Department Store Buyer Becomes Interior Designer

A man contacted me about promoting his commercial interior design firm that he was starting. At that time he was working as a department store buyer where he was very bored in his job. He was interested in making a career change to interior designing. He had no formal training but had educated himself in interior design and had worked on some very small showroom and office design projects in an assisting role.

After meeting with him and learning his goals, I did some research into office and showroom designs, and the correlations between new designs and increased business. I discovered that office interior designing was a lot more plentiful but more competitive. The larger design firms concentrated on the office designing market. I decide for my client that it would be best if he would concentrate his efforts on the showroom design market which was less competitive and easier to break into.

I helped my client create a web site that would express his unique approach to designing showrooms. The web site allowed clients to request information on the different types and styles of showroom designs that my client has to offer. There would be articles and links to articles that would be of interest and help prospective clients with what type of showroom design would be best for their business. The web site would provide examples of other projects that were successfully done.

I wrote articles on the positive correlation between new designs and increased business and distributed them on the internet were clients would be looking for information. I included links in the articles back to my client’s web site. I created a newsletter for my client that contained helpful information to prospects by explaining several different ways of how new showroom designs can increase business. The newsletter contained links to my clients’ web site as well as links to articles and sources of information that would be of assistance to any potential prospects.

I created a print ad for the New York Real Estate Journal and wrote an article under my clients’ by-lines that appeared with the ad. After the article and ad appeared, I ordered reprints, wrote a solicitation letter, and bought a list of approximately 500 real estate lawyers (new showroom tenants typically have their lawyers negotiate their leases). The solicitation letters gave my clients web site address and where to find his newsletter. The solicitation letters were mailed with a bulk mail permit from a local post office. They were also sent via email.

A few weeks later after sending out the solicitation letter and reprints, a lawyer who represented a men’s suit designer company responded to our ads. I prepared for my client a four color brochure, a PowerPoint presentation, and a script to follow during his presentation. My client was up against 3 other firms competing for the contract. My client was rewarded the contract. The contract was for 1.5 million for a showroom on a very fashionable Manhattan street.

Five months after getting the contract to design this showroom my client completed the project. The showroom turned out to be a huge success for the men’s suit designer company. The company even recommended my client to an accessory manufacture and design company that the suit company was doing business with.

With the permission of the men’s suit designer company I arranged for several stories about their work to be published. I made changes on their web site to include the success that my client had with the suit design company’s show room design. I also included it in the next company newsletter that was going to be published. I repeated the process with the mailing list both of them (conventional mail and e-mail) promoting the success of my clients work. As a result, my client got three additional clothing design companies each of whom required large showrooms and offices

The success of the first contract allowed my client to break into a new market segment which is designing offices, which is the largest and most profitable in the interior design business. Here is where my client decided to expand his business; and in order to do this he must hire others who have the skills to execute the appropriate tasks at hand.

How Do You Find a Reputable Interior Designer?

At some point in your life you might need help from a local service provider who is experienced and has a creative flair for interior design work. But other than opening up the Yellow Pages and reading the display ads, what are your options for finding a reputable interior designer?

In most cases, you might not know where to start, and you might not even know what types of questions to ask. Then there’s the unknown factor of how much it’s going to cost.

Since you probably don’t have much experience working with designers, it’s always safe to call several of your friends to ask if any of them have ever hired such a professional to help with their home design projects.

The next group of people to ask would be co-workers, or people from your church or place of worship. It’s like the old adage, if you don’t ask people before you buy something, you will always hear about the good people someone hired after your work has been completed.

Since we’re living in the Information Age with social marketing sites and all the Internet forums and communication options open to us, you might think it would be a simple solution, but it’s usually not.

If the above suggestions haven’t yielded a positive referral, then you might want to cast your circle a little larger and do more research. Talk a walk through the downtown section of your town and look at the interiors of restaurants, cafes, showrooms, or stores.

Many times, interior designers are multi-talented and work with commercial as well as residential clients. If you like a particular style that you’ve seen in a restaurant, ask the owner if he hired an interior designer. If the answer is yes, then ask for the designer’s name and contact information.

If that approach is “too out there” for your personality, then visit trade association web sites such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and look for a web page that lists designers based on their location, design specialties, and pricing structures. When you find a suitable match with your expectations, then call or contact the designer to make an appointment to discuss your project.

Another option is to head to your local bookstore or mall to check out the trade magazines that feature interior design work, architecture, and homes. In those types of magazines there are usually display ads or a section at the back with all sorts of ads. If it’s a local magazine, you’re in for a treat, since many of the ads will be from local professionals.

One more idea is to call a local design school to see if they have a career or placement service where students and graduates can list their services. Perhaps they’d like to take on a project for less money just to get the experience, and a valued referral.

6 Effective Digital Marketing Tips for Interior Designers

Gone are the days when people used to explore magazines or books to get inspiration for interior design.

The internet has become the main source to get ideas on any topic. As business owners, that means potential customers are browsing Google daily to get inspirations for interior design.

When growing an interior design business, the first question you should ask is, “How do we reach clients and introduce them to our interior design services?” The best way is digital marketing. Digital marketing alone can offer your interior design business a lot of benefits. It can help display your work, meet potential clients, attract new visitors, and get more business leads all at once. The only challenge is to ensure that the digital marketing strategy you’re using is effective enough to achieve and optimize all these things together.

Here are some digital marketing essentials you should use in 2018 to maintain your lead flow and get profit. A strong digital presence takes a lot of effort and time to develop, but these online marketing strategies will provide instant positive results. Have a look at these interior designer marketing strategies:

Build an effective website:

In digital marketing, there is a range of marketing channels but the first point of interaction between a business and a lead is a functional website. This is where people go to learn more about your business and who you are. Your website is an introduction to your services and a showcase of your work. It’s also the spot for visitors to reach and find you when they are looking for the services you provide. Remember, your portfolio is an important part of your business website. Make sure to add some professional images showcasing your greatest works. Try using infographics for better explanations. An impressive website helps you turn your awesome business ideas into a successful brand.

Start blogging:

Blogging is one of the best ways to share your expertise and talent. Start blogging and update your blog once or twice every week for optimal results. You can write anything on your blog you want to write. You can write about your services, share past projects or case studies or simply tips on home decoration. Be professional and post only meaningful things. Make sure your audience realizes how highly experienced you are in your field through your content.

Use social media:

If you don’t have a business account on social media, go and create one now! Account creation on social media is completely free and a great way to stay connected with your target audience and leads. Upload your best project photos to Instagram and Facebook with interesting content to grab your followers’ attention. Post photos of your current projects with catchy taglines. If your followers find your posts attractive, they might share them with their followers too! Pinterest isn’t a social media platform, but it’s a great spot for interior designers to be found. Create boards with photos of well-designed homes and rooms including your past and current projects.

Utilize the power of video:

Incorporating video into your marketing plan is ranking high in strategy these days. One major benefit of using video is that they rank high in search engine results on their own without you having to put much effort in optimization. Try to improve the appeal of your brand portfolio with creative videos. Make an introductory video which explains your approach and tactics to; interior design and share it on YouTube!

Try to display your work or designs through visual mediums and enhance your overall visibility and profile. If you want, you can share these videos on social media platforms or use them into your blog posts to enhance your SEO (Social Engine Optimization) and drive more and more traffic to your business website.

SEO for your interior design business:

One of the most impressive ways to improve your business presence over the web is by utilizing SEO. Start your research for relevant keywords and optimize your interior design website with the best keywords for your business. When it comes to ranking for interior design, there are two major keywords used by people in research. They are ‘interior designer’ and ‘interior decorator’. But, if you’re promoting your brand in a major city, try using ‘interior designer Los Angeles’ for example to rank higher in your area. Don’t forget to mention your niche or specialty. Maybe it’s Coastal Cottage style or Modern Industrial. Whatever it might be, showcase your work and use those keywords! Build single pages so that people come to know your expertise and find your specializations easily.

Maintain your reputation:

There is no doubt that the most influential marketing content for your business is created by your clientele, not you. Online reviews given by your clients work as an honest assessment of your efforts and past projects. Plus, these reviews make a great impact on hiring decisions. Three main things you should focus on:

Every project you undertake has lasting repercussions on your business reputation and marketing efforts. To get great reviews, delight your customers with your quality work. If anything goes wrong, you will get low reviews which impact your marketing.
Always be proactive to get positive reviews from your happy customers. Make efforts and ask all your happy clients to leave good comments.
Monitor all comments about your brand on social media or other platforms to attract visitors.

These are some effective digital marketing tips for interior designers. Use these strategies and make your way to improve your ranking on search engine results and get great benefits for your interior design business!