It’s time to be planting new ideas for the future…
The inspiration behind this post was from a dear friend and colleague, Ellen Carey who started her business 25 years ago and aptly named it Seed, Inc. Her focus is on feeding and nurturing a design talent into a business that can then grow and blossom.
This is the moment we need to be doing the same for our own businesses, seeing them through a new lens and being open to make changes. Being an entrepreneur during the 1987 stock market crash, the AIDs epidemic, 9/11 and the 2008 financial breakdown, I have had to reflect, adapt and pivot in order to move my businesses forward. Here are a few things, that I’ve learned that can help you navigate the New Norm:
But first, remember that we as entrepreneurs by definition are risk takers. At some point, most likely alone, you started a business. You are self-reliant by the nature of having your own business. This is a scary time to be sure, yet so was starting a business.
Disruption is part of our world and new norm. This means you need to be flexible and adaptable.
Quarantine causes you to isolate. Home is where it all begins. And for most, you are working from home which gives you extra time since you no longer have the daily commute. Use this time to:
Recall your difficult times in past. What lesson did you learn? Skills? Opportunities? How can you adapt these to your current situation?
Stay Connected. Each day reach out to 5 – 10 people. Listen and learn.
Keep routine your as much as possible
Create a morning check in list
Even research new platforms or digital nuances that could help you expand
Look at all the communities you have. For example, I have a PR Owners Group, the Women President’s Organization, Design Industry Groups, Clients, Media Partners, Friends, Family.
See how you can interact and expand your reach. Explore ways to collaborate or event create an expert roundtable for more ideas or even to support those newcomers to the industry.
Be Creative and test new ideas. This is a good time to talk about ideas you had on back burner.
Explore things you are passionate about.
Do you like to entertain, so perhaps doing short video with a few tips? If you like gardening maybe work with a local beekeeper and create your own brand of honey. This can help the environment, your health and can used as client gifts as well.
Think Locally. To support the new reality, some of us are going to have to reinvent how and where we live. Focus first on opportunities for local and regional markets.
For the foreseeable future, many local businesses and services cannot provide services that keep them going and even their adjustments most likely are not enough to keep them afloat.
Think about how you can help them now or plan for down the road.
Finally, don’t forget gratitude. Show your clients you are grateful and are capable.
Send a care package or go the extra mile to create a coloring book that can be sent to client’s w/pencils, etc.
Let us know how we can help you. We are offering 30 minute consultations as well as blocks of hours.
Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.
For more information, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.
Here are a few tips and takeaways from Images & Details, Inc to help you stay on course today and in the future.
Communication is key to keeping your business alive, surviving and even thriving.
It is more important than ever to stay in communication and support each other the best we can under these circumstances. If you haven’t already, make sure to touch base with your clients, vendors and industry colleagues to see how they are doing both personally and professionally.
This is the time to go through your contacts and reconnect with past clients, associates, friends. Use this down time to network. Call, text, email, DM.
This can be a time of opportunity. If you don’t have a plan now, it is the time to create one. Look forward to 3 and 6 months from now but keep in mind lockdown could continue for a month if not more. Determine who your current client is, who could be a potential client, and any new services that you can provide.
Take this time to explore new avenues and platforms to keep your message out there. Boost your digital platforms or learn ways to move your brand to a digital format.
For all, make sure your website, social media and any profiles online are up to date. Post frequently on your social media along with enhancing your engagement and interactions with fellow professionals and consumers. Announce on all media platforms any alternative methods you are planning on using for your business or services you would now like to provide. Make sure your websites are e-commerce friendly and have google analytics to be able to record how people are finding you.
Emailing is an easy and cost effective way to get your message out there. Your subject line is key to getting noticed. Make sure to create a timeline on content, short messages are easier than essays. Make sure to add a subscribe button and start building a contact list as email marketing is a direct way to target people interested in your business.
Since everyone will be focusing on remote technology, look into digital advertising. Google advertising and social media advertising are user friendly and can be done on smaller budgets. It can also be targeted locally. Test the water and see what the analytics tell you, you can easily stop or even expand depending on results. Local media are also emphasizing digital opportunities, so reach out and see what they have to offer.
For local retailers, think outside the box. The goal is to promote product sales, think of how you can let people view products or store. Try video chats, like IGTV, Zoom, Youtube, Facetime, for personal virtual shopping. Or take a 360 video of your store that is on your website so people can see your inventory. Make sure delivery or curbside pickup is accessible for those who want to make sure they are social distancing.
Please reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, ideas. Let us know how we can be of help. Remember this is a MARATHON not a SPRINT.
Keep safety in mind for both your customers and you employees.
For more information, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.
Communication is More Important than Everimagesmbd2020-03-27T14:08:14-04:00
Your brand is your reputation, so make it a good one!
One of the most important factors of owning a business is knowing how to attract supportive and loyal customers. To enable this, you will first want to determine what type of audience you want to attract. These are the people you believe want or are in need of the service or product you are selling. Who are these people identifying with the product you are selling? You will need to ask yourself basic questions to get clarity such as, Where do they live? How can you reach them? are they a business themselves or a consumer? What field are they in? What is their budget?And so on….
Second, you will need to do some research to determine and define what your brand is and what makes it unique. Then create a strong brand identity getting your business to stand out and speak to your audience(s) in particular and among the other businesses in your field. It will need to be one that they understand and can easily relate to. Have your message be specific and catered to the detailed behavior and lifestyle of your customers. Whether it matters if they are local or not for example.These are the people who will seek you out in the sea of others by your image, so you’ll need to tailor your message to meet their exact needs. Ask yourself questions like, Why your product? Why should people come to you over all the others? What can you offer that the others cannot?You want your message to be clean, clear and concise.
Finally, set a goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace. Assess the places you need to be to build your audience. In order to do this well, it is vital to invest in strong marketing strategies and campaigns in order to reach these consumers and generate awareness about your business. How can they find you? How can you be sure you won’t be overlooked and lost in the sea of other strong brands in your field?
Brand building can happen through:
User experience (i.e. your website)
SEO & Content Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Paid Advertising (PPC)
Connecticut based, Eleish van Breems Home have spent years examining their target audience and knows exactly who they are and how to reach them. They spend a great deal of time learning who their clients are, what their brand is and has to offer that others cannot and they have created a unique and lasting image in the marketplace. When the two owners first started out they were able to reach their local audience and with further research they have since expanded to online in order to reach the same demographics that are outside their home base. They have broadened their store front to other locations in order to reach their target audience in other geographic locations. During this growth they have also expanded their audience to include designers, broader age range and income levels. Meanwhile, on the other spectrum, a Connecticut Design Center did the same research. For them, selling to The Trade only they know their target customers are local Designers, but also the clientele of their designer clients. Based on watching the demands in their market place they have identified which lines to carry – both new and seasonal. Furthermore, they know exactly how to best market themselves to reach their clients. Both are thriving businesses that are growing!
To put it simply: You are your best advocate. Of course, to build your brand you not only need volume in the voices backing you, but how do you draw in those supporters? To draw in support, one must utilize and enhance existing relationships to grow and build new opportunities. Participating in speaking engagements allows you to advocate for yourself along with fellow industry leaders, partners and media.
Whether you sit on a panel with other industry influencers or give a talk on your own, the insight and knowledge you share is greatly valued. The positives of sitting on a panel is that you are able to make connections with your peers, can compare and contrast points of view, and are promoted through their channels. On your own you can share intimate details on your business, your process and even the ups and downs that have led to your success which bonds you with others who are in a similar situation or let potential clients feel less intimidated to work with you. These types of events give you name recognition, credibility and promote you as a leader or expert in your field. It is also the perfect moment for media to learn more about upcoming names and build story ideas off of the unique details you might bring to the discussion.
As a company, we have been participating in speaking engagements on branding, marketing and PR. We recommend these experiences to clients who feel comfortable speaking, as it brings a face for people to connect with and remember. For example, we set up Atlanta based client Tish Mills- Kirk to participate in a panel discussion locally at Atlanta ADAC Market, this gave her the opportunity to build her relationship with vendors Style Library and Grizzel & Mann, meet and talk with an editor from AD Pro, along with explore the topic with fellow designers Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill of Mitchell-Hill and Tim Green of Tim Green Designs. We also set Tish up to style a tablescape vignette in the Alden Parkes showroom with Replacements at High Point Market and were able to reach out to Style Library to help support her design through the rapport she received through the previous talk. She also engaged an audience in the space by participating on a panel with fellow designers Denise McGaha and Joni Vanderslice on unconventional ways to grow your business.
The more that you are out in the public eye the more opportunities become available for you and your business. Team up with brands targeting the same audience to make an imapact and gain eachothers existing followers. If you are a store or showroom make your space available for events and put together a few speaking experiences, this is trending as the best way to build engagement and feedback from the audience you are targeting. Don’t be afriad to add personality and a face to your business!
For more infrmation or help with an event, contact Beth@imagesanddetails.com.
Speaking Engagements as a Tool for Successimagesmbd2019-11-05T13:01:30-05:00
How To Navigate The Ever-Changing Landscape Of Media
It’s time to create a new road map.
Over the last several years, media has taken a downward spiral, especially in the home and interiors sector. From the toppling of the mighty in 2018 of Hearst Tower — House Beautiful, ELLE Decor and Veranda, to last Friday’s news of Traditional Home downsizing and bringing 5 Publications under one editor, it’s a totally new landscape.
Last month, I moderated the “Changing Landscape of Media” panel at the Luxury Home Design Summit at the Chatham Bars Inn hosted by New England Home Magazine. It was a dynamic three days of incredibly compelling speakers and discussions. I would highly recommend attending next year’s event.
The big takeaway is: in reality, there are more opportunities today to be able to generate exposure for you and your company than ever before. The challenge is to determine who to approach and how to get them to notice you.
A few tips:
Content is key
Craft a compelling story
Know your audience
One to one conversations
Stacy Kunstel a long time stylist and media maven shared some thoughts of media from the old guard (print) to the new media and what’s on the horizon. Overall, there are many more opportunities to get exposure for your company, especially in nontraditional ways. The downside is how to decipher and determine what is correct for you and your brand. Here are a few of her thoughts on what design related companies might want to explore now: self publish, YouTube, Zillow, podcasts, designer in resident features, non-design media covering design.
Digital director Keith Pollock of AD shared insights into their power in the marketplace. They recently have grown to 4 million Instagram followers. In April, they launched a pro membership service for designers similar to Business of Home but with much more capabilities and customization. It provides opportunities to get published, sourcing assistance and train reporting. Tip from Pollock: pitch via email, be brief but give noteworthy details.
Adam Japko of Esteem Media discussed the new landscape and creating custom contact through native advertising. This feels and looks visually like natural content. There is a 61% growth in this category since 2016. One of the interesting tidbits is if you hear something, a few days later you typically only recall 10%, whereas if you see an image there is 65% recall. It is a visual world today. They are projecting dollars spent on influencer marketing to be $5 to $10 billion by 2020.
Tip: When working with influencers, brands need to “let go of control” this allows content to “be authentic”.
As a creative brand strategist, our recommendation is always to have a great story to tell and to spend the time to know who your target audience is. It is the method of delivery that is really different today. If you want to learn more give us a call.
Images and Details
How To Navigate The Ever-Changing Landscape Of Mediaimagesmbd2019-07-09T14:27:20-04:00