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S2 Ep11: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers with Arvin Olano

Arvin Olano walks us through introducing elevated video content into your interior design business, and breaks down the magic of YouTube's power.



Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

"An eight second video can literally make your business go viral and drive so many more new clients."

Things change rapidly in marketing and keeping up with where, how and when to show up is more than a full-time job. But one thing that's become abundantly clear over the last year or two is that video reigns queen across platforms and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If a dozen protests just popped into your head about why you think you can't do video, you are in the right place. Whether you don't like to get in front of the camera, you don't think you have the budget to produce video content, or you're unsure of how to create elevated content consistent with your branding, we are addressing all of those concerns in today's episode. Helping us navigate the logistics of video production for interior designers is none other than Arvin Olano, the digital creator, designer, and stylist who found his second career through the launch of his ridiculously popular YouTube channel, which he created in 2020 to document his own interior design journey and now boasts over 361,000 followers.

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

In this episode, Arvin and I discuss:

  • Why video content is valuable for interior designers

  • How to make the most of a film day

  • How to create an editorial calendar

  • Best tips for getting comfortable in front of a camera

  • YouTube best practices

  • How to push through creative burnout

  • The importance of trends in video production

+ and more!

"YouTube is just another search engine, actually it's the second largest search engine next to Google. So when you're titling your videos, you want to think about keywords and SEO."

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

An excerpt of my conversation with Arvin Olano:

What steps would a designer need to take to start their path to LEED or Green accreditation?

LH: I would say if you already know that you want to do this, then go ahead and just, you know, go to the USGBC website and you can download all the materials and take all the classes. It's super, it's involved but it's worth it I think if only to change your mindset on how to, you know, consider what you're doing for a living and how you're doing it. The Green AP is much more sort of easily attainable. It's a smaller program, it's much more of what we do day in and day out as designers, so it's more palatable in that way as well. It's very sad to look at all the landfills and see how awful it is, but it's important. But I would also say like if you're not really sure that you wanna go down that path, because it can be very overwhelming when you first start looking at all the stats for, you know, LEED AP and there's lots of different, you know, specifications that you can do within the LEED AP program.

You can sort of niche into different parts but I would just say, you know, for your projects for, for your day-to-day clients, just to think about small ways that you can make improvements into your design process and even into your studio space or if you're working at home, your home office. Because what I've found is that when you start just thinking about what you're doing, it will seep into your design. It will seep into your day-to-day life and more and more and more you will start to just do it naturally and it won't feel like, okay, let me list out all the things that I need to do on this project. You're just going to think about things and on, on every project maybe just have a small goal of like maybe you, you first start with vintage, you know, start looking and seeing if there's anything that you can purchase vintage.

"In the beginning of my YouTube journey, I wanted everything to be perfect. I had a script I didn't want to mess up. And I actually feel like that backfired a little bit because people weren't watching those videos."

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

"There's something about a video and when something is in motion it just captivates an audience and that's why, you know, TikTok and reels are doing so well and being so pushed onto us as creatives is because there is power behind video."

- Arvin Olano

Your portfolio is so warm, it is so beautiful, it is so livable. And when you look at it, you aren't looking at it going, oh, she's a sustainable designer. Like you said, you hear that word and you think green office complex with, you know, walls of succulents everywhere. Upon opening your namesake studio, how much weight did you want to put into sustainable practices?

LH: I have always been very conscious of, you know, climate change and being sustainable and that sort of thing. So for me, I don't think it was necessarily like, I was like, oh, and I'm gonna be a sustainable designer, and that's gonna be my niche, and that's gonna be my thing. I did all of my design projects at school like that. I think my teachers at the time thought I was a little like over the top with it sometimes, because like, I would talk about it, it was really important and, and nobody else was, there was nobody else was doing that because it was just like making life even harder for myself. But it was important to me in school. It was important to me after school, it's important to me always. So I just kind of did it because that's the only way I wanted to do it.

I don't wanna be known necessarily as the sustainable designer. I wanna be known as a good designer who, you know, is sustainable. You know, I didn't want it to be like, because that, it, it to me was pigeonholing me as like maybe, oh, oh my gosh, all all she does is probably use cork and everything's recycled and you know, it just, it's not a design style in my opinion, sustainable design is not a design style, it's just part of designing thoughtfully and intentionally.

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

So do you ever have to sell your clients to sustainable choices, or do you feel at this point that everybody who comes to you is coming to you knowing that the incredibly beautiful design that they get will be sustainable?

LH: I equate it with having a really fantastic meal at a really beautiful restaurant, and the food is fantastic, the service is amazing, and at the end of the meal, the server comes over and says, you know, by the way, everything was sourced locally from this fantastic farm where the animals are like, you know, free range and everything's so lovely and happy and, and everything's organic and it's, and it's wonderful. And so it doesn't necessarily make the food taste better, it doesn't make the experience feel better, but you feel better that you've, you know, you got to have this fantastic meal and a fantastic experience and it was actually good for you too, right? And so you didn't have a negative impact on the environment by eating this meal and by having this experience. And so it's kind of the same thing with our designs where our clients aren't necessarily, some of our clients do come to us for that.

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers

Show Notes




YouTube RUGS USA Collab


Vlogging Camera (I think this is it)

Final Cut Pro Tutorial

Video Editing Terms

Thanks for reading an excerpt from Season 2 Episode 10 of The Interior Collective: Leaning Into Sustainable and Ethical Design. You can listen to our episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or access the full episode transcription below.


If Season 2 of The Interior Collective podcast is something you look forward to, we’d be so appreciative if you'd take a moment to share, subscribe, and leave us a review. Ratings help us reach a wider audience as we provide free insight and inspiration to the entire design community. Your support means the world.

Arvin Olano Podcast: Elevated Video Content for Interior Designers


Anastasia Casey 00:00:07

Things change rapidly in marketing and keeping up with where, how and when to show up is more than a full-time job. But one thing that's become abundantly clear over the last year or two is that video reigns queen across platforms and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If a dozen protests just popped into your head about why you think you can't do video, you are in the right place. Whether you don't like to get in front of the camera, you don't think you have the budget to produce video content, or you're unsure of how to create elevated content consistent with your branding, we are addressing all of those concerns in today's episode. Helping us navigate the logistics of video production for interior designers is none other than Arvin Olano, the digital creator, designer, and stylist who found his second career through the launch of his ridiculously popular YouTube channel, which he created in 2020 to document his own interior design journey and now boasts over 361,000 followers. If you haven't binge watched his videos yet, we just provided you with your weekend plans. You're welcome. Arvin is generously walking us through creating an editorial calendar and content planning tips for editing or outsourcing, the differences between TikTok, reels, and YouTube, and knowing which ones are right for you, the equipment and tools necessary for capturing beautiful video, how to monetize your video content if you're looking to diversify revenue streams and so much more.

AC 00:01:36

Hello Arvin. Oh my gosh, I am freaking out. I wish you guys could see the grin on my face right now because like I am starstruck.

Arvin Olano 00:01:45

Anastasia. Hello. I am so happy to be here. I'm a big fan of the podcast and it's an honor. I'm like, I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm here. Hello.

AC 00:01:57

We are so excited to talk to you about all things video because you obviously have mastered it in such an approachable, incredibly inspiring, yet still super elevated way. So thank you for being here to talk about your journey and to give us any little tips we can possibly try to emulate on our own.

AO 00:02:17

Oh, I love it. I'm happy to give and share all of my tips.

AC 00:02:21

We are ready to dig in, and at first I'd love for you to tell us about your journey into the interior design world as a YouTuber extraordinaire that you are today.

AO 00:02:35

Wow. Well, my creative journey on YouTube started three years ago in the midst of the pandemic. And I have to say, I was just so lost and I felt so depressed, like many of us probably did. And I didn't know what was going to happen with my career in fashion. I was working for Gucci at the time, and we, my husband and I, Andrew, we just moved into our first home together three years ago in Vegas. So I thought, you know, let me pick up my camera, and I started to share my home decor finds on YouTube that I felt like was, you know, elevated, even though I was shopping at Home Goods and Target and thrift shops because three years ago, Anastasia, I knew nothing about interior design. I just, I was so laser focused on fashion, I knew nothing about interiors. I couldn't tell you what a console table was. I did all of my research on YouTube. So I started to share those videos on YouTube and to my surprise, like people were hungry for that kind of content because we were all at home. We were like trying to decorate, trying to make our spaces beautiful. And after months and months of hard work and sleepless nights, my channel started to take off.

AC 00:04:05

So let me get that right. When you were at Gucci, you didn't even have a YouTube channel yet?

AO 00:04:10

No, I, I mean I had Instagram, I was sharing some fashion content, but I feel like my fashion is very specific. So when I started sharing home decor content, I felt like that was a more kind of universal creative language that everyone could relate to, and I think that's why that kind of content really took off for me.

AC 00:04:31

So talking about taking off, because this is just so extraordinary what you have created in three years and the trajectory of your life and how that's changed because of it. Was there a specific turning point you feel that was like that pivotal moment when you knew this really had legs and potential to go?

AO 00:04:53

Yes, and it's, it's really crazy to say this was just three years ago. I'm getting goosebumps right now.

AC 00:05:00

Me too! <laugh>.

AO 00:05:01

Oh, I just, to think three years ago I was in my little office in Vegas filming videos. I just, I can't, but the turning point really was one day I woke up and my channel had suddenly grown over a hundred thousand subscribers because of a video that I filmed in my office. After that moment, maybe just a few weeks later, my channel had started to generate income that had surpassed what I would've made at Gucci in a year. And just saying that out loud, oh my gosh, I just, I was like, oh my God, like I think I have something here. I think I can do something with this channel. And I remember a few weeks later after going back to work, after, you know, after things had kind of settled in a bit, I decided, I was like, I think I'm gonna quit my job and I think I'm going to pursue content creation full-time. And I swear to you, my family thought I was crazy, my husband thought I was crazy, but I just took a leap of faith and I trusted my gut and I was like, let me just do this one thing for me and I think I can make a bigger difference on social than I would be in a store. So I did, and you know, I'm here now, which is crazy.

AC 00:06:27

It's an incredible story and it's just such a joy to be along this ride with you and we're so grateful to follow along. So you're talking about how there was like that one video that just absolutely, like people say that something went viral, like this went viral. It looks like you use your phone to capture video on shopping hauls and sourcing trips. What type of phone do you use and what tips do you have for capturing the best looking mobile videos? I know we're like, cool, you did that in your office. And all of us interior designers listening are so specific about what we want our aesthetic to look like and we're so afraid to post because it's not perfect. What is your secret to having that start and to have that video just captured on the go?

AO 00:07:11

You know, such a great question, and I know we'll get into this maybe later on, but my secret was to just have fun and don't be afraid to be not perfect. And that's really what helped my channel grow. And I use a couple of different things to film my videos. Usually on YouTube I do use a vlogging camera, I use the Sony ZV One Vloggom camera. So for me it's easy. It's on the go, it's small, it's compact, I can put it in my bag, but on Instagram I use just my iPhone 13 Pro and your iPhone or your Samsung is your best friend. It really has such an incredible camera. And I think most people don't know this, that your iPhone can film 4K videos, which is like the highest quality kind of videos that you can even get on like a DSLR.

AO 00:08:08

And when you get your iPhone from the store, it doesn't film 4K videos right away. You have to go to your settings and set it to 4K videos. And I think my biggest tip too is you just have to practice and get a tripod. A tripod will be your best friend. And when you're filming, you know, when you're an interior designer and you're filming this really elevated content, you just have to practice. And my, another big tip that I've learned along the way is, you know, your hands might not be as steady as possible. So when you are editing your videos, slow it down during the editing process so that you get a smoother kind of transition, you get smoother videos and it's gonna look 10 times better.

AC 00:08:55

Oh my gosh, I know everybody is like drastically looking for a pen right now to scratch this on their arm. I promise everyone we will have all of these tips in the show notes and I'll make sure to link those specific equipment that Arvin had just mentioned. But that slowing down the video just blew my mind. I had never even considered that and I knew about the 4K thing, but I'm like, duh, when my hand is all bouncy as I'm walking around <laugh>, if we just slowed it down, it would resolve that problem.

AO 00:09:24

And I learned that recently actually. Even though your camera has great video stabilization, just slowing it down just makes it so much better.

AC 00:09:34

Oh, that's amazing. Okay, so now you have this empire. In this pandemic, you launched your Amazon drop, you were still doing fashion, that was huge. I wanna talk a little bit about that too, but now it's like you have collaborations, obviously you're producing so much content and you're getting a little bit into product design, I believe. And so what does your team look like? How many people are helping you? Is this literally just you? And what do you think your team is going to look like in the future?

AO 00:10:04

So not to go off on a tangent a little bit, I want to talk about the Amazon collection because it was a fashion collaboration and that was so special to me because I came from the fashion industry and my style is very specific. I'm very androgynous, I'm very gender fluid. And when I designed my fashion collection, I was able to design for my younger self and for pieces that I would've loved to have seen when I was younger, but also pieces for everyone to enjoy. So that was such a pinch me moment that it happened because I created design content and it kind of, you know, kind of merged into my love for fashion and going into my team, my team is actually <laugh>, my team is quite small. I have myself, I have my husband Andrew, who is my manager. We have a lawyer who helps us navigate through these brand partnerships like Amazon and brand contracts.

AO 00:11:04

And we also have a video editor specifically for my YouTube videos. And I also have a copy editor. I am terrible at writing captions, I will admit. I'm just like, it's not my forte. So we have a copy editor, but we are now at a point in our business where we really want to grow and we want to create more product. And I feel like we need to hire another person so that you know, we, we can pass on the pass on these daily tasks so we can create more beautiful content and hopefully really dive into product creation.

AC 00:11:45

So to those listening who probably have their own interior design studio or thinking about getting into it, I'm just curious, are your video editor and your copy editor, like full-time paid employees, do you outsource those to freelance editors? Obviously your entire job is creating content, so I know that you would have the need on a much more regular cadence than someone who's maybe just doing project reveals, but talk to me about like having someone on staff versus freelance.

AO 00:12:14

Such another great question. In the beginning, I did it all myself, like I said, but now that we are doing it full-time, our editor is freelance and our copy editor is freelance. And I think it just depends on what you need as a creator or as a designer, how many videos you might need. And having someone you know readily available to edit your videos. It makes such a world of a difference because sometimes when I'm editing a video, it can take me anywhere from five hours to eight hours just to kind of cut it down. And that's a long time and I know we are all busy. So definitely hiring someone on even just part-time, even just by video, it will alleviate all of that kind of stress out and then you can kind of go in and review the video and kind of tweak it and make it, just make it your own and make it as elevated and as on brand as possible.

AC 00:13:15

So you're saying a typical video will take anywhere between five to eight hours of editing, just like culling content. Can you give us kind of a ballpark of how many hours of footage that is?

AO 00:13:30

So actually most of my YouTube videos will be anywhere between 30 minutes to like 40 minutes max of footage. And that's just the A roll that's me talking, that's me trying to get a point across. And I definitely stumble in my videos, I like to script it out, but most

of my YouTube videos are actually like 12 to 15 minutes long. I've found that that's like my sweet spot. And so even though I overshoot and I try to make sure I capture everything, my videos are super short. So if you're just starting out, you don't have to, you know, don't feel like you have to

create 20 minute long videos. I see videos that are seven minutes, 10 minutes, and actually I feel like that's a great time when it comes to videos, especially interior design. I feel like after like 10, 15 minutes you're like, okay, it's great. You've got everything across, you've shown everything that you've wanted to.

AC 00:14:27

Okay, so let's talk actual tips. And I am taking personal notes as you discuss this. Okay, so let's talk specific tips for someone who is looking to teach themselves or for someone on their team, video editing basics. Can you share how would you get started? Was there things that you looked up? Did you watch YouTube videos? Did you use Skillshare? Anything along those lines?

AO 00:14:52

You know what, I am a YouTube person through and through. You can learn anything on YouTube. And I learned all of the basics really in just one night on YouTube. Three years ago I looked it up, I was like, how do I edit using Final Cut Pro? How do I use iMovie? I actually started using iMovie. If you are on Apple, if you know if you're using Apple, everyone has iMovie and it might sound overwhelming in the beginning, but once you learn the basics of how to just cut things off, you will learn so fast. And I've learned, you know, even when filming, it's like in the beginning I was afraid to have like do, I was afraid to have mistakes, I had a script, but you can just edit everything out. If you stumble, if you, you know, if you say something wrong, you can edit all of that out. So yeah, I used YouTube. And another great tip too is watch your favorite content creators and see how they're editing their videos because you might see like a transition that you might love and you can even incorporate that in your own way in your videos as well.

AC 00:16:01

Amazing. So I will definitely do a little research and link my favorite YouTube tutorials in the show notes for you. Okay. I am a huge fan of editorial calendars. I run by them here at IDCO. I would love to hear your process for creating an editorial calendar. And how far in advance are you planning your shoots?

AO 00:16:22

So Andrew, my manager, he is so organized and admittedly I am just not the best at organizing things. But we <laugh>, we organize and plan all of our shoots and campaigns quarterly. So we want to make sure if we have any big brand campaigns that it's scheduled months in advance and we like to make sure that they're also spread apart because working with brand campaigns or working with brands in general, it's like, it's really great, it's really fun, but it's also kind of like stressful because you wanna make sure you're hitting your talking points, you want to make sure you're hitting their talking points. So we like to plan everything out for brand shoots and brand campaigns. We have a script, we have a shot list, but I'm also a very like, you know, fun and go with the flow kind of creative person. So when I'm filming, sometimes I go off of script and I go off tangent and I just kind of go with the flow. When we are shooting and creating content, I feel like that's when it's, I feel like it resonates more with my audience when it's just like authentic, of the moment. It's like, you know, you're having fun kind of content even though on the back end we did plan things and you know, we did have a script.

AC 00:17:46

So you plan your scripts ahead of time, you know, like I love your sourcing trips. I love when you go out and are shopping around and I just suddenly add everything to my cart. What's the logistics of planning to get to go vlog while you're out and about? Do you have to call ahead, let them know how does someone like prep for that? Or is it kind of just like social media is a thing now and so people just let you film?

AO 00:18:12

So when I'm out doing like a Shop with Me is, which is actually probably one of my favorite kind of videos to film because it's just so real and so raw and authentic. It's like shopping with my best friend, I'm just taking you along and I'm seeing what's new, what's out there, what would I buy, what would I not buy? And I just whip out the camera and I'm hoping no one goes up to me and says, please don't film. And usually everyone is like, totally okay, you know, unless I'm going to like a gallery or like a really high-end boutique where I would go and kind of ask if it's okay. But normally if stores like, you know, Ikea, Target, Home Goods, they're pretty much like, okay, I've never had any bad experiences, so just go with it. You know, if you're gonna do something in public, just try it out and hopefully no one says anything. <laugh>.

AC 00:19:07

Worst case scenario they say that you can't film. But I will say if you walked into my store, I would be like, please, Arvin film everything. <laugh> <laugh>.

AO 00:19:15

I would love to visit your store one day.

AC 00:19:18

<laugh>. So how do you make the most out of a film day? I know that you're so natural on camera, but it's a little different for people who, this isn't their full-time job, it feels so unnatural and I feel like they wanna make sure they get everything in for this, you know, six hour shoot that they have. How do you really optimize that time?

AO 00:19:40

Absolutely. You know, if you are filming for YouTube, YouTube is a beast and I, I have to set a whole entire day for shooting. Whether it's, you know, in the morning we're planning, we're making sure our shot list is there, but filming a long form video, it just takes a lot more planning and a lot more hours. And I like to make sure I have at least two cameras for A-roll and B-roll and we're all prepared, we're overshooting for you two because you never know what you might need to use as B-roll. Now when it comes to Instagram or TikTok content, I am so passionate by the way, when it comes to Instagram and TikTok content and something that I've learned along the way is that you have to see the videos that you are creating as assets for your business. So even though you're only shooting this product one time, let's say it's the Amazon curtains that I found, I'm going to use that content as an asset as you know, know something that I'm going to post time and time again and I'm gonna make use of that content and those hours that I filmed that and make sure that it's creating revenue and views for my business.

AO 00:21:00

So even though I filmed those curtains, you know a year ago, I can still utilize that video today and use it as an asset for my business. So maybe if you're an interior designer, it could be a project that you film once and maybe it's a kitchen project today, but next week it's, you know, the serveware and the cutlery that was in that video. And literally you're like recycling that content and, and it's all about working smarter and not harder.

AC 00:21:34

I am such a big cheerleader for the necessity of evergreen content. I feel like yes, anything you're producing once needs to be able to be used over and over again. Especially as an interior designer when you have one, maybe two days in this project to film and then your clients move in and you never get access again under most circumstances. And so I'd love to think about a shoot saying, okay, maybe we bring a box or two of holiday decor and let's go ahead and shoot this kitchen styled for holiday so we can use it again in six months. Or can we bring a different set of bedding to restyle this bed so that we can use this as something totally new and fresh again in two weeks. I think you should do this with your photos and I think you absolutely should be doing it with video. And a key here is video, especially on Instagram, less so on YouTube, but we'll talk about YouTube shorts because I'm really interested in how that's blowing up. But let's talk about Instagram and reels and tiktoks do so well in eight seconds or less. So if you can really think about the fact you only need an idea to work for eight seconds, all like you have limitless opportunities for video at a project install and on video shoot day the next day.

AO 00:22:56

Oh my gosh, I feel like you just gave me some gold here. I didn't even think about, you know, designers shooting holiday content during a shoot at a project. I feel like that is so cool and I, I mean I admire interior designers and the work that you guys do because it, it is just, I can't even imagine what goes on in like a full scale project. But you're right, utilizing all of that in a shoot and using it for content to grow your business, I mean reels and tiktoks, an eight second video can literally make your business go viral and drive so many more new clients in just seven, seven seconds, which is insane.

AC 00:23:38

So I am interested in like this kind of hybrid or transition from your long format videos, which you're shooting horizontally in landscape orientation to how you transition that over to short form video, which would be tiktoks and reels. How do you plan for that in your day?

AO 00:23:55

You know what's funny, my YouTube content is a little bit more casual in a sense that I'm just kind of having fun on YouTube and sometimes it doesn't necessarily transfer onto Instagram. Sometimes it does and I feel like I have to be better at like kind of condensing my YouTube and even editing my YouTube content into short form content. And there's definitely editors that can do that for you where they just take your, you know, landscape videos and make it great for reels and Instagram. But I would say as an interior designer, like you said, you know, if you're doing a video for a project, just shoot it in a way where it can directly transfer onto reels and you're just taking bite sized information from your YouTube videos and putting it into reels. A reel can literally be 10 seconds or it could be 30 seconds, but that video editor can kind of alleviate all of that cause it will take time. But they can kind of edit down those little videos for you.

AC 00:25:04

One of the first impressions prospective clients have of your brand is your website. If you don't have a strong online presence to show off your work though you're losing out on potential clients. IDCO Studio offers a selection of limited edition website templates designed specifically for interior designers just like you. If you're looking for a more hands-off experience, you can add on implementation and professional copywriting and we'll have your new website up and running within a few short weeks visit to choose your favorite before it sells out.

AC 00:25:37

So that's something I definitely want you all listening to take into consideration as you're hiring a videographer or you're looking to start video on your own as Arvin does you, you need to be expressing what your final destination for this content is so that your videographer knows, hey, let's go ahead and bring two cameras so we can shoot vertically and horizontally so that you really get the maximum options, especially if you're gonna be talking on camera. Obviously a room as you know from still photography shoots so differently with a vertical vignette versus like the full room landscape shot. So you just wanna be thinking about where are we gonna put this content? Do we need to be on all these platforms? If not, which ones are the ones we want and how do we need to make sure to shoot that? So,

AO 00:26:21


AC 00:26:22

Arvin, I'm curious because you just are such an effervescent creative that I admire so much with how boundary pushing and elevating just daily life, like you just romanticize life so much and I feel like you can translate that and I, I personally feel like I can translate into my own life and I appreciate that immensely about you.

AO 00:26:46

Thank you so much.

AC 00:26:48

How do you, or I guess the first question is, do you ever hit a creative block and how do you push through that? I know there's immense pressure to keep creating content and what happens when you're like, I don't have it in me. There's not more.

AO 00:27:05

Of course. I mean, naturally when you're working on social media, a creator's block is something that you just cannot avoid and you have to think about, you know, there's gonna be highs and lows as a creative and something I do to push through is just taking time off of social media, like really disconnecting and not, don't post anything. Don't try to like, you know, push content out even if you're like, you have nothing left to push, take some time off, take a little trip, even a weekend off. Actually we just got back from Florida. A little two day weekend off at the beach and I feel refreshed even though it was actually a work thing. But I feel refreshed because we were relaxing, we were at a beach. And I also just, I go back to my favorite books for inspiration and I listen to podcasts like yours for inspiration because social media can just be, it can get a little overwhelming, especially when you work in a creative field because you're getting all this content all the time.

AO 00:28:15

How do you disconnect? You just, you really just have to turn it off. And I've seen people do like timers for their Instagram, like when they're five hours is up or for the week, it like logs them off. I feel like that is great. Another big tip that I've done actually in the past year is I turn off all of my social media notifications. So when, you know, when I open up my Instagram, that's when I see a DM, that's when I see an email, I just turn off the notifications so that, you know, I, I have that time for myself and I even, I like log off after 7:00 PM and I just, I breathe.

AC 00:28:55

<laugh>. I think that's so important. I love your tip of turning off your notifications. I get no email notifications, I don't even get text message notifications. I have to open my phone to see those. I definitely don't take calls. It drives my husband crazy. <laugh>, he and my dad are the only people who actually get pushed through. I have all calls silenced and I'm like, when I am ready to tackle that, then I can open it and be in the right head space.

AO 00:29:19


AC 00:29:20

Moving forward, how do you naturally evolve your content? Because it's been a short timeline of three years, I feel like I've seen your content and your style evolve immensely, especially at the new gorgeous house, I see that shift <laugh>, how do you naturally do that and how do you know what elements are crucial to your brand versus playing up trends?

AO 00:29:46

For sure. And thank you so much. Thank you. That really means a lot to me because everyday I try to make sure I'm creating that elevated content, but also feels really approachable and relatable. And I think as you create content, you will learn to see what works for you, what you love and what you enjoy. And most importantly, what your audience responds to. Your first few videos are not gonna be your best. Like, you're gonna look back at them and oh my gosh, that is so cringe, that's so bad. But as you grow as a creator and as you get more comfortable, you're just going to learn. And you know, once you find that one thing that just makes you feel or say, yes, this feels right, this feels like me, this feels elevated. Lean into it, lean into it some more. And I want to give you an example actually.

AO 00:30:45

In the beginning of my YouTube journey, I was like, I wanted everything to be perfect. I had a script I didn't want to mess up. And I actually feel like that backfired a little bit because people weren't watching those videos. It wasn't until I started filming content that felt like real and authentic and was just me. And the way I am on social is literally the way I am in person. I just have fun and you know, I make mistakes. I laugh at me, I, I laugh at my mistakes. And when I started putting out content like that, I found my audience. I found people that, you know, wanted to learn, wanted to learn about design, but also wanted things to feel real and approachable. So I think it's just film a lot of videos, see what works for you and your brand and your content and lean into it.

AC 00:31:44

I am curious as to how you see the importance or the weight of trends to video success and if there's a difference between the weight of those trends on one platform versus another. I have a theory that YouTube is not as trend led and that the trends matter more in those short format videos. And I'd love if you could speak to that a little.

AO 00:32:09

Absolutely. I think long form content is really more about, you know, information driven and educational type of driven videos. And I will say on my YouTube videos I talk about trends all the time. I think people, I think, you know, interior design trends is a very, like, it's a great subject to talk about, but in general I think YouTube is more, you know, it's you are sitting down and you want to learn and you want to see, see more about a project versus Instagram and maybe TikTok. I do feel like you have to kind of pay attention to what's trending in the space. I don't necessarily think that you should be filming trendy videos necessarily if you know if your brand is so elevated. But I think it's good to know what's out there and what's working, because sometimes you will see it that trendy video that resonates with you and you're like, wait a minute, I can apply this to my video. And I feel like it'll give your audience a little insight to your personality and they might connect with you and you know, just have fun on Instagram and TikTok, yes, you can create all of the elevated content, but don't be afraid to have fun.

AC 00:33:29

What should an interior designer consider before branching into video? We've heard a lot of interior designers say that they've tried video because they don't, they haven't tried video because they don't know how to create an elevated on brand content type for their luxury audience with a limited videography and marketing budget. And so I'm wondering if you have any advice for how someone can execute an elevated brand as well as you do in a way that doesn't, that doesn't minimize the incredible detail and bespoke quality to their work.

AO 00:34:10

Mm, that is such a great question. I think if you are working with such an elevated brand, try to imagine your photography as a video. So maybe it's, you know, again it's, maybe it's a kitchen reveal or a project reveal. Try to imagine how you got to the finished product. So was it a flip? Was it, you know, was it the materiality that you really focused on in this project? And maybe translate what you would capture in a photo in that end project and maybe create a story of the beginning, the middle of and end in video. And I think that's such a great thing to have in your like video arsenal is to like just tell the story about the project, tell the story about your design studio and what you offer. And you know, I think video is so important right now and I feel like you can, you can give these bite-sized information through video or you know, maybe it's long form content YouTube, but it's start small. Maybe you know, maybe it's your tips and maybe it's what you have to offer and you can be as perfect and as elevated as you want, or you can be as casual and you know, casual and approachable as you want. I think it's just what feels right to you. And I think it's also right, you know, like practice makes perfect. I know that's so cliche, but it really is just practice.

AC 00:35:47

You know, who I think is doing such a good job. It's super elevated interior design video is the girls at Light and Dwell. They do such a nice job of just capturing a small moment that really shows the detail of their projects. Yes. For example, like they'll just close a curtain, that'll be the entire video and it just looks so beautiful and it blends perfectly with their photography. You gave such a good quote right now that I will remember forever, treat your video as an extension of the actual photography. And a great example I have is we just wrapped Nate Berkus' website and we originally had a still image as his hero shot on the website and I was like, I'd really love to get some video in there. Nate does great video. And they were like, well we don't quite have the right shot.

AC 00:36:40

And I'm like, well what if it literally is just the fireplace on and it's a completely motionless video but just the flames are burning and it ends up being such a powerful way to use video on that landing page of their website. Plus it ends up being a really great two second clip to use on social, on stories, on TikTok, et cetera. So it doesn't always have to be this grand storytelling gesture with every single video, a two to three second clip can perform really, really well and showcase those incredible elements, that tile detail, the transition between the tile and the wood floor and it can feel so elevated without even having to get in front of the camera.

AO 00:37:21

Yes, absolutely. I totally agree because a photo is amazing, but there's something about a video and when something is in motion it just captivates an audience and that's why, you know, TikTok and reels are doing so well and being so pushed onto us as creatives is because there is power behind video.

AC 00:37:43

100%. I know we're all complaining about their algorithm all the time, <laugh>, but the algorithm is based on data and the data shows that you spend more time looking at a video than you do at a still image. So if you can turn that still image into a video in some way, I think that there are endless possibilities. And like you said, video is so important right now, but the truth is video is always going to be important from this moment forward.

AO 00:38:10

Yes, absolutely. And it, like you said earlier, it doesn't have to be this big grand reveal every single time. It could be the smallest detail, like a fireplace going, a candle being lit that feels so elevated and that little clip alone is just so, so valuable.

AC 00:38:29

So I know we just talked a little bit about ideas for clips that you can get without yourself in them. But I'd love for you to share some tips on how to get comfortable in front of the camera. I have heard from our clients that this is like the biggest paralysis in getting into this is they have no interest in being on camera.

AO 00:38:49

You know, I will say, I think the hardest thing is actually just picking up the camera, but I think my biggest tip would be to just record yourself and do it for you. Like don't do it for social, don't do it for a video. Just record yourself talking about something that you're passionate about. Maybe it's a project or a product coming up and just watch it for you and see how you are on video. And you'll be able to see like, you know, your little quirks and what you do and how you talk with your hands. And I think once you see yourself, you're gonna be like, oh actually it's not that bad. And just film and practice and get on the camera. I, I know the practice makes perfect thing is, again, a cliche, but it really is just practice. The more you film, the more you'll get comfortable and try to imagine the camera as like your ideal client or that one person and just talk to the camera as if it was that person. And I think that really helps too, as if you know you're just having a conversation with someone versus you're filming a video.

AC 00:39:59

I love that when we talk about copywriting on websites, we're always talking about speak as if you're speaking to one individual person. And I hadn't made that epiphany of like, that's how you should think about video as well. You're not recording a video for a hundred thousand people to see, you're recording a video for one person to see and have that conversation with one person.

AO 00:40:19


AC 00:40:21

I think so many of our designers have already established their own point of view in the design world and have a really good grasp on who their ideal client is. How do you translate that ideal client into video?

AO 00:40:35

Such a great question. I think you have to focus on what that ideal client might be looking for. So maybe it's a very elevated design. Maybe it's how do you renovate, you know, a small space and make it feel grand. It's those questions that your ideal client are asking. It's the type of videos they want to see. For example, like my ideal client, well I, I don't work for clients, but my ideal audience is looking for content on how to elevate your home, how to find the best budget friendly, you know, rugs or curtains. So then I know that I'm gonna go into Amazon and Target and Home Goods and try to find those things that feel elevated and have really great materiality. So those questions that your ideal person or client is asking is the kind of video that you should focus on.

AC 00:41:36

So you mentioned earlier that you'll start to see what resonates with your audience and what doesn't. And you should lean into that, again off script, I'm sorry Arvin, but, what happens when you start to gain traction from an audience that wasn't the audience you thought you were targeting? And do you have any advice on when you decide is this an opportunity to pivot and is this my new audience? Because I feel like you experienced that personally when you transitioned from fashion content to home content. And I can see that maybe an interior designer starts doing short form video and they had X audience in mind and it ends up going viral with Y audience. How does that change your focus and do you lean into that or does that become a whole different job?

AO 00:42:33

I think you have to lean into it because the content that you are putting out in some way or form is relating back to your brand and your business. And it might be an unexpected thing. And for me it wasn't your design. I, you know, I came from the fashion world, but I saw an opportunity in interiors where at the time on YouTube there wasn't that many creators kind of doing the same kind of content. And maybe for an interior designer a video of, you know, a video of you sharing a favorite product can go viral and suddenly that product, you know, is linked to an affiliate brand and affiliate marketing and suddenly is creating revenue for your business. And you're like, wait, I can share these little product videos and it will actually help my business. Yes, of course I should, you know, lean into this because people are hungry for that kind of videos and you don't have to do it all the time. But if you're seeing people respond to that kind of video, go for it. Do it because it's going to for sure just help your brand and your business in the long run.

AC 00:43:49

Amazing. I just could talk to you forever. I <laugh> find you so inspiring. I'd love to talk specifically about YouTube. I know we've talked about video in general. Obviously I'm interested in YouTube because we just ventured tiptoed into it and it, it's, it's a chore. It's a thing <laugh>, but it is. But I do absolutely see, even just from a, you know, from our design studio that specializes in web design, I see the incredible SEO value of YouTube. There's evergreen longevity to YouTube and discoverability in YouTube that other platforms just don't have. So what are questions an interior designer should ask themselves before starting a YouTube channel? Like what are the things you have to have lined up to be able to put in the amount of time, effort, and resources to make it worthwhile?

AO 00:44:45

For sure, I think you should ask yourself if this is going to be a great extension for your business. And I mean the short answer is it is going to be a great extension for your business, but you also want to ask yourself, will you have time to create this, these videos? And do you have time to edit them? And if you don't, you have to find an editor, find a videographer. And I think as interior designers, you're shooting all of these amazing projects. I'm sure you have someone on your team or know someone that can facilitate those videos for you. And you know, YouTube is such a beast. It is a full-time job in itself, or it could be part-time, but you know, also ask yourself, how many videos are you going to put out? Are you going to do it once a week? Are you gonna do it twice a week? Are you doing it as projects are finished? And be okay with, you know, posting once every three weeks, once every two weeks. You also just need to ask yourself, what are you capable of? Don't be, don't feel bad if you know you can't do videos every week because time doesn't permit. Whatever that cadence is, whatever works for you, make it work for you and just, just just start. Just do it. Go for it.

AC 00:46:15

Speaking of cadence, do you feel or have you experienced any truth to you have to post X, Y, and Z frequently on YouTube? Is it because it's a little more evergreen? Is that not as true as it might be on Instagram? Is there like a certain number you should be hitting?

AO 00:46:34

So on YouTube, when you create content that's evergreen, it does get discovered all the time. For example, I have a video that I filmed maybe two years ago now that is still getting viewed, that is still getting watched. So I think it just depends on you as a business, whether you are doing it every week or biweekly, but posting consistently does help your channel grow and it will help, you know, drive eyes into your channel because you're kind of training your audience like, oh, they're posting every Friday, so I'm looking forward to design content every Friday. Or if it's you know, biweekly, that works as well. But if you are creating these evergreen videos, you don't have to do it every single week. I think, I think a video every week is probably the best. But even if you're doing it biweekly, I think you'll be okay.

AC 00:47:35

I know everyone listening is rolling their eyes and freaking out because every other week producing a video sounds like a lot. But I think you mentioned a really good option if you're only posting videos at the time of a big reveal and that's the cadence that works for you. I think the consistency of we post every time we have a big reveal feels really good too. But that is a really good tidbit to know that we have to keep on making videos every week, I guess <laugh>.

AO 00:48:04


AC 00:48:05

Okay. So logistics, talk to us about how to title YouTube videos because this seems to have a huge weight in the success of a video.

AO 00:48:18

YouTube is just another search engine, actually it's the second largest search engine next to Google. So when you're titling your videos, you want to think about keywords and SEO, especially in the beginning if you are wanting videos that are information driven. You want to look at, you know, let's go back to those questions that your ideal client is asking. Think about those questions and create a video around that. Or you know, with, in the interior design industry, a big project reveal is, is great. I mean people love seeing a before and after, so try to tie that into your title and make it short and sweet. The shorter it is, the better. And you can kind of fluff the description with details and all of the links and all of the little things you want your audience to know. That all goes in the description, but the title, if it's short and sweet, I find that that's the most valuable and I find that that's the most click-worthy kind of titles.

AC 00:49:26

Amazing. That is so, so, so helpful. Okay, last couple of questions. I know you are so busy, so we'll squeeze these in here. Can you explain a little bit about how to monetize a YouTube for those interior designers who are looking at this as an option or an opportunity to diversify their revenue streams?

AO 00:49:46

Yes, and you know what's funny? I am so passionate about monetizing video content because it really has changed my life. And so if I can share any bit of knowledge, I am happy to. And YouTube, the way you monetize YouTube is a little bit confusing in the beginning. You have to have 1000 subscribers and 4,000 watch time hours in order to monetize your channel and make it available for ads to play during your videos. So when you watch a YouTube video, there's usually an ad that plays before. There's also an ad that might might play in the beginning and those ads generate income for your YouTube videos. So the more people watch your channel, the more people click on your videos, the more ads that play, the more revenue that you know generates for your videos. And this can be, you know, if your videos go viral, that income can be really, really large.

AO 00:50:56

And that's just a small part of monetization on YouTube. You can also monetize in a form of brand partnerships. So brand collaborations or maybe you are promoting a product that you love, but my favorite way of monetizing a video is affiliate links and affiliate marketing. As interior designers or creatives, people are asking and people are wanting, where are you getting all of these things? Where are you getting all of these amazing products? And think of it as a service when you are linking these items or something similar in your description box for things that your audience are asking you for. And these affiliate links, if you combine them with these evergreen videos that are always getting views, it will generate such a great amount of income and revenue stream for your business. And I am telling you, I have videos that I have filmed two years ago now that are consistently generating income thanks to affiliate links and marketing.

AC 00:52:08

Wow, that's jaw dropping. I mean it's just amazing. I think we all know the answer to this, but to clarify, which one of the platforms you are on generates the most money for you and has it always been the case?

AO 00:52:24

The biggest platform has always been YouTube. I think brands are willing to pay a lot more money for brand partnerships. And again, when you're, when a video does well, you're creating income with your ad revenue and you're creating income with affiliate marketing and it, it adds on, right? Like the more, the more views, the more income, the more clicks, the more income.

AC 00:52:50

And I mean, you think about an Instagram post or story, I mean a story's only up for 24 hours and a post while it's on there, it takes someone quite a bit more searching to go back and find those. So I completely understand why YouTube would be absolutely the front runner in that sense.

AO 00:53:06


AC 00:53:07

Is there anyone else in the industry that you think is doing video super well that we should check out? Particularly in the interior space?

AO 00:53:17

You know, that is such a great question. So the type of content that I love to watch on YouTube is from publications like Dwell and you know, Seed Magazine. I feel like, I don't know, I, I love looking at interior designers and you know, shelter publications and how they translate video and so inspiring and you can really learn some tips and video video skills with the way they edit their videos because it's so smooth, it's so inspiring, and I use that and I use those tips and what I learn in my videos as well in how I elevate my content.

AC 00:54:04

I think that is such a great example and I have to look both of those up and spend some hours watching their video content. Arvin. As always, I like to end our episodes with something special for our listeners. Do you have anything up your beautiful sleeves that you can give us a preview of?

AO 00:54:23

So right now I am working on a budget-friendly rug collection that I can't say much of yet, but I don't know what it is about rugs. I just love rugs and I collect them like I collect art and I just feel like rugs are one of those things that are like so hard to find and it's so expensive. So I wanted to create a collection that was approachable for everyone to dive into and create these beautiful, foundational, beautiful tactile rugs that they can have in their homes. And it's gonna be coming out later this year.

AC 00:55:07

That is so exciting. I cannot wait. I'm gonna hold off on buying any rugs for the Tudor just so I can wait for yours. Arvin, it has been such a joy talking to you today. Thank you so much for your time. I know you're immensely busy to carve out an hour to spend with me just means the world. I am so grateful to have you here.

AO 00:55:25

Anastasia, thank you so, so much. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be on the podcast.

AC 00:55:31

Well have a very happy holiday and I will talk to you very soon.

AO 00:55:35

You too. Bye.

AC 00:55:40

Arvin. I have loved every minute of following your journey over the past three years and I'm so excited to continue watching your growth and success. Listeners, you can keep up with Arvin over on YouTube and Instagram @arvinolano or his website After this episode. I truly believe that every single one of you listening will realize that although video is hard work, video is possible, you have something to contribute, the returns are totally there and it is the way forward in marketing and content creation. As always, you'll find all of the links to the resources Arvin mentioned in today's episode as well as the full transcript over at If you loved today's episode, don't forget to subscribe. We are committed to serving up informative business and marketing content for interior designers and talking with some of the most pioneering names in the industry. You'll find us on Spotify, Apple Podcast, YouTube, or wherever you're tuning in from right now. I'm your host, Anastasia Casey, and this is the Interior Collective, a podcast for the business of beautiful living.


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