2.24.2011

The Power of Marketing (A Guided Tour) Launches March 8th


Power of Marketing Tour

Marketing is too important to be left to chance; it is the driving force behind your company's success. A meticulous plan is critical to effectively communicating your company's services, priorities, and unique abilities.


As we've all seen, innate talent and hard work are not enough to sustain a healthy pipeline of clients. Every business needs to build brand recognition, expand their business, and generate substantial profits. So here are a few questions to ask yourself...


-Are you sure your clients know what makes you unique and of high value?

- Do you know what works, or more important, what doesn't work when it comes to marketing?

-Are there things that you could be doing to create a more balanced flow of income?


If you paused when answering any of the above questions, it is probably time to rethink the way you're communicating with your potential clients. The Power of Marketing by Minutes Matter will guide you through an intense four-week curriculum developed to inspire creative marking ideas and breathe fresh air into your business. The Power of Marketing reveals the secrets of three of the industry's award winning innovators, Debbie Green, Casey Green, and Jackie Von Tobel.

The weekly sessions are live and will include our unique Power of Marketing book in electronic format. Recordings of each session will be sent to every person who registers. Register by March 3rd and save $50. Note: Even if you can't attend the live sessions you will still receive all the recordings.


The Power of Marketing (A Guided Tour)

Power of Marketing Tour
1st Session: 03.08.11 at 1:00 pm (EDT)
  • The Power of Identity
    • Develop Your Own Pitch
    • Create a Marketing Plan
  • The Power of Branding
    • Build a Strong Brand
    • The basics of fonts, colors and graphics
    • Branding everything from business cards to napkins
2nd Session: 03.15.11 at 1:00 pm (EDT)
  • The Power of Successful Tools
    • Showing off your work
    • Storyboard - a new and innovative approach
  • The Power of Publicity
    • Make yourself famous
    • Build your credentials
    • Showcase your talent
  • The Power of Blanket Marketing
    • Magazines and newspapers
3rd Session: 03.22.11 at 1:00 pm (EDT)
  • The Power of Generating Leads
    • Create a powerful and systematic referral system
    • Build partnerships with non-competing businesses
  • The Power of Qualifying Clients
  • The Power of Lasting Impressions
    • Did you remember my birthday?
    • Say thank-you in a unique way
    • Get that in writing
  • The Power of the Internet
    • Websites, Blogs and Facebook
4th Session: 03.29.11 at 1:00 pm (EDT)
  • The Power of Budgeting
    • How much money do you need to spend?
  • The Power of Getting it Done
    • When will you be done?
    • How will you know what works?

The Power of Marketing (A Guided Tour) includes:
  • Four live sessions
  • Recordings of all live sessions
  • Electronic Storyboard (in Studio format) (see preview below)
  • Avatars (in Studio format) (see sampling below)
  • Power of Marketing book in electronic format (chapters sent in conjunction with live sessions)
  • Design Articles (for use in blogs, magazines or newspaper)
  • Design Contracts
  • Resource Documents
  • Worksheets
Storyboard
| Preview of Electronic Storyboard |



Avatar
|Sampling of Studio Avatars to be used in blogs, magazines or newspaper articles |


Register before 3/03/2011: $347 (Save $50)
Use Promo Code: POM50

Price after 3
/03/2011: $397


Marketing is our passion,

jackie, debbie, casey

Co-Authors
Power of Marketing (A Guided Tour)

2.23.2011

The Relevant Classics: Kristin Drohan

This article by Kristin was posted on Decorati's site today. Kristin is an interior designer who designed her very own furniture line, which launched last spring at High Point Market, with Minutes Matter Studio. Her style of furniture is unusual, comfortable and beautiful. Way to go Kristin!

Here's the post:


Keep reading to learn how Kristin Drohan designs invigorating environments filled with color and texture balanced with functionality and eco-awareness.

How would you describe your design style?

My design style is relevant classic traditional. I provide my clients with timeless style that functions for today. My spaces are edited neutral backdrops where accessories provide color, texture and personality. Having lived all over the US (7 cities in 17 years of marriage), I’ve been influenced by various geographic regions, so I have a lot of “likes”.

What do you do, or where do you go, for inspiration?

Designers will tell you, travel provides inspiration. I agree, but I also get lots of inspiration from High Point and Maison Objet (Design Trade Shows). Traveling with my design peers and attending industry market shows, is so stimulating. You get completely invigorated by the creativity at these forums. I love that energy and try to attend several each year.

What is your favorite furniture piece of all time ? How were you able to use it in a particular project?

I love the Allie bed from my Kristin Drohan Collection. I have it in my own bedroom. It is one of my top selling pieces. A Chippendale wing back chair I inherited from my Grandmother provided the inspiration for the design. I upholstered it in a high performing eco vinyl for durability, but it still maintains a luxurious look. (See above)

In your opinion, what makes a great room?

In order to have a great room, I think you need an efficient space plan, an interesting focal point, accurate proportion and scale, a mix of old and new, and items with various price points.

What is your favorite Benjamin Moore paint color to use for walls, ceiling, and trim?

My favorite Benjamin Moore walls colors are HC 28 Shelburne Buff, HC 29 Dunmore Cream, HC 34 Wilmington Tan, and HC 144 Palladian Blue. I use Decorator or Atrium White for Trim and do 10 to 25 percent of the wall color for the ceiling. Most of my clients have kids and dogs so I use an eggshell finish. Eggshell goes on smooth, cleans up easily, and doesn’t look chalky.

Is it lifestyle that has generated the design changes, or is design the driving force that affects how we live?

Lifestyle defines product design. Considering how someone lives is crucial to designing a space that fits their needs. If a space is gorgeous but your client doesn’t use it, is a big design failure. All of my furniture designs in the Kristin Drohan Collection were based on a functional client need I could not find in the market place.

Do you see part of your role as designer being that of educator, expanding your clients’ awareness of green products? How informed do you feel you are on the subject?

Designers are the ultimate educators in green products. Being one of the first 100 Interior Designers in the US to be a Green Accredited Professional, I’m passionate about the subject but also realistic. I think a related goal is providing d├ęcor choices that are safe and made in America. Avoiding products that are manufactured with high levels of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and supporting our US economy is a responsible choice designers should make.

What is the ultimate goal of all your projects?

The ultimate goal of all my projects is to improve or enhance my clients’ lives. If I can provide them with an environment that improves their lifestyle and provides comfort, I have done my job.

2.20.2011

Hunter Douglas moves to the clouds!


I subscribe to Google's blog so it comes right to my inbox. You know me, I like to be "in the know." I quickly skim over the blog posts gleaning any pertinent information that might be useful to us. I thought it was interesting that Hunter Douglas (read the article) was listed as a company that was moving to the clouds.

Below is an excerpt from Google's blog two days ago. Looks like lots of businesses are packing their bags and moving to clouds.

"Who’s gone Google?

Recently we’ve seen a surge in new public sector customers—including the Administrative Conference of the United States, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the City of Rochester Hills. These organizations are not only saving taxpayer dollars with Google Apps, but also boosting the productivity of their ranks.

More than 50,000 businesses have also started using Google Apps in the last three weeks. Pithy Little Wine Co., DeyFischer Consulting, Manna on Main Street and Hunter Douglas are just a few of the businesses we’ve profiled recently who are are going 100% web."
In the last six months Google has added some major enhancements to their Calendar, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets and Google presentations. I especially like how they made it easier to share all Google files. You can choose to share a Google file with one person, a group of people, make the document public or keep it totally private. Below is an example of an email that is sent to the person you are sharing the document with. In this example, I am sharing a presentation with just one design client, all the client needs to do is click on the hyperlink to view the presentation.


I absolutely love the ability to have all these documents online and in a central location. I don't use Excel or Word anymore, I have given all that up and moved to Google Apps. We've been in the clouds for over a year now and loving every minute of it. I can access all of our information from my Mac desktop, my Dell Laptop, my iPhone or my iPad.

Could life get any easier or better?

A New & Unusual Way to Use Studio


Now, that's is a mound of snow! This winter has certainly had record amounts of snowfall. In a previous post you seen an amazing 10' snowman, but this photograph caught my eye because our software, Minutes Matter Studio, was used to measure the mound of snow. Lynn of Wakefield, MA posted this photograph on the CHF forum to show other forum users the height, to the inch, of the snow mound in her driveway. I can't imagine how long it will take to melt.

Using our unique Set Scale tool and our Dimension tool quickly allows users to scale a photograph. Lynn reminds us all the uses for Studio are only limited by your imagination.

Thanks for sharing Lynn!

2.12.2011

One on One Consultations


Did you know that Minutes Matter offers private sessions with Studio and QuickBooks trainers? If you have been meaning to learn more about either of these software programs but don't have the time to take one of our Coaching Programs or can't carve out an hour or so in the middle of the day to attend a webinar, this is the solution!

Missing files? Project that needs tweaking? We can provide assistance with your computer as it relates to our software and help with your interior design renderings and floor plans or QuickBooks codes and financial reports.

Yesterday I worked with a designer who had limited Studio experience. Within one hour we had imported a photo of the client's room, rescaled it to match the actual dimensions, downloaded and cropped a fabric from a vendor's website, added a wall of sheer draperies and an inverted pleat top treatment in that cropped fabric with contrast insert, photo clipped the sofa, and learned a few techniques along the way such as duplicating, aligning, filling with pattern, and measuring with the dimension line tool.

And the designer did all the work while I guided her. This is a fantastic way to learn hands-on; you don't forget it if you actually do it, rather than watching someone else demonstrate. Best of all, we recorded the session so that she will be able to play it back and review what we had covered.

I'm sure the Countess of QuickBooks, Vickie Ayres, and Anna Davis, our Success Coach, can recount similar experiences with their consultations.

Schedule an hour or more by calling the office at 800.343.0616 or click on this link to our shopping cart:

https://minutes.infusionsoft.com/cart/store.jsp?view=1&i=71&navisubcat=71&navicat=11

2.05.2011

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.





~ William Penn

If you are guilty of spending too much time on a project, whether it’s one you love or hate, or if you are feeling that you are losing productivity, you may want to start timing yourself and taking forced breaks to keep fresh and focused while avoiding brain freeze, eye strain, and neck cramps. If the first happens, you may not even be aware of the other two! What about those phone calls that are supposed to be quick and efficient and end up eating an hour of your time?

I tease my Coaching students about my twelve-step program for Studio addicts. They all think I’m kidding until they get to the third week of the six week session. Then I hear reports of having so much fun they can’t stop thinking of new ways to tweak their renderings, or spouses asking why they’re still up at 2:30 in the morning.

I've discovered a good solution to these addictions, obsessions, time wasting spirals we find ourselves in....

Check out this cool app for your computer. It’s based on the Pomodoro Technique of working for twenty-five minutes, then taking a five minute break. After four work periods, you take a fifteen to thirty minute break.

http://www.focusboosterapp.com/download It’s free, easy to understand, and looks good - what more could you want?! All you see on your screen is the narrow black bar; click on the little i to change the settings. It can also be minimized and you'll see the icon in your system tray near your clock.

www.lifehacker.com viewers recently voted it their favorite among the top five contenders for timing devices. Also recommended by Kim Komando, Computer Goddess; www.addictivetips.com for those who get distracted easily or want to value their time more fully; and www.ilovefreesoftware.com

I look on this as a way to reboot my own internal computer, to refresh my resources. Let us know if it works for you!