Special Q&A Edition!
Thank you all so much for the positive response to last week’s post! Glad that resonated (and that I’m not alone!). I loved reading all your comments.
This week I’m going a little off-script and answering some questions you left in the comments last week and via email. And if you missed that opportunity, feel free to leave additional questions in the comments section and I’ll be sure to answer them there!
Let’s see what we have here….
Susan asks: My husband and I are on a tight budget, we live in an apartment and I would really like to put a personal touch on our rather bland landscape. If you have a $100 to decorate where would you start? Would you buy a great piece of art? would you invest in a chair or accent item, like a lamp or vase? Should we spend it all on one thing or a few little things. Any thoughts? Just trying to make our ‘house’ a ‘home’!!
Hi Susan – what a great question! If it’s a possibility, I’d take half of that $100 and put it toward paint. Painting can have a HUGE influence on the personality of the room. With the other $50 I’d get either a great painting or a vintage chair. If you have some artistic skills (or can just hold a paintbrush) you could even do an abstract painting on a large canvas. The idea is to create a focal point. With $50 you could also find a killer vintage chair on Craigslist or at an estate sale. Get something that is full of personality and speaks to you and your husband. I wouldn’t fritter it away on lots of small stuff though – that will just get lost and not further the overall design. Make one or two big statements. And just take the rest of the room bit by bit and save up for big purchases. Good luck!
Valerie asks: Besides blogs and giveaways, are there any marketing techniques that you have used and/or that you feel are effective?
The best marketing has been and always will be word-of-mouth. My best clients come from other awesome clients who know we’d click. But when you’re just getting started, that can be slow to produce results. The next best thing is to create buzz and interest through the media. Being featured in a local newspaper or magazine or on blogs with large audiences (depending on if you want to reach local clients or online clients) can be a great way to introduce people to your services. Bonus : since you’re being featured by an entity with clout and credibility, you’ll automatically be seen as credible as well. Get working on a great press release featuring your new opening, public event, product launch, or other juicy news-worthy tidbit about your business!
Haley asks: BRAND NEW to blogging…what did you do to connect with people in your niche? Leave comments, write personal emails?
Yes, I did leave comments and write personal emails (and I still do!). Since I started blogging, twitter has become an amazing place to connect with peers as well, so I recommend that to anyone wanting to connect. I also joined online communities (20 Something Bloggers was one) and I took an online blogging class back in 2009 that was forum-based and promoted a lot of discussion. You might join other groups or conferences/events related to your niche – if you’re meeting in person, be sure to bring business cards!
Laura asks: You’ve just had your six-month anniversary of your business. What are some of your goals for Maggie Rose Interiors for the next year?
Woohoo! I have lots of goals for 2012, including more in-person events for potential interior design clients, working on getting some projects published in an online magazine like Rue or Lonny, and to bring some sort of product component into play (obviously that isn’t too fleshed out yet!). I’d also love to take on an intern (maybe even employee??) by the end of 2012.
Thanks for asking, and remember I’ll ask additional questions in the comments below if you want : )