We have one client who is a real star. We are always trying to get our clients to do more blogging and tweeting but it didn’t take much persuasion for Karen Haller – she just got it! From the very beginning when we created her site in 2011, she has diligently updated her blog, with a regular stream of insightful posts which clearly demonstrated the importance of the work she does. She also does regular email marketing to give updates on her activities and share her posts with her email list.
As a colour specialist, there is an element of education she needs to do in order to get people to understand why colour is important in branding for business. Each colour and each hue has a meaning and the best way to explain this is through stories, case studies and examples. So, through a spectrum of colours and brand names, Karen has been able to build an unparalleled archive of useful information. She has also really raised her profile through her continued presence online and through social media, networking and speaking engagements. And she has co-written a colour book, Colour design: Theories and applications. Showing her expertise in this field through her marketing activity has created many opportunities for her. I decided that others must learn from this – so I asked her to share with us what she does and what she has experienced as a result. See below for my Q+A with Karen!
How did you get started as a colour specialist?
It was my insatiable curiosity in colour and how it could influence our mood, our behavior and how we interacted with others. This led me on my quest of studying colour for the past 20 years and I know I’ll be a student of colour for life. It never ceases to amaze and fascinate me.
So, you’re a colour specialist, colour consultant, colour expert – which is the best terminology and what does that mean?
I think the best terminology is Applied Colour Psychology Specialist as my field of expertise is applied colour psychology and colour physics and I have developed a process called applied colour intuition ™.
Tell us some of the successes you have had since raising your profile online
I see my website as my stage, my store window. All my social media, guest blogging leads back to my website. I’ve worked on many colour projects with well-known brands such as Logitech, 3M Post-it, Thomas Pink and others currently under wraps. Amongst the many requests to speak, I was thrilled to be asked to talk at Grand Designs LIVE and at Clerkenwell Design Week last month. Colleges and Universities have asked me to speak to their students.
How have you used your blog to reinforce the importance of what you do?
I use my blog on a number of levels. Firstly to educate my readers as most haven’t even heard of colour psychology. I give practical examples, tips and insights on how colour can be used in their business branding, their business interiors and for their clothing. I also post general colour articles and events as I really want to inspire people to experiment and have fun with colour – just like we did when we were children.
Would you consider yourself “B to C” or “B to B” – and if both – what percentage of clients come to you from each?
I am more “B to B”. I work with business owners on their business brand identity, brand colours & design, interiors and clothes. I also work with business owners who want to look their best on television and speaking from stage. I am getting more and more enquiries on how people can find out what are the right colours for them which led me on to develop my system applied colour intuition ™.
How many clients have you worked with as a result of the enquiries you get from your online marketing?
I would say 80 – 90% of my clients come from my online marketing, bearing in mind I’ve never paid for online marketing.
What I have found amazing is being contacted by the media on a weekly basis to either be quoted in or write articles for the national newspapers and magazines for colour related topics. Google search seems to be one of their ‘go to’ places to find experts and specialists.
Where do your new business enquiries come from – your website, blog, social media or speaking?
My new business enquires comes mainly from people searching on Google for a colour psychology or a colour expert on whichever topic they are interested in. And, because of my consistent blogging which are keyword rich, they come across my blog posts and then navigate to my website. My social media e.g. Twitter and Facebook page drives traffic to my blog and website as well.
Have you ever had business you could directly attribute to your blogging activity?
All my major corporate clients and several of my speaking engagements have found me via the internet (Google searching) and I attribute this to my keyword rich blogging. I also write regularly for other websites (guest blog posts) and my clients have navigated to my website and contacted me.
Has your regular blogging activity changed the way you do business?
No, but given the number of enquires I receive from being found via the internet, I really see the value in blogging and being at the forefront of my profession on the web.
[Keren, not sure if I fully understood this question properly]
What tips can you give people who want to do this but feel they don’t have time?
Sales is the lifeline of any business, so you need to decide if you feel it will be of value to your business. For me it was educating my audience, building my creditability and which helped to position me as the authority in my field. Showcasing my expertise on my website/blog is my ‘shop window’ for my potential clients to see if my business brand offering is right for them, then they will contact me to discuss their needs.
If you want to blog but don’t think you have the time, then start with once a week or once a month, but like any of your social media activities be consistent. Last November I did a 30 blogs in 30 days challenge which was great fun as it really got me writing my blog posts quicker and I was able to engage my twitter and Facebook followers by asking them to send me all their colour questions – giving me an endless supply of blog posts. It certainly is a great way to build a new habit quickly.