Category Archives: Projects and Process

Interior Design PR: Images are Everything

As a design professional navigating today’s media landscape, whether it’s digital or print (which I can assure you is not dead), the most crucial elements of your public relations and advertising efforts are images of your work. And by that I don’t mean your images need to be good – they need to be great.

While the options for designers to get their messages out today are incredibly varied – from Facebook to dwell – the unifying factor is that they all rely on beautiful images. With that in mind, most great images are typically taken by great photographers. So, I suggest that my clients always set aside enough money in their marketing budgets to have their best projects, or the best rooms from a specific project, photographed by an excellent photographer. Once you have these images, you’ll be able to use them for multiple purposes, like your editorial coverage, social media posts, website and portfolio.

I have over two decades of experience consulting with interior designers on ways of configuring their marketing and PR efforts to reach potential clients. I also help them develop business and marketing plans to convert prospects into customers.

Please take a moment to watch the video I have posted with more on this subject, and contact me if you are interested in seeing how I can help you make your pictures worth more than a thousand words, but rather a thousand dollars.

How to Hire an Interior Designer: Choosing an Interior Designer Yourself

french-regency-page-19

Your designer helps you see what you want; here's an example of French Regency style

Renowned logo designer David Airy has posted a popular piece on the client’s perspective when hiring a designer.  Though the issues deal with web design, they aptly describe the concerns interior design clients have about choosing a professional wisely.

Here are key issues to think through and apply when you are choosing between candidate interior designers, landscape or architecture firms.

“I don’t know what I want”

Help me see what I want.  Listen to my concerns, be they about building my business or nurturing my family or making guests welcome and comfortable.  Hear what outcome I seek.  Then share your vision.   I want a person who can help me clearly picture what I’m looking for.

This is where your portfolio and your consultation are important. I may choose you because I want something similar to work you’ve done.  I may choose you because you responded best to my need for vision during our consultation.

“I don’t know anything about design”

Still, give me the means of control.  Define the decisions I make in the process. Explain the steps and stages, and show me my control points.  If you disagree with my ideas or my input, tell me why.  But in the end, assure me that the final decision will reflect my choice.  I need confidence you’ll give me control.

This is why a contract is important. A contract protects my interests as a client in receiving work that meets my specific terms.  It protects your interests in working to a defined scope and your terms.  I want you to offer me a contract that puts our agreement in writing and explains how you and I control the project.

“I need to see value for your pricing”

Explain to me what value I get from your services. Pricing will be something I’m learning about in the process of interviewing designers.  I may not be sure yet about my budget.  Price isn’t the only measure that matters.  But I may be wary if you seem expensive and can’t clearly show why your services are better than your competitors for the outcome I seek.   Your pricing should be in line not only with your creativity, but with the practical work you take on to build, install and deliver the changes we are making.

This is where your relevance to my benefit is important. Don’t assume I’ll see your value as you prefer to present it.  Worry less about what you say, and more about what I understand.  Explain the benefits of your work in terms that are relevant to my life, values, and situation.

“I need to be able to talk to you”

Check in with me.   Follow up with me. Don’t disappear during or after work is underway.  If you go the extra mile to resolve small issues before they become big ones, I will remember your efforts to ensure success and my satisfaction.  This means I may look no further for my next design project, or when I want to recommend a designer to a friend.

We need to get along in a friendly way.  I know you are a professional and not my personal friend.  Yet I am looking for a ‘good vibe;’ some affinity between us.  If we like each other, this will emerge in the work we take on together.  If we don’t like each other, that will almost certainly cause problems. We need to be honest with ourselves about how good we feel that we are likely to get along.

You may not think like a designer, but you can make a great choice

This is where a talent matching service, like iMatchDesigners, has an important job.  It’s hard to tell in a 20 minute conversation whether any two people are going to get along during a full design project.  A seasoned referral resource can bring valuable background and perspective.  We welcome you to find inspiration or styles you like in our portfolio.  Then we invite you to tell us about yourself and your project.  You receive our personal referrals to design professionals we know well, who we believe are strong in the skills and personal traits most likely to promote your project’s success.

Limited experience in working with designers need not hamper your ability to choose wisely and choose well. You can contact iMatchDesigners for assistance in finding and choosing design talent to bring your new solution to life.

Find Suspense and Interest from a Dilemma

"When you find the dilemma in a project, that's when you know what it's really about," says Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, author of Yes is More. "If there's no conflict, no clash of interests, how are you going to make it interesting?"

While Ingels was talking about tensions like those between community development and historical preservation or providing spaces in public projects for both rich and poor, the concept of a dilemma represents an excellent organizing principle for any kind of subject matter.

A dilemma seeks to reconcile two seemingly incompatible elements. With a dilemma in a headline, you generate suspense. If the opposing forces are those actually giving your potential customers headaches, the reader can't help but go on to see how you resolve the contradiction.

Sample headlines:

Become a Household Name While Preserving a Haven of Privacy

Parents: Yes You CAN Have Disciplined Kids Who Regard You as Their Greatest Friend

Discover the Career Building System That Ensures Both Job Security and Personal Fulfillment

Are Competitors Gaining Market Share Through Social Media Yet You Don't Have Time to Master It?

by Marcia Yudkin, Marketing Expert and Mentor

What does ‘luxury’ really mean?

The word “luxury” has been used to define many things. As we know, it’s been overextended. What’s in and out for brand-speak?

Out In
Luxury Authenticity
Decadent Discretion
Exquisite Quality
Lavish Sensitive
Extravagance Dependable
Glamour Exclusive
Flash Subtle

True luxury brands have remained above the fray, as their brand messaging and company legacy still hold appeal for the wealthiest percentage of the population. Those who have embraced the new vocabulary also find themselves in a good position as tenets like authenticity, quality and dependability are valued. In the future, luxury goods will be marketed to the Earnest Affluents exclusively, or those who can afford the investment.