Hello friend! Welcome to the first interview in the Purpose To Service interview series! As a little background, the purpose of this series is to highlight incredible women who have turned their purpose into incredible service based businesses. It is also a chance for you to see how creatives in wide ranges of industries are able to offer services related to their specific niches, manage clients and run their service based businesses! Throughout the next couple of weeks you will have a chance to read the stories of women who are professional handletters, interior designers, brand stylist and more! I hope you enjoy!
Today I am extremely excited to share with you Heather Freeman, decor coach and founder of The Decor Fix. As I was in the house buying process and completely overwhelmed with all things interior design, I stumbled across Heather's site and quickly fell in "awe" with her great content! I was also really intrigued to see that she was also a design coach who helps others decorate their homes with style and intention. In this interview Heather talks about her growing brand, her favorite part of running a service based business, setting client expectations and more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I'm a designer and Decor Coach. I started offering local interior styling and e-design services to clients, but then shifted my approach about two years ago to something I call "decor coaching", a hybrid of design and teaching. While I love to pull together a gorgeous room, my true love is teaching others how to decorate their own home with confidence and intention. It's like my drug of choice :) Also I have a styling e-course The Bookshelf Styling Class.
What is your favorite part about running a service based business?
I work with women from all over the world, so over the last few years I've developed this kind of global perspective on things...Even though all these women have geographic differences, the desire for a home that reflects us (and the struggle to make it happen) are universally the same. We all want to feel inspired in our surroundings. It's such a fascinating process to be a part of helping women create a home they love. And one that works for a busy family too. Seeing how this plays out to boost their willingness to open up their doors, to finding new confidence at work, and even a better sex life has been the most surprising thing for me to witness and have played a part in.
There are a lot of misconceptions about running a service based business, like lack of freedom & the ability to grow your income. What's the biggest myth you've learned to be untrue?
I think a myth that new business owners tell themselves is that they must have a presence everywhere and offer lots of options. They need coaching packages, and an e-book, and you have to be on social media every day and blog three times a week...It's just not true. No single person can do all of that and STILL offer clients a top-notch experience that leads to lasting change. There is value in choosing to be or do only a select few things. And do them the best damn way you can. My biggest limitation over the years has been a lack of focus at times. At different points (like most business owners) I have wanted to "Do All The Things". But you just can't. You can't conquer everything at the same time.
"you can't conquer everything at the same time."
Creating a great client experience is the perfect way to keep clients coming back. What do you do to ensure your clients are really getting the most out of your time together?
I send a detailed "Style Survey" and request specific pictures from clients before we ever meet for a session. I spend at least one hour preparing for any meeting by looking over all the information and their Pinterest boards. I try to get a really good sense of who they are and where they are coming from before we ever hop on a call. While my sessions are 60 or 90 minutes depending on what is needed, I always allow enough space in my schedule to go over by 15 minutes. Usually this extra time is to make sure there are no lingering questions on their end or we can expand on any topic that needs it. I always want to leave my clients with more value than they prepared for.
What tools or systems are a must-have to help you run your business smoothly?
My whole life is on Google. No lie. I use Google forms for everything. Google drive to house client info and pictures as well as share client deliverables. It's such a time saver to have it all there. I'm also obsessed with the Boomerang mail app with lets you schedule emails or notify you if an important email has not been replied to. It's like my personal assistant only a lot cheaper. I also use Canva for Work and Olioboard to create graphics and client mood boards. Oh, and Convert Kit, the best email service in my opinion. (And I've tried two others.)
In order for a service based business to thrive, you have to have new clients! What marketing strategies have helped you to attract and find new clients?
Instagram radically changed my business. It's where my international clients started finding me. Also, my blog brings in a healthy stream of clients. Now I blog to my ideal clients. (While I used to try and just be stylish-I realized that was not getting me far in my business.) I stopped blogging about things that were just design focused and started blogging about the feeling of being stuck when it comes to decorating. I write a lot about the mental and emotional process of creating a space you love. Soon prospective clients began emailing me saying they felt like I was reading their minds. That's when the "magic" started to happen.
What advice would you give another creative wanting to create a service around their purpose?
Don't be scared to go through several iterations of your service...You may not hit a home run the first time you put packages or your client workflow together. It may take a little time to find your "secret sauce". And that's ok.
KEEP IN TOUCH WITH HEATHER
Interested in revamping or creating your next profitable service offering? My upcoming Purpose To Service e-course is a step-by-step guide to creating better service packages and attracting your dream clients. Click the picture below to be the first to know when the course launches! You'll also receive a FREE checklist to help you get started NOW plus as a V.I.P you'll receive an exclusive $60 off discount when the course launches!