You spend time choosing paint colors with names like Benjamin Moore’s ‘Tranquility’ or Farrow & Balls’ ‘Borrowed Light’. Your hands are busy caressing precious silks and the finest linens, but don’t kid yourself – interior design is a cutthroat business. You’ve got to market your business with the goal of slaying the competition.
If this sounds a tad extreme, then sit back on that Eames chair and wait for the phone to ring. Wait some more. It’s kind of like watching paint dry, isn’t it?
You know you’ve got a great eye for design and cutting edge ideas. You have a portfolio that could easily have come out of the pages of Dwell Magazine. How do you let people know your strengths? Here are some tips to build your business and engage those valuable clients.
1. Spinning a silken web: People have to be able to find you. That means you must have a fabulous website and that site has to be on the first page of Google. The higher ranking the better. It’s not going to get there if you don’t have great content. You know good design and a quality web designer knows their business.
2. Keep down the clutter: You probably tell your clients this all the time, but the same should apply to all of your marketing materials. Clean lines and clear information is calming and easy to read. Your website and other materials has to reflect your style. If your style is more in line with the wild and wonderful, like those unique boutique hotels, you should still set the backdrop for that vibrant craziness on a clean page.
3. Shine: You have to showcase your work with high-resolution images. Interior design is a visual product. Your photographs have to reflect that. There are plenty of photographers out there. If you are starting out and can’t afford to spend a lot of money, check around at the art colleges or photography schools. Look for someone who can photograph interiors, but find someone who has a unique style.
4. Moving pictures: Going viral means going video. YouTube has become one of the major forms of marketing. Show your clients how you come up with these creative ideas. Take them on a tour of a house you transformed.
5. Be a social butterfly: Have you been ignoring your Facebook and Twitter accounts? This is one of the easiest, cheapest and most successful ways to engage people.
6. Pin it! Pinterest is the end all and be all for visual imagery and feeding people’s hunger for beautiful design.
7. Brag on your blog: You can really put it all out there on your blog. Blogs are what get you noticed online. It’s a great way to educate potential clients about your services, provide decorating tips, profile your strengths and show what you can do by featuring some of your finest work.
8. Network with a newsletter: Yes, there are people who don’t like Facebook or wouldn’t know a tweet from a tweed. High-end clients who are busy with their C-suite careers don’t have time to check into your blog every day. The way to reach those important clients is with a regular newsletter. By sending your newsletter through secure email, you ensure clients that you are security conscious and your email won’t be flagged as spam.
9. App-etite for success: Your clients are just as driven as you are. They probably read many of their emails or search for businesses on their smartphones. Mobile marketing is crucial in today’s world.
10. Link it up: Connect all of your marketing efforts. A newsletter allows you to link to all of your channels and reach more clients. It’s like lighting. Why have one lamp when you can put ten smaller ones around the room to highlight every feature?