November 28, 2007

Marketing Makes You Fat

Scientific studies show that marketing is tied to weight gain! Well, actually, the studies show that elevated levels of stress often cause increased fat. And since many designers tell me that marketing makes them feel stressed, I just made the connection.

So to ease your stress (and possibly increase your health and fitness), I've decided to answer some common marketing questions

  1. What are the most effective ways to market a design business?
    First, let's define "effective." Effective marketing is
    creating a lot of awareness about your company - for the least amount of money. The more effective your marketing, the more calls you will get from prospects looking for your services. (Selling the prospects on you and your services is the next step, but first you have to get them to call.)

    The most effective marketing techniques for designers are the ones that create relationships - in other words, marketing that focuses on a specific target audience, includes personal contact, and emphasizes continual customer satisfaction.

    Okay, you want the short answer? Here are the marketing techniques that work the best:
    - email newsletters sent at least twice per month
    - calling past customers at least once a year
    - knocking on doors in new neighborhoods
    - mailing personal notes to new neighborhoods and past customers
    - live classes or demonstrations (only if they are done regularly, and then followed up with one or more of the above methods)

  2. What are the cheapest ways to market my design business?
    See all the techniques above.

  3. What are the best ways to get repeat sales from past customers?
    See all the techniques above.

  4. How do I get more clients that I really like working with?
    See all the techniques above.

Okay, this may seem like a joke, but seriously - these marketing techniques work! And if you put each method into your schedule and make a system for yourself, you will be taking away a HUGE part of your marketing stress.

Here's to your marketing fitness!

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  • November 27, 2007

    The Romantic Life of the Interior Designer

    The secret to becoming a wealthy decorator. Learn easy, fun tips for creating a successful interior design business. You don't have to do it all alone! Make money doing what you love. Interior decorating, design, home fashions, staging, redesign.

    November 19, 2007

    How to Market During the Holidays - without stress!

    Note From Nika

    I am so thankful for the beautiful colors outside my window. It's a rainy, icky day,

    but the coppery leaves on the big tree by my kitchen really make me smile.

    Are you feeling thankful today? For most of us, this time of year is filled with gratitude and excitement, but also lots of stress. While we are rushing to get orders completed and make clients happy, many of us are feeling too busy and overwhelmed to market ourselves. This week's article explains why that could be deadly for your business - and gives you some simple ways to

    market through the season successfully and with less overwhelm.

    To your success,


    'Tis the season - to be jolly, joyful, and full of stress. Every job must be completed before the holidays, and it's your responsibility to see that everything goes perfectly. 'Tis the time of year when most home fashion professionals are overloaded with work. How can you enjoy the holidays when you have so much to get done for other people? And how can you possibly be expected to also promote your business during this busy time?

    Most of us don't. When we are busy with a lot of design projects, we don't have the time to do our regular business promotions. Some designers think: "I have a lot of business, so why do I need to spend time on promoting?" or "I'll take care of marketing if I get slow." or "I would like to do some promotions, but I simply can't find the time now."

    The problem with these thoughts is:

    An ultra-successful business requires consistent, steady, recurring marketing (even when we are too busy).

    I'm sure you realize that placing just one ad in a local paper is not going to create long-term success; your ad needs to be seen consistently to get lasting results. It's like building a strong foundation. The longer your promotion goes on (the longer prospects continue to see your ads), the more powerful the credibility and confidence in your company. This is why marketing experts suggest that you run your ads over and over.

    If you were running a recurring ad in a newspaper, and you took it out for a few months, chances are you would have to start over - from scratch - rebuilding your foundation. This is very costly and time-consuming. The most effective way to keep your business going is to market continually and consistently.

    So how do we do that when we are so busy? Here are a few ideas to reflect upon:

    • Set it and forget it
      Newspapers and magazines allow you to purchase recurring ads. Set up a long-term contract, so you know that your promotion is going on continuously - keeping you in homeowners' minds, even through your busy rush.

    • Email newsletters
      If you send out newsletters, don't neglect this month. To save time, you can recycle an old article (like I just did!). You don't need to write anything new. The most important thing is to get the newsletter out!

    • Just make a phone call
      One of my favorite (and most successful) marketing ideas is calling past clients. Gather a list of your favorite ones, and call to say happy holidays. Your quick phone calls will remind clients of your products and services. And what a great time of year to do that (bonuses are received now, and homeowners are fantasizing about what to spend theirs on)!

    Give yourself the gift of a long-lasting, thriving design business. I wish you happiness, joy, and success.