The Interior Design Marketing and Business Podcast: Wingnut Social
How to Pivot Your PR Approach with Courtney Pisarik - Episode 170

How to Pivot Your PR Approach with Courtney Pisarik - Episode 170

August 5, 2020

Your PR approach is more important now than ever. With the impact of the Coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the upcoming elections—the world is in turmoil. Designers MUST pivot and take a moment to craft their PR approach to be sensitive to the world around them. In this episode of Wingnut Social, Courtney Pisarik joins Darla and Natalie to talk shop about her firm's PR approach mid-pandemic. 

 

Courtney Pisarik is the founder and owner of Ink PR, which is a boutique public relations firm specializing in communications for interior designers and other home professionals. After a storied career in lifestyle and entertainment, she made the shift from the lifestyle industry to focus solely on interior design. She’s never been more focused, successful, and happy. Listen to hear her story!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:38] Miami is the #1 COVID hot spot
  • [3:59] Courtney Pisarik of INK PR Group
  • [6:04] What made Courtney focus on design professionals?
  • [7:56] The PR world has expanded exponentially 
  • [10:51] How the economic crisis is impacting the PR world
  • [13:43] Adapting to the changes the business has implemented 
  • [14:51] How have pitches must pivot to accommodate the current reality
  • [17:29] Interior Designers: How to pivot your approach on a DIY level
  • [21:03] Virtual events and webinars: will they stick around?
  • [27:53] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [31:17] Supply is so limited right now
  • [35:44] Blooper Reel! 

Connect with Courtney Pisarik

Resources & People Mentioned

How to pivot your PR approach on a DIY level

Everyone is in the process of adapting. Courtney points out that her firm learned quickly that they had to pivot and pitch things that were relative to the news cycle. She emphasizes that you have to stay in touch with what’s happening in the world around you. Above all, she notes that you need to remember the power of human connection: “We’ve all learned our currency and our value is in our relationships with our friends and our media.” They are the #1 priority for Courtney and her team. 

 

With that in mind, how do you pivot your PR approach? How do you connect with editors and magazines on a different level to get your work out there? Courtney recommends taking the time to do some basic research. What does the magazine cover? What is their aesthetic? Learn about the editor—where do they live? Do they love dogs? Do they drink coffee? Take a minute to be a human being. How would you interact with them if you were introduced in person? Find a way to cultivate that connection. 

 

She points out that you can even review their social media channels and see what they’re passionate about. Take the time to read their previous writing or articles and reference them in your communication. It will change the conversation. At the end of the day, we are all human beings and want to be appreciated and recognized for what we do. PR teams are really salespeople. Courtney points out that they’re trying to sell the messaging and the imagery that we have. The fact of the matter is that you need to know your product and know your buyer. 

It’s time to include webinars and virtual events in your PR approach

How else do you need to pivot your PR approach? Do webinars and virtual events have a place when it comes to PR? Courtney agrees with Darla and Natale—virtual events are here to stay. Courtney's firm is constantly producing programming for clients and brands and attending webinars herself. She’s doing Instagram takeovers, setting up panels, and even has some webinars in the works leading up to High Point. 

 

Courtney is working with a designer—Genevieve Trousdale—who will be launching an online portal resource for interior designers. They’ll be invited to share their resources to connect on a granular level and work as a team. Her firm has focused almost completely on webinars leading up to the launch. 

 

They've also been hosting a webinar series called “Save our Suppliers”. The goal was to connect designers desperate to shop with brands looking to get in front of designers. Makes get on the webinar and share their new products and when they can get it out. This was a great way to break down some doors during the pandemic. 

 

On top of everything already on Courtney’s plate, she’s also co-formed another webinar called ‘The Comm Collective’ with programming every week. They come together to discuss issues happening in the industry and take turns producing their own programs. They’ve invited editors from House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping to moderate the conversations. 

 

The long and short of it? Video, webinars, and all things virtual isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay. To hear all of Courtney’s ideas and recommendations for tailoring your PR approach, listen to the whole episode!

 

The Comm Collective hosts a webinar every Thursday at 4pm est and anyone is invited to join!

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Go LIVE from Facebook Messenger Rooms - Episode 169

Go LIVE from Facebook Messenger Rooms - Episode 169

August 3, 2020

Facebook created Messenger Rooms in April as an answer to Zoom who had more than quadrupled their users during the Coronavirus pandemic. The FREE Messenger Rooms have done so well that they’ve dug into Zoom’s market share—and even lowered their stock price. 

 

Now, Facebook is implementing a NEW feature into Messenger Rooms: The ability to go Live. This gives designers diverse alternatives and makes it more possible for large audiences (up to 50 people) to tune in and watch group video calls in real-time

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:16] NEW: Facebook Messenger Room Livestream
  • [2:23] How do you go Live from Messenger Rooms?
  • [2:57] How is this different from a normal Live?
  • [5:16] What this feature means for designers
  • [6:22] What Facebook has up its sleeves
  • [8:38] Darla’s solo Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Going Live in Messenger Rooms

You can create a room from Facebook or Messenger Web and invite anyone to join—even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Viewers can join from their computer, phone, or tablet. You can broadcast that you’re going live to a profile, page, or group. 

 

You have control over where the room is shared, who can see it, and who can join. You can even add or remove participants from the room or as Darla put it—“Be your own bouncer.” How is this different from a normal Live? Can Facebook access the audio or video? Listen to find out!

What the Live feature in FB Messenger Rooms means for designers

If you can go Live with groups up to 50 in messenger rooms—for free—hello! That means designers can create webinars, host events with multiple guests or panels, share presentations, or launch courses right through Messenger Rooms. You can control who’s invited and who can see the Live.

 

It can be a way to create a weekly or monthly VIP group for followers. They can participate, ask questions, and interact with you “face-to-face.” It’s great for networking. It can help you gain traction before moving on to paid platforms or before announcing a paid webinar.

 

Facebook is building a serious connective infrastructure to help YOU build your empire. Give it a go, invite some people, see how it works out. What else does Facebook have up its sleeves? Find out by listening to the whole Monday Marketing Minisode! 

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Pamela Jaccarino Shares How Luxe Magazine is Connecting with Their Audience in Trying Times - Episode 168

Pamela Jaccarino Shares How Luxe Magazine is Connecting with Their Audience in Trying Times - Episode 168

July 29, 2020

How do you resonate with your audience during times of crisis? How do you create meaningful and progressive changes in the content you provide? Where is the future of design heading? In this episode of Wingnut Social, the Editor-in-Chief of Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine—Pamela Jaccarino—joins Darla and Natalie to talk about how to communicate with your audience, ways the magazine has pivoted in response to recent times, and the future of the design industry. 

 

Pamela Jaccarino is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine, the largest residential architecture and design brand in the country. She’s been in the position for 15 years and has been instrumental in the growth of the brand. She continues to champion its fresh vision and evolution. Don’t miss this educational and evocative episode!

 

“If you want to be successful at anything that you do—no matter what it is—it’s always a challenge. There's always a mountain or a hill in front of you if you’re out for excellence.” — Pamela Jaccarino

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [5:21] Today’s guest is the Editor-in-Chief of Luxe
  • [6:10] Speaking to their audience during trying times
  • [9:25] How Luxe made some pivots in 2020
  • [14:25] The types of projects Luxe looks for in their pieces
  • [19:07] Luxe Connects—a B2B resource
  • [22:39] Has the Coronavirus impacted advertising?
  • [25:05] How to pitch a project to a magazine
  • [27:20] What up Wingnut round!
  • [31:13] Mercury...is in Retrograde
  • [34:05] Bubble-gum Blooper Reel! 

Connect with Pamela Jaccarino

Resources & People Mentioned

Resonate with your audience during times of crisis

Luxe puts out 75 different publications across 14 regions in the country. It’s a big design machine. With the recent Black Lives Matter movement at the forefront of the world’s attention, Pamela points out that they felt it was important to listen and do better. She states that they’re “Ensuring that we have diverse voices through the pages of our magazine and in all of our platforms.”

 

There is not enough diversity in high-end regional design. But it’s something Luxe has committed to for the long haul—they want to strive for meaningful change. They have a plan in place to ensure the changes they make are sustainable. The publication already gives voice to so many artisans, designers, and architects. They want to dig deep and look further for diversity because it enriches everything. Pamela emphasizes that all leaders in design should be doing this.

 

It’s incredibly important to be sensitive and aware of what’s going on in the world—and how it impacts your audience. Listen to hear what types of projects Luxe looks for in their pieces and the different modes of communication they employ to resonate with their audience. Pamela also shares upcoming design trends and changes she sees happening in the industry. 

Luxe Connects—a B2B resource

The great recession in 2008/2009 was an incredibly challenging time for everyone, including design professionals. Luxe has a lot of regional advertisers that partner with them and they wanted a way to communicate and facilitate conversations. They initiated the Luxe Connects program in 2008 and never looked back. They now host 50–60 Luxe Connects across the country.

 

They continued to host these virtually during the Coronavirus crisis. It not only facilitated necessary dialogue between businesses but gave Luxe a true birds-eye view of what is happening in the luxury residential design sector. Pamela believes we will see a post-COVID change in architecture and design to better reflect situations where families are working and living in their homes 24/7. There is a lot of movement happening in the design world.

 

Through these conversations with their partners, they’ve learned that businesses continue to feel the need to market and advertise, as well as stay connected and get their message out there. Designers’ pipelines are staying full. Overall, Luxe launched Connects because they desire to be a brand that’s there to serve their partner’s needs in any way that they can. 

 

Want more information on Luxe Connects? Reach out and connect with a regional publisher!

Listen to the whole episode to hear Pamela share how to properly pitch a project to Luxe—or any magazine. Luxe continues to be a mover and shaker in the design industry. Listen to this episode for some unique insight from their editor-in-chief! 

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Your Pinterest Feed is Getting a Makeover - Episode 167

Your Pinterest Feed is Getting a Makeover - Episode 167

July 27, 2020

Your Pinterest feed will NEVER be the same! Why? Because Pinterest has updated its algorithm to make room for new content—and creators. Pinterest has introduced a real-time ranking system for your home feed called controllable distribution

 

They’ll be able to balance the types of content that will be shown in a pinner’s home feed. Why are they changing it? What will your Pinterest feed look like? Give this Monday Marketing Minisode a listen to find out! Plus, you’ll find out whether or not Darla can make it a week without talking about TikTok...

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:38] All about your Pinterest Feed
  • [1:57] Why are they changing it?
  • [2:44] The content will be based on a percentage
  • [4:42] What does this mean for designers?
  • [6:05] Blocking inappropriate content from your feed
  • [6:54] Today’s big Pinterest takeaway
  • [8:53] The ever-amusing blooper reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

Bringing NEW content to your Pinterest Feed

Pinterest doesn’t want your feed to be stale. Secondly, they want to expose you to new content that you typically wouldn’t be exposed to. Part of the algorithm update is in response to the Black Lives Matter movement to give wonderful creators their fair share of visibility.

 

Now they’ll slide some things into your home page they think you might like. If Pinterest decides they want to add 4% more video content to your feed, the controlled distribution algorithm will automatically be able to achieve distribution while still respecting your content preference. 

 

But the algorithm isn’t changing completely. It’s only applied after the traditional home feed ranking algorithm. So it’s an added layer to help expose you to new creators and new content. Pinterest used to rely on engagement data to drive it’s pin recommendations. But they must evolve. In the words of Neil Armstrong, “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

What should designers include in their Pinterest content strategy? 

Pinterest is trying to attract more creators to the platform. So designers need to keep more content flowing in the form of creating original pins—including video. They haven’t outright stated they’re prioritizing video, but it’s the under-the-table vibe Darla and Natalie are getting.

 

Video usually gets more engagement, likes, and comments, so it’s worth the investment.

Social media platforms have been making a TON of updates lately. But Darla and Natalie point out it’s their job to stay on top of algorithm changes—and keep their listeners in the loop. It is pretty good job security!

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How to Embrace a Virtual Workplace with Chad James - Episode 166

How to Embrace a Virtual Workplace with Chad James - Episode 166

July 22, 2020

How do we negotiate the logistics of creating a virtual workplace? Can your design firm work remotely permanently? Are the cost savings worth it? Do you even want to go back to working in an office setting? If any of these questions are swirling around in your head, Chad James joins Darla and Natalie to dissect the topic. Don’t miss this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast! 

Chad James has been in the design industry for 23+ years. He leads a talented team of trusted designers in creating a uniquely tailored experience to each client they serve—centered on a meticulous approach to quality and design. They work to create custom residential and commercial construction including boutique hotels, refined restaurants, and beautiful homes. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:33] Natalie’s Birthday present just happens to be...
  • [4:59] Chad James shares the pros and cons of going virtual 
  • [7:01] Focus on creating some sense of normalcy
  • [9:04] Using Microsoft Teams to ease the transition
  • [15:34] Moving back into the office full-time
  • [16:56] The pros and cons of each option
  • [21:09] How to get a hold of samples in a virtual workplace
  • [23:32] Operating virtually and managing a team
  • [29:06] Should designers move to a virtual workplace? 
  • [31:35] Something that surprised Chad when working virtually
  • [34:11] The importance of establishing personal connections with your team
  • [37:08] The What Up Wingnut Round! 
  • [40:44] How to connect with the Chad James Group
  • [44:41] Can’t-miss blooper reel!

Connect with Chad James

Resources & People Mentioned

How Microsoft Teams eased the transition into a Virtual Workplace

Nashville had a large influx of cases early on in the Coronavirus pandemic. This led Chad and his team to decide to shift to a virtual workplace. But how did they do it? How did they move their office home and make it a smooth transition? Chad notes that Microsoft Teams was the platform his team brought to the table. Chad was hesitant to use it—because he’s a loyal Apple guy—but they ended up loving it. 

Plus, it opened up a new realm of possibility for his clients. He’s able to share drawings, proposals, and screenshots while still being able to see their reactions over video. Chad admits that he’s an old dog when it comes to technology and he doesn’t like to learn new tricks but Microsoft Teams is user-friendly and easy to maneuver. 

Since his team has moved back to the office they’ve continued to use the platform for inner-office communication as well as client communication. What started as something that would ease the transition into a virtual workplace become a staple for their office. 

Weigh the move to a virtual workplace carefully

Chad learned early on in his career that he needed separation of work and home life. Not only that, but he prefers to be in an office interacting with people and building on the relationships he’s formed. If you’re contemplating completely moving your team to a virtual workplace he notes that you have to decide what’s most important for your creativity and business mindset. 

For his business, that means moving back into the workplace, while embracing a few of the things that made the virtual workplace manageable for them, such as Microsoft Teams. But you have to consider what’s best for the functionality of your team. Chad notes that the Chad James Group is “About the relationship and the feeling and the experience more than just the day-to-day design.” 

Managing and operating a virtual workplace

Operating and managing a virtual workplace can be an easy shift—depending on how much you trust your team. Chad points out that he has a director of operations that is the glue that holds everything together. He knows Chad’s schedule better than he does. As a creative, Chad can get a bit overwhelmed if he looks too far into the future. Having a Director of Operations helped ground him in the day-to-day and take everything a moment at a time. 

One of Chad’s biggest concerns, when they shifted to a virtual workplace, was the eventual transition back into the office. He didn’t want his team to develop poor habits while working from home. So from the very beginning, they had a morning Microsoft Teams call where he saw everyone dressed with hair and makeup done—showered and prepared as though they were going to the office. 

One of Darla’s favorite phrases is “How you do anything is how you do everything.” and this is an example of that. Getting up and getting ready for the day puts you in a mind-space where you’re ready to actually work and not be lackadaisical and comfortable. 

Create a place of transparency for your team

When Chad’s Dad passed away a few years ago, he realized he needed to be very purposeful with the remaining years of his life. He chose to be purposeful about his intentions and how his team, company, and clients saw him. When his team transitioned into a virtual workplace he knew it was important to continue to foster an environment where everyone talked openly and honestly about how they were dealing with their emotions. 

He points out that as a business owner, there will always be things that you keep in your side pocket and deal out when it needs to be dealt. This time wasn’t just about business, but about each other. It’s so easy when you’re not working in an office to become detached and distant and to lose the human connection. 

Chad points out that you don’t want to hear that someone on your team experienced a hurt or loss and you didn’t know about it. He emphasizes how important it is that you remain connected and talk through emotions with your team. 

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Your Instagram Comments Section is Getting a MAJOR Upgrade - Episode 165

Your Instagram Comments Section is Getting a MAJOR Upgrade - Episode 165

July 20, 2020

Your Instagram Comments Section is Getting a MAJOR Upgrade - Episode 156

Instagram is rolling out yet another new feature that allows you to—drumroll please—PIN your favorite Instagram comments to the top of your thread! Do you want to put a superfan’s comment in the spotlight? Or move negative comments further down your feed? Now you can! In this Wingnut Social Monday Marketing Minisode, Darla and Natalie share how to pin Instagram comments—and why a designer would want to. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:36] WHY are they doing a podcast at 5 am?
  • [1:36] You can now PIN your Instagram comments
  • [4:58] Instagram is implementing anti-bullying measures
  • [6:25] The commenter will get notified of the pin
  • [6:45] How do you actually pin the comment?
  • [7:03] What does this mean for designers?
  • [9:07] Blooper Reel!

Resources & People Mentioned

WHY the Instagram comments feature is all the rage 

If you have a post on Instagram that’s performing well and a superfan posts an excited and cheery comment, you want to promote it. Now, you can! To do so, you simply swipe left on the comment and click the pin icon and voilà! It will pin the Instagram comment to the top of the thread. 

It will be the first comment people see and serve to create excitement and buzz around the post. PLUS the commenter will get notified that you were so enthralled by their comment that you boosted it to the top of your thread. YouTube has embraced the pinned comments feature since 2016, so it was about time Instagram stepped up to the plate. 

This can even be a GREAT marketing tool for designers. How? Listen to the minisode to find out!

Clean up your Instagram comments

Even better—you’re allowed to pin up to THREE comments to the top of your thread. Why is this so important? It allows you to push negative comments—that you may not want to delete—further down and out of sight. So users can still see how you handle negative comments from a customer service point of view, but all of the focus and emphasis is on the positive comments. 

Natalie shares that Facebook and Instagram took 1.5 million pieces of content off the platform in the 4th quarter of 2019 and the 1st quarter of 2020 because of bullying and harassment violations. Instagram is going to add more anti-bullying measures to protect their users and encourage a positive environment. Pinning Instagram comments to the top of your thread means YOU have the power to control the environment of your account. 

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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!

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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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