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Advice for Designers

Profits that are Hiding inside your Website

By 10/19/2009January 26th, 201717 Comments

I’m coming up to the anniversary date of when I started my blog so this week I’m acknowledging my ‘Dream Team’.  The professionals that helped launch my personal brand on the internet in 2008-09.

To fly you need a dream team!
The first members of  my Dream Team are Gail & Dave Watson with Extra Contact. They are a husband and wife team that specialize in Email Marketing. I met Gail at an eWomen’s networking luncheon (where she was the facilitator and leader of the Vancouver branch) and through getting to know her, she introduced me to Jane Atkinson’s book ‘The Wealthy Speaker’ (when she found out I was interesting in being a speaker).

Prior to hiring Gail & Dave (above) to work with me on my email marking strategy I read the book.  Not only is it a must read for any up and coming speaker, it’s a great business book too.  Her chapter on websites included these 2 quotes:

‘All Roads Lead to Your Website’
‘One of the main reasons to have a website is to capture names and email addresses.  How well is your site doing this?’
So I went to her website to see how she did it and this is what I found:

It immediately made me want to subscribe–I wanted to make sure I wasn’t making those mistakes right?
So I decided to do exactly the same thing (hey she’s the expert if it works for her, it’ll most likely work for me) and I asked Marvin my graphic designer to design a box for my home page:

Subscribe here

Before I hooked up with emailing marketing experts, I used to have a blog mixed up with a newsletter.  I thought, surely if I have a blog where I’m posting 4-5 times a week, that is enough to get new clients.  A newsletter?  How is that so different?

Well my lovelies, here’s the difference.

My newsletter header

1. My past clients (who receive my newsletter now) did not even know about my blog because I was doing zipola to keep in touch with them. This past summer when I called each one to ask if they’d like to subscribe, many said  “We’ve moved since you were here last and we didn’t know how to reach you”. Hello? Missed opportunity!

2.  Not everyone that reads my blog, is necessarily interested nor has the time to read every new post should they subscribe to my blog (if you want to though, the box is in the upper right sidebar).  Some people prefer to get a monthly update with 5 of my top posts of that month, including one special article that does not get posted on my blog that they can read at their leisure. Like this month (below)

3. What do you do with the stack of business cards you collect at a luncheon or networking event?  Mine would land up on my desk, where I would move them around until the pile got too big.  Then occasionally I would sift through them and file the ones I might need and the rest were toast.  Well, now you have somewhere to collect those important addresses that might lead to business at some point.

Dave (Extra Contact) called me one day (inside helping me with my first newsletter sent in September) and he said “I just sent out my newsletter and received 2 calls, the first from someone I met at a Board of Trade Luncheon 2 years ago, he’s now ready to do some business with me, as well as someone I met 3 months ago.”  A friend of mine who had been saying ‘I never read the newsletters I get, I just delete them, they are a waste of time’ upon hearing this story, ran to her computer to start writing one!
In July, I started collecting email addresses.  I now have over 1500 addresses in my database.  And how much new wouldn’t-have-happened-without-it business have I booked?  6 colour consultations and a beautiful home I’m designing, new colours, furniture, window coverings, etc.

And I will quote again a comment I received when I wrote this post on Hiring a Designer; Luxury or Necessity. Hire a professional for everything you cannot do professionally yourself.  Wise words to live by.

Thank you to Gail & Dave Watson, without your expertise and business strategy I wouldn’t even have a newsletter, and it certainly wouldn’t look as professional and be as effective as it is right now!

Related posts:
The Difference between an experienced Colourist and a Novice
Find the Inspiration to keep doing what you Love here!
Authenticity. . . the Currency of the Future

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  • Jennifer, Inside Out Colour and Design says:

    Hi Maria, I was sending out newsletters long before I started blogging and yes – they work. I have received a number of enquiries from people that had subscribed to my newsletter and I didn't even know. I also gain alot of repeat business from my newsletter as it's a really subtle way of making sure your name is before your past clients on a regular basis. There's alot more to colour and design than fabric and paint swatches!

  • Vanessa Francis says:

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for the timely and insightful post. I am currently working on my first newsletter to past (and future) clients and this just gives me the impetus to send it out ASAP!

  • Karena says:

    I would love more help in getting hits on my blog site. Some great ideas Maria!

  • Greet says:

    It is always so intresting to meet people who can help you with a good business strategy! They mostly give you tips of which you would never have been thinking on!And yes in most of cases, the tips do work!


  • Velvet and Linen says:

    I just signed up for your newsletter!
    This was the first time I visited your website. You've done a beautiful job Maria!
    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge along the way.


  • Laura Trevey says:

    You have inspired me!! I love the quote, "Hire a Professional for everything you cannot do professionally yourself."

    Sound advice… I really cannot thank you enough for this post!

    Have a wonderful week!

  • Linda at Lime in the Coconut! says:

    Wow…I am impressed. So very polished and proffessional! Way to go!

  • Ruthies Renewed Treasured says:

    So very well written Maria and great advice. Wish Dave and Gayle could help me here in Texas?


  • Tara Dillard says:

    Wow. Thank you for this post & I'm signing up for your newsletter.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • Bethany Christensen says:

    Awesome! As always, you get me so excited about the many possibilities and opportunities out there.

  • Jane says:

    Hi Maria
    You shared some great advice today. The newsletter is a wonderful tool to reach customers and potential customers. With all the templates available, it's rather easy to do. But, as you said, "Hire" is wonderful advice!

    Thanks for visiting my Mt. Dora post. The birds you mentioned are wonderful! I found them at an outdoor market in St Augustine. The artist had a large, tiered display…and he was a hoot! The minute I saw them I began laughing. Each bird has its own style…and a "hatched" certificate. Hopefully, Julieanne's Coastal Cottage will have them, and other items from the store, online soon. It's one step at a time…
    Jane (artfully graced)

  • Fifi Flowers says:

    GOOD for YOU!!! Good Luck!!!

  • Miss Wendy says:

    Great advice! Thank you for your insightful an educational posts. I am just starting out and find your posts to be very helpful in shoring up my knowledge.

  • Debby Art and Soul Home Staging says:

    I love your blog Maria. Not only is it fun, educational and inspiring but it only takes a couple of minutes to read and enjoy which for me is my priority when subscribing to nearly anything on the web these days. Congratulations on your second anniversary, too!

  • Renae says:


    You are THE best! I learn so much from you…thank you!

    I LOVE your newsletter, so full of good stuff and colour!


  • sakinah abdul-Jleel says:

    In this economy people sometimes think that hiring a designer is a luxury, yet one of my clients who are building a 5600 sq. foot home continue to thank me and are so glad that they hired me because of the time and effort that I put in that they could not! It would have cost them more if they weren't working with a designer.

  • Farha Syed says:

    Great post – this is what I have been working on building my own email list that I can share all the special offers I run from time to time. I followed your advice of putting Subscribe Page for them to go and enter their info. It’s also at the end of the page.

    Always learn something from you Maria.

    Love your blog.

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