About a year ago this time I had the pleasure of connecting with Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel de Pedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick when they were just starting up their interior design business. Typically it takes new interior design firms years and years to establish themselves and get recognized for their work, but Tilton Fenwick did things differently. In their first year in business Tilton Fenwick was nominated to Trad Home’s Top 20 New Traditionals, selected as one of the participants in the 2011 Hamptons Designer Showhouse, AND the recipient of the IFDA Rising Star Award. As Ronda Carman from the reputable All the Best blog echoed, they are “the darlings of the design world.”
I was intrigued to learn more about how Tilton Fenwick took the design world by storm. Undoubtedly they are talented in their ability to create stunning interiors, but we all know it takes depth and knowledge to grow a successful business in a short period of time. Upon talking with Anne and Suysel I came to learn that they both have solid business backgrounds with prior experience working in advertising. Interior design was their passion; so they both went on to hone their craft with notable NYC firms Markham Roberts, Ashley Whittaker Design, and Brockschmidt & Coleman. From there they came together to form Tilton Fenwick with a mastermind business plan.
When forming Tilton Fenwick, Suysel and Anne saw an opportunity in the market to expand their reach both meaningfully and quickly through social media. Tilton Fenwick is a good example of the massive impact that social media can have on the world of design. As such, I am happy to share their top 5 tips on how to successfully utilize social media to grow your business.
TILTON FENWICK’S TOP 5 SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS:
1. Express what you love. To build a strong and supportive community (be it online or in person) you need to be authentic in who you are and what you stand for. If you are upfront and transparent with this you will develop lasting followers that support you. If you talk about something that you love it will come more naturally and that will be conveyed in your communications.
2. Maintain authenticity. Once you’ve established your voice and what you are passionate about, make sure that you keep that authenticity in your daily communications. For example, do not tweet for the sake of tweeting, tweet if you have something relevant to say.
3. Set parameters. When getting started, set a goal for the number of tweets, posts, or fans that you want to achieve during a given week. This will get you in the habit of sharing relevant ideas, successes, or intriguing thoughts throughout the day. Eventually it will become second nature to share exciting things with your online community!
4. Branding is important – stay focused. At the end of the day you are building a community around your brand. Keep this in mind when considering the content that you are tweeting so you don’t get too personal or off topic.
5. Promote other designers and your vendors. After all, social media is about building a community together. If you show support for fellow designers and preferred vendors they will be more inclined to return the favor and in turn promote you.