Staying Present and Productive During the Pandemic


Since 2003 Sarah Alba of Albaworks has worked as an interior stylist, field editor and publicist in the architecture and interior design media industry. Her years of expertise—placing projects in over 300 outlets—has given her a keen understanding of what editors are looking for and how they respond to pitches. With everyone at home, on their computers and devices, Alba is working now more than ever to feed her network inspirational content for both digital and print. Here she shares why it is crucial for designers to promote their projects and perspectives during this time.

Sarah Alba. Photo by Lindsey Masterson.

Since being  hunkered down, amidst the craziness in the world, we have faced an unprecedented amount of change, and the reality is that most days start and end with uncertainty. What we do know is that business operations nationwide, particularly small businesses, face significant disruption but they will keep moving. 

Instead of dwell on the unknown, let’s try to ease into this new norm and focus on strengthening businesses from within. Take your foot off the accelerator going into the corner, and cruise. It’s imperative to trust that whatever happens, we can adapt and make the most of the situation. You can prevent a slow-down from becoming a stall in the future by using this  time to set yourself up for a successful bounce back. 

Interiors by Lauren Weiss Home. Photo by Suzanna Scott.

From an editorial perspective, there are more opportunities to get your business seen, than ever before.  Now is your chance to do what you normally don’t have time to do: instead of working in your business, you can work on your business.

Interior design by Lindsay Chambers. Photo by Roger Davies.

Here are six things you can do now to build a stronger business during the unscheduled downtime:

  1. Market your business. When things are busy, marketing tasks are overlooked. Review any professional photos that haven’t been put to use. Get your projects published, and keep your work circulating.
  2. Personal promotion. Work on your personal brand and public recognition. The better known you are, the more opportunities will come your way.
  3. Network virtually. Get involved with business groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, or reach out to old contacts. It’s important to feed and expand your network. Engage with your community.
  4. Strengthen important relationships. We all mean to stay in better touch with those influencers and important people in our lives, now you can.
  5. Take some down time. Avoid burnout when the opportunity is handed to you.
  6. Evaluate new opportunities. Chances are it’s been awhile since you last worked on your visibility plan. Review it in light of any new possibilities or connections and see if there are new followups or directions to pursue. 

Don’t let this time discourage you, instead use it as a means to refresh your perspective and build additional business skills. Master the other side of your business to stay competitive in the design industry. 

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