The Interior Design Business and Social Media Marketing Podcast: Wingnut Social
What is Design Harmony and Why Should Designers Care? with Michelle Castagna and Mike Peterson

What is Design Harmony and Why Should Designers Care? with Michelle Castagna and Mike Peterson

February 25, 2020

Design harmony is a philosophy that’s becoming a movement embraced around the industry—and for good reason. More and more research is coming to light about the health benefits of interior design. Michelle Castagna and Mike Peterson join Natalie and Darla to talk about what design harmony is, what it means for the design industry, how to become certified in it and much more.

Michelle Castagna is the owner and president of Muse Design Studio. She boasts over 20 years of experience in the design industry. She wants to encourage designers to embrace design harmony and help their clients experience a healthier & stress-free home. 

Mike Peterson is the founder and president of Visionary Design Marketing.. He specializes in strategic marketing consultations for the design industry. In this episode, he shares some valuable insight into what the medical field is saying about design harmony and how to market your experience in the field.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:32] Darla and Natalie are speaking at High Point Market!
  • [5:55] Upcoming certification in design harmony
  • [7:02] A simple definition of design harmony
  • [8:42] The Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku
  • [9:45] Use home technology to execute a healthier environment
  • [13:07] The awareness of design harmony in residential/commercial design
  • [14:54] How a designer can market this approach in their business
  • [17:47] What will the certification process look like?
  • [22:08] The goal is to make the certification affordable for everyone to embrace
  • [25:42] The medical industry is acknowledging something that we aren’t
  • [26:51] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [34:45] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Michelle Castagna

Connect with Mike Peterson

Resources & People Mentioned

What is design harmony? Why should designers embrace it? 

Design harmony is simple—it’s about encompassing harmonious environments. It resonates with things in nature. Michelle points out that we are hamsters on a wheel that never get off the wheel anymore. We are surrounded by the stressors of life and work. Incorporating design harmony in the home and bringing the outdoors in can give you that breath of fresh air and a reprieve from the drudgery of office living. 

Design harmony encompasses many spokes—biophilic design, chromatherapy, home technology to execute a healthier environment, and controlling light and sound as well. Japanese have been embracing “Shinrin Yoku” or “Forest Bathing” for over 30 years. It’s the practice of immersing oneself in nature to feel better and be healthier. Now Canada, the UK, and even the US are embracing the practice. That is what design harmony seeks to do on a more intimate and personal scale in your own home.

Design harmony is about enhancing the human condition 

Mike pointed out residential and commercial designers aren’t just “providing aesthetics, they’re providing a healthier environment”. He cited studies that are showing that the right design can even lower your blood pressure. The medical industry is acknowledging something that designers haven’t embraced yet—that architects and designers have a greater ability to improve health than doctors. 

Mike and Michelle want to increase awareness of design harmony in the design field. That’s why the upcoming IFDA certification process for design harmony will be inclusive and affordable. Michelle notes that the end goal is to treat “design as a way to prevent illnesses by encouraging stress-free, happy and creative environments that allow us as humans to flourish”.

To hear all of the details about what the IFDA certification process will look like and how you can implement design harmony into your repertoire, listen to the whole episode! 

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Abandoning Perfection—The Trending Instagram Aesthetic

Abandoning Perfection—The Trending Instagram Aesthetic

February 24, 2020

The days of the perfectly curated Instagram feed are dying out, and for good reason—people are tired of seeing perfection. It doesn’t exist in the real world. The airbrushed & color-coordinated photoshopped grid that influencers model is becoming a thing of the past. 

So what does that mean for designers? If you don’t have to strive for perfection—what do you shoot for? In this Monday marketing minisode, Darla and Natalie share their take on what your Instagram feed should look like. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:30] The Instagram grid aesthetics
  • [2:38] The death of the perfect grid
  • [6:12] 3 things you should be doing on Instagram
  • [8:21] Represent your brand
  • [11:38] Blooper Reel!

Authenticity is key

The perfect Instagram feed is fading out and being replaced by what some would term as “ugly” photos—unedited, monochromatic, or quickly-snapped. Our smartphones put the world at our fingertips. Within minutes of snapping a photo, we can upload it to social media. Gone are the days of digital photography, intensive editing, and striving for painstaking perfection. 

People aren’t looking for a sunbeam shining down from God on your Instagram feed. They don’t want to look at an airbrushed life that doesn’t exist in reality. What they DO want is authenticity. Darla and Natalie point out it’s why we are seeing the growth of micro-influencers. Large accounts are losing steam in lieu of REAL people sharing their everyday lives and businesses. 

So what should your Instagram aesthetic be?

It’s about finding balance. Obviously, you still want your feed to have nice photos—but they don’t have to be unobtainable. Our director of Social Media—Shana Heinricy—shared a few key things to think about:

  1. First and foremost, you want to infuse yourself into every post.
  2. Include things that you enjoy doing that will still look good on Instagram. Have you recently traveled somewhere? Is there a project you’re working on? Share them with a focused story that shows off your personality or what it’s like to work with you.
  3. Worry less about the images and how they fit together in a grid and more about how each of those images represent YOU. 

You still want to reflect your brand, blend in with your style, and stay consistent across platforms. BUT focus on sharing nice photos that tell a story of who you or your brand are. They don’t need to be airbrushed perfection, just a reflection of your real authentic self. 

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Facebook Community Groups: An Innovative Way to Market Your Interior Design Business with Natasa Jones

Facebook Community Groups: An Innovative Way to Market Your Interior Design Business with Natasa Jones

February 19, 2020

Natasa Jones has found an innovative way to market her business by using Facebook Community Groups. Because, let’s be honest, organic traffic for businesses on Facebook isn’t what it used to be. Karina provided Darla with a startling statistic: your business page is only getting a whopping 2% of organic reach on Facebook. Learn how to overcome the underwhelming stats in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

Natasa is an interior designer based in Milwaukee, WI. She owns a full-service interior design studio with the goal of a liveable modern aesthetic. She stumbled upon an ingenious strategy while looking to grow her reach. She shares this unique strategy that’s gotten her 10 leads in two months. Don’t miss this episode!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:35] Upcoming events in March!
  • [6:08] How Natasa and Darla met in real life
  • [7:37] Facebook organic reach is dwindling
  • [9:23] How did Natasa come across this idea?
  • [13:59] WOW client’s with the idea of what could be
  • [16:20] How to get into Facebook Community Pages
  • [18:18] Do you need to live in the community?
  • [20:25] Criteria to look for in a group
  • [23:33] Are there any downsides of FB groups?
  • [26:32] Does Natasa charge for the initial consultation?
  • [30:22] Natasa is raking in leads with this strategy
  • [31:15] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [33:25] Connect with Natasa Jones
  • [36:33] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Natasa Jones

Resources & People Mentioned

How Natasa stumbled into Facebook Community Groups

Natasa landed one of her largest projects to date because she invested extra time in showing a client what their home could look like if she went over budget. She did a 3D render of the space with new flooring and windows (on top of the requested furniture). The client was thrilled with the design and agreed to the proposed changes. After completion of the project, Natasa had the work professionally photographed.

The photographer she had used asked her if they could share the work in a local Facebook community group. They’d introduce her as a new business in the area and share before and after images showcasing her work. Natasa happily agreed—and was astoundedby the results. Her email BLEW UP. The post in the group got in front of the right eyes and she received inquiry after inquiry. 

How to gain traction in Facebook Community Pages

Community pages are separate entities from personal and business pages. It’s where a unique community comes together to discuss things that only pertain to them. Natasa describes it as a more intimate setting where people talk about important issues. When asked if it’s difficult to get approved to join the groups, Natasa semi-jokingly stated “It’s the Midwest, we love everybody”. 

After the success of her first post in a group, she started asking clients if they would be willing to post in their respective communities Facebook group. She would provide professional photos for them to share. Doing so gave her an “in” without seeming like she was selling herself and her services.

It also allowed the homeowners the opportunity to brag on the beautiful new interior transformed by a brilliant designer—a win-win for everyone! In the two months since Natasa began testing this marketing method, she’s gotten 7-10 inquiries from each post. Of those inquiries, she’s scheduled 8 consultations and so far has signed with 4 new clients. 

Listen to the whole episode as Natasa shares how she researches groups, potential downsides of posting in them, and—hotly contested in the design community—whether or not she charges for her initial design consultation.

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Instagram Comes Clean: 5 Myths BUSTED

Instagram Comes Clean: 5 Myths BUSTED

February 17, 2020

Darla and Natalie will bust 5 myths that have been floating around about Instagram in this Monday Marketing Minisode! Instagram launched a branded account—@creators—where they share tips, tricks, updates, tutorials, and MUCH more. Recently, they answered some FAQs in their stories. Darla and Natalie discuss those “answers” and share their take. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] Natalie’s rainbow work skivvies
  • [2:03] It’s time to busy some myths
  • [3:06] Photos versus videos: which one is better?
  • [4:40] How often do they change the algorithm?
  • [5:54] Will Pods get you to appear higher in the feed?
  • [7:32] Does a comment need to be more than 6 words to be counted?
  • [8:38] Do likes/comments in the 1st 30 minutes rank you higher?
  • [9:50] What you need to focus on
  • [10:33] RESA being moved to April and location TBD

Resources & People Mentioned

5 Instagram myths BUSTED 

1. Photos versus videos: which one is better?

Guess what? According to Instagram, they are ranked on the feed equally! However, the caveat is that your feed is based on your activity and preferences. If you interact with more videos, you’ll see more videos on your feed. Darla shares another trick that may sway you one way or another—be sure to listen!

2. How often does Instagram change their algorithm?

Drumroll...All the time. The Instagram algorithm uses artificial intelligence (AI) and claims feed rankings are constantly adapting and changing. 

3. Does being part of a pod get you featured higher in the feed? 

In the short-term, you may see positive changes. However, Instagram WILL spot engagement that isn’t authentic and adjust accordingly. It’s just a matter of time. 

4. Does a comment need to be more than 6 words to be counted? 

There’s a rumor goin’ round… that a comment needs to be 6 words or longer to be counted in your algorithm. Instagram responded in their truly blunt fashion, simply saying that’s FALSE. They used lots of emojis in their answer, too. 

5. Are posts ranked higher if they get interaction in the first 30 minutes? 

Instagram again answered that this was false BUT based on Darla and Natalie’s personal experience, the faster you see engagement the better. You also need to respond quickly and interact with your fan-base. 

What is important in the long run?

In the end, Instagram’s cryptic answers don’t bother Darla and Natalie. After all, Instagram holding its cards close to their chest keeps the mystery alive. This alone sustains engagement because no one really knows the answers to all of Instagram's secrets. 

So what’s the bottom line? Comments, likes, reshares, and views are HIGHLY important—along with a focus on creating stellar content. Continue to foster authentic engagement with followers. Follow these hard and fast tips and you’ll thrive on the platform. 

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Show House 101: How to Launch Your Own with Maryline Damour

Show House 101: How to Launch Your Own with Maryline Damour

February 12, 2020

If you’re a designer who doesn’t have the renown to get invited to participate in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House—what are you to do? How do you get exposure? Maryline Damour was a new designer looking to connect with other designers and vendors in the Hudson Bay Area. She had the brilliant idea to create a show house to bring the community together. 

Maryline was 4 years out of design school. She knew that being invited to participate in a show house was something that could launch your career. So she took her destiny into her own hands and decided to organize her own show house. In this episode of Wingnut Social she shares how she chose a house and everything she’s learned about the process along the way. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:50] Valentines Day & Doodling
  • [2:45] Announcement: Podfest 2020 in Orlando!
  • [5:22] How Maryline Damour’s show house got started
  • [9:35] A show house can launch your career
  • [12:15] How do you choose a show house?
  • [15:35] Blowback from designers - why are we fixing up YOUR home?
  • [17:15] How did she decide what to do with revenue?
  • [20:00] Exposure gained from house #1
  • [22:32] Obtaining show house #2
  • [25:11] What’s in it for the homeowner?
  • [28:10] Does the homeowner get a say in the aesthetic?
  • [29:43] Legal issues you might run into
  • [32:15] What is the financial commitment?
  • [35:35] What is Maryline’s focus for show house #3?
  • [41:52] Mistakes to avoid and lessons learned
  • [44:35] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [48:05] Connect with Maryline
  • [51:56] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Maryline Damour

Resources & People Mentioned

Sourcing a show house isn’t as easy as it sounds

Most people in the Hudson Bay didn’t even know what a design show house was. As Maryline began doing market research she was finding herself educating others. But shocker—she couldn’t find anyone who would hand over their house. After a year of zero headway, she made the executive decision to use her own home. It was a mid-1800 Victorian house in dire need of repair. But what other choice did she have?

There could have been potential blowback from designers. After all, they were essentially fixing up HER home. What if they thought it was a ploy for her to get free stuff? So she decided she needed to be upfront from day one in all of her marketing that it was her home. But she also emphasized the reason for the project in the first place—connecting area designers, vendors, and other makers in the space. People understood the value proposition and came on board. 

Plus, she replaced her roof, fixed the front porch, and made improvements on the house to prepare it for the designers. 

Show house round #2: A different angle

With the exposure from her first year, Maryline took a different approach to source a show house the 2nd year. She had been approached by a publicist—Andrew Joseph—who succeeded in getting her a lot of buzz. So she did a call-out to have area homeowners submit their homes for the 2nd round. About a dozen people applied and they landed on a huge brick home that was built in the 1800s. It was a whopping 4,000 square feet with 16 different rooms spanning 3 floors. 

The family of 8 homeschooled their children and were able to stay with family for September and October, giving Maryline and her designers’ plenty of time to transform the space. But they have to move out of their home completely for 2 months, begging the question: what’s in it for the homeowner? 

Maryline pointed out that they get anything that remains in the home. Landscaping work, permanently installed lighting, wallpaper, paint—it all stays. Best of all? The homeowners get a complete kitchen remodel. Maryline said they ended up with custom cabinets from floor to ceiling. Not only that, but they had been renting out some of their rooms out using Airbnb. Those rooms got a complete facelift. They had professional photos taken and a ton of free press. It was a complete win for everyone involved.

To hear what Maryline’s plan is for house #3, mistakes she learned to avoid, and what she does with any revenue (hint: she works with a local non-profit) listen to this episode of Wingnut Social! 

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How to Use Instagram Create Mode to Spice Up Your Stories!

How to Use Instagram Create Mode to Spice Up Your Stories!

February 10, 2020

If you’re at a loss—banging your head against the wall—and can’t think of content for your Instagram story, look no further: Instagram’s create mode is here to save the day. What is it? What can you do with it? Is it worth your time? The short answer is YES. 

Find out how to use this feature in this Monday Marketing Minisode of the Wingnut Social podcast! Darla and Natalie will fill you in on this fun and interactive side of Instagram. If you’re looking to increase engagement and connect with your fans, this is a must-listen!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:24] Instagram Stories Create Mode
  • [5:47] The 7 features you can use
  • [7:23] Why you NEED to embrace it
  • [10:30] Blooper Reel

Resources & People Mentioned

Instagram Create Mode 101: Dummy-proof

Stories are one of Instagram’s most popular features! The more you add to your story and interact with your fan base, the more it influences the algorithm and gets you more traffic. So for those of you who haven’t embraced the newest feature, here’s where you find it:

  1. In the top left corner of the app, choose the spot where you would normally add a story.
  2. In the menu on the bottom, scroll to ‘create’ and gain immediate access to 8 different features.

It’s that simple! If you don’t have images prepared, it’s a creative way to post to your story without stressing over pulling content out of nowhere. 

Create mode’s fun-filled features

There are currently 8 features that you can choose to make your Insta story creations. What are they?

  1. Happy Birthday: Post a special Happy Birthday shout-out to your story!
  2. GIF Mode: This hilarious feature allows you to add a GIF to your story.
  3. Templates: 8 premade backgrounds to interact with your fans in a unique way. 
  4. On This Day: A randomly selected #ThrowbackThursday photo you can share to your stories!
  5. Make a poll: Type a random question to ask your followers!
  6. Ask ME a question: Listen to the episode to hear some of the crazy questions Darla was asked when she tried this!
  7. Countdown: Going live? Have an event coming up? Give your fans a countdown to boost excitement and anticipation!
  8. Quiz: Ask your followers to answer a quiz question—see how well they know you!

Darla emphasizes that you need to go check it out for yourself—and Natalie is totally on board. Experiment and find your favorite feature and start increasing engagement with your fan-base!

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Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Dead: The Upside of a Retail Space with Victoria Sanchez

Brick-and-Mortar Isn’t Dead: The Upside of a Retail Space with Victoria Sanchez

February 5, 2020

Should an interior designer invest in a retail space to enhance their design business? How can a showroom benefit your current firm as well as be profitable on its own? If you’re on the fence about investing in your own space, Victoria Sanchez joins Darla and Natalie to go over the pros and cons and share why it works so well for her.

Victoria Sanchez is an award-winning designer and the owner of ‘Victoria At Home’, a premier home furnishings boutique with showrooms in Alexandria, VA, and Santa Fe, NM. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in interior design—and over 30 years of experience in the industry. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:55] Ready for Winter to be over!
  • [2:23] Darla’s upcoming speaking gigs
  • [6:13] Victoria Sanchez’ background
  • [8:06] All about Victoria’s retail store(s)
  • [11:00] What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
  • [13:10] What’s tricky about a retail store
  • [15:10] With Age comes wisdom
  • [17:35] When do you open a location?
  • [20:07] Is the expense of a retail space worth it?
  • [24:33] How important is the location?
  • [31:00] Marketing for interior designers
  • [34:45] Why having a showroom is worth it
  • [38:35] What up Wingnut! Round

Connect with Victoria Sanchez

Resources & People Mentioned

Your retail space is a portfolio of your work

Victoria has always been drawn to retail and she loves the opportunities it provides her. People come into her store and get to know her style and personality. They gather a general sense of who she is—while she gets to know them. She is able to explain that she’s a designer and show them her aesthetic in one moment. 

Victoria points out that retail space isn’t for everyone. She didn’t launch hers until her kids were in high school and she had more time—and cashflow—to get it going. You need tools and resources in play, as well as money for inventory, display, and staff. Above all, you have to love working with people.

She shared that about 25% of her revenue comes from her retail space and about 75% is from design work with clients. She uses her retail space as a catalyst for her design business and it has significantly increased her client-load. Victoria shares more about her locations and why their placement is important. Keep listening!

More designers need to invest in marketing

Victoria is passionate about educating designers. She believes the current curriculum in design programs is lacking proper marketing techniques for the specific field. She points out that it is of paramount importance to have a marketing plan in place. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with—hire someone who is. Victoria works with Andrew Joseph PR to help market her new location in Santa Fe. 

She was honest with herself and knew she didn’t have the time or expertise to properly market her business. Her community in Santa Fe is small and she learned quickly that marketing and networking go hand-in-hand. If people like you, they will talk about you—and word-of-mouth in a small community will get you places. 

Is having a retail space worth it in the day and age of digital shopping? Can you compete with the online giants? Listen to the whole episode to hear Victoria’s take on the industry and why she believes brick-and-mortar is here to stay. She’ll share some of her numbers, expenses, and how her two locations are so different. 

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Your [Ideal] Marketing Demographic IS on Social Media!

Your [Ideal] Marketing Demographic IS on Social Media!

February 3, 2020

If you think your marketing demographic isn’t on social media—you’re wrong! Stop using the excuse that it’s pointless to market on social media platforms because it won’t get you business. Darla and Natalie are about to prove you wrong. It’s time to embrace the power of social media.

In this Monday Marketing Minisode, the ladies will share some fascinating statistics about popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Listen to the end for a surprising statistic they didn’t see coming!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:36] The best thing about the Super Bowl
  • [1:40] The demographic on social media
  • [3:10] Facebook Statistics
  • [5:30] Instagram Statistics
  • [7:00] Twitter Statistics
  • [8:00] LinkedIn Statistics
  • [10:20] YouTube Statistics
  • [12:13] Your target audience IS on social media
  • [13:48] Use the #WowWingnut hashtag!

Resources & People Mentioned

Your marketing demographic on 5 platforms

If you’ve doubted the necessity of marketing your design firm on social media, here are some statistics that will blow your mind: 

Facebook

  • 79% of 30–49 year olds use Facebook
  • 68% of 50–64 year olds use Facebook
  • 74% make an income of $75,000 or higher
  • 74% also have a college education

Instagram

  • 47% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram
  • 23% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram
  • 43% have a college education
  • 42% make an income of over $75,000

Most of Darla and Natalie’s ideal clients use Instagram. It’s a great place to show off your work and give potential clients a visual representation of what you can do for their space. In fact, most of Darla’s design clients come from Instagram!

Twitter

  • 26% of 30–49 year olds use Twitter
  • 17% of 50–64 year olds use Twitter
  • 32% have a college education
  • 32% make an income of over $75,000

Twitter isn’t the ideal space for interior design BUT it is good for tagging and reaching out to brands that DO have a strong Twitter presence. 

LinkedIn:

  • 37% of 30–49 year olds use LinkedIn
  • 24% of 50–64 year olds use LinkedIn
  • 51% have a college education
  • 49% make an income of over $75,000

It may not be the prettiest platform, but a chunk of your target market still exists here!

YouTube: 

Darla and Natalie were astounded when they read the YouTube statistics. It just proves that video truly is king—for any age. It is the #1 social media platform

  • 87% of 30–49 year olds use YouTube
  • 70% of 50–64 year olds use YouTube
  • 80% have a college education
  • 83% have an income over $75,000

The proof is in the pudding

Darla and Natalie didn’t want to bore you with statistics but they are SO important and help prove their point: You need to be on social media. It’s a long game, but you have nothing to lose. 

The days of sending out mailers or passing out paper flyers are no more. You cannot simply rely on referrals and word-of-mouth. You need a pipeline that won’t dry up—social media can provide that for you. 

If you’ve been putting it off and delaying the inevitable, embrace it. Get your business on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever platform best matches your marketing demographic. Your customers will find you when you go where they are.

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How to Get Published in AD Pro—Straight from Editor Katy Olson

How to Get Published in AD Pro—Straight from Editor Katy Olson

January 29, 2020

How does an interior designer get a project published in AD Pro? What are they looking for? Publishing is competitive and it’s important to set yourself apart from the hundreds of emails editors receive daily. So how do you get chosen? Find out from today’s guest, Katy Olson.

Katy is the Editor for AD Pro, a subscription-only digital resource for design-industry professionals. Previously, she was the Executive Editor at Business of Home. Her work has been featured in New York Magazine, Daily Mail, Hampton’s Magazine—and much more

AD Pro started out as a section of the Architectural Digest website, the brainchild of the editor-in-chief. Now, it is a B2B membership for movers and shakers in the design industry to come together and be informed, entertained, and inspired.

Get the inside scoop on what editors look for in a pitch in this engaging episode of the Wingnut Social podcast. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:55] All about Katie Olson
  • [6:20] The target audience of AD Pro
  • [8:50] How does AD Pro benefit Interior Designers?
  • [11:15] How to get published in Architectural Digest
  • [14:20] Invest in professional photography
  • [17:15] Editors look for exclusivity
  • [21:20] Cultivate a relationship with the editor
  • [22:50] Shoot for a sense of timelessness
  • [24:20] What makes Katy say ‘yes’ or ‘no’?
  • [27:20] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [30:40] Connect with Katy Olson

Connect with Katy Olson

Resources & People Mentioned

What sets you apart and gives you higher odds of being published?

Katy’s #1 recommendation is to cultivate a relationship with the editor(s). If you pitch a project you can ask them to give it to you straight. Do you really have a shot? If they can’t get your project featured, perhaps they can help you brainstorm another angle. Is there a compelling story? Can your project facilitate discussion? Was there something particularly difficult that you overcame? If you have that relationship it opens the door to conversation versus a yes or no answer. 

Architectural Digest embraces a classic style. If your design aesthetic is modern, AD may not be the perfect fit for your work. Katy recommends doing your research—if AD isn’t a good fit, find a publication that will be. But if AD is your goal, shoot for a sense of timelessness in the piece you submit. Make sure you’re reaching out to the proper editor, but keep in mind they collaborate with their team. If something isn’t a fit for the print version it may be an option online. 

What is the ideal email pitch?

Katy receives 100+ emails a day and can easily pinpoint those that won’t get the time of day. If you want to be considered, don’t send out a mass pitch, misspell her name, or send an email to the wrong editor. 

So what should you do? 

Include whatever makes the process easier. Attach your 4 best high-quality images or a dropbox link to your project. Immediately share the photographer’s contact information (and whether or not the magazine has publishing rights for the images).

Take care of any house-keeping in that initial email—it only has to be a simple paragraph—and what angle they can use for your project. Doing these simple things will help set you apart and increase the likelihood of a resounding YES. 

To hear Katy’s thoughts on photography, exclusivity, and a full run-down of the benefits of an AD Pro membership, listen to the whole episode!

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Live Stream or Pre-Recorded Video: What is a Designer to Do?

Live Stream or Pre-Recorded Video: What is a Designer to Do?

January 27, 2020

This is the question that Darla and Natalie are asked the most: Should you do a live stream or a pre-recorded video? Is it simply a matter of preference? As a designer, do you need to be shooting video for your social media at all

In this episode of Wingnut Social, they’ll dissect the pros and cons of pre-recorded video vs. going live on Instagram. They’ll finally answer your burning question: which one is better? Don’t miss the answer—listen now!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] Darla’s upcoming speaking gig!
  • [2:45] Live video vs. pre-recorded video
  • [4:20] The pros of each option
  • [10:00] The cons of each option
  • [12:15] The long-awaited official answer
  • [15:07] It’s one important thing you HAVE to do

Resources & People Mentioned

Live Stream or Pre-Recorded Video: the Pros + Cons

The pros + cons of going live on Instagram: Going live is meant to be engaging. It allows you to interact with viewers, say hello, and answer questions in real-time. Darla equates it to more of a party format—lighthearted and fun. It’s also inexpensive and can be done on the fly with little-to-no planning. 

Unfortunately, unless you save the video to your highlights immediately after recording, it will fade away after 24 hours. Gone. You also can’t edit the recording. If you’re like Darla and have a deer-in-the-headlights moment, it’s there for all to see (maybe that’s one you DON’T save to your highlights…). 

The pros + cons of pre-recorded video: If you’re recording a video in advance it doesn’t matter how many times you screw up. You can stop it, re-record a section, and move on. It is far more forgiving. It also allows you to research, create an outline or script, and flesh out your thoughts. Darla especially enjoys the ability to add stickers or links when you upload it to Instagram. 

The list of cons is pretty short for recorded videos. They can be more time-consuming because of the amount of prep work that goes into them—which could be a plus as well. The biggest downside they see is the lack of personal connection. There’s no interaction with your viewers when you pre-record. The videos also tend to be shorter and to-the-point.

The answer you’re been waiting for

So what is the long-awaited answer from the Grand-High Poobah of all things Wingnut? 

BOTH. Yes, you read that right. Darla says you need to do both

The two types of videos complement each other! They make a nice juicy whole for marketing your brand. It allows you to give your viewers a well-rounded experience. Darla and Natalie agree that it’s something important that you must muster up the courage to do. 

To become comfortable with both platforms—you need to practice. Plop yourself down in front of that camera and get comfortable recording in advance. Stop and go as needed and give yourself some grace and space to master the sometimes uncomfortable platform. 

You can also practice going live on Instagram (or platform of your choice). Ask friends to watch and interact with you so you can get used to answering questions and engaging with your audience. If you hate it you can immediately delete it and move on. 

According to Darla, “All is fair in love and video”. So start recording!

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