When is $5000 in Monthly Revenues Not Enough?

A year ago, I launched Interior Colour Solutions which was basically e-design and colour consulting. We were charging per colour, so if you needed a bedroom colour, or a main floor colour, or you needed some help with a backsplash or hardwood flooring, you could purchase what you needed a la carte.

So far I’m not making any money providing this service. If I didn’t have other, more profitable revenue streams I would probably be very happy with the $4000 – $5000 per month that we make, but if I focus only on this area, it simply pays for our time and we pretty much break even.

One day I even received an email from a reader who said it was too cheap and asked how I could possibly profit from providing this service. Eeeek, she was right!

When is $5000 in Monthly Revenues Not Enough? | Maria Killam

A smart business owner would look at this element of my business and say ‘Just drop it, focus on other areas of your business that are making a profit’, but the reason why I can’t just kill it is because I can’t have an entire blog of almost 1500 posts, ebooks and courses that introduce people to the world of understanding undertones and then if they need help with colour, well suddenly, you’re on your own?

That didn’t seem like the right thing to do either.

So I consider it to be more like a public service than a profit center.

Here’s my problem. At the beginning of this month we switched up the a la carte menu and created ‘packages’ instead.

Most people needed more than what we were offering and it was confusing for Tricia to manage, so we decided to create packages instead and test it out.

So basically, if you need help with colours and tiles, countertops and want to have a classic kitchen you would buy this package.

We also introduced a package that we called ‘Inspired Room Refresh’ because I get so many questions and have conducted countless phone consultations with clients who need to re-decorate but they’re stuck. They don’t know where to start, don’t know which colour sofa to buy so instead of going shopping, they do nothing.

We wanted to keep it affordable so instead of charging $2000 and up for a room design like other sites, we priced it at $750.

Guess how many we have sold?

Zip

Zero

Crickets

Nada

When is $5000 in Monthly Revenues Not Enough? | Maria Killam

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So I’m reaching out to you to get your feedback because obviously we need to change the offering but I’m just not sure what it should be.

I want to continue providing this service on this site  as well as keep my talented virtual designer employed!

So I’d love your feedback. If you don’t feel comfortable posting a comment, just hit reply and let me know!

What do you need? What kind of design/decorating services would work for you?

When is $5000 in Monthly Revenues Not Enough? | Maria Killam

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One idea I had was from Mariana just this week, she said:

I am writing with a suggestion for your interior e-design services. Include a “save me from myself” review where the client would share her plans for a space and you would either approve it or suggest that some items/colors/finishes not be included. Sometimes just removing the offensive object(s) or following another suggestion would be enough and the consultation would be done. Other times the client may need additional advice, which would fall outside the scope of a simple review and that would mean additional consultations not included in the “save me from myself” review.

Here is the anecdote that inspired this suggestion. A couple months ago I partially remodeled my attic and purchased an interior paint color consultation from you. I wanted to add a color to a couple walls to highlight the geometry of the room because the slanted attic walls do not accommodate art. Tricia was extremely helpful and called me on the same day to let me know that I really should not break-up my small space with one more color. We talked briefly about my other choices for the attic and her confirmation that the color scheme (mascarpone walls, birch plywood, and tunsgate green on the floor) was not a horrible idea gave me the confidence to move ahead with the project.

This time the “save me from myself” consultation just happened and it was exactly what I needed. I would be surprised if many of your readers could not use it too. I will send you pictures of the attic when it is actually ready so you can see the outcome of your helpful advice. The construction is done but I still have not found the perfect kilim rug and am making pillow cases and remodeling some old ikea furniture to make it look less ikea.

So if you have clicked around, considered purchasing one of the e-consultations but did NOT. I would like to hear from you!

What were you looking for? What questions did you have that did not get answered enough so that you could make a decision?

What would you like to see instead?

I have successfully conducted literally hundreds of one-on-one consultations with so many of you over the years and this part of my business model I teach in my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops.

But there’s only one of me and my time is very limited especially when workshop season kicks in. I’m not even in my office for a full two week stretch until the end of November.

This week I’m at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto at another very expensive and intense training through my mastermind group which I will be sharing about in my upcoming workshops this season.

You’ll definitely want to spend three days with someone who’s spent literally $50,000 in on-line marketing courses in the past two years (me).

My colour workshop seems like a bargain in the end really.

The other area where you’ll save money when you spend time in training courses, is in areas you learn you shouldn’t be focused on.

I was about to spend $10,000 – $15,000 on analyzing analytics (and more) for my new website (coming up very soon), until I spoke to someone who said “No don’t focus on that right now, work on this instead, that’s more important for your business”.

To be able to narrow your focus and eliminate something off your ‘to do’ list that you thought you should be doing is almost as valuable as learning a new skill like mastering colour.

Which you can do at a Specify Colour with Confidence workshop near you! You’ll get instant colour confidence plus learn the business of colour and the easy way to see colour online which will be a game changer to quote many of my participants who come to my events.

Register here.

When is $5000 in Monthly Revenues Not Enough? | Maria Killam

Thanks in advance! xoxoxoxoxoxo (source)

And please help! I want to keep this e-consulting service alive on my website so any feedback you can give me would be soooo helpful!

Another piece of feedback that I would love is, if you remember, what were you looking for on the web that had you discover my site? 

Basically I would love to hear how you found me, was it through a friend, something you searched? What was the first blog post you read? How long have you been following me?

I am in Toronto until Friday night writing for my new website and this knowledge would be super helpful too!

Thanks so much for your support, for following me, for being so engaged! Your comments are like oxygen to me and I appreciate every single one that you take the time to write!

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  1. Maria, I love you and your blog so much! Thanks for all you do for us “average” homeowners looking to bring more beauty into our homes!

    I found your blog 3-4 years ago when I was trying to learn more about design since I knew we would be buying our first house within the next year. We bought a project house a year ago, so I bought both your ebooks and your webinar course (the one you discontinued offering at the end of last year). I loved your ebooks, but didn’t get as much value from the webinar as I had expected (granted I had read through all your archives by then). I was kind of bummed about spending the money then, but reading through these comments made me realize that you can’t teach a newbie everything about design in a few ebooks and webinars, so I shouldn’t have expected to make decisions “like Maria” after such (relatively) little training and zero experience. So, as someone else said, I’m really the kind of person that just needs answers because I will forever second-guess myself and be paralyzed.

    To that end, my husband finally agreed that we needed to hire an interior designer/decorator to help us make some decisions. He was VERY skeptical of doing online consulting, but was agreeable to hiring someone locally to help us out. And upon reflection, what we needed (starting from a blank slate to decorate/furnish the den, living room, dining room plus master bath gut job plus miscellaneous advice for other rooms) probably exceeded what was feasible with online consulting. (I will tell you I am a little nervous though because she can’t be as good with colors as you are!) But when we get around to re-doing the exterior of our home – new siding, windows, shutters, trim & front door color – I will likely be beating down your door for a consult because I KNOW that you will make my house look fabulous!

  2. I stumbled on your blog several years ago while surfing the net for color advice. You give the most comprehensive advice in a fun upbeat way and seriously know what your talking about so I continue reading.
    My finances are limited so thats one reason I don’t buy more but if I bought your kitchen package and it didnt give me the exact brand, pattern and color for some of the selections like the countertop
    flooring or hardware etc that was available in the USA it would be a waste of money for me, as thats
    the kind of basic guidance I need.
    Im a little offended by the comment above that
    someone made that you charged too little and shouldnt be a “budget” decorator. I think a lot of
    your readers are on a budget and personally I find
    that money doesn’t buy good taste.
    Also there are a lot of the furniture stores like
    pottery barn that provide free decorator services so I think your room refresh package is up against that.
    Thats my opinion for what its worth. I love your blog and it has at the very least made me aware of why I have problems with color and combining them.
    I would like to see you do a color class for homeowners that aren’t professionals and I hope you remember that there are a lot of us that would like to colour my home happy that dont have loads of money!!!

  3. Thanks so much for all this awesome feedback! Just to be clear, I really want this service to be useful and valuable to you all! Exchanging time for money does not scale anyway so there’s only so much one person could do and then we’d need a second person. I don’t need this portion of my business model to be a major profit center but I do want it to work and be useful for you! This is just one revenue stream but I want it to work well which is why I asked for feedback! Thanks so much and keep the feedback coming! Maria

  4. I have been following you for a few years and find your blog very helpful.
    I was thinking about purchasing one of your design packages to help with a color choice in a new house I purchased. One bit of information I would like to see added is a time frame. Once you get my payment and photos how long before I can expect to hear back from your team? (Once I have access to the house, I need to have a color picked within a week. It’s such a tight time line I thought a local person might be better.) Other than that I think your prices are good.

  5. I started following you about 5 years ago when we were remodeling our upstairs and I was stuck trying to find the right white, so I stumbled on your blog on white kitchens and have since read every single post.

    I have paid for an online consult and an a la carte for my kitchen counters, during our recent kitchen remodel. I have also hired a designer for an hourly rate and for room layouts, as well as hired a landscape designer. I have learned that I have save time, money and energy by investing in this after reading your blog. I have been very happy with all.
    I’m a stay-at-home mom who loves decorating but it has taken us forever to do our home piece meal. I have also been crippled by decisions along the way because of the costs. My husband gets paid very well and we live very comfortably in a nice home in OC (worth about $850k). That being said, we still paint and try to cut costs whenever possible. We’ve never had a full-service designer for that reason. I was able to convince hubby to hire a designer.

    We are still remodeling but most decisions have been made and I know my style so I don’t need furniture/decor selection. A la carte options work best for me as we tackle one area at a time. Also, since I’m going for a classic look and people agree that’s the direction we’re headed, I’m hoping not to have to redecorate again! Maybe a paint color down the road?

    I like the idea of specializing in paint selection and kitchens/baths as they are the most costly to redo and many people choose hideous fixed finishes. I still read your blog and love your posts. Maybe post less and market your services in posts more? It seems you do that already….I also agree you have enough training, so save your money! You definitely cater to two different groups so I won’t take your course unless I go into design. But I would hire a local color specialist in a NY minute 🙂 you need advertisers! What about highlighting/marketing a designer who takes your class for a fee?

  6. I think I found your blog through Houzz, in 2012 as I was looking for inspiration while building our first house. Needless to say, it was a lifesaver! I absolutely love my house including the perfect white kitchen. We have just started building our second house which I know will be even better than the first.
    As far as the online consultation goes I would like to see prices in CDN$.
    Thanks again for all the advice, i think my house may have been a disaster without it. Your blog and advice gives me the confidence to assert myself when it comes to choosing finishes. Thanks again

  7. I agree with Jane.
    I have used your al carte option and was very pleased with your advice and suggestions. I was disappointed to see a la carte service’s replaced. I recently want to book service’s for help with some exterior color choices and just found the package’s did not forfill my needs and was over my budget.
    Please being pack your Al LA cart options. You can count on my need for this service AL LA carte in early September.

  8. I was referred to you by a reader on Houzz probably 4-5 years ago, when I commented on an article about how hard it is to choose color, and I said that my husband had fully painted our living room 3 times and I still could not get the color right (I have been told that I hold the Benjamin Moore record of 72 color samples) — ridiculous!

    I downloaded your e-book and immediately was helped in understanding where I had gone wrong.

    And then I used your hourly consulting service to pick color for my living room and my bathroom.
    I don’t know how you did it, because you were looking at photos, but for both rooms you picked colors that were spot-on!

    I used your service again in my new home to pick color on the front door of my new home and to assist with advising on color for a bathroom. You’ve been fantastically helpful on all occasions.

    I think people like the a la carte options, including me, because they feel like they had more control over what they purchase, but perhaps each a la carte session was too low-priced? Certainly I received a LOT of value from what likely turned out to be at least 90 minutes of your time (between emails and looking at photos and talking), for $350. Perhaps it’s simply a reset of the a la carte prices?

    Based on your blog, I’m assuming that there was a good amount of business for the a la carte service. Perhaps the level of business (and willingness to pay a higher rate) also requires people to better understand that color really can be chosen by an e-consultation. Would it help to have more posts/marketing about success stories of choosing color remotely? Would it help for your fans to comment more on Houzz about how terrific your services are? I’m sure all of the fans of your site (including me) would be willing to spend a few minutes writing on Houzz to get more uptick for this e-consult offering.

    In any event, I’m thankful that your work has been available — it really helped me (and my marriage….).

    • Ditto on saving a marriage and ending endless sample purchases! I agree that you should encourage all clients to write a review on Houzz. I used to use Angie’s List but now Houzz is my primary source for finding contractors/professionals for our house. I found our cabinet maker on there too. I also think that more stories on success of an online consult could help, as is my case!

  9. Check out what Carol Tuttle has done with her online service called Dressing Your Truth and her specialized website offerings. She used to do one on one classes in person (like you do with your training in color) and now she does her training online, with monthly short videos, especially on Facebook Live. Her initial Energy Profiling course is free (just enter an email address). It is so profound that people are more than willing to pay for the Dressing Your Truth Course to learn the correct colors, textures, jewelry, hair perfect for their “Type.” She has a monthly subscription service so people still get access to content but she isn’t giving it away free. http://www.CarolTuttle.com She also has referral tracking so that people who buy her program get $10 credit towards products in her store. Her program is life-changing and growing by leaps and bounds online. https://my.liveyourtruth.com/freecourse/?aff=audreycrozier

  10. Maria, your website is the only one I read faithfully. I don’t think I would buy a room refresh because I know what I like and my style and taste but I could use some help with small tweaks. I usually have to work with some type of limiting factor such as existing furniture, carpet, and budget. While I understand that another choice may be better sometimes, I want the room to feel personal to me. Maybe in my ignorance I am worried that hiring a designer to come up with a room plan will take away my personal taste? I like someone to bounce ideas off of. I have to admit that I moved into my “new” home three weeks ago and I’m not sure what color to paint the white kitchen with white countertops. I want a color! I don’t want any neutrals! I’m not overly fond of all the pastel coastal colors that are the rage right now. ( I love them in other people’s houses, but they don’t feel right to my home). I may need to pay for some help but I worry that the right choice wouldn’t feel “right” to me.

  11. Firstly, it is the end of summer and back to school preparation time. As an online store owner for the past 8 years, the end of July and the first half of August is the slowest business month of the year. This is normal and it will pick up again. Promise.
    But I also do see the wording of the packages as self-limiting. I am sure the wording is trying to keep it organized so that the home owner knows there are limits to this price and so that the design helper will not get bogged down in a million details, which take time/money to comunicate. But it may keep folks away as they can not even imagine if their problem fits any of the categories. Single questions are easier for the lay person.
    On the other hand $750 is not a lot of money today. Go to overstock or wayfair, and you will see a simple console or overstuffed chair costing as much. Surely the price for design elements of a room, or your exterior paint color, are more bang for your buck than a console or a chair. Also the infrastructure of your house, is more important than any piece of furniture for resale value.
    On another note, but that may have some influence on what is going on, is that since blogging, pintrest, instagram has hit, we are all unhappy. Seeing what is possible when you have a limited budget or no design talent can be depressing. And, seeing so many gorgous spaces, cause paralysis by analysis…it hard to more forward when afraid to make a mistake. We all doing so so much research, that many of us may just be overwhelmed. I also see people getting tired of things much quicker…the normal 10 year cycle of house fashion has dwindled to 3 or less. Take shiplap for example. It looks great, but already everyone seems to be tired of it as it is in so so many places lately. Just plain overkill of images. I just stepped back from the whole thing and went the easy route and painted by whole house white, 4000sf. and have never been happier. All my furniture fits, all my carpets fit, it looks bright and fresh. Each room still looks like it is a different color, because white will reflect the surrounding colors and light.
    Bottom line, be patient, even online things have a cycle and take time. And, keep both options open for now…single questions, and the packages.

  12. Hi Maria,
    I love reading your blogs and hope someday to use your services. In regards to your pricing dilemma, have you ever thought of billing an hourly rate? If you are priced right, you can’t lose whether the consultation is small or extensive.

    • I do have an hourly rate to consult with me but I am less and less available for that which is why I’ve added this e-design service which is done with my team.
      Thanks for your comment!
      Maria

  13. A very timely topic as I have recently hired a local interior decorator to help me with my design paralysis. I would hire you in a heartbeat Maria if you lived closer, (GTA of Toronto) I think most of your readers are average homeowners who want a beautiful home that reflects their taste & are working within a limited budget. I considered your refresh room package & while I am o.k. with the price I really felt I needed someone to walk through the room & help me to decide what furniture should go & what can stay. After personally travelling from store to store & endless hours on Houzz & Pinterest it occurs to me that most homeowners would appreciate the help of someone who can help them narrow down a colour choice or to trust their instincts. I would gladly pay for this service because it seems as homeowners we are always decorating one room or another.

  14. Hi Maria–( it must take forever to read thru all these!) I found you I think 5 years ago while doing a search for exterior paint color schemes for my daughter’s Florida house. Yours was the 1st blog I’d ever subscribed to. From the first, I felt like I’d known you all my life! I know that so many others here will give you good business advice….as for me I just consider myself super blessed to have taken your courses in person and online, but most of all to have met YOU, Little Sparkle!
    xo, Paula

  15. Hi Maria! First, let me say I love your blog. I found it about two years ago reading through a Houzz dilemma that referenced your color expertise. I’ve bought both your ebooks and they’ve helped me select paint colors for several rooms. You always offer such helpful advice and your style seems so relatable and achievabled. I’d like to see you offer a room refresh where the client sends you pictures and you critique and make suggestions regarding what would enhance the space. For example, I want to refresh my family room but really don’t know where to begin, what questions to ask, or what can stay or go. Id love to pay you to look at it and tell me what’s working, what’s not working, and what I could do to create a room I’ll love. Thank you!

  16. I have not yet purchased your services but have it as a wish list item in my budget for when I start my kitchen.

    In the meantime I’m about to do a family room from scratch, but I’m not sure about purchasing your online advice.

    Here is something that I would love that could save you time and also allow prices to be a bit lower … How about pre-assembled room specifications? For instance, if I know I want to buy a pottery barn couch, I could buy a package that paired a collection of colors with your favorite fabric offerings for PB couches? You could also include rug and accessory ideas etc. or maybe you could feature packages with your favorite countertops and then specify paint pallets etc to go with that sort of piece. I would love to get three or four design plans to choose between based on an expensive piece I’m about to buy. and you could consider updating these plans annually.

  17. For me, paying several hundred for a package is just a lot when I have no experience with what I would get from you. If I start with a $100 consultation on something specific, then I expect I would feel more comfortable and then could spend more on a bigger package.

    To be honest I almost hired you a couple times for color consultations. (I didn’t know I could get advice by the hour, didn’t see that on the previous services list.) Anyway, you were an obvious choice because I really like your blog, but the thing is I don’t agree with your 100% adherence to white. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t. I honestly don’t know how you would respond if I wanted something you don’t “approve” of, like wood cabinets, or tile that isn’t white subway, or ivory whites rather than gray whites. I also don’t know how much of your thought process I will get, vs just getting the “answer”. (I believe the description says we will get the answer in the mail in a few days.) So again, starting with a small project is important, and why I will eventually probably try a $100 service but would never start with a $750 service.

    Hope this helps!

    • Hi Cindi,
      The reason my mantra is white-on-white-on white when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms is so that someone who trolling online looking for THE ANSWER would read my advice and even if they follow half of it, they would have a prettier kitchen or bathroom than they would have created on their own without my advice. If I was all over the place and gave people a million options, ‘you could do this, and you could also do that’, they would just click away and keep reading a million articles. Does this mean I can’t help someone choose colours that don’t fit exactly into that polarizing opinion? No. I have yet to meet a colour dilemma I couldn’t solve given I’ve done this for 20,000 hours. And you an buy a colour for $100 so start there ; )
      Thanks for your comment! It helps everyone!
      Maria

      • Thanks for the reply. I did wonder if your blog has a very specific point of view, as it must to stand out. But that your design work is more varied. I think that would be worth pointing out on your services page.

        I totally agree with another poster that seeing an example of a consult you did for another client would be really helpful for those of us who are “on the fence”!

  18. I’m chiming in with feedback because you asked, but I wouldn’t normally share this because I feel kind of mean even when I’m trying to be constructive with this kind of input! I’ve reached out a couple times for tentative consultations, but have never pulled the trigger for a few reasons:

    1) It was never clear to me what my total cost was going to be. Now that you’ve defined packages instead of leaving things up to an hourly rate or a per-color rate, that actually works much better with me, so I probably WOULD buy one of these! Except…

    2) I am just not drawn to your interior design taste. I come to your blog for color expertise 100% of the time but your style and my style differ a lot when it comes to spaces to design, and so even though I’m sure a pro is able to skew their choices to a client’s taste style, my taste is different enough that I worry the advice I get would work against my fundamental taste or design philosophy. (On that last note, I just can’t handle things like HomeGoods art and accessories and furniture (HomeSense in Canada); I need things to have more story/soul and be made of natural/authentic materials. So I’ll shop all over for a cool piece of real coral before you ever catch me buying a $29 resin coral sculpture just because it looks right with a vibe, etc.) And this kind of thing holds me back with any decorator-there is only one decorator whose taste and vibe is more my style (Emily Henderson in case you’re wondering) so I generally don’t pull the trigger with you or any other interior decorators I follow whose tastes don’t overlap with mine.

    3) I just don’t trust e-design! As an interior design layman-enthusiast who totally has a different sense of spaces in person than from photos, I can’t believe it’s the same as an in-person visit where you see the texture and get a better sense of the dimensions and the light and colors. I’m sure pros are better at doing this than I am, but I just can’t wrap my head around online only being good enough. I also used to run my own business which offered both in-person and virtual consultations, and I KNOW my in-person clients had a better experience overall because the personal connection is so much better than a purely digital one. The price you pay feels like it’s more worth it. So I’ve tried a few times to see if I could hire you when you were in Seattle, but you’ve always replied offering e-design. 🙂 I get that, but I’m just not as willing to part with hundreds to thousands of dollars for an experience I might never fully trust the outcome of because I can’t personally envision the details of a space via photos or online consultation.

    Anyway, when you combine all this, I’ve dabbled in the idea of hiring you but have just never felt 100% confident pulling the trigger. I actually think the packages are an improvement for ME as a potential customer, but I hope this other feedback is helpful and lets you better refute these kinds of concerns with other potential customers!

    • Oh and I’ve reached out to Emily Henderson’s team too but items 1 and 3 are why I haven’t ever hired her either, combined with the fact that I’d actually be working with one of her many talented assistants at the e-design price point. Which I’m sure is great but the whole draw is her specific taste so I want the real thing, and I probably can’t afford that, even if she was magically on-site in Seattle instead of two states away.

    • Virginia, I have hired Maria for a consult and it was very worth it…I am like you in that I love vintage pieces and accessorizing with items that have meaning so I don’t fill a room with stuff that just coordinates. So, my philosophy is take a little from everyone I like because she DOES have a way with color even online 🙂 My neighbors have commented how cohesive my house looks. Darryl Carter is my favorite and a few others, so in the end, I do what I like. The accent colors were up in the air for me during our consult but she helped me decide my trim color, wall color, cabinet color and countertop. All these things were giving me a headache on own. Since her direction and encouragement/advice from another designer consult (on-site) I feel much more confident in my decisions. I even did marble subway tile, not white, because I’m a HUGE marble fan despite that Maria may not be 🙂 Good luck!

    • The saddest part about living in Vancouver is we don’t have amazing vintage and antique stores (our flea markets are full of merchandise from China) so that’s why you don’t see that reflected in my interiors and it’s also why I talk about Homesense a lot, decorators in this town rely on that store because we don’t have a lot of options. You posted some great feedback thanks, and on-line design is not for everyone.
      Thanks, Maria

    • The saddest part about living in Vancouver is we don’t have amazing vintage and antique stores (our flea markets are full of trinkets and trash from China) so that’s why you don’t see that reflected in my interiors and it’s also why I talk about Homesense a lot, decorators in this town rely on that store because we don’t have a lot of options. You posted some great feedback thanks, and on-line design is not for everyone.
      Thanks, Maria

    • Virginia, you should never ever buy real coral! The people who collect it are decimating the coral reefs and ecosystems of our oceans. You should always buy resin coral. Please!!!!!

  19. Hi Maria,
    I’ve been following you for simply eons and when I joined I went back to the beginning posts. Love it all. Here’s my feedback on the refresh from the perspective of my particular needs.

    The refresh sounds like a great idea. However 2 pillows and a rug just aren’t going to do it for my living/dining/1st floor entry to my apartment. It’s good for the person with all the elements in place who really does want a new look.

    I’ve looked at the various bundles you offer…great idea, by the way…and don’t really see what I think I need. My bundle would answer: Which sofa/couch? Purchase definitely in the cards here. Color for sofa and wing chairs? Wall color, favoring pink until it became the color of the season, so now what? I’m not a ditto person. What to purchase and what to repurpose?

    Are answers to these questions included in the refresh? If so, you might consider a rewrite of the description. If not, where does one go next for guidance?

    The description tantalizes. I can see why you need to define and limit. However, it doesn’t help lead me to the solution I need.

    Hope all this makes sense. It is offered with love and admiration for your work.
    Pat

    • That can all be achieved inside the same refresh package but all this feedback has been super helpful so we can add all those options to the page. Not everyone needs new stuff picked out, just as valuable to get feedback on what should stay and what should go for sure!
      Thanks for your comment!

  20. Maria, I just wrote a long letter to you and when I tried to post it, it disappeared and it was such good advice. LOL. Anyway the crux of it was to get more visible. Write articles about what you have to offer and put them on Houzz, facebook, twitter and every social media sites as you can. Put them on Pintrest, women’s magazines. Home & Garden magazines etc. Take as many speaking engagements as you can. Don’t get discouraged. You have so much talent to give just hang in there! Your prices are not out of line and because it comes in ebook form the client can read it over & over so it’s not a one shot deal.

    Best of luck in everything you do.

    • Hi Lucy, thanks for your comment, as mentioned in a previous comment, this is just one part of my revenue stream and personal consulting does not scale so this is not an area I’m committed to spending a huge amount of time and effort promoting it’s just that I want it to be helpful and useful to those readers who ARE looking for specific colour help from my website.
      which is why all this feedback has been extremely valuable!

  21. Hi
    I justed wanted to comment that for myself I would be looking for a modest priced services that would confirm or tweak the choices that I have already picked out.
    I like my taste but sometimes I am missing something and would pay for a service that would review my choices and confirm it or offer advise on how to adjust it – tweak it.
    This service would probably include a bit of work for the client- explaining the room, exposure, what they want to achieve ( questions that you could have them all answer to make your job easier), have them upload the photos of the room, load up the mood board or purchase choice they are looking at, & the colour.
    And you or your staff comfirm it or tweak it.
    Thanks

  22. I believe I logged on to your blog in 2009 as noticed it on a side bar of a fellow blogger and the title of ‘true colour expert’ piqued my curiosity. (Proof that the old proverb ‘curiosity killed the cat’ is the farthest from the truth as I am still around seven years later …. ☺.) That said; as a follower and consumer I have made two purchases from you and am interested in two more, however as agree with a few other comments will contact you directly re IMHO on what you are currently offering as would like to elaborate a bit more on a few of the points already made. In closing and to quote the English poet John Lydgate; “you can please some of the people all the time, you can please all of the people some of the time BUT you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
    -Brenda-

  23. A couple things –

    As a previous poster mentioned I enjoy and appreciate your colour advice, but don’t align with your design aesthetic so would not hire you for a design consult

    I did reach out for color advice quite a few years back but it was well over $100 and out of my budget (not sure what your specific offering was at the tine)

    I’ve read your blog faithfully for probably 7 or so years and have used the info to supplement my own design sense which is pretty good but not professional. For example when we recently rebuilt I installed medium brown hardwood floors and timeless finishes. BM Oxford White on every wall plus white kitchen. So I’m essentially using your design advice for free- which I’m sure you know is a good chunk of your readership and you’re trying to determine the best Avenue for monetizing this.

    Agree with some commenters that your explanations/descriptions can be wordy and confusing.

    I first discovered you when I was researching painting 90s oak in our old house.

    Lastly, As someone mentioned above, it’s not that we don’t see the value of a professional opionion- it’s that we simply can’t justify adding that to a limited DIY budget. I disagree with your argument that it’s saving money in the long run by preventing the need for redoing pricy finishes, because the average person won’t redo it. It’ll just be less than perfect and most ppl will live with that because they have to. And there’s a good chance the husband is going to put the kibosh on a designer consult if attempted.

    All that to say that yours and the Decorologist are the two blogs I faithfully and consistently look forward to reading. Thanks for all the great posts.

  24. I would love to get some advice on my kitchen (have absolutely hideous pink-ish tile I’d like to minimize but not replace), but the thing that stops me from getting an eConsult is how can I know the color in photographs I send will be accurate? The colors looked wildly different in the online real estate pictures compared to in person.

    I’d prefer an a la carte option for purchasing, because the things I need help with are small details, not whole-room design.

    • Hi Deb, Real estate photos are usually taken with the lights on and that distorts the colour totally. I need photos taken without flash and in good natural light and that’s what allows me to see the colour. Even if one picture doesn’t show it accurately, by the time I’ve seen 4 or 5 pictures of the same room taken from different angles, I can see what the colour is. If I can’t we’ll refund your money. Done this very successfully hundreds of times so that’s how I know it works. Thanks for your comment! Maria

    • Hi! Maybe this helps! Note on real estate and then using the e service. 1. I wanted to comment on real estate photos from first hand experience. My last home and most recently my mothers home had professional real estate photos taken. They both were off. For mine I noticed that they took multiple pictures of the same shot when they were in the house and I asked why. The camera was taking shots with different settings in light and color (and they also had lights of their own). In processing they would play with it all to get the “best”. I do not know who’s idea what best is… Let me tell you the colors were off but at least nothing became pink! Rooms with medium fresh green and medium fresh blue paint became muted. In the bath the dark green on the yellow side became more muddy looking. The yellow beige (in at least 4 rooms) at least did not turn on full yellow. I was relieved when a realtor told us the home showed much better than they expected (I took this to mean the color was better in person). 2. I take photos of used or painted furniture. Have been doing this for a living over the past 4 years – for my or other businesses. 3. So having said that – I was impressed with the instructions on taking the photos. Cameras are drawn to the bright light and take away from the rest of the photo. Natural light is needed (as bulbs give off colors from a white to a yellowish cast). The use of putting the fixed finish/fabric/art next to true white is KEY. White isolates the color(s) so the result is the “true color” that we are working with. 4. *We are pleased with our results!*

  25. This isn’t totally related, but one thing I would buy is a Benjamin Moore fan deck of YOUR go to colors, in bigger single chips, like the Candice Olson ones. Whether they were on your website or if you partnered with them. That way I could get a better sense of the color without committing to the set of 11x17s. And I wouldn’t have to keep going to the store to pick up individual chips, with the list from your two books I own. I always end up picking up the strips and then throwing them away as they start to take over my house.

    I found your website 1 year ago when I needed to pick an exterior trim color that wasn’t white in a pinch. Your blog post Trim Colours Not Cloud White popped up. I was hooked and ever since have been voraciously reading and rereading all your past posts. I am almost caught up. 🙂

  26. Thank you for your advice and time committed to this blog! I can tell you have a passion and a mission for helping people with color. I found your site last year because of a paint dilemma – I had been trying out some light blue and it was always showing up as baby blue (not good). So an internet search around blue paint lead to a number of hits but one of which was a link to your post “what everyone should know about gray”. I have been following since. What is appealing. It seems you are writing your blog. You give solid advice that I can follow. You have shopped homesense (for those in the US this is like homegoods or ross) and ikea and also share high end projects with items like custom drapes or cabinets. You do not pass judgement on brands which I like. For many people it is about the look and quality is lower down on the scale of need (for many this is due to cost limitation). This blog seems very down to earth, accessible, educational.
    Moving away from that. You are great at promoting the workshop within your blog posts or in the email blast but I feel not so for the e services. I am someone who has a very modest home and income so the tv shows, books, pinterest, blogs is about the only resource I have to work with. I bet many of your followers are the same. I am so pleased you have an e service especially around color! I had a good idea based on reading your blog / education what color would be a good overall neutral for our home but still desired thoughts on color. We pulled the trigger on your color consult this summer (with our income I had to save up for it) and guess what – the neutral was the exact one I had picked out and painted a poster board of already (yeah!) ! I was so pleased with the color choices provided as well. Now if I needed a service in regards to putting a brand new room together and bring in new furniture – rug – drapes… even if we had the funds … it is more of stretch for me to view you as a traditional designer (helping with styles, fabrics, scale, placement etc) as the majority of your information is specific to color. Color is your niche/ core – you are a color guru! Hope this all helps and again thank you for everything Maria!

  27. I have considered purchasing your e-consultation many times. What is stopping me ? I feel that whatever picture I send will not be good enough, the lighting is bad, there is clutter, the colour that is staying doesn’t show true in the photo, I don’t know what I want, I am afraid that too many changes would need to be made, etc etc. Simply put I feel ovewhelmed by the scope of what needs to be done (living room, kitchen, bedrooms, basement, exterior). By the time I get half way through that the trend will have changed (I don’t want white everywhere). Where to start ? Where to start ??

  28. I have been following your blog and FB for approx a year. I love it.

    I have now signed up for the color course in Vancouver. I am beyond excited to meet you and learn from you.

    I would have purchased one of the packages if I could not have attended the class.

    This is a real treat for me and I am looking forward to meeting the others and chatting color for three days !!