Top Marketing Ideas for your Interior Design Business
Anyone in the interior design business knows there’s stiff competition for new clients, and in today’s crowded local marketing landscape, it can be difficult to stand out. As a small business owner, you might feel the added pressure of competing with larger businesses when it comes to paid advertising, Google search rankings, and more.
Luckily, there are more tools than ever for local interior design businesses to connect with their communities and thrive.
Strategy #1: Claim Your Business Page on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is the neighborhood hub for everything from road closure alerts to item-swapping to discovering great local businesses. As an interior designer, you might already use Nextdoor to scout for great vintage furniture or home accents or just to get to know your locally based client base.
When you claim your Business Page on Nextdoor, you can increase your business’s visibility in your local neighborhood and enjoy all the benefits. Here are a few key reasons to get started:
- It’s free for businesses to sign up.
- Once you receive one recommendation through a Nextdoor member, your interior design brand will show up any time a neighbor searches for “Interior Design”.
- 67% of Nextdoor members share recommendations with one another, so once a single client discovers you, your likelihood of seeing a referral goes up right away.
You can easily customize your free Business Page to include your contact information, location, photos of your most stunning interior revamps, and your business’s unique story. What’s more, you can create local promotions for the Nextdoor community, and share your promotions with neighborhood targeting. With Nextdoor Local Deals, you define local, and can get as broad or precise as you want with your marketing.
When you’re active on Nextdoor, you’ll drive traffic to your Business Page and your online presence will grow. The next step, then, is making sure your services shine once users click on through.
Strategy #2: Know Your Audience
What makes your business stand out in your community? Who is your competition? As an interior designer, you know the importance of a unique vision, and successful interior design marketing strategies depend on a clear understanding of who your target audience is—businesses or homeowners; minimalists or maximalists; new parents seeking nursery designs or collectors in search of home storage solutions.
The better you understand your target audience, the more you can tailor your marketing to their needs.
As you begin to create more marketing content, you might begin with a brainstorming session. Consider the following:
- Who is your audience?
- What rooms and spaces are you passionate about re-envisioning?
- What makes you the best equipped interior designer for the job?
- What tricks do you have up your sleeve for making sure a space encapsulates a client’s personality?
You might make a list of past projects you’d like to highlight, dream jobs, and favorite color, object, or texture combinations. Then, you’ll be ready to design the perfect website, as well as talk to any and all prospective clients about their needs.
Strategy #3: Hone Your Identity on Your Webpage and Beyond
As an interior designer, your taste is everything—or almost everything. Your online presence on Nextdoor, on your website, and on social media needs to reflect both your visual design skills and your knack for telling a story. Since so much of your work requires interpreting your client’s verbal ideas into visual space—and vice versa—strong writing can be a key to your website, too.
Create Visuals to Use Across Channels
When it comes to interior design, your visual brand identity is key, and you’ll want to keep it consistent across all web channels, from your Instagram and Facebook to your business card and beyond. Although you might excel at creating the perfect visual in a room, don’t be afraid to partner with another local creative for support when it comes to web design, graphic design, and photography.
If you don’t have graphic design skills, work with graphic designers to create a visual identity that’s in line with your vision and brand. A professional photographer can also be a key asset for capturing before-and-after photos of renovations and redecorating jobs.
Put the following items on your to-do list:
- A company logo for use across social media channels
- Tightly framed before-and-after shots of your projects from multiple angles
- Close-up shots of the details you’ve so carefully styled
- Shots optimized for your webpage and for your social media channels (wide-angle vs. cropped to square)
If you end up taking the photos yourself, here are two quick tips: shoot from the hip, and keep the lights off. This will give your photos the natural feel you’re going for.
Emphasize Your Expertise
What are your experiences and credentials as an interior designer? More than that, what makes you unique? Hopefully, your brainstorming has already given you a clear sense of what you want to emphasize. Use your website and social media channels as an opportunity to put your visual talent into words.
When writing your bio, your company history, and the process you guide your clients through, be sure to include all of the following information:
- Education (associate’s degree, bachelor's degree, master’s degree, etc.)
- How you help clients envision their new space (sketching, 3D rendering, Photoshop, etc.)
- Notable past projects or clients
- Any media coverage or awards
- What inspires you
Remember, your website should be more than just a list of facts: let clients know what makes you you and how your process might help them to create the interior space of their dreams.
Pamela, who runs her own interior design business, Pamela Durkin Designs, shares with us how she demonstrates her expertise on her website and with her inbound client leads. She tells us,
“My website talks about what is important when looking for a designer, my philosophy on design, and how I can help make the process more enjoyable. Portfolio pictures of past work give an idea of the type of project and look that I generally work in. I also provide potential clients who contact me a packet of information that they can look over and understand some frequently asked questions, how the process works, and what to expect next.”
Strategy #4: Stay Active on Social Media
You’ve heard it before: connecting with your customers is key. As a SMB owner, staying active on social media channels including Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram keeps past clients connected to your brand and services, as well as gives potential clients inspiration for reimagining their own interior spaces.
Here are some ideas for keeping your content fresh:
- Whenever you’re working on a project, get in the habit of documenting the process (with the client’s consent, of course).
- Out shopping for furniture, accents, or Christmas presents? Photograph pieces that you’d love to design a room around.
- Take snapshots of murals, exteriors, interiors, or any other color/texture stories that encapsulate your aesthetic in a single image.
Consider posting these in your stories on Instagram and Facebook, or creating pages on Pinterest that fit with these categories.
Maintain Your Brand Reputation
These days, it’s not enough to post on social media. In order to organically grow your network, it’s also important to respond to any and all customer queries and to repost positive posts featuring you and your work. As a best practice, make sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews. You can also encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews about their experience with your interior design business. Offer them some sort of incentive like a $50 Target gift card or a house plant. Let your clients speak to the excellent quality of work you provide and have them do the influencing for you.
For Pamela Durkin Designs, 100% of the business’s clientele comes from referrals. Pam shares with us,
“My top marketing goal is a reliable and steady stream of well-qualified leads to my business. I leverage my referral network. I routinely receive leads from multiple sources: builders, vendors, and clients. I keep in touch with this network regularly.”
Tip: Consider engaging and interacting with other local businesses you might partner with: furniture stores, photographers, florists, framing services, carpenters, etc.
Keep it Manageable
If constant engagement on social media isn’t your thing, consider using a social media scheduler to create posts in advance. Check out Influence Hub’s guide to tools that make it easy to schedule posts across the platforms you use most often.
Strategy #5: Show Up in Person
Keeping active online is important, but ideally, your social media presence is building your real-world network, too.
Make sure you’re using Nextdoor to stay abreast of local in-person networking events that might be relevant to your interior design work: craft fairs, gallery openings, or even community potlucks.
Be sure you show up to networking events with your business card on hand. In addition, consider placing interior design flyers in any coffee shops you frequent or on community bulletins.
Strategy #6: Use Google (and more) to Your Advantage
Once you’ve developed a clear brand identity and created a steady stream of content, you want to make sure people are finding it!
Did you know that Google’s search results take location into account when individuals in your area search for things like "interior designer near me” to give SMBs a chance against large corporations with massive marketing for interior design budgets?
When you claim your Google My Business page and set an address, you can take control over how your company appears in the search results, incorporating your logo, company history, photographs, and more. In addition, be sure to claim your Business Page anywhere else users might search for you.
Strategy #7: Learn About Content Marketing
If you’re looking for a unique interior design marketing strategy, you’ll want to learn about content marketing.
While advertising content is something that’s explicitly targeted at selling your service, content marketing focuses on sharing useful information with your customer base. In the case of interior design, showcasing your expertise and talent through content marketing can be effective in conveying to potential clients how experienced you are in your field. If you’re inclined towards writing or video blogging, you might consider creating a blog or a YouTube channel that shares interior design tips with your community.
Do you have five visually impactful ways to organize a bookcase? One neat way to transform a kitchen with a single coat of paint? The definitive guide to creating cozy lighting? Then you already have some ideas for content marketing that might drive potential customers to your social media channels, your web page, and ultimately, to you.
Strategy #8: Put it All Together
Once you’ve connected with your local community, established your business’s identity online, and begun to engage actively with your customers through social media or content marketing, you’ll find there are more and more opportunities to market your interior design services.
Say, for example, you’ve discovered a great local ceramicist on Nextdoor and started to use their pieces in clients’ homes. Now, you’ve posted gorgeous photos of their work in kitchens and dining rooms, and they’ve cross-promoted your work, too. Next, you might consider interviewing them for your newsletter, or you might even ask to be featured on their popular blog.
The more you connect with your local community, the more relationships you will build and find that your network grows and grows.