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Issue 96: December 2014
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On stage this month

To Set the Stage

Backstage with Debra

Why Staging Beats Interior Design Business

From Executive Assistant to Home Stager
Esther Simon

Finding the Right Personality for Your Staging Business

Be Ready for Staging Success in 2015

Hats Off to 5 Home Stagers
Jennifer Farnham, Michelle Howard, Mary Brickman, Mary Jones, Emilie Berube

staging diva store

Did You Know?

All Staging Diva Graduates receive free artwork for their marketing and websites. This is one example:

Staging Diva Graduate Badge

Unlike most staging courses, Staging Diva Graduates DO NOT have to pay an ongoing fee to be a Graduate in good standing.

To Set the Stage

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnagie

Backstage with Debra

Wow, it was exactly 10 years ago this weekend that I sat in Starbucks with my laptop and first drafted an outline of the Staging Diva Training Program while my 10 year old was busy on a playdate.

I was terrified to put myself out there in that way. Yet, I had been hearing from struggling home stagers asking my help for a full 18 months by then.

They found my home staging business website and were writing to ask how they could have the business success I'd achieved. Asking how they could get media attention like I had on CNN, Wall Street Journal, HGTV, decorating magazines and newspapers.

From these emails, I knew there was a gap in the market. While others were teaching how to rearrange furniture and read a color wheel, no one was offering solid business training. No one was telling these creative people how to actually make a living from their talents.

Since I was raising a child on my own, I was always focussed on how to suppport myself from home staging. By December 2004, I knew that I had cracked the code and developed the right business model that could help my fellow home stagers.

I'm very proud to celebrate this Staging Diva 10th Anniversary with over 9,000 students in 22 countries.

From what students tell me, this program remains unmatched anywhere else for its ability to teach you exactly what you need to know to succeed in your home staging business.

When you Google "Staging Diva" you'll discover that I've written more articles about home staging than anyone else in this industry. I don't share all my business tips of course, my best strategies are reserved for my Inner Circle of Staging Diva students.

I'm also proud that I've created the only home staging job board in the world which lists over 400 projects.

In this month's newsletter you'll: learn 5 reasons why staging beats interior design if you're looking for what type of business to start; learn how a new stager transformed herself from an executive assitant to having her own business; discover how to find the right personality for your business; find 2 dates you should set aside in December so that you'll be ready for 2015; and meet 5 home stagers.

My mission is to help you create your ideal business and lifestyle. I'm setting a challenge for you as this year winds to a close.

Sit down to journal about how you'd like your business and life to look a year from now. Realize that you'll never get there unless you change what you're doing on a consistent basis. You might be scared to get started, but take action anyways.

Don't wait for everything to be "perfect" or for a lottery win to drop in your lap. Instead, resolve to get the information and support you need to create the life you want. That's what I'm here for and together we can make your dream of success doing work you love come true.

Thank you so much for being part of this community and happy holidays!


Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Voice of Possibility™ Group Inc.

Why Staging Beats Interior Design Business

If your goal is using your creative and decorating talents to earn a living, a home staging business is a much easier path to take than opening an interior design firm.

In addition to being an easier and less costly business to start, you'll have a larger target market, more creative freedom and faster profits.

And if you're worried that you'll have to do those fancy drawings and concept boards like you see on HGTV, don't. I've staged hundreds of homes since 2002 and I've yet to do a drawing for a client. Which is great, because (spoiler alert), I can't draw. This hasn't stopped me from also offering interior redesign and color consulting services.

In this article, I expand on all the ways home staging is a better business to start than interior design. You'll also enjoy the comments from new and established home stagers.

> Read more on why a home staging business beats an interior design business.

home staging beats interior design

From Executive Assistant to Home Stager

Congrats to Staging Diva Grad Esther Simon of Simon Staging Solutions, LLC (NJ) who gave up being an executive assistant in someone else's company for her dream of her own home staging business.

Esther had 2 staging jobs within months of finishing the Staging Diva Program, including the transformation of a tiny vacant cape home:

living room staging before

living room staging after

She writes, "My first project was staging a $2 million+ home over 5,000 square feet. It was initially very intimidating but I was up for the challenge because I felt confident after taking the the Staging Diva Training. The home just needed some de-cluttering, furniture rearranging and fresh floral displays which all contributed to a beautiful transformation."

"My second project was a small vacant cape home. I rented furniture through a furniture rental company and then rented some of my own decorative accessories to my clients. The realtor invited me to her realtor's open house and asked me to bring my marketing materials. I was delighted to receive so many compliments on my staging and I had the great opportunity of meeting various agents who I handed my business cards."

"While both projects were intimidating at first, they proved to be wonderful first experiences. I plunged right in and proved to myself I can do it. My clients were very nice to work with. It all starts with a big smile, putting them at ease and reassuring them that all your recommendations are with their best interest at heart. By slowly developing a rapport, you also build trust which is so important. As a stager, it's a rewarding feeling not only to transform your client's home to sell quickly and for top dollar, but it's also a rewarding feeling knowing that they trust your expertise."

"As Debra Gould has emphasized in her program, you must act confident with your clients and also look the part. While you may be nervous on the inside during your first few client visits, it's very natural to feel this way. However, believe in yourself and know that you will likely make some mistakes as you start out... but it will make you a better and smarter stager with every new experience. This applies to everyone starting out in any new business, so don't despair."

"Because of Debra's articulate way of teaching her courses with such business savvy and great marketing strategies, I feel I landed my first 2 jobs fairly quickly."

Photos provided by Esther Simon. Learn how to have your project featured.

You can learn the staging business success formula I taught Esther through these products:

design guide for home stagers

Finding the Right Personality for Your Business

Most of us are familiar with those personality tests that help us understand how we behave in different situations or what we need to be our best. But did you ever stop to think that your home staging and redesign business can have it's own distinct personality?

Getting this right is key and will help you find the right business name, logo, business colors, website design and more. It will help make sure you attract your ideal clients.

> Learn the 10 factors that make up your business personality and please add your comments here.

business personality

Be Ready for Staging Success in 2015

Save These Dates

Times indicated are eastern (NY time). Please adjust for your time zone.

5 simple secretes to making money in home staging

December 8 (8 PM)
5 Simple Secrets to a Home Staging Business: How to Make Money Doing What You Love

(Free Live Teleseminar + Recording)

You'll learn how to avoid following the faulty business formula that most home stagers fall into.

"Your 5 secrets conference call was amazing. I devoured every word and look forward to living my dream with your expert help and teachings." Alfredia Jackson, aspiring stager

> Sign up here F'REE if you've never taken Staging Diva courses (otherwise you already know these 5 secrets!)

Staging Diva Dialog

December 18 (7pm)
Staging Diva Dialog Coaching Call

For beginner and established home stagers. You don't need to be our student.

Ask me questions and get semi-private coaching in a small group for only $47.

You're guaranteed to make $500 when you implement the ideas from our conversation.

Last month we covered everything from how to raise your rates, to decorating tips and ways to streamline your business.

"Speaking with other stagers exposed me to topics that I had not yet even considered. Can't wait until next month's call." Darby Dwyer, Queen Bee Staging Company

> Join us this month + get the recording too

Hats Off To 5 Home Stagers

Join me this month in welcoming these 5 new and returning Staging Diva Grads to the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. Check out their profiles and get inspired.

home stagerJennifer Farnham, PA/NJ/DE Year 3!
Fresh Designs
home stager

Michelle Howard , CA
Sierra Maison Home Staging

home stager

Mary Brickman, FL
The Palm Beach Staging Company

home stagerMary Jones, NC
Sweetbay Staging & Redesign

home stager

Emilie Berube, ON
EB Design and Staging Inc.

Did You Know?

When you're a member of the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, you don't even have to build your own website to promote your business. Plus, with a Profile listing, I'll custom design a brochure for you at no charge.

Here's what Jennifer Farnham said about hers, "Many thanks for providing the brochure as part of the directory listing. I'll be using it in an upcoming silent auction to promote my business. Thanks again for all your help in this new chapter of my life. You provide much more than straight business advice. Your emotional and psychological support is just as important, if not more!"

Learn how you can have a successful staging business like Jennifer and the other members of the Staging Diva Inner Circle.

About Staging Diva

Debra Gould has been a serial entrepreneur since 1989. She is president of Voice of Possibility Group Inc. with a mission of helping entrepreneurs create their ideal businesses and lifestyles.

An internationally recognized home staging expert, Debra created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program with 9,000 students in the U.S., Canada and 21 other countries. She is the author of 5 guides, offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help home sellers and agents locate stagers in their area and is frequently profiled in the media.

Direct inquiries to:

© 2014 Voice of Possibility Inc. All rights reserved. Content may not be duplicated without written permission.
® Staging Diva, Voice of Possibility and the Staging Diva logo are trademarks of Voice of Possibility Group Inc.