You may have gotten into interior decorating to do what you love best, but having your own business means you also have to do promotional and managerial work, too. Having the expertise to put together an amazing living space is only the first step to building a solid reputation.
After you develop industry know-how, you still have to get your interior decorating business out into the world for clients to see! Besides running around visiting client homes and scoping out flea markets to find mid-century furniture pieces to upcycle, you must take time out to focus on marketing your business!
Luckily, you don’t need a huge budget to create some serious marketing buzz. We’ve come up with some innovative ways you can boost your brand visibility. These marketing tips will soon have your interior decorating business getting all the attention it deserves!
1. Create content people want to look at
One way to get people to pay attention to your business online is to have your website and social media pages rank high on Google—the higher they are, the more visible your business! So how can you make sure that your business hovers around the top of the search results when people are looking for interior decorators in their area? By making sure that they have enough portals to reach you!
By pumping out content relevant to your business on a regular basis, you will generate more pages, articles, and photos to share on your social media platforms! Try developing targeted content for your blog, email newsletters, and social media accounts! Large segments of users on Pinterest or Houzz LOVE interior décor and design. Many people flock to the sites for décor ideas and DIY projects—you know, stuff that you’re undeniably good at! Of course, you only need to develop a few pieces of content and repurpose them slightly differently when reposting them among your different platforms and marketing tools. The key is to deliver a punchy message for the channel where you’re advertising.
Content doesn’t just have to be limited to blog posts—think outside the box! From relaxed memes and behind-the-scenes photos to 5-minute vlogs at key conferences and interior design events that you’re attending. You can do whatever your heart desires, but you have to make sure that you still address clients and potential clients with kindness, care, and attention.
2. Make it pretty
We don’t mean that everything on your social media, website, and business cards should be themed pink and flowery. You just need to make sure that you have a design for your website and business materials that reflect your decorating style. Why make a website that is bland and boring when your actual decorating style is sophisticated and modern?
Beyond leaving potentials scratching their heads when they look over your content, you’ll also have a hard time making your business memorable when they can’t piece together your work in the field with your dull website. Cohesiveness is key! Make sure that you regularly update the look and feel of the website every couple of years! If it’s horribly outdated, people may think that you’re no longer in business or worst yet—that your decorating style is equally outdated!
Above all else, make sure your content is visually-strong. If you want to keep eyes on your content, you have to make sure that it shows off your skills and creativity!
3. Reward your clients for referring your services
Sometimes going back to basics is the best way to refresh your marketing strategy. Learn to think like a potential client! As simple as it may sound, having a referral program in place is a fantastic way to stay in touch with old clients and connect with new ones.
Your customer referral program doesn’t need to break the bank. Offer clients a discount on a future service, and put together a file where you can keep track of which clients have passed along a name (or two, or three) to you. Everyone loves to share a good experience. While clients won’t be looking to redecorate their homes every year, other people in their inner circle may be considering. Consistent referrals means consistent work! Discounts for first-time clients can be bundled with the referral program so you’ll reward both parties.
Especially when it comes to building your portfolio, you may want to consider giving something extra to clients to clients who provide a testimonial. A little incentive goes a long way!
4. Have specials!
When you put a time cap on a special offer, discount, or sale on your services, you’ll create a sense of urgency which can lead to higher sales in the days leading up to, and on the final day of the special offer. The idea is to sway clients who may be on the fence about paying for your services. Even if they don’t make a purchase, you’ll have driven more foot traffic to your website, increasing brand awareness!
To generate the most excitement, plan your special offer, flash sale, or discount in advance but offer it spontaneously. Make sure that you calculate the time and resources needed so there aren’t any surprises when there is a sudden rush of consultation bookings. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t hold special offers at a deep discount too often—not only will you not be able to generate profit by giving away your services, but you’ll also desensitize your audience. The point is NOT to devalue your work, but to make your offer a little more special than your everyday bundle.
Perhaps try working with major holidays and celebrations to theme your sales. Especially in the spring or in January, people are thinking about renovating or spring cleaning, and it can be a great opportunity for you to take advantage of the “new year, new home” mentality.
5. Team up with other businesses
Teaming up with businesses both offline and online can benefit everyone! Find out where your clients are going for other services and try to network your way to more visibility. While this is probably going to be difficult to do with large retailers, local business owners know the value of word-of-mouth marketing.
Even if you don’t have fancy business cards, a business owner that likes and respects you will recommend your services, especially if you are willing to the same. Scope out local décor shops and rustic furniture stores and see what happens. Consider volunteering your services pro bono for a local non-profit. Not only is helping to plan a fundraiser a generous thing to do, it is also a great opportunity to network while showcasing your services.
Co-branding with other interior decorators, home stagers, interior designers, and other professionals in related fields can also do wonders for your profit margin. You could offer clients more well-rounded services—do you find that most clients want to decorate their space and also increase organization in their house? You may do well if you partner up with or affiliated yourself with a professional organizer. Sharing clients and talking up each other’s services will benefit you both!
Remember, take the opportunity to pick the brain of anyone who shows interest in interior decorating services. The more you know about your potential clients, the more effectively you will be able to market your event planning business!