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The Secret to Getting Your Interior Design Work Published - Episode 272

The Secret to Getting Your Interior Design Work Published - Episode 272

July 6, 2022

Molly Schoneveld is the award-winning PR strategist behind the luxury public relations firm, The Storied Group. She represents the industry's top interior designers, celebrities, and hotels, i.e. “Talented faces, spaces, and places.” She has 20+ years of experience with press placements in Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Vogue, and more. And she knows the secret to getting your interior design work published. What is it? Find out in this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:13] Wingnut webinar and wingnut academy updates
  • [1:56] Mini News Sesh: LinkedIn’s repost update
  • [4:32] Learn all about Molly Schoneveld + The Storied Group
  • [7:08] Why proving publications enough images is important 
  • [10:56] Do you need to hire a photographer with connections?
  • [16:06] Can a presence on YouTube help you?
  • [17:21] Do you need to have a celebrity client? 
  • [20:15] Why you need to read photography contracts carefully
  • [23:16] Can you post the photos online if you want them featured?
  • [26:22] Make your photography stand out by using a stylist
  • [28:50] How to get your clients on board with being published
  • [33:46] How to stand out (and get hired by celebrities) 
  • [38:20] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [40:26] How to connect with Molly Schoneveld

Connect with Molly Schone

Resources & People Mentioned

The secret to getting your interior design work published

What’s the secret? It all comes down to photos. Now—likely starting with Covid—many magazines will not do reshoots. What you provide them in your pitch is what will get published. So you need to give them enough photos to publish a full story. Luxe Magazine has design features that can be as long as 10–12 pages. That’s why you need to provide a variety of photos. 

But Molly emphasizes that you don’t need the best photographer in the business. Why? You need to be able to afford someone who will provide you with a full range of images. What does that look like? If you want to get featured as a full home tour, you need 25–30 images of your work. 

Molly landed one of her clients a feature in AD Digital. It was the home of a celebrity chef and a big-name interior designer. They didn’t reshoot the project. The photos Molly sent them were the photos that ran. The bar is high, and if you want to get into AD, you’ve got to be so much more than good. The photos you send must be shot knowing they’re going to be run in the magazine. 

Do you need to hire a photographer with connections?

Molly points out that working with a specific photographer who has previously done work with the magazine you want to get published in can give you an advantage. But the advantage isn’t that the photographer can get you published—it’s that they know what the magazine is looking for. They understand the angles publications like, the styling they like, and the vignettes they prefer. Those are the things a photographer can help with. 

But a magazine won’t say yes to a project solely based on the photographer. There are factors at play that are 100% out of your control, like editorial calendars, previously published homes and kitchens, and much more. But you can control your images. So work with a photographer who understands what magazines are looking for. 

Make your photography stand out by using a stylist

Look at a potential photographer's social media. What is their aesthetic? That’s what you’ll end up with for your social media. What else is important? Molly believes that bringing in a stylist to bring life to your images makes the biggest difference. Magazines do this all the time. If magazine editors rely on them, designers should see them as someone who can bring their vision to life in a different way. That—coupled with a photographer versed in magazine photography—can make a huge impact.

Can you post photos online if you want them published in a magazine? Does it pay to have celebrity clients? Molly answers these questions and so much more in this episode. Don’t miss it!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

 

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How to Start an Online Coaching Business - Episode 271

How to Start an Online Coaching Business - Episode 271

June 29, 2022

Have you thought about becoming an interior design coach? Maybe you’re burned out, ready to move on to another point in your career, or simply want some side income. Whatever the reason, online coaching might be the way to go. But how do you start an online coaching business? Do you dive in full-time, or dip your toes in part-time? Do you offer one-on-one coaching or group coaching? 

In this episode of Wingnut Social, Kendra Perry—a former six-figure functional health coach turned online business strategist—shares how you can seamlessly build an online coaching business. Don’t miss it! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:30] Wingnut webinar and wingnut academy updates
  • [2:56] Mini News Sesh: How to calculate engagement rates
  • [9:17] Learn more about Kendra Perry
  • [11:47] The first steps: how to start an online coaching business
  • [15:34] How niched is too niched in the interior design industry? 
  • [18:07] Online coaching: side hustle or a full-time job? 
  • [19:40] Should you market your coaching business using current channels? 
  • [22:00] Why you should start with one on one coaching 
  • [26:14] The difference between Masterminds and group coaching
  • [30:00] The importance of communities to support group coaching courses
  • [31:55] How to structure an online course for your coaching business 
  • [39:06] It’s time for the What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [41:00] How to connect with Kendra Perry
  • [42:50] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Kendra Perry

Resources & People Mentioned

The first steps: how to start an online coaching business

Everyone's an expert in something, right? Is there something you learned as an interior designer you wished you knew? Do you have expertise in a specific niche? It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary. You don’t need specific education. You can take the knowledge you’ve acquired through your career and build it into an online program.

The most important thing you need to consider is your niche. What segment of the market are you going to target? What’s the single problem you solve for people? Who is that person? What are those people looking for? Kendra emphasizes that you aren't just selling coaching—you’re selling solutions to problems

What outcome can you provide with your coaching? You can monetize any skills but you need to understand who you’re serving, the problem you’re solving, and the outcome you offer. 

Should online coaching be a side hustle or full-time job? Should you market your coaching business using current channels? Listen to hear Kendra’s thoughts!

Why you should start with one-on-one online coaching 

Many new coaches want to start with group coaching or an online course, but Kendra recommends beginning with one-on-one coaching. Why? Because it’s simpler. You don’t need a launch strategy, program hosting, modules, etc. You can reach out to your current audience and see who’s interested. You could have a coaching client the next day

Secondly, if you don’t have a huge audience, one-on-one coaching will be easier to start with. The amount of feedback you’ll get is invaluable, which you can then take and apply to a group program. Anything you learn can be rolled into an online course. 

To do something like group coaching or a course, you need volume to sell to and infrastructure in place. That’s why Kendra recommends giving yourself 6–12 months to bring in a full-time income. You have to build an audience and a list and those things take time. 

When do you move to group coaching? And how do you structure an online course for your business when the time is right? Kendra is a wealth of information on this topic. Tune in to the whole episode to learn the ins and outs of building an online coaching business in the design space.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Sell the Way You Buy with David Priemer - Episode 270

Sell the Way You Buy with David Priemer - Episode 270

June 22, 2022

Do you cringe at the thought of selling your interior design services?

David Priemer, the author of Sell the Way You Buy, is the founder and Chief Sales Scientist at Cerebral Selling, where he teaches business owners the art and science of selling. His work hinges on the idea that you have to sell the way you buy.

Your clients aren’t just paying for the service that you offer. They’re buying emotions. They’re buying the experience. So how do you sell the way you buy? David shares great takeaways from his book in this episode of Wingnut Social!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:21] Wingnut Academy and webinar announcements!
  • [2:18] Mini News Sesh: Instagram launches pinning
  • [5:19] Learn all about David Priemer 
  • [7:13] Why salespeople are viewed negatively
  • [9:05] People aren’t buying solutions—they’re buying emotions
  • [11:48] Bring awareness of problems to the surface with this tip
  • [16:??] How to handle experience asymmetry 
  • [20:59] Remember that the experience is the product
  • [24:26] The importance of client retention 
  • [30:33] The What Up Wingnut! Round

Connect with David Priemer

Resources & People Mentioned

People aren’t buying solutions—they’re buying emotions

Covid prompted David and his wife to consider having their home redesigned. To him, the worst thing about a renovation is having to choose every detail. That’s why he’s willing to pay someone who will come in and remove all of the decision-making from his plate. He emphasizes that as an interior designer, you exist in the realm of emotional selling. 

As you’re talking to your clients, think about the emotion behind why they’re buying. People don’t buy solutions to problems. People buy feelings—especially in creative spaces. So what is your superpower? How do you fill the void your buyer is looking for? It starts by knowing your audience and the feelings they’re buying when they buy you. It’s powerful. 

Use this tip to sell the way you buy

If you wanted to sell someone a bandaid, you could look for someone who has a cut (i.e. a problem you can solve). But that requires they’re aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved. You could also look for clients that are afraid of getting cut, like someone who wants to update their house in preparation for selling it down the road. You’re selling the future. 

The third way to sell is to “cut” people. What does David mean by that? Many people aren’t aware of the problem(s) that they have. When you look at a client's home, you might point out any issues or code violations that you see. You’re bringing problems to your customers. You help them realize there is a problem they need to be solved. You have to create a little bit of pain to address it.

How do you handle this when you struggle with being comfortable in the sales process? David shares a unique strategy any designer can use—keep listening. 

Remember that the experience is the product

In chapter 4 of David's book, he talks about Disney World. Disney focuses on customer experience because the experience is the product. If David hires an interior designer, the experience he goes through to arrive at the final destination ends up influencing whether or not he’s happy with the end product. You have to create that experience.

You likely became an interior designer because you’re talented and passionate about your work. You love what you do. Why should you be ashamed of selling? You’re simply conveying the enthusiasm you have for what you do to your customer. 

The experience the customer has with you transcends the final product. At the end of the day, people are buying feelings. People are buying emotions. You could be the best interior designer in the world, but if no one likes you, no one will hire you. 

But if you create a great experience for your clients, they’ll tell other people about you. Selling with the way you buy in mind is a game-changer. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

 

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Interior Design as a Second Career - Episode 269

Interior Design as a Second Career - Episode 269

June 15, 2022

Have you considered interior design as a second career?

Cheryl Luckett had a 15-year career as a registered dietician and human resources professional. She launched Dwell by Cheryl after a weekly blog chronicling her home improvement projects quickly morphed into a side hustle decorating homes. After five years and a carefully planned exit strategy she dubbed “Project 36,” she left corporate life and made interior design her full-time career. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:43] Wingnut Webinar June 30th at 11 am
  • [2:40] Mini news sesh: Instagram’s repost option
  • [6:17] Project 36: Chery’s plan to transition to design
  • [16:36] The role of social media in building her brand
  • [20:02] Why you should invest in a business coach early on
  • [25:45] Why Cheryl chose to hire early in her business
  • [27:31] Hone in on a niche: Who are you here to serve? 
  • [33:44] Approach each client with a service mindset
  • [34:48] What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [36:02] How to connect with Cheryl
  • [38:22] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Cheryl Luckett

Resources & People Mentioned

Cheryl’s exit strategy: Project 36

After 10 years in the same company, Cheryl realized something wasn’t clicking. She didn’t want to be there forever. At the time, she had just purchased her first home and started decorating it. It sparked something inside her. 

So she took some design courses at her community college, starting with basic drafting. She fell in love with design. She started a blog sharing her ongoing home projects, which led to clients within her circle of influence. A couple of years of night classes later, she realized she was on to something. But she needed a plan to transition out of corporate America. She called it “Project 36.” It was her 36-month exit strategy out of corporate. 

She was single, had been in the same job for 12 years, and had great benefits—including stock options. The one thing that would keep her from making the move was financial. So she hired a financial planner and said, “I want to leave my job in 36 months. Help.” They set out a plan to chip away at student loans and save money so she felt comfortable with her career change. 

She set a timeline for everything she needed to get done. The plan unfolded over time. The more the months ticked away, the more comfortable and confident she became about taking the leap. She needed to be strategic. She believes anyone considering a second career should be the same.

Transitioning to interior design as a second career

As Cheryl’s 36 months ticked onward, she posted three times a day on social media. It allowed her to engage in a community she wasn’t a part of full-time—yet. It allowed her to build demand for her service before she needed it. She brought people along on her journey. They knew she worked full time, knew she was in school, and knew she was building a side hustle. 

Her followers were so bought into her story that when she shared a video of leaving the ivory tower, they were excited with her. Now, every December 31st, she posts that video. She executed her plan, made the leap, and is still thriving because of it. What else did she do? 

Cheryl spent a lot of her PTO traveling to design conferences, investing in herself and her growth. She built relationships with people on an upward trajectory. Once she transitioned into her design business, she continued to invest in herself to continue on the path of growth. 

So she hired a coach—Kim Kuhteubl. It was a significant investment but helped her understand that it’s an inside game. To show up for your business, sell your services, and serve people—you’ve got to have your mind right. It was the best move she made in the beginning stages. Her coach helped her with mindset, branding, visibility—all of the big picture things. 

Listen to the whole episode to find out why honing in on a niche and having a process in place to find the right clients is a key part of her success. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Break Out of Your Comfort Zone for Success - Episode 268

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone for Success - Episode 268

June 8, 2022

David Wood coaches high-performing business owners to double revenue—and their time off—by focusing less and being 30% more courageous in their business or career. Achieving more success sometimes means you have to break out of your comfort zone. David shares some tangible ways you can do that in this episode of Wingnut Social. Are you ready to “Get out there, get uncomfortable, and be great?”

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:41] Wingnut Academy & Wingnut Webinar Announcements
  • [2:33] Mini News Sesh: Google’s Core Search Update
  • [5:38] Learn more about David Wood
  • [8:32] How David took a leap of faith and became an actor
  • [12:52] Reaching your goals takes focus and discipline 
  • [20:56] How to be “30% more courageous”
  • [27:33] How do you balance being sensible AND daring?
  • [30:13] David’s journey towards personal growth through acting
  • [32:33] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [33:21] Learn more about the Mouse in the Room mission
  • [39:00] Blooper Reel!

Connect with David Wood

  • Go to MouseInTheRoom.com and get notifications for the nook launch. Set an alarm for 12pm Pacific on June 13th. Go buy as many books as you can and gift them to your friends. Amazon will let you send them the Kindle version. If you believe it deserves a review, come back one day later and leave a five-star review. 
  • David’s Coaching Business
  • Connect with David on LinkedIn

Resources & People Mentioned

Why you need to identify your “mouse in the room”

David is releasing a book called “Mouse in the Room” (because the elephant isn’t usually alone). It’s all about addressing the little animals in the room (i.e. fears) you may not normally share with someone. 

When you reveal your fear and connect yourself to it, it can help you overcome it. Once you get clarity on what you’re afraid of, you can choose to tell the other person/people. It makes a decision or action far less scary. 

David has always been drawn to performance—improv, standup comedy, motivational speaking, music, etc. But he was hesitant about acting. But 8 months ago, he realized he wanted to move to LA, get training, get an agent, and audition. He had never told anyone about the desire. But he “named the mouse” and shared the desire with someone. 

Naming the mouse gave him energy. And the friend he’d shared with called him a week later and asked him to join her to audition for a professional production of a play. So he did. He got cast as the lead. Now he can say he’s a working professional actor. He’s still a coach and a trainer—and he’s also following his dreams

David shares a powerful thought: "Just because you see someone do something that seems courageous doesn’t mean that they’re fearless. But they’re willing to have that fear and work through it.” How can you go for it and honor yourself so you don’t say, “I wish” on your deathbed? It takes courage to give your all and live your life. 

Reaching your goals takes focus and discipline

Entrepreneurs see all of the possibilities. But they can only spread themselves so far. You add in social media, text messages, phone calls—it’s no wonder that most people are dealing with stress and anxiety. It slows down your goals. 

Sometimes you need someone else to help you say “stop.” By focusing on less, you can produce more. It’s possible to get twice as much of the personal stuff done in half the time you’re spending now. How?

The answer is discipline. What matters to you over the next twelve months? What are the three business goals and the three life goals that matter to you that will have you celebrating 12 months from now? When you achieve one of these goals, return to your full list of goals and add a “Bonus goal” into the mix. This is only for people who want to be extraordinary. 

How can you be “30% more courageous?” How do you balance being sensible AND daring? Listen to hear David’s thoughts! 

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How to Drive the RIGHT Traffic to Your Interior Design Website - 267

How to Drive the RIGHT Traffic to Your Interior Design Website - 267

June 1, 2022

How do you drive the right kind of traffic to your interior design website? How do people who want the services you provide find you? How do strategies differ for local and national traffic? Everyone knows they need a plan to drive traffic, but it can be overwhelming—which is why it’s often put on the back burner. In this episode of Wingnut Social, Nicole Heymer of Glory & Brand will help you nail down where to start and how to drive the right traffic to your interior design website. Don’t miss it! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:31] Wingnut Academy & Wingnut Webinar Announcements
  • [3:15] Mini News Sesh: Instagram shakes up Stories
  • [7:06] Driving traffic to your interior design website
  • [15:05] Focus on your messaging to demonstrate your niche
  • [20:52] The importance of content marketing to drive traffic
  • [27:43] The impact of including video on your website
  • [33:47] Use social media marketing to serve a larger audience
  • [36:24] Why you have to focus your efforts carefully
  • [37:35] How to use email marketing to drive traffic
  • [40:04] Networking to drive traffic to your website
  • [45:03] The What Up Wingnut Round! 
  • [47:30] How to connect with Nicole Heymer 
  • [49:40] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Nicole Heymer

Resources & People Mentioned

Driving traffic to your interior design website: Where to start

Your website won’t drive traffic to itself. To figure out where to start, you need to ask yourself some questions:

What is your area of service? Is it local? Is it national? If it’s local, you have to tell the humans and search engines where you service (city, suburb, county?). Ask yourself what you would search for. If you’re trying to reach a national audience, your only hope is to niche.

Start by focusing on local search to establish a presence. It gives you credibility. If you want to build a national brand, focus on social media and building an email list. That's how you get in front of a large audience. An email list gives you control over your audience and the ability to directly market to them.

Secondly, where are you now? Where do you want to go? Who’s coming to the website and where are they coming from? Go to Google Analytics and look at “acquisition.” You can see where people are coming from (social, organic, etc.) You can use a tool like Ubersuggest, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. to gauge traffic, research keywords, and even spy on competitors. It’s fun to see how your keywords are growing and moving up in rankings. If you aren’t showing up in organic search, you can see it as an opportunity. 

The importance of content marketing to drive traffic to your website

Content marketing is creating content that will educate, entertain, or demonstrate expertise. You can push it on social media but SEO and content marketing are intrinsically linked. You can optimize a homepage—and you should—but the real power in SEO comes from creating content. 

If you want people to find you for a search term, you need one page dedicated to that search term. Search results are answers to a question. If you provide a robust answer to the question—that matches the search intent—you’ll start showing up in Google searches.

You can take two approaches with content:

  • Locally focused SEO and content
  • Ranking for high volume traffic-driving keywords

When Google sees that you’re getting traffic, it raises your domain authority, making you more likely to show up in local searches. 

Location and service pages can be a major tool for local bases. Optimizing your google business page because it is low-hanging fruit for local search. Your actual location will help you show up in map searches. If you want to show up for other towns, you can create location pages that you optimize for interior design in such-and-such towns. You want to link to these pages on your website, but the goal is to rank in search. It’s a classic SEO technique that still works. 

When it comes to local SEO, the reason Nicole prioritizes this over other methods of traffic is because of intent. Someone is searching for local interior designers, they’re serious. But local SEO can’t be everything. You need to leverage social media, email, and other strategies to have a well-rounded source of traffic. The messaging on your website will help you stand out. 

Why should you use video strategically throughout your website to increase traffic? How can you use social media marketing to serve a larger audience? Listen to learn more! 

Email marketing: The underused driver of website traffic

Email marketing allows you to drive traffic to your website at a specific time of day. It’s also highly cost-effective—whether you’re paying for a copywriter or doing it yourself. The con is that you have to work to build an email list. The people who are serious about email marketing build numerous opt-ins to get people on their list—quizzes, live speaking engagements, interactive lead magnets, etc. 

A perceived con is that everyone hates getting emails. However, there are at least 1–2 emails that people always want to read. They’re educational, entertaining, informational, etc. You can be as accretive as you want.

Why do you need to focus your efforts carefully? How do you use email marketing to drive traffic? How can purposeful strategic networking drive traffic to your website and design firm? Listen to the whole episode for Nicole’s genius advice.

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Building Your Interior Design Team with Shelli Warren

Building Your Interior Design Team with Shelli Warren

May 25, 2022

How do you build your interior design team when the current job market is a race for talent? Hiring stellar candidates isn’t easy in a competitive market. So how do you appeal to your ideal hire? How do you retain top talent? What’s the best method for promoting from within? These are just a few of the questions Shelli Warren answers in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

Shelli Warren is a team and leadership coach and the host of the podcast, “Stacking Your Team.” She leverages 26 years of experience to deliver multi-million dollar projects for billion-dollar brands. She helps small business owners hire, fire, and inspire a team of high-performers.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:14] The next Wingnut Webinar: June 30th at 11 AM
  • [4:10] Mini News Sesh: How to show up on social media
  • [8:24] Learn all about Shelli Warren
  • [10:33] How to create a stellar job posting
  • [19:19] Involving your team in the hiring process
  • [22:06] The mission of a career portal on your website
  • [27:31] The importance of the interview (even for promoting from within)
  • [31:54] The qualities Shelli looks for in leadership
  • [36:50] How do you retain employees for the long haul?
  • [41:43] The importance of a benefit package
  • [45:53] Build out a career path for new hires
  • [48:05] The What Up Wingnut Round!

Connect with Shelli Warren

Resources & People Mentioned

How to create a stellar job posting

When you’re hiring, you have to become a marketer. You have to position a job as the best career opportunity anyone would come across. You need to market the job opportunities, team culture, and clients. You position yourself as a place of work where someone can have a career—not a job. Why? People have had it with their jobs. They want something creative and worthwhile. You need to create visuals so potential hires can see themselves working alongside you. 

If you’re selling a product or service, you have to tell its story, right? You want to position your role the same way. Share what a “day in the life” looks like. Paint a picture so they can see themselves in that role long-term. It helps decrease turnover. You want to be able to confidently select the people that will join your team that are in it for the long haul. 

Shelli notes that you must be transparent about compensation and benefits. Many people who had really incredible salaries get to a point where it isn’t about the money anymore. They want to feel like what they’re doing is worthwhile. But you need to put the salary out there in black and white. Be professional and say: here’s the role, the title, what the role looks like, the anchor skills, and the compensation. If it aligns with their career goals, they’ll want to meet with you. If someone isn’t okay with that number, don’t waste each other’s time. 

How can new designers create a compelling job description when they don’t have a solid team culture to brag about? Listen to hear Shelli’s thoughts.

How do you retain employees for the long haul?

Shelli jokes that you have to remind your team just how good they have it! She notes that you can read testimonials to your team. Share the goals that you are crushing. It’s about creating storylines where everyone understands their role and how it rolls up into the mission of the business. 

Don’t be afraid in one-on-one conversations and quarterly reviews to give people shoutouts and remind them what they bring to the business. Make sure it isn’t just the “rock stars” who are getting the spotlight. Every rockstar has a team supporting them. Acknowledge everyone on the team and remind them that the work they do is worthwhile.

Great leaders know how to intrinsically motivate their team with real data. It’s more than “way to go” and “good job.” Your team wants professional feedback that assures them that you notice how hard they work day in and day out. 

What role does a career page on your website play in hiring? How do you leverage LinkedIn, Indeed, and networking to stack your interior design team? Listen to the whole episode for some amazing insight from Shelli. 

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Profit First for Interior Designers - Episode 265

Profit First for Interior Designers - Episode 265

May 18, 2022

 

Mike Michalowicz’s “Profit First Method” flips traditional methodology on its head. Most people subtract expenses from earnings and whatever is left is “profit.” But you started a business to profit, right? So you should take your profit first and use whatever is left to operate your business. It shifts your mentality, leans your business, forces you to be creative, and leads to profit.

Dala Al-Fuwaires knows firsthand. She implemented the profit first method at her commercial interior design firm, House of Form. In this episode of WingnutSocial, Dala shares how interior designers can implement this practice in their business—and how embracing this methodology has impacted her business.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:20] Wingnut Webinars and Wingnut Academy Updates
  • [5:06] Mini News Sesh: Facebook launches new ‘Bubbles’ feature
  • [7:54] Learn about Dala Al-Fuwaires and House of Form
  • [9:43] What is the profit first method?
  • [13:05] How banking works on the profit first method
  • [17:45] How implementing profit first has impacted Dala’s business
  • [23:28] Dala’s marketing strategy for House of Form
  • [26:21] Where interior designers should get started
  • [29:00] Could a profit-first mentality help you sell your business? 
  • [32:03] The What Up Wingnut round!
  • [36:24] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Dala Al-Fuwaires

Resources & People Mentioned

How to implement the profit first method

Because the profit first method involves allocating revenue very specifically, it’s best to have separate bank accounts for each “bucket.” When Dala implemented profit first, she modified it slightly to suit her interior design firm: Dala uses four main accounts:

  • Opex: This account is for anything that involves operating expenses for the business. This includes things like payroll, your lease, marketing, computer programs—anything that is an expense for the business. 
  • Tax distribution: Dala immediately sets aside 15% for taxes so at the end of each quarter she can make a payment to the IRS and not worry about where it’s going to come from.
  • Owner’s Pay: As the business owner, you need to make sure you’re getting paid for your work!
  • Profit: This is where you allocate bonus funds that can be put toward advancing your business. For example, Dala used it to build out an office for her team.

Each account is broken into a different percentage based on the performance and revenue of the company (i.e. Dala sets aside 10% of every check that comes through for profit). Every “Financial Friday” Dala spends the first hour of the day distributing funds into its respective account. 

How implementing Profit First has impacted Dala’s business

Before embracing the Profit First method, Dala had one account. She wasn’t on payroll and her salary was whatever was leftover at the end of the month. But when you implement profit first and go through the exercise of dividing up the money in various accounts, you realize what the revenue needs to be to meet the goals for your business. It allowed Dala to carefully evaluate big decisions. 

Logistically, she points out that it’s easy to log in to your bank account and look at each designated account and know what funds are available in each bucket. Dala can make informed decisions fast, such as hiring a new team member. It gives you the structure needed to run a successful business. 

Where should interior designers start?

Read the book. Talk to peers who have implemented the profit first method who can share some insight. If your business isn’t profitable, Dala believes that you can still implement this method. It will be the push you need to become profitable. It forces you to think differently about how you run your business. 

How can the profit-first mindset help you sell your business in the future? What next steps should you take? Learn all about it in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

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5 Signs It’s Time to Revamp Your Interior Design Website - Episode 264

5 Signs It’s Time to Revamp Your Interior Design Website - Episode 264

May 11, 2022

Do you avoid sending prospective clients to your interior design website? Is it outdated with little copy? Does your website bring in any leads? If your website isn’t working for you, you’ve got a problem that Katie O’Brien can help you fix. Katie O’Brien is a brand and website designer specializing in elevated branding and fuss-free websites for interior designers. In this episode of The Wingnut Social podcast, Katie shares the type of copy to use, the right way to direct a prospective client to your contact form, and how to know when it’s time to revamp your website. Check it out!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:47] Wingnut Academy and Wingnut Webinars!
  • [4:06] Mini News Sesh: Instagram prioritizing original content
  • [7:56] Learn all about website designer Katie O’Brien
  • [10:34] Why “If I build it, they will come..” is the wrong mentality
  • [14:32] How to get ideal clients from your website
  • [17:20] What type of copy to avoid—and what to embrace
  • [18:47] How to answer the budget question on your website
  • [25:35] The proper amount of copy to have on each page
  • [27:12] Why your portfolio page still needs copy to tell a story
  • [29:10] 5 signs that an interior designer has outgrown their website
  • [33:02] How to direct your client’s steps on your website
  • [35:32] Strategic testimonials can propel customers toward you
  • [36:40] How to make lead magnets valuable to your clients
  • [38:13] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [42:04] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Katie O’Brien

Resources & People Mentioned

Why “If you build it, they will come..” is the wrong mentality

Is your website getting traffic? Are you getting traffic but it’s not converting? Or are you not getting traffic at all? Kate notes that many factors that can impact this. But the first question she usually asks is, “Are you doing anything to bring traffic to your website?”

Your website should be where your social media, media appearances, new inquiries, DMs—everything should be directed to. Once there, your website needs to strategically guide visitors to take a desired action. 

If someone is looking to increase traffic, the answer is SEO. Katie’s biggest recommendation is to add regular, relevant, and consistent content to your website. You must make sure it’s SEO optimized and then share it everywhere. People don’t understand that ongoing SEO is necessary. It means blogging (and updating blogs), writing metadata, adding photos, building your portfolio, link-building—and so much more—consistently. 

How to get ideal clients to connect with you

Katie says to look at your website copy. What are you saying? Is it strategically speaking to your ideal client? Who is your ideal client? Many people don’t have their ideal client nailed down and it’s a mistake. You need to get specific about your ideal client—who are they? What are their pain points? How are you helping them with that? Does your website content speak to that person? You need to direct them to the next step.

The next step is usually to complete a contact form or book a discovery call. All of your calls to action should work toward that goal. Teach them who you are, qualify them, and give them information about you to direct their steps. Think about the end result first. How does every page work toward that? Keep listening to hear how Katie suggests structuring pages to drive visitors to your call to action.

5 signs it’s time to revamp your interior design website

Kate shares 5 signs when you KNOW it’s time to hire a pro:

  1. Your business is running almost entirely on referrals: While referral business is positive, it’s also a red flag. It means your website isn’t generating leads for you. If it isn’t, something’s wrong. 
  2. You are getting leads—but they’re the wrong leads: Consider adding qualifiers to your contact form to combat this issue. Is something on your website (like pricing language) missing? 
  3. Your business has evolved: If your website hasn’t evolved with your business, it needs to be updated. Your website needs to reflect all of the changes your business has made. 
  4. You avoid sending people to your website: If you’re embarrassed to direct people to your website, that’s a clear sign that your website is outdated (or you hate it). 
  5. You’ve been thinking about rebranding for a while. If you’ve been eying a website you love for a while or are gathering inspiration, take the next step. Find a season in your business where it’s a good time to revamp your website.

If it’s time to take the next step, connect with Katie! Until then, she shares a wealth of great ideas to brush up your website in this episode. 

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How to ’Shock and Awe’ Potential Interior Design Clients - Episode 263

How to ’Shock and Awe’ Potential Interior Design Clients - Episode 263

May 4, 2022

How do you attract the perfect interior design client? How do you decide what type of client will be the best fit? After 30 years in high-end commercial and residential design, Pamela Durkin now helps other designers create a business they love by teaching them how to attract their ideal clients. In this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast, she shares how to design your perfect client, how to leverage your network for referrals, and how to “shock and awe” potential clients so they become actual clients. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:07] Wingnut Webinars and Wingnut Academy Updates
  • [4:10] Mini News Sesh: NEW Instagram features being released
  • [9:11] Learn more about Pamela Durkin
  • [12:35] How to find your perfect client
  • [17:11] Pamela’s tips for new interior designers
  • [21:23] How niching down impacts your bottom line
  • [27:58] How to leverage your network 
  • [30:26] Pamela’s process of auditioning clients
  • [35:10] Pamela’s “Shock and Awe” box
  • [41:41] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [45:05] How to connect with Pamela Durkin
  • [50:42] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Pamela Durkin

Resources & People Mentioned

How to narrow down your perfect client

Designers are scared to leave money on the table, so many don’t narrow down their focus and choose a niche for their design business. But you need to. Pamela shares that you should start the process by taking the best things about past clients that you’ve worked with and molding them into a persona. 

  • What motivations did they have? What was their personality like?
  • What work have you done that’s been profitable? 
  • How much do you enjoy doing that type of project?

These things create a goal for the type of client you’re trying to attract. Pamela is from NJ and realized that when she did her best work, it was with people who made decisions quickly. Executives are the best types of clients for her. They make thousands of decisions every day, they make them quickly, and they hire professionals. They appreciated her personality and they were on the same page. Knowing this allowed Pamela to create connections quickly. You want people to say, “I feel like I know you.” 

What do you do if you’re new to the business? How do you choose considerate people to work with? How does narrowing your focus impact your bottom line? Listen to learn more!

Pamela’s process: auditioning clients

It may sound odd at first glance—but it’s genius. Pamela auditions her clients. She starts by having a 15-minute phone conversation with them (nine out of ten times it’s a referral). She asks them to tell her about the project. The goal is to get a feel for their personality and their style—not their budget. 

Why does that matter so much? Because interior designers are in the most intimate parts of people’s homes. They need to build rapport and foster open communication. Pamela will turn down a job if she doesn’t think it will be a good fit. Most people appreciate that. 

Pamela will also ask for the project address and look at photos of the home to talk more intelligently about what they want to do. This will also help her gauge the value of the property and if it’s within her scope of work. If everything lines up, Pamela will schedule an in-person meeting. Her next step is genius

Pamela’s “Shock and Awe” box

Before the meeting, she sends potential clients a “Shock and awe” box. The box will include a gift, a drink and snack, and a handwritten note that says, “Enjoy this snack while learning more about us.” She’ll include a few back issues of her monthly newsletter so they can get to know her. She shares her professional profile, an FAQ sheet, her project process, and more. 

The key is to send this before they’ve hired her. Not only does it make an impact, but the box shows how organized you are, shows how you’re going to take care of them, and shares your communication style. You have to remember that people are buying the experience. Once you get to the in-person meeting, they’ve learned so much about you that they only ask questions about the things they actually have questions about. It leads to a more productive and intimate conversation. 

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How to Leverage Amazon to Grow Your Interior Design Business - Episode 262

How to Leverage Amazon to Grow Your Interior Design Business - Episode 262

April 27, 2022

10 years ago, Robyn was a youth minister who couldn’t make ends meet. So she took $100 and started buying things at garage sales and reselling them on Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon. 

In three years, she turned that $100 into a million-dollar businessMarketplace Blueprint. Robyn started an agency six years ago to help businesses—everything from companies that are pre-launch to publicly-traded companies—be successful on Amazon.

Robyn is now one of the foremost leaders on the topic of selling products on Amazon. Her business specializes in listing optimization and advertising on Amazon. Robyn Johnson is nothing short of brilliant. In this episode of Wingnut Social, She shares some of her top tips and tricks to get visibility on Amazon. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:38] Wingnut Academy is launching SOON!
  • [3:06] Mini News Sesh: Instagram’s “link in bio” tool
  • [7:05] Learn more about Robyn Johnson
  • [9:52] How an Amazon storefront benefits interior designers
  • [12:38] What should an interior designer publish?
  • [19:20] How to become a #1 Best-Seller on Amazon
  • [25:46] The basics of SEO on Amazon
  • [26:54] When you should launch an Amazon shop
  • [33:14] Create a store or be an affiliate marketer?
  • [34:26] How to set up an Amazon storefront
  • [37:36] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [39:21] How to connect with Robyn Johnson
  • [43:39] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Robyn Johnson

Resources & People Mentioned

How an Amazon storefront benefits interior designers

The first thing you can do is self-publish a book on Amazon. Why does it matter? Because writing a book can catapult your career forward. Being a published author can help you get speaking engagements. It lends you credibility and brings in warm leads. 

Robyn says you can’t short-change the power of Kindle. When Robyn published her first book, she printed books to give to people at a conference because they may throw away a business card but they won’t throw away a book. It was memorable and helped solidify her as an authority figure in the space.

Secondly, you can create and sell your own branded products in an Amazon store. If you use the same piece repeatedly in your designs, you can contact the brand and see if they’ll let you sell a white-label version as part of your personal brand. Many companies are open to this. 

If you’re looking for a brand that’s trying to find influencers, look for those that are active on Amazon. Many are embarrassed and afraid to seek out influencers. The worst they can say is no—but they’ll often say yes.

When should you launch an Amazon shop?

You can list as little as one item on Amazon. But Robyn notes that you need to aim to sell 40 items per month to break even on the $40 monthly fee it costs to be a professional seller. Amazon takes anywhere from 8–20% of the total cost of the product. If Amazon ships the item for you, you’ll pay storage fees as well as shipping fees based on the size and weight of the product (but likely still cheaper than shipping the product yourself). It can help you lower overall costs and increase your margins. 

Any product you buy legitimately can be sold on Amazon. As long as the good is authentic, you’re welcome to sell it at any price you want. But take note—if Amazon feels the price is too high, they’ll make it more difficult for customers to buy. 

Robyn points out that you will get better margins selling on your own website. However, if you have a high-demand product that people are looking for, keep in mind that some people will only shop on Amazon. Amazon has a ready-made base of buyers. It can help you grow your brand because users have already built a level of trust with Amazon. 

What could you sell that differentiates you or is irreplaceable? How do you become a seller on Amazon? Robyn shares the secret to becoming a #1 best-seller on Amazon listen to find out what it is!

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Be Irreplaceable: How You Attract Luxury Design Clients - Episode 261

Be Irreplaceable: How You Attract Luxury Design Clients - Episode 261

April 20, 2022

What does it take to attract luxury design clients? HINT: It doesn’t require being pretentious. It has everything to do with offering irreplaceable value. What can you bring to a project that a client can’t find anywhere else? It’s about providing a luxury experience coupled with what’s uniquely you. In this episode of Wingnut Socal, Melissa Sacco shares what she offers to attract luxury design clients that no one else can. She’ll help you think through what makes you irreplaceable. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [4:43] Mini News Sesh: TikTok has stories!
  • [9:05] Learn all about Melissa Sacco
  • [11:41] Melissa’s business model
  • [18:37] How Melissa handles scope creep
  • [21:40] The key to attracting luxury design clients
  • [29:51] Specializing in high-end custom furniture
  • [33:36] What a discovery call with Melissa looks like
  • [35:05] Growing a business and delegating
  • [38:36] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [40:19] How to connect with Melissa Sacco
  • [44:29] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Melissa Sacco

Resources & People Mentioned

Working with luxury design clients

From the first meeting, Melissa educates her clients about the design process and what makes her uniquely qualified to tackle their projects. Sacco Interiors focus on creating an elegance that’s never pretentious. Everything in your home will be cohesive—full of texture, dimension, and detail. 

When you offer high-end luxury design, you must always be ahead of the game. There are endless moving parts and decisions to be made. It involves working out details and kinks to get a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. Interior designers bring value by being knowledgeable in all of the trades. You provide scaled drawings, elevations, specification sheets, paint schedules, complete on-site visits, and much more.

Melissa gets to know her clients before she gets started with the design process. Her goal is for the client to be comfortable with her so she can nail their design. She’ll share images, ask deeper questions, and look at functionality—all with the goal to stay laser-focused throughout the project. Because once they start, they drive full force ahead. The only way that happens is if everyone is on the same page. 

How Melissa attracts luxury design clients

Melissa believes to attract the right people, you have to share who you are. Melissa’s ideal client is someone who’s worked hard to get where they are. They are down-to-earth and genuine people—just like her. That’s why these clients want their homes to be comfortable. Most have demanding jobs. They want to come home, walk through their front door, and feel at ease. 

So Melissa shares inspirational quotes. She gives potential clients a glimpse behind the scenes. Lastly, she focuses on just being herself. If she’s on a jobsite doing an install, she’s in sneakers and a sweatshirt. She’s on the floor opening boxes, putting things together, and getting her hands dirty. She does whatever it takes to ensure a client’s project is amazing in the end.

Don’t be fooled—high-end luxury clients are on social media. They’re people, just like anyone else. They’re professionals—doctors, lawyers, and CEOs of large companies. They talk. They network. They will share what you’ve done with other people. 

Melissa’s irreplaceable customer furniture sets her apart

If you become one of Melissa’s clients, you will see custom built-ins and one-of-a-kind furniture pieces that no one else will have. Why? Because she designs them herself, each piece different from the last. No one will ever have the same chair or built-in. Melissa’s custom pieces have positively impacted her bottom line. It differentiates her from other high-end interior designers and works to continually attract her ideal client. 

How did Melissa start offering custom furniture? What has she done to delegate tasks and projects as she’s grown her business? Listen to the whole episode to hear her process.

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How Designers Become THE Source for Luxury Flooring - Episode 260

How Designers Become THE Source for Luxury Flooring - Episode 260

April 13, 2022

John Dupra co-created Revel Woods, a platform that helps designers provide their clients with a luxury floor sourcing experience. Revel Woods elevates the traditional process so interior designers can offer a high-end service that can’t be replicated. In this episode of Wingnut Social, John shares how you can become a Revel Woods pro and become THE source for your client’s customer flooring (and maybe even create your own custom line of flooring). 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:28] Webinar and Wingnut Academy Announcements
  • [4:12] Mini News Sesh: Instagram testing a new feed
  • [7:45] Learn more about John Dupra and Revel Woods
  • [12:53] The importance of offering a unique high-end experience
  • [21:17] Revel Wood’s training and certification program
  • [23:35] How to handle the relationship with your contractors
  • [27:22] How Revel Woods works with eCommerce partners
  • [30:27] Revel Woods is launching a NEW platform 
  • [32:23] John’s take: The future of wood flooring
  • [42:40] The What Up Wingnut Round
  • [44:04] Where to learn more about Revel Woods
  • [47:10] Blooper Reel!

Connect with John Dupra

Resources & People Mentioned

The importance of offering a unique high-end experience

Sourcing floors typically includes taking clients to a flooring showroom they could have visited on their own. It’s been a necessary evil because there haven’t been options for designers to source trade options. Even trade-only showrooms offer brands available anywhere—unless you go truly custom and jump price levels. Most designers don’t need something that high-end.

John points out that you wouldn’t go to Bob’s discount furniture outlet to source furniture for a high-end client. Why would you do it for flooring? You don’t want to offer a service or experience they could’ve done on their own. Revel Woods is a platform that sources flooring for you. Some of it might be available elsewhere but they private label everything

Create your own line of luxury hardwood flooring

Revel Woods is also developing a program with a manufacturer in Canada that will do a semi-custom made-to-order flooring. Flooring options are usually like the pizza aisle at the grocery store—you have premade cheese, pepperoni, supreme, etc. The program they’re developing is like a pizza shop where you choose your crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings. 

You get to choose from 15 master colors, solid or engineered hardwood, and different widths, grades, lengths, and sheens. You can create your own collection exclusive to you and only available to your clients. They give you complete and total control over the process. John shares how pricing and wholesaling work, so keep listening. 

Revel Woods is launching a NEW platform: Revel Woods Plus

Revel Woods is partnering with a major manufacturer to build a visualization platform. You can use sample rooms or take a photo of a client's room and swap the flooring out. It will be built into the Revel Woods platform with hundreds of private-label trade-only options only accessible to designers. You can use this tool to show a client what the flooring will look like in their room. You can also send them the link to the product (without pricing). 

Fine hardwood flooring will never go out of style, but luxury vinyl planks have been the go-to flooring option of late. What does John think will be the next trend? His answer may shock and will certainly surprise you!

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Does Your Interior Design Logo Reflect Your Brand Identity? - Episode 259

Does Your Interior Design Logo Reflect Your Brand Identity? - Episode 259

April 6, 2022

Your interior design logo is a direct reflection of you and your brand. If you wanted to hire a photographer but the photos on their website were blurry or out of focus, you wouldn’t hire them, right? As an interior designer or architect, you are being judged on your branding more than many other professions. 

Jason Byer—the Marketing and Partnerships Manager at Crowdspring—shares that strong brands attract more customers, justify premium price points, and build more resilient businesses. Your logo is an important part of your brand identity—is it up to snuff? Find out in this episode of Wingnut Social. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:58] Wingnut Webinar and Wingnut Academy announcements
  • [3:04] Mini News Sesh: Moderator Feature for Instagram Live
  • [6:07] Learn more about Jason Byer
  • [8:28] How branding mistakes can negatively impact sales
  • [10:38] The difference between brand and brand identity
  • [13:31] The importance of your interior design logo
  • [24:07] How to properly complete a brand refresh
  • [32:10] The What Up Wingnut! Round
  • [33:56] How to connect with Jason Byer and Crowdspring
  • [37:23] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Jason Byer

Resources & People Mentioned

The difference between brand and brand identity for interior designers

Branding is a loosely used term that people often associate with logos. But branding is every interaction that a customer has with your company, your product, and your service. We know what certain brands deliver, right? Amazon customer service is top-notch. With companies like Starbucks or McDonalds, anywhere you go, you know the product will be consistent. 

It’s not the same for architects and interior designers. There are many unknowns about your brand, your service, your price point, and your success. But a potential client does know you’re trying to sell them something. So you have to think about every touchpoint someone has with you. Your brand is being shaped whether you take an active role or not. 

Your brand identity is everything that people see—logos, backgrounds, and filters on social media, image choices on your website, etc. Your brand identity should be informed by your brand. Because it conveys who you are, an interior designer's logo needs to be spot-on.

A carefully crafted logo is key to consistent marketing of your design business

The human brain can process images 1,000x faster than text. Many people poorly communicate what they do and who they serve. But a logo communicates that immediately. But what makes your interior design logo shine?

Start with choosing the right color. You can easily Google the meanings of colors. The colors you choose are dictated by your brand and audience. If you want to create trust, you use the color blue. That’s why banks and financial advisors use blue. If you are serving the environment or want to create more profit you might use the color green. Red is used to make people pay attention. You want to think about how colors interact with your brand.

Shape, style, and negative space are other aspects to consider. How do you play with different elements in your design? Will you use hard or soft angles? Are you trying to communicate strength and stability—or a closer connection with clients? 

The actual logo icon can be a wordmark: the name of your business stylized in a unique and custom way. You can pair an icon with your wordmark that allows you to scale it. Why? Because a wordmark doesn’t usually fit well within a square. Logos have to be able to scale if you want them to look professional. A symbol paired with your wordmark works well in this.

How to create an interior design logo that conveys your brand identity

All of these things communicate your brand, So where do you start? With a creative brief. A good designer will ask:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to know?
  • How are you differentiated?
  • Is trust more important than stability or growth?

After answering these questions, you’d look at color, shapes, and icons that communicate your message. When you package that together, someone should intuitively understand who your audience is within fractions of a second. That’s what a visual brand identity should do. 

If red is your color, you could make it your schtick—but it may not resonate with how everyone else views the color red. Red signifies danger, it makes you stop. It’s important to leave your preferences at the door and think about your market. What will trigger the right emotion in your customers? 

Jason emphasizes that “Your logo is there to create an emotion. And it’s there to create intrigue. And it’s there to create consistency across all of your marketing.”

How do you properly complete a brand refresh? Why should you hire a graphic designer instead of trying to create your logo yourself? Why should you avoid a logo generator at all costs? Jason answers all of your need-to-know questions about creating an interior design logo in this episode of Wingnut Social.  

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Delegate to Scale Your Interior Design Firm Fast - Episode 258

Delegate to Scale Your Interior Design Firm Fast - Episode 258

March 30, 2022

Hendrickson Interiors was born in 2016 when a friend asked Julianne to help design a new build. Julianne had no idea what she was doing but loved picking out pretty things. The builder loved her designs and hired Julianne to work together on more homes. Before she knew it, she had more clients than she knew what to do with. 

Julianne had no business plan, no idea how to open an account with a furniture firm, and she was still teaching. After burning the candle at both ends for two years, Julianne decided to dive full-time into interior design. Since then, she’s grown from being a solopreneur to a team of six—a full-service custom interior design firm serving clients throughout Tampa Bay. She shares how she grew her team and learned to delegate in this episode of Wingnut Social!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:16] Check out our FREE webinars!
  • [2:55] Mini News Sesh: Updated Creator Tags
  • [6:10] Learn more about Julianne’s journey
  • [10:16] Julianne’s philosophy on delegating and hiring
  • [16:07] How to find a sweet spot with your waitlist
  • [19:20] Why Julianne hired a business coach
  • [21:36] Marketing before & After Wingnut Social
  • [25:56] What’s next for Hendrickson Interiors?
  • [28:34] Julianne’s strict budget
  • [30:51] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [32:29] How to learn more about Hendrickson Interiors

Connect with Julianne Hendrickson

Resources & People Mentioned

Delegation is the key to scaling your business

Julianne admits that she’s a control freak by nature. She likes to do things her way. But she learned that someone else could do things just as well as her, even if their choices are slightly different. When Julianne released control, they were able to get more work done. As the process became smoother, she decided to keep hiring and making more people happy.

Julianne realized that you can delegate many different ways—it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can delegate someone to complete a task to be reviewed together. You can delegate through the design phase and review things together. Or you can delegate the design phase and review pricing together. Realizing this was eye-opening for Julianne. A good delegator knows how much someone is capable of. If you let someone do their job—without micro-managing them—it empowers them. 

Building a time and hiring a business coach

Julianne’s first large client gave her $50,000 to work with and she went straight to a bookkeeper and said, “Oh my God—what do I do with this?” She didn’t have any business accounts or QuickBooks. Her bookkeeper took the reins and has been with her ever since. Julianne also hired an operations manager (who handles the warehouse), a project coordinator, and someone who handles accessory purchasing full-time. Her most recent hire was a part-time team member to handle purchasing and tracking orders. Once Julianne had these people in place, she pulled herself out of the weeds. Then she hired a business coach.

As a business owner, it’s easy to get enmeshed in the day-to-day of the business. Julianne’s business coach, Katie, has helped her gain a top-level view of her business. Katie helped Julianne walk through their design process from beginning to end. She pointed out missing pieces, helped her reformat things, and wrote every single thing Julianne gives a client. She has templates for everything—delayed items, trade days, apology letters, and more. It keeps the entire team on the same page, which is what elite clients want. It’s also important to scale and grow a team. A business coach can help unify your team and improve your efficiency.

How to find a sweet spot with your waitlist

Hendrickson Interiors is operating on a waitlist of six months or longer. When Julianne gets information from an inquiry, she’ll know if the potential client is a good fit immediately. Julianne is honest with people and lets them know if they’ll be on her waitlist. The clients that are worth it will wait. If they can’t wait, they’ll shop around until they can find someone that will do it the fastest—but it may not be the best quality. Julianne isn’t worried about turning down work because she knows the right people are already waiting for her

How has Julianne’s interior design business grown since working with Wingnut Social? How does operating on a strict budget help her continue her upward trajectory? She shares more about her uber-successful design firm in this episode!

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