The other day while scrolling through Facebook, I happened upon a post from friend and client Wendy Woloshchuk of Details Full Service Interiors. It was her weekly “Sunday Morning Coffee Conversation” where she asks a question to get people engaged. This week it was “Has the way you live in your house changed with COVID? Do you think that the love of open concept living is going to fade with more people working from home and home schooling? Would it be easier if it were less open?” Well, I couldn’t help myself and had to chime in. However, rather than keeping the answer between just Wendy and I, I thought I’d share it with you as well, as it could lead to a quick “pop up service” option and a way to fill your sales funnel for later.
My answer was this, at my house our rooms have been forced into multiple purposes – bedroom/office, living room/classroom, etc. We’ve shopped our house, looked for ways to make do, and for the most part, have repurposed the furniture we have. We’re just trying to get through this time without buying too much as well, even though this moment seems to be taking foreeevvveerrr, it is temporary. This will end, and hopefully within the next year. So we want to keep from buying anything that we’ll have to figure out what to do with later. “Ok…” you say, “that’s not anything I didn’t already know, how is this going to help me get clients?” Well, at the end of my reply to Wendy I added, “People outside of the design industry don’t know how to repurpose and shop their own house. So they’d probably appreciate learning how to do so and would be willing to pay for it.”
Small Investments, Small Time, Big Payback
Ahh, the answer, people would be willing to pay for guidance on how to work and learn from home, mostly using what they already have in their home. Yep, that’s right, but that’s not all. Let’s take this one step further. Like I said before, right now we’re all in a temporary situation. We don’t really know what’s happening from one week to the next with school, work, anything, so that means a lot of people aren’t wanting to invest large amounts of money in something like a virtual consultation for something that may or may not be long term. What they would invest though is a small amount of money, and a small amount of time, into a live, virtual 1 or 2 series workshop to figure out how to make things work for them right now. So let’s talk about what that might look like.
First you’d pick a space in your home where you want to set up a work station. Then once you’re live, you’d start by sharing why you chose this space in your home to be used as the office, and what criteria your audience should be using to choose their space as well – such as natural light, quiet, close to outlets, etc. Then, you’d talk about what foundational elements are in your space, and you start to build them in live so they can see you doing the work. You’d move the desk to its appropriate place, then a lamp, then a desk chair, printer, then file boxes, etc. Then last, you’d style it, bringing in a picture or 2 (and hanging them on nails that have already been hammered in), a plant, fun desk accessories, etc.
It could be a 3 step process where you teach the audience how to, 1 – choose your space 2- place foundational elements 3 – style for fun and personality. And the entire time you’re talking about why you made these choices and what alternatives there could be for the client. If they don’t have a desk, talk about finding a folding table that you could put a heavy table cloth over. If they don’t have an extra chair, talk about using a dining chair that you use a throw pillow with, etc. The idea is to walk clients through how to build a beautiful space easily using mostly things they already own, and for them to understand how they can adapt this formula in their own home. Then do the same exact thing for building a distance learning station, showing them a behind the scenes look at exactly how a designer transforms a space, moving from a blasé before to an amazing after (or as close to it as possible with what you have on hand).
Then finish it up by providing a one or two page document showing the 1-2-3 formula of how to make an at home work space, well, work, so they can remember how to do it on their own. So go through the 3 steps, write quick bullet points of how to finish each step, and show where to put each piece – a sort of design by numbers situation, both for the work station and the learning station. And you could even provide a few options for items to buy if they don’t have something, with a heading like “Don’t Have One of the Elements? No worries! Here’s Some Recommendations” and list maybe a couple of great, inexpensive table options that could easily be repurposed in their home later, or a great desk lamp, or a place to find inexpensive art.
Quick & Easy Wins, Put Together Quickly & Easily
Now what about pricing and marketing? Well, you could offer this virtual workshop multiple ways – you could either offer it for a fairly small fee like $79 and then market the heck out of it to your current clients, prospects, and on social media, or you could offer this for free as an email list building option to fill your funnel for later, or you could offer this as a free service to your current clients – or a combination of the three.
The point is not necessarily how you offer this or what you charge, it’s that the entry fee is small. It’s the fact that you’re helping people quickly and easily transform their home, using what they have or showing them just a few quick and easy things to purchase, rather than having them make a large investment in both consultation cost and furniture pieces for a temporary situation. And in the meantime, you’re gaining loyal followers, people understanding you and your methods, and over time, a funnel full of people who want to invest more in something that will need to be around for a long while.
Ok, so, what about timing as the school year is knocking at our door right now. Is there even enough time to put this together? Absolutely, just start by putting together some marketing and advertising pieces and getting it out to the public, and then, once you’ve got some interest, start working on the behind the scenes elements. You could easily deliver this workshop in a week or two from now. But, even if you have a hard time putting it together that fast, no worries. Even if you offer, or re-offer, this workshop in September, you could make a huge hit out of it. I can guarantee you that there’ll be people who, after they’re a few weeks into the school year will be thinking, ok, what we put together is just NOT working, we need to figure this thing out. And then whaddya know, you swoop in and provide the solution.
Meet Clients Where They’re At, in Their Temporary Life
So, are you up for it? Are you ready to show clients how to transform their space into something that’s both useful and beautiful, and how to shop their own home? I sure hope so, because again, our time in this moment, despite how long it may seem, is just a blip in our history. Now, sure, it’s going to be very, very memorable, but most people aren’t going to want to outfit themselves or their children with furniture that may have no use in a year while simultaneously costing them thousands.
Even for those who are wealthy, they may have money, but that doesn’t mean they want to waste money. So, meet your clients where they’re at. Meet them where their heads, hearts, and stresses are at, and that is, figuring out how to move ahead with life, in a safe way, in a healthy way, in a happy way, for the relatively short time that we’re in this darn thing
Let me know in the comments below, are you now going to deliver this kind of workshop to your own audience? If so, I’d love to know!
And if you’re looking for even more ways to serve your clients exceptionally well, and are looking for a step by step plan on how to do just that, we’ve got that answer for you here!