5. Get more online reviews
More and more people are relying on third-party review websites (think Yelp, Facebook, or Houzz) to find local interior designers. If you do not have any online reviews for your business, you are already missing out!
Companies with high ratings and positive reviews tend to get the most exposure on these websites! This can mean more eyes on your work, additional visits of your website, and more calls to your work phone. Wouldn't that be nice? If you are not sure how to get more online reviews, you may want to consider using an online reputation management tool to simplify the process.
As reviews come in, make sure to read them! This feedback can help you grow your business and learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, you may get a negative review from time to time. Don't panic! If you choose to respond, do so respectfully and politely. If possible, do your best to rectify the situation. In the meantime, encourage your happy clients to leave positive reviews.
9. Use social media to build an audience
Is your business on Facebook or Twitter? Are you active on Pinterest or Instagram? If you are not familiar with social media at all, it can be difficult to know where to begin. You can start by creating an account on just one of these platforms. Your first "followers" will likely be your family members, friends, neighbors, and past customers. By posting pictures and sharing helpful design advice on a regular basis, you will start to see your audience grow!
While social media can be an important marketing strategy for some companies, it may not work for everyone. It can also take a lot of time to create good content and monitor these accounts. If you feel that you are not getting a good return on investment, your time may be better spent elsewhere.
11. Print flyers, business cards, and brochures
Believe it or not, there is still a place for printed marketing materials! While it may seem "old school", a well-designed brochure is a great tool to keep in your tool belt. This is particularly true if your typical client is over the age of 50. While younger clients may prefer to look at a photo gallery on your website or your social media accounts, older clients may prefer to have something that they can hold in their hands. You can also pass these out at networking events, conferences, trade shows, or home & garden expos.
12. Encourage and incentivize referrals
Referrals are the core of any successful interior design business. When someone is referred to your business by a trusted friend, you have already won half the battle. When you do great work and provide excellent customer service, your clients will naturally refer you.
If you are able to develop a steady stream of referral business, your company will stay busy all year long. Say good-bye to your slow season!
Unfortunately, word-of-mouth advertising doesn't happen over night. Building a referral incentive program can be great way to jumpstart the process - especially if you are just starting out. For example, you could offer $100 gift card for any referral that turns into a sale. You might also offer a discount on future design services. Whatever you decide on, make sure you put it in writing and advertise the offer to your existing customer base.
13. Start a blog and post regularly
Blogging is one way to stand out from other local designers and get additional traffic to your website.
Writing blogs can help to improve the search engine optimization (or SEO) of your website.
It also gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge and demonstrate your expertise to potential customers and referral sources. Don't be afraid to show off a little bit. Every time you publish a new post, make sure to share it on social media or put a link to the content in your email newsletter.
If you are unsure what to write about, we have a few ideas to get you started. Here are a few interior design blog topic ideas:
- Write about your design aesthetic and style
- Describe your pricing methodology
- Share helpful design advice, how-to guides, and DIY tips
- Document all the details of a past job (include before and after pictures)
- Answer a common question that you get from clients all the time
15. Simplify your life with software
It's hard to be successful if you are not organized. If you need help running your business more efficiently,
there are some interior design software options that may be of interest to you. This software can be used to track your time, manage projects, schedule appointments, prepare invoices, and monitor spending - all in one place. While there are many software options to choose from, we recommend finding one that is built with interior designers in mind.
16. Run a pay-per-click advertising campaign
Pay-per-click (or PPC) ads appear at the top and bottom of almost every search engine results page. When someone does a Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo to search for "local interior designers", your ad could appear at the top of the page. You are charged when someone clicks on your ad (hence the name "pay per click"). This is an effective method of getting targeted traffic to your website.
?While there are no guarantees, pay per click is a reliable marketing channel for many interior designers. If you have some basic tech skills, you can probably set up your first campaign on your own. It's important to set a realistic budget and monitor your campaign regularly. If this feels overwhelming to you, you can outsource this work. Hiring a PPC agency to help you out is another good option!
17. Join an industry association
There are several benefits to joining a professional association. This may include greater online exposure for your business, vendor discounts, networking opportunities, trainings and conferences, and access to marketing and lead generation resources. Overall, joining an association offers supportive resources to interior design businesses so you don’t have to go it alone. Interior designers may be interested in joining the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Interior Design Society (IDS), or several other organizations.
Check this out: See what our members had to say about ASID and ISD!
19. Do the little things and do them well
It’s the little things that make the biggest difference! Show up on time, return phone calls promptly, respond to emails, and treat every client like your best client. If you delivery a valuable service at a reasonable price, your business will be successful. Positive word of mouth will keep new leads coming your way.
Last Updated: October 3, 2018