July 04, 2009

Celebrating Personal Freedom

Happy Independence Day!

I’m getting ready for a big reunion party at my house this evening, but I wanted to write to you today about “freedom.”

As we celebrate the birthday of our country, many people are feeling extremely grateful for the freedoms we have.  And as designers and business owners in this country, we have the incredible opportunity to create 
anything we want.

As your own boss, you can choose to design your business to support whatever lifestyle you desire.  You are completely free to run your business and live your life 
on your own terms.

Are you doing that?


Imagine if you were able to leverage your talent and your time so that you could give value to more people – without working any more hours.

Imagine if you could work when you want, how you want, and where you want – and make more money!

(You can.)

This is what I’ve been doing over the last few years, and it’s what I’m going to personally teach to 25 of you over the next year.

Will you be one of the lucky ones to join me?

If you are ready to transform your business 
(or start a whole new one) and begin living a truly extraordinary life, I would love to work with you.

Get all the details of the 
Extreme Designer Makeover program here, and join me as we expand what you thought was possible for your business.  But hurry – early bird pricing ends when Independence Day is over.

Extreme Designer Makeover
Transform your business... transform your life

To your success,



P.S. Enjoy your holiday weekend.  I wish you the freedom to express yourself and love your life!


April 01, 2009

I Surrender!

Thoughts from my experience at David Neagle's Experience the Reality of Success

Because this was my second time at David Neagle’s Experience the Reality of Success, I decide to have a different experience. Instead of participating fully in the powerful experiential exercises that David presented, I wanted to simply observe.

Or did I?

No, I really didn’t WANT to sit back and observe. What is the point of investing in a workshop and flying across the country for a week if I’m not going to participate? So why wasn’t I fully committing to the experience?

On day three, I realized what was holding me back.

Fear of disappointment that my experience wouldn’t compare to the incredible experience I had last year at ERS.

Fear of failure – it’s so much easier to claim I didn’t participate than to admit I didn’t reach my goal.

Fear of looking bad – I’m a success coach, for goodness sake! This is supposed to come easy to me.

I know it’s common to have these fears, and I’ve dealt with them all many times. I also know that if I “feel the fear and do it anyway,” I come out stronger and happier.

But I still wasn’t committing.

On the last day of the workshop I figured it out. I remembered that the reason I had such a profound experience at the last ERS workshop was that I completely surrendered. I mean completely. I let go of control and trusted that everything would be perfect. I even surrendered to the FEAR. And that is what let me walk right through it.

Surrendering is what allowed me to have such a meaningful experience at the workshop. And it is what allowed me to step into my most powerful, successful year ever as an entrepreneur.


Kind of a mysterious concept. So easy, and yet so hard. Hard to trust that it will be okay. Hard to know that the answers are already inside you. Hard to believe that success is yours NOW, if only you will allow it. Yet, once you decide to completely surrender to the power of the universe and the power inside of you, everything becomes easy.

Answers to Your Questions

(regarding "Ezines Done For You!")

I'm just getting back to work after an incredible week in Las Vegas. I'll be sharing a lot about my experience and inspiration from that powerful workshop in future posts, but for now...

Many questions are still coming in about my new Email Newsletters "Done For You" program, so I wanted to answer them for you in this post.

I know how valuable newsletters are for the success of a design business. Email newsletters have done SO much for me over the last few years, and I have watched other designers expand their client base, get national publicity, gain many referrals, and increase profits - all from sending a regular monthly newsletter.
But let's face it. Producing it can be an overwhelming, time-consuming HASSLE.

I would love to take over this task for you. Not only will I
eliminate hours of work, stress, and hassle from your business, but I will produce a newsletter in the most effective way, using years of learning, studies, and personal experience creating email newsletters to grow several businesses.

(in a rush?
check out all the details of this program here)

Answers to your questions:

Q. If I register now, can I start my newsletter at a later time?
A. Yes! If you'd like to take advantage of the launch promotion (special pricing only until Wednesday), you can register now and write in when you'd like to begin.

Q. Can you incorporate my logo into the newsletter?
. Yes! We have added an option that allows you to have a customized newsletter that includes your logo. You choose the template that you want, and we will incorporate your logo into it.

Q. Can I create / edit the content myself?
Not in this program. The "Ezines Done For You" program is for designers who really want to delegate this part of their marketing.

Q. What email address will the newsletter be coming from?
YOURS! Yes, this will appear to be coming directly from YOU. There is no way your clients will know that someone else is creating the newsletter for you.

Q. What if I don't have a website yet?
While you are waiting for your website to be designed, you can provide a link to any webpage where you have a presence (Facebook, Twitter, AvaLiving, etc.). Your readers can still see your portfolio or information about your business. You will also want to include your other contact information in the newsletter (address and phone number) so that it is easy for your prospects to get in touch with you.

Do NOT wait until you have all your other promotional materials perfect. Start creating relationships now! There is no better way to generate sales than to
give value and stay in constant contact with your prospects.

Q. What if I don't have a large list?
This program will help you BUILD YOUR LIST! After you register, I will give you several tools to help you grow your list of subscribers quickly. I started sending my newsletter with 8 subscribers. My list grew quickly mostly because I was sending a newsletter. Sending a regular newsletter is actually one of the best ways to grow your list!

Q. How many should I have on my list for this program to be effective for me?
The designers I work with who are getting great results from their monthly newsletters have an average of 50 - 200 subscribers. Most started with a lot less and grew their lists quickly using my easy tips. The SIZE of the list is not as important as the QUALITY. If you are sending to past clients, friends, and family - all of whom you have a relationship with, you will get far better results than if you send to a larger list of strangers. (By the way, don't discount friends and family. Ask them to subscribe even if you don't think they will ever be clients of yours. I get loads of referral business from friends and family who have just read a newsletter and realized they knew someone who could use my services.)

As a smart business strategy, you should have your own newsletter no matter how small your list of subscribers is. But if you are just getting started and haven't gathered any client's email addresses yet, I would suggest you start by doing that. Tell you clients, friends, and family that you are getting ready to launch a company newsletter, capture all their email addresses, and then contact me so we can get started!

Q. Can I highlight a different service / offer a different special each month?
Yes, there is a way to do that: Your personal information, along with your photo, will appear in EVERY newsletter that goes out. This section will remain the same for all newsletters, BUT if you'd like to offer something different every month (special monthly discount, new product or service, news about your company, etc.), you can do that on a webpage on your own website, and we will link to it in the newsletter. (The link remains the same, and you change the text on your webpage each month).

Q. What kinds of articles go in the newsletters?
Each month, there is an article that gives your clients general design tips and inspiration, and another article about using color. These articles are written to show off your expertise, create trust in your abilities as a designer, and give value to your readers.

Q. What are the topics of the newsletter articles?
Each month the article topic will vary. The main article will on be a general design / decorating topic, giving valuable tips that a homeowner can use (layout, furniture, lighting, fabrics, etc.). There will also be one article that gives information on a "color of the month." This article explains the basic psychology of that color, where it is best used in the home, and how it makes you feel.

If you have a specific niche within interior design or decorating, or you are a full-service designer, these articles will be appropriate for your clients and prospects. Your BIO section will show your specific niche, but the articles will show that you like to give value and share ideas on all aspects of beautifying their home.

Q. Is there a long-term commitment?
No, you can cancel at any time. You can, however, save $200 if you'd like to register for a year in advance.

There are more questions answered on the webpage, so feel free to browse:

March 31, 2009

Email Newsletters Done For You!

Several years ago, when I launched my email newsletter, I was among a small handful of designers to be using this amazing tool. I had the opportunity, early on, to learn from the experts and experiment to find out exactly what works (and what absolutely doesn't). Over the years, I have seen the email newsletter craze really take off in our industry, as designers caught on to the incredible value they provide. It has gotten to a point where it is no longer a novelty or an advantage to have a newsletter - it's become a necessity

These days, if you aren't using email newsletters to stay in touch with your customers, increase your sales, and build your expert status, you are behind the times, and probably losing customers to your competition.

As an expert in email newsletters, I know the latest, cutting-edge strategies for
maximizing the impact of your newsletter, keeping clients interested, and inspiring clients to take action. After helping many, many designers build their own newsletters through my Email Newsletters for Designers book and audio program (and getting loads of emails begging me to “just do it for me!”), I found that there is a need to go a step further. So ..

How would you like to benefit from my 8 years of experience in creating high-impact, relevant newsletters? I am excited to launch a brand new service where I actually create and send the newsletters for you! It could not possibly be any easier. Imagine having a great newsletter - packed with interesting decorating ideas and tips - emailed to YOUR clients and prospects every month, with your logo, photo, website, phone number, and bio included.

Finally – sending a monthly email newsletter will be

You have heard about email newsletters for years now, and you have been meaning to get to it one day. This is a perfect opportunity to have it done for you - and done the right way.

Interested in learning more? Log onto: www.nikastewart.com/ezinesdoneforyou.htm to get all the details.

March 11, 2009

Notes from the Interior Design Summit:
How to Start a Giving Program for Your Business

Inspiration from Maggie Keenan's class, "5 Ways Giving Makes A Difference for Your Design Business"

Having a Giving Program is a great business strategy. It creates Win-Win. You get involved in social issues AND boost your image.

How does "giving" helps businesses?
  • enhance your business image
  • increase sales
  • build client loyalty
  • improve employee retention
  • create / boost / enhance your brand
COOL TIP: Giving Program does not have to be about YOU giving money. Get creative. Hold a contest. Raise money. Donate time or knowledge.

Don't treat "giving" as side project. It should be an integral part of business. Otherwise you won't reap the benefits AND neither will the charity!

First thing to do is define your Giving Goals. Then develop your Giving Budget. Then create your Giving Story. Use your Giving Story in all your marketing.

If you are a local business, why not give to LOCAL causes. Help your community & boost awareness of your own business among ideal prospects.

INTERESTING STATISTIC: If price and quality are equal, consumers will switch and recommend a new company based on a Giving Program or Cause. Wow!

Make sure your Giving Program is "authentic, not opportunistic."

Maggie F. Keenan, Ed.D., is the author of Small Businesses Give Big… why charitable giving is a great business strategy. You can find her book at: www.smallbusinessesgivebig.com

March 08, 2009

Notes from the Interior Design Summit:
Everything Designers Need to Know about Staging

Here are some notes and ideas from Craig Schiller's class, "Everything Designers Need to Know about Staging"

When staging, designers need to know that the HOUSE is the star. Not the design. Not the designer. The HOUSE.

What designers need to give up is the need to add flair, drama, personality, ego.

What designers need to ADD is speed.

Staging design is disposable, it's quick, it's all about marketing.

Craig Schiller is the founder of Real Estaging, Chicago’s premier home staging company. He has staged 100’s of homes in the greater Chicago market. His staging work was highlighted in Home Magazine. He writes the #1 blog in the country on home staging. Craig has spoken to numerous audiences about staging. And in November 2006 he founded www.StageItForward.com - with over 2,400 members nationwide it is now the largest FREE home staging industry site providing home staging tips, marketing ideas, and success stories on home staging.

March 06, 2009

Notes from the Interior Design Summit:
Greater Client Attraction by Allowing Your Prospects to KNOW You

This post includes notes and inspiration from Heather Dominick's class, "Greater Client Attraction by Allowing Your Prospects to KNOW You"

Thoughts on the big debate: Should a designer ever do a free consultation? Heather says there is a middle ground between FREE consultations and PAID consultations. It's not black or white. There is a way to have a "Get to Know You" session where you and the prospect can see if you are a good fit for each other.

It's all about CONNECTION.  The intention of all your marketing materials should be to create a connection with your ideal client. You just need to learn simple ways to connect with your prospects:
  • Be more personal in your marketing
  • Ask questions and listen
  • Stay in touch with regular phone calls and newsletters
Make a mindset shift: from "selling" to "SERVING" !!

Heather Dominick is the EnergyRich® Entrepreneur Success Coach to healers, coaches & entrepreneurs around the world: www.energyrichcoach.com