At the Design Bloggers Conference early this week, Rhonda from All the Best gave a talk on ‘How to create your Brand’. The message that really hit home for us all was “Everyone thinks social media is a magic bullet, but it’s not that easy. Social media is like teen sex, everyone wants to do it, no one actually knows how and then they are surprised when it’s not better.”
It’s kind of like renovations. You think, how hard can it be? I know I want a white kitchen, quartz countertops and a blue glass backsplash (like my sister), but then there are all these little decisions that need to be made, that add up to your beautiful kitchen.
Like when I arrived at my sisters kitchen-renovation-in-process this week. Her boxes had just been installed, the countertop measured, and the drywall, complete. I walked in and said “What is this?” all the corners of her kitchen were suddenly. . . flat. Remember the rounded corners from the 90’s that were so brutal because the only way to change the colour going from one room to the next is to tape it in the middle. . . well, her corners. Flat. She said “See this is what happens when you go out of town”.
Without a designer my lovelies, the contractor, or ‘insert trade here’ potentially sways the homeowner in the direction that makes it easier for him to do his job. And the homeowner, aka. my sister in this example, says ‘Sure that sounds like a good idea’.
Social media, the same. It looks easy and you think, all I have to follow is all these great tips and I’ll have a great blog. And in theory this is true, but here’s what makes blogging hard. When you are simply not inspired write anything. When it’s 8:00 pm on any particular evening and your post is old but you are tired. Do you a. Flake out on the couch? or b. Go to your office to blog. If you answered yes to the latter, you have the makings of a blogger.
It’s not for everyone, and you shouldn’t make yourself wrong if it’s not in you to write one. Just because your friend has written a book (for example) doesn’t mean you should too. Blogging, same thing. Okay so back to a few more tips if you are one of the bloggers reading this post. . .
Tobi Fairley gave the keynote talk on Tuesday morning with 20 great tips on blogging. Here are some of the highlights:
Tobi Fairley & Maria Killam
1. Determine your blog’s purpose. If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to know when you get there?
2. Offer total design. Don’t do a little in this room and a little in that, so in the end you can’t see where the money went if you don’t complete the room. Spreading it all around a clients home also dilutes the look and feel of the overall space.
3. Blogging isn’t free. You still have to pay for photography (very important) Also, when you’re blogging, you are not designing.
4. Before’s & After’s. Take great ‘before’ pictures from the right angles. Take every wall straight on and every wall at an angle so you can photograph it at the same angle when you take the ‘after’ photo. How many times have you NOT photographed the nothing corner ‘before’ you decorated the space, and then afterwards, you get cranky because you don’t have that same angle.
5. People want to be entertained or inspired.You must be stylish but still have content behind it.
Maria Killam and Ruthie Staalsen
I always like to have a roommate when I’m at a conference because it’s so great to get to know my blogging friends even better. Ruthie from Ruthie’s Renewed Treasures (above) was my pal at this 2 day event and we had a great time together!
Oh, and one more thing, Jan Showers keynote presentation included a great photography tip which all of us designers should be aware of, and it is this ‘Use a photographer that uses a lot of natural light or can light a room so that it looks like there is lots of natural light. It’s dated to shoot portfolio pictures with the lights on.’
I’m off to Seattle tomorrow morning for the weekend and then Monday, I’m shopping for Spring with my amazing stylist Angie at You Look Fab. Can’t wait. I also popped into Crate & Barrel in LA and my colour has arrived, yaay! So I’m going to check them out too, now that I’ll have a car to pack it in.
Have a great weekend!
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.
Creative Director and Founder of Understanding Undertones® and the Killam Colour SystemTM. Decorator, author, speaker and internationally sought after Colour Expert. See Colour DifferentlyTM with Maria Killam.