Wingnut Social: The Interior Design Business and Marketing Podcast | Social Media | Interior Designer
Why You Should Be a DesignHound with Veronika Miller

Why You Should Be a DesignHound with Veronika Miller

July 17, 2019

Ever see pictures of an incredible event with, say, brands, designers, and a cupcake buffet? That was probably hosted by today’s guest, Veronika Miller, and you probably want to be a part of it.

Veronika Miller is a kitchen and bath designer, and marketing specialist, who combined those two superpowers when she founded Modenus Media in 2010. Modenus is a marketing platform that seeks to pair designers and bloggers with forward-thinking brands. After years of hosting wildly successful blog tours, Veronika founded DesignHounds, an events and touring company that connects bloggers, designers and brands at amazing events.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:25] Consultations from Instagram
  • [6:02] The Veronika Coup
  • [7:33] How she got started
  • [12:10] Twitter’s early days
  • [16:00] Veronika is not a business strategist
  • [21:15] Release the DesignHounds
  • [28:00] How designers get picked for events
  • [31:10] How to become a DesignHound
  • [26:10] Rendering converts
  • [35:00] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Veronika Miller

Resources & People Mentioned

Making Social Media Social

Veronika was a pioneer when it came to proving the value of social media to brands. She took to Twitter when many still weren’t sure what to make of it, and was able to forge relationships there that turned into real-life friendships. Those friendships then formed the basis of what she does today: Bringing people together in real life, and connecting them at amazing events.

One of the things Veronika became best-known for were her blog tours, that would allow designers and bloggers to connect with brands in meaningful ways. As blogging has risen and fallen over the years, she’s faded out the blog tours and moved on to creating DesignHounds, a platform that connects brands, design pros and bloggers on trips around the world.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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How to Get Your Trades on Instagram (Seriously)

How to Get Your Trades on Instagram (Seriously)

July 15, 2019

How to Get Your Trades on Instagram (Seriously)

It can be hard to find the right general contractor or tradesman for your interior design projects. So today, Darla and Natalie give tips on how to find trades on, you guessed it, Instagram.

On this week’s Marketing Monday Minisode, Darla and Natalie admit that when it comes to working with trades, they’ve kissed a few frogs and have the warts to prove it. But they found their current general contractor through Instagram. And that’s vital because then Darla can say that her firm has vetted the workers who will actually execute the project.

Finding a great general contractor can feel impossible, but Darla did it through social media. She opened up Instagram and started searching for trades in Miami, Florida, and found contractors whose work she admired. She then DM’d them and asked them for coffee. And the important, crucial step: She trusted her gut when meeting them. And now one of the GCs she works with came from one of those meetings. But don’t ask her or Natalie who that contractor is. Those are fighting words.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:55] Natalie’s birthday wishlist
  • [2:00] Question from the media lab
  • [3:00] You have to make out with some frogs
  • [5:10] Don’t share your trades with your mother
  • [6:45] Working with the trades goes both ways

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn

How Outsourcing Renderings Can Save You Time and Money with Kelly Fridline

How Outsourcing Renderings Can Save You Time and Money with Kelly Fridline

July 10, 2019

Rendering can be key for communicating with a client on how a space should look. But it’s also time-consuming and resource-intensive. Should you outsource it, and how does that work? Ace architectural artist Kelly Fridline tells Darla and Natalie.

Kelly Fridline is an architecturally trained interior designer who specializes in providing 3D-renderings for interior designers and their clients. Kelly partners with interior designers, architects and contractors to help their clients see their vision in all its 3D glory prior to implementation. Kelly is based in Texas but works with designers from all over.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:25] Consultations from Instagram
  • [4:59] How Kelly got her rendering business started
  • [8:48] Laurie’s first business
  • [10:05] How Kelly works long-distance
  • [11:50] When should renderings be used?
  • [15:05] Should you let clients keep drawings?
  • [18:00] When to work with a chief architect
  • [21:10] Renderings for marketing
  • [26:10] Rendering converts
  • [35:00] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Kelly Fridline

Resources & People Mentioned

How to work with a rendering pro

Kelly obviously doesn’t fly around the country to visit every site for which she’s creating a rendering. So how does she create accurate renderings without being in the room? She says the more information she can get from the designers the better. So that’s room dimensions, product information, etc. She’s actually gotten pretty good at figuring out dimensions off a few bits of information, but the more you can provide the better.

When are renderings a good thing?

In addition to rendering designs in 3D, Kelly provides an extra layer of quality control for designers. So a designer may have a great idea, but once it’s rendered, it may look a little wonky, which allows Kelly to flag that for the designer, or the designer to change it on the fly. It’s also really great for a designer (or client) who’s having a difficult time making up their mind. By creating a 3D rendering, they can see how something would look and make a switch if necessary.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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How Facebook Pixels Can Help You Find Your Ideal Client

How Facebook Pixels Can Help You Find Your Ideal Client

July 8, 2019

Have you ever been shopping online, and then suddenly the only ads you see are for the things you were just shopping for? Find out how that bit of technology can help your interior design business.

On this week’s Marketing Monday Minisode, Darla and Natalie dig through the world of Facebook Pixels. That’s the tiny bit of code that you can put on your website and connect with your Facebook Ads Manager. Once you’ve done that, the people who visit your site will begin to see ads for your services when they visit Facebook and, if you want, Instagram.

It may sound a little creepy, but it’s actually an incredibly effective means of advertising. The people you’re targeting are already interested in your services, so all you’re doing is staying in front of their eyes. And there’s even an option for a “lookalike audience,” which means you can serve ads to people who may have never visited your website, but share the same profile and interests as your audience. It’s a way to really zoom in on your ideal client and get your ads in front of them.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:55] Does Natalie know what a Facebook Pixel is?
  • [2:00] What is the Facebook pixel?
  • [5:30] The steps to getting a pixel up and running
  • [6:10] How it works for Darla
  • [7:05] Lookalike audience
  • [8:42] Pixels and Instagram

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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How Communities Can Grow Your Design Business with Laurie Laizure

How Communities Can Grow Your Design Business with Laurie Laizure

July 3, 2019

Interior design is a competitive business, and it can often feel like you need to keep your cards close to the vest in order to survive. But today the Wingnut Social Podcast looks at how a community can help your business thrive.

Laurie Laizure is the founder of the Interior Design Community, a social media group that has more than 100,000 followers, where designers connect, learn, and share ideas for how to grow their businesses. Laurie loves to connect people who might learn from each other. She’s used Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to help connect designers from all over the world. If

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:00] Natalie has a new gig
  • [4:45] Laurie’s giant mastermind
  • [8:00] Laurie’s first business
  • [10:05] Fostering a sharing community
  • [14:58] What Laurie had to learn
  • [18:05] Top tip for building a community 
  • [24:00] Times when designers have collaborated through the community
  • [26:10] Gaining confidence
  • [31:20] The future of the community
  • [35:00] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Laurie Laizure

Resources & People Mentioned

Communities help businesses grow

Laurie has been doing online communities for so long that she started out in the now-defunct Google Plus. And lucky for her, Google Plus was initially full of tech geeks, who taught her all about how to use different social media platforms and really grow the community.

And surprisingly, Laurie hasn’t had to “train” the members of her Facebook group to help each other. The community naturally attracts people who get it, who want to go online and share their knowledge because they know they will receive help in kind. The trick has been creating easy-to-follow rules for the community, and recognizing when an argument has kicked up and how to nip in the bud.

Why join a community?

Natalie asked Laurie for an example of a time when designers collaborated through the Facebook group, and Laurie couldn’t come up with one. Because there are hundreds. She has connected designers in different parts of the world who share an aesthetic, or whose skills complement each other. She’s connected early-career designers or students with industry veterans who have been able to mentor the newbies. And when a company reneged on pricing it had offered a group of designers, the community was able to share that info and warn others off doing business with that vendor.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Are You a Designer or a Decorator?

Are You a Designer or a Decorator?

July 1, 2019

What’s in a name? Pretty much everything, if you ask your favorite interior designer. On today’s Marketing Monday Minisode, Darla and Natalie dig into designing versus decorating. 

The inspiration for this discussion came from a discussion in Claire Jefford’s Facebook group (link below), in which interior designers who earned degrees in the field took umbrage with people without degrees calling themselves designers. But of course the debate didn’t start there, and in fact, Darla recounts a conversation she had with a designer at a recent event in which the issue came up.

But a good question to ask is: Why do you care? Is it a good use of your time as an interior designer to worry about what other people call themselves? If you have the credentials, then by all means use those credentials to differentiate yourself in the field. Use it as a marketing tool. Darla gives her 10 cents on the question in this week’s episode, and if you have any disagreements, you should email them to Natalie!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:00] A bone of contention about a bone of contention
  • [2:00] Degrees of separation
  • [3:30] Policing language
  • [5:15] If you can do it, go to school
  • [7:15] If you’re not on board
  • [9:12] Natalie gives a bit of marketing advice
  • [9:50] What’s on the next minisode?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn

How to Take Photos Like a Pro with Stephen Karlisch

How to Take Photos Like a Pro with Stephen Karlisch

June 26, 2019

Photography is the currency of interior designers online. But if you can’t afford to call a big-time photographer, there are things you can do to make the shots you take on job sites look pro. How? Find out from pro Stephen Karlisch.

A professional photographer who has been published in Architectural Digest, Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful to name a few, Stephen has consistently helped designers pitch stories to get published in local, regional and national publications for over 15 years. As a former architecture student, Stephen learned how to see space in an orderly way. That education has been invaluable in his pursuit of photographing interiors. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:15] Natalie can’t complain, but will
  • [6:50] Take two for Stephen
  • [8:48] How to start out working with a photographer
  • [16:04] The pros and cons of hiring a real estate photographer
  • [23:25] How do photographers shoot little vignettes
  • [27:00] What lenses should you get for your own camera? 
  • [29:40] Some lighting tips
  • [32:30] Phone photo tips
  • [35:00] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Stephen Karlisch

Resources & People Mentioned

Define your brand before finding a photographer

If you’re just getting started, or ready to finally budget for a photographer, the first thing you need to decide is what style of photos you want. If your brand is casual, or high-end, or you want to evoke a certain lifestyle, then you need to define the style of photography that captures that lifestyle. And once you know that, you can start looking for the right photographer who shoots in that style.

You can also look at your competition, and see what photographer they are using. It’s also important, when you hire a photographer, to know what kind of shoot you want, what kind of photographs you’re looking for (lots of detailed close-ups, more sweeping real estate photos, etc.) 

Why not just hire a real-estate photographer?

Sometimes designers trying to save money will hire a real-estate photographer because it can be slightly cheaper. But Stephen broke down for Darla and Natalie the difference between an interior photographer and a real-estate photographer. The real-estate photographer is going to show up and shoot a room the way it is. But an interior photographer is going to have a much stronger sense of what an interior designer has done to a room. Maybe it’s keying into the fabric that was used or a particular design choice. So an interior photographer is going to be able to partner with you on really highlighting your design and the products, not just the space.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Facebook vs Instagram: What’s Better for Interior Designers

Facebook vs Instagram: What’s Better for Interior Designers

June 24, 2019

You gotta have them both, but which one should you devote the most time to? On today’s Marketing Monday Minisode, Darla and Natalie help you pick your favorite kid: Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook just isn’t what it used to be when it comes to organic traffic. But there are still ways you can make it valuable for your interior design business. The first is to create a group. If you can start a group and get users into your group and sharing ideas and asking questions, then you can really engage them and boost your organic reach. The links you’re able to put into your Facebook posts are also pretty valuable, whereas Instagram really limits the ways you can bring traffic off their platform to yours.

However, for Darla and Natalie’s money, Instagram is where it’s at. If you only have the time for one platform, it should be Instagram. Instagram is a more visual medium, it allows you to really boost your presence and, most importantly, Instagram is where the clients you want are. Darla and Natalie break down the numbers when it comes to Instagram users, and the numbers may surprise you.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:10] Join Instagram and Natalie will take you fishing
  • [3:00] Making Facebook work for you
  • [5:06] Nurture your Facebook group
  • [5:35] Links make FB pretty valuable
  • [7:09] Facebook and clients
  • [8:23] Treating Instagram as a mini-portfolio
  • [11:00] Landing clients through Instagram
  • [13:04] Platform v platform in terms of clients

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn

The Magic of Lead Magnets for Your Interior Design Firm with Sandra Funk

The Magic of Lead Magnets for Your Interior Design Firm with Sandra Funk

June 19, 2019

There are a million ways to market your business, but if you’re not putting together some sort of lead magnet, you’re essentially selling yourself short. Luckily, the queen of lead magnets, Sandra Funk, is here to tell you how it’s done.

Sandra is the founder and principal designer of House of Funk, a full-service and online interior design firm with offices in NY and NJ. House of Funk creates thoughtful homes with an emphasis on clean lines and soulful touches, all rooted in tradition. Sandra’s award-winning design work has been featured in numerous publications, including Elle Decor, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy and Luxe Interiors + Design.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:00] The dangers of Don Julio
  • [5:25] Explaining lead magnets to the Amish
  • [6:50] Sandra’s first lead magnet
  • [8:48] The first step of creating a lead magnet
  • [10:25] Why quizzes rule
  • [12:43] How soft yesses are worth it
  • [16:30] Keeping subscribers from unsubscribing
  • [21:17] Where to get started with your first lead magnet
  • [28:15] Sandra’s newest quiz
  • [35:00] Whut up, Wingnut?

Connect with Sandra Funk

Resources & People Mentioned

The Whats and Whys of Lead Magnets

Natalie needed a Lead Magnets for the Amish tutorial, so Sandra broke down what a lead magnet is in its most basic form: It’s a means of collecting email addresses of potential clients, by giving them something they value. You’ve probably seen lead magnets 100 times in the last week, whether they be quizzes, surveys, PDFs of guides or handbooks.

And so getting that email address is vital, because it’s the one place where you know you can get in front of a potential client over and over again. That also means you have to be very careful that you don’t abuse that privilege, and that you’re providing value within those emails, so the clients don’t unsubscribe.

The soft yes vs. pre-qualifying clients

Some lead magnets will pre-qualify a potential client by letting them know how much something might cost, so by the time they talk with you, the sticker shock is gone and you know you have a better chance of closing the deal. Sandra’s quizzes, which often stick closer to “what’s your design style”-type questions, don’t pre-qualify clients necessarily, but they get them to what she calls a “soft yes.” And by that she means the people are interested, they’re informed, and they want to know more.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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Are Instagram Pods Worth It?

Are Instagram Pods Worth It?

June 17, 2019

Are Instagram Pods Worth It?

Today’s Marketing Monday Minisode dives into the mysterious and somewhat delirious world of Instagram pods. Are they worth it? Do they work? Do they glue you to your phone? Find out.

If you’ve never heard of an Instagram Pod, it’s when people who are in a similar industry or share a similar interest join one big group direct message on Instagram. And when a member of that group posts something, they post about it in the DM. Then the rest of the members go to that post and like and comment on it, thus raising the post’s profile. Natalie breaks down why people join pods, and Natalie’s big brain breaks down all the reasons it works.

But there are a lot of reasons they don’t work, too. Instagram’s algorithm has changed over the years, and the app has wised up to how people use pods. So you could be spending a whole lot of time in your pods commenting and liking and asking for comments and likes, and Instagram knows what you’re up to. But there are ways that pods could be helpful if you follow Darla’s and James Brown’s very sophisticated “hit it and quit it” approach. Find out more on this week’s episode!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:45] You’re in a pod, aren’t you? Aren’t you?!
  • [1:30] What is a pod?
  • [2:54] Why are these podpeople in a pod
  • [4:00] Natalie’s big drawback of pods
  • [5:05] Darla’s big drawback of pods
  • [6:12] The true drawback of pods
  • [7:15] Pods haven’t brought in money
  • [8:54] Hit ‘em and quit ‘em

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn