3 Online Marketing Tips for Interior Designers You Can’t Afford to Ignore
Online marketing allows your business to reach a client base that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Growing your design business online is the number one place to start in 2022.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to broaden your interior design client base, digital marketing is where it’s at. And yes, it might sound complex and way outside of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to be! I have three valuable tips to help you grow your interior design business with online marketing, coming up next!
Know Your Ideal Customer(s)
This is numero uno. Here’s where you’ll lay the entire foundation for your digital marketing strategy- no pressure, right? But really, it’s easy, and kind of fun! First, decide who you need to reach. Who are your ideal customers? Usually it’s just one, two, and maybe three so really give this some thought. Who is that cream of the crop, ideal customer persona for your business? Build a profile based on what these potential clients want and need as well as list out their challenges and pain points so you can address all of this in your marketing.
Next, work to understand everything you possibly can about these clients. This will help you create relevant and authentic content that resonates with them in a way that builds their trust with and leads them to hire YOU. From here, Mr. Internet does the rest, catching you and your business in their search for designers and their social feeds.
So what exactly should you find out about your dream clients? All of it… there’s nothing you shouldn’t want to know, really. Where do their kids take swimming lessons? Where do they get their botox? What are their favorite coffee shops and date night spots?
When considering which avenues to market, it’s vital to know where these customers are consuming their information so you can choose the most effective avenue(s) in which to reach them. Most people absorb information through different avenues these days so it’s up to you to determine the MOST relevant avenue for your ideal customer. If just starting out, focus on the two most relevant avenues and evolve from there. I’ll outline a few possibilities below:
- Are they on social media? If so, which platforms specifically? Choose the 2 or max 3 of the most relevant platforms, build a strong content strategy and evolve from there.
- Are they professionals and accessing email constantly? These clients are great candidates for email campaigns
- Do these clients search the world wide web for services? Um, yes… unless your ideal client is a wild animal. So a blog is an absolute must. And if you’re thinking “hello, MICHELLE! I’m a designer not a writer,” don’t stress! There are lots of brilliant writers out there that will do this for you.
You’ll need to customize your original content for the platforms you choose and to get the attention of your target audience. Don’t necessarily follow the trends you’re seeing online, those don’t always translate well to your audience. Relatable content for your audience is key.
Have a Professional and Optimized Website
Think of your social media as a supporting role to your website. A website is your digital storefront. You still need a hub for your information. Everything you do online will direct potential clients to your website, where you’ll have a wealth of information regarding your business that builds you and your company as an authority in this industry (or it should).
Your website has to look good- it legitimizes your business and helps people find you. Both of these are crucial elements in building your business. As a designer dealing with high net worth homeowners, this isn’t a “yeah I need to do that,” situation, it’s an absolute must.
Also, you’re a designer (a talented one, at that), and people are going to expect an aesthetically pleasing website. If you just don’t think you can swing a full website, go with a landing page, at minimum. Although I think you’ll be surprised at how far a full website can take you.
Finally, when building your website, consider any and all possible keywords and buzzwords that your potential customers might use when searching for design services. Then, make sure that you use these naturally as much as possible. Don’t stuff keywords in where they don’t fit, that will undo all of the credibility you’re building.
Create a Content Plan
It’s official, you need a blog, email campaign, and social media content. Or, at least some of these things (again, if you want to make a splash- go with all three). Here’s what you need to know about developing a content strategy.
Keep in mind that new designers that are just starting out, or solo-preneurs that are doing this all on their own don’t need to jump right into social media. You can do it all, but you don’t have to do it all, all at once, and you definitely don’t want to spread yourself too thin. This is one of those pick-one-or-two-things-to-be-really-good-at-first-and-don’t-overcommit scenarios.
Email campaigns are a good place to start, because they’re fairly simple. And you can choose the frequency at which you send them out, whereas social media has to be often and consistent, as do blogs.
Your main goal with an email campaign is to stay relevant and fresh in your previous and potential clients minds as well as remind them to hire you again (about that second home you just purchased….) and to refer you to their powerful network of high-net-worth friends. Your emails need to be relevant, educational and inspiring, so “oh hey, I just saw something about that in an email from you-know-who,” is the first thought, and your name is right there.
A blog may also be best as you build your imagery bank since social media is so heavy in visual creative. If you’re relatively new, you can start here while you work up to social media. Your blog should be keyword optimized to achieve the goal of meeting potential clients in their search for your services and then leading them to your website.
Just imagine, your dream client is searching for design services that offer beautiful kitchen designs that work for big families, so they do a quick Google search with those keywords… Thankfully, you have a blog on that topic, or something similar with those keywords, because you did your research and you know your potential clients.
Before you know it, they’re on your website, contemplating whether or not they need to hire a designer. And of course, once they see your impressive website, they know that yes, they do need to hire a designer and that designer is you.
ProTip: Local businesses should put locally-relevant keywords into play here.
If you’re ready for social media and still doing your own marketing, I recommend starting with the two most relevant platforms where your ideal client is most active, and then evolving to the next relevant platforms from there. Be prepared to post frequently, and at optimal times for engagement.
You want to inspire, educate, entertain, and build authority with your target audience. Then, lead them to hire you and your team with a direct call to action here and there. Use content planning apps like Tailwind to help you design, schedule, and post your social media content efficiently.
Here are some ideas of content that does well with interior designers:
- Project features from your best designs
- Before and after - People love a good transformation!
- Problem to Solution - Share how you achieve your client’s dream spaces and make their lives easier -that stuff is contagious!
- Build authority - Don’t be afraid to brag a little here and there. You need to show your expertise, awards, and accolades to build trust with a high net worth client. Press articles and testimonials are a great way to achieve credibility as a knowledgeable and talented designer.
The Last Word
… Because you know I have to say it! While I firmly believe that you absolutely can do all of these things, and you need to do all of these things, you by no means have to do them alone. I’ve built my design business from the ground up using digital marketing, and I’d love to help you do the same.
From fabrics to finances, I’ll coach you through the business side of running a thriving, profitable interior design business (without boring you to tears — and that’s a promise). You want to spend your days creating beautiful spaces — not trying to juggle finances, contracts, hiring, marketing, and processes all on your own. (Not to mention managing clients who don’t seem to understand boundaries.)
So if you feel like you’re ready to check off these online marketing endeavors, but you want a guide to help you along the way, give a little click right here to contact me, or visit my free community to join forces with other designers just like you. I also have a few openings left in the Business Bakery. I’m here to help you in all ways!