Pinterest, Instagram, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Twitter…. argh! Do I need to be everywhere? Can I just be in one place? All I want is more clients…
As online marketing experts for the Interior Design industry, we are mostly asked “What is the perfect marketing strategy for success? Which methods are the most effective? Where will I get the biggest return on the investment? And, perhaps the most important What are my competition doing?”
The perfect marketing strategy is one which combines the trifecta of:
Trust + Familiarity + Niche
All within a sensible budget, to command a respectable ROI (Return on Investment).
Interior Designers like yourself are full of creative brilliance. When working on a clients home, you excel in perfectionism. However online, are you equally as thoughtful?
Probably not. And neither are most of your competition. Yet the designers who have grown the fastest, especially in the last 3 years have one thing in common – a strong online presence.
Exactly where are they strong? The answer: Not Everywhere. Leading Interior Designers focus on just 2 or 3 places where visibility is brightest. The same places where your design excellence is exhibited at it’s best. Visual Social Media.
We’ll get to this in a later post. For now, there is a very important action to take. Knowledge is not power… taking Knowledgeable Action is POWER. What is your important action today? To follow our three principles, that are proven to win business. Read on to learn how they apply to Interior Design businesses…
Put yourself in the shoes of your future client.
Did you really try?
This is the internal voice of the “average” Interior Design client, once they have narrowed down their selection to You and a couple of your competitors. Speaking to 526 participants, taught us:
“Well.. I like their style and the ‘look’ fits my idea of a dream home makeover.
They obviously know what they are talking about and I do feel like using them….
but this person will be in my home, will change my everything, do they really know what they are doing?
What if they don’t do what they said? Will I be alone in the process? What if they don’t complete on time? What if they really don’t ‘get’ me. Maybe they aren’t as good as I thought.
Maybe they are a risk. Perhaps I should just go with the designer my friend/neighbour/colleague used.
At least I can trust that they will get the job done. It’s a shame though. I really like this new designer I found online”
So how do you create trust? By taking clients into your world.
Take them on the story with you.
How? Exhibit your work – make sure you have a website filled with the results of your projects. Sounds like an obvious step? 72% of interior design businesses we speak to have either:
Less than 20% of their projects online
Updates that are all over a year old, or..
No website at all!
More than just posting project pictures, you need to bring the client right ‘inside’: using short videos, interviews and behind-the-scenes looks.
Because all this builds towards…
When is a potential client most likely to become a real client? After they have had 5-12 points of exposure, our research found. That is A LOT ! So you need to fast track this. The methods we mentioned with trust are exactly how to do this. In fact by telling a story in a short space of time you can build 5-7 points of exposure within a few minutes.
What content drives this?
- Pictures of your completed projects (grabs attention, engages)
- Visualisations of your ideas (shows the planning stage, exhibits care)
- Interviews of the Principal Designer (adds human aspect, shows authority)
- Feedback from happy clients (social proof)
- Short film clips of work-in-progress (or a picture storyboard)
- Human touches (pictures of you shopping for materials – enlists empathy)
- A “Call-to-Acion” – sometimes you just have to clients to pick up the damn phone!
You likely have a design style. A signature look. An era, a colour palette, a genre of design you fulfil on 80% of your projects. And you likely don’t make this known explicitly. Sure, viewing the finished projects gives a good idea… yet here is the trick: Define your Niche and SHOUT ABOUT IT!
Most designers don’t “pigeon hole” themselves, fearing this will drive away potential clients, not allow them to exploit every opportunity, hold back their creativity, or just because they don’t know better.
Think about this: you visit certain clothes shops because they “fit your style.” You stay in certain hotels because they “match your lifestyle.” You drive a certain car because it “matches your needs and wants.”
Your design business is the same – it should appeal to a specific section of society. Not everyone. Just like we only work with Interior Design businesses, your clients want to work with a designer that fits them.
Prime Central London?
It doesn’t matter what your niche is. What matters is you advertise that you fit a certain niche.
It reduces your competition.
You appear as an authority in the niche.
Clients immediately know if they are likely to want your services or not (saving wasted meetings).
Your client targeting becomes laser focused = cheaper and more effective = more profitable.
You build a community and referrals from a specific, high value set of partners (for free).
How to Fast Track Success
Answer: INSTAGRAM. In our next post we will show how this one social media platform performs better than all others when it comes to Design Businesses! Building a strong Instagram presence, attracting a significant number of followers and driving engagement ticks all the boxes you need to achieve to boost client conversions. Of course you don’t have the time or knowledge to do this. That’s ok… WE DO. Interior Design Media specialise in advising on / curating content, building a following, driving engagement.