Are your Getting Enough Testimonials for Your Marketing?

Make no doubt about it, what your clients have to say about you is important information. You can learn from it and you can make changes if you need to. Testimonials are valuable tools to use in many of your marketing strategies. Some marketing experts prefer to use Case Studies and they certainly have their value too.
When you request a testimonial from a client you are asking them to tell you about their experience using your services. It often has an emotional bent to it. A Case Study is more factual and usually provides more statistical information that supports someone’s route to success. It might also be called a Success Story.

All of these are good to use in your numerous marketing strategies such as writing blog posts on social media sites, putting in flyers or post cards, using them on the back of your business card, providing a rotating selection on your website, using them throughout a presentation and on-and-on the list goes. I think you get the idea. Whichever one you prefer the Raving Fan testimonial, the Case Study or the Success Story use them often as many of your prospects are making their decision whether or not they want to buy from you based on what other people have said about you.

Here are some TIPS to Getting Great RAVING FAN Testimonials:

  1. Timing – request your testimonial immediately after you have done the work.
  2. If you haven’t received a testimonial back after your first request write it for them and focus on what you would like the content to be about so that you are getting testimonials about different areas of your business.
  3. If appropriate let your clients know they may be featured in your enewsletter/ezine or other marketing materials (see Julie Urquhart below) because this just might be a good incentive because they get more exposure too!
  4. You can shorten your testimonials by using three dots like this…and then continue on. Keep the integrity of the comment though because that’s not yours to change!
  5. Since privacy is an issue in home staging, it’s best just to use the first name of the client and put the location of where they live if that is important for your branding.
  6. Thank your clients profusely for being kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule to write a testimonial for you.
  7. Put them on your Send Out Card list to keep in touch periodically as well.

How to Charge What You Are Worth and Get It!

How to Charge What You Are Worth and Get it!

You are not alone if you are struggling with charging what you think you are worth and/or raising your rates. You might have a great abundant ‘money story’ or yours may be one of scarcity. An abundant money story gives off great, vibrant, high energy – and attracts more of it! You are energy and your money is energy and all energy has a certain vibration to it. It is a scientific’ Law of Attraction’ fact that when you are ‘feeling’ worthy and valued you will attract more money. In this post I’m sharing with you my (short report version) 7 Steps on How to Charge What You Are Worth & Get It! and I know that if you follow these 7 steps you will attract more money because you will see your true value.

7 STEPS ON HOW TO CHARGE WHAT YOU ARE WORTH & GET IT!

1. CHANGE YOUR NEGATIVE THINKING
Every result that you achieve starts with a single thought in your head. Your thoughts are energy and negative thoughts carry a very low vibration — keep thinking those thoughts and you will continue to attract clients you don’t want and people around you who also have a negative mindset. Every time a negative thought enters your consciousness — STOP IT! and look for evidence in your life where you can turn that into a positive thought. Showing gratitude for what is working in your business carries one of the highest vibrations so practice that on a daily basis. Keep your thoughts positive and reread your client testimonials if you need a reminder about how much of a difference you made to someone!

2. RESET YOUR PROSPERITY METER
Have you determined how much money you want to make? We all have our unique definition of success and money is usually one of those measurements. With my coaching clients one of the key questions I ask them is how much money they want to make, and is this a part time or full time endeavor. Believe it or not, most people do not have a set goal of what they want to earn in the year. You need to set a monetary goal so that you can plan on how you can attain that goal. Your prosperity meter is entirely your choice – you decide is $10,000 or $100,000 your annual goal, or is it more. Set your monthly goal and your weekly goal. Take a look at how much time in the year you want to take off and factor that in. Be realistic and set your prosperity meter.

3. FOCUS ON YOUR VALUE
If you are new to home staging you may not yet realize what HUGE value you bring to the table. If you have been in the business a while you may not be acknowledging just how fantastic your services are. Look at the monetary and emotional gain your clients achieve by the work that you do. Every home you stage is getting your best designs and creativity. Every seller is having the stress removed by working with a competent professional like yourself. Every realtor is having his reputation enhanced because his properties are selling because of the work you have done. Every buyer is rewarded by seeing the potential in a home that otherwise may have been overlooked. Surely you can see the VALUE of what you are bringing to the table to the seller, realtor and buyer!

4. DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT
The most important thought for you to have is to know what you want and focus on this and quit grumbling about what you don’t want! This is Law of Attraction 101 – you attract into your life whatever you put your attention, energy and focus on whether wanted or unwanted. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Take some time and set some goals about the number of clients you want to have, the money you want to make, the number of hours you want to work in a week and the time off you want to have for your family or just for yourself. Be very specific and realistic and then ‘allow’ this to come into your life. Notice every single time you get the smallest evidence that you are getting what you want and you will get more of it.

5. CREATE PACKAGE OFFERS
It is good to start with an hourly rate but you can make more money by creating packages – usually 3 and start with your basic package and expand from here. It’s a good idea to make a list of your ‘Standard Services’ and then create a list for you ‘Value Added Services’. Give each package a memorable name and keep your client groups in mind. For example you may do a consultation and give some recommendations for the seller who wants to do most of the work themselves and call it ‘Do-It-Yourself Home Staging’ starting at $199 (or whatever works in your market). Each package will have more services added to it and go up in price because the ‘value’ has gone up too. It’s good to ‘throw in’ some extras from your ‘Value Added’ list. Value is all about perception so make sure you know what is ‘valued’ in your market by asking your clients.’

6. OFFER A GUARANTEE
As a home stager we cannot guarantee that a house will sell more quickly or sooner than a property that is not staged. However, we can claim that the newly staged property will look infinitely better than it did before you offered your professional services. You can guarantee that you will stay on budget and deliver on time (and ensure you do this!). There are many statistic available about the success of staging a property but the best statistics will be your own. When you are doing your sales call with the seller or realtor show them your portfolio and include the client testimonials with it. Prompt your client’s testimonial by asking them to comment on areas that show the ‘value’ of your work. Ask the client to include the emotional support you gave them as well as they end product results of your staging design work.

7. RAISE YOUR RATES
Now that you have a better understanding of how your own thoughts were holding you back, take some time to set your new rates. Start with how much you want to make annually and work backwards from that to your monthly and weekly sales targets. For you to raise your rates you need to look at the evidence that you have about the value that you have been giving your clients. You also need to give your clients a reason that you are raising your rates so think about what ‘extra value’ you can give them. Is it that because you now have more experience you can get the job done quicker? your staging designs are the best? you blog on several social media sites about their listing? your reputation has increased in the market place and you are seen as the expert? your stagings are being featured in magazines now? Whatever the evidence is, let your clients know that you will be raising your rates to reflect this. You may decide to leave some of your ‘preferred’ client rates that you have with a realtor as they are. Let them know that and when they can expect their rates to increase.

Take some time to go through the ’7 Steps’ and find out where you can ‘change your thoughts’ about how you value yourself. Look for all the evidence of you creating beautiful spaces and the value that you bring to each and every home you stage, decorate or redesign. If you haven’t yet created any packages do that now starting with a basic package and work up from that. Role play with yourself by looking into a mirror and telling yourself what you charge for your services and the value that your clients receive. Keep on doing it until it really FEELS truthful to you – then give yourself a HIGH FIVE and go out and do it!

Did You Meet the Property Brothers in Vancouver?

The Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott of their latest television series ‘Buying & Selling’ took time out of their busy schedule to meet many of their fans at the Fluff Design Studio/Showroom last night.

Hundreds of people showed up and many were PRES graduate stagers. We all had our photo taken with the boys and their older brother was on site as well.

Drew - Dana - Jonathan at FLUFF DESIGNS

Drew – Dana – Jonathan at FLUFF DESIGNS

Some things I learned…

The Scott brothers are actually from Vancouver BC Canada! I wanted to talk with them more but Patti Houston Fluff owner extraordinaire – was busy keeping the line moving. What I did learn was that those properties that sell for $299,000 with a lot are actually in Austin Texas which is why they made no sense to those of us in the Vancouver or Toronto real estate market!

Jonathan and his crew do the work but he said generally it takes about twice that length of time and the price they quote for the job does not include his charges! Drew actually is a realtor but they are 3 very smart brothers who have formed an entertainment company and a real estate company Scott Real Estate. They get to use their acting talents to create a very interesting production of Property Brothers.

Jonathan telling Dana how the show 'really works...

Jonathan telling Dana how the show ‘really works…

Stay tuned for the FALL SEASON of Property Brothers in VANCOUVER working with Fluff Designs furnishings! Can’t wait to see the show.

Do you suffer from ‘Perfection Paralysis’?

Many new and seasoned home stagers think that they need to have every single marketing piece in place before they ever pick up the phone or attend a networking event to contact a prospect. They might even be thinking about doing a trade show coming up in a few months time but they actually haven’t done anything about it yet. The problem is they’re waiting to have their website totally finished along with their business cards and post cards. They’re waiting to see who else is at the trade show and thinking about what they might need, and if they want to do a talk, and if they did a talk they know they need to get it written, finished, practiced and create a great flyer or handout ready for the show. NOT REALLY!

If I’d waited to have all things absolutely perfectly in place and all written before I rolled out my 7 week PRES home staging home study teleseminar course, I never would have done my FREE call on ‘Taking the Fear Out of Selling!’ as an introduction to my new course. And yes, I know we had a few bloopers on the call but I didn’t let that stop me from moving forward. When I was looking at doing this course in the summer I took a deep breath, and went ahead and committed to the dates for the course. I knew this was the only way I would move forward.

When I am coaching home stagers, I make them commit to ‘finished dates’ for goals they want to accomplish. They could spend weeks and months on writing and rewriting their website text. They could avoid going to any networking events. They could avoid doing their first talk. But once I make them commit to a date of when they are going to launch their website, when they are going to their first networking event, when they are going to do their first talk – they panic first. And then you know what happens – MAGIC! All of a sudden the website is ‘Good Enough’ they know they can add or change things later, they have registered for their first networking event and they have presented a proposal for their first talk!

This is part of empowering yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s knowing and trusting that what you have to offer to your clients is actually pretty spectacular and so you don’t need to keep procrastinating to make everything ‘perfect’.

When you have this kind of an attitude shift of ‘this is good’, ‘this is really good’ and absolutely ‘Good Enough’ and take action steps to make it happen, it works every time! I could have dragged my feet forever on launching my new PRES homes staging home study course but I didn’t. I picked my dates, coordinated with my awesome team to make it happen and it did.