Juicy Q&A with Kate: All Things Personal & Marketing
The Kate Show | Episode 80
Well, this was fun! I asked you all on social media to send me your burning questions about marketing, about growing your business, and my personal life. This episode is full of easy-to-use marketing tips and juicy details about me that you either always wondered or never wanted to know. If you don't know me yet, you'll feel like you do after hearing this episode.
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Q&A with Kate
A list of questions you all asked me are below, along with a brief answer. If you want the full answer, be sure to listen to the episode.
Amy asked: Why do you only work with people in the home industry?
I tried serving every type of business, and it really limited my success. After almost two years of struggling to get the right clients and wanting to give up, I took an online course called B School from Marie Forleo. That course taught me how to define my ideal client, why it mattered, how to market to them, and why specializing in a certain client type makes for uber-successful businesses. I've recommended B School to many clients and can't say enough good about it.
However, my learning couldn't stop there. I also started working with Michele Williams, who coached me on how to manage my income, set prices, and really believe in what I had to offer. She is still one of my closest mentors.
Rebecca asked: How did you choose your niche market?
After taking the B School course, I was able to realize that my favorite and best clients were in the home industry. I slowly let go of my other clients beyond that and immediately started specializing my products, services, and marketing content to meet the needs of designers, stagers, and workrooms. Doing that quickly brought a lot of publicity that hasn't stopped since.
Robin asked: How many people are on your team?
I have three people aside from myself on my immediate team and three more on the fringes.
Lisa: Where are you located?
I live in Wisconsin, near the state capitol of Madison. I'm surrounded by farm field, farm families, and close knit community. Aside from the long, harsh winters, it is the best place on earth.
Emma asked: Were you ever an interior designer?
No, and my ability to look objectively at the industry makes it easier for me to successfully help professionals who are "in the thick of it."
Jennifer asked: Do you have a degree in marketing?
I have a degree in professional writing and truly feel that college was a waste of time and money. I use zero percent of my college education to run my business. Running a business is an MBA all its own, one that a classroom could never capture...but I digress.
Lynn asked: How old are you?
I am 28 at the recording of this episode. I'm excited to turn 30. Is that weird?
Max asked: Are you a natural redhead?
Yes, and it is my most significant physical trait. I also get asked this question every time I go to the salon. When my husband sees another redhead, he proclaims, "She looks like you," even if that is the only similarity we have...
No one else in my immediate family has red hair. I get it from my grandmother and wear it proudly.
Max also asked: Do you hope your baby has red hair, too?
I think it would be great, but she'll be cute with any color! (At the time of this post and recording, she isn't born yet. By the time you're reading this, SHE IS HERE! Go check my Instagram @kate.the.socialite to see her.)
Monique asked: What is the design aesthetic / color palette of your baby girl's nursery?
Baby's nursery is a feminine, woodland theme with pink, orange, light and dark green, with some brown. Think of the woods and wildflowers. That's her space.
Eva asked: Why did you opt for a home birth?
Not a lot of people know I am planning a home birth, but I'm happy to share. First, there is no wrong way to give birth. If you wanted an epidural, a C-section, or a dolphin birth, you do you. All that matters is you and baby feel safe and supported.
Second, I don't have the right to insist that hospital staff agree to all my preferences, but I do have that power in my own home. Also, I was present for the home births of my two youngest brothers, and they were the most peaceful experiences ever. I am being attended by a midwife with 40 years of birthing experience, a labor and postpartum doula, my husband, and my mom. I'm debating on whether to share my full birth story. Let me know if you guys want to hear it.
Many people asked: Will becoming a mom hinder your ability to serve clients?
I was surprised by how many people asked this question since I announced my pregnancy. I guess I wasn't expecting that to be a common assumption since motherhood and entrepreneurship are not mutually exclusive these days.
The short answer: I have a team. My business can run without me. My clients likely won't even know I'm taking a little time away.
The long answer: Go listen to episode 073 of this podcast to hear how I baby-proofed my business.
Sarah M. asked: When running a booth at a vendor fair, should I include little freebies (candy, etc.) to stand out? What about offering a raffle to win a consultation and grow my mailing list?
I mean, chocolate is always a good idea. ;) If your ideal client is female, chocolate is more than just a treat. It's bait. If your ideal client is someone else, consider their preferences when choosing a treat to give away.
If you run a raffle to grow your list and allow someone to win a consult with you, keep in mind that you'll automatically attract people who like free things and contests. They might not be the type of person who has the funds to actually pay you for a full project, and nor would they be inclined to do so.
Instead, combine your two ideas: Offer a piece of high quality chocolate to anyone who puts themselves on your email sign up sheet. Be sure to also give them a flyer or brochure that highlights your services.
Amanda asked: How should I respond to a client who wants to negotiate on my design prices? I need exact wording, please!
Don't negotiate with these people. If someone says they want to negotiate, it is the first sign of disrespect and you should thank them for being so obvious...then run in the opposite direction. Because running for your life might be frowned upon, here is a handy little script you can use instead:
"At _______ (your business name), quality and client happiness matter most. Our prices are not up for negotiation, but we can offer you a smaller service package at a more affordable price point. We don't water down our services because we know you deserve the best."
...if they continue to haggle, wish them a nice day and move on to the next.
Jill asked: How can I get a better plan in place for social media? I'm overwhelmed but know I should be using it.
But should you? You should only be on social media as a business if your ideal client is there as well. There is no rule that states every modern business must be on the 'gram (or Facebook, or any other platform).
If your ideal client is, in fact, a social media user, limit yourself to posting three times per week. On Mondays, share a photo of your work. On Wednesdays, share a design or staging tip. On Fridays, share a photo of you, your family, or a behind-the-scenes image. Make sure each image has a good caption and that at least one post also asks your followers to, "Click the link in my bio or DM me to book a consultation."
Kimberly asked: What is the best platform for my new website?
Hands down, I recommend SquareSpace. Unlike Wordpress, Weebly, and Wix, it has built in SEO, many robust features, a short learning curve, and their templates look amazing - plus, they are easy to customize. Additionally, while Wordpress is one of the most wildly used website platforms, it is becoming increasingly clunky. You have to login at least monthly to manually update plugins or repair broken plugins to prevent your site from going offline. It is also difficult to use if you want to update your portfolio or make small changes on your own. Squarespace doesn't use plugins and also makes it easy for my clients to update their own websites as they please. As the business owner, you should be in full control of your website, even if you ultimately choose to hire a pro to make any design changes.
Maria asked: Where on my website should I put my lead magnet or email sign up form? Do I need to put it at the end of each blog post?
Your lead magnet or email option should be presented as a banner across the top of your site, viewable on every page of your site. Avoid using pop-ups unless they just show up in the lower right or left corners of your website. Full page or center page pop-ups have lower conversion rates because they tend to irritate your website visitors. Make sure you or your website designer disables any pop-ups on the mobile version of your website for this same reason. Even corner pop-ups will be enough to block the entire mobile screen and frustrated your viewers.