5 Ideas To Overcome “The Summer Slows”
Weddings, family reunions, beach bumming, hiking…. whatever your summer dreams are I hope each of you created special memories this summer. It is – hands down – my favorite time of year with blossoming flowers, new growth and new birth of the season. It inspires me so!
Below are 5 ideas to overcome the “Summer Slows”. July and August are the biggest months for vacations. Clients are traveling, or home, but not focused on a design project! It doesn’t mean your business has to be slow. In fact, every one of my clients is having better than usual revenues this summer. Why? Because they created topics, events and fun activities to connect with old and new clients that generated projects.
I’m sharing a few ideas to give you a financial boost and ease your nerves! It is best to plan these in the spring but there is still time to generate more business and set yourself up for projects in the Fall.
** Remember, these ideas can be delivered in different ways; podcast, video, newsletter, blog, or a simple event at your home, vendor or fun location. Most important, is to do them in a way that aligns with your own style! Be authentic! What you know and have to say is a gem!
(Kathleen Hay Designs)
#1: How To Prepare Your Guest Room
This first topic idea is perfect for clients. For so many people, this is a mystery.
My first trip to Brazil opened my eyes to how special a guest can feel when a room is thoughtfully prepared for their arrival. Our host family gave us their master suite, laid out new linens and towels nicely folded on the bed, fan going, fresh flowers, native fruit juice, local tooth paste….. It was so special.
You already have great ideas to share with your clients to make their family members welcome. It could be for a parent, in-law, teenager, friend or student. Take a few of your unique ideas, accompany them with photos and make a nice simple newsletter with an offering for an hour or two of your time. If you are more of a “video” communicator, make a little video (3-5 minutes). Create a patio party and invite your best clients and their friends where you simply talk about it over nibbles.
Summer is a casual relaxed time and connecting with your clients in “summer style” about ways to “beautify” their lives is memorable. They just might hire you to come help them or remember how fun it was to work with you and think of another project!
(Art by Kerri Rosenthal)
#2: How to Select Art for Your Home While on Vacation
Who, besides interior designers (and some high-end clients), truly know the “art” of selecting “art” during vacations? Not many. I love this idea!! Teach your clients how to capture memories by selecting a special native piece that they will place in their home so that every time they walk by, it gives them a “ping” of joy.
How do you do this? The most important thing is to “deliver” this topic in a way that fits your communication style and how your clients’ want to hear from you. People love a simple video in a newsletter but many of you are not comfortable in front of a video so write about it. If you like more one-on-one contact, have a “pop up” cocktail hour at your home, or special location for your “best clients” and their friends. Bring some of your special travel pieces or better yet, invite each guest to bring one of theirs!! Get creative. Have fun and give some valuable tips to help them capture lifelong memories. The more you connect with your clients, the better the odds they will refer you and call you for more projects.
#3: Interior Design Camp for Kids
I love this idea for designers who want to spark the love of interior design in a young person. This idea is for the designer who has a passion for teaching children. A designer who really likes the idea of “influencing” the next generation for interior designers. If that is not you, skip this one!!
The idea here is a class for kids. If I talked to 50 designers about this idea, every one of them would create a completely different class so don’t think “oh this has been done”. Also, don’t get caught up in perfection!! Use your own creativity to make up an agenda. Decide how long you want the class to be i.e twice a week over a couple of weeks or a half day. It could be experiential activities teaching kids about interior design, or going to a vendor, a museum, outdoors… The sky is the limit here.
You could send out this offering to your clients and their friends. Do it at your studio or partner with a vendor or colleague. Charge a fee and make it up!! Make this process fun for you, otherwise it is just more work and you will dread doing it. If you fire up the creativity of one of the children of your clients, they will remember you forever!
(Lilu Interiors; Lisa Peck)
#4: Outdoor Living Space Freshen Up
August is the biggest time for outdoor entertaining and just being in the full bloom of our yards!! Offer a 2, 3 or 4 hour consult (with landscape resources standing by) and even bring a few pictures of your favorite furniture that matches this clients’ style in hand when you arrive!! Send out an email or put it in your newsletter with a quick 2 week deadline.
(Amy Peltier Interior Design & Home)
#5: Freshen Up One Room
I know many of you know this one and already do it. For those of you who don’t, consider it! This is fun. Easy. Short term. A great relationship builder…. AND usually helps generate projects for the Fall/Winter.
This is offering of consulting time to help a client, or their friends, “freshen up” a room in their home. It could be a certain amount of time for a discounted fee with an expiration date (yes, purchases are additional). It is a small “doable” idea for clients to say “yes”. This is a great idea to generate more billable time – because they are going to want your help to implement, and maybe add purchases. It also sets up business for the Fall/Winter because you are tapping into something they want to do anyway!!
Here is just one approach to this offering based on the research that people are spending money on “experiential gifts”. In fact, 40% more than regular “product type” gifts. Consider approaching your invitation in a way that is geared toward an experience with their best friend. Market it as a gift for their “bestie” and something they could do together.
NOW GO HAVE FUN!!