How Interior designers can rebrand to increase sales
The interior design business can be a difficult niche, especially with the current Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the easing of restrictions around the corner, it is the perfect time to improve your brand.
Promote Yourself As Part Of Your Brand
Your personality, the way you communicate and make emotional connections with clients, should be synonymous with your design work. These two important elements combined make your brand. Everything you do, every aspect of your business should stand out from the crowd by showing very clearly what you have to offer. Your brand should give potential clients an insight into your strengths, what specialisms you can bring to the table and your goals. Would-be clients need to believe that you and perhaps you alone can deliver the life-changing experience they are seeking.
Have you ever asked yourself what is it you want to do? The answer to that question is of crucial importance because it needs to resonate across every aspect of your business. Do you want to do general design work across different styles or do you want to specialise in specific niche markets?
That question put another way, would be, what do you want to spend your working day engaged in? Once you know, then your passion will be focused and your sense of purpose will increase. Identifying your dream client base is another key element of marketing your business. Ideally, you want clients whose vision and aspirations chime with your own. It is important to remember that your clients also become part of your brand, and word of mouth referrals are priceless.
Successful branding should evoke in the potential client exactly what you want it to. Does your current branding have that effect? Most likely not. You are a designer and with that comes an expectation in the mind of the client that every aspect of your branding will be innovative and deploy the latest techniques.
Who wants to employ an interior designer with a website hosting old photographs, dated testimonials and blogs that are at best months old? There is no excuse today for having a poor website. Even if you can’t afford to have a website built professionally there are lots of free templates and plenty of good advice. Your website should show who you are and what you do, with great examples. Don’t forget also to tell people how to contact you.
The rules applying to your website design apply to all your marketing tools. Do you have a high-impact, double-sided business card that immediately catches the eye? You should have, remember, you are a designer. If people think your business card is unprofessional, the likelihood of them working with you reduces.
Do you use portfolios to best effect? A good portfolio will allow clients to see at a glance the design styles you are offering. Portfolio albums of recent work are a great way to keep clients engaged beyond initial contact.
Videos (with the consent of the client of course) of recent interior designs you have completed can be more effective than albums and give potential clients a very real sense of what you are capable of. From your website to your stationery keep the design and livery consistent and vibrant so that people recognise immediately who they are dealing with.
Every part of your business, no matter how small, should make a person think, I like the look of this and believe this designer can deliver what I am looking for.
In addition to your website and printed business promotional materials, you need to put yourself out there. Have you really had enough exposure in the past? Look for every opportunity to promote your business, both in person and in writing. Networking is key to building your business and should be an important component of your business strategy.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce, attend trade fairs, look for organisations whose members are likely to include at least some of the people you would love to have as clients. Organise open days at your premises where people can come, without obligation, to see what you are about and what you can do. Have you built relationships with local real-estate agents? Such relationships can be invaluable and, with a little work on your part, could result in you being asked to design the interior of a show home; a great advert for your business.
The design world, any design world and particularly interior design doesn’t stand still. You must keep up with the latest trends and innovations in your industry. Don’t be afraid to go back to school, accreditation in what you do helps assure potential clients that you have put in the time training in your chosen field. Make sure any relevant qualifications that allow you letters after your name are included in your marketing materials. Join the organisations representing your industry in the national stage. It often helps when clients can see that you are an accepted name in the industry.
That’s it! Be the designer you want to be and project that to attract the clients you prefer to work with. Review your branding to make sure that every aspect of it demonstrates unequivocally who you are and what you do. Finally, get yourself and your business out there in the community and maximise every opportunity to promote what you do. Take care of these things and business, along with sales, should increase.
This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland. Martin has worked in the interior design niche for over two decades and has become an industry leader in Ireland. He has an excellent understanding of the various aspects that are necessary for a business to be successful.