Category: Branding

What 2014 Could Look Like

As 2013 comes to a close I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a leader in creative business.  If you feel like you’ve been on the cusp for a long time, you might start to wonder if magic is required to lift you out of obscurity.  But the truth is, the solution is simple.If you want recognition, press, high-paying gigs, do something worthy of being noticed.  Leaders lead.

Don’t have any connections?  Get out, network and make some.  Don’t know what you want to say? Listen deeply to those around you.  How can you help them solve their problems and achieve their desires with insight from your unique perspective?  What contribution can you offer that will improve the way they live?  Then most importantly, get better and better at being who you are and doing what you do.

Cultivate Success

A lot of people come to me when they’re stuck, have slowed down or don’t know what to do next.  Once they’ve started the flow going in a new direction, they also stop the work and the investment on themselves, which is kind of ironic, because they still expect clients to up the level of investment in their services.The thing is that if you were in the habit of making the kind of changes you hired me to help you make — the ones that inspired the growth spurt — you wouldn’t have hired me in the first place.  Growth happens inside the space of what you don’t know, not what you already do.  If it did, what you were doing all along would have been working.  But just like a diet, success and the actions required to cultivate it, take a while to stick.People who are playing a high-level game expect to be supported and they make it non-negotiable.  They often have an assistant or two, a trainer, bookkeeper, housecleaner or producer/strategist (aka me), whoever their success team requires and they make a decision to invest in themselves at the size of the game they want to play.  Successful leaders don’t play a one-person game.

Resist The Temptation

I used to be tempted to go it alone, because I was afraid I would never become who deep down I knew myself to be, because the stretch required by growth and an additional investment was uncomfortable.  Now I get that it was supposed to be.Life never stands still and if you’re not moving toward expansion, you’re moving toward the opposite.  Expansion requires me to step outside of the realm of what I know.  But I don’t do that alone.  I’ve learned that high-level strategic help is a key part of my success equation and that’s why I get it.  If you want high-level results in your business in 2014, I suggest you do too.

Hooky On Rodeo Drive

I was scheduled to go to Fall Market at the LDC yesterday but my cousins, who are on a cross-country road trip, arrived a day earlier so I made the executive decision to play hooky (family is important to me). Of course we ended up on Rodeo Drive and because my cousin’s husband is a Porsche aficionado, we stopped by their design boutique.  The luxury brand Porsche Design, with its line of clothing, luggage, and timepieces, was founded by the iconic, sports car designer Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in 1972.

Every Brand Has A Story.

The sales associate told us the story of the reissued P’6530 Titanium Chronograph in the window — the timepiece that put the design company on the map in 1972. At the time, it was revolutionary because it was the first-ever all black watch and timepieces, considered jewelry, were usually made out of silver or gold.  But for Porsche who was most interested in function, the greatest possible detail was the white writing.

The new version is made of shot-blasted titanium but it seems that the old version wound up looking like two tones of black over time.  That’s because as the owner wore it, the color would rub off to a lighter shade.  This quirk turned it into a high-priced, collector’s item and a store legend.  None of the staff had seen the infamous two-toned watch.

That is until the day a European tourist came into the store and as the salesperson gave him the spiel, the man held up his wrist, pulled on his shirtsleeve and revealed that he was wearing one.  Apparently, he took if off so the store staff could pass it around.  Needless to say, my Porsche-connoisseur cousins couldn’t have been more thrilled with the story.

The Mistake Most Interior Designers Make.

So many interior designers make their most important brand story, price.  They talk about how they’re affordable, can save you money, or defend why design services are SO expensive.  They keep their visual story cheap using self-taken befores and afters and then they wonder why they’re attracting clients who want to save money, spend less or don’t get the value of the design process.The gal at Porsche engaged us with the history, legacy and value of the brand she represents without mentioning price at all.  She got us excited and gave us a memorable experience and even though we didn’t buy, she created brand evangelists. 

What about you?  Are you getting the kind of clients and budgets you say you want?   What’s the story of your brand?  Do you know how to communicate an emotional experience?

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Join Me In Laguna And Earn A CEU

Join me at the Laguna Design Center on October 30, 2013 for my 1-hr CEU Image 360°: Branding, Visibility And Money For The Design Industry.

Ideal clients, consistent income and seemingly miraculous opportunities show up when you get the story of your business right.  But it’s not just what you say, it’s who you tell that story to. Kim Kuhteubl is an award-winning producer and writer whose clients have been featured across the web, on network and cable television and in leading design publications like Elle Decor.  Using her Image 360° Visibility Strategy, clients learn how to strategically seed their design brands in the marketplace and garner new clientsrepeat business and big buck opportunities like publication opportunitiesproduct licensesbook deals and television spots.

In this 1-hour CEU (0.1), you’ll learn:

o   What a Visibility Strategy is and how to use one to impact your business.

o   How to begin defining your bold personal brand.

o   How to find and define an audience of ideal clients and engage with them using your website and social media profiles.

o   Online and offline structures that create a Circle of Opportunity

PAST PRESENTATIONS: ASID Palm Springs For Modernism Week, ASID Orange County, ASID Pasadena, IDC:Interior Designers Of Canada Webinar

Here’s what people are saying:

ASID Orange County
Gigi Harris º Board Of Directors

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank you for speaking at our general meeting.  What a great talk you gave!  Several designers I spoke to this week were implementing some of your suggestions and taking what you said to heart.  You are always welcome to speak to our chapter should you have new information.  Thank you!”  ~ Gigi Harris, ASID Orange County

Christina Poletto
Lifestyle Editor º Better Homes & Gardens

“Kim has an incredible ability to capture the essence and authenticity of a person, project or situation, and bring it to life in a meaningful and memorable way. Kim invests herself completely in every project she undertakes and delivers high quality content that is ideal for growing visibility and building buzz.  I highly recommend her!”


CEUs must be logged by the end of the year!