The Interior Design Business and Social Media Marketing Podcast: Wingnut Social

How An Interior Design Virtual Assistant Could Increase Your Profitability, with Brittanie Elms 

September 11, 2019

As you’ll hear during the first part of this episode, just the thought of hiring an interior design virtual assistant stripped Darla’s gears a bit. That’s because there’s so much specialization, so many moving parts, and a ton of location-dependent stuff involved in design work. She couldn’t see how an assistant who’s not on location could be effective.

But now she’s seen the light - thanks to Brittanie Elms.

On this episode of Wingnut Social, you’re going to hear how Brittanie became an interior design VA, how she has learned about the design industry enough to provide tremendous value to designers of all stripes, and how her service turns into a cost savings instead of an expense for most designers. 

It’s an amazing concept - and one our team is likely to take advantage of very, very soon. Don’t miss this incredibly practical episode.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:15] Impressive results from Darla’s Tequila diet (to get ready for Highpoint)
  • [2:28] Darla’s speaking at The RESA Edge and Highpoint Market
  • [7:39] Brittanie Elms: The decision to start a virtual design assistant company
  • [13:02] How is it even possible to work with an interior design virtual assistant
  • [19:58] The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant for interior design
  • [23:20] How robust can this really be for interior designers?
  • [26:43] Can a design virtual assistant service truly keep up on design trends?
  • [34:47] Brittanie’s best advice to designers looking for a virtual assistant
  • [37:22] The channels Brittanie uses to market her services to designers
  • [38:40] The Whatup Wingnut round
  • [44:14] Should we do it? Would the leap be worth it? 

Connect with Brittanie Elms

Resources & People Mentioned

A design VA is for when you need to keep your sanity, but you don’t have the cash to hire full time

We have plenty of people working full time as a part of Wingnut Social and as part of the Darla Powell Interior Designs team. It’s great to have a staff that can run with projects and get things done. But sometimes you have small little things to be done that don’t justify another full-time hire. And you don’t want to add to the already-full schedule of some poor soul on your team, either. What do you do?

Hire a VA to take on that task. Not only is it cost-effective it’s also a way to tap into the brilliance and giftedness of someone who is an expert at exactly what you need to be done.

As you listen to this conversation you’ll hear Brittanie explain how various Interior Design Virtual Assistant roles might look, and how each of them could benefit your design practice. She’s already got Darla thinking about things unrelated to design but that are integral to our business - like email and other correspondence. Listen up! There’s good stuff here for you.

How does hiring an interior design virtual assistant impact the bottom line?

Naturally, when you have a task or two that don’t fit into the job description of one of your full-time staff people, a VA makes sense. But how do you ensure that the cost you incur in bringing on a VA is worth it?

The answer is this: You need to be VERY intentional about the work you pass to a VA

Give them the things that drain you, that you don’t like to do, that slow down your creative process and drag out design jobs. That way you will be freed up to do your best work and deliver for your design clients in a bigger way. 

And consider this too - you may need more than one VA. One person is not likely to be skilled at every one of those small things you need to offload, so don’t expect them to be. Bring in multiple people who operate in different zones of genius so that you have a team of specialists rather than one or two generalists. The difference could be huge.

And finally, there’s the practical part of it all. When hiring a VA you’re hiring a contractor. That means you don’t have to pay for unemployment insurance, contribute to taxes or social security, or any of the other hoopla the government requires for full-time employees. That alone could be enough cost savings to pay for the VAs fees in the first place.

Listen to this episode to get all the details about working with an Interior Design Virtual Assistant - and if you want to reach out to Brittanie you’d better do so quickly. We have a feeling her schedule is about to fill up with new clients.

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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