come into my marketing world...
marketing strategies with emily osmond
We are so excited to bring you this conversation that we had with the lovely, Emily Osmond. Emily is the creator of the popular Australian interiors blog, getinmyhome.com, for which she was named in Domain’s “Ten of the best interior design accounts you need to follow on Instagram”.
Alongside her blog, Emily teaches women how to grow their tribe and their sales using Instagram, inside her online education community, The Modern Marketing Collective, along with on her weekly podcast, The Emily Osmond Show.
We realized that Emily and BuildHer Collective have a lot of the same audience in a large number of ways and couldn’t wait to talk about all things interiors with her. The focus today is on the specific struggles that interior designers can have in finding their niche and finding the right clients to work with. We discussed the importance of establishing a target audience and your own specific brand to support your niche.
If you have a topic or question you’d like us to cover, contact us here.
SOME TOPICS THAT WE COVER:
The importance of establishing your niche in the interiors industry
Designing your branding around the niche
How to use Instagram to show your services and create connection to your brand, and who you are
Approaching building and interiors in a less “competitive” way
Focusing on selling brands, creating value and contributing to your community
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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Join The Waitlist for Emily's "The Modern Marketing Collective"
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Anyone is more than welcome to join our Women who Design, Decorate, Renovate & Build group, however you will note that it's a closed group but ask to join and if you're into building and renovating. This is such an amazing and supportive FREE community, so come on and join in the building goodness!
Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below:
Rebeka: Welcome back to the BuildHer collective podcast, we are so excited to bring you Emily Osmond from, Emily Osmond.com and she talks to us about all things marketing and specifically how can marketing and branding help us overlay a sense of professionalism into what we do. So often we find that builders work project to project, and we tend to work project to project, and we forget that it’s about an overall branding. We don’t have to be ginormous to have a great brand, we just need to be authentic in what we’re doing. We really hope you enjoy what Emily is talking to us about and get a lot of learnings. We know that Emily is absolutely amazing and we just love talking to her, so we hope you get as much out of it as we have.
Emily Osmond: I’ve got a lot that we can share, I think that will be a benefit hopefully for those listening in the interiors industry and looking at how to build their brands. First of all, welcome to both of you and it's a great sit-down.
Rebeka: Likewise. Thank you.
Emily: Welcome to you as well. I guess, we thought it would be great to talk about how interior designers, what's working now for them. I'll be approaching it from the marketing side of things. Do you want to do a little intro about how you'll be presenting it? I guess the approach that you can take and what you can share because you guys are amazing at the brand side of things, but you can also talk to how interior designers can actually build a really sustainable business now.
Rebeka: Well, I think when we were talking, we realized that we've got the same audience in a large number of ways, because really a lot of people who learn to build or do the BuildHer course, so we've got an online course, teaches people how to build, they're struggling with that whole concept of being just interior designers and getting work and finding flow from that. Would you agree?
Emily: Yes, I think sometimes interior designers tend to feel like they're in this little bubble. They've got their niche, but they're not sure how to really step outside of it and move into that project management role away from that development role if they want to.
Rebeka: I think it's really important because interior designers, there's so many of them and then the design schools, they seem to be churning out. There's a lot of people hitting the market, and it's how they differentiate themselves. I guess that's where we saw what you do is amazing, teaching them brand skills and understanding how to market themselves, I guess, as individuals and really capitalize on this skill.
Emily: Exactly. It's the personal brand side of things and how that carries through from their branding, their marketing through the homes that they actually work on. Should we make a start on the brand and the marketing side of things, because you guys, as I said, have done such an amazing job of it? I'll be picking your brains, a little pat there on the back.
Then it would be I would love to hear what you can suggest and advice for people looking to make that step from-- I know in my audience, there's a lot of those early-stage interior designers. Once they've got the whole brand social media side of things down, what they can actually do for their business, which is where you can really, really help them.
I've got a few points to run through and I'd love to hear your input on these in terms of what interior designers can do now on their social media. I guess common maybe problems that I see people coming up against. The first one would be around actually being able to communicate the benefit they have for their clients, whether this is for builders, interior designers, stylists.
I guess we've spoken about, there's a lot of interior designers out there now. It's a very competitive space. It's not really enough just to position yourself as an interior designer, but to actually carve out a bit of a niche around the area that you like.
I said to you just off-air a little bit before that I have a member in my own membership and she lives on the coast. Her specialty that she loves to work on is actually helping basically retirees, they've got beach homes and helping them convert them into beautiful, luxurious escapes for them to go to with their family. For her, she can really hone in on that messaging that's a very specific target audience and then using imagery to attract more of these similar types of clients. She was actually a bit worried about niching in on that. She said, “Emily, is that something I should do? Should I try and appeal to more people?” I said, “No way. You've got to really bed down in and understand what your niche is, and not be afraid to not be for everyone.”
Rebeka: I completely agree. I think there are so many problems when we go, “Oh, we've got all of this audience and it's all over here. We can appeal to everyone because we can work with everyone.” We don't love working with everyone. I have my audience when I'm building homes and houses. I've got a very specific audience. It's not for everyone, but it's very specific, and maybe Kribashini can tell us about BuildHer’s audience.
Kribashini: Well, I was actually just thinking as you were talking there, that resonated with me on two points. First, we've had that personal struggle ourselves with our marketing and our branding, from when we first started out a little over a year and a half ago to where we are now. It took us about a year to actually get that clarity on where our personal niches were. It was Rebeka developing, as well and being a builder and me being a project manager. We didn't quite understand how to put that into the marketing world. It's the marketing talk. Then once we did, it actually made so much sense, didn't it?
Emily: How did it change from when you first started?
Rebeka: Well, it was really hard to differentiate. Because we've got two businesses. I've got two businesses. I've got the building business, which is our own projects. We buy and sell and develop high-end homes. I do that with my husband. Then Kribashini and I have a different business that's BuildHer collective, and through that, we help women build, manage the building process.
Really, the interesting thing there was being able to differentiate those two businesses. Then what Kribashini and I separately bring to BuildHer. Because then you were like, “I don't want to build my own home as an owner-builder.” That's great, that project management skill is really where Kribashini thrives because she’s managed $80-million-plus projects. That's her key capability. Being able to help people understand, I'm a builder, Kribashini is a project manager, together we help cross that border. That's inside the business as well.
Kribashini: That both ways get you to that end product. That was the one thing that we found people were struggling with, is they thought that they had to be an owner-builder to be able to do our course. Actually, what we’re teaching is a much broader concept, is figuring out the right option for you. Figuring out the right model for you, and what suits you and what journey you want to take. Then you design essentially your project around that. When we had that light bulb moment for us, it made our marketing so much simpler. Whereas in the beginning, when we started the business, we thought that was confusing it.
Emily: Because I know as well it takes time. That's the thing, having that clarity around our brand message doesn't just come from day one. I'd love to hear, what was your messaging when you first started? Did you have something that’s different?
Kribashini: Yes. We still actually are on the fence about "we help women build" because it was either too specific. Do they think that we're actually helping them with the vision and the design and the build? It's actually much more encompassing than that.
Emily: I love that part.
Kribashini: It wasn't too narrow.
Emily: I remember actually, Rebeka, I think you were saying to me a few months ago, you said that you realize it's really about helping women take back control of the build. I loved that too.
Rebeka: It's funny, again, different phrasing, once we got clear on, it's actually taking back control and being able to control it in the way that suits you, we were able to help communicate that better with other people. Because we help women build is great, but some people think we're on the tools. Some people think we just project-manage the process for you. Some people think we're a design and build, some people think we're a builder. It's really hard to clarify what we're doing, because it's not something where you can say, “We're a hardware store." We've seen a hardware store a thousand times before. You're just a hardware store.
I think that's the thing for interior designers as well, is that we're all helping with different aspects. Some interior designs are better with the soft furnishing, other interior designers want to work with the hard furnishings, others have that niche on the coastal. To clarify exactly what we do succinctly and talk to their problems and how we're going to solve it, is super important. Would you agree?
Emily: Absolutely. I think, as you said, it does take time, but I think people need to be aware of they’re probably not going to get much cut through if they don't, I guess, get that clarity around what their messages, who they're trying to serve and how they're exactly helping them.
Kribashini: Even just starting somewhere, sometimes just taking that step to start somewhere and going, We can refine it and I can refine it." Because if we were to grapple with that problem, we may never have started.
Emily: I know, you’ve got to take action.
Rebeka: Well, I think we’re all here like that. You started something like you've started, we've started and it's just about one foot in front of each other. Then I guess getting people in. I'm a big believer in this. I guess we teach people stuff, but also we learn a lot. I know you've said you're learning all the time as well because we don't have the answers to everything. You've got to go ask people and you've got to also hit the industry and see what other people are doing, but then work out how you fit in that because your niche is so important.
Emily: Well, I reckon that's a good transition, actually, just on that point into, Rebeka, I know that you've said in your own builds, you have a very clear target audience in mind. Also, I loved to actually attend one of your workshops and you spoke about having something in the home that people can't just put in themselves. When someone walks into a home, people now basically pre-buy the homes that you haven't even built yet. Like, “Please, I want that home that you're about to build,” because they know about your own flavor that you put in the house, which I think is a similar thing for branding and social media. We need to find our voice, over time that comes. We can share that, and not being afraid, and having that confidence to do it.
Rebeka: That's what someone's buying when they're buying an interior designer. When they sign up to an interior designer, they’re signing up for all that they offer as a package. I think we've just taken it a level further and said, “Well, we're going to build the home for you. Then you can buy that pre-finished product, but there's consistency between it. There's also a value proposition there where you can't buy that again. You can only buy this one home and it's going to be delivered this one way, and it's now or it's never, or you can wait and see what comes next. I guess that scarcity is really important to also building. An interior designer's got a finite amount of time. Your brand needs to go across that and really talk to someone into why they're going to need that property or need that service right now.
Emily: There's just a level of people out there in the market who really just want to buy a house, but they want to buy a house that they fall in love with, but that has the feel and the charm of all those images and pictures they've seen in magazines that really give them the sense of how they want to live in their home.
I think that's what your homes do, is that they're just so well-thought through on every level, not just how well they're styled or how well the furniture's placed in them, but the design aspects that often when they're not, they get overlooked.
I think that's really how you inherently get that sense of light, you get that right flow, you get the right finish, but it's actually there's about 90% of the things that have happened in the backend to make that all come together really well so that when we see that image, we fall in love.
Rebeka: I'm not an interior designer, I'm just a builder. I'm always envious of people that have natural style and ooze that- [crosstalk]
Emily: Apparently born with it.
Rebeka: I went to a workshop and the first thing they said, because I'm like, "I need to learn this." I sat down, they're like, "We look after interior designers and stylists aboard." I'm like, "Ugh."
Emily: I'm out. I'm tapping out.
Rebeka: I'm out, I'm going to go home.
Rebeka: If you are in that pocket and you can develop your own projects, then you can really add that flair and start to build your brand and work through that whole thing. People know what to expect, then you get that extra dollar for your projects and be able to do that successfully. I guess that's really the other part of our business, it's teaching people how to develop for profit in a way that adds value and is natural for them as well.
Kribashini: In our master BuildHer's course, the women in there have their own niches or are looking to create their brand around their niche. Some of them are actually really fascinating niches. We have a woman-
Emily: Tell us about a couple because I think that'd be really interesting to hear.
Kribashini: Yes. One lady there is looking to provide apartments that have been designed solely for people with disabilities, who have an in-home carer, but they've been designed in a way they're not just functional, but they're also beautiful. They also meet those quirky requirements and it's really hard to find an apartment that you can lease that has all of that in it. She's also setting up a situation where they can lease to buy.
We have someone else who's looking to specialize in the not quite ready to retire but looking to downsize, but still needs that space and still wants to own their home.
Rebeka: Another one in the low-tox.
Emily: That's right.
Rebeka: Yes, low tox environment which isn't done a lot at the moment, but it's an added benefit that I know a lot of people are, especially in the area that she's looking at working in, there's an added bonus. I think we've got a crossover student as well.
Rebeka: Yolanda, who we love.
Kribashini: On Instagram, @123_clarke.
Rebeka: If you go to either of our Instagram, you'll probably find her.
Emily: I was actually going to bring up Yolanda because she does a great job of showing the process. We actually spoke just before about how there's perhaps a more traditional idea of an interior designer. If I think I've actually worked with some in the past before I started my own online community and education, they would only share those beautiful finished images.
Now there's so much value, interest, and engagement that can come from actually sharing the process and then the messy parts [laughs] and what that looks like. We wanted to bring up Yolanda because she does such a great job of it. On her Instagram, highlight reels, she's got every month of the build she's working on. She saves all the stories that she takes every day onto those highlight reels so people can see the process and everything. What are your thoughts on that too, because I know that you had maybe another flip idea on that one about sharing the process behind the build for potential buyers to see? Would you say that's always a good thing or?
Rebeka: Not always. I guess what you need to be careful of is understanding what people can see and what they can't see.
Kribashini: Okay, not all the issues like the pipes burst out.
Rebeka: Yes, people need to feel secure. I guess there's one side of that where you're showing people what you're doing, so they feel like they can do it themselves and they can do it. There's a lot of invested time, so it's something you add. I don't feel as confident as Yolanda with maybe taking all the photos and being as beautiful a photographer as she is.
Also, there's a bit of messiness, like we're living in one of the houses we're doing at the moment and I'm like, "Oh, it's that flip side." It's like, "I want to show you that, but I'm so used to the perfect image being up there that I don't necessarily want to put these messy ones that I've done.
Emily: Stories are great for that, aren't they? Because I think your Instagram feed can be almost where you can show these beautiful curated shots. Also bringing in some images of yourselves in there too so that people can connect with you guys as the brand, both of you ladies, but also using Instagram stories for the messy stuff or just where you don't want that to be permanently available for everyone to see, but letting them in.
Rebeka: I've got some messy stuff on there at the moment, but only in the stories.
Emily: I think that's something that interior designers, too, I know it can be challenging for them, but to show the process, to show what they're working on.
Kribashini: I'm always blown away by what people are interested in. I guess in the past, it's just routine for us to take pictures of things as they're progressing on-site for documentation or just to make sure you have a record of everything. I'm always blown away that actually really enjoy seeing those behind-the-scene pictures and how it's all coming together. I think when you can group that with a teaching point or something that--
What I think Yolanda does really well is what she's learned from the community, is that she's sharing that with the wider community. There are all these people who are seeing the images and then learning something. It's quite rewarding to hear and see something that we've put out there that are influencing a whole another sweep of people. I think it's fascinating.
Rebeka: I don't think you're jeopardizing your market, either, because you've got the people that want to buy a finished house, and then you've got the people that want to go through the process. To build a community of people that help each other is really amazing and not be scared of competition because we're not in competition. If you can get your value proposition clear and if you can understand your market, then you're not in competition with anyone else who's also an interior designer or also a developer or also a builder in the same area. We're all doing it together.
I think not feeling fearful about that or feeling threatened is really important because then we can all grow together and all help each other. I think that's really one of the bits that I enjoy most.
Kribashini: I think so. I think what tends to scare people sometimes who put themselves out there is that fear of being judged.
Emily: Absolutely and that's probably one of the major things that I see with my own students too around putting themselves on their social media or doing their first Instagram story where they're speaking to camera or even doing a live video because they're worried about what people are going to think. What I say and I'll be interested to hear what you say too, it's not actually about you, it's about what you are giving to your audience. Also, you're not building your business for anyone that actually is going to judge you around what you're doing. You're not building your business for them.
Rebeka: Just like niching. The person who connects with you wants to work with you. Eventually, they're going to meet you because they want an interior designer, but better to have that person understand who you are.
Emily: Yes absolutely. I actually find that a lot of interior design accounts are very impersonal because they are just those finished images. There's no real sense of the personality or the values or the person behind the brand. That's what I'm really big on in teaching my students, and a lot of them are interior designers around actually bringing themselves into the brand. I think as well, look at what Instagram's doing or big businesses are doing. Often, they're a little bit behind the trend.
Kribashini: I was just going to add we're exactly in sync with each other which is fantastic because we also teach to find the right person. When you're hiring anyone, whether it's an interior designer, a stylist, an architect or a drafty, it's the right value fit for you. When we go through with our BuildHers, we're really teaching them how to identify their values so they can find people down the supply chain that match those values so that they're actually having a great experience in their projects as much as the end product.
Rebeka: Which goes the only way you would know that is if you can see it on the stories and you can really understand where that person's coming from. I think that's where the impersonal account doesn't show you anything like that.
Emily: I've switched off from them now. I'm like, "It's not really giving me much as a viewer or as a consumer."
Kribashini: Who was it? Someone did one, I remember you mentioned it to me maybe a year ago and they had this beautiful image and then they did something where they're like, "This is what it really looks like behind me."
Rebeka: I think Fi did that recently to show the shot that would be a local project or the magazine cover. Then she took a video and showed you behind the scenes and there was just stuff everywhere. That's really funny.
Emily: It's relatable.
Rebeka: It's nice to see that because everyone's life is slightly chaotic.
Emily: I also think it helps because there is a little bit of a perception out there about interior designers too when you see a brand and there isn't really a face behind the brand, it can feel a little bit intimidating.
Rebeka: Yes, completely intimidating.
Emily: Because you think, "Oh, maybe I can't afford them, maybe my taste isn't as good what theirs is, maybe my house isn't good enough for them." If you can actually feel connected with the person behind it, and see that their life isn't perfect, their house might not be perfect, I think that helps as well for people to want to work with you.
Rebeka: I think there are different levels as well. Interior designers seem to have these top-end interior designers, and they're probably not attainable for most people to work without. They would, I'd call a classical interior designer, and then you've got a whole heap of people that maybe don't have the branding or the name that those top-end or the practices. They're the people that you're probably more able to afford, more able to approach and work with and get that connection with. For those types of people, it's breaking through with personality as well.
The reason why those top-end ones are a bit more like that is because they've already done that work. They've got their personality, they've got their design style, and people are going to them because they know what they're going to get.
Whereas at the other end of people who are starting out, they're not established. How do you establish when you're designing for someone in your own style, you either do your own project, or you try and work with people and get those images, but that can take a lot of time, and you don't always have full control.
Emily: Talk to us because this is where you two really specialize in helping women actually go on to create their own projects. What's the starting point, would you say? Or why is this something that you believe in so strongly?
Kribashini: Well, I guess that we believe that anyone really can do it with the right tools and we say that a lot, but particularly, we have the BuildHer course, but we also have the inner circle. The inner circle is really this place where women who want to develop for-profit, who want to do their own projects can really be encouraged and supported in a really non-threatening, non-competitive way. I think Rebeka spoke about a little bit earlier, in this non-competitiveness.
What we find in the market, in the development market is it's so competitive and so cutthroat, and it's about doing it cheaper, doing the same thing, doing the same product faster and cheaper each time to maximize your profit, but our theory is really the opposite of that. It's about building brands and creating value and creating beautiful homes in our communities, and really being part of the larger build environment in a really positive and rewarding way.
Rebeka: Yes, I think a lot of men do the developments. I know, not to knock that, but I think as women we come in a really different way because we've got this sense of feminine energy and the way we want to live in a house, I know that sounds a bit...woo-woo but I feel like- [crosstalk]
Emily: No, I totally agree.
Emily: Not at all, because you can feel when you walk into a house.
Rebeka: Yes, and that connection is instantaneous. By the time someone gets to the kitchen, they really need to be packing away their utensils, working out where they're going to leave, and if you can nail that, then you've got the buyer. What we find is that the buyer is generally a woman.
I guess I sell over $3 million houses, so we're high-end high to get high stakes, but what we're doing is creating something that emotionally connects to a woman, and then we're teaching people how you can get that top dollar, and not only how I do it, but how different people do it. Like we've got Zephyr + Stone on and we're showing how they do the development because they're doing it slightly differently.
Then we have Neil from Futureflip, and we talk about how he's doing it and how he's built. It's funny because all of these people have their own brand, their own brand story, which shows what you're going to get, and their followers buy into what they're going to buy, and so if you can see that, and you can see the numbers behind it, then it takes that fear out of it, because we know that you're an interior designer.
If you've got that innate skill, and that why you come to something. If you can just lean the numbers way to do the project, how to do the feasibility, and we share that, and everyone has been so generous sharing their actual numbers, then it's a community where we can all grow.
Emily: Sorry, there's a couple of other points that I want to talk about. One of them, I want to pick up from a little bit earlier where you talked about when you build a home, and also that an interior design has only got a limited number of hours. If someone wants to book them, they have to get in. It's that sense of urgency. It's a similar thing that I teach with marketing in terms of a lot of people use their social media just to post images, and we've already talked about sharing a bit of a story behind that, sharing maybe what the brief was? What's actually in the photo, and how that came about?
Also, about having a call to action, in a post too. That's what I see a lot of people miss out, to that sharing that photo, but it's like a dead-end post. It's just sharing maybe a little description of the photo. They're not telling the audience what to do next.
For me, and what I teach is always having a call to action, and whether that's something that's on the post actually asking people to engage. It might be something like, "Does anyone else like feel like this? Or do you agree, do you disagree?" One of the calls to action is around engagement on the post, which is super important to get engagement because that's how more people are going to see your post on Instagram.
Then the other one is actually being smart about what you're trying to achieve as a business owner, and as an interior designer, or somebody in that space when you're using social media. Because if you aren't actually driving people to the next stage in working with you, then it can be a lot of time that you're spending without seeing much return. I loved what you talked about around having that sense of urgency. I also call it having an irresistible offer, whatever that looks like for different people, whatever their business might be, but making sure that in your Instagram posts, you've got that call to action, which might say something like, "Hey, I've only got one more spot this year to take on a project. If you're interested in booking a chat with me, come and talk."
Rebeka: It's like we don't want to ourselves out there, because we don't want people to feel like we're selling to them.
Emily: Do you have a business?
Rebeka: That's it. Are you doing this for fun or do you have a business? I get that because I feel sometimes, too. I'm like, "We put something at the bottom of that and say, "Come watch our webinar." I know if people watch our webinar, they're going to learn so much good stuff, and they're going to really identify a lot of those key questions that they're asking, and that's why we've created the webinar because we're continually telling people the same thing.
Rebeka: I know you've got a webinar for the same thing. Being able to get people to engage and go to that next step or get them to book in a consult call, or to do something. It doesn't have to be a hard sell, but just something to say, "Hey, guys, there's more." People want permission to be able to contact you. Do you find that?
Emily: Yes, and I think as well, I know, if you have an offline business, it's probably looking at that welcome call, but it could be signing up to an opt-in that people have, whether that's some freebie that they've created that's full of value. People can then sign up for that, and then it might be looking like, "This is what I teach in my membership." Having that beautiful welcome sequence, so people actually get introduced to you, your values, your brand, you can share some great case studies, and then you can make an offer to them, make that irresistible offer that you've only got a few spots left for the months ahead, booking now to have that chat with you, or whether it's with both of us, we also have online courses. It's like, join the course, and you're going to get these great bonuses if you join now.
I think that's also a missing part for a lot of interior designers is that they maybe don't have that system in place. Is that something that you've found as well?
Kribashini: I think you actually touched on it really well, Emily, because what you're teaching people, is that the critical analysis of what they're doing. When they're putting up a picture, they're going, "Why am I doing it? What's the purpose behind it? What's the purpose?"
Emily: Purpose behind every post.
Kribashini: Yes, what's the purpose? I think that's one of the things we often forget to do because we get taken away with the beautiful picture. We get taken away with all the things that had to happen in the background to make it so perfect, and we actually forget the end objective. I think that's really important advice because we forget to do it occasionally.
Emily: I've seen couple ladies that have this amazing Instagram account, they've got tens of thousands of followers, but they are struggling with actually monetising, because they don't use those call to actions, they don't really have that clarity around what they're offering next for their audience. I think that's a key thing for people to think about.
Rebeka: Really, it's about helping people like that's what we do. That's what you do. That's what we do, and that's why we're in business, and that's why an interior designer is in business too to help people but is it fear that people are going to not take that next step or they're going to opt-out? If people opt-out, that's fine. They just [crosstalk]
Kribashini: Or they feel like too many people- [chuckles]
Emily: That's another one too. Some people feel their own success almost, and self-sabotage. Not everyone is going to sign up for it. Not everyone is going to book the call. Just knowing that, and knowing that you might get, 1 in 100 people and that's fine.
Rebeka: That's okay, because that one person, if you can find your perfect client, but also you start to have that conversation with the perfect client as well, and they start to understand who you are, so that person that then takes the next step and books in, but so often and we've been like this as well, there has been for a very long time no way to buy from us.
Emily: It's like the number one issue right there.
Rebeka: You would have to call us on a good day, I would have a chat with you, and tell you about what we offer, and you can buy like that. Now we've actually got it online and you can go to the page and sign up, but it was- [crosstalk] yes to get there. It's amazing that so many people who called us and signed up.
Kribashini: Is there any builders out there, like how did you ever become a builder?
Rebeka: Let us know because we've got no idea.
Emily: Something else that I was keen to ask you ladies about is that you've already had your business 18 months or something like that, bit over a year.
Kribashini: Yep, coming up to our second b’day!
Emily: [cheers] Earlier this year you ran a Talkfest, so an online kind of seminar. I was involved in that, which was really, really fun. I think you had the idea to do it and then you tossed Lisa who is sitting here on the audio, with making it happen. I wanted to ask you around how do you do that? How do you just take an idea, implement, take action? And be okay that things might go wrong? Is that just your natural personality?
Kribashini: I think it actually comes from our project management experience and our background in pulling things together. When we decide to do something, we do generally just figure out how to put it together, because our backgrounds are breaking things down into manageable bite-sized pieces and putting it into tasks and coordinating the people that we need to pull that together. It's no different from really pulling a building together, to pulling something like Talkfest off. It all will come together if you can map it out.
Rebeka: Everything is figure out-able.
Kribashini: I reckon there's probably a dozen things we could have improved in the first iteration of Talkfest, but it doesn't really matter.
Rebeka: No, and we get so hung up on making things perfect before we put it out there. I know you do the same thing. You deliver all the time and you---
Emily: Well, they're always perfect though.
Emily: When I send out emails that have got the wrong link, I'm like "Oh, crap. No one can buy from me." [crosstalk]
Rebeka: It's just about doing that. We sent out our email series in the last couple of weeks, which we thought we had right. We had someone help us do it and it went out and people were clicking through and I got some really bad feedback to that, to be honest. I got some people that are really angry with me, and I didn't mean to offend anyone. It just wasn't right, but you know what else? We got some really good phone calls, and we got some customers to sign up from it and quite a lot actually.
In amongst that kind of craziness, if this was going wrong, it's also gone right. I can hide and cry under the covers, negative feedback always hurts and we can always improve on that. Or we can just go, "Okay, well, let's make sure we fix the links next time."
Emily: Things are going to go wrong, no matter how long you spend trying to perfect it anyway, so you'd rather do it and then learn and then keep iterating to make it better.
Kribashini: There are so many different parts of tech that have to integrate with each other, it's actually crazy.
Rebeka: Do you know what? The thing is, we're good at building like you're good at coaching. We're good at what we're good at, and then we've got to put these systems around us and it's maybe not our core strength. How do you do that? You get mentors in to help you with the bits that you don't know and then you outsource the bits that you just can't learn.
Emily: Yes, or that's going to take you way too much time, that it's not even worth you doing it.
Rebeka: Yes, exactly.
Kribashini: Actually, that's something that I think we learned a little bit early on in the week. We were part of different business groups and different business groups teach different strategies. Something that we realized early on because we're a partnership, is how lucky we are to be two people. Because we were in a lot of groups where it was just the one person trying to start their own business and it was a hard slog for them because there was so much to do. Whereas we could really go "Right, well, you deal with that, and I'll deal with this," and get there twice as fast, would you think?
Rebeka: Yes, but [crosstalk] quite good for that too if you're building a house. You don't both need to be across everything. One of you is naturally going to drive this process, one drive that process, but you've got to give each other permission to make mistakes on the way and permission to take ownership of those decisions. I take one side of the business, Kribashini takes another. If something doesn't work out, right, well, it's not intentional, it just is. If you're a single person, then get yourself with a group of people that are doing it, so you've got that leverage and that support.
Emily: Invest in learning as well. That's one of my biggest expenses for my business. It's professional development and learning. Yes, and I thought it was probably the same for you too.
Kribashini: In fact, even if there are any interior designers out there listening to us today if you've got someone, a partner who's interested in that part, that you're not interested in, take leverage off that, and use it. It's actually such a blessing to have someone that you can lean on, that is the other part of your brain. Because we often spend a lot of time worrying and a lot of energy worrying about the things we don't know how to do. All the things that are overwhelming, whereas we can use less energy.
Emily: But also we're not expected to know that. If we've never done before, nobody expects you to know that. That's the other thing. I think people can feel a little bit concerned or worried or embarrassed or intimidated by not knowing things, but you're not going to know if you've never done it before, so it's totally fine, you can ask.
Rebeka: If you're a part of a community, then you can just put your hand up and say, "Hey, guys, I need help with this." "Hey, guys, this wasn't working" and that's okay.
Emily: Who's done that before?
Rebeka: I've done that in many business groups and we've done that with you. Like, "How do we do this?" For example, this podcast. How do we do a podcast, Emily? We want to do a podcast. [crosstalk] My magic lady does that.
Kribashini: We might know how to do half of that, but we don't know how to do the other half.
Emily: I'd love to hear a couple of things to finish off on. One, what are you working on now? What's the big focus that's going on with you guys? Then secondly, what would you tell yourselves winding back pre-business selves? Which you’ve had businesses before this that you've been working on. What would you say first of all, what's something big you're working on at the minute that maybe you can share with us?
Kribashini: Well, the inner circle.
Rebeka: Well, let's put it like this. When I started developing, I had such trouble getting people to buy in and getting the right resources. Understanding what the numbers would be, understanding how to deliver my project. I really wanted to see behind the scenes, with our builders and other people in the industry.
Emily: Because this feels quite secretive.
Kribashini: Yes, it does.
Rebeka: Yes, it's secretive, and no one wants to share their secret sauce, because they're worried about being in competition, and that's just not the way we roll. We created these so people could band together and see behind the scenes on everything.
I've learned so much by interviewing people and being able to understand what is behind the scenes. What it is, is it's an interview with someone who's developing or an aspect of building. We then break that down and give you some key deliverables and tangibles from that. We then look at the numbers, how that affects the feasibility and the numbers, so you can go out and do it yourself. Then we have a Q&A at the end.
We deliver that once per month and really show you how to do different types of development along the way. That's what I'm super excited about. Plus, it's got a community. Plus it's got access to buying power because we've got a buying group of women who are all buyers and agreements with different suppliers, so that's really what we're working on.
Kribashini: Yes, and I think with the developers in a circle as well, there's no one strategy for developing for profit. There are lots of different strategies out there.
Emily: That's good to know because I reckon from an outside perspective, it feels like, I guess you can sometimes be sold by different people or you've got to have this exact process to make it work.
Kribashini: That's right. I think having the experience and have done a whole lot of different types of projects, we can break it down and bring to you a whole suite of different strategies because it's going to be the right one for you. And it's not just about doing one thing that everyone else is doing.
Emily: Could you tell me looking back now, is there something you would have done differently or what would you tell your pre-business self?
Rebeka: I'll say that often, we do that thing of where we're like, "If I just get to this point, then I'll be able to invest," or, "If I just got here." It's like we try and make ourselves figure everything out before we get someone to help us figure it out. Do you find that?
Kribashini: Well, I think we tend to overthink things sometimes.
Emily: Have you ever been in the fetal position on the floor? Because I have once.
Rebeka: I've been really upset about a webinar going wrong.
Kribashini: I'm ridiculously optimistic.
Kribashini: In fact, and old colleague calls me recklessly optimistic.
Rebeka: I'm taking that on board, I agree wholeheartedly. Kribashini is recklessly optimistic when it comes to traffic.
Kribashini: I think sometimes it does, not affect me, but there are some areas I'm way too realistic and almost too critical and other areas where I'm like, "No, it will be fine. That will work out."
Rebeka: But I would say in terms of developing projects, you're really critical. You build a lot of buffers and you make that happen. I want to flip that question back. What are you working on?
Emily: What am I working on? [crosstalk]
Rebeka: And we want to hear about the fetal position.
Emily: What I'm working on, you guys know, I have the Modern Marketing collective, which I launched about a year ago now. I just love running it. I have women from across Australia in there. I have a lot of interior designers, a lot of sole traders. I help them really to understand how to market themselves online. We focus a lot on Instagram because it is super powerful to build your brand, but then I'm all about having that sales strategy too. I'm not about building followers. I'm about actually building your brand and then knowing where to take people to grow your business.
Kribashini: I love that because it's like the whole thing.
Emily: It's a more holistic approach. One of my ladies, Naomi actually, she joined the Modern Marketing collective as one of the first members. She emailed me the other day, and she told me that she had had a 35% increase in revenue. Those kinds of changes are just amazing.
Kribashini: I think something that we've struggled with, is you get people who work in these niches and it's either marketing or it's sales. I think what you've put together, being marketing and the sales end.
Emily: You can't have the one without the other.
Kribashini: Yes it was really frustrating for us, wasn't it? Because we wanted the full picture.
Emily: Well, got me, ladies, okay.
Emily: That's what I'm focusing on. I have a waitlist at the minute, doors are closed, so people can go to emilyosmond.com/waitlist and emilyosmond.com/free to get lots of freebies too. Where can we go to find out more about you ladies?
Kribashini: No, hang on a minute before we jump to the next question--
Emily: Oh, sorry-
Kribashini: You've got to tell us about the fetal position.
Emily: Fetal position was back in the fairly early days of business. Some files were sent to a client that were going to a big print production. They'd been sent off ready to go to print and then my designer emailed me and was like, "Oh, Emily. I sent you the wrong files." I'm like, "Oh my gosh, this could cost thousands of dollars." Anyway, I rang the printer straight away. He was like, "Oh, no. Good. We're going to put it on this arvo."
I'd gone from like a fetal position like, "I'm going to have to be out of pocket probably like thousands of dollars which is just terrible," but this client, I was like, "I love you, thank you. This is the best." [laughs] Anyway, we got through that situation.
Kribashini That's actually a whole another podcast just on past mistakes.
Rebeka: We have some too.
Emily: Yes. Tell us where to go for you guys because you did find out Lisa is ever helpful. She let us know as well. The best link.
Kribashini: Go to BuildHercollective.com.au/freebies and check out our freebie page. We have a whole lot of great stuff on there.
Rebeka: There's a webinar, there's downloadable, there's really good stuff to get you started on actually tangibly being able to build, but also sometimes knowing what the right thing is to do. You can also book a free consult with us. We do free 20-minute consults. They're generally with me and you can jump on the phone and say, "I've got this house or I'm looking at these, what would you do here or would I be a good fit here," or whatever you want. Our end is just to get you one step closer in that consult. I think that's really--
Emily: Bit of gold.
Rebeka: Bit of gold. Yes. Gold.
Emily: Kribashini, Rebeka, thanks for sitting down. It was great to do this. I think it's one podcast we decided very literally as we sat down, we're like, "Probably, we don't need to record two different ones." Hopefully--
Rebeka: I feel like there’s just a lot of synergies between what you do and what we do and how we all work together. We've started a good collaboration.
Kribashini: It's been absolutely amazing speaking to you today, Emily. I thank you for taking the time to chat with us and sharing all your valuable insights into online marketing for the interior designers out there.
Emily: My pleasure. Speak to you guys soon.