In this video, Joanne Lenart Weary, the creator of the Confident Color System, and our very own Melissa Marro answer all your questions about marketing and business. Let’s jump in!
If you want to grow your business, you have to make people remember you. Sometimes, making people remember you requires being willing to be a little silly. People want to work with people who are joyful and fun (and also experts). For specific examples of how Joanne and Melissa get a little silly– curlers, bathrobes, and more– watch the video! #laughandrollwiththeflow
If you’re willing to be fun and stand out, people will remember enough about you to put the pieces together and look you up, even if they can’t remember your name.
Joanne and Melissa’s top tip: Get out of your house! Get off your butt, and get out there in the world where your customers are. Social media is only one piece of the puzzle.
Joanne’s story: In her first 10 years of business, Joanne experienced many peaks and valleys. What she finally realized was that she was inconsistent with her marketing. So, she decided to focus on her niche–the service-driven designer who starts with what you have and then designs your space. It’s what she had always done, but never specifically or consistently marketed before. Then, she decided to speak three times a month. She pushed past the fear of putting herself out there and started telling everyone and anyone about her business. The first time she spoke she was supposed to speak for 20 minutes and giggled for 15 of them! And it was all okay. After that, she realized there was nothing she could do bad enough that would get in her way. Quickly after, she doubled her sales and became so comfortable she didn’t want or need any more customers, but they kept coming anyway, and so did opportunities to speak on TV about what she does!
Melissa’s story is very similar. The only difference really is that while Joanne is reaching the design community, Melissa is reaching the staging community. No matter who you’re speaking to, the most important thing is that they know who you are and what you’re all about. An easy way to do this: humor.
The power of placement
Whether you’re a designer, stager, or realtor, you sell visuals. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate visuals into your marketing strategy. There are many ways you can do this when giving a presentation. For example, get there early and turn the chairs in different directions. Tell the audience to sit wherever they’d like, but let them know they can’t move their chair. Typically, they feel stupid and annoyed that they’re looking the wrong way. When you tell them to change the chair to face the front of the room, they usually feel better and state that they feel right now. This easy exercise helps them understand what a difference the placement of a chair can make. For more examples, be sure to watch the video!
These fun exercises take the audience on a journey with you so that they can understand, relate, and see the value in what you do.
Did you know? Less than 10% of the world can visualize the way stagers and designers can. So, don’t undervalue yourself! And don’t underestimate the value of educating your audience about these visuals and doing exercises like the one explained above. The more you can help them visualize, the more they will realize that they don’t know, the more excited they will be about what you do, and the more they will want to know about what else they might not know. Plus, when they see something so simple that makes a big change like the plus vs X chair placement, they really begin to see you as the expert.
What to talk about during a presentation
Many of you are unsure of what to talk about, and you’re afraid that if you give away your secrets, you won’t get any clients. But that is a misconception. When you speak in front of a group, remember these two things:
- Don’t worry about the DIYers; they wouldn’t hire you anyway. They’ll go home and make a better home because of what you shared.
- The others, the majority, will realize how complicated what you do is and want your help with it!
So don’t be afraid to share ideas with them.
Explaining WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO will attract customers to you because they’ll feel empowered by you to be successful.
So, what to talk about . . . Talk about what you love the most, i.e. the stuff you’re most excited about. For example, JUST talking about color (Hue Saturation Value) is enough! Better to give expert advice about one topic than vague advice about everything. (If you want more help, buy Joanne’s Ready-To-Go presentations— they come with props and everything!)
If giving presentations at a particular store, keep it consistent. For example, the 2nd Saturday of every month. This makes it easier for people to remember when to come. Also, incorporate the store’s product! They’re letting you present there, so do what you can to help them as well. This is called kindred spirit marketing. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, too. Joanne does fashion or hair presentations where she talks about color and design. Even though this isn’t her obvious clientele, it still draws an audience she wouldn’t normally reach and brings opportunity for that audience to spread the word about her.
Get out there and do presentations for free to make face-to-face contact and build a name for yourself as a professional. Eventually, you can charge. But it will take a bit. It’s worth your time!
After speaking, do wrap-around marketing = send something that reminds the people who were present about who you are and what you talked about. Plus, instead of handing out business cards after a speaking engagement, give out useful tips on a postcard so it fits in their bag. Then, post about the event on social media! Tell social media the highlights.
Important: Hand out things of value, not things about you. People don’t care about you yet. You need to build credibility, not visibility. Visibility will come later. Build excitement with your audience so they want more of you!
How to get these speaking arrangements
Just ask! Say, “I have a great idea that I think will bring customers to you and help me build a reputation.” It’s a win-win for both of you! For as many people who’ll say yes, three times more will say no, and that’s okay. When reaching out, make sure they know there won’t be a sales pitch. You’ll simply educate and hand out your contact information. A great place to begin is at women’s groups, like junior leagues, church groups, etc. because they’re looking for people to speak. Post-summer is a great opportunity because they’re trying to fill their fall calendar.
Last bits of advice and encouragement
Show your joy!
Get out of your own way = don’t be afraid to make a mistake, fall on your face, be silly, etc.
Don’t be afraid to try something new in your design and staging process. Look at your portfolio and change things up. Be unique and creative to get out of your comfort zone.
Melissa gets hired over other stagers because of her passion and excitement about it. It’s everything to her, and people love that. People are drawn to joy.
There will be times when you’re up until 1 am learning how to run your business because you’re gaining success, and there’s a lot you don’t know and it’s scary. You question yourself, “Who do I think I am?” But you’re not alone, and you have every right to be pursuing this career. You love it and you’re learning, and you will feel so good when you’re on the other side of these accomplishments, knowing that you made it through. Don’t put on your Eeyore face; you got this!!