Kristin Giese is a talent manager, brand developer, and executive producer. She began her career building the Nate Berkus brand (amongst other talent). Over her career, she’s partnered with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Target, TLC, NBC, P&G, GMC, and many more. Her storied career and expertise is a welcome addition to this episode of the Wingnut Social podcast. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [3:14] The Wingnut Social Webinar 
  • [5:50] All about Kristin Giese
  • [9:10] TV is not about vanity
  • [11:35] How to position yourself on social media
  • [19:30] Why interior design stars catch so much shade
  • [22:32] What can you gain from being a design star?
  • [25:26] Do production companies own you?
  • [27:54] What you should know about the path to stardom
  • [33:30] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [36:28] Kristin’s Book: Unverified
  • [36:59] Connect with Kristin
  • [40:45] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Kristin Giese

Resources & People Mentioned

What being a design star is NOT about

Kristin’s first piece of advice: It can’t be all about you. She states that “Television—for all of its vanity—is NOT a vanity project.” Before you become a design star—and can’t pick out a head of lettuce without being recognized—you have to put in the work and be humble. Kristin sees a lot of people who use “I’m the next big…” terminology and make the experience all about what matters to them. 

But she points out that “The people that are really successful on television are making it about the audience.” You NEED to start with what matters to the audience—the people at home watching your show. How do you fill those shoes? How are you uniquely skilled to step within that role? Do you have someone in mind to co-star with you? 

The hero of the story needs to be the observer—not you

How social media influences your crack at design stardom

Kristin believes that social media is a critical element in your design star journey. It’s your resume that exists in the world—you can’t let it sit in the back of your drawer collecting dust. You have to be consistently active and committed to posting and sharing who you are on various platforms. The top 9 on Instagram? Those three rows should tell the viewer exactly who you are. People should experience a three-dimensional you in those nine images. 

It’s also imperative that you become comfortable with showing yourself in photos and videos. If you want to be an HGTV design star your face will be everywhere. If you want to be on television you are the brand. You can’t be resistant to the idea of showing yourself or you’ll struggle on TV. 

Kristin notes that an audience shows up for people that they know: “The people who really connect make us feel who they are.” Are you funny? Stylish? An overworked Mom? An audience doesn’t want to just see perfection—they want to see the true versions of yourself that make you human. 

As Kristin likes to put it: “Content is King, Character is Queen. Forever shall they reign.” Your social media must mesh the two. 

Fact vs fiction: Design star reality

Kristin points out that the path to stardom is never the straight line that you think it will be. Infact, you rarely make your money on television. The real money is made in the way you can go out in the world and create endorsement opportunities, sell books, etc. Being a design star is simply a tool to leverage to be able to do other things.

This idea that you go on television and you immediately get rich and famous is folklore. The road to get there is far longer. Kristin’s seen networks cut shows that were in development for over a year. It’s the nature of the game—it’s failure after failure until it’s not.

So you have to know your heart. What is your motivation for being on TV? Is your desire to reach a broader audience? Do you want endorsement work? Being a design star gives you a large platform. Kristen notes that it’s also really fun. It’s amazing to watch someone’s life change when you makeover their home. 

So what type of portfolio do you need? How does the behind-the-scenes look working with producers for your own show? It is a linear progression? Kristin answers these questions and so much more in this episode. You HAVE to listen to the whole thing!

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