In this fast-paced digital world, we all have unlimited access to free content at our fingertips. It’s easy to get sucked into signing up for every newsletter list promising a step-by-step guide to build your business or secrets to grow your social following overnight. And with so much available for free, why would you ever need to invest in business education for designers? Value, that’s why.
Business education has not only made the most substantial contribution to our success at IDCO, but it’s the key component to the growth of your brand that you should be budgeting for every month. It’s also the very reason we created our Studio Sessions and Client Process Templates in the first place. Need more convincing? We’ve outlined the top five benefits you’ll gain through business education for designers and why it’s always an investment worth making.
Photography: Madeline Harper
Blog posts, webinars, and podcasts can be incredible sources for information, but it’s important to remember that anyone can create free content. With free content, there’s also a chance it’s not entirely accurate or up to date. For example, we know in social media, algorithms are changing on a daily basis, leaving that pin about the best time to post on Instagram irrelevant. Paid courses are usually monitored closely by their creator, updating their information regularly to keep their paying clients coming back for more. Additionally, cost brings value. You are paying an expert in their field for their educational materials, not a hobbyist for their free advice.
It’s also worth mentioning that a paid course should be able to provide you with testimonials so you can make sure your needs will be met before you spend the time going through that workbook. No testimonials? Reach out and ask the content creator if they have any clients similar to you that they’d recommend you chat with to discuss their experience.
If you’re ready to invest in your education, check out Studio Sessions: 8 mini-mastermind courses for interior designers led by IDCO Studio and Lindsey Brooke Design.
Here’s the thing: most of us pay more attention AND commit to the things that we pay for out of pocket. Business education for designers is no exception. To make serious changes in your business, you need to make sure you show up. Whether it’s watching the e-course in entirety or remaining engaged through the full in-person seminar, if you paid for the program, you’re more likely to retain the information and implement it—period.
What we mean by “applicable education” is that the information you learn through expert-led courses isn’t an abstract concept, but a tool you can start using today. How many times have you followed a free tutorial, only to get stuck at step four because your website isn’t cooperating and that plug-in just doesn’t exist? Or you saw a new Instagram feature that you just can’t figure out how to replicate? Online courses, workshops, and any educational investments are your saving grace. As you’re shopping for courses, just make sure to read the course description in its entirety and double check it covers all the skills you’re looking to learn.
Investing in business education for designers doesn’t have to derail your busy schedule, and better yet, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Thanks to the rise of online courses and ready-made marketing materials, it’s easier than ever to go at your own pace in a distance-friendly format that allows you to learn however and whenever it works best for you.
Similarly, many online courses like Studio Sessions give you the option to enroll in a single course based on your interest, schedule and finances. That means you can learn about the topics you need, skip the ones you don’t, and budget accordingly along the way.
You can’t put a value on the incredible, long-lasting, working relationships that come from participating in workshops, conferences, and online courses. By purchasing a ticket to an event or signing up for a course, you are immediately putting yourself in a group of people with similar interests, goals and commitment to success. You will connect with other industry professionals who have the potential to collaborate on a project, exchange services that mutually benefit your business, or use as a sounding board to discuss ideas and challenges.
At smaller in-person retreats like Design Camp or the HAVEN workshop, you can even connect with the panelists or keynote speakers. These industry leaders are a wealth of knowledge and are often so willing to help!
So how do you decide which type of business education is right for you? We suggest laying out your budget for the year and working backward. Select the workshop or retreat of your dreams, and start planning for it NOW. This will serve as your inspiration platform and guiding light for the year. In times of social distancing, that in-person workshop might be put on hold, but it also gives you extra months to plan and save in the meantime.
Next, pick an educational course or series of courses for the year. This will be your actionable step, where you’ll learn how to use a new marketing tool, streamline your client processes, or create a stronger business plan. Call us biased, but we think Studio Sessions mastermind courses for designers and our Client Process Templates are a great place to start.
And remember, not all business education needs to cost money. Our team has learned so much from reading other blogs, connecting with industry peers, and good old fashioned trial-and-error. Whatever your budget, commit to making real connections with your industry, commit to better serving your clients, and commit to continued learning.
For more tips for elevating your interior design or lifestyle brand, check out these posts:
IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.