So you’ve done the hard yards and have invested ample time in marketing and advertising for your interior design business. But, despite feeling pretty chuffed that you’ve got this Instagram thing down pat and know how to whip up a Facebook ad or two, the results have been dire.
As in… no client leads.
Or only a few at that.
Could you be marketing your business all wrong?
Read on to find out the top 5 mistakes you could be making:
MISTAKE #1: Not having a niche
The number one mistake is trying to market to absolutely everyone, often getting lost in a sea of competition.
Start with the basics: what is your niche? What is your genius zone? What is your area of expertise?
If you are the interior designer who designs glamorous home offices for creatives, then be known for that. If you want to be known as the interior designer who conjures up covetable nurseries for new parents, then be known for that. Pick something that you want to focus on and get known for that, so you can stand out from the crowd.
Once you know your niche, market it obsessively (but not desperately) and ensure you are specifically communicating this niche across all of your business touch points so you can more effectively reach your desired customer avatar.
#TIP: Research people in your industry that have nailed their marketing dialogue – whether it be through flyers, ads, social media content, blogs and the gamut. See how they are communicating to their target consumer and take note.
MISTAKE #2: Not being consistent on social media
While social media can seem far too time-consuming and competitive, having a poor excuse for a social presence (or no social media presence at all!) can be losing you money every single day.
Social media marketing helps to validate your brand. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and open for business.
But so many interior designers are scared to promote themselves or fear they’ll be advertising to crickets. The secret here is to show up consistently, even if it means you might not get a client lead right away.
Choose the platforms that work for you and get active! Post pictures of your work. Get on Facebook. Share testimonials. Jump into an Instagram live. Do whatever it takes, for your future client to discover you, get to know your brand and get excited about using your services.
#TIP: Schedule posts in advance to reduce the overwhelm of running social media accounts and use an effective hashtag strategy to reach a broader audience.
MISTAKE #3: Not having an email opt-in (or an email list!)
Not investing any time in growing an email list? Ba-bow. Wrong move.
Building an email list is crucial because it’s the best way to build a relationship with potential customers. The more people you have on your mailing list, the more potential buyers see your services.
If you’ve got a pre-existing email list but it’s not really growing, try offering an email opt-in by way of a free downloadable (for example – 10 things you need to know before hiring your next interior designer).
Because you’re building your email list, you want to make sure that your opt-in goodie fixes a problem your dream client has and relates to your design service so always aim to be relevant and specific.
If you don’t have an email list yet, get it set up quicksmart, create your opt-in and market this on social media and beyond.
#TIP: Try to offer a service at the end of the opt-in. As an example, if your freebie is about picking the perfect grey paint colour, try offering a paint colour consult service to sell to your clients and step up your sales funnel.
MISTAKE #4: Not following up client leads
An all too common mistake is when designers let warm leads fall by the wayside as they forget to follow up or are afraid they’ll sound too eager. But this can be a serious biz killer.
Pick up the phone or send an email to any client leads that haven’t gotten back to you so you can potentially turn them into qualified prospects.
You might also want to turn cold leads into warm leads by creating bonus offers. For example, if they sign up with you that month, they’ll get a complimentary consult (normally worth $XXX).
Case in point: chase up client leads at all times for optimum results.
#TIP: Studies show that 44 per cent of sales people give up after one follow up, but 80 per cent of sales are made after five follow-ups. Seems excessive, but I say go for whatever amount of follow-ups feels comfortable to you, and don’t give up.
MISTAKE #5: Not promoting your services with public relations
Being heard among the proliferated and competitive interior design crowd can be challenging. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take strides to ensure your business is reaching a wider audience so more people can find you.
However, a common mistake interior designers make is assuming that PR is only for those that have massive budgets or love the limelight.
You can do your own public relations in a budget-friendly way to get your name out there simply by reaching out to publications and offering a value exchange.
Submit projects or guest blog posts to be featured. Email an interior design podcast and ask to be a guest. Research websites that post media story callouts and respond accordingly.
The options are endless! And the end reward can be priceless.
#TIP: Create a database of as many media outlets, blogs and social media channels you’d like to appear on, and aim to reach out to several each week to become the must-know expert in your industry. If you do have a budget, employ the help of a public relations agency that specialises in interior design to speed up the process and gain quality results.
Feeling inspired and pumped to up-level your business even more? I’d love to have you part of my 4-week Mentor Program for creatives just like you! We’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of running a successful business and I’ll hold your hand every step of the way, while unlocking the areas of your business which have been holding you back, to leave you feeling in control and confident.