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

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

Author: Darla Powell

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The interior design business and marketing podcast for designers, decorators, stagers, architects, landscapers, and home pros. Hosted by interior designer, Darla Powell, and "The Soulless Ginger", Natalie Grafe.
134 Episodes
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The CARES Act is the topic of discussion around the USA right now—and for good reason. It’s providing economic relief in a time of great need. But it also plays a huge role in economic relief for small businesses. Darla and Natalie have been trying to muddle through what it means for their business and decided to ask a professional—Aaron Smyle.  Aaron is the owner of Smyle & Associates, tax consultants that serve businesses and individuals in the New York City area. He has an MBA, MST, and is an Enrolled Agent (EA), a federally-authorized tax practitioner who has technical expertise in the field of taxation. In this episode of Wingnut Social, he breaks down how the CARES Act helps small businesses. What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [3:06] Aaron Smyle makes the CARES Act understandable [5:12] How does the Payroll Protection Program work? [11:18] Implications for S Corps and solopreneurs [14:27] Details on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan  [25:28] Aaron explains the Tax Cut and Jobs Act [27:40] Enhancement of charitable contributions [29:20] Is this the wake-up call that we need? [30:35] Why you should pay your taxes if you owe them [34:32] Deductions that do not apply [38:33] Connect with Aaron Smyle [44:22] Blooper Reel! Connect with Aaron Smyle Smyle & Associates Aaron on LinkedIn Smyle & Associates Instagram Resources & People Mentioned CARES Act Payroll Protection Program Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application How can the CARES Act help small interior-design businesses? As of April 3rd, registration will open online for the CARES act. The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) was part of the legislation that was passed. So what is it? At its core, it’s a forgivable loan from the government to help cover payroll for 8 weeks. You’re allowed to borrow 2.5x the monthly average of your yearly payroll costs (wages, independent contractors, health insurance costs, and retirement benefits are included in the calculation). It also includes owners’ compensation. As a simple example, if your average payroll is $10,000 a month, you can borrow up to $25,000 through the PPP. Eligible expenses that can be considered for forgiveness are rent, utilities, interest payments, and payroll. The caveat is that you HAVE to keep people on the payroll.  If you do not have people on payroll (or wages being paid out), only an amount up to 25% of what is borrowed can be forgiven for rent, utilities and interest. If you’ve already laid some people off, you have until June 30th to hire them back and prove that you’re consistently paying the payroll that you were prior to the coronavirus pandemic.  If your numbers track correctly and you’ve proven you’ve retained your employees, the whole loan amount will be forgiven. At this time, the assistance is for 2 months. If the Coronavirus pandemic persists longer than projected, they may need to pass further legislation. Keep listening as Aaron covers some details for S-Corps, interest rates if your loan is not completely forgiven, and more.  Consider the Economic Injury Disaster Loan  Aaron points out that small business owners should apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)—where the first $10,000 is technically a grant. Supposedly, you should have access to the funds within 3 days of applying and no proof is necessary (unlike the records required for the PPP). You can still apply for the PPP, but the $10,000 will be subtracted from the amount that would be forgiven. So if you qualify for $50,000, $40,000 would be forgiven to account for this $10,000 grant. The EIDL is the best option for solopreneurs as it is eligible to cover their wages AND it can roll over into a loan if necessary.  During this time, payroll taxes that you owe can be deferred for a period of time. Aaron implores you to pay this if at all possible. If you go out of business, you as the owner will be personally liable for those taxes and required to pay them back. Aaron points out that we are all facing uncertainty and that you need to step back and evaluate and make the correct decision for your business despite your emotions. Aaron poignantly states,“Don’t make short-term decisions that have long-term consequences”.  Be sure to listen to the entire episode—Aaron unpacks the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, enhancement of charitable contributions, and all of the little details around relief for your small business.  UPDATE: We told you this was moving fast.  A recent update disallowed the payment of 1099 contractors from the definition of “payroll costs” going into the equation of what can be borrowed.  The definition is now:  Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees; and for an independent contractor or sole proprietor, wage, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment or similar compensation. Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs)   Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Is the furniture industry spiraling out of control due to the likes of online retailers such as Wayfair and Houzz? What impact do these online monoliths make on brick-and-mortar retail giants? Warren Shoulberg joins Darla and Natalie to dissect the industry—he shares who he thinks the winners are, who will tailspin out of business, and where interior design showrooms fall in the mix.  Warren is an award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the home furnishing industry. He’s a regular contributor to Forbes and Business of Home, as well as others such as Home Textiles Today and The Robin Report. He’s an expert in an industry that’s currently in upheaval. Listen to this episode of Wingnut Social to hear his take What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:47] Word to the wise: Vet your tradespeople [6:41] Warren Shoulberg weighs in on the furniture industry [7:40] How Restoration Hardware is shaking up the industry [12:36] eCommerce must be a factor in your business [17:28] Where does Warren think the market will trend? [20:48] How furniture showrooms should proceed [23:52] Darla’s love for Pier 1 may come to an abrupt end [26:41] Do interior designers have a shot at competing? [28:45] Why did Wayfair layoff 500+ people? [32:36] What up Wingnut! Round [40:19] Blooper Reel! Connect with Warren Shoulberg Warren on LinkedIn Warren on Forbes Business of Home Warren’s Blog: StupidBusiness.com Resources & People Mentioned The Economist Magazine Restoration Hardware Ethan Allen Pier 1 Julia Molloy Wingnut Social episode How Restoration Hardware has taken the furniture industry by storm Restoration hardware is a success story in the industry. Capturing interior design business is their ticket to success. They are setting the precedent for the industry. They’ve changed their business model and started closing neighborhood stores in favor of what they call ‘galleries’. These galleries are spacious showrooms—thousands upon thousands of square feet—with cafés and wine bars woven in.  They’re redefining the retail industry as we know it. They’re becoming the envy of every furniture retailer in the industry. Warren pointed out that if Ethan Allen was on their game they would’ve been the first to embrace this concept—but they weren’t. RH is making the furniture market part of the hospitality industry. They’re still selling furniture online and leveraging both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce. Little Designers need to factor eCommerce into their business Online retailers like Wayfair have succeeded in undercutting the prices of most of the industry—but at what cost? It seems they are circling the drain, having recently laid off over 500 employees. Warren believes they’ve operated as if they’re Amazon, but don’t have the other income streams to offset their costs like Amazon does. There is one thing they don’t have that other retailers do: a physical location. 80% of sales are still happening in physical businesses, so it’s important to balance the equation.  You can’t ignore the internet and cut it out of your strategy like Burlington did (now they’re suffering). Pier 1 is losing many stores and will likely file bankruptcy. They both failed to stay relevant, and their future in the industry is shaky at best. You MUST find a way to incorporate eCommerce into your business model as well as traditional showrooms.  All this to say, you can’t be all things to all people. Be like Restoration Hardware and find your niche—master what sets you apart. Consumers still want to feel texture and judge color in person. There will always be a place for a physical showroom. Balance that with online offerings that espouse your unique and specific point of view, and you’ll find success. Listen to the whole episode for the in-depth discussion of the furniture industry and where it’s headed. Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco   Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Wingnut Social has it’s own Instagram AR filter! You can hop on over to the Wingnut Social Instagram to check it out—and join their current challenge. In this episode, Darla and Natalie talk about WHY they’re embracing Instagram filters and why you should too. They also chat about a few FUN (and maybe productive) things you can do to ‘while away’ the hours under quarantine.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:45] Natalie misses Jeri Cerutti [1:36] THE Virtual Design Industry Conference [3:21] Check out the Wingnut Instagram AR filter! [4:30] How to create an augmented reality filter [6:16] Get creative with your filter [7:07] Linda Holt’s Isolation Facebook Challenge [8:25] Switch to virtual consultations and presentations [10:44] Blooper Reel! Resources & People Mentioned 19 HOURS: Virtual Design Industry Conference How to make your own Instagram AR Filter THE Jeri Cerutti Spark AR Studio Spark AR Review Policy Linda Holt’s Facebook Challenge Group WHY you should create an Instagram AR filter for your design business Firstly, Darla and Natalie think it’s just a whole lotta fun. Plus, it’s simple. You can download ‘Spark AR Studio’ and follow the directions linked in the resources above to get started. It guides you through the process to create a fun filter. You can use an image, audio file, animations, etc. You can change its behavior and decide how you want your filter to look, move, or interact.  Also, you need to get creative with your filters! You can incorporate your business logo or something similar. Perhaps you can create something glam that glitters and sparkles for your high-end clientele. It’s all about creating engagement with your followers, so they recommend going ahead and creating a challenge so they’ll use your filter.  [NOTE: Facebook has currently suspended reviews and publishing of filters during the Coronavirus pandemic—hopefully that will change soon].  Keep the business afloat while working remote Rhymes and puns aside—the design industry is stepping up and pulling together. Darla is speaking virtually for the 19 HOURS Virtual Design Industry Conference (the brainchild of LuAnn Nigara and Sarah Daniele) in lieu of what would've been an in-person speaking gig.  Darla Powell interiors have shifted to doing virtual consultations and presentations with the use of modern technology—and it’s going well. Vendors are offering to do virtual tours of the showrooms and hand-delivering samples to doorsteps as-needed. Linda Holt has launched her ‘Isolating at home cellphone photo challenge’ to increase engagement and give designers an outlet for their creativity while stuck at home. Just like creating an AR filter, It’s something fun that helps bolster your spirit.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
You can reinvent yourself and launch a design career at any age—as long as you have drive, determination, with a little bit of moxie thrown in. If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to make the switch, let today’s guest be the inspiration that you CAN make it happen. Lauren Brown joins Darla and Natalie to share how she built a business and launched a design career at 65.  Lauren had a long career in luxury sales and design (making, on average, close to a million dollars a year). After settling into retirement—or what she likes to call her ‘sabbatical’—she felt restless. She knew she had more to give—but she had given away ALL of her client-base to colleagues. So she used a combination of research, workshops, and listening to podcasts to launch a new design business. Listen to this episode of Wingnut Social to hear her story. What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [3:55] How Darla reinvented herself at 47 [6:36] Lauren Browns God-wink moment [9:45] How Lauren launched her design career [12:36] The unusual marketing Lauren has embraced [19:17] Why digital marketing is worth the learning curve [22:38] How to overcome ‘Imposter Syndrome’ [25:18] Put a system and process in place [25:50] Shayla Copas’ Impact on Lauren [30:28] Connect with Lauren [31:15] What Up Wingnut! Round [34:32] This is YOUR time to shine [38:06] Blooper Reel! Connect with Lauren Brown Lauren’s Website Lauren on Twitter Lauren on Facebook Lauren on Instagram ADesignersTouchByLauren(at)gmail.com Resources & People Mentioned Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo Martha O’Hara Interiors Jeffrey Fisher Home Shayla Copas Interiors Joan Ravasy Design Lauren launched her design career after a ‘God-wink’ moment When Lauren hit 65 she had an ‘aha moment’. She realized she was getting older and had to redefine what life was all about. She knew she’d been given a gift for design and understanding color. She couples that with passion and enthusiasm, and a love for life and people. She drew inspiration from Darla’s story and how she reinvented herself after a long career in law enforcement.  Darla sharing her story gave Lauren the courage she needed to take the leap and start over.  So Lauren Googled “How to start your own business” and began building a binder full of different resources. She learned about social media, hashtags, and everything design-business related. She started listening to WingnutSocial, following Shayla Copas, and attending workshops at Market. She drove full-speed ahead, determined to make her dream a reality.  Her mantra to herself has become, “Lauren, you can do this too. You have God-given gifts and talents and you need to keep using those until you can’t breathe any more on this earth”. Lauren’s marketing is a combination of ‘old’ and ‘new’  Digital marketing is a whole new world for Lauren, which is one reason why she listened to the Wingnut Social podcast relentlessly. She now has her business on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and has invested in a website. One month after launching her design career, she’s being featured on this episode of Wingnut Social. This gal knows how to make waves. She’s building a steady following and has learned how to make an impact across platforms.  She’s also embraced print media, and sent out press releases to various magazines and papers in her area, eventually getting her story published. Before recording this episode she was featured on the radio. She also advertises her design business on an area billboard—and has gotten some traction because of it. It goes to show a mesh of old and new marketing tactics can be effective. Trying something different can get you recognition, so learn to be creative.  Listen to the whole episode to hear how Lauren is navigating the journey and overcoming the mindset struggles you can face. The ladies also chat about getting systems and processes in place, and the impact podcasts have made on her journey.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco   Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Do you have a blog and are looking to gain more exposure? Perhaps your site is SEO optimized, adored with images galore, and your writing skills are stellar. But people are becoming increasingly busy and just don’t have the time to read a blog post like they used to.  Creating a video isn’t necessarily the answer—but what about a blogcast? Have you heard the term? Jeri Cerutti co-hosts this Monday Marketing Minisode with Natalie to talk about her genius idea to turn her blog into an audio recording, AKA—a blogcast.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:58] Blogging with a twist [3:54] Where did Jeri get the idea to record? [5:35] Why you should consider a blogcast [8:59] Jeri Cerutti is a genius [12:38] Blooper Reel! Connect with THE Jeri Cerutti Jeri’s Website Jeri on Instagram Jeri on Twitter Blogcasting—blogging with a twist It all started when Jeri asked her son-in-law if he would read her blog and give her feedback. He said he didn’t have time to read, but if she recorded it for him, then he would listen. Natalie has also had the opportunity to listen to Jeri read to her grandchildren, and thought “I could listen to this”. She has the perfect voice for audio. Also—to be honest—not everyone loves to read. Some people, such as Natalie, deal with Dyslexia. Others don’t have the time to sit down and read a blog. A lot of American’s have long commutes—so why not convert your blog to audio? Which led the ladies to this question: why not record all of Jeri’s blog posts to create a blogcast?  Podcasting can help broaden your reach Creating a podcast—or in this case, a blogcast—is one of the easiest ways to broaden your reach. It’s a great way for the visually impaired to get exposure to your content. Not only can they hear it, but they can hear it in YOUR voice, with your unique tone and inflection. It speaks to your authenticity.  Natalie and Darla think the idea is genius. After all, who doesn’t want to broaden their audience? It should be every blogger’s goal to reach more people with their content. We live in a busy world and whatever can be done to connect with more people should be done.  Alright Wingnuts, it’s time to weigh in: Would you rather read a blog or listen to it?  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
The Coronavirus pandemic is making waves around the world and shaking up many industries. Restaurants and bars are shutting down, big-box retailers are debating closing their doors, and whole cities around the US are going on lockdown. Countries are closing their borders and banning travel. Everyone is left wondering: how in the world will our design business survive?  In this special bonus episode of the Wingnut Social podcast, Jane Dagmi—the Editor in Chief of Designer’s Today—joins Natalie and Darla to talk about surviving COVID-19. Listen to the whole episode for a discussion about High Point Market, supporting small businesses, and how to operate a design business during social distancing protocols.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [2:32] Jane Dagmi shares how Designer’s Today is moving forward [6:03] How to mitigate financial loss from businesses closing [8:50] How to help vendors and showrooms impacted [11:13] Take the time to polish your social media [13:03] Use the technology tools available to you [15:24] Develop a strategic plan for moving forward [17:37] Ideas for commercial designers [22:55] How to keep yourself and your client’s safe [29:20] How the Coronavirus will impact High Point Market [37:38] What up Wingnut round! [41:00] How to handle your social media during this crisis Connect with Jane Dagmi Jane on LinkedIn Jane’s Instagram Designer’s Today Something About Interior Designers Podcast Jane’s 1st episode on Wingnut Social Resources & People Mentioned How to Handle Your Social Media During the Coronavirus Crisis Wingnut Social Design Harmony Episode Martha O’Hara Interiors Lisa Kahn Designs Shannon Ggem Design High Point Market Keep yourself and your clients safe The ladies agree that technology is a life-saver—email, phone calls, zoom, and virtual tours make this uncertain time manageable. Take advantage of the tools available to you. If your client doesn’t feel comfortable meeting in person, do a zoom meeting. Do a consultation over FaceTime. If you do still meet in-person, you must do things differently to protect each other.  Darla tries to lighten the mood with humor. She jokes that she usually greets potential clients with a kiss and a hug—but for now, she’ll give them a virtual fist-bump (with the disclaimer that down the road they’ll get a good hug). Wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, and always leave the ball in the client’s court. Even if you’re comfortable continuing with a meeting, they may not be. It’s okay to reschedule or switch to a virtual meeting.  A fellow designer, Shannon Ggem, started sending her clients an email stating how she’s carrying on her business during the pandemic. She even goes so far as to let them know that she travels directly from her home to theirs, outlines what she brings with her, and lets them know that it’s all been disinfected regularly. While it is a very detailed option, something simple and straightforward outlining precautions you’re taking can help reassure your clients.  Tips for your business—and how to support each other’s Many people are now working from home with their children in tow as schools and businesses are closing. Darla and Natalie point out that it can be a great time to spend quality time with your family. You could also take a design class, complete a certification, or perhaps finish editing a podcast episode you’ve been working on. Natalie and Darla also recommend taking this time to polish your social media. Double-down on your social and get your brand out there, so that you haven’t lost steam when the pandemic dies down. You could even double your marketing expenditure or launch an e-design program.  Many small businesses will find themselves struggling during this trying time. With the postponement of the High Point Market—a 6.7 billion-dollar industry—many vendors and showrooms were left high and dry. Natalie points out that you should try and find local showrooms or small businesses that carry what may have been featured at High Point and purchase from them.  If you’re struggling to navigate the sudden change (or are a baby designer that’s just launching their career) don’t be afraid to reach out to established designers and ask for help. Seek out advice—and listen to the whole podcast for more ideas.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Julia Miller transitioned to being a full-time designer in February of 2020—and already has 15,000 Instagram followers. Her business is growing full-speed ahead. So how did she build a following so quickly? What does she attribute her success to? She shares her trade secrets in this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast. If you’re a new designer and looking to gain traction in the design space don’t miss this informative episode! Julia Miller is the owner of J Miller Interiors, a design firm based in Minneapolis, MN. She strives to use vintage, textural, and artisan pieces to create welcoming and balanced spaces. While she can’t be considered a ‘baby designer’ anymore, she’s found great success in a short time. Listen to hear how she took action and made it happen!  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:20] Today’s guest [Julia Miller] is super freaking impressive! [4:12] How did Julia get 15,000 Instagram followers? [7:55] Julia’s secret to her quick success [12:30] Investing money in the beginning saves you in the long run [14:48] Don’t be afraid to develop your own authentic voice [20:10] Julia’s ‘Sunday Saves’ catapulted her career [24:08] The ONE thing Julia would do differently [25:37] Delegation is key to scaling and growing [26:31] What up Wingnut! Round [29:10] What makes Julia stand out from the crowd [32:03] Blooper Reel!   Connect with Julia Miller Julia’s Website Julia’s Instagram Julia on Pinterest Resources & People Mentioned The Business of Design Podcast A Well-Designed Business Podcast Real Talk Design Podcast Peter Lang, CPA Hashtag Legal Ivy Business Management Software QuickBooks Lindsey Brooke Design The Identité Collective BOOK: The Wisdom of the Enneagram From side-hustle to full-time designer Julia has always loved and had a knack for design. Her journey started when she and her husband bought and renovated their own house—and documented the whole journey on Instagram. What started as something informal became a huge opportunity. People were reaching out asking Julia if she’d be willing to take clients—so she did.  Her husband was 100% on board. He believed in her talent and knew she had the drive to success. But she would need to button-up the business side of things and get a plan in place. So what did she do? She started listening to podcasts. She binged Wingnut Social, The Business of Design, A Well-Designed Business, and Real Talk Design. She took in a lot of information quickly—and acted on it. She hired her CPA after listening to a podcast he was featured on (Peter Lang). She also found her VA and lawyer from the free resources that podcasts were providing. She had a system and process in place and it boosted her confidence. Above all—she took action. She learned what she needed to do to be successful and ran full-speed ahead with confidence.  Julia’s ‘Sunday Saves’ brings designers together While many designers are hesitant to share the work of other designers, Julia embraces it wholeheartedly. After all, other designers' business savvy advice is what got her business off the ground. So what is ‘Sunday Saves’? Every Sunday, Julia shares 15-25 images that she’s saved throughout the week on her Instagram story. It can be spaces she’s loved or a tile or backsplash that was intriguing. She credits the appropriate designers, photographers, and stylists.  She then takes her favorite from that group and features it on her post feed that day. She’ll save the last 100 features in her highlights. She’s not worried about featuring someone else’s work over her own. Julia believes it is an amazing way to connect with other designers and build relationships. The best part is that it works. It has catapulted her business forward. Clients love the resources she provides and fellow designers thank her for the recognition.  This episode is jam-packed with other resources and strategies Julia has used to build her business from the ground up. We talk about software, mentorship opportunities, authenticity, and much more. Be sure to listen to the whole episode! Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
If you’re contemplating a FREE consultation for your design business, it can be downright terrifying. It’s hard to imagine that giving your services away for free could Contemplating a Free Consultation? Here’s How it Impacted Our Bottom-Line make a positive impact. Darla and Natalie gave it a go—and this Monday's Marketing Minisode is all about their results. To find out if they give a free consultation a thumbs up or thumbs down, listen now! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [2:00] Implementing free design consultations [6:14] Sandra Funks Interior ‘Design Standard’ program [6:48] A free consultation’s impact on their close rate [8:44] Can being more relaxed help with your close rate? [12:07] Blooper Reel! Resources & People Mentioned Sandra Funk’s Episode on Wingnut Social! Sandra’s upcoming program ‘The Interior Design Standard’ Free Consultation: yay or nay?  Darla and Natalie stopped charging for design consultations in Nov. of 2019 (just slightly before their episode with Sandra aired). While initially hesitant, Sandra had them convinced that it could work. They went from charging $450 per consultation to charging nothing. Zilch. Nada. In the time following, they scheduled 10 free consultations. Of those 10, 50% of the clients chose to sign and work with them. Natalie crunched the numbers, and with a paid consultation they were only closing about 42%.  In a short time, they had an 8% increase in effectiveness—and the only variable that changed was their pricing. Or was it?  The impact of a free consultation The only concrete variable that changed was moving from a paid to a free design consultation, but it made a large impact on Darla—and on the potential client. She used to go into a consultation completely anxious, poised and ready to spout design ideas and try and impress the client with her knowledge.  Now, Darla is more relaxed, knowing that this first meeting is to get to know the client(s) and make sure they’re a good fit for each other. Engaging with potential clients in a more relaxed manner has positively impacted their psyche—and their closing rate. She’ll often have people text her saying, “We can’t wait to work with you!” since implementing the free consultation. She’s no longer walking in and doing off-the-cuff design and giving far too much information to the client. She realized that doing so cheapens your work. Why should they hire you if you can provide the value they need in a two-hour conversation?  Listen to the episode to hear their full take and why you should check out Sandra Funk’s ‘Design Standard’ that launches April 8th! Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Have you heard of Alignable? Darla and Natalie recently set up an account, but are wondering if it’s worth the effort. After all, they’re on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn (the list goes on). Should they invest their time in another social network that seems similar to LinkedIn? Eric Groves, the Founder and CEO of Alignable, joins the gals to share WHY it’s worth your time—don’t miss it! Prior to founding Alignable, Eric spent 10 years as a founding executive of Constant Contact leading their marketing efforts. He’s the author of ‘The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing’. With over 25 years in the industry, he is an expert on engagement, email marketing, small business development, and much more. What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:46] You get what you pay for [5:38] Today’s topic: What is Alignable? [10:25] How does Alignable work? [11:30] Why Alignable can’t be compared to LinkedIn [13:18] Does alignable fit into your marketing scheme? [19:18] We weigh Alignable’s free versus premium account  [22:08] The direction Alignable is taking [23:33] The client-facing side of alignable [27:08] What up Wingnut! Round Connect with Eric Groves Eric on LinkedIn Eric on Twitter Resources & People Mentioned RESA Event: April 9th from 6-8 pm High Point Spring Market Alignable Alignable Local Leaders Program BOOK: Snow Crash BOOK: The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing Alignable enables relationships Alignable is an online referral network for small business owners. Eric describes it as a way to find new customers by building trusted relationships with each other. He’s spent a lot of time working with small business owners, and everyone said the majority of their referrals were from word of mouth. Eric points out that it’s not like advertising—you can’t just spend $500 on an ad budget and get more referrals. But Alignable is a place that can make that happen.  Small business owners typically get most of their referrals within 5-10 miles of where they’re physically located. Alignable allows you to search for business owners in that radius—then introduce yourself and start building relationships. Darla endearingly referred to them as “The tinder for business referrals”.  You can search for whoever fits your target demographic for clients: architects, general contractors, real estate agents, etc. Keep listening to learn the simple strategy to connect with the right people.  Should you invest your time in Alignable?  When asked if Alignable could be compared to LinkedIn, Eric pointed out the main difference: LinkedIn was created with the original intent of helping professionals be recruited and hired. Eric stated that Alignable is more about finding a business opportunity. 50% of the 4.5 million users on Alignable are business to consumer and the other 50% are B2B.  But does alignable fit into your marketing scheme? Eric tossed back a question in response: “When you think about your best source of referrals, what percentage of those referrals are coming from other business owners vs. consumers?”. Darla and Natalie responded that they get about 30% of their leads from referrals.  Eric points out that if they took that 30% of their time and focused on building a referral network with people who would naturally refer customers to them, that they’d likely increase word-of-mouth referrals to 50%. Eric goes on to share some specific examples of how users doubled and tripled their business, local versus national exposure, the client-facing side of alignable, and where they’re heading next. Don’t miss this engaging and informative episode! Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Five Email Marketing Tips: Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Is Email Marketing Dying? Have you written off email marketing? Are you a social media junkie (so are we by the way) who’s decided that email is yesterday’s way of doing business?    In spite of the deluge of social media apps on the market, communicating via email still works! But the rules of engagement have changed. This Monday Minisode sets the record straight on the effectiveness of emails, the dos, and don’ts of emailing and the best times to send them.     What You’ll Hear on This Episode of Wingnut Social   [2:50] Ask before you send.   [5:24] Personalize your emails and pay attention to subject lines.   [5:24] Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly.   [7:12] Check your email signature.    [8:33] Try sending during off-hours.   [12:35] Blooper Reel   Resources & People Mentioned   General Data Protection Regulation   E-Mail Marketing Has Rules of Engagement   No one likes a spammer, but Europe really doesn’t like them. Did you know that in 2018 Europe implemented the General Data Protection Regulation to prevent commercial businesses from sending unsolicited emails? It’s that serious, Wingnuts.   The U.S. hasn’t gone that far yet, but when it comes to email marketing, steer clear of being spammy. If the inbox owner didn’t give you the A-OK, don’t press that send button, period. Instead of sending spammy emails, develop a systematic way of collecting email addresses - with explicit permission. Besides, it’s insurance against whatever is coming down the pipeline.   When sending emails, best practices include:   Get permission Start with a great subject line Use emojis Personalize the email Make it mobile-friendly Use https:// to avoid the spam folder  Timing Your Emails   Once you’ve got all of your permissions in place, it’s time to consider sending times. When is the best time to send your email? What day of the week is ideal?   Back in the day, Tuesday was the best day to send out emails. But things are a-changing. Testing is the new Tuesday!   Experiment with different days of the week. Sending emails during off-hours has a way of creating success stories. In fact, we landed an AH-mazing client by uncharacteristically sending out our email on a Sunday. Toot-toot! Go Easy on the GIFs, Videos and Pics   GIFs may be all fun and games, but they ultimately increase your email’s load time. So yes add them, but don’t go overboard. Emojis and videos work the same way. A few are good; too many are a no-no! You want those emails opened, not deleted, right?   Emails are just one more tool in your toolbox for getting your brand in front of the right client. But best practices are key. So tune in to this episode and you’ll be optimizing your emails and your leads in no time!   Connect with Darla & Wingnut Social   www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs)   Subscribe to The Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn
Should you consider starting a podcast? Is the return on investment worth the time and effort put in? Or will you just be wasting your hard-earned time? Darla grew up listening to talk radio and knew when they launched Wingnut Social that a podcast would be a terrific vehicle for their niche. But what about other niches? Darla and Natalie’s guest today, Katie Freeman, shares her take on the industry—and why it’s been worth it for her. Katie is a furniture designer and creator, owner of Freeman Furnishings, and host of the Maker Mom podcast. She believes working with your hands is good for the soul and spends her time creating heirloom-quality woodwork. Listen to this episode to hear why she started her podcast, how it’s helped her career, and what she hopes the future of her furniture design business will look like.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:52] They’re going to Brazil! [4:58] How Katie Freeman became a furniture designer [7:33] Katie’s Podcast: The Maker Mom podcast [10:19] The clientele she’s gotten from her podcast [12:17] Was a local audience by design? [14:43] Build credibility and brand recognition  [16:06] Would Katie do anything differently? [18:15] The hidden ROI of starting a podcast [19:58] How does Patreon come into play? [21:32] What up Wingnut! round [23:56] Should Darla start another podcast? [28:22] Blooper Reel! Connect with Katie Freeman Katie on LinkedIn Katie’s podcast Freeman Furnishings Freeman Furnishings on Instagram Resources & People Mentioned RESA Event: April 9th from 6-8 pm at Keller Williams Building in Coral Gables Darla is speaking at Podfest in Orlando! Peaceful Nest Boutique Home Staging Affordable Interior Design podcast Wingnut Social Social Media Stats episode Wingnut Social Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole episode Workbench Con Patreon BOOK: Crushing It! By Gary Vaynerchuk Is starting a podcast a waste of time?  Katie Freeman started woodworking as a way to reconnect with who she is while balancing being a mom to two little ones. She is an avid podcast listener and enjoys listening to other makers and creators. But she noticed something she found disconcerting: none of the voices she heard were female. She decided it was time to create a podcast and get a female voice in her industry. She honed in on a niche for Mom’s who wanted to run a business while raising a family. So she launched her podcast on 10/19/2018 and has garnered quite a following. Katie points out that it hasn’t led to her landing a design client—but it has helped her become a trusted voice in her community. In fact, 50% of her listeners are local, and she believes that’s essential to her success.  The hidden ROI of a podcast While Katie hopes that someday her podcast will help her land some design clients, it has led to some wonderful opportunities. She can point people to listen to her podcast—with a built-in track record—versus just pitching them. Because of it, she’s been able to land speaking engagements and is actually jetting off to present at a conference soon after the recording of this episode. The local recognition she’s gained for being an expert in her space has led to an unusual opportunity—being able to teach classes at a local shared maker’s space. She shares her class schedule on the podcast and lets her listeners know they can sign up for it.  Because she creates and edits her podcast herself, she has very little overhead cost. With the opportunities it has afforded her, starting a podcast has been worth it. Keep listening to find out how she markets herself locally, what she would have done differently, and how she uses Patreon to bring in income.  BONUS CONTENT: Darla and Natalie chat about the potential to launch another podcast! Don’t miss it! Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
LinkedIn is rolling out a new (and highly requested) page section that will allow you to highlight your latest accomplishments: the ‘featured’ section. How is it different from the ‘activities’ section? What content can you include? Learn more by listening to this Monday Minisode of the Wingnut Social podcast! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:26] LinkedIn’s new feature [4:46] What to add to the ‘featured’ section [8:29] Blooper Reel Resources & People Mentioned LinkedIn LinkedIn Featured Section Detailed Instructions to add to ‘featured’ section Darla Powell Interiors LinkedIn LinkedIn’s new ‘featured’ section allows you to highlight whatever you want We all know that LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing and making connections with professionals. So getting them to take note of your accomplishments—and do more than just connect with you—is key. You want to GRAB their attention. LinkedIn’s new feature should make that easier.  While it’s still being rolled out and not yet available to all users, here’s what you can expect: It’s a section that will be directly below your profile header and above the ‘activities’ section. Simply add it as a profile section and choose the content that you want to be featured, whether it’s something eye-catching or a noteworthy accomplishment.  What should designers add to the featured section?  The beauty is that you get to pick whatever you want to be featured. Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing: Featured on an episode of HGTV? Add the link here! What about a YouTube video of a space you designed? Check! Post images of a recently designed space that you’re proud of Recently featured in an article? Add the link here. One of the top 50 interior designers in Miami? Show it off. If you want to add something you’ve already posted on your LinkedIn profile, simply choose the ‘star’ next to ‘featured’ below your post to add or remove it—it’s that simple. The most recently featured item will be visible first or you can choose how to order the content. Not only do you get to showcase your latest and greatest content, but it allows you to spice up your page and show off your personality. What could be better? Darla and Natalie are pretty excited—Listen to this minisode for all the details! How do you feel about LinkedIn’s latest feature? Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Design harmony is a philosophy that’s becoming a movement embraced around the industry—and for good reason. More and more research is coming to light about the health benefits of interior design. Michelle Castagna and Mike Peterson join Natalie and Darla to talk about what design harmony is, what it means for the design industry, how to become certified in it and much more. Michelle Castagna is the owner and president of Muse Design Studio. She boasts over 20 years of experience in the design industry. She wants to encourage designers to embrace design harmony and help their clients experience a healthier & stress-free home.  Mike Peterson is the founder and president of Visionary Design Marketing.. He specializes in strategic marketing consultations for the design industry. In this episode, he shares some valuable insight into what the medical field is saying about design harmony and how to market your experience in the field. What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:32] Darla and Natalie are speaking at High Point Market! [5:55] Upcoming certification in design harmony [7:02] A simple definition of design harmony [8:42] The Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku [9:45] Use home technology to execute a healthier environment [13:07] The awareness of design harmony in residential/commercial design [14:54] How a designer can market this approach in their business [17:47] What will the certification process look like? [22:08] The goal is to make the certification affordable for everyone to embrace [25:42] The medical industry is acknowledging something that we aren’t [26:51] What up Wingnut! Round [34:45] Blooper Reel! Connect with Michelle Castagna LinkedIn Muse Design Studio Muse Design on Instagram Connect with Mike Peterson LinkedIn Visionary Design Marketing Mike(at)VisionaryDM.com Resources & People Mentioned Darla is speaking at Podfest! Check here for updates on the program: IFDA Wingnut episode about Biophilic Design Crestron Technology Click & Co. Ad Agency Century Furniture Dr. Douglas Wood BOOK: Year of Yes BOOK: The Leadership Challenge What is design harmony? Why should designers embrace it?  Design harmony is simple—it’s about encompassing harmonious environments. It resonates with things in nature. Michelle points out that we are hamsters on a wheel that never get off the wheel anymore. We are surrounded by the stressors of life and work. Incorporating design harmony in the home and bringing the outdoors in can give you that breath of fresh air and a reprieve from the drudgery of office living.  Design harmony encompasses many spokes—biophilic design, chromatherapy, home technology to execute a healthier environment, and controlling light and sound as well. Japanese have been embracing “Shinrin Yoku” or “Forest Bathing” for over 30 years. It’s the practice of immersing oneself in nature to feel better and be healthier. Now Canada, the UK, and even the US are embracing the practice. That is what design harmony seeks to do on a more intimate and personal scale in your own home. Design harmony is about enhancing the human condition  Mike pointed out residential and commercial designers aren’t just “providing aesthetics, they’re providing a healthier environment”. He cited studies that are showing that the right design can even lower your blood pressure. The medical industry is acknowledging something that designers haven’t embraced yet—that architects and designers have a greater ability to improve health than doctors.  Mike and Michelle want to increase awareness of design harmony in the design field. That’s why the upcoming IFDA certification process for design harmony will be inclusive and affordable. Michelle notes that the end goal is to treat “design as a way to prevent illnesses by encouraging stress-free, happy and creative environments that allow us as humans to flourish”. To hear all of the details about what the IFDA certification process will look like and how you can implement design harmony into your repertoire, listen to the whole episode!  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco   Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
The days of the perfectly curated Instagram feed are dying out, and for good reason—people are tired of seeing perfection. It doesn’t exist in the real world. The airbrushed & color-coordinated photoshopped grid that influencers model is becoming a thing of the past.  So what does that mean for designers? If you don’t have to strive for perfection—what do you shoot for? In this Monday marketing minisode, Darla and Natalie share their take on what your Instagram feed should look like.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:30] The Instagram grid aesthetics [2:38] The death of the perfect grid [6:12] 3 things you should be doing on Instagram [8:21] Represent your brand [11:38] Blooper Reel! Authenticity is key The perfect Instagram feed is fading out and being replaced by what some would term as “ugly” photos—unedited, monochromatic, or quickly-snapped. Our smartphones put the world at our fingertips. Within minutes of snapping a photo, we can upload it to social media. Gone are the days of digital photography, intensive editing, and striving for painstaking perfection.  People aren’t looking for a sunbeam shining down from God on your Instagram feed. They don’t want to look at an airbrushed life that doesn’t exist in reality. What they DO want is authenticity. Darla and Natalie point out it’s why we are seeing the growth of micro-influencers. Large accounts are losing steam in lieu of REAL people sharing their everyday lives and businesses.  So what should your Instagram aesthetic be? It’s about finding balance. Obviously, you still want your feed to have nice photos—but they don’t have to be unobtainable. Our director of Social Media—Shana Heinricy—shared a few key things to think about: First and foremost, you want to infuse yourself into every post. Include things that you enjoy doing that will still look good on Instagram. Have you recently traveled somewhere? Is there a project you’re working on? Share them with a focused story that shows off your personality or what it’s like to work with you. Worry less about the images and how they fit together in a grid and more about how each of those images represent YOU.  You still want to reflect your brand, blend in with your style, and stay consistent across platforms. BUT focus on sharing nice photos that tell a story of who you or your brand are. They don’t need to be airbrushed perfection, just a reflection of your real authentic self.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Natasa Jones has found an innovative way to market her business by using Facebook Community Groups. Because, let’s be honest, organic traffic for businesses on Facebook isn’t what it used to be. Karina provided Darla with a startling statistic: your business page is only getting a whopping 2% of organic reach on Facebook. Learn how to overcome the underwhelming stats in this episode of Wingnut Social!  Natasa is an interior designer based in Milwaukee, WI. She owns a full-service interior design studio with the goal of a liveable modern aesthetic. She stumbled upon an ingenious strategy while looking to grow her reach. She shares this unique strategy that’s gotten her 10 leads in two months. Don’t miss this episode! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [2:35] Upcoming events in March! [6:08] How Natasa and Darla met in real life [7:37] Facebook organic reach is dwindling [9:23] How did Natasa come across this idea? [13:59] WOW client’s with the idea of what could be [16:20] How to get into Facebook Community Pages [18:18] Do you need to live in the community? [20:25] Criteria to look for in a group [23:33] Are there any downsides of FB groups? [26:32] Does Natasa charge for the initial consultation? [30:22] Natasa is raking in leads with this strategy [31:15] The What Up Wingnut! Round [33:25] Connect with Natasa Jones [36:33] Blooper Reel! Connect with Natasa Jones Natasa Jones Interiors Natasa on Instagram Natasa on Facebook Natasa on Pinterest Natasa on LinkedIn Resources & People Mentioned Darla is speaking at Podfest! RESA Speaking engagement March 11th Sandra Funk on Design Consultations BOOK: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho NKBA Webinar How Natasa stumbled into Facebook Community Groups Natasa landed one of her largest projects to date because she invested extra time in showing a client what their home could look like if she went over budget. She did a 3D render of the space with new flooring and windows (on top of the requested furniture). The client was thrilled with the design and agreed to the proposed changes. After completion of the project, Natasa had the work professionally photographed. The photographer she had used asked her if they could share the work in a local Facebook community group. They’d introduce her as a new business in the area and share before and after images showcasing her work. Natasa happily agreed—and was astoundedby the results. Her email BLEW UP. The post in the group got in front of the right eyes and she received inquiry after inquiry.  How to gain traction in Facebook Community Pages Community pages are separate entities from personal and business pages. It’s where a unique community comes together to discuss things that only pertain to them. Natasa describes it as a more intimate setting where people talk about important issues. When asked if it’s difficult to get approved to join the groups, Natasa semi-jokingly stated “It’s the Midwest, we love everybody”.  After the success of her first post in a group, she started asking clients if they would be willing to post in their respective communities Facebook group. She would provide professional photos for them to share. Doing so gave her an “in” without seeming like she was selling herself and her services. It also allowed the homeowners the opportunity to brag on the beautiful new interior transformed by a brilliant designer—a win-win for everyone! In the two months since Natasa began testing this marketing method, she’s gotten 7-10 inquiries from each post. Of those inquiries, she’s scheduled 8 consultations and so far has signed with 4 new clients.  Listen to the whole episode as Natasa shares how she researches groups, potential downsides of posting in them, and—hotly contested in the design community—whether or not she charges for her initial design consultation. Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn
Darla and Natalie will bust 5 myths that have been floating around about Instagram in this Monday Marketing Minisode! Instagram launched a branded account—@creators—where they share tips, tricks, updates, tutorials, and MUCH more. Recently, they answered some FAQs in their stories. Darla and Natalie discuss those “answers” and share their take. Don’t miss it! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:35] Natalie’s rainbow work skivvies [2:03] It’s time to busy some myths [3:06] Photos versus videos: which one is better? [4:40] How often do they change the algorithm? [5:54] Will Pods get you to appear higher in the feed? [7:32] Does a comment need to be more than 6 words to be counted? [8:38] Do likes/comments in the 1st 30 minutes rank you higher? [9:50] What you need to focus on [10:33] RESA being moved to April and location TBD Resources & People Mentioned Instagram @Creators account 5 Instagram myths BUSTED  1. Photos versus videos: which one is better? Guess what? According to Instagram, they are ranked on the feed equally! However, the caveat is that your feed is based on your activity and preferences. If you interact with more videos, you’ll see more videos on your feed. Darla shares another trick that may sway you one way or another—be sure to listen! 2. How often does Instagram change their algorithm? Drumroll...All the time. The Instagram algorithm uses artificial intelligence (AI) and claims feed rankings are constantly adapting and changing.  3. Does being part of a pod get you featured higher in the feed?  In the short-term, you may see positive changes. However, Instagram WILL spot engagement that isn’t authentic and adjust accordingly. It’s just a matter of time.  4. Does a comment need to be more than 6 words to be counted?  There’s a rumor goin’ round… that a comment needs to be 6 words or longer to be counted in your algorithm. Instagram responded in their truly blunt fashion, simply saying that’s FALSE. They used lots of emojis in their answer, too.  5. Are posts ranked higher if they get interaction in the first 30 minutes?  Instagram again answered that this was false BUT based on Darla and Natalie’s personal experience, the faster you see engagement the better. You also need to respond quickly and interact with your fan-base.  What is important in the long run? In the end, Instagram’s cryptic answers don’t bother Darla and Natalie. After all, Instagram holding its cards close to their chest keeps the mystery alive. This alone sustains engagement because no one really knows the answers to all of Instagram's secrets.  So what’s the bottom line? Comments, likes, reshares, and views are HIGHLY important—along with a focus on creating stellar content. Continue to foster authentic engagement with followers. Follow these hard and fast tips and you’ll thrive on the platform.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
If you’re a designer who doesn’t have the renown to get invited to participate in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House—what are you to do? How do you get exposure? Maryline Damour was a new designer looking to connect with other designers and vendors in the Hudson Bay Area. She had the brilliant idea to create a show house to bring the community together.  Maryline was 4 years out of design school. She knew that being invited to participate in a show house was something that could launch your career. So she took her destiny into her own hands and decided to organize her own show house. In this episode of Wingnut Social she shares how she chose a house and everything she’s learned about the process along the way. Don’t miss it! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:50] Valentines Day & Doodling [2:45] Announcement: Podfest 2020 in Orlando! [5:22] How Maryline Damour’s show house got started [9:35] A show house can launch your career [12:15] How do you choose a show house? [15:35] Blowback from designers - why are we fixing up YOUR home? [17:15] How did she decide what to do with revenue? [20:00] Exposure gained from house #1 [22:32] Obtaining show house #2 [25:11] What’s in it for the homeowner? [28:10] Does the homeowner get a say in the aesthetic? [29:43] Legal issues you might run into [32:15] What is the financial commitment? [35:35] What is Maryline’s focus for show house #3? [41:52] Mistakes to avoid and lessons learned [44:35] What up Wingnut! Round [48:05] Connect with Maryline [51:56] Blooper Reel! Connect with Maryline Damour Kingston Design Connection Kingston Design Connection on Instagram Kingston Design Connection on Facebook Damour Drake Resources & People Mentioned Darla is speaking at Podfest 2020 in Orlando! Corey Damen Jenkins Episode Sasha Bikoff Episode Stacy Garcia Episode Andrew Joseph PR Jane Austen Sourcing a show house isn’t as easy as it sounds Most people in the Hudson Bay didn’t even know what a design show house was. As Maryline began doing market research she was finding herself educating others. But shocker—she couldn’t find anyone who would hand over their house. After a year of zero headway, she made the executive decision to use her own home. It was a mid-1800 Victorian house in dire need of repair. But what other choice did she have? There could have been potential blowback from designers. After all, they were essentially fixing up HER home. What if they thought it was a ploy for her to get free stuff? So she decided she needed to be upfront from day one in all of her marketing that it was her home. But she also emphasized the reason for the project in the first place—connecting area designers, vendors, and other makers in the space. People understood the value proposition and came on board.  Plus, she replaced her roof, fixed the front porch, and made improvements on the house to prepare it for the designers.  Show house round #2: A different angle With the exposure from her first year, Maryline took a different approach to source a show house the 2nd year. She had been approached by a publicist—Andrew Joseph—who succeeded in getting her a lot of buzz. So she did a call-out to have area homeowners submit their homes for the 2nd round. About a dozen people applied and they landed on a huge brick home that was built in the 1800s. It was a whopping 4,000 square feet with 16 different rooms spanning 3 floors.  The family of 8 homeschooled their children and were able to stay with family for September and October, giving Maryline and her designers’ plenty of time to transform the space. But they have to move out of their home completely for 2 months, begging the question: what’s in it for the homeowner?  Maryline pointed out that they get anything that remains in the home. Landscaping work, permanently installed lighting, wallpaper, paint—it all stays. Best of all? The homeowners get a complete kitchen remodel. Maryline said they ended up with custom cabinets from floor to ceiling. Not only that, but they had been renting out some of their rooms out using Airbnb. Those rooms got a complete facelift. They had professional photos taken and a ton of free press. It was a complete win for everyone involved. To hear what Maryline’s plan is for house #3, mistakes she learned to avoid, and what she does with any revenue (hint: she works with a local non-profit) listen to this episode of Wingnut Social!  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
If you’re at a loss—banging your head against the wall—and can’t think of content for your Instagram story, look no further: Instagram’s create mode is here to save the day. What is it? What can you do with it? Is it worth your time? The short answer is YES.  Find out how to use this feature in this Monday Marketing Minisode of the Wingnut Social podcast! Darla and Natalie will fill you in on this fun and interactive side of Instagram. If you’re looking to increase engagement and connect with your fans, this is a must-listen! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [1:24] Instagram Stories Create Mode [5:47] The 7 features you can use [7:23] Why you NEED to embrace it [10:30] Blooper Reel Resources & People Mentioned Instagram.com Instagram Create Mode 101: Dummy-proof Stories are one of Instagram’s most popular features! The more you add to your story and interact with your fan base, the more it influences the algorithm and gets you more traffic. So for those of you who haven’t embraced the newest feature, here’s where you find it: In the top left corner of the app, choose the spot where you would normally add a story. In the menu on the bottom, scroll to ‘create’ and gain immediate access to 8 different features. It’s that simple! If you don’t have images prepared, it’s a creative way to post to your story without stressing over pulling content out of nowhere.  Create mode’s fun-filled features There are currently 8 features that you can choose to make your Insta story creations. What are they? Happy Birthday: Post a special Happy Birthday shout-out to your story! GIF Mode: This hilarious feature allows you to add a GIF to your story. Templates: 8 premade backgrounds to interact with your fans in a unique way.  On This Day: A randomly selected #ThrowbackThursday photo you can share to your stories! Make a poll: Type a random question to ask your followers! Ask ME a question: Listen to the episode to hear some of the crazy questions Darla was asked when she tried this! Countdown: Going live? Have an event coming up? Give your fans a countdown to boost excitement and anticipation! Quiz: Ask your followers to answer a quiz question—see how well they know you! Darla emphasizes that you need to go check it out for yourself—and Natalie is totally on board. Experiment and find your favorite feature and start increasing engagement with your fan-base! Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
Should an interior designer invest in a retail space to enhance their design business? How can a showroom benefit your current firm as well as be profitable on its own? If you’re on the fence about investing in your own space, Victoria Sanchez joins Darla and Natalie to go over the pros and cons and share why it works so well for her. Victoria Sanchez is an award-winning designer and the owner of ‘Victoria At Home’, a premier home furnishings boutique with showrooms in Alexandria, VA, and Santa Fe, NM. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in interior design—and over 30 years of experience in the industry.  What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:55] Ready for Winter to be over! [2:23] Darla’s upcoming speaking gigs [6:13] Victoria Sanchez’ background [8:06] All about Victoria’s retail store(s) [11:00] What comes first, the chicken or the egg? [13:10] What’s tricky about a retail store [15:10] With Age comes wisdom [17:35] When do you open a location? [20:07] Is the expense of a retail space worth it? [24:33] How important is the location? [31:00] Marketing for interior designers [34:45] Why having a showroom is worth it [38:35] What up Wingnut! Round Connect with Victoria Sanchez LinkedIn Twitter Victoria At Home Resources & People Mentioned Darla is speaking at Podfest 2020 in Orlando! Upcoming RESA speaking gig: Details TBD Cheryl Kees Clendenon Wingnut Social Episode Andrew Joseph Public Relations La Luz Urban Loft A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith Your retail space is a portfolio of your work Victoria has always been drawn to retail and she loves the opportunities it provides her. People come into her store and get to know her style and personality. They gather a general sense of who she is—while she gets to know them. She is able to explain that she’s a designer and show them her aesthetic in one moment.  Victoria points out that retail space isn’t for everyone. She didn’t launch hers until her kids were in high school and she had more time—and cashflow—to get it going. You need tools and resources in play, as well as money for inventory, display, and staff. Above all, you have to love working with people. She shared that about 25% of her revenue comes from her retail space and about 75% is from design work with clients. She uses her retail space as a catalyst for her design business and it has significantly increased her client-load. Victoria shares more about her locations and why their placement is important. Keep listening! More designers need to invest in marketing Victoria is passionate about educating designers. She believes the current curriculum in design programs is lacking proper marketing techniques for the specific field. She points out that it is of paramount importance to have a marketing plan in place. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with—hire someone who is. Victoria works with Andrew Joseph PR to help market her new location in Santa Fe.  She was honest with herself and knew she didn’t have the time or expertise to properly market her business. Her community in Santa Fe is small and she learned quickly that marketing and networking go hand-in-hand. If people like you, they will talk about you—and word-of-mouth in a small community will get you places.  Is having a retail space worth it in the day and age of digital shopping? Can you compete with the online giants? Listen to the whole episode to hear Victoria’s take on the industry and why she believes brick-and-mortar is here to stay. She’ll share some of her numbers, expenses, and how her two locations are so different.  Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Wingnut Social Podcast Sponsor  www.curreyandcompany.com On Facebook On Twitter: @Curreyco On Instagram: @Curreyco Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
If you think your marketing demographic isn’t on social media—you’re wrong! Stop using the excuse that it’s pointless to market on social media platforms because it won’t get you business. Darla and Natalie are about to prove you wrong. It’s time to embrace the power of social media. In this Monday Marketing Minisode, the ladies will share some fascinating statistics about popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Listen to the end for a surprising statistic they didn’t see coming! What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social [0:36] The best thing about the Super Bowl [1:40] The demographic on social media [3:10] Facebook Statistics [5:30] Instagram Statistics [7:00] Twitter Statistics [8:00] LinkedIn Statistics [10:20] YouTube Statistics [12:13] Your target audience IS on social media [13:48] Use the #WowWingnut hashtag! Resources & People Mentioned Demographics for popular platforms Your marketing demographic on 5 platforms If you’ve doubted the necessity of marketing your design firm on social media, here are some statistics that will blow your mind:  Facebook:  79% of 30–49 year olds use Facebook 68% of 50–64 year olds use Facebook 74% make an income of $75,000 or higher 74% also have a college education Instagram:  47% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram 23% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram 43% have a college education 42% make an income of over $75,000 Most of Darla and Natalie’s ideal clients use Instagram. It’s a great place to show off your work and give potential clients a visual representation of what you can do for their space. In fact, most of Darla’s design clients come from Instagram! Twitter:  26% of 30–49 year olds use Twitter 17% of 50–64 year olds use Twitter 32% have a college education 32% make an income of over $75,000 Twitter isn’t the ideal space for interior design BUT it is good for tagging and reaching out to brands that DO have a strong Twitter presence.  LinkedIn: 37% of 30–49 year olds use LinkedIn 24% of 50–64 year olds use LinkedIn 51% have a college education 49% make an income of over $75,000 It may not be the prettiest platform, but a chunk of your target market still exists here! YouTube:  Darla and Natalie were astounded when they read the YouTube statistics. It just proves that video truly is king—for any age. It is the #1 social media platform.  87% of 30–49 year olds use YouTube 70% of 50–64 year olds use YouTube 80% have a college education 83% have an income over $75,000 The proof is in the pudding Darla and Natalie didn’t want to bore you with statistics but they are SO important and help prove their point: You need to be on social media. It’s a long game, but you have nothing to lose.  The days of sending out mailers or passing out paper flyers are no more. You cannot simply rely on referrals and word-of-mouth. You need a pipeline that won’t dry up—social media can provide that for you.  If you’ve been putting it off and delaying the inevitable, embrace it. Get your business on Instagram, Facebook, or whatever platform best matches your marketing demographic. Your customers will find you when you go where they are. Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social www.WingnutSocial.com On Facebook On Twitter: @WingnutSocial On Instagram: @WingnutSocial Darla’s Interior Design Website Check out the Wingnut Social Media Lab Facebook Group! 1-877-WINGNUT (connect with us for your social media marketing needs) Subscribe to The Wingnut Social Podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or TuneIn Audio Production and Show notes byPODCAST FAST TRACKhttps://www.podcastfasttrack.com
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Comments (4)

Stacy Hernandez

Loved this episode! But truly, what is there not to love about Corey Damon Jenkins!? He is so talented, informative and genuine. 🍎🍎🖊️🖊️ I get so much out of your podcast!! keep'em coming, love to laugh and learn with you and Natalie.

Jul 31st
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