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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: August, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Are you ready to crush the last quarter of 2018? And are you really ready to make this the very best quarter of this year? Well, if you're the rare designer who is deciding to act, rather than to stay with the status quo, and to do, rather than wish, today's show is just for you! We have two very specific opportunities for you, and two different ways that we're making it possible for you to be the best you can be. Listen in now to find out how to take your game to the next level.

The first opportunity is the second stop on the Power Talk Friday Tour. (It's happening on Saturday 13th October 2018 in High Point, North Carolina.) For the High Point tour, Luann has gathered some of the new Power Talk Friday experts including Claire Jefford (#325 and #237), Stacey Brown Randall (#93) and Michele Williams (#137 and #180). The second opportunity is the two masterminds that Luann is offering, Foundation and Transition. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • On the tour, Claire will be talking about managing client expectations, something fundamental to running a successful project.
  • Pinpointing the challenges that tend to come up with new projects.
  • Most problems with new projects are rooted in something that wasn't clear in the initial agreement.
  • Claire will walk you through the best practices for setting up your project to succeed.
  • Stacey has proven techniques for building your pipeline through referrals- without asking your clients for them.
  • Stacey is a business coach with a recently-launched podcast called Roadmap To Grow Your Business.
  • Stacey will teach you methods to attract new clients into your pipeline- immediately.
  • Michele Williams, principal of Scarlet Thread Consulting, will also be with Luann on the tour.
  • Michele coaches designers and window-treatment professionals on the financial methods and systems for running a profitable business.
  • Michele is about to launch her new podcast, Profit Is A Choice.
  • Michele is also a certified Profit First coach.
  • What you have to understand, in order to really be successful with your business.
  • Why you really need to come to the High Point Tour.
  • How Luann will use her superpower to help you.
  • How the High Point Tour will be structured.
  • What you will gain from attending the tour.
  • The price for the tour and what it includes.
  • Having the chance to get to know the awesome sponsors.
  • About the Foundations and Transitions Masterminds.
  • Foundations is group coaching for new designers.
  • What you will learn in the Foundations Mastermind.
  • The Transitions Mastermind is for the more seasoned designer.
  • What you will get from the Transitions Mastermind.

Links:

Go to Luann's website Luann Nigara to get the early episodes.

To find out more about the tour go to Luann Nigara and click on the 'coaching' tab.

The landing page for the masterminds: Luann Nigara

Sponsors: The Power Talk Friday Tour is sponsored by MyDoma Studios, Revel Woods, and Bijou Wall Coverings.

Luann's second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, will be coming out in February of 2019.  This book is for the designer who wants to be intentionally focused, efficient and profitable. Luann has gathered 12 of the Power talk Friday experts and together they have created the go-to book for you to get detailed explanations, advice, and clarity about the ideas and concepts that have been discussed on the podcast, over the past two-and-a-half years.

Aug 28, 2018

Welcome! We have Dina Holland with us on the show today. And she's someone you may already know from her Instagram stories, with her really down-to-earth, likable and engaging approach. On today's show, we talk to Dina about the importance of finding your personal voice and the value of being real and authentic in everything you do- with your blog, your social media, and your website. Listen in today to find out how this can really help you to find clients who are just the right fit for you. 

Dina is the founder and principal of Dina Holland Interiors, but you might know her through her blog and Instagram account name, Honey, and Fitz.  It all started with a blog about eight years ago when Dina chronicled her own adventures in home decor and DIY projects. What started out as just a personal creative outlet quickly grew into a following of thousands with readers tuning in to see her own projects and those for neighbors and friends. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, Dina has grown her business far beyond the reaches of her blog and turned it into a successful full-service interior design firm with clients all over the country. Listen in today to find out what Dina has to share.

Show highlights:

  • How Dina's authentic voice on her website is a pre-qualifier to the clients that are reaching out to her.
  • The importance of being true to yourself.
  • The list of questions that Dina has on her website.
  • How Dina's questions help potential clients to find just the kind of help that they're looking for.
  • The really clever content to be found on Dina's website.
  • Why Dina has put pricing on her website.
  • The really great copy on Dina's website.
  • How Dina learned all she knows about design.
  • How Dina started out as an e-designer.
  • Dina's shift towards Instagram.
  • How, as a designer, to start charging friends and acquaintances.
  • The importance of having really good photos.
  • Charging appropriately for the managing, sourcing, ordering, and shipping of products.
  • Why charging an hourly rate is simply not enough.
  • How Dina managed to figure out the next level of trade sources.
  • How Dina managed to do floor plans when she first started out without any training.
  • How Dina dealt with her branding- from Honey and Fitz to Dina Holland Interiors.
  • Dina is getting ready to launch a small online shop.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Gail Davis #47

Carly Waters #211

Links:

Website - Dina Holland Interiors

Shop (launching later this summer) - Dina Holland Interiors

Instagram - @HoneyandFitz

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

Aug 24, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! You're in for a huge treat today! We have Virginia Muzquiz, the Referral Diva, on the show with us! Virginia is a connector with a real passion for teaching people how to cultivate referrals. And on the show today she explains how she teaches people to be referral-ready so that they can go out and get the referrals they need to grow their businesses. Listen in to find out more.

Virginia is the owner and chief connection officer at Master Connectors Incorporated and she is the executive director of B & I in America. She has over thirty years of experience in teaching six-figure companies and solopreneurs how to build a sustainable and profitable business.

Virginia believes that referrals are built out of relationships- and that requires people to like and trust you. This is why she really knows that learning how to create and leverage social capital is crucial in building businesses. Her numbers don't lie and Virginia's methods grew the contract service division of a nationally known education franchise from zero to 2.5 million dollars specifically, and only, by word-of-mouth. Today Virginia shows more than 1400 entrepreneurs how to redirect the time and money spent in non-productive networking into leveraged word-of-mouth strategies that produce measurable improvements in their ROI. Virginia is also the host of the Passion + Purpose = IMPACT podcast. Listen in to find out what she has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Virginia explains where she starts when teaching people how to be referral ready.
  • Simply showing up with your skill-set, as a designer, is not enough.
  • The key to creating really effective referrals.
  • The gift that you need to bring along to your potential client.
  • The importance of being really clear.
  • Getting your clients to align with your core values.
  • Knowing who you are and what you love.
  • Giving to givers who give.
  • How Virginia helps business owners to discover their own, unique core values.
  • The importance of finding what you're really passionate about.
  • Virginia's four-step plan to succeeding at networking events.
  • What you need to read and listen to, in order to really be prepared for networking events.
  • The right way to get someone's business card.
  • Knowing what your niche is so that you can connect with your tribe.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Article.com #301

Links:

LinkedIn: Virginia Muzquiz

Website: Master Connectors

Twitter: The Referral Diva

Facebook: Master Connectors

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

To get the info about Luann's mastermind go to Luann Nigara and click on the coaching tab.

Aug 21, 2018

Welcome to today's show. We have Shannon Claire, a designer that Luann discovered on Instagram, with us on the show today. Shannon has a really beautiful Instagram feed and on the show today she will be talking about it and she will also share some tips from the perspective of someone whose career is not an Instagram marketer but has utilized the tool in a really effective way.

Shannon Claire is an interior designer and stylist based in Washington, DC, specializing in

creating beautiful spaces so that your home feels uniquely and comfortably you, but elevated. Shannon Claire offers many services that include full-service interior design by the hour, e-design projects for clients who do not live locally but still need design help, and event and space styling. She has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Domino, The Washington PostBuzzfeed, The Everygirl, Glitter Guide, The Charlotte Observer, CNN, Forbes, Style Me Pretty, House Beautiful Magazine, and Style At Home Magazine. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as an interior designer, if you want to really start taking your Instagram seriously.
  • It can be hard to switch from using Instagram as a personal, or social tool, to use it as something that can funnel back into your business.
  • The importance of identifying what your particular brand looks like on paper, or in a photo.
  • Shannon explains why she only shares things on Instagram that fit into the specific aesthetic that she has created there- like pink walls.
  • The way that Shannon's before and after pictures really draw you in.
  • Shannon discusses her 'wake-up point'.
  • The benefits that she has seen from really dedicating herself to her particular style and aesthetic- and the kind of content that she was posting.
  • All the pictures on Shannon's feed are from her own home or her own projects.
  • The way that Luann's Instagram feed has changed recently.
  • The things that will really make your Instagram feed uniquely yours.
  • Choosing your Instagram photos intentionally.
  • The way that Shannon uses visual landmarks to let people know that she is in DC.
  • Some things that you can do to reach out to the people in your area, to let them know where you are.
  • Some information about the way that Instagram's algorithms operate.
  • The importance of having an engaged following on Instagram and building a community.
  • Effectively using captions on your photos.
  • Learning to be authentically yourself!
  • Ways to get your work featured out there.
  • What comment pods are-and how to use them.

Links:

Instagram - @shannonclaire

Blog - Shannon Claire Interiors

Pinterest - Shannon Claire Interiors

Shannon's website: Shannon Claire Interiors

Aug 17, 2018

Welcome to today's episode. We have Jane Dagni, the new editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine with us on the show today. Jane is a really well-regarded and true professional and today she will be talking to us about her new position as editor-in-chief, her take on the design industry, and also her future plans for the magazine. Listen in today to find out how Jane has really earned her respect in the design community.

Jane Dagni became an assistant editor at Country Living Magazine, a B2B magazine for professional interior designers, decorators and related businesses twenty-six years ago. She spent fourteen years at Country Living, where she wrote and produced at least a hundred-and-fifty feature stories and wrote countless columns. For the next eight years, she worked on writing gigs, short projects, and substitute teaching to support her family. Her clients included Benjamin Moore, Bob Vila, the Cottage and Gardens Magazines and Fort Lauderdale Magazine. In 2014 her colleague, Amy Flurry, recommended Jane as a communications manager at a tech startup that was creating a project management sourcing software for small boutique interior design firms. When the company closed Jane was hired as the editorial director at Steel Yard. Then, in December of 2017, Jane became editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine. Jane also participates in industry panels and Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • What makes Designers Today such an awesome magazine.
  • Jane's mission for the magazine.
  • Designers Today is becoming a subscription magazine. Go to Designers Today to sign up.
  • Jane explains what's happening with her magazine at the moment.
  • What makes Designers Today really stand out from other magazines.
  • The thrust of the magazine.
  • Some fun and unexpected things about Designers Today.
  • Building trust is really a big thing for Jane.
  • What Jane looks for in new designers.
  • The way that Jane is changing the structure of the magazine.
  • How Jane plans the issues of the magazine.
  • How Jane would like designers to communicate their journeys with her.
  • Why Jane really doesn't want people to feel intimidated.
  • Bypassing the small talk.
  • The kind of inspiration that Jane gets from vintage magazines.
  • The way that Jane is bringing the magazine back to life.
  • All about Jane's Designer Experience. Go to Designer Experience.
  • Jane's blog is a great way for designers to find out what she's looking for.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Laurel Bern #342

Amy Flurry #323 and #108

Laura Thurman # 272

Judith Taylor #340

Links:

Designers Today's website: Designers Today

Instagram: Jane Dagmi

LinkedIn: Jane Dagmi

Twitter: Jane Dagmi

Jane's email: jdagni@designerstoday.com

Books Mentioned on the Show:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recipe for Press: The Designer Edition by Amy Flurry

Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry

 

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have the pleasure of introducing you to an Australian designer today, Belinda Nihill, the principal of Nest Design Studio. After the birth of her first child, and working as a qualified interior designer for more than fifteen years, Bel started a blog focused on children's spaces. On the show today she explains how her really small, niche blog, Nest, progressed to becoming a really successful boutique design firm with clients in Australia, USA, France, Ireland, Dubai, Canada and many more places around the world. Listen in today to discover how Bel managed to really set herself apart from other Australian designers.

Nest Design Studio was founded in 2010 and is known for its classic and creative style. Recognised both nationally and internationally, Nest has been featured in more than 25 magazines worldwide and has also been profiled on a number of other media outlets. Nest was included in the House and Garden Top Fifty Rooms of 2015 and in 2016 Bel released her first book, Beautiful Babies Rooms. Building on her reputation for being a leader in the children's interior field, and due to demand from her clients, Bel has now extended Nest to include residential and commercial interiors as well. Bel is a member of the Design Institute of Australia. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • How Bel's blog was born, soon after the birth of her child.
  • How Bel went about creating her blog.
  • Bel has completed nearly 500 nursery and children's room projects in the eight years that she's been in business.
  • What helped Bel's blog to grow and feed her business.
  • What Project Nursery is all about and how it helped Bel to grow her business.
  • Finding what you're really passionate about as a way to grow your business.
  • It took about six months for Bel's blog to gain some traction.
  • Some of the things that really helped Bel grow her blog.
  • What prompted Bel to start doing e-designing.
  • How Bel worked out how much to charge for e-design.
  • What Bel has learned about systems in the eight years since she's been in business.
  • What Bel learned from the episode with Chaney Widmer (#327).
  • Bel explains how her business has grown.
  • The kind of budget that Bel works with for children's rooms.
  • What's to be found in Belinda's book.
  • Belinda's plans for the future.
  • The steps that Belinda is taking towards her future plans.
  • How Belinda sources her products.
  • Belinda's advice for new designers.
  • Some tips for building community on Instagram.
  • Some of the challenges Belinda has faced with running her business out of her home.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Cheryl Janis #41

Laurel Bern #342

Chaney Widmer #327

Christina Perry #05

Rachel Moriarty #55 #214

To register to become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article. Well Designed Article

If you would like to be in Luann's mastermind, email her assistant at Christie@luannnigara.com to set you up for a chat.

Aug 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to introduce you to Peter Lang today. Peter is a really smart CPA who has niched his business around helping designers with their unique financial challenges, like unconventional sales tax situations and budgeting around the massive upfront payments from clients. Many designers and artistic professionals find that ordinary CPA's are simply not equipped to cope with their specific needs. Peter, however, is a proven expert in helping interior designers with the kinds of financial duties that they weren't taught in art school. On the show today Peter discusses the years he spent learning how to help our constantly under-served industry and he also explains why he chose to follow his dream of starting a firm of his own. Listen in find out more.

Peter started out at a large firm in Boston, where he became aware of the kind of problems that artistic professionals, like interior designers, were facing. He moved to a smaller firm but soon became bored with being a traditional CPA. He noticed that interior designers were constantly being under-served by standard CPAs, so he followed his heart and started his own business in Rhode Island, where he now lives with his family. Listen in today to find out what Peter has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • Peter's experience of being told that he helped people too much while working at a cut-throat firm in Boston.
  • The importance of being comfortable enough with your accountant to ask him whatever you need to know.
  • How it happened that Peter started helping interior designers.
  • The difference between gross profit and net profit.
  • Why you need to keep track of your expenses in order to set your goals.
  • Financial mistakes that designers often tend to make.
  • How Peter helps new designers to really understand their financial situation.
  • The way that Peter helps designers to increase their profit margins.
  • Situations and ideas that could get designers into financial trouble.
  • Peter explains how putting your money into a number of different bank accounts can help you to better manage your finances.
  • Why you really need to trust your accountant.
  • How Peter helps designers navigate their way to success by finding the right software for their business.
  • Choosing the legal entity that best fits your specific business.
  • When it makes sense to change your business to become an S-Corporation.
  • Understanding more about taxation.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Michelle Williams #180

Fresh Books #265

Links:

Peter's website: The Designer CPA

Peter's email: peter@thedesignercpa.com

Peter on Facebook: The Designer CPA

Peter is also on Instagram

Aug 7, 2018

Welcome! We have Albie Buabeng with us on the show today and she's one smart lady! Albie will be sharing with us her journey into interior design, which has lead her to becoming exclusively an e-designer. She will also explain how the success she's enjoyed as an e-designer inspired her to produce a conference and a community called the E-Design Experience. The E-Design Experience was created specifically to help designers, just like you, on their journey to becoming a more efficient e-designer. Listen in today to find out more about Albie and her community.

After creating a comfortable, stylish, and functional home for her family of three in her NYC Hell's Kitchen studio apartment, Albie made the transition from retail visual merchandising to interior styling and design. And she hasn't looked back! She helps creatives and influencers in their fields decode their spaces and create beautiful dreamscapes. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

  • Show highlights:
    Why Albie has chosen to follow the e-design path.
  • The importance of having well-structured systems in place in your business.
  • The way that Albie has refined her processes.
  • Albie uses an automated email platform to ensure a smooth process for her clients from start
    to finish.
  • How Albie moved into teaching e-design to her colleagues.
  • Where the biggest challenges that Albies students are facing lie.
  • Albie's business model for the E-Design Experience.
  • The kind of designers that Albie attracts to her E-Design Experience community.
  • Where the different e-designers source their products.
  • The way that e-designers market their businesses.
  • How Albie managed to find her voice as an e-designer.
  • The social media platforms that Albie dropped out of while figuring out her specific path.

Albie describes her ideal client.
Other shows mentioned in this episode:
Article.com #301
Chaney Widmar #260
Nicole Hymar (Curio Electro) #125 #317
Links:
To become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article to register. http://welldesigned.article.com
The E-Design Experience
Website: Albie Knows Design
YouTube: Albie Knows Design
Instagram: Albie Knows Design

Aug 3, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power talk Friday! Today we have Mikael Dia, a digital marketing expert and the founder of Funnelytics, with us on the show. Funnelytics is a software company that helps entrepreneurs and marketers to convert traffic into more profit. And Mikael is a really extraordinary entrepreneur and marketing expert who is really passionate about helping business owners, just like you, to get your message out in a way that is more impacting, more direct and way more focused. On the show, we talk with Mikael about his Growth Accelerator program with its nine phases towards success in growing your business online. Listen in today to get Mikael's really helpful advice.

Mikael has two master's degrees- an MBA from the Hult International Business School, and a master's degree in civil engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in project management. Mikael's first venture was a Mandarin language school that he started in London in 2012. It grew quickly and Mikael and his business partner were able to exit from it successfully within eight months. Mikael has since grown his marketing agency, White Coat Digital, to over a million dollars in just eighteen months. He is known for his expertise in scaling online businesses very quickly and this has allowed him to raise over a million dollars in angel and seed funding for his ventures. Mikael,  originally from Montreal, now lives in Toronto with his wife and eighteen-month-old daughter. Listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • The best way to look at sales funnels.
  • Guiding the conversation with your potential clients.
  • How to start the process.
  • Finding the top of your mountain.
  • Discovering your ideal client and appealing to them in the right way.
  • Getting to understand your ideal client.
  • Putting out the right message to attract the right person.
  • The power of your marketing message.
  • Finding the emotional reasons for people's motivations.
  • Measuring what's working and what's not.
  • Creative ways to work with the numbers.
  • Mapping things out in a colorful, visual way.
  • Ways of keeping track of your Facebook ads.
  • All about Mikael's 16-week Growth Accelerator program.
  • The awesome support that Mikael's program will be offering.
  • Mikael's process is all about growth.
  • Why you really need to simplify everything.

 Links:

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #280

Nancy Ganzekaupher #256

Kae Whitaker #274

Kae Whitaker #259

Claire Jefford #325

To find out more about Mikael's Growth Accelerator program go to The Dia Project

Mikael's other website is  Funnelytics

You can reach Mikael's PR representative, Ester (Pinky) Kiss, on (323)770 3530 or find her at Born To Influence

To find out more about LuAnn's group coaching program or mastermind group starting on September 12, email Christie at christie@luannnigara.com to make the necessary arrangements.

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