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Why Aren't You Charging More for Your Design Genius?

Who here has ever felt like an imposter in their business? Raise your hand. C’mon, don’t be shy. 

Every single person should be raising their hand because we’ve all felt it — that feeling that my designs are not worth that price tag, that I can’t charge more because I don’t have enough experience or a degree I can frame on the wall and point to as evidence I spent years studying for this career.

Everyone has that tiny voice in the back of their head whispering these things, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. And don’t forget that ultimately you are in control of your thoughts … sometimes they just need extra guidance or a heavy hand to steer away from the edge of that massive, looming cliff.

So when that little voice tries to speak up, tell it to bugger off and replace those mutterings with positive, powerful affirmations.

If that voice whispers, “You can’t charge $X price for your design because...

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Why Value-Based Fees are the Best Choice for Your Interior Design Business

fees value-based Jan 21, 2020

Repeat after me: I will not charge an hourly rate. 

Now say it out loud. C’mon, I know you didn’t the first time.

Great, now that that’s taken care of, let’s get down to brass tax. 

Charging a flat fee for your design services is far superior to an hourly rateAnd there are a lot of different ways to calculate it. 

A flat — or value-based — fee is the total cost for a project that can be calculated based on square footage, a percentage of the project cost or an estimate of what you’d normally charge for an hourly rate (but remember, you’re not doing that anymore) to complete the job. 

Don’t believe me? Well, Forbes believes me, so you should, too

Why a flat fee works

Here’s the hard and fast truth if you set an hourly rate: clients will “shop” it, meaning they’ll search for the lowest they can find. You’re competing as a commodity - and we know that design is not a...

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How To Increase Your Interior Design Business Revenue This Year

2020 news revenue Jan 07, 2020

It’s 2020, and time to kick off the new year and decade with a bang — by making more money than you’ve ever made before!

There are several ways you can increase your interior design business revenue, some easy and others … well, not so easy. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is math involved — we are talking about adding up all those $$$ after all. 

I promise it is all worth it in the end. The worst thing you can do is undervalue your services or — gasp! — give them away for free.

Let’s talk about how you can add more Benjamins to your books this year.

Value-Based Fees

First things first, I do not recommend charging your clients by the hour. There’s always time you’re not fully accounting for and you usually end up paying yourself less than what your gorgeous designs are really worth. 

That’s why I highly recommend using a value-based fee, which is a lump sum you charge for the entire...

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Download Today! How to Do An Annual Review and Set Goals for Your Interior Design Business

general business Dec 18, 2019

The end of the year is fast upon us, and it’s only natural to both reflect back and look ahead on all you’ve done in the past year and your goals for the future. 

But if you don’t want to find yourself facing the ghosts of interior design past, present, and future, it’s time to add an annual business review to that list of resolutions. 

If you haven’t been doing one, now is the perfect time to start. January 1, 2020, marks not only a new year but also an entirely new decade. (P.S. How’d that happen so fast? Wasn’t it just 2011 a few years ago?!?!)

I’m sharing this amazing review and planning guide that will help you sleigh your way (see what I did there) into 2020 with a plan that will guide your business through all the fog — just like Rudolph’s red nose.

This document will help you work through not only your business fundamentals but how you’re feeling about what you’re...

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4 Tips for Selecting the Perfect Interior Design Client Gifts

'Tis the season for giving — and that means buying gifts for your clients, too. 

As interior designers, we provide a very personalized service and your client gifts should reflect that as well as the size of the project. That means a client who spent a lot more money with me will get a much larger gift than one who spent half or a quarter of that amount. 

Here are my guidelines for client gifts:

Everyone gets a Christmas card

First off, don’t be a Grinch. 

Everyone one of your clients should get a Christmas card. I order mine in advance and you can use anything from Moo to Minted to Vistaprint — whichever you like best. 

Also, try to add your logo somewhere. It shouldn’t be prominent, and the back of the card is a great option. When you sign it, make sure they know who it’s from. The return label should be your business name, too. One thing not to do: Don’t include your business card. That’s just tacky. 


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How to use Instagram stories for your interior design business

marketing social media Nov 12, 2019

Shhhhh … can you keep a secret? Wait, you can’t? Well, OK, I’m still going to share because I’m nice like that. 

A couple weeks ago we talked about that ‘gram life and how to create a gorgeous interior design Instagram grid. Now it’s time to discuss the less-curated side of the social media platform — Instagram stories.

When it comes to Instagram Stories, consistency is once again key — you should always have something up on your stories — but the most important thing is being raw. You can do away with most of the polished professional shots and highly edited video. Instagram stories should feel much more real.

And don’t try to sound like anything other than your badass natural self. People want to work with people they like, and what they see on your stories should be a reflection of YOU — because that’s who they’re going to call and who they’re going to expect to show up for their...

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How to create a gorgeous instagram grid as an interior designer

marketing social media Oct 29, 2019

It’s also the best place to showcase your amazing interior design skills and help you connect with new clients. And Instagram grids are a great way to accomplish that. 

I’ll have to admit straight off the bat that I don’t use a grid — it’s on my long list of things to do. But I’m still here to share all the tricks of the trade I’ve learned about the ‘gram.

Grid or no grid

Look, if you don’t end up creating an Instagram grid, it is not the end of the world (clearly, since I don’t have one and my world — and business — has not ended). And for solo-preneurs, spending a lot of time focusing on the appearance of your feed may just be too overtaxing with all the other things you have going on.

But that doesn’t mean you can get away with putting no effort into this social media platform. Make sure you are posting every single day and use professional or well-curated photos whenever possible. You can use your...

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Stand out with creative interior design business cards

marketing Oct 15, 2019

Stand out with creative interior design business cards

You’re working in the field of interior design, which means you’re a creative person, right? So then explain to me why you’re still handing out dull, boring business cards?

It’s past time for an upgrade if you’re still using standard cards that lack a little something something. You’ve got to stand out, especially for those times when you’re at a networking event where everyone is handing out cards like candy on Halloween.

Thankfully, Pinterest is chock full of ideas, so let’s dive into some great business cards ideas I found hot off the presses.

Modern and elegant

You can have a classy look but still make it edgy. Just take these three business cards: They’re all eye-catching for different reasons.

Color blocking is often used in interior design, so why not spice up your business card with the same style. I love the colors this template uses: Black, gray, white and pink. The...

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Why you should avoid hourly interior design fees (and how to price your services instead)

pricing services Sep 23, 2019

HGTV is the best — and worst — thing to happen to the interior design industry. 

It provides inspiration not only for our clients and potential clients, but for us designers as well, and it showcases some really amazing home transformations. But it magically glosses over the cost and time it takes to complete these projects. 

Every show wraps up in an hour what actually takes weeks, if not months to complete. Sure, it highlights the inevitable hiccups along the way — a rotten ceiling beam that needs replacing, a faulty electrical system and mold, there’s always mold, so. much. mold. 

The end result is always beautiful, the reveal makes the clients cry — and sometimes me too if we’re being honest — but viewers don’t get a sense of what went into coming up with and completing the design, and all it’s associated fees.

That makes it more difficult for us as designers to figure out how to price our services —...

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The Secret To Getting Clients To Happily, Quickly Sign Your Contract

processes Sep 03, 2019

So you’ve met with a prospective client, outlined your project and they’re ready to sign on: Congrats!

But before you simply send off the contract to them via email and pop the champagne, there’s one more step you need to take: Walking through the contract face to face.

Back in the day, I used to put contracts together and then email them off to the client, saying give us a call if you have questions, or just sign it and send it back. 

And then …. nothing. Crickets. 

The silence would drive me crazy as I sat there thinking about the money the project would bring in and the amazing design I wanted to create. 

The silence happened for any number of reasons — the client didn’t get around to it or didn’t think it was that important, or he or she needed to make sure their spouse looked it over … or they fell over in their chair because they didn’t realize the design fee was going to be so high and thought they could...

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