10 Surprising Things that Will Grow Your Business

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The Kate Show | Episode 81

Here's the truth: It's the small, seemingly insignificant things that will grow your business and multiply your marketing the most. Success doesn't lie in that one big event, that one special magazine feature, that collaboration, that TV spot.

Nope. Marketing your design, staging, or workroom business right into a state of success depends on the small details, the things you do consistently, the things you do wholeheartedly without wavering. As someone who has been in business just long enough to see how the tiny details can play out and as someone who has helped other businesses do the same, I'm sharing the top 10 surprising things that will grow your business. If you're ready to scale your business and kick it into high gear, you won't want to miss this episode.

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Kate’s advice is honest, easily applicable and well timed with events in the industry. I love listening in each week for a dose of marketing wisdom.
— VABritt

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10 Ways to Grow Your Home Industry Business

Your most impressive magazine feature is not as impressive to your clients as the fact that you called them personally to see how they were loving their home after install day. The sympathy card you sent to a new client when you saw on social media that their dog had passed away speaks louder than your HGTV interview. The celebrity home you staged is not as memorable as the mid-range home you helped sell above and beyond your client's asking price at a time when they desperately needed the cash flow.

The small actions, the purpose-driven passion in your heart, the little ways in which you make moments memorable or mundane experiences easier for your leads and clients - these are what grow your business.

Looking for concrete ways to show up in the small spaces, fill the gaps, and - ultimately - set yourself apart? Let's dive into it.

1) Keep yourself as the face of the company and main point of contact even when you have a team.

In simpler terms: Don't get too big for your britches. No matter how wealthy your clients are, how big your team is, or how large your service area, you are still a human whose main goal is to serve other humans at the highest level.

Case in point: As my team has grown, not everyone who contacts Socialite ends up hearing back from me. If someone else on the team responds to their inquiry, the potential customer remains standoff-ish until they get on the phone with me. It's not because I'm "all that," but because I am the face of this company, and anyone who contacts me is expecting a reply from me. While this isn't always possible, I'm making every effort to increase my personal communication with leads and customers. The moment any one of us take the

2) Tell your leads and potential clients what a day in your career life is like.

You think they know what you do, but they don't. Help reduce their fear of the unknown by elaborating on exactly what you do in your design, staging, or workroom business. Be sure to include a description of your idea client, your favorite type of project, and one or two fun facts that they likely don't know about you.

Keep in mind that listing specifics won't alienate people who aren't your exact ideal client, nor will it turn away projects that aren't your favorite project type. What it *will* do is show your followers that you know what you're doing, that your career requires extensive knowledge, and that you are well-worth every penny. Showcasing a day-in-the-life via an IG / FB story, a blog post, or a more permanent video does wonders for increasing your perceived value and personable nature, both of which make it easier for people to trust you and pay you the big bucks.

3) Avoid offering discounts, sales, or free consultations.

I say this a lot. A LOT. I'm not always so redundant, but I do find the repetition of this truth necessary: Free or discounted words in your marketing will attract bargain hunters, which in all honesty, is one of the worst client types. If you are trying to get more clients who can afford to pay you, offering them a discount won't help. In fact, your pricing is rarely the culprit while your perceived value, most often, is the bigger problem.

Bottom line: You can charge whatever you want for your services and be able to sell them successfully if you can also prove that you are worth that dollar amount. The first step to doing that is firmly believing in your own value and in the benefits you can bring to other people.

The next step is showing that value through a good visual representation of who you are, which means your logo and website aren't DIY'd, your bio images aren't outdated, and your portfolio is high quality, even if it is small.

4) Following up with last year's clients, asking if they need anything, and asking them to refer you.

How many times have you been so focused on getting new clients that you've forgotten about the clients you already have in your database? I'm not suggesting that you try to book more projects with these people (there are only so many times you can update their window treatments in a given year), but you shouldn't assume that you're completely done serving them, either. Perhaps a new need has arisen. Maybe they've moved houses or purchased a second home. (If you are a home stager, perhaps you need to revisit your real estate connections. Real estate is always changing.) In the very least, perhaps those past clients would happily refer you to their friend or family member who is in dire need of your services. Don't wait for these referrals to happen spontaneously. Ask for them!

5) Follow up with leads who didn't hire you and ask why.

This might sound crazy, but you'll learn more about your marketing effectiveness from the people who don't hire you versus the ones that do. If you have leads that fit your ideal client persona but just won't move forward with you, you might be self-sabotaging through your marketing. Perhaps part of your messaging is misaligned. Maybe the impression they get of you is not what you intend.

Sending a final follow up email saying, "Hey _____, sorry we haven't been able to work together yet. Would you mind sharing why you chose to go a different direction?" is one of the most helpful questions you'll ever ask.

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6) Install a "book a discovery call" feature on your website and in your email signature.

While you shouldn't have 24/7 availability, setting aside a few hours just two days a week to allow new leads to book calls with you can increase the number of new clients you get each month. Often, the only barrier between you and the leads you miss is the fact that they can't easily reach you. If you are looking for online booking tools, I suggest Calendly or Acuity Scheduling.

7) Be extra specific about the type of client you serve and tailor your services to them.

Emotion converts. Specificity sells. If your ideal client can recognize him / herself in your marketing, feels understood, and sees that your services or products were made for them, your bank account can reflect that. Furthermore, if you are specific and intentional about the services you offer, you will look far more professional. Saying that no job is too big or too small or that you "do it all" are not selling points and will discourage the more serious clients from working with you.

8) Use an online client portal to on-board clients and manage projects.

If you're still keeping a paper file of your clients and projects, you've likely experienced the frustration that comes with losing paperwork, leaving it on your desk when you really need it on the job site, the slow process of gaining client approval or obtaining signatures, and the dreaded invoicing phase.

Truly, this is just an archaic way of doing business, and it's pushing your overhead costs to unnecessary heights. Think of all the hours you spend on paperwork, invoices, and other mundane admin tasks. These days, there are entire online platforms such as My Doma Studio or QUIPA that will do all of this for you, plus help with sourcing and ordering.

9) Schedule your social media posts a month in advance and make sure each post supports a business goal you have.

The benefits of scheduling your social media posts ahead of time can't be overstated:

  • You'll save time batching your content and getting "in the zone" to write good captions

  • You'll be able to copy / paste your hash tags in seconds instead of taking a full minute to type them out for each Instagram post

  • You'll be able to make sure you're always talking to your ideal client because, again, your brain will be "in the zone"

  • You'll be able to make sure your posts align with the service you want to promote that month (why post about upholstery if you really just want more drapery projects?)

Use Facebook's built-in scheduling tool or use a third party tool like HopperHQ, Hootsuite, or Tailwind to schedule your posts in advance. Since you don't need to post more than 3 times per week, you'd only need to schedule 12 posts for the entire month.

10) Show your face on Instagram / Facebook stories.

Your face is an avenue for true connection. Stop worrying about your appearance and hop on Instagram stories to share a project you have in the works. Get on Facebook book live and share a tour of your latest install. Or...just talk. Share your day. Share something you learned. Share something beyond your business that fires you up and makes you want to take action. People will always remember a face longer than an image or a graphic, and they will remember a moment of true connect over a pretty photo any day.

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