What Level is Your Design Business?

Power Talk Friday: Fred Berns: 12 Ways Interior Designers Sabotage Their Business

Episode 393 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we are really happy to have the inimitable Fred Berns back on the show with us once again! Fred has been our guest on the podcast more often than anyone else in all of the almost three years that the show has been on the air! He has previously appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, and #337 and he is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is always so intentional and actionable. Observation is one of Fred’s superpowers and he always adds an extra layer by noticing the things that are done well and could be done even better, in any business process. Fred has discovered that success leaves clues, but mistakes multiply, so today he will be talking to us about The Dirty Dozen, the twelve most common things that interior designers tend to do to sabotage their own success, that they really need to avoid. Listen in today and learn about the habits that cause harm to professionals.

Fred Berns is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promotional materials for design professionals worldwide. Fred has more than 25 years experience training design professionals from Dallas to Dubai and creating their online profiles, website and social media copy, blogs, and marketing forms. In addition, he offers a wide range of business coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio Briefing and Website Onceover. As one of the biggest names in the business of interior design, he speaks at design conferences and other events throughout the U.S. and around the world. He also develops sales and marketing programs for international franchise organizations and companies within the interior design industry, and trains manufacturers, retailers, and others on how to increase sales to design professionals. Fred focuses on his keynote speeches and seminars on how designers, kitchen and bath specialists, window fashion experts and other professionals can dramatically increase sales, and market themselves more effectively. He has appeared at the International Window Coverings Expo; Neocon events; the High Point Market; Surfaces; design symposiums; home and design expos; furniture, gift and accessory shows; and national conferences of such groups as ASID, NKBA, IDS, and IFDA.

Fred’s blog is read by design professionals the world over, and he regularly writes guest blog posts and articles for online and print media.  He also is a frequent guest on design industry podcasts. His Interior Design Business Library includes a vast collection of books, audio and video programs and other business-building resources that he has developed for the design industry. His learning tools cover topics ranging from setting and getting higher fees and overcoming price objections to branding and million dollars marketing on a shoestring budget. Fred’s clients today benefit from the communication and copywriting skills that he acquired during his highly-successful earlier career as a broadcast and print journalist. In that career, he founded one of Washington, D.C.’s largest and longest-established independent news bureaus.

Show highlights:

We’re so busy looking for success steps, strategies, and shortcuts that we tend to overlook the fact that there are obstacles, roadblocks, and silly mistakes that derail too many design professionals too often.

Be careful of following the followers and not the leaders in the design industry. Remember that you make a great you, but a lousy somebody else!

Fishing for marlins, not minnows. Too many designers sell themselves short by thinking too small, too often, and they’re aiming too low. They under-value and under-promote themselves, and they charge too little for their services.

You’re an expert, so know your value. Many designers fall into the trap of giving away their time and Fred believes that really diminishes your value, as a design professional. The most financially successful designer’s charge for all of their time, all of the time.

You cannot be taken advantage of if you don’t allow it, so manage your relationships and take charge of them.

Majoring in minors. Stop wasting your time and becoming distracted.

What you will gain from including Fred’s Daily Dozen Activity and his Five O’clock Focus in your daily routine.

Plan your next day ahead with Fred’s MVP List (Most Valuable and Productive use of your time activities).

You need to be cross-selling, up-selling and doing add-on selling all the time by educating your clients about all you can do.

Your work does not sell itself- it’s way too competitive out there. Thinking your work sells itself is old-school thinking. It’s the kind of thinking that could kill your career.

Bogus Bios and Wimpy Websites– Bios that block you rather than boost you and disqualify you from the kinds of clients and projects you want and deserve. And websites that don’t promote all that you do and how well you do it. (Check out Website Onceover)

Your bio really has got to rock because it’s your most vital, versatile, and viable marketing tool. (See Bio Briefing)

Don’t go it alone. Do what you do best and delegate the rest.

Viewing price objections as obstacles. Learn to use price objections as opportunities.

Fred’s Fabulous Fallback for price objections.

Don’t futz with your fees. Hold firm on your fees or you won’t come across as professional.

Charging too little is another thing that will sabotage your success.

You need to be in control your business rather than the business controlling you.

Fred is coming to New Jersey for the LuAnn Nigara Live-It’s About the Conversation event. He is one of the co-authors of LuAnn’s new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, which will be launched on March 30th at this event!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Episode #391- Live On Air Coaching Call- Rumble Interiors

Links and contacts:

Things I learned from Fred Bern: The Dirty Dozen

For coaching on how to avoid or overcome these “Success Saboteurs:”  Coach Call

For coaching on how to upgrade your website content: Website Onceover

For coaching on crafting your Killer Bio: Bio Briefing

Fred’s email: fred@fredberns.com

Fred’s phone number: (303) 589-3013

About our birthday party:

Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York,  from [5:30] to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us! Go to Luann Nigara and click on Live Event.

What Level is Your Design Business?