Episode 92: Growing Your Visibility Using the Media with Molly Schoneveld
My next badass guest is Molly Schoneveld. She is the founder and CEO of The Storied Group--a PR firm for interior designers and luxury lifestyle clients. Molly shares how her background in communications and her experience in the entertainment industry led her to the interior design business.
In this episode, Molly and I also chat about what magazines are currently looking for, how to use social media for publicity, and her top tips for having a project photographed.
The Storied Group is “Your PR Secret Weapon” to help you stand out in a noisy world. They offer PR services, including a project placement service for designers who aren't yet ready to make a full-time investment in PR. Learn more at www.thestoriedgroup.com and follow along on Instagram @thestoriedgroup and @molly.schoneveld.
Get more info about our year-long mentorship and coaching program, The Interior Design Business Bakery.
Text UPDATES to 214-380-1969 for all our DFCM updates.
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
Connect with Michelle
Have ideas or suggestions or want to be considered as a guest on the show? Email me!
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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.
Michelle Lynne: Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm Michelle Lynne, and today we're talking to Molly Schoneveld. She is founder and CEO of The Storied Group, which is a PR firm for interior designers and luxury lifestyle clients. Molly, I've been waiting for this conversation and I'm really looking forward to it. How are you, and welcome.
Molly Schoneveld: Me too. Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.
Michelle Lynne: I'm excited to have you here as well. Now, just random question, you had mentioned when we were off recording that you are in LA and Raleigh.
Molly Schoneveld: Oh my gosh, yes. Living the, I put in quotes, bi-coastal dream. Because it sounds really fancy and fun on paper. But it is a logistical, nightmare is a strong word, but
Michelle Lynne: Pain in the ass?
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, I mean, it's just whatever stuff you have is never where you need it to be.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. Yeah. Heck, I have a hard enough time with a two-story house.
Molly Schoneveld: I mean, totally. And I'm like, unless I duplicated everything I own.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Molly Schoneveld: And these are all like, you know, high-class problems. But it's like, I really wish my Nespresso was in LA at the moment. You know?
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I can appreciate that. That's definitely one to potentially duplicate.
Molly Schoneveld: I know. I know.
Michelle Lynne: That is so fun. So Molly, tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get to the PR firm and why interior designers?
Molly Schoneveld: Yes. So my background is the whole celebrity world. I worked for an Oscar-winning producer when I first got to LA and then fell kind of into PR not really even knowing what it was. But I worked at the largest celebrity PR firm that existed at the time, PMK, and repping A-List actors, directors and producers.
Michelle Lynne: What did you study in school?
Molly Schoneveld: Funny enough, I studied communication, but I never really thought that it would end up being my job. I didn't really know. I wanted to work in entertainment. And so I took, I learned by the trial and fire.
Michelle Lynne: I can appreciate that.
Molly Schoneveld: For PR for sure. But I had a business partner when I started my firm in 2008. And she and I had worked together at PMK, and we mostly were repping celebrities at the time. And, you know, though when you're starting a new business, you have a tendency to take on just anybody that will pay you.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, I can appreciate that.
Molly Schoneveld: And then you get smart and realize like, oh, okay, like you really need to niche down, you need to learn how to say no, and all those things that came much later in my business. But and this was not one of those clients, but we ended up taking on an interior designer who had a lot of celebrity clients. And it was just this perfect, beautiful blend of what we knew how to do. And then, you know, a budding interest. I mean, I was in, I think I was like, 30, when I started my company. And my business partner was quite a bit younger than I was. So we didn't have a lot of budget, even though we were interested in design. And I think over the years, of course, as you, you know, become a little more successful, and you can spend money on interiors and things like that, my interest only grew. But she was just such a wonderful client to have in the beginning, because we were able to do so much on the celebrity side, and then also really learn about the interior design world.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, it's a completely different world, isn't it?
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, it really is. And then funny enough, like years later, I ended up launching Hammer and Spear, which is a firm here in LA, that actually launched in the arts district, and the co-founder of that company, Kristan Cunningham was the face of HGTV at the time for Design on a Dime. And she was going to have another show, and she hired us for that. And they ended up not doing the show. And she and her husband decided, you know, we're gonna do our retirement plan, which is to launch a mom-and-pop vintage shop, and have it kind of be something that could compete with Crate and Barrel, but like Crate and Barrel prices, but you could go there and just get something really cool and unique.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, fun.
Molly Schoneveld: And so we launched it. And they were just like the darlings of the arts district at the time. And it did so well that they ended up expanding into a bigger, better location in the arts district and then expanding into an actual design firm. And their first client was the founder of TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, wow.
Molly Schoneveld: And so I got to help get that, I placed it in Architectural Digest. And it was just a huge win. And again, I was like, I love this, I want to do more of this. So I really started niching down. And so now we have quite a few interior designers, and I love it.
Michelle Lynne: That is very fun. So you mentioned Architectural Digest. And I know that a lot of our audience and interior designers in general, a lot of us dream about being in print in a shelter magazine. But the world feels like it's changing, you know, with digital and all the things. What like, what are magazines looking for today?
Molly Schoneveld: Well, every magazine is obviously looking for something a little bit different. And you know, you'll get different answers from different editors. But there's a few common themes here. One of which is they want to see something they haven't seen a million times. And I think that that is where it gets really tricky when you've finished a project and you're so proud of it. And it's amazing. But it's got to hit a few things. It's got to be something that's going to really wow editors, that's unique. It's also got to fall in line with their editorial calendar. Like I'll give you an example, a client of mine, she's actually an actress. And I also represent her interior designer. It was just kind of a coincidence. And the house was mid-century modern, so amazing, very colorful. And I thought this is so great for Better Homes and Gardens. And it was. They said yes, the problem was the house was very springtime, like it was just not going to run and a fall issue. So it took a year and a half for that project to actually hit stands because just simply the time of year and their editorial calendar. And so I think people forget that it's not just about, you know, one thing, it's a lot of things that are out of your control that I'd say the biggest one is trend forward and just something that is going to just blow them away, quite frankly, it's so competitive.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. And when you're waiting, so if I were to submit something tomorrow to, I don't know, what am I looking at, Architectural Digest, just because I can't think of anything else. If I were to submit something tomorrow, do I have to keep all of that content off of my website and my social media and stuff like that while we're waiting for a yay or a nay as well as for publication?
Molly Schoneveld: So with Architectural Digest, yes. Some of the other magazines don't really care. They do really care about hero shots. And the reason is because they want to be the ones to debut it. And if you debut your gorgeous hero images of your projects ahead of the press coming out, when the press comes out there's a bit of a been there done that feel from your audience. And so what I always tell designers is like you can get away with, you know, a vignette or like a sneak peek, behind the scenes in your stories. But if you really think that your project has a shot at press, it's like, save those hero shots, you know, the gorgeous overview of the kitchen or whatever room is like really like the wow factor, keep that off. Because yeah, it's like magazines really want to be the ones to showcase that.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. You steal their thunder.
Molly Schoneveld: And I mean, in fact, AD, I mean, one of the last projects that I got on the website, which was a full home tour, it was a celebrity chef, we had to sign an embargo.
Michelle Lynne: What is that?
Molly Schoneveld: So basically, an embargo means that they get the rights to those images for a specific amount of time. And even though they didn't pay for the shoot, they didn't buy the images, we still had to agree to a six, I think it was a six-month embargo. So those images couldn't run in any other publication untill the embargo was up.
Michelle Lynne: Huh. The little nuances behind the scenes.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah. But generally, like just to talk about embargoes for a second, because this is like a little interesting tidbit, if Better Homes and Gardens reshoots your house, then they hire the photographer, and they own those images, generally for a certain amount of time. And that's called an embargo. So when the embargo is up, generally the rights revert back to the photographer, and that's when you have the right to negotiate with the photographer to say, like, I'd like to buy those images, because then, you know, the magazine, sometimes the magazine will own them, but generally not.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And then you can say as seen in, and it's the exact image.
Molly Schoneveld: One hundred percent.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, fun. So what about, like, we have such a social media presence in this industry. So obviously, we're not putting the hero shots out there. But what if, like, what if we only have like 1000 followers or 5000 followers or something, does that make a difference? Are editors, I guess, do they care how many followers you have? Or how active you are on social media? Like does that impact at all?
Molly Schoneveld: So it definitely does impact. It does not mean that you can't get press because you only have 1000 followers. That is simply not true. But I will tell you where it impacts. So Conde Nast in particular is putting a huge focus on their YouTube channel. And so creating YouTube shows and one of my clients is Drew Scott, we're now calling him Drew Michael Scott, just so that there's a distinction between the Property Brother Drew Scott.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, there you go. That's who I was thinking he was.
Molly Schoneveld: Yes, so his brand is called Lone Fox, and he is a huge YouTube sensation. And he has over a million subscribers on YouTube. He has over 700,000 followers on Instagram, that matters. And you better believe like, it helped him get Architectural Digest to say yes, to have him be an expert on one of their YouTube series. Because they're basically able to use his audience and, you know, these magazines, it's like, they need readership. So it definitely helps you, if you have a large following. It could hurt you only if, like, if you don't have a large following, it's gonna be unlikely that you're going to be able to get a big, like, social media takeover kind of situation.
Michelle Lynne: Right? Yeah. Because it's just gonna be your mom and a couple of your friends watching.
Molly Schoneveld: A hundred percent. Or like, you know, creating, like, a big thing now in PR is like, you know, obviously, we're trying to get our clients press, but part of that is like, for example, doing a reel for Good Morning America, or other media outlets.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that wouldn't suck.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, so I mean, and that has a huge, they have like over 3 million followers, I think. And so we have a client that recently did that. And she has her following I think is around like 27,000 followers. So it's not nothing but it's also not a million. And so but they do look at those numbers. If you're trying to do any kind of social media partnership with someone. That's where it matters.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, because you have to bring, I think one of the things that we have to remember from a business standpoint is that even though what we're looking at is getting our work published, which is great for us, we also have to benefit the receiver, like another publication or whatnot, like how can we help elevate them when we feel like we're just puny but there's still a business transaction that has to be considered.
Molly Schoneveld: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, interesting. Interesting. Interesting. So when you are, so if my team is designing a badass kitchen, breakfast nook, whatever. Do you generally go in into the project thinking this could probably be published, and then start working on getting it photographed when it's done? Like, what have you seen? Or is it just like, oh, my gosh, this is done. It's amazing. Now I need to start promoting it.
Molly Schoneveld: Well, I think you go into the project knowing whether or not it could have, you know, potential of getting press. And I worked with an interior designer on our new house in Raleigh, and even our contract stated that, you know, if she wanted to have it photograph that we were agreeing to have her do that. So I think that you really start at the contract portion with a client so that they already know like, you're interested, so you have those conversations early so that when it's finished, you're not then tasked with, oh, no, like, I have to have this conversation with my client. I'm not sure if they're gonna be okay with this, but if you get it out in the open in the beginning, then you kind of can, you know what I mean? It's just easier.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. And we have it in our contract that we have the right to photograph it.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: But I think if you think it's going to be like publishable, because we have little baby projects that don't even make it onto our website. And then we have those badass projects, that makes sense. Because you can start prepping them to think, hey, this might be something that we pitch.
Molly Schoneveld: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: So do you have tips for getting projects photographed? And do you do it differently for the ones that you think might be publishable? Like, are there two?
Molly Schoneveld: I have tons of tips on photography, this is like the hill I'm gonna die on because let me just tell you, I mean, this is, this is everything for designers, is the photos of your projects. It's the way that you are selling yourself, not only to new clients, but it's how I'm selling you to the media. And so, generally speaking, I work a few ways with designers. So we have ongoing retainer clients who, you know, we're promoting them on an ongoing pace, getting them on podcasts, getting them inclusions, getting their bigger projects featured, getting them thought leader pieces, those sorts of things. And then I do project placements, which is a one, if you have one beautiful project that you want to get published, then you can come to us and you pay 50% down, and then you don't pay the remainder unless we get your project published.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's an interesting model.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, so the risk is not quite as big, you know, because a lot of people, including myself in the beginning, you know, you have to sign at least a four to six-month contract. And so if you really just have one project in your pipeline that's press worthy, then this is a much better way to go.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely.
Molly Schoneveld: But here's the thing. For both of these services, it all comes down to your photos. And the first step is negotiating with your photographer. And you've really got to understand as the designer, what your contract says, I've had a designer client who misinterpreted the contract. And the contract actually said that they were allowed to use the photos to pitch the press, but it didn't say, and it was very weirdly worded. But it actually didn't say that they could run in the media. And we had already secured the feature and everything and like she was doing the interview. And then I think the piece even came out and then the photographer came back and was like, you didn't have the rights for this to run. And so, you know, a photographer who really sticks to their contracts could stick it to you and sue you and demand more money.
Michelle Lynne: Interesting.
Molly Schoneveld: So it's just so important. Luckily, this photographer didn't do that. He just said, you know, going forward, I need to know ahead of time so that we can negotiate a rate. Honestly, I just think that there are too many great photographers in the world now that you don't have to do that. I think that there are photographers that are willing to do your shoot for a reasonable amount of money, who will give you the amount of photographs that you need, which is at least, at least 20 photographs, for a full home tour, with all of the rooms. Now, certainly, yes, you can get press on just a beautiful kitchen, you can get press on, but it's not going to be a full home tour. There's a difference.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Molly Schoneveld: So for my project placement service, we are placing full home tours. And so for full home tours, I need the kitchen, I need the living room, I need the primary bathroom, the primary bedroom, a dining room, at least those five rooms, and I need 20-25 images that are different.
Michelle Lynne: And they tell a story.
Molly Schoneveld: They tell a story. Some are horizontal, some are vertical. I mean, you can't believe that one of the biggest feedbacks that we'll get from editors from various magazines, you know, they'll say, oh, do you have any more photos of the kitchen? Because maybe there's three images. And if there aren't any, it's like, what are you gonna do? I mean, all you can say is no.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that makes sense. And going back to the photographer, as long as they're getting credit, I would think that that would be, you know, a really big boost for their profile.
Molly Schoneveld: It depends on the photographer. And I think a lot, that there's a big misconception amongst designers that if they hire the most famous photographer, that it's a guaranteed in at whatever magazine. And here's the thing, it's never a guaranteed in. Because, as I said in the beginning, you know, there are many factors that come into play for an editor to say yes to your project. Certainly, it can help you get an answer if your photographer works with AD all the time, then they're likely going to be able to get the editor to respond, which is half the battle. I can also do that, but the editor is never gonna say, I love this photographer, and I'm just gonna throw him a bone, like this is a business. That's just not how it works, you know? And so it has to go like, does it fit into their editorial plans? Like, maybe they've already published three green kitchens in the last three months. And they're like, I love this project but just we can't do any more green kitchens.
Michelle Lynne: Right.
Molly Schoneveld: You know what I mean? So I think that like, it's having a variety of images. It's hiring a photographer who understands your style. So if you have a dark and moody style, don't hire a wedding photographer that has a bright and airy aesthetic, because what you see in their portfolio is what you're going to get. And I think people think like, oh, I can just have them tweak these and put a different. No, it's like, you've got to hire the correct photographer.
Michelle Lynne: Well, it's just like hiring a designer. If a designer has a specific aesthetic and you want them to do something different in your home, it's not their wheelhouse. And while they might be able to do it, they're not going to be as good as somebody who specialized in that style.
Molly Schoneveld: That's 100% correct.
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Molly Schoneveld: And also, you know, I see this a lot where designers will get the blurry person in the shot, you know? It's fine for your website but have you ever seen an image like that run in a magazine? I've never seen one run in a magazine.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, probably not. It's on their blogs and on their social media and stuff like that.
Molly Schoneveld: But I mean, you know, if you're in a situation where you're paying, because a lot of photographers are charging by the photograph, because they're setting up the shot the way that they do for magazines, which, you know, I have mixed feelings on whether or not you really need to spend two full days photographing a home. Because if it's really that great, it's gonna be for AD, I mean, they may reshoot it anyway. I mean, you need to have an incredible, you need to have incredible photos. But I think you also need to stay within a budget that works for you. And I think you need to make sure that the photographer can get you what you need without it costing you $20,000.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. Yeah. And it also depends on what tier of clients you're at, as well.
Molly Schoneveld: That's right.
Michelle Lynne: I remember when we started our business. When I started ML Interiors Group, we just started with a real estate photographer. And literally just as we made more money, we paid more money, and our projects got better. So yeah, I've heard of designers coming out of the gate with their first project and hiring a top tier photographer and I'm like, dude, how do you afford that?
Molly Schoneveld: I know, it's so expensive. I mean, I do steer designers away from real estate photography. Because you just, you can't get that published. It's just so different. It doesn't tell a story. The angles are too wide. I mean, it's just, they look a lot like renderings.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, yeah, I definitely don't recommend it anymore. It was before I knew what to do. But that's where we started. And it just, you know, it did the trick on a little GoDaddy website back in the day.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah. Yeah, no, totally.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. But coming up and out of the gate with the professionals. It does make a difference. You get what you pay for. Yeah, you absolutely get what you pay for. But yeah, a good couple of days unless it's, well, I'm in Texas, so the houses are a lot bigger. It might take two days.
Molly Schoneveld: That's true. I'm in Los Angeles, where you're lucky if you get 2000 square feet.
Michelle Lynne: That's all relative, right?
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: So let's say, once you get us into publication, then how do you leverage that press? So it's great. Hey, look it mom, I'm in Southern Living or whatever. Put it up on Instagram. How else can you run with it?
Molly Schoneveld: Well, I think one thing to keep in mind is that, you know, in our digital world today, where anybody can go on social media and build a brand, the thing that makes certain digital experts, influencers, whatever it is, creative people stand out is their ability to get traditional media. Because it is still the thing that gives you credibility above anything else, to say, I was published in Elle Decor, I was published in Better Homes and Gardens, or whatever magazine it is. So I do think that you need to have a highlight on your Instagram page that says press and always share it. Something that we always tell our clients to do is not only should you tag the publication when you post about it on your Instagram. So many of these articles now are written by freelancers. And they get jobs because other people see their work. So tag the writer.
Michelle Lynne: I never would have thought of that.
Molly Schoneveld: Oh my god, it goes so far.
Michelle Lynne: Because they'll pick up the phone and call you the next time they need something because you gave them a hand up.
Molly Schoneveld: I am telling you, like it is the thing that we constantly preach to our clients. Give love to the writers because they are making $5 an hour. I mean, literally, they make no money writing anymore. And it's the one thing that you can do to really say thank you. It's like, you know, gifts are fine. But honestly, what they want is,
Michelle Lynne: More work.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, they want to be credited for their work.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. I think that's a, yeah. So you can see this.
Molly Schoneveld: Sorry, I mean, you can obviously, you should also put it in your newsletter, you know.
Michelle Lynne: Put a blog out.
Molly Schoneveld: Especially if it's something that is, that's getting, like if it's not just a roundup piece. Like, if it's like a substantial piece of press, whether it's, you know, a podcast interview, or it's a big project that got a multi-page feature or something like that, you can pull quotes from that article, you know, and the quotes can be testimonial from, I mean Elle Decor said. I mean, you know what I mean?
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah.
Molly Schoneveld: Like you can use that on your website, you can use it in your newsletter. This is not only interior design. One of my clients is the Golden Door Wellness Resort down in San Diego, and during COVID, obviously, it was really tough for hospitality industry.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Molly Schoneveld: And so they closed for almost a year, and when they reopened, they built these massage, like these little hut things outside that were beautiful. And so I got them included in an article in Vanity Fair that was how spas are reopening, you know, after the pandemic, and they used that article in their newsletter to describe what it was like. And so it was so much more powerful for them to say, here's what Vanity Fair had to say about the way that we're doing things versus you telling people.
Michelle Lynne: Mm-hmm, it just gives you that extra street cred.
Molly Schoneveld: It does, it really does.
Michelle Lynne: That's interesting. I think back when I was younger in my endeavors of ML Interiors Group, I used to think that getting published was just for vanity, and really just kind of poo-pooed it, but the more I've learned the more I can see the power behind it and you explaining it, you know, really, it has a lot of horsepower.
Molly Schoneveld: Well, and here's the thing about vanity because to me, yes, press can be a vanity project, right? Like in some ways I feel like I'm in the ego business, you know? But the thing about your ego is that it really can alter your mindset when you get published.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. Can you imagine the strut you would have just walking down the street?
Molly Schoneveld: A hundred percent. And so every move you make and every decision you make is one hundred percent based on your mindset. And if press is going to be something that is going to help your mindset feel more badassery or whatever, you know what I mean?
Michelle Lynne: You're using my language, yes.
Molly Schoneveld: Then it's like, then press has value beyond just how many sales did I get from this article.
Michelle Lynne: Right. Or how many congratulations or how many likes on my Instagram?
Molly Schoneveld: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Huh. I think this is a great perspective to share.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, perception from other people, of course, when they see that you've been published, they think a certain thing about you. Like, wow, that person is worthy of getting that, you know, and certainly, it can have a direct, you know, we represent an art gallerist, who works with a lot of interior designers. And we do a lot of podcast pitching for her because, I mean, she was on the Ballard Design podcast, and it was a huge ROI for her.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I believe it. So it's not just getting published in Architectural Digest or whatever.
Molly Schoneveld: Right.
Michelle Lynne: There are all these other ways of
Molly Schoneveld: What's your goal? You know, what are you really trying to get more of? I mean, our client, we have a designer in Austin, and she opened a store, and we got her store included in House Beautiful print issue, Best Stores in America. I mean, that's a really big deal.
Michelle Lynne: Heck, yeah, that's like better than a commercial.
Molly Schoneveld: Right. So I mean, there's a lot of ways to get press. And I think that it does a lot more for you than just give you the direct sales because it really, there's no longer the Oprah effect or the Oprah effect, which was you go on Oprah Winfrey, and you immediately explode into superstardom.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, Nate Berkus.
Molly Schoneveld: Totally, 100%. I mean, but that is so rare now because the media is so fragmented. So it's just really hard to have one press hit and suddenly you're a superstar.
Michelle Lynne: Which makes sense, because when it comes to just running our business, our clients have to see us more than once. And if they can see us in more than one place, i.e., Instagram, then all of a sudden, we're just becoming, oh, I see you everywhere. I want to work with them. So once we got to the point where we could start investing in more advertising, but the PR is in like, okay, so let me ask you this. How would you describe the difference between buying an ad and being placed in a magazine?
Molly Schoneveld: Well, it's the trust factor, because earned media, I mean, is considered to be you know, we'll use Vanity Fair or Elle Decor as an example. It's like if you're an avid reader of Elle Decor and you get it every week, and then you see someone featured in there, that's a big deal. But you're skipping over the ads.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Molly Schoneveld: You know what I mean? Because you know that those are paid for. And so there is still journalism, it isn't dead, despite the fact that, you know, there's a lot that's going to pay to play. And I think that you have to be so careful because I mean, I'll tell you, I represent a talent agency as well. It's a little bit of my wildcard on my roster, but because of my entertainment background, it works. But anyway, they actually rep quite a few influencers in the home space, which is fun. But someone reached out to one of the agents and said, hey, we're doing this list of best agents in the business in LA Weekly, it cost $500 to have your name included, are you interested? And he forwarded it to me, and he goes, I really think we should do this. It's like such a low fee. It's a scam. And I emailed my friend at LA Weekly, and I was like, I'm just double checking that this is not accurate. But I mean, they are reaching out directly to my clients and people are thinking that it's real.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense, yeah. It feels personal.
Molly Schoneveld: You have to be careful. I mean, if someone, I mean, earned media is still the Holy Grail. It's the thing that gives you credibility. And honestly, it's also the mindset thing. As I said, it's like, how do you feel about yourself when you get something earned versus you paid for an ad?
Michelle Lynne: Paying for it. Yeah.
Molly Schoneveld: Or even like an advertorial. I mean, it's just not the same because anybody can pay for an advertorial but not everybody can get featured in a magazine.
Michelle Lynne: And it's very strategic.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. I think that's a pretty big distinction. Even for myself as I'm thinking, well, I could just pay to be over here but no, it's completely different because that is an advertisement versus a feature.
Molly Schoneveld: Well, and I think it also depends on what your like, are you trying to sell a course? If you're trying to sell a course, then I think digital ads are probably the way to go. But if you're trying to build a luxury brand, which is what we promote, then it's all about the earned media.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And I think our clients at that level are appreciative of that. You know, we're not shopping at Home Goods anymore.
Molly Schoneveld: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Thank you, Lord. That was back in the day. Oh my gosh, Molly, this is so interesting. I could just spend the next two hours going down a variety of different bunny trails. I might have to have you back on here. But I think this was a really good, like, introductory to the PR piece, and the placements, and the photographs, and the control we have over that and so forth, and the services that you offer. So here's what I want to do. I want to have our fun little Q&A, rapid-fire Q&A. And then when we're done with that, we'll let the audience know how they can find you.
Molly Schoneveld: Okay, perfect.
Michelle Lynne: Okay. All right. So let's start off with an easy question. Where do you find inspiration?
Molly Schoneveld: Travel. So my inspiration has been, like squashed the past three years, but we're taking a huge trip to Greece with my mom in May. It's her bucket list destination.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, nice.
Molly Schoneveld: And I'm like living for it.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's right around the corner.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: That's exciting. All right. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Molly Schoneveld: Teleportation, which is like, you know, that's not a creative answer. But honest to God. It's like now that I'm living in two places across the country, you better believe it.
Michelle Lynne: And then even over to Greece, how nice would it be just to pop right over there?
Molly Schoneveld: I mean, totally.
Michelle Lynne: Do you have any tattoos?
Molly Schoneveld: I do not. I think my mom would still kill me even though I'm way beyond the point that my mom should be telling me what to do.
Michelle Lynne: Nope. I understand that. Innie belly button or outie?
Molly Schoneveld: Innie.
Michelle Lynne: One piece of advice you'd give your 20-year-old self.
Molly Schoneveld: Don't undercharge.
Michelle Lynne: Yes, that's a good one. Twenty-year-old, thirty-year-old, forty-year-old.
Molly Schoneveld: Exactly.
Michelle Lynne: What is the best compliment you've ever received?
Molly Schoneveld: That my home feels warm and inviting.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I think the whole audience is going to appreciate that. That's awesome. If you couldn't be in the profession you're in now, Molly, what would you be doing?
Molly Schoneveld: I would be a hotel heiress. Notice I didn't say hotel manager, okay? Like, I don't want to run the hotel. Let's be very clear.
Michelle Lynne: I think that's one of the best answers I've had. That's awesome.
Molly Schoneveld: I have a thing for like really well-designed hotels. Like, I just, I blogged about it for a long time. Like, I would love to travel to see really cool, like I would base my travel plans on the hotel.
Michelle Lynne: I understand that completely.
Molly Schoneveld: I'm not the kind of person that's like, but you're only in the hotel an hour a day or whatever. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. Like, I care first of all, where I'm staying and then the rest.
Michelle Lynne: My husband learned that. Our first anniversary I planned, and we went to a swanky hotel, and it was just really nice. The second anniversary he planned it. So we were doing every other. We went to this broken-down fishing hole place, I have no idea. It's like, honey, you're lucky we're still married.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, seriously.
Michelle Lynne: It had the big box TV from like the 70s. It was so old. It was so funny, he's like, okay I get it.
Molly Schoneveld: I trained my husband early to just not ask questions. I just book it and he just pretends not to know.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. It doesn't matter what it costs.
Molly Schoneveld: I'm like, don't worry about it.
Michelle Lynne: I can totally appreciate that. What does your morning routine look like?
Molly Schoneveld: Oh my God, I wish I could tell you that I was the kind of person who gets up and like meditates. And then you know, has a green juice and all that. But I just, I don't. During the pandemic, my husband and I had a routine where we got up and went for a walk every morning. And that is definitely the best I've ever felt. But now I'm back to my terrible morning routine, which is wake up, get out my iPad and immediately start reading emails. But that's when I catch up on like the news, which I know is even worse, but my husband does bring me coffee in bed, which makes it very hard to then want to get out of bed.
Michelle Lynne: Yes. Oh my gosh. Yeah. That's, it's interesting, I used to be the person who would have a morning routine. And now it just like, it depends on if my kid wakes me up, or can I sleep a little bit longer?
Molly Schoneveld: I know. I'm not the most disciplined person. My husband is very disciplined. And I'm just, and my second best compliment is that I'm a master winger, like I can just wing it always. And I feel like that is definitely my morning routine. I just wing it somehow.
Michelle Lynne: Every day is different when you own a business right?
Molly Schoneveld: A hundred percent. You never know what you're gonna wake up to.
Michelle Lynne: Exactly. Well, what is your favorite productivity hack?
Molly Schoneveld: Um, let's see here. I want to give you a good one. Let me think about this for a second.
Michelle Lynne: Coffee in bed?
Molly Schoneveld: Actually, yeah, I actually think it is time blocking. Whenever I need to get something, like, let's just say that I have a project that I have to get pitched, like it's a big, big deal, I turn my phone off. I shut down my email. I write the pitch in text notes or Word or whatever. And then I open up all the things that are gonna give notifications. Because if you try to get anything done with a thousand things buzzing you just never will.
Michelle Lynne: I think that's what causes enough anxiety that I'm coloring my gray hair on a more regular basis.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah. I mean, the other thing is just scheduling out everything. Like, if it's not in my calendar, it's not getting done. So like if I'm going to work out, you can't say like, I'm gonna fit in a workout. Absolutely not. Everything else has to fit around what is important to you.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. Yeah. Because are you going to be sweaty in the morning and then you have an appointment?
Molly Schoneveld: Right.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. That's details, details. Oh, my gosh, Molly, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Molly Schoneveld: Thank you so much. This was really fun.
Michelle Lynne: Such a joy.
Molly Schoneveld: I hope that you got some good tips.
Michelle Lynne: Well, I'm sure our audience loved everything you've shared. So tell them where they can find you and connect with you.
Molly Schoneveld: Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram @thestoriedgroup and see some of our work. And you can follow me personally @molly.schoneveld. Hopefully, you'll put that in the show notes, cause that's a really hard one. And then visit my website thestoriedgroup.com. And it talks about everything that we offer. And I'd love for anybody to just reach out and let me know how I can help.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. And it's the Storied S-T-O-R-I-E-D Group.
Molly Schoneveld: That's correct.
Michelle Lynne: So all of this will be in the show notes, for sure.
Molly Schoneveld: Perfect.
Michelle Lynne: Yay. Well, and for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, join the growing community on Facebook private group. And yeah, I say this every time, it is Facebook, but that's the best place that we can run a private group, and it's called the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Come join me over there. Until next time. Thanks, Molly.
Molly Schoneveld: Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with the name and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, The Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition, so let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.