Smart Ways to Market Your Interior Design Business
Some tried and true ways to pick up new business.
Marketing your design firm sounds simple…in theory. But with the time and energy it takes servicing our clients and keeping current projects running smoothly, it is easy to forget we need to continually market ourselves for future projects.
So how do you juggle your current projects while picking up new business at the same time?
Here are a few helpful ways:
Your Website: Potential clients like to peruse your work in the privacy of their own home without you knowing they are even considering you for a project. Many times this is the first impression a potential client has of us, and it needs to be a good one. Be sure to hire a pro to help you build a site (see our post on DIY versus Professional websites).
Word-of-Mouth (Referrals): The greatest compliment a client can give you is to refer you to one of their friends. I have picked up some of my biggest projects this way.
Facebook: Facebook is an effective tool for interacting with people not only in the interior design field, but also with potential clients. It is a great way to keep our audience abreast of pictures of our work as well as what is going on within our firm. If the projects you post are exciting, it won't feel like marketing either.
Twitter: I have met design bloggers, publicists, and even magazine field editors from this type of social media, and it is a wonderful tool for connecting with people all over the country who are in the design field.
Pinterest: Pinning pictures for future ideas the new craze. In a business like ours, a visual example plays on our emotions and is a great way to promote our own work. Create pins for projects, moods, trends or seasons – whatever you want to share with potential clients.
Build Relationships in the Business: This includes architects, shop owners, magazine field editors, and third party vendors you rely on such as painters, upholsterers, or even landscapers. Form relationships with people in the design industry as they can be great referrals to those looking for a designer. I picked up a nice size project because an employee in a design store told her friend, whose husband is an architect, about me and my work. After interviewing with the architect and his client, I was hired to do the renovation. Projects can often come from unexpected places.
Blogging: Blogging is a great way for readers to get to know you and learn more about your taste and style. It is also a great way to document current projects and thoughts for future ones as well.
Being Featured on Other Blogs: Design blogs have become a great way to introduce new talent as well as feature the work of designers who have been around. Many of these top design blogs have several thousand hits a month, so if you can be featured on one of them, it is a great way to introduce yourself to your target audience.
Speaking Events: Whether speaking to a garden club, antique show or television segment, anytime you can promote your knowledge in the design field, do it. Plus, you never know who may be listening to you speak, and what their needs might be.
I hope these marketing tools are as helpful to you and they have been to me in growing my design firm. Consistency in following through is vital; nothing worthwhile can be completed in just one easy step.
Dana Wolter is a designer based in Birmingham, Alabama who has worked on residential and small commercial projects across the United States. She is known for creating custom interiors that are naturally sophisticated yet truly functional. Dana also contributes television segments on the home for NBC-13 Daytime Alabama and the Mountain Brook, AL television station, MBTV. Her website and blog can be found at www.danawolterinteriors.com.