Kim is an author who works with designers on creating better business strategies on an emotional and strategic level.
1.) What are some of the biggest problems you see designers facing?
2.) What is the best piece of advice you can provide designers when it comes to networking and getting their designs in front of the right people?
3.) How much does mindset play a role in designers feeling ‘stuck’?
4.) Do you believe that designers are lacking the right marketing or PR strategies? Is there something deeper going on or is it a little of both?
5.) How would you advise designers to become more ‘available’ for the life they truly want? What are some action steps they can take to become more available?
6.) How does gender play a role?
7.) So, explain to us your Visibility Strategy. What are some step-by-step things designers can do to be more visible online and in the real world?
8.) A lot of artists and designers are introverted, myself included. We’re not necessarily shy, but we don’t enjoy being ‘on’ and being in front of people all of the time. Do you have any tips for introverts? Would it be better for them to hire a PR manager or to outsource some of the extroverted tasks involved in becoming more visible?
9.) Do you have any suggestions for ways designers can earn more money in 2020?
10.) What are some of the biggest emotional hurdles designers face surrounding money and what are your tips to help them overcome these hurdles?
Speaker 1 (00:04):
What's up design tribe, but welcome back for a another episode. Now if you want to tune in to the live streams, then be sure to join in my design tribe Facebook group will where I go live with guests and do new episodes of the design tribe. To watch past episodes. Be sure to check out my playlist on YouTube for the video version and of course check out the design tribe on iTunes and Spotify for the podcast of version if you are wanting to listen while doing something else or getting crap done. All right, let's jump in.
Speaker 1 (00:40):
Hello. Hi everyone and welcome to today's episode with Kim Kuhteubl where we're going to discuss the her visibility strategy and also go through all kinds of questions. So Kim is an author who works with designers on better business strategies and some kind of like emotional blocks that designers sometimes have. So Kim, if you want to introduce yourself and kind of give a little bit of your backstory to everyone in the design tribe, I'm sure. Thank you so much first of all morning for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. I work with interior designers on their branding and visibility. As you said. I actually am a producer by trade and I spent a lot of time in television and contributing articles to different publications and then when I was sort of looking to transition out, I started working with a success coach and put together a package of services for interior designers and then realized, Oh wait a second, they like what I'm offering here.
Speaker 1 (01:39):
And it was initially video and it was blog production and blog content sort of things that I had done inside of my job as a producer is a content creator. But then I started to put together trends that were happening in terms of visibility and leadership and things that were getting in the way of designers actually getting the press or putting out the book in the world or getting the next level of client. And what it's, what I started to understand was that I was learning about women in leadership because 80% of interior designers are women. And so as I was working with them, I was learning about how women lead and also what gets in the way of them leading at their full capacity when they're creative. Right. So then what are some of the biggest problems you see designers facing? Like you said, 80% of interior designers are women I've kind of noticed as well.
Speaker 1 (02:39):
It's the same as true in textile design, which is my background. So yeah, I worked as a graphic designer for a little while and then I was a textile designer for seven years and I love, love, love textile design. But I did, I have noticed some kind of different design industries that women gravitate towards as opposed to men. Like a lot of industrial designers have more men tend to be more men. Yeah, it's interesting. I think that from the perspective of blocks you could, we can look at it a couple of ways. There are the business blocks and then there are the emotional blocks as a creative because fundamentally what you are as a creative, that's my dog, Ramona.
Speaker 1 (03:25):
We are as a creative is we're selling our creative work. And I don't know about you, but for me, when I'm being creative, I learned through my creativity. I'm a writer. I learned through my writing, I learned through the things that I create. And so when you have to offer those for sale, a lot of times there are going to be personal blocks that are involved there. So you might think, can I charge that much for my work? Is it worth it? Is it good enough? Or this work is not good enough? Because a lot of designers and creatives in general are perfectionistic. We're trying to get to our next level in terms of our creativity. So I like to look at things as done better than perfect. Otherwise nothing would get out in the world that that took a little bit of time to get there because at first I was just trying to be a perfect creative, you know?
Speaker 1 (04:19):
And I was like, no, well not show you that it's ugly. Or you judge it harshly. You say, that's really terrible. And meanwhile somebody else who's on the receiving end of that is finding beauty in that is finding wonder in that end. You've done your job. I think we all come here with gifts. I look at it spiritually too, that my creativity is a spiritual expression. And so there is somebody who needs to connect with that creativity and who's going to be moved by it. First it was just for me, but then eventually I'm here to serve with it. And so when you're here to serve with it, you have to get out of your own way with all of the, like the inner brouhaha that you might be telling yourself, whether you're, you have an inner mean girl or an inner insecure girl, designers.
Speaker 1 (05:04):
You mentioned to me that you were an introvert. And I'm an introvert as well. Most creatives are introverted. They love spending time alone. And what you have to do is choose the time that you're going to be in communication with as resists and how you're going to be in communication with others. And that's more important in that moment because you're here to be of service. Right? So I think what I'm hearing you say is that, you know, a lot of designers have these emotional blocks with, you know, kind of on one hand and I worked this price that I, that I need to charge really in order to make a decent living and support myself and also, Mmm, okay. Trying, dealing with perfectionism, you know, being afraid to really put yourself out there as, I guess what that boils down to is another block and then, Mmm.
Speaker 1 (05:56):
Also like when you're thinking about some of the blocks on them as an aside, at least like when it comes to something like pricing, how would an artist maybe know the market just isn't receiving what they're putting out there? Because I see that happen a lot too, where it's like, you know, you might love what you're, you know, you might love your work, you might believe in it and you're putting it out there. But if you're not seeing results, like when is a good time for an artist and maybe say, okay, like this isn't really viable for the market because you really have to have both, right? Like you have to have the emotional strength to really like put yourself out there like what you're talking about. But also there has to be a market for the product that you're putting out there and there.
Speaker 1 (06:37):
I don't know, there has to be someone who's willing to buy it. I I do. I love this question and I've never been asked it before in this way cause it's sparking a whole lot of things for me. Normally how I would answer it is that there's always a market for what it is you're doing. There's always a somebody who wants what it is you put out in the world. You just have to find them. And what happens is we get in our own way by thinking, Oh nobody wants to buy this. Then we start to focus on all of the reasons why nobody wants this or maybe it's not the right timing or all of those things. And so we focus on that instead of well where are the clients who want to buy this? And they might not be in your normal sphere of things, especially when it comes to design services.
Speaker 1 (07:23):
And this is a very common common, the problem with designers is that they have an idea in their head or they want to express their creativity in a certain way and the client wants the creativity expressed in another way and those things don't match. So they think, well I can do what they want but I'm not going to be creatively fulfilled so I can either be creatively fulfilled or I can be paid. But it can't be both. And that's not true. However, what sparking for me, when you were asking me that question was that there are many artists, the majority of artists are ahead of the curve. They're ahead of the cultural curve in terms of emotion, in terms of visuality, in terms of all of those things aesthetic. So you might be a visionary with a product that is not currently of the marketplace and you really have to figure out, I think a way to have a conversation.
Speaker 1 (08:20):
Cause some people are like, well they just didn't hit, the timing didn't hit. And we do see that that some people are so far ahead that they can't permeate the Geist. They can't get into the conversation, but I think a lot of times designers give up too early and we get caught up in this, again, the emotional trauma, nobody wants it. Oh maybe I suck. Well maybe this is too expensive. We go down that rabbit hole much quicker. Then we would spend the time trying to figure out who needs this now. Yes. I'm also of the belief that if you get the idea now for the moment, now you, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her book, big magic. And you see this out in the world that a lot of people will get the same idea at the same time in different parts. And I think there's a, there is a reason for that, that that idea is trying to get out.
Speaker 1 (09:19):
So some people are more confident about that expression and if the idea doesn't get expressed, if it's not meant to be with you, it will go looking for another home. I do really agree with that. Have you read that book? I have read that book and I had kind of forgotten about that part. But yeah, I love that part. Where it was like an idea for a book and like she had, was it an idea for a book that she had and then one of her friends yep. Manifesting with one of her friends and she said it was on a kiss. Like she kissed her friends, like congratulations or something. And then she felt the idea, leave her and go to her. Her friend and her friend brings up the book. And I, I, I of, I do believe that I believe that ideas have a home.
Speaker 1 (10:01):
And sometimes I'm like, I, I, you know, I know for me, my creativity, I'm not always taking care of it. And so if I don't take care of my creativity, I don't feel happy as a human because it's so much a part of me. So I think as creative people, the real art for us in business is learning how to express ourselves at the highest level and then have the conversation with people in such a way that they understand the value of this work and we'll purchase it from you. Right, right. I love that. Mmm. It does kind of also bring me back to my days as a textile designer when, you know, sometimes the market just wasn't quite ready for something. Like a lot of times we would talk about something looking and I designed rugs, right? So it's not like it's not like a cool book idea or something.
Speaker 1 (10:54):
It's totally cool that you're doing it as a creative. It's just because, you know, me can, not everybody can, I can't design a rug. Not everybody can design a rug. So that's another thing is that we really diminish the gifts that we have because society doesn't necessarily understand it in the same way we do. But the fact that you could visualize something that goes in a room that grounds a room, that's pretty powerful in my mind. Oh, thank you. Yeah. I love designing rugs. I think what I was trying to say is just that, Mmm. I think it was pretty clear when the market was either not ready for an idea. For example, when we would do like our color research, we were seeing like a lot of [inaudible] like tans and Browns and like more warm neutrals come up. But everyone in the market in the last like five to 10 years just perfect, purchased a gray sofa.
Speaker 1 (11:48):
So we were like, all right, we might feel like a little too early with some of these like warm neutrals and Brown's that coming back into rugs, like people are probably still going to be going with the grays. But also at the same time, like sometimes the design might look too dated that's been in the market for a while. Like we don't need to keep designing something that looks a little bit tired or dated, so. Mmm. Yeah. So I think that, I think it's an interesting conversation. I do. I, I hadn't thought of it that way. It is an interesting conversation. Yeah. Because you, you might be ahead of the curve too far ahead of the curve in terms of, but I do believe there's always an a, a way in, otherwise you wouldn't have had the idea. And sometimes I think ideas come early to people so that we have preparedness too because they take longer to execute than we think.
Speaker 1 (12:37):
So that they hit the site guys like, you know, there's the book by Malcolm Gladwell that talks about the tipping point and the early the early adopters and all of the, you know, the different categories of people. And I always feel like I was always a little bit of occur ahead of the curve, but I wasn't the head a head person. Hm. But for that person, they have an audience. And I do think for creatives, we don't spend enough time cultivating our audience. We might get into judgment about who they are. We might be afraid we're not reaching them. I think a lot of creative spend a lot of time in their head, quite frankly, worried about their work and does it suck? Does my work suck? Is this worth it? Is it, should it be out there? And part of that, I have to say too, is also part of the culture.
Speaker 1 (13:26):
Because the culture, traditionally we'll value somebody who's coming out of finance school more highly than somebody who's coming out of sculpture school. Absolutely. Yeah. But they also value industrial designers more than, there you go. Yep. It's interesting. I dated a guy a while back that was an industrial designer and he also hired, he was a manager and hired industrial designers and they're starting salaries were like way more than a textile designer. That's a different rabbit hole. But yeah, I was like, why? Yeah. And you know, and I I T to that point, I, part of the issue is that we don't speak up whatever sort of marginalized body we are as women. A lot of the time we don't say, Hey, this is not okay. This is the value of this work. We're like, Oh, this is what we have to accept. No, we don't.
Speaker 1 (14:23):
So there are always people who break the paradigm who break the rules. And so if we start to say, this is actually what this work is valued, that this is how many hours it takes, this is the level, the number of years of experience I bring to this work, this is who I am as a human being. This is my original creation and this is what it's worth. And then we hold that, which is not always easy when you have bills to pay, but we hold that. Then that's kind of the work that we're doing with designers too is having designers, you know, able to ask their value and when hundreds of designers are asking for their value, then everybody starts to understand, Oh wait, Hey, I can't get this service for free. Right. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I do think it's definitely systemic as well, like at least with talking about starting salaries and all of that because Mmm.
Speaker 1 (15:22):
I think about it from the business owner's perspective too. And if I was a business owner and I had a rug company for example, and I said, Oh well this is like the going rate for textile designers. That's what I would offer someone as well. Right? So yeah, but no, and it's true cause you're starting you, we want to be fair and you want to know what is fair, but then there's all you're always willing to pay. I use the personality, right? If you want the Chloe purse, you're going to pay for the Chloe purse [inaudible] so you have to and how do you position yourself as that person? And then we get into a whole rabbit hole of money and our perceptions of money and what does it mean to have money and a lot of creative people and I was definitely like this before as well, like money. It's like I didn't want to have that conversation. I was having a a higher conversation than just dollars and cents. Right? It wasn't just about I was having a much higher, more important conversation but being broke. You can't have the conversation in the way that you want to because you end up struggling so much.
Speaker 1 (16:31):
Yep. Okay. Well, what is the best piece of advice that you can provide designers when it comes to kind of like networking and getting their designs in front of the right people and kind of like becoming that Chloe purse that you just talked about? Like how do you, how do you have leverage, especially if you're just starting out or, yeah, I like trying to get your designs in front of the right people. I think we're in a time of unprecedented access for creative people to reach their audience. So so many of you, you are Jane this as well. So many of us are actually reaching our audiences on our own with our Instagram feeds or with our Facebook feeds or our YouTube channels. So building your audience, you don't need to have [inaudible] pending on what you're selling. If you're in a product based business, it's a little bit different.
Speaker 1 (17:20):
When I work with interior designers, their jobs can be a lot bigger. But when you're selling [inaudible] services, you don't necessarily need a ton of clients to actually earn a decent wage and earn a really good wage. You have to have the right people who are the super fans who are focused on what it is you're doing. So I would say first of all, call two eight your audience, figure out who your super fan is, who that person is, who likes to buy from you and learn all the things about them. Where do they hang out? How do they purchase, why did they purchase, when did they purchase? All of those kinds of things. And then in terms of networking, it depends on what your ultimate goal is and putting yourself, understanding how you do fit into the market. Good place. So back to that conversation, are you more cutting edge?
Speaker 1 (18:12):
Are you doing what other people are doing so that you can create some press for yourself? And again, myriad outlets available to us. Now, loggers, Instagram feeds, podcasters, all kinds of people looking to tell other people's stories. So find the people who are excited about your story and share with them. Because even one fan, one super fan making a purchase, it can be that purchase that tips you over the edge. So that that's something I would do. And in terms of networking, you know, for a lot of designers will I'll say do a speaking engagement for an audience that you love. For us, like getting in front of people where you can interact or if you were, if you were a textile designer, you were saying maybe it's a workshop. If you're hosting at workshop four other artists to learn how to paint, there's all kinds of creative out of the way out of the box ways you can do [inaudible].
Speaker 1 (19:12):
What I would say is this, but what it relies on, more importantly, and this is the part about visibility strategy, is that it's internal. So you really have to look at what is my mission here? What is my why? Why am I here to do, what am I here to do with my work? And then the strategy will present itself and associate itself with that. So as an example, you know I, my book branding, interior design and when I was writing it I was writing at one way and then I sort of started getting as you do when you create like different ideas and different research and I started taking it in a totally other direction so that when it to be published there were certain publishers for whom that was a fit. There were certain publishers from, I could have that conversation. The same with you, with your creative work, whatever it is that you're making.
Speaker 1 (20:04):
There are certain things that are going to be more people who are going to be a more natural fit for that. I had a client come to me once, it sounds like an odd thing and she had an idea for caskets. I know it sounds bananas, but she had an idea for caskets and then earns really modern earns. And I loved that idea because it was so specific and narrow that I, I mean everybody dies, right? So, but she could have, there's a handful of manufacturers who were doing that so she could have a conversation with the ones who didn't have, who had that gap in the market where she could potentially put her product. Now she, it, she didn't have the, the energy to go forward with that. And I think she thought the idea was crazy and I thought it was brilliant. I almost say that more crazier your idea, the more likely you will find an audience for it because it's crazy. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (21:08):
Sorry. I think of a, like the Snuggie like how popular it was and I'm like, what is silly idea? I dunno. I mean, I mean or, or you're too young for this, but when I was growing up there was like the cabbage patch doll, right? Or like all these doll, like all of the toys that come out and become like hits. I, you know, and now I have a one year old and he, he's singing like we're listening to the frozen soundtrack on Pandora radio the other day. I'm thinking to know how huge this movie was. They didn't know. I bet you that though it's going to, what, what was it about that film? And they couldn't do it in the second one, but what, what is it about that film that takes off? I think there are some things we don't know and that we can't contain.
Speaker 1 (21:53):
But if you ask testing this out by self, but if you ask to do the creative work that it's for the highest and best good of you and the highest and best good of others, you'll be given that. And if you stay committed to that focus and you don't drop it or let go or give up, you find an audience for it. So how much does mindset play a role in designers feeling stuck? Cause it sounds like that's something that you kind of deal with when you are working with designers. A lot. It is. I think it's, it is definitely a important for all human beings. We're, we're, we put so much emphasis in the culture on the money and the financial aspect of it, but business is human beings doing business. So we're emotionality where relationships where all of these things. So I think there's a point at which you can shut down your emotionality.
Speaker 1 (22:48):
But design is so personal. Creatives are so personal. This is where we get into trouble with boundaries a lot of times. So boundary setting is a huge problem for creatives because you want to help somewhat sometimes with your creative work and you're willing to help them more than you're willing to be paid well for what it is that you're doing. So mindset too, in terms of getting to your next level, how you feel about what you're doing in the world, how you feel about the people you're working with. I'll see a lot of designers get stuck after a month, bad experience with a client. So they've had a horrible experience with someone that they keep replaying over. I don't want that to happen again. I don't want it to happen again. And then what happens is they're attracting more and more and more of those experiences because they're focused on them.
Speaker 1 (23:41):
Hmm. I've been having a conversation about mindset for the last nine that I've been doing this with clients, but I'm also now having a deeper conversation about your soul as well because you're not your thoughts and your thoughts or things that you practice there. They can be good habits, they can be bad habits. You can be telling yourself good things all the time, but somebody is telling yourself that and whatever that entity and our energy is, that's who you are. And that's what she came to do. So I'm really more in touch with that. Like how are you here to serve? What lights you up, what makes you excited? And then we work on releasing whatever feelings or habits or practices that you've kind of gotten your way. And this ties very, this is what the visibility strategy really is. It's about being available. It's know visibility is about not only being seen in the traditional sense of the word, it's also about are you available? That's one of it's underused definitions. And for me, available is an internal game. We do things from the inside out. So once we have clarity on the inside, Oh, okay. Or vision is and who we want to serve, then the strategic portion like what is, do I use Instagram, do I use YouTube, how much do I charge? All of that is a lot easier once you have clarity on the first two pieces. [inaudible]
Speaker 1 (25:09):
Okay. So I'm going to skip ahead to a question that I think kind of relates to this conversation a little bit more and it is something that we kind of touched on earlier, but it's the fact that, you know, a lot of artists and designers are introverted and myself included some of the you know, things you were talking about, about, you know, reaching out or doing a speaking engagement. I can just like feel designer's like cringing, you know, like it's not that we're necessarily shy, but we just don't enjoy always being on all the time. And you said you're introverted as well, so I'm sure you can relate to that. And just being in Toronto people is, it just takes a lot of energy out of us. Yeah. Do you have any tips for introverts and would it be better maybe for them to hire like a PR manager or to outsource outsource, excuse me, some of the extroverted tasks that we don't necessarily want to do all the time that are involved in maybe becoming more visible.
Speaker 1 (26:05):
So that way became sort of reserve our energy for those times that we do need to be available and on. Yeah. Yeah. I think it has to be on a case by case basis and it depends on what your business and what it involves. So I would say I'm better at one on one connection. I actually really, I'm introverted, I like my alone time, but I like one on one connection quite a bit. So I will say seek to have those kinds of meetings and that's the way that you can accelerate your business is having, if you're a D a textile designer or designer or a maker, having the meeting with one decision maker or having a meeting with, you know, reaching out to the sales person or the vendor who you know, or that super fan is just like the one on one connection.
Speaker 1 (26:54):
So what I try to do is build relationships with people who don't mind being in front of many and then, and then I can have the one on one relationship and they can be the foot soldiers. Then there's also that you need downtime so that when you are going to be out in the world, you are militant about scheduling your receiving time or your downtime so that you can recover. Right? Because you have to recover. I, because I come from a production background and because I started, I started in theater, so I started getting my own press for theater and productions that I did. I'm a big fan of you doing your own press because you formed the relationship with the journalists. So it's again, that one on one and then they go to publication. You go with them. It's not rocket science. Most creatives I find have a natural instinct for where their stuff fits.
Speaker 1 (27:48):
No. Well, if you're a good creative, you, chances are you don't know. It's not a fit for that, or I don't want it to go there. You just, you have that innate discernment and I think you should naturally do your own press until it gets, until the requests are so great. Or if you can't say no, then you hire someone to do it for you. But I'm a big fan of starting on your own and doing it by yourself because you know your work best. You're going to have the best kind of conversations and people like you, they'll form the relationship with you as opposed to with others. And I'm sure you're good a one on one. You're happy one-on-one. Yeah. I like doing one on one. I love doing the podcast. Yeah. Interviewing people like you. So, yeah, I mean, yeah, I do enjoy that. Although if, I think if I had, if I was doing this all day, like back to back, you know, like I don't know, five hours a day, I think it would be too much. It's too much. Yeah. So we, I always have space between interviews. I actually did some coaching today. I'm like, Oh, I'm actually, I'm okay. It's okay because I was a happy group. I love my clients. So that's really important. That's really important for introverts too. All aspects of not only your supply chain, but your client chain. [inaudible]
Speaker 1 (29:04):
Have a, no, I don't know if we can, can we say swear words? Are you okay? I don't care. Have a no asshole policy. Right. Or don't work with pittas pain in the ass. Don't work with them. Right? Like no. And, and that's going to be different for everybody because my Pitta is going to be somebody else's dream client. So really honoring how you feel. You know, when I'm in the company and this person, I feel like crap or they don't really understand what I'm saying in terms of the collaboration. I don't want to work with them and just being okay with that and releasing them to go find somebody who's going to be great for them. But really being fierce about fit and fierce about what your fit is so that when you, or in a situation or you have bigger demands on your energy that you feel comfortable giving [inaudible].
Speaker 1 (29:58):
So do you believe that designers are maybe lacking their right marketing or PR strategies or something deeper going on? Or is it a little of both? And I know we kind of touched on this, but yeah, I think I have a lot of clients who are like, and again, it really depends on what it is you're selling. For interior designers perspective, some will say, Oh well Instagram. And it just depends on, again, their age demographic and also who they're serving. And I'm like, the first question I usually ask is, is your ideal client on Instagram? Well, have you ever really gotten a job from Instagram? No. Now some clients do. And then I'm like, perfect. That's where you should put your efforts. If you don't get a client from the place where you're putting your marketing efforts, don't do it. Even though everybody's saying this is what you have to do. Visibility strategies are individual, so you need to choose and figure out where your people are and then have a cover. I've noticed that I'll have a different conversation with someone. I'm sure you noticed this too. I've had a different conversation with somebody on Facebook that I do on Instagram. I get a different kind of client from Instagram than I do from Facebook, and so.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
We really pay attention to that. So what I'm posting here is different from what I posting over here and sometimes it's the same, but I'll tweak the way I come into the story. And I think again, that's something that creatives do very naturally because you're trying to fit and to please. But I think also from a visibility standpoint, what we talked about earlier, which is not thinking that your work is good enough to get press or to be seen. So not even trying to pitch or not even trying for, for years and years work goes by. That's a problem. Your work is if, if at least people who are not your mom, at least three people who are not your mom tell you I love this work or this is really beautiful [inaudible] then figure out what those people read and pitch that Daisy because you're onto something or where do they hang out online or what would they be willing to buy it?
Speaker 1 (00:58):
I have a friend who's a Facebook friend who I was somebody who I went to school with. I didn't know her actually very well then and on Facebook. Now she's been posting all of these paintings and I said, Oh, I love that painting. I would love to buy it. And she's like, okay. So she sells me the painting and the now she's been developing this website and she's kind of coming out as an artist because she didn't think that her work was that great. She's judgment on her work. Okay. Just because you're learning doesn't mean that I will enjoy the output of the stage you're learning at. When I looked back at my earlier films or when I look back at the earlier thing I've written, sometimes I'm like, like, or I that doesn't resonate or I like it, but I'm like, I don't even know how I got to that. I would've never gotten to that place now. That's okay. Be grateful that you did that work and then now you're onto your next set of work.
Speaker 1 (01:57):
From my own personal standpoint, I feel like I've gotten on these little PR cakes where I've tried to like reach out to some press, but I haven't really heard back that much. And so I think maybe designers feel like, at least for me, I felt like I needed to have maybe a little bit more of a success story before I started. You know, really putting myself out there a lot more including like being on other people's podcasts and things like that. Well I think it's more you need a story in the moment. So if you had like a new release, that's a story. If you see, you know, if you're exploring something in a way that nobody has, like you're setting a trend in the market, that's a story. So there are ways in, well what I will say about press, it's, it's a Sisyphean task.
Speaker 1 (02:42):
So you really have to just keep doing it. Just have to keep doing it. And you will get a lot of nos for every yes, we get silence, radio, silence or nos and you can't take it personally. So we have a three rule follow up. We kind of, we pitch, then we wait seven to 10 days, then we follow up with an email, then we follow up with a phone call, then we drop it. If we don't hear anything and then six months later if they haven't told us to like bugger off orF off, then we will follow up again and again. You just keep doing it because chances are the, in this climate, the journalist has left and gone to another publication that also, and this is a good point which I'll make quickly, but is this the idea that if your energy is too loaded, when you're pitching, you're unlikely to get the response that you want.
Speaker 1 (03:40):
So if you've made it by loaded pen, this is couple things. So if you've made it mean too much. Okay. Or if you are in any way hesitant. I find it such a delicate thing. I had a client, her work was stunning. Two clients we were working on, we were working on that for them and she was pitching, we were trying to picture it. I'm like, this work is beautiful. We had three yeses from publications that all of a sudden disappeared and I was like, that is weird. This is you. So we had been journey. We had this conversation where turns out she'd had all of this like, well, I'm not really sure about that publication. And then she had all this like internal stuff going on that and I do believe in energy and the flow of energy and how that impacts things. And so she left it up with that like whole, you know, brouhaha going on and just today we were talking, she's like, Oh, this publication came to me and this one came out of the blue.
Speaker 1 (04:38):
And I said, yeah, because she's in a great space, she's ready to be seen. She's ready to be seen authentically for who she is. She's not afraid to be seen. She's like, it would be nice to be published, but it's not going to make her break her career if she doesn't. And it comes in really easily. So I never had anything on press in my early days. And so when I was producing theater and being and shows and things, so I would get a lot of press, which could piss people off, but I just didn't have anything on it. I was like, Oh well this is what you do. Okay. So I did it and then I would get the press. And so if you have that fun, make it a game with yourself and you're like, well this is going to be fun. Let's see if I can get two or three interviews, podcast interviews or let's see if I can get like an article in this publication.
Speaker 1 (05:26):
Like wouldn't that be fun? And you just make it really light. Right? You're more likely to have success with it. Cool. So how would you advise designers to become more available for the life that they truly want and what are some kind of action steps that they can take to become more available? And I know you kinda just mentioned that with just kind of knocking on the door and not putting too much pressure on it. Yeah, they do some research, create a list. Maybe people that they want to reach out to podcasts that they want to be on. Blogs are, yes. So that's from a traditional visibility standpoint. From an availability standpoint, I'll, I'll address that two ways from the availability. The internal game is first getting clear on your vision and your vision of what you want your life to be like. And you might not see that.
Speaker 1 (06:16):
I think visions, we talk a lot about manifestation. I do believe that visions are received and they're received. When you're in an open space and you're ready to receive them, a lot of people say, I don't see what I'm supposed to do. I can't, you know, I don't understand it. I'm like, because you're probably not giving yourself permission a lot of the time or you can't believe that it could be possible. You could have the life you see in your head. So once you've, yeah, get clarity on that and you start to do any kind of release. We have visibility. I talk about visibility blocks. I'm going to be adults on it in March and talking a little bit about the visibility block and the removal process, but a lot of it is this kind of internal energetic work. Then you can create the strategy from there.
Speaker 1 (07:03):
So yes, in terms of the the practice physical visibility standpoint, it's understanding what you're selling, what your product is, how it, how it is, the story of [inaudible] the product and then who needs to hear that story the most and then which publications are speaking to the people that you need to speak to. I will say though that cultivating your own following, it's really one of the best things that you can do. So building your own audience, friends upon friends, doing a newsletter. I'm a huge fan of the newsletter once a week talking to the people who want to hear from you about things that are of interest to you. [inaudible] One of the best things you can do about creating business for yourself. And I guess the question I would ask with this is, you know, what is the goal of the visibility? And this goes back to that lightness piece because sometimes people think, well if I get the press then I will have made it, but the press is just one more step in either audience generation or in sales generation.
Speaker 1 (08:13):
So deciding what you think the press will do for you before you get it. And then saying is pressed the best way to achieve that goal. And then saying being prepared for the unexpected. So clients who have had projects published, I had one client in a show house this year and the, the room she did got picked up in multiple publications just all over the place. It created this snowball effect. It was the best case scenario. We would have never, you didn't see that happen [inaudible] and she was getting offers and meetings and all these things were happening and she was like, and we had to just breathe through that and allow her to receive at that level. Yeah. So I hope that answers the question. Yeah. I think I'm with my audience and for myself included. Like I, yeah, I'm trying to actually license my patterns now.
Speaker 1 (09:13):
So one of the best ways to get in front of people is to actually exhibit at trade shows. Yes. I was going to say you need to go to the licensing show. Yeah. Yeah. But it is really expensive. So Sirtex just happened in February and I did not go to that show because I now have, I'm working with an agency. So they were there representing me and my work and I love my agent, but I'm not sure, like I'm still kind of like, Oh, do I want to work with an agent, you know, longterm because I kind of miss being at the show, but I didn't really have. And that's, you know, funding to be able to, did you have you considered partnering with like five or six other designers and having a booth? Yeah, I've, I've discussed this with other designers and they, I feel like you kind of get lost in, you know, in six designers, you know, maybe with one other designer. It's, I've seen that work really well. And I did go to blueprint show last may. Yes. But with licensing, part of the problem is that you're earning royalties, which can be great, but it just takes a very long time to like really get the ball rolling with that, you know, finance. So, so this, so this is what I would say is why is the goal licensing?
Speaker 1 (10:25):
Mmm aye. [inaudible] First of all, you, you can maintain your own copyright on your work. Yes. You can use the same design over and over again for different industries. And it really, your name is on the work as well. So you know, you're kind of like partnering with a manufacturer who maybe sells dishes or it could be, again, rugs or pillows or any kind of home decor. It could be Carol, it could be really any product, but you're kind of partnering with that company and you get to do the artwork side of things, but they kind of handle the rest. So you're not a lockdown with the logistics and operations and trying to sell your own product. Mmm. You are also, you have more creative license because it is your brand. It is your so, and I would dig deeper with you. So then you want to maintain creative license. Do you want to have your brand? What do you want your brand to do?
Speaker 1 (11:26):
Mmm, but okay, I get that. I guess that's the very basic answer, but I know you have a deeper answer. But why I began, this is the work. Yeah, the word. I think it's more about leaving a legacy and kind of being known. Like when I look at other designers that you know, that we still celebrate today and their work is still being licensed you know, like Sonya Delaney or William Morris, you know, is one of the most famous examples. But I would love to leave a legacy, whereas, you know, of course we're all going to die at some point. Like we times on earlier. You think of William Morris with the agency though, right? So what do you want to be known for? Aye? To whom to whom do you want to have this impact?
Speaker 1 (12:20):
I mean, I don't really mind. I mean, I guess it's more women. My designs tend to be more feminine, more modern. Okay. but you see how that gives you, you have to know that. And the reason I'll say that, it's maybe not from a licensing perspective. When somebody got you in a booth. I'm just gonna just challenge the thinking a little bit. When six designers say, well I would be lost in a booth with six other designers, how is that any different than having an agent who has 30 different designers to represent inside of a booth? Yeah, I actually would argue, yeah, I would argue that six of you and I used to, because I used to do t-shirts and underwear, so this was in another life. I had a tee shirt and underwear line and we got up to 44 stores. This was like pre-internet and before I kind of knew about an inventory was like, it was like never again.
Speaker 1 (13:11):
And I was like all excited about licensing too, right? Like at that point. But, and it wasn't doing pattern design, it was doing words. So it was words on the tee shirts. And they were embroidered. But the thing is is that I would say this is that knowing who you are going to serve and what you wanted, like the emotional experience you would like them to have. Like, I made this and it makes me feel happy and I want them to feel happy and then fine meeting those women and then thinking to myself, well, what products could I make? Because there's ways for designers to make products in a way that actually is not fulfilled by you. Thank God that other people are fulfilling it. So it's not a licensing revenue. There's still some work involved, but maybe you're making cell phone cases or you're making key chains or you're making however you see your applications.
Speaker 1 (14:01):
So really going deep on how, how do I see this pattern in application and then who and then who is going to have it and then building that audience so that you have somebody cause yes, an agent. I've had multiple agents over my career fundamentally and it's been helpful definitely at times for sure. It's like a partner and it's a collaboration. It really depends on the agents. But I do think in this time you owning your art as you said, but also reaching your people in the way that you want to is actually going to be a greater service to you. So I would figure out what is it that I want my patterns to do? What applications do they have? Will these women be winning, willing to buy it from? And then creating your own strategy from that.
Speaker 1 (14:56):
Is that a helpful? Mmm, there might be resistance for that. Yeah. I've definitely sold products before and it's just not something I want to do again. [inaudible] Yeah, I don't know. Okay. It was, I ended up spending a lot of time selling and that's what I don't want to do. And that's the reason why I went with [inaudible] an agent. It's because they already have those relationships with a lot of the buyers and, right. Yeah, we'll see. I mean, if it doesn't end up working out longterm, that's okay. And it's, no, nothing bad about them. But it's early days. It's early days. So what you can do from their perspective and from a buyer's perspective is to have an audience. Because when people want your things, they want your things and that incentivizes whoever is on the selling or the buying end to buy it. But like, Oh, this person, we know her because of that.
Speaker 1 (15:58):
So coming to the press and that visibility from a very practical standpoint, but I do think you have some deeper work to do just with those questions about who is my audience really like seeing her so clearly on the other or him on it, but it's her seeing her so clearly on the other end and then figuring out what would she like me to do with this? Because you might get some brilliant idea. It might be going two women's goods or babies goods or something you've never thought of before that your agent might not have thought of either that you can give that idea to the agent to help sell or that you can create an agreement around. Because the only thing I'll say with the licensing model is that you have to have a lot of licenses. You're going to have to have a lot of licenses or a huge volume to make it, but even then it won't.
Speaker 1 (16:48):
It won't happen. So you have to have a lot of licenses to make viable and it's possible. But that means you're going to have to like dig down into your emotional reserve and say, okay, we're in it for the long haul and you know, show me the fastest route and just start really you can still continue to do some of that work on your own. Like identifying people for your agent. [inaudible] Doing like little letters, not sales letters. It's hard to be a creative and just be creative. So if we can reframe the conversation two, how are we connecting with people, with people who we love, then it becomes less tedious when we have to. And if you only have to have two or three of those conversations with people you like, it doesn't feel so much like sales. Yeah, that's definitely true. And I think that's definitely what I'm trying to do is kind of build up that audience.
Speaker 1 (17:49):
Youtube and Instagram and I'm on the Facebook group as well, so hopefully that will, well, it will help. It will help. And designers, you know, designers should be seeing depending on are you doing on on fabric as well? Yeah. Yeah. I'm having, I have some licensing deals with a fabric company. Another with a girl who's has a bad company. Right. And then my agent has been doing a lot of work and reaching out to a lot of people, but nothing has really landed yet. So she is going to land. So all I'll just say for you is put your focus on this is where it helps doing the vision. Put your focus on what it is you want, what are the outcomes you want. Put your focus there as opposed to why isn't it landing, why isn't it landing? Why isn't it landing?
Speaker 1 (18:39):
Cause then you just get more of that. So put your focus on, huh, I bet when I get X it's going to, we're going to do this and this will be, and then you'll get ideas based on it being done because at some, at some level it is done. Just like the design you've seen, your head is done. Right, right, right. That makes sense. That's cool. I like that. Okay. Okay. So do you have any suggestions for ways that designers can earn more money in 2020 if they are kind of struggling to get that full time income? Ask you have to ask for more money. So set a goal for yourself about what would be a stretch for you, what did you earn last year? You might may or may not have tracked that, track it, figure it out, and then say, well, what would be more and what would be a stretch?
Speaker 1 (19:28):
And then ask for that. So clarity of the vision, I cannot stress this enough. So much of the plan comes from that. And the way that you'll bring more money in comes from that. And then also not making any one client or way of being your source. It might be your source, but I'm thinking like what if you got a private commission from a designer to design their fabric line? You would probably be okay with that. Is that fair to say? Yeah. Yeah. So, so there are other ways then the way that you think that you're going to make money and be open to receiving those ideas and diverting from that track if the goal is more money and then back to what is the money for because the money comes in a lot faster when you know what it's for. [inaudible] So what are some of the biggest emotional hurdles that designers face surrounding money and what are some of your tips to help them overcome that?
Speaker 1 (20:39):
Again, it's that worthiness piece, right then I'm not worth it that I can't ask for this, that I shouldn't ask for this. And then the other thing is being in an other client's money stories so they don't have enough money for this, which is why I should charge less. That's probably the biggest one. Or they can't afford it or they're going through a rough time for now or whatever it is that you've told yourself. So staying out of that story and staying in, what is the value of what I'm doing and asking for that. The asking is important. You'd be amazed how many people just don't ask. So you can't get, you can't negotiate if you don't ask.
Speaker 1 (21:23):
Yeah, that is so true. And I have this one freelance client that I haven't raised my prices and okay. A year. So it's probably time to do that. There you go. Yeah. And yeah, and you know, if there's somebody who has worked with you constantly, then they like your work and you can say, look, it's time that I'm raising my prices, I'm going to raise them by this much, by this goal. And that's, that's, that's, there you go. Right. Okay. So we'll end on how does gender play a role in like everything that we just talked about? I really do think it does play a role in the way that women are socialized. And as I said, being able to look at mostly women in terms of interior design. There are recurring themes that pursuing our creativity is selfish, that we're being selfish, that we're supposed to take care of everybody else, that we don't really need to have this creative expression.
Speaker 1 (22:21):
And that's just not true. Also in terms of the value piece, we're schooled to be less, less weight, right? Less in age, lesson size, less. All of these things were schooled to be less, but we are in fact [inaudible] and we're, we're taking on that programming. I think if you, you know, there's that boo ha happening with the Superbowl right now and women saying, Oh, you know, I gender looking at Jennifer Lopez, his body made me feel bad. And I think to myself, well why didn't it make you feel bad? What does she have to do with you? That is for expression or expression. But it's because we've been trained [inaudible] for feedback. We've been trained to look for other look to others for our value, which is why we have such a hard time setting it. And if we go inside and really get the full view or when we do state it, other women sometimes end men especially too, depending on who we're dealing with, we'll police this and say, well that's not where, or what do you, why do you think you can ask for that?
Speaker 1 (23:36):
Well, why wouldn't I be able to ask for that? So it's us really standing in our value and speaking our, so you use it and have you visibility will demand that you use your voice and it will demand that you ask for your value. Because, and again, back to the spiritual perspective, you're an expression of unlimited source. So why wouldn't you be able to ask for X amount or Y amount and why would you be here to live with this creative gift that can allow you to be in service on a very high level and live in, in poverty? That doesn't make sense. So we have to start changing the conversation about what we're asking for [inaudible] and creatives. Because what I noticed with creatives when they get going and when they understand their value, when they're receiving more income, they're in service to everybody as a whole.
Speaker 1 (24:37):
They're really looking at solving problems. Creatives look at solving problems, answering questions that, that a lot of other disciplines don't even ask. Yeah, that's a really good point. So I'm, I want to pop over to the design tribe Facebook group and anybody has any questions? Who's watching live? We do have a comment from Jen, Hey Jen, if you're still watching. She says yes, it's so important for women to be empowered in their work in creativity. So I think that you've definitely helped inspire a lot of people today. If anyone else is watching, feel free to drop us a question live and I'll wait for just a couple of minutes to see if we get any questions. But other than that, I'm Kim, thank you so much for coming. Thank you. It's been so much fun. I'm like, Oh, I'm live today. It's been fun to be live there you go live very often.
Speaker 1 (25:36):
I go live in our Facebook group once a week and it's sometimes I'm happy if there happens to be one eyeball and I can just order no eyeballs and they can turn it off really quick if I mess up. It's just but it's nice to be interviewed and ask the questions cause when you're, when you're having to think of things and I'll script pain sometimes, but I'm not always as eloquent as I'd like to be. Oh, you are. Thank you. Or Juliet. I was, I was by today, or my baby gets crying, or the dogs get barking and then I'm like, I don't have to worry about that. You don't have to worry about that right now. It's all good. Right? Well, any other questions from our Facebook group right now, but I'm sure a lot of people will be watching the replay, so if you are watching the replay, drop us a comment below and we'll get back. Great. Thank you so much. Thank you. I appreciate it. Love it. Okay, bye guys. I hope that you enjoy today's and make sure to hit that subscribe button and click the little bell to get notified every time a come out with a new video and of course, make sure to subscribe to the actual podcast so that if you are busy and trying to do other things, that you're still not missing an episode. I love you guys and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye guys.