The advice being spewed in 2009 was shit. I followed all of it. It's been 5 years and I (thankfully) don't follow it anymore, but shockingly some designers still do (gasp!). If you remember my story, 2009 was the year I started my design business and I was green and ready to follow anyone's advice. Bad advice doesn't always mean the end of the world, but it did stunt my design business growth. And I don't want you to be some stunted designer out there following bad advice given to you by "the experts". Read on to see some of the vintage 2009 bad advice.
Forget the website, you only need a blog
The idea behind that silly thought was that a website would cost your $10k and you wouldn't be able to update it. I'm not sure what crack that person was smoking when they put that bit of advice out there, but they obviously weren't very tech savy.
Get a domain with the words "interior designer" your city and your company name in it
example: joancrawfordinteriordesignerphiladelphiawirehangersinteriors dot com
Limit your posts to 300-500 words.
If you're writing good stuff, don't limit yourself. Your personality shines the more you share. The important part isn't the words, it's making sure you break up your content so people can scan it. Use headlines and bold text throughout your posts.
Get people to follow your RSS feed
It's way more important to build your email list. That allows you to continue the conversation because you land in their inbox. Their sacred holy ground. (RSS feeds are good for people to share your content, but not for you to keep the convo going like you can in an email list.)
Tweet only 1-5 times a day
If you're having a chat on Twitter you could be screwed...
Lola: I like your work, could you help me with my bedroom?
DesignerJoan: Why thanks, and yes! I'd love to help you with your bedroom. Tell me a little bit about your project - what is your favorite design style?
Lola: I think that Kim Kartrashian's bedroom is really my style and I want that exact look because I'm trying to attract a narcissistic man.
DesignerJoan: Oh, my. I'm not sure I've ever had such a request, but I'm game! What is it that you think attracts that narcissistic man so we can nail it?
Lola: It has to be the cheap hooker vibe. I totes want pleather and feathers. Is that a design style?
DesignerJoan: Sure, that sounds like a trendsetter. However I must advise you I'm going to be going over my tweet limit and we will have to continue this convo
DesignerJoan: in email because I'd hate for people to think I'm annoying. My email is... oh shoot, it's too long for this update.
DesignerJoan: my email is joan@joancrawfordinteriordesignerphiladelphiawirehangersinteriors dot com - ttly
Autofeed Your Facebook Account With Your Twitter Updates To Save Time
No, no, no! We don't do this anymore and that's why you only pick a few social media platforms to master. Each platform allows you to interact different. Much like Instagram isn't meant for you to post 7 photos in quick succession, Facebook isn't the place to integrate your Twitter feed. I'm guilty, I did this back in the day. Trying to "save time". Except it all comes off as you're not really there and a robot is running your shit.
Set up a profile on *whatever* designer site if you don't have a "blog" yet
No, don't. You must have a website. What happens when *whatever* design site goes under? You go down with the ship.
Back in 2009 I was creating my own website (and redesigning it all the time) and while I know I'm pretty "techy" - I taught myself. And that investment paid off. I got business not because I had just a blog on my site, but because I also had a proper website with design services, and all the other jazz that is so damn important to have on your site. And my website was wayyy more important than anything else I did.
You need to get with the times and get yourself a proper website
You need more than a blog. And please for the love of God do not have a blog on a separate domain different from your website. That really hurts your marketing efforts. Hey check out my blog joancrawfordinteriordesignerphiladelphiawirehangersinteriors blog dot com! Oh- then check out my design services at joancrawfordinteriordesignerphiladelphiawirehangersinteriors dot com, mmmkay? Uh no. I don't have time for that nonsense, so telling me you have 2 spots on the web isn't gonna work for me. It also ain't gonna work for your dream clients, either.
Don't stay in 2009, come with us to the future
If you're not sure what we are doing now, here in the future we need to talk.
Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.