Sep 26, 2017 | Payel Mukherjee
Interior Design marketing is a highly visual business. There is a lot your photos and videos can do that words simply can’t. But in the online world, you need to be adept at using both to be able to attract clientele. An industry that has been highly dependent on client referrals and word of mouth until a few years back, designers are now warming up to the possibility of alternate means of marketing which are not only good but essential for their business.
The thing about marketing your interior design business is that it needs to be done constantly – not just when you have a downtime. Only then will the workflow keep coming. This takes up a considerable amount of your time and efforts but is a necessary part of your business. Luckily, if you do it right online, there are a lot of little ‘set it and forget it’ marketing techniques that can work well for your business. We have a mix of techniques and useful resources below that can work as a great starting point. These are techniques that are working for the industry right now.
A good ol’ website is still necessary
There is a 95%+ chance that potential clients will refer your website before contacting you. A website is still considered to be an authentic identity of your brand that summarizes your online profile. So get the right brand name and website. Wordpress has the best responsive design themes for interior design websites that offer a good plug and play solution. You can check out Wordpress has the best responsive design themes for interior design websites that offer a good plug and play solution. You can check out 13 of the highly recommended themes here. Think of having a clean website with simple navigation. Here some easy ways to that.
a. Say it with pictures
Add elaborate sections to showcase your work. In case you are having the site designed by a professional, you can always check with them on the best way to keep updating your ‘My Work’ page to showcase your latest work. The timeline on this page will tell your potential clients how fresh your site is and the amount of work that’s coming your way. This section needs to have completely drool-worthy ‘Houzz’ like pics. So you may need to invest in a professional photographer to click the interior work you’ve done. It’s a worthwhile investment – we can tell you that. The pics get used in multiple places from social posts to listings making them a valuable traffic driver. Besides, they also show your work in the best light possible (no pun intended).
b. Testimonials matter
Although many people doubt the credibility of a testimonial page, connecting your work page to the testimonial each project has received is a great way to gain user trust. Besides, if you have good testimonials, it is always nice to let the world know about them. Common concerns like completing work on time, using quality materials, trustworthy staff and having a patient demeanour can all come out on this page right as your clients see you.
Last but not the least, it is a must for your website to have a blog. It allows you to share updates in the form of text content that both your human and non-human followers (read search engine spiders) understand. High-authority cornerstone content also acts as a link magnet.
SEO for your website as a no. 1 priority
Once you have a website ready, your number one route to a marketing strategy that is more-or-less plug and play is Search Engine Optimization. It is best to hire a professional to get the job done. A professional / an agency will take care of your on-page, off-page and technical SEO which will set you on the path of ranking well for organic (non-brand) keyword searches for your location like ‘Interior Designers Mumbai’. This can send a lot of quality traffic your way whose ‘search intent’ is high and hence have a huge potential to convert into leads.
SEO does require a few ongoing tactics and if you have the right agency, you’ll have this setup like clockwork with only monitoring required from your end.
Being social helps
Social Media is chosen by several interior designers around the world to showcase their work and connect with potential clients. It also works as a good source of leads. Take for example several of the mothers and parents groups on Facebook who generally like to throw in a query into the group for interior design leads. While you can always reply to such queries directly, designers who have client recommending them here have a better chance of conversion as it is an unbiased review.
Both Instagram and Pinterest can work really well for interior designers too. You can classify your work in different categories using #tags on Instagram like the type of room or the type of design (Eg. #minimalist #studyroom #allwhite #interiors #designideas etc) Inspire Me Home Decor has 4.4M followers on Instagram. Think of the leads they would be generating with each pic share! You will also find some inspiration here.
Another facet of social is to show the human aspect of your business – the person behind the brand and how work is really done. Sharing highs, (some) lows and little things from everyday that lets you take joy and pride in your work is a great way to show that you love what you do. It also tells clients that you are authentic and human and it shows the hard work that you put into executing a project.
Connecting your online community with your offline work
One of the neat ways that a designer from Mumbai found was to start inviting a bunch of potential online clients home for a cup of tea and cookies. During the process, he got to show off the exemplary interior work done on his own home, thus winning them over. A chat of like-minded individuals in an amazing ambience and good coffee – our Mumbai designer discovered that a lot can really happen over coffee. It was a great way to convert online leads into real clients.
Use the power of videos
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Before after makeover videos attract a lot of attention and curiosity. It shows the true power of transformation that can come with interior design. It also allows your potential clients a glimpse into how you work. A video is a go-to medium that will be the most consumed form of content in the near future. To be able to use this medium properly, you’ll need an official videographer who can create and edit both short and long versions of a particular interior design work which you can use across multiple channels.
Google My Business listing
A Google My Business listing is one of the best ways to catch user attention when they are searching for your business – by brand name or via generic keywords or based on your location. From adding working hours to gathering authentic reviews (and responding to them), there is a lot a simple and free listing can do for your brand. You can showcase pictures of your work, write a short profile, pick the right category and be ready and available for client requests.
Don’t forget to request happy clients to leave a positive review online which will help boost your ranking too.
Virtual Tours in GMB
Considering that a Google My Business Virtual Tour is all about showcasing the interior ambience of a business in 360-degree view, this is by far the best thing the internet (read Google) has done for interior designers. Using a GMB Virtual tour, you can showcase your best work in 360-degree view. If you do this for a commercial space then you can also encourage them to get a GMB virtual tour done which will automatically shed light on your work and get you some superb free publicity.
Want to know who can do a Google My Business Virtual Tour for you? Click here.
Join a design community to showcase your work
There are places on the internet – very popular places – where the world goes to satisfy its interior design cravings. Showcasing picture-perfect homes and interiors that look straight out of a magazine photo shoot, Houzz is considered to be one of the top places for interior designers to showcase their work, mingle with the community, stay updated and get quality leads. In India, websites like Nestopia are also doing a great job in connecting interior designers with leads. The site gives you a competitive but productive opportunity to nurture a lead. It allows each potential client to receive a free site inspection and 2 free design pitches from 2 professionals. Once you have a great profile on a website like this, all you need is the matchmaking process to work and have work coming your way.
Be in touch with past clients via a newsletter
Since referrals continue to remain a great source of leads, it is always good to nurture your existing clients and remain in their recall zone. To do this without intruding their space, you can send newsletters every month that can ‘really’ help them. With lots of little tricks on interior design and home improvement, you can be on their radar whenever they think about someone for interior design work.
Online marketing, in a way, trains you to be your own PR machine, constantly creating new content, connecting and engaging with people. But it can get a bit exhaustive and out of control if you don’t manage your time well. If you have read this and feel you need help in marketing your interior design business, then feel free to contact us for a free consult.
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