Every week I hear about more designers who are picking up more jobs, and more projects are starting. Everything is coming back up again, which is really exciting, and it’s being done virtually. That’s an exciting piece to add to our repertoire of skills. One of the things I want to put out there to you is that it’s not something to be scared of; it’s actually pretty easy. All it takes is a little bit of practice.
Actionable Steps to Successfully Work Virtually
I’m going to give you some actionable steps so that you can start doing this. First of all, Zoom is a really easy platform to present from. It’s easy to operate; it’s easy to share your screen. The good thing is that it doesn’t take a lot of tech knowledge to do it. And if I can do it, you can do it! It’s not so hard to do.
Next, you want to think about the background while you’re on video. When you’re presenting yourself to a client, you obviously want to look sharp. It’s almost like having a storefront. Pick a place in your house that you like and has a nice composition behind you. Dress so that you coordinate with that space. You want to look good in it, and it will also make your presentation look polished.
Third, you want to plan your presentation out. You will plan it the same way you do a presentation in person. Now, you may have been doing them in person for so long that you don’t even remember exactly what you do or how you do it. You just do all those things. Well, I’m going to invite you to take a little time and write it all down. Make a list of all the things you do in a presentation; write down every last little piece. Because the trick to doing virtual is to do exactly the same thing that you do in person, so having a list of what you do will help you stay on track.
For example, if you always sit down and talk about the kids and the dogs first with a client, then continue to do that. If you always show up with a Starbucks treat when you come for a presentation or an in-person meeting, then yes, do that. Send your client a packet of Starbucks coffee or something similar to what happens in a typical meeting. In other words, create an experience around this, because people are bored, and this is a great thing to do to keep things interesting. We all know that people love to play with the decorators, so you can use that to your advantage and create a pleasant experience here and get all these pieces going.
As far as presenting fabrics and samples and that sort of thing, I know that you want to get the touch and feel part in because that’s really important. That was always important for me too. What you want to do is gather up all your samples ahead of time before your presentation. I would suggest putting numbers on them 1, 2, 3, 4, and make a key. So, for example, number one is the sofa fabric, number 2 is the chair fabric, number three is the ottoman, number four is the drapery, number five is the floor, and number six is the page chip.
Collect all those pieces and place them in a bag, so they’re in a nice little presentation. That way, as you’re going through your presentation on the screen and showing them those pieces as they’re coming up, they’ll have the touch and feel going along with it at the same time. All you’re going to do is gather that up and do a little drive-by design. Just drive by and drop it on your client’s porch, and off you go. Then, they’ll have those pieces ready as well.
Finally, the most crucial piece in this whole scenario is confidence. If you haven’t done this before, then confidence could be the reason why you haven’t. What I suggest is that you do a presentation with your friend. Give yourself enough time so that you can do this before presenting to your client. Run through it a couple of times with somebody who’s your buddy, who’s going to laugh when it gets goofy, or when it doesn’t work the way you thought it would.
But you’ll work those bugs out, and once you work those bugs out then, it becomes really easy to do. And I think you’re going to find that you get excellent results out of this. The whole confidence piece in this is really the biggest piece of all. Because when you present confidently, you’re going to hit a home run. We’ve seen it happen over and over again with people on the first time out. They had no practice before, but it still worked beautifully. You can do it too, but you want to have some confidence.
Building Your Confidence for Your Interior Design Business
Your confidence will come from a little bit of practice, and having a friend or support helps. Confidence is the number one precursor to success. So, when you speak about presenting and developing design virtually, with confidence, people step in and join you. You’re up and running again, and that’s what I want for you.
Now, this kind of real-time advice, design business advice is a proven piece that is developed by a real designer who knows the business and knows what you’re up against. And there are solutions that IDBA is really famous for because that’s what we do. I do a lot of research in the marketplace of all the things going on, and all the things people are doing. Then, I bring them back and figure out how we can do them as designers.
I do all that legwork for you and put it into those programs. So, if you’re stuck, feeling overwhelmed by everything, or you feel like you’ve got a ton of talent and you just can’t quite live it, talk to us. We can help you. Schedule yourself for a clarity call by clicking the link below; it’s full of actionable steps as well as some inspiration. And you’ll also find out if our coaching and education programs are going to be a benefit to you or if it’s actually a fit or not.
Until we see you again, design something beautiful, and get paid what you’re worth.