-value sales, build an authority brand, or grow a Lifestyle Business that has more impact and generates more income. Adam's clients have often doubled, tripled and even ten times-ed their businesses, some of them in as little as ninety days! All of this and Adam started out with only $194 and limited English and he still managed to turn his first business into a seven-figure business in less than ten years! LuAnn knows that she's in the presence of a true expert with Adam, so she's very grateful that he's on the show today! Listen in now, as Adam shares some really hot tips with you, to help you to become a way better business strategist!

 

Today, Adam talks to LuAnn about:

  • Becoming a master of, and being known for a very specific approach.
  • What his six question worksheet allows you to zero in on.
  • How he discovered his ideal clients.
  • That 90% of his clients are women and this happened by design!
  • That marketing is really all about listening.
  • Adam talks you through his six questions and how to best approach working with them.
  • Finding your specific magic, as a Designer.
  • Thinking about your dream income, per client.
  • Identifying your dream project.
  • Identifying the characteristics of your dream client.
  • What you'd need to do in order to execute your project in the best possible way. (i.e. identifying your Superpower)
  • Really understanding the expectations that you have to meet with your project.
  • Expressing what you're really good at to your client.
  • Establishing systems for really clear processes in your business.
  • Knowing that everything is changing all the time, so you need to maintain a constant process of evaluation with your clients.
  • Asking yourself how much money you'd like to make from each project, per year.
  • Examining which three to six marketing activities you really need to focus on- to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  • That you should really become a one track pony, in order to not lose sight of your core competencies.

Links:

Adam's websites: www.adamurbanski.com or www.themarketingmentors.com

Adam Urbanski is also on Facebook

Jan 3, 2018

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

Show highlights:

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

Resources:

Candy’s website and blog:

www.modddesignbuild.com

Her Twitter:
https://twitter.com/CandyScott_

Her Social:
https://www.instagram.com/mooddesignbuild/
https://www.facebook.com/candy.scott.754
https://www.linkedin.com/in/candy-scott-049b1ba/
Jan 1, 2018

On today’s show, we have the lovely Erika Ward! Erika started out as an accountant for a design, build company. While still working in corporate settings she started her own firm called “Erika Ward Interiors”. She used her background in financing and her creative side to grow her business and has since then built her business to the greatness that it is now. Erika not only works with individual clients but also works close with retail brands like Home Depot!

Links:

Her website and social:
http://erikaward.com
https://www.instagram.com/mrserikaward/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-ward-09a524a/
https://twitter.com/search?q=erika%20ward&src=typd
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