Tips for Growing Your Interior Design Business
Rising up in the interior design industry can be challenging, especially in such a fragmented market. At times, it may be difficult to attract clients and stand out if you haven’t quite figured out how to get your business off the ground. At Dering Hall, we speak with design professionals every day, discussing their challenges, their accomplishments, and ultimately, what works best for them and their businesses.
Here are some ideas you can use to help grow your interior design business:
1. Define Who You Are – When it comes to Interior Design, it is very important to ensure you are very clear in advertising your expertise and capabilities. In an industry where reputation is vital to your success, you must be able to meet and exceed expectations. You may have experience within different spectrums of interior design, so it always helps to be specific so the client knows exactly what they are getting. To save time for your clients and yourself, you may want to specify whether you are an interior architect, interior decorator, or interior designer.
2. Set Goals – The first step in growing any business is setting future goals. Imagining the end result is always great, but the steps to get to there are what will matter the most. It is important to visualize where you want you want your business to be at in the foreseeable future and how long it will take to get there. Try sitting down for a few hours and determine what you’ve accomplished and want to have accomplished in the next 5 years. What about 3 years? 1 year? 6 months?
3. Formulate a Plan – With your goals set, you can now begin creating a plan to accomplish them. Are you more concerned with generating more revenue, attracting more clients, or building more awareness for your brand? If your goals are to generate more revenue, set a monetary target and determine how many projects you will need to complete to reach that number. If your goals are attracting more clients or building awareness, try researching industry networking events or planning meetings with industry professionals to get your work in front of people. If you are just starting out, try to find 1-3 new clients who will let you work on their projects for free so you can add to your experience and of course, your portfolio.
4. Upgrade Your Website – In today’s digitally-driven world, having a functional website is an absolute must. Use your website to showcase your portfolio and make sure to provide contact information so that inquiries be made at any time – not just during business hours. You want to make sure your site is user-friendly, easy-to-navigate, and of course, aesthetically pleasing. Hiring a graphic designer to create or revamp your site can be a great investment, especially if you want to stand out to potential clients. If a graphic designer is not in your budget, there are great D-I-Y sites to help you build a great website such as Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly.
5. Social Media and Advertising – According to a Dering Hall survey, social media and advertising were among the top sources for design professionals to find new business, with word-of-mouth being the primary source. Maintaining relevant and updated social media channels (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.) can generate genuine interest and build your following as users will come to expect new content regularly. One of the greatest tools for any business, of course, is the use of SEO (search engine optimization) to help with your organic search.
6. Content Marketing – One of the most practical ways to boost your organic search rankings is content marketing. Within the last few years, bloggers have emerged as some of the greatest sources of online content and continue to drive traffic to their websites because of their continuous content production. Adding a blog feature to your website is a great way to write about relevant topics that pertain to your audience, giving them a reason to revisit your site. This also helps to build your organic search ranking, as search engines can pick up on more keywords and your boosted page traffic.
7. Assemble a Dedicated Team – As your business grows, you will need to assemble a team to help you. While it may seem possible to work on design projects, maintain social media, create content, and manage all other aspects of your business by yourself – it come at the expense of sacrificed quality in some or all areas. Finding new team members can be difficult, but it is important to find people who not only share your passion, but understand your overall goals and how you plan on achieving them. Giving them a roadmap promotes transparency and ensures everyone is on the same page.