REPLAY: How Maria Killam Grew to 100k+ Instagram Followers

Episode #311 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Maria Killam is a decorator, stylist, speaker, educator, and true color expert in interior and exterior design. She’s also the creator of the Killam Color System, a proven system for choosing color that anyone can learn. 

Maria has always shared her work on her blog and has thousands of readers. But her Instagram never took off—until recently. Maria leveraged a popular Instagram trend and grew to 100k+ Instagram followers in mere weeks. Learn how she did it in this episode of Wingnut Social! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:48] Housekeeping: Wingnut Webinar + YouTube
  • [2:50] Mini News Sesh: Instagram Feed Videos = Reels
  • [6:43] Learn more about Maria Killam and her business
  • [12:44] The basics of the Killam color system
  • [18:00] The importance of understanding color
  • [24:44] How Maria’s eDesign business stands out
  • [29:13] How Maria feels about white interiors (and trending colors)
  • [31:51] Maria’s marketing strategy on Instagram
  • [38:36] What Maria would say to someone who wants a trendy space
  • [40:30] Maria’s What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [46:29] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Maria Killam

Resources & People Mentioned

The evolution of Maria’s business

Maria Killam launched her career while working in a paint store. She took a color course and learned how to accurately describe colors. As she helped clients choose the right colors for their homes, she started painting out large color samples and used them over and over again. 

She saw that beiges always had the same undertones: pink-beige, green-beige, yellow-beige, etc. The undertones expanded from there. Her goal is to help her clients understand undertones so their design choices are complementary and timeless. 

Maria created a color wheel tool to help people identify the undertones in their spaces to choose the right neutrals. Now Maria offers online courses and eDesign to help both designers and homeowners create timeless spaces.

Keep listening to learn how understanding color and undertones influences every design choice you’ll make.

Maria’s Strategy to gain 100k+ Instagram followers

Maria has spent a lot of time on Instagram. Why? Because people judge you as a marketer, designer, and businessperson based on your number of Instagram followers. They’re either impressed—or not. 

One day, Maria was watching an influencer who did a “10 ways to do something…” video series that they split into 10 parts. It was a light-bulb moment for Maria. So she launched her own 10-part series: “10 Finishes that Immediately Date Your New Build.” Her Instagram following grew by 100,000 followers in a matter of weeks. 

Instagram is trying to be like TikTok. It’s ALL about video. It worked for Maria because her no-nonsense personality was fully expressed in these videos. Before, she followed different random trends. Secondly, you build trust faster when they watch a video. If you’re not on video, you’re going to be behind. So how do you get started? 

Start sharing videos on your stories. They’re only 15 seconds and get you comfortable in front of the camera. Maria felt extremely awkward in her first videos. But you have to go through that awkward phase to become a rockstar on video. Maria has attracted a whole new audience. Learn how you can do the same in this episode of Wingnut Social!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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