As always, I hope that this finds you well in your lives, and that you are fully embracing color. Life is boring without it and you know it!!
I want to talk today about my latest professional certification, Specifying Colour With Confidence, with Maria Killam www.mariakillam.com. Over the past 12 years, I have feverishly pursued color education, having been credentialed in about 5 different areas. Just as is the case with other professions such as medical and accounting, in the broad field of color there is a need for continuing education. LFB Color Consulting, my company, is all about remaining at the forefront of the color industry and staying on my/our A-game.
Disclaimer: No, Maria did not put me up to writing this post, and she is not expected here to endorse me in any way, but we DID take a picture together the last day of class. Hahaha! Now that we got that out of the way............
The training with Maria, aptly titled "Specifying Colour With Confidence," was held in Dallas, Texas, back in May at the Stoneleigh Hotel. Over the course of three days, we discussed color theory, detecting undertones presented in whites and neutrals such as beige, greige and taupe, and the business of color specifying and how to market yourself.
I deliberately waited until now to write about my training and the experience, so as to have a few months to determine if the course was "worth it." Being "worth it" can mean many things to many people, right? In my case, I determine if a course is worth both my time and financial investment based on FIVE criteria. All five criteria must be met before I recommend any course.
The five criteria are: return on investment, the presenter's knowledge base, his or her clout in the industry, quality color tools to be used following the training, and post training support.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
The course is a three-day event involving tuition, hotel, and some meal and transportation costs. Have I recouped all of my investment? YES, and it has only been a couple of months. As a business owner, I look at things from a long-term perspective. A course is worth my time and money if I can recoup full investment over a span of about 12 months. I'm pretty much set to recoup all costs in the next couple of months, so we are ahead of plan. Yes, honey!
Having this certification distinguishes me in my field, as well, because it demonstrates that I took the time to gain an even deeper understanding of paint color and color in general. This gives me a competitive advantage and will result in more clients. I am already seeing that.
PRESENTER'S INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE + EXPERIENCE
I will shoot straight with you all. I only want to be associated with the best in my industry. Period. For years now I have sought certifications from those color trainers who have the most experience in their given field. I have been trained by some of the color world's best, including Kathryn Kalisz of Sci\ART and Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, as well as Darin Wright, creator of the personal color analysis system I now use in determining personal colors for makeup + wardrobing www.ebhues.com.
Maria Killam is one of the most recognized faces in her field of paint and interiors, with of course exteriors in the mix. Color is a largely unregulated field, so I have to be discerning when considering my choices in training.
Maria is qualified to conduct training using her own system because, well, she has lived it and breathed it and made all of the mistakes (She claims this herself in the training, even showing us some of her past projects that she would do differently now and in hindsight) to come full circle and learn WHAT DOES WORK. She HAS put in the time and effort to notice which colors are specified over and over with success. She developed a logical, ordered system for understanding undertones. This system is recognized officially by professional interior design associations!
PRESENTER'S CLOUT + PRESENCE IN THE INDUSTRY
With thousands and thousands of social media followers, Maria has definitely made a name for herself. I have personally witnessed this, as I began following her first on Twitter about 8 years ago. Steadily Maria has developed regular content, expanding and diversifying her service offerings in a very smart and entrepreneurial way. I dig that. She is well-known and at the forefront of her industry.
COLOR TOOLS OFFERED FOLLOWING TRAINING
Here is just the best part. I invested in the full set of Maria's color boards to utilize in my color consultations, and they have been a lifesaver. I simply didn't have the time to paint up my own color boards, and Benjamin Moore has over 3,000 colors. Maria simplified my life by having the most commonly specified colors painted up in advance, and these tools allow me to work much more efficiently in my consultations.
Between the color boards and my Benjamin Moore architectural fan decks, I am good to go. The in-home color consultations are running very smoothly for me, and the clients are impressed with the professional look of the boards.
POST TRAINING SUPPORT
Another cool perk post training is that I am a part of the closed Facebook group for all other True Colour Experts. We offer support and some level of referrals in this group. I love the camaraderie.
Following the three-day training, we are also given many tools and links to access as reminders of what we learned during our time together.
In closing, I will share a few of the limitations I found, as this is an honest assessment of the training. Maria's classes are not small. There is such a demand for her courses, and class size is roughly 30 to 40 people. Know in advance that you won't have much one-on-one time with Maria herself. You will have designated time, though, to work in your small groups at each table. There is benefit in that for sure. I had the opportunity to connect with fellow professionals at my table and learned quite a bit from them.
Day one of the training is all about color theory. I've been well-trained in color theory and didn't necessarily learn anything new on day one. I'd say that I learned the most on days two and three.
Day three was an eye opener in the best way because Maria outlines how she grew her business, provides tips on ways to expand your consulting business, and even shares a cool pro photography tip to incorporate immediately in your social media imagery.
Maria herself will tell you that you might leave the class feeling a bit overwhelmed, dazed, foggy and confused. We did cover a lot during the three days, and it is impossible to absorb all of the knowledge presented. Even though we all received paper certificates declaring us to be new "True Colour Experts," it wasn't until I had a few color consultations under my belt that I began to really feel like a pro in this new paint color game.
If you have a deep knowledge of color theory, then this training might not be for you, UNLESS you are moving into the area of home interior/exterior color consulting for the first time. This was the case with me. I have a very strong knowledge of color theory and specifying in most other areas of color, but the paint and home surfaces industry was new to me.
In closing, I will say that my training with Maria Killam was well worth the investment, I am making a ton of headway in my business, and clients are LOVING the color boards and my methodology applied in each color "situation."
If you are interested in learning more about Maria's training, please click this link: