The Interior Design Marketing and Business Podcast: Wingnut Social
Why The Design Industry Needs Reform with Malene Barnett - Episode 164

Why The Design Industry Needs Reform with Malene Barnett - Episode 164

July 15, 2020

There is a severe and noted underrepresentation of Black artists and designers in the design industry. Issues of cultural misappropriation are coupled with a lack of historical and cultural awareness—and it needs to change. Malene Barnett sought to bring about change when she founded the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) in 2018, with a mission to “Build a more equitable and inclusive creative culture by advancing a community of independent Black artists, makers, and designers in creative industries.” 

Malene Barnett is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She founded the Black Artist + Designer’s Guild to combat a lack of representation of Black talent and culture in the design industry. It is a global platform seeking to represent a curated collection of independent Black artists, makers, and designers at the top of their game. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:25] Natalie’s TikTok themed dreams
  • [3:30] Malene Barnett’s background in art + design
  • [5:50] Bringing issues of inequality to the forefront
  • [9:05] Had Malene seen improvement with the movement?
  • [10:55] The biggest challenge was getting support and people behind it
  • [12:27] What is the selection process like for designers who want to join?
  • [15:14] What does demolishing and rebuilding look like in education?
  • [16:34] Credit must be given to the originators
  • [18:20] Steps to take to support change (+ design reform)
  • [21:40] Cultural misappropriation in the design world
  • [24:06] What the mission and vision of the Black Artists + Design Guild
  • [26:53] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [29:02] How to connect with Malene Barnett
  • [32:26] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Malene Barnett

Resources & People Mentioned

The biggest challenges the movement faces

When Malene founded BADG the support she garnished was very minimal. People would say, “Oh, that’s a nice gesture” but weren’t truly supporting her vision. ButMalene didn’t ask anybody for anything. She points out that most Black-owned businesses don’t have access to loans or family members who can invest in them. They’ve always relied on their community to support them. That’s why there needs to be more support from the design industry. 

With the recent movement brought to the forefront, Malene is seeing large companies reach out to develop long-term partnerships. It’s a step in the right direction. But there still needs to be significant improvement. Malene emphasizes that systems need to be demolished. This awareness of social justice and equality isn’t new. The uproars have happened over time. Malene notes that it’s a constant battle: “We’ve always been fighting for the right to just be and be human.” 

There’s a lot of work that has to be done. Malene shares how the design industry is one of the least transparent industries—keep listening to hear why. 

Design education needs to be demolished and rebuilt 

Malene firmly believes that the whole design education system needs to be rebuilt. She points out that if you go to school for design, you’re usually being taught from the European perspective. Students are being fed the lie that modern design is European—but it isn’t. Modern design is of African descent

Malene uses Picasso as an example. He is credited with being one of the most influential artists of the 20th century—but much of his work isn’t truly his. He spent time in West Africa studying Yoruba sculptures. He was given the credit for the movement, but the basis of his art was Yoruba art. 

“We need to rewrite this narrative and give the credit to the originators of creativity and design and start leading with the indigenous voices—with the Black voices—and then talk about how these principles have been influenced in a particular person's practice versus the other way around.” 

Designers must educate themselves on Black culture and design. Malene points out that designers are using Kuba cloth from the Congo and Mud Cloth from Mali in their design as decorative items. This is cultural misappropriation. If Malene were to use it in her design, she’d be labeled as being “too ethnic”. “Ethnic” in and of itself is the wrong word to use. Malene points out that it has been used as a label for anything that’s non-white—and she refuses to accept that. 

Malene emphasizes that “This industry has been using black culture so much when it comes to design but yet not giving the credit to the people, to the community, to the culture—and all of that has to change.” 

Combating racism and underrepresentation begins with personal change

Malene asks, “How uncomfortable do you want to get? How much are you willing to give up?” She notes that supporting the movement is about going deeper and starting with working on yourself. It will require asking difficult questions and a willingness to be uncomfortable. 

Decolonize yourself, read books and articles, attend events—learn about your industry. Take a good hard look at difficult topics such as redlining, the division of neighborhoods, and the homeownership disparity. Then you branch out and educate your friends and your family. 

What steps can you take to support BADG and Black Lives Matter? How can the design industry push for the necessary change and reform? Where can you learn more? Listen to this episode for more information and an eye-opening design education you've probably never gotten.

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Are Instagram Reels THE Answer to TikTok? - Episode 163

Are Instagram Reels THE Answer to TikTok? - Episode 163

July 13, 2020

Instagram has stepped up to the challenge and has started rolling out its new feature—Instagram Reels. So where has it been rolled out? How will it function? Can it truly compete with THE fastest growing social media app in existence? What does it mean for designers? Darla and Natalie share all the twists and turns in the Instagram vs. TikTok saga in this Monday Marketing Minisode. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] Breaking News: India bans TikTok
  • [2:17] Instagram launches Instagram Reels
  • [4:20] Instagram Reels will have the same features
  • [5:20] Why is this rollout so important?
  • [6:49] How do you use Reels on Instagram?
  • [9:46] What does this mean for designers?
  • [11:47] Darla still LOVES TikTok...
  • [12:44] Mydoma studios upcoming seminar
  • [15:35] The infamous Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Why now is THE perfect time for Instagram to launch Reels

According to Forbes, Apple caught the TikTok app spying on millions of iPhone users. Because of this (among other alleged security flaws), it was JUST announced that India has banned the use of TikTok. Despite it all, TikTok remains one of the most popular platforms. It generated the most downloads of an app ever in one quarter. But the potential security issues have many experts questioning the safety of using the app. 

This is why the launch of Instagram’s Reels feature is perfectly timed. They wanted a piece of the TikTok market—now they just might get it. They’ve already started rolling out the feature in places where TikTok never gained traction: Brazil, Germany, France, and—the real kicker—India. Because of the worldwide familiarity with Instagram and a growing sense of distrust of TikTok, this new feature may gain traction quickly. 

Darla and Natalie don’t know when Instagram Reels will be available in the US but you can bet Wingnut Social followers will be among the first to find out!

Will Instagram Reels have similar functionality to TikTok? 

Instagram Reels allow you to create engaging video content—similar to TikTok—on your stories. The Reels will be a new mode in the Stories camera menu (the icon looks like a small video). Users can record 15-second clips, choose from a huge library of music, or even record their own voice-overs or soundtracks. You get to control the length of the video, choose a thumbnail for it, and use different effects and AR filters. 

You can save it as a draft, send it to friends, and share and add it to your Instagram profile. Instagram is even adding a brand new discovery section on Instagram Explore: ‘Top Reels’, where the best-performing public Reels have the chance to go viral. Natalie points out that Instagram doesn’t do anything halfway, so they fully expect that this new feature will compete with TikTok. 

So what does this mean for designers? Will it save you from having to learn another social media platform? Will Darla still be using TikTok? Tune in to this Monday Marketing Minisode to find out!

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A Glimpse Into the World of Product Design with Tyler Hill

A Glimpse Into the World of Product Design with Tyler Hill

July 8, 2020

Have you thought about diving into the world of product design? Do you have brilliant design ideas floating around in your head that you want brought to life? Or perhaps you’re searching for particular pieces that can’t be found in the market. Tyler Hill’s journey into product design started because he couldn’t find the sconces he envisioned—so he designed them himself. Listen to this episode to hear his unique story!

Tyler is the co-founder of Mitchell Hill, an interior design firm—and art gallery—based in Charleston, SC. His travels, life experiences, and numerous educational endeavors have contributed to his keen eye for interior design. Tyler is particularly talented in lighting and furniture design which allows Mitchell Hill to deliver an exceptionally customized experience for their clients.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:34] Tyler Hill’s background in design
  • [4:47] Tyler’s process: how he got into product design
  • [9:04] How did he find a manufacturer?
  • [11:03] How to get over a creative block
  • [12:53] Margins and pricing for custom lighting
  • [16:45] From product design to licensing
  • [18:03] How important is networking?
  • [19:25] Mock-ups for the non-techie designer
  • [21:26] How to get into product design
  • [23:00] All about Tyler’s upcoming collection: Transparent
  • [26:01] What up Wingnut Round!
  • [28:02] Where to connect with Tyler
  • [31:04] Can’t-miss Blooper Reel!

Connect with Tyler Hill

Resources & People Mentioned

Tyler’s product design process

When Tyler was in the market for a sconce for his home, he couldn’t find anything that fit his vision for the space. So he decided to sketch a design, and then he sketched some more—and realized he loved doing it. So he started to build a portfolio and began to show it to clients. Everyone wants their home individualized and unique, so he began creating pieces for his interior design clients. He found a local manufacturer to produce his lighting and he eventually expanded into chandeliers, flush mounts, etc. 

As far as the creative process goes, Tyler notes that he will often wake up in the middle of the night feeling inspired. Or he’ll pull inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram images. He may take a walk or take inspirational photos while traveling. The bottom line is that you can find inspiration everywhere. Once Tyler has an idea, he typically starts with a simple hand sketch. Once he’s done the drawings he imports it into his software program (SketchUp) and does realistic renderings in Adobe Illustrator. 

Keep listening to hear how Tyler found a manufacturer to produce his designs, how he prices his lighting—and even how to overcome creative blocks. 

How to get into product design and licensing

According to Tyler, if someone wants to get into licensing, the best thing you can do is get some pieces made and photographed. As you start building a portfolio of design work, you also need to start building your credibility in the media. Why? Because networking and visibility is a big piece of the pie. You need to become an influencer. Even doing panels at markets will begin to build relationships with other designers. 

He emphasizes that you need to get yourself out there and tell your story—that’s what people want to hear. They want to see where you’re coming from, what’s going through your head as you’re designing, where you’re getting your inspiration, and where you’re heading next. 

Above all else, if you’re passionate about product design you must be patient. Landing a deal requires focus, perseverance, and confidence in yourself that you can make it happen. Tyler also dishes the details of his upcoming collection, ‘Transparent’, in this episode—don’t miss it!

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Promoted Pins on Pinterest: Invest in this Ad Strategy

Promoted Pins on Pinterest: Invest in this Ad Strategy

July 6, 2020

Do promoted pins really get you the best bang for your buck? Or are you throwing money down the drain? In this Wingnut Social remix, Shana Heinricy—Wingnut Social’s Director of Social Media—talks about boosting Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest posts. She shares TWO great strategies to promote your content and what to budget for it. Listen again—you’ll see this topic in a whole new light. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:38] Why you NEED to boost your posts
  • [2:41] Boosting a post? The algorithm applies
  • [3:22] Promoted pins: strategy #1
  • [4:40] Promoted pins: strategy #2 
  • [5:11] Targeting your audience 101
  • [8:40] What applies to Pinterest?
  • [9:20] How to budget for boosted posts

Resources & People Mentioned

Budgeting for your Pinterest pins

Wasting your time and money on follow/unfollow tactics or even buying followers will result in a whole lot of spam. What should you do instead? You can take the same money you’d spend on those services and use it on promoted pins. You’re not buying a set amount of impressions. You’re adding a budget—and depending on your post performance—they’re going to show it to a certain number of people. But these would be people that want to follow you and are interested in what you’re doing. It will get you better results—for the same amount of money. 

So how much money does Shana recommend spending? She points out that you can do really well if you implement a $300 monthly budget for promoted pins. But even $20 or $50 should bring you some progress. You should see account growth, more followers, and increased engagement on promoted pins AND other content. It is one of THE best tactics to grow your audience. 

Promoted Pins on Pinterest: What’s the big deal? 

Just like boosting posts on Instagram or Facebook, promoting pins on Pinterest is all about increasing engagement. Pinterest is typically focused on evergreen content surrounding life’s moments. So think about things like weddings, moving into college, someone’s first child, or being an empty-nester. Create your content to target those life events and, of course, relate them back to interior design. 

Another type of post that does really well on Pinterest? Infographics. Shana recommends putting together infographics full of useful information and trying to focus on promoting those pins. Lastly, you want to promote pins that are already performing well for you. The bottom line? Promoted pins can be a game-changer when done right. Listen to this minisode for all the details! 

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How to Master your Money Mindset [And STOP Struggling] with Nancy Levin

How to Master your Money Mindset [And STOP Struggling] with Nancy Levin

July 1, 2020

Do you struggle with ‘money mindset’ issues? Do you find it difficult to charge what your time is worth? Do you feel like you’re over-priced? If you’re an over-giver, overachiever, or a type-A personality, you have likely spent your life determining your sense of value and worth by what you do for other people, what you achieve, and what you produce. 

But you must learn to recognize that your value and worth is inherent in who you are—not what you do. In this episode of Wingnut Social, Darla and Natalie chat with Nancy Levin about how to overcome negative money mindsets and transform your outlook on your self-worth to embrace the success you deserve. 

Nancy Levin is a master coach and best-selling author of multiple books, including Darla’s recent read: Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth and her newest book: Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free. Nancy was the Event Director at Hay House Inc. for 10+ years and now runs Levin Live Coach Academy. This episode is packed full of insight and powerful thoughts on mastering your money mindset. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:26] Natalie’s relationship with the Peloton bike
  • [4:36] Nancy Levin’s background and expertise in mindset
  • [8:08] Why do we always put others ahead of ourselves?
  • [9:39] Signs that you have a money mindset problem
  • [13:12] Fine-tune processes, get clarity, and stand in your self-worth
  • [15:28] How do you begin to start setting up boundaries? 
  • [22:36] Setting boundaries will bring you freedom
  • [24:26] Exercises and/or resources that Nancy offers
  • [25:37] Advice: how a designer should value their services
  • [28:23] Do issues of worth impact men in the same way?
  • [30:11] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [32:07] It’s time to create some boundaries
  • [41:19] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Nancy Levin

Resources & People Mentioned

Signs that YOU have a money mindset problem

Nancy points out that the first key to recognizing you have a money mindset problem, is to recognize when resentment is rising within you. Often, it starts creeping in when you say ‘yes’ when you should’ve said ‘no’. One easy way to learn to say no is by building some space in between the request coming in and your knee-jerk ‘yes’. You must also recognize what mindset is motivating that immediate ‘yes’ response: 

“I don’t want someone to be angry.”

“I don’t want them to be mad or disappointed.” 

“I feel obligated.”

“I want to show up as the hero.”

“I want to be loved or liked.”

If any of those motivations resonate with you, you’re not alone. You have to build in the space to assess what’s true for you. If you can’t say no right off the bat, say “I will get back to you tomorrow”. A yes should only be about desire. It shouldn't be about all of the other factors. Nancy shares that it’s an illusion that we have control over anyone's emotions anyways. We are not responsible for someone’s response to our truth. Recognize that someone else’s urgency doesn’t have to be yours

Overcome the struggle: adapt your money mindset by setting boundaries

Most women are never really taught that it’s okay to set boundaries. Because of this, Nancy believes that “We end up tolerating the intolerable and accepting the unacceptable.” Boundaries are the limits we set personally about we will or will not do—but we aren’t taught that it’s okay to stand by it. “Be seen and not heard” and staying small and invisible is what is ingrained into us. So how should you start setting boundaries? 

Nancy notes that it starts with clarity. You must understand that you’re not here to serve everyone. When you’re clear on your ideal client and on the value of your own time and skills, that’s when someone else can value them and your money mindset begins to shift. Stand in your self-worth. KNOW what you offer. If you waiver, it leaves the door open for someone to devalue you. 

Practically speaking, Nancy implores to be clear on dates, deadlines, and deliverables. Let your client know when and how you’ll communicate. Clearly outline and define what you do and how you do it. The biggest myth that Nancy busts around boundaries is that other people cross our boundaries. If boundaries are being crossed, you’re the one crossing it. It’s not up to anyone else to uphold your boundaries—it’s up to you. 

So how do you ensure you don’t return to your old habits? What are some practical step-by-step exercises or resources you can use to grow and evolve? How do you continue to stand your ground and change your money mindset? Nancy answers these questions and so much more in this episode. If you’re ready to begin transforming your money mindset, be sure to listen. 

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TikTok SPILLS Their Algorithm Secrets

TikTok SPILLS Their Algorithm Secrets

June 29, 2020

If you listened to last week's episode, you know that Darla is FIRED UP about TikTok (it may or may not have taken over her life). They talked about why you should jump on the TikTok bandwagon before it’s completely saturated. This episode has become part two of a TikTok miniseries—and for good reason. TikTok has spilled the beans on HOW their algorithm works. 

TikTok is the only platform where you can have ZERO followers and get a million likes on a video that goes viral. Their company values transparency, so they’re opened up about how their algorithm works. That means designers can learn how to get ahead of the curve. So Darla and Natalie spill the algorithm secrets in this Wingnut Social minisode. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:35] TikTok SPILLS their algorithm Secrets
  • [3:48] What’s special about the TikTok platform?
  • [4:30] What will make your video more likely to be viewed?
  • [7:48] Recreate the latest trend to get a bump in views
  • [8:57] Understanding #ForYou + #ForYouPage + #FYP
  • [12:14] Why followers and likes don’t matter 
  • [13:32] What does the algorithm mean for designers?
  • [14:38] Key takeaways for designers
  • [18:35] Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

What in the world are #ForYou + #ForYouPage + #FYP hashtags?

These hashtags are just another way for you to leverage TikTok’s discovery page AKA the “For You” page. Using various iterations of that hashtag can help you get discovered faster. It works synergistically for your enjoyment of the app by contributing to the curation of your page, i.e. the algorithm works in reverse. For example, if you use the hashtag #NoisyNeighbors, that hashtag will show up in the hashtag feed PLUS your #ForYou feed. What comments do you like? What videos do you like? What do you watch? They all influence what you see. 

The Algorithm Explained: The KEY to a standout TikTok video

Just like any other platform, TikTok also takes into account the number of likes and views. TikTok doesn’t take into account the number of followers or the popularity of previous posts. Instead, their algorithm judges the standalone quality of each video. How long is the video? Did the viewer watch to the end? Did they watch your video again? It all matters.

So a unique way that you can trick the viewer into continually watching your video is by using loops. They trick the eye so that you aren’t sure where the video begins or ends—so the viewer watches it a couple of times (and it tricks the algorithm). But it can be tricky to master. 

Another tip to increase the likelihood of being featured: make your content entertaining and engaging. The key to getting engagement is working with the algorithm to get on as many ‘for you page’ feeds as possible. You can also jump on the bandwagon with trending interests—but make sure you put your own spin on it. 

BONUS TIP: If you spend two hours making videos, you can save them in your drafts and spread your videos out throughout the week. You should also post at least once a day to become a TikTok influencer. 

Learn more about the TikTok algorithm and how to keep viewers engaged by listening to the whole minisode!

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Want to Be the Next Design Star? [Here’s How] with Kristin Giese

Want to Be the Next Design Star? [Here’s How] with Kristin Giese

June 24, 2020

Are you an interior designer that daydreams about becoming the next big design star? Do you visualize your name in lights? But how do you get on TV? Is it all luck, hard work, or both? Kristin Giese joins Darla and Natalie to talk about an interior designer’s path to television. She shares the mindset you need to embrace, how to leverage your social media, what producers are looking for, and what YOU can do to land the big gig. 

Kristin Giese is a talent manager, brand developer, and executive producer. She began her career building the Nate Berkus brand (amongst other talent). Over her career, she’s partnered with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Target, TLC, NBC, P&G, GMC, and many more. Her storied career and expertise is a welcome addition to this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:14] The Wingnut Social Webinar 
  • [5:50] All about Kristin Giese
  • [9:10] TV is not about vanity
  • [11:35] How to position yourself on social media
  • [19:30] Why interior design stars catch so much shade
  • [22:32] What can you gain from being a design star?
  • [25:26] Do production companies own you?
  • [27:54] What you should know about the path to stardom
  • [33:30] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [36:28] Kristin’s Book: Unverified
  • [36:59] Connect with Kristin
  • [40:45] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Kristin Giese

Resources & People Mentioned

What being a design star is NOT about

Kristin’s first piece of advice: It can’t be all about you. She states that “Television—for all of its vanity—is NOT a vanity project.” Before you become a design star—and can’t pick out a head of lettuce without being recognized—you have to put in the work and be humble. Kristin sees a lot of people who use “I’m the next big…” terminology and make the experience all about what matters to them. 

But she points out that “The people that are really successful on television are making it about the audience.” You NEED to start with what matters to the audience—the people at home watching your show. How do you fill those shoes? How are you uniquely skilled to step within that role? Do you have someone in mind to co-star with you? 

The hero of the story needs to be the observer—not you

How social media influences your crack at design stardom

Kristin believes that social media is a critical element in your design star journey. It’s your resume that exists in the world—you can’t let it sit in the back of your drawer collecting dust. You have to be consistently active and committed to posting and sharing who you are on various platforms. The top 9 on Instagram? Those three rows should tell the viewer exactly who you are. People should experience a three-dimensional you in those nine images. 

It’s also imperative that you become comfortable with showing yourself in photos and videos. If you want to be an HGTV design star your face will be everywhere. If you want to be on television you are the brand. You can’t be resistant to the idea of showing yourself or you’ll struggle on TV. 

Kristin notes that an audience shows up for people that they know: “The people who really connect make us feel who they are.” Are you funny? Stylish? An overworked Mom? An audience doesn’t want to just see perfection—they want to see the true versions of yourself that make you human. 

As Kristin likes to put it: “Content is King, Character is Queen. Forever shall they reign.” Your social media must mesh the two. 

Fact vs fiction: Design star reality

Kristin points out that the path to stardom is never the straight line that you think it will be. Infact, you rarely make your money on television. The real money is made in the way you can go out in the world and create endorsement opportunities, sell books, etc. Being a design star is simply a tool to leverage to be able to do other things.

This idea that you go on television and you immediately get rich and famous is folklore. The road to get there is far longer. Kristin’s seen networks cut shows that were in development for over a year. It’s the nature of the game—it’s failure after failure until it’s not.

So you have to know your heart. What is your motivation for being on TV? Is your desire to reach a broader audience? Do you want endorsement work? Being a design star gives you a large platform. Kristen notes that it’s also really fun. It’s amazing to watch someone’s life change when you makeover their home. 

So what type of portfolio do you need? How does the behind-the-scenes look working with producers for your own show? It is a linear progression? Kristin answers these questions and so much more in this episode. You HAVE to listen to the whole thing!

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Designers: Jump on the TikTok Bandwagon NOW

Designers: Jump on the TikTok Bandwagon NOW

June 22, 2020

TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform of all time. Just as Darla and Natalie predicted, it’s completely taken off—and isn’t just for the tweens anymore. It’s expanding into different genres and gaining traction outside of the 18-24 demographic. People now spend just as much time on TikTok as they do on YouTube

So how should a designer capture the audience? It isn’t just posting photos or catchy captions, but video production—which can be difficult. Is the payoff worth the effort it takes? Listen to this minisode of Wingnut Social as Darla and Natalie weigh in on this social media sensation and share WHY it’s time to embrace it!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:10] Gin & Tonic diet: Elderberries against aging
  • [2:15] Why Darla is obsessed with TikTok
  • [3:36] What’s happening with TikTok?
  • [8:50] The TikTok Demographic
  • [10:05] Why TikTok is making a transition
  • [11:24] What’s in it for designers
  • [15:30] Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Why NOW is the time to embrace TikTok

TikTok has seen dramatic growth—probably in part due to the massive numbers of people quarantined at home. Their engagement has skyrocketed and everyone is on the platform non-stop. Darla is obsessed with TikTok and points out that part of the reason is that the algorithm is amazing and curates content that she loves.

Not only that, but designers can be more discoverable than ever if they use the right hashtags. So why is not the perfect time to embrace TikTok? Marketers are beginning to eye the platform for opportunity. So it’s the perfect time to build your audience and get on their radar. 

Darla points out that if she could go back and build an audience on Instagram before it exploded in popularity she’d be all over it. This is your chance to capture that market share before TikTok is overrun.

TikTok is making the push towards tutorials and DIY

TikTok is making the shift towards DIYs, video tutorials, and more. Doctors are even sharing medical advice on TikTok. The one caveat is that you can’t be afraid of video. But if you’re creative, you have the ability for a video to go viral quickly. 

Darla has followed someone on TikTok from the very beginning—Mrs.Space.Cadet—who now has over 300,000 followers. She created a brand from absolutely nothing. TikTok wants to expand their market share so it’s time to jump on the bandwagon.

Darla does point out that there is a learning curve. It isn’t as easy to catch on to as Facebook or Instagram. So grab your teenager, sit them down, and have them help you learn the ins and outs. Because the payoff for the work you put it in will be well worth the effort

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

 

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The Flexibility Act: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Updated [Aaron Smyle Explains]

The Flexibility Act: Paycheck Protection Program Loan Updated [Aaron Smyle Explains]

June 17, 2020

With the Flexibility Act, the SBA has implemented some changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that is GREAT news for designers and other business owners. In this episode of the Wingnut Social Podcast, Aaron Smyle returns to share the changes that have been made and what it means for YOU. Don’t miss this timely episode!

Aaron Smyle has an MBA, MST, and is an Enrolled Agent (EA), a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation. Aaron Launched Smyle & associates in 2010 and serves the NYC area with a special emphasis in restaurants, retailers, creative businesses, medical practices, and law firms. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [4:57] What is the Flexibility Act?
  • [7:51] Natalie got it strictly based on payroll averages
  • [10:56] Where do you apply for forgiveness?
  • [12:20] How the funds have to be spent has changed
  • [14:01] How to make sure you qualify for forgiveness
  • [15:47] The revised payment terms of the loan
  • [20:20] Other notable changes with the flexibility act
  • [23:29] What does the allowance for paying taxes mean?
  • [25:00] What records you may need to provide
  • [26:25] Connect with Aaron Smyle
  • [27:31] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [33:34] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Aaron Smyle

Resources & People Mentioned

How the flexibility act changes the PPP loan terms

If you originally applied for the PPP loan, the terms of forgiveness were hazy and how you could use the money was complicated (Aaron laid out the CARES act and PPP loan in episode 136 if you missed it). Here are the primary changes that have been implemented in the flexibility act: 

  1. Originally you had 8 weeks to bring your payroll up to normal numbers/use the funds. Now, the time has been extended to 24 weeks—if necessary—and will end December 31st, 2020.
  2. Originally, at least 75% of the loan had to be spent on payroll to be forgiven. The other 25% could be spent on rent, utilities, and interest charges. Now it’s been changed to a 60/40 split—60% minimum on payroll and 40% between rent, utilities, and interest.
  3. Lastly, if you spent the money in other areas the money would roll into a loan versus being forgiven. The original loan repayment terms were to be over a 2-year period. Now you have 5 years to pay back the loan—at only a 1% interest rate

Currently, you still have until June 30th to apply for the PPP loan. For some business owners, that date is reaching your original 8 weeks. So if you can’t get your payroll numbers up by then, consider extending to the 24 weeks. 

What is the next step for designers? 

If you haven’t yet applied for the PPP loan because of the repayment terms, inability to operate your design firm, etc. you still have time to apply. The repayment terms are favorable even if you can’t get your loan forgiven. So if you need the funds, there is still approximately $120 billion left in the program (at the time of recording). 

If you’ve applied for and received the loan, you’re probably wondering how to apply for forgiveness. The current application is linked in the resources above. However, Aaron points out that it’s likely to be revised. When banks begin accepting the forgiveness paperwork, you’ll bring the application to the bank you received the loan through. 

You’ll need to be prepared with documentation. Aaron recommends reading over the application so you can begin gathering the necessary information, which may include: payroll reports (quarterly and weekly), proof of differences or reductions in pay, canceled checks, bank statements indicating amounts for payroll, canceled rent checks, etc. 

For discussion about each of these topics, detailed descriptions from Darla and Natalies’ go-to tax professional, and other need-to-know information, tune in to this important episode of the Wingnut Social podcast! 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

  • 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs)

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Instagram Monetization: NEW Live Badges and IGTV Ads

Instagram Monetization: NEW Live Badges and IGTV Ads

June 15, 2020

Instagram is rolling out one new feature after another and this week is no exception. Instagram announced the launch of Badges for Instagram Live and ads for IGTV. The goal is to help support creators by implementing various ways to monetize their accounts. 

Right now there are a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions. However, with the 70% increase in Instagram Live views since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, these new opportunities can’t be passed up. Listen to this Monday Marketing Minisode to learn more!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:38] How to monetize your Instagram
  • [1:30] Wingnut Social Webinar coming up!
  • [2:58] Instagram’s slow roll-out of Live ‘Badges’ 
  • [6:47] Doubling down on IGTV and launching ads
  • [9:42] What are the video qualifications for an ad? 
  • [10:37] WHY designers should embrace monetization
  • [13:53] Check out this week’s Blooper Reel! 

Resources & People Mentioned

What are Instagram Live ‘Badges’?

Firstly, ‘Badges’ are NOT the same thing as ‘Verified Badges’, which are the little check marks you’ll see next to a verified celebrity, for example. A Live Badge will appear as a small heart (or multiple hearts, depending on what you purchase) next to your name. 

Live Badges will be available for followers to purchase during a live stream to help support their favorite creators. It’s a simple way to generate revenue—while being 100% optional for your followers. It’s currently being beta-tested, so stay tuned for a widespread launch.

To apply for early access, go to this Instagram page

Instagram strengthens its investment in IGTV with new ‘ads’ feature

Instagram will now be allowing revenue on IGTV through the use of ads. Currently, they’ve chosen a select group of 200 creators to beta test the feature. When you click to watch an IGTV video you’ll be presented with a 15-second mobile-friendly ad. 

While not confirmed, it’s being speculated that creators will see 55% of the ad revenue, with the other 45% going to Instagram. Darla and Natalie point out that it’s also unknown who will qualify for ads, though you’ll likely need to have 10,000+ followers and a verified account

They do know that for a video to qualify, it needs to be at least two minutes in length, it must be all-new content, and you MUST use the preview option in your Instagram feed. You need to commit to creating original and valuable content on IGTV consistently to monetize your account. 

If you have a large following and some seriously good content, it’s an easy option to monetize your videos. Plus, Darla and Natalie point out that diversifying your revenue stream is important for the longevity of your business. What are your thoughts? Let them know! 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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