“I believe that the space around us has a really profound effect on how we live and view things. In all of my work, I strive to give someone the tools or ideas to bring something fun and beautiful into their lives, whether that be something fun in the community or a design tip to bring tranquility into the home. I always hope that my audience is inspired. In design, I love being able to help bring someone’s idea to life and see how happy they are in their new space.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Drew Henry of Design Dudes, who has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, and Realtor.com for his interior design tips. Drew started Design Dudes in 2017 and has grown his design and lifestyle brand to over 3,000 followers. He covers everything from design, drinks, eats, and simply living the life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you! Before I had a blog and did design work, I was working at a PR firm that represented a lot of lifestyle brands, designers, and restaurants. Working with these clients who were so passionate about their work really inspired me to create a platform for my own passion: home design. So I created the Design Dudes blog, which has expanded from interior design to designing your life. It’s allowed me to showcase my work and also what inspires me, and is an amazing creative outlet.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
I think it’s funny now, but wasn’t when it happened. After forming my blog, the PR firm I worked for found it and fired me over it. (There was nothing in the company handbook saying I couldn’t have a blog, but they claimed it was a conflict of interest.) After the initial blow, it really gave me the push and motivation to grow my own passion, and I’ve been very successful with my ventures since. Now I get to design and promote products and places I really care about. I knew when I got fired over it, that I had something successful about to bloom.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe that the space around us has a really profound effect on how we live and view things. In all of my work, I strive to give someone the tools or ideas to bring something fun and beautiful into their lives, whether that be something fun in the community or a design tip to bring tranquility into the home. I always hope that my audience is inspired. In design, I love being able to help bring someone’s idea to life and see how happy they are in their new space.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
Definitely start taking action! I’ve learned that no one is going to hand you your dream job. You have to take steps to create it yourself. The first step (or push) can be scary, but once you take it you have no choice but to move forward.
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?
My sister-in-law, Crystal has been a huge support system in my life. She definitely helped bring Design Dudes into what it is, and she is my biggest brand advocate. We work really well together, and in fact have worked together in editorial and PR.
I think my favorite moment was being called the “Brother Sister Dream Team” in a client meeting.
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
I recently moved, so the most exciting and personal project I have been working on is designing and decorating my own apartment. I move almost every year, just because I love taking on a new space and testing out new interior design ideas. This is the first lease that I’ve signed for longer than 12 months, so it’s a big deal for me! Additionally, I’ve been working on some brand partnerships for items and events that I really love, and it’s always fun to help promote something you are already a fan of.
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” . (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Stay Local — Team up with local restaurants, stores, and products! Offer to help promote them in exchange for a complimentary meal or samples. For example, reach out to your favorite local restaurant and offer to promote them on your Instagram in exchange for a dinner for two. Post your best picture and let them use some of the others for their own social media. They get content and exposure, and you get the perfect date night. Win, win.
- Go Travel — For your next trip, reach out to hotels or Airbnbs and offer to promote them for a free stay. Post your stay on your feed and stories, and credit them for the best vacation ever. There are lots of hotels and hosts who are willing to work with you.
- Stay at Home — Being a design based blog, I post a lot of photos from my apartment. When you sign your next lease, see if you can work out a deal to get a percentage off the rent. For example, I tag and geotag my apartment complex in at least one post a week. It’s great exposure for the complex and makes staying at home that much sweeter.
- There’s an App — Check out apps like Brandbassador and websites like Social Native that connect you directly with national brands. Essentially, you can sign up to be a brand rep and get discounts off product and earn a commission for every sale you drive.
- Market Yourself — If you are an influencer, you are also a social media expert! Market your social media skills to local businesses and earn money freelancing and managing their social media content. Practice your skill, while helping to make them shine.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
I would love to have breakfast with Joanna Gaines. She and Chip have been a huge inspiration in what I have set out to do, and I would love to learn from the best. I think it’s especially cool that we are both based in Texas, so it would be amazing to see how they did it all. Also, I think she would probably bring some amazing muffins or something.
Originally published at medium.com