Basic Practices for Marketing your Interior Design Business
I watched/listened to a webinar recently called “8 Easy Ways to Market Yourself That You May Have Never Considered. ” Hosted by business coach Nancy Ganzekaufer (below left) with communications expert/author Amy Flurry (right) as her guest, they each provided easy tips for DIY marketing. When it was over, I had 11 tips in my notebook.
Though you’re probably already taking action on many of these marketing suggestions in your own interior design business, a refresher can't hurt. Here are the takeaways that I got:
The first step in any marketing plan is to figure out who you are and define your purpose. Get straight on that and then determine what you want from your communications efforts.
PARTICIPATE IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES
Try out a forum, such as Quora, and determine your specialty or specialties. Start answering questions because that'll get your name out there circulating in the right spaces.
LOOK TO NEWER MEDIA
Tune into interior design and related business podcasts and radio shows and comment on the content. Offer yourself as a guest as hosts of these shows are always on the lookout for talent.
GIVE A HOLLER
Figure out who complements what you do and support that person or group. Shout out to those with whom you would like to build a relationship or with those who teach you things or have helped your business. Extend your reach by supporting others.
Get out and share your life. People are attracted to vibrant energy. Live and gather plenty to talk about along the way.
DON’T WAIT FOR PERFECT
When it comes to sharing on social media don’t be afraid to put something out there that’s not 150% belabored. Perfectionism can be paralyzing, and you can delete Instagram posts anyway!
PARTICIPATE IN TRADE EVENTS
There are a vast number of educational events and panels at industry shows and design centers. Get to know the marketing teams at these venues and offer yourself as an expert. Plant the seed! They need content too!
BECOME AN EXPERT
Become a reliable expert in your local market as local is likely where your clients are. And make sure you have a photo of you looking like the expert you are so that local media can use it.
INVEST IN PHOTOGRAPHY
When it comes to pitching a story, great photography always helps. Offering beautiful content that you have produced is a win-win. If you can make someone else’s blog or website more beautiful by being a guest writer or regular contributor, it’s a pretty sure thing that they will want to collaborate.
DIVIDE + CONQUER
Break a pitch opportunity into multiple facets. Cover a new project or install in multiple ways: take video, stills, and Boomerangs if appropriate. Create several social media posts from one blog. Leave no stone unturned.
PITCH AND FOLLOW IT UP
Do your homework; contact the right editor for the pitch. Keep track of communication and follow it up. If you don’t follow up, you many as well not pitch at all. Editors are busy and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 sends to get their attention and the best way to do that, besides a succinct note, is to embed a great photo into the body copy of your email.
This was my first time joining one of Nancy's live events, and I really enjoyed it. Since the webinar, I have also tuned into her Friday Weekend Wine Down. As for Amy, longtime colleague and friend, her first book Recipe for Press was a runaway success among entrepreneurs especially interior designers. In January, Amy is coming out with a follow-up book specifically written for interior designers and we can't wait to read it. Thank you ladies for the valuable and timeless information and insights.
I leave you with Amy's wonderfully casual low-pressure definition of marketing that she shared during the webinar:
"Marketing is sharing and connecting with people you don’t know."
(Top title image: This photo illustrating #7, was taken during the summer '17 Las Vegas Market as Benjamin Johnston, Jaime Rummerfield & Ron Woodson, and Julia Buckingham talked trends in the Ahead of the Curve seminar with Luxe Interiors + Design Style Editor Kate Bergeron. )