Marketing Your Interior Design Business: Part I

Interior Design is a very personal business, and we often develop strong personal relationships with our clients. After all…

the best marketing tool is a satisfied client!

  • Send hand written notes to former clients thanking them for their business – include a business card or some other reminder of your services, but keep the note genuine. Clients will appreciate a warm reminder of how great of a job you did more than a sales pitch!
  • Ask them to remember you when neighbors, friends and relatives are looking for a designer.
  • If there were other jobs they had mentioned at the time, suggest you could work on them now. Offer a free consultation. Better yet, send a DreamDraper rendering with a suggestion or a tip on a current design trend that would work in their home!

Because it can be such a personal business, successful marketing in interior design must incorporate a very personal touch.  Moreover, success is more likely to come to you and your business if you put your personal design touch forth in almost everything you do!

Tell everyone what you do.

Every meeting is an interview – whether a chance meeting at the grocery store, a contractor in your home or a networking meeting with the local Chamber of Commerce. Either tell them directly what you do or remind them by mentioning a current project. Make them curious in what you do.

Having fun with a demonstrationBecome the local expert.

Write a short informational article for the local newspaper, etc. Give presentations to local groups. It is not always easy to ‘pitch’ yourself to others. Develop confidence in your talents and your selling style. (A great read on this topic is “Pitch Like a Girl” by Ronna Lichtenberg.) Take these public opportunities to market yourself while spreading your love for design.  Studies show that customers have a vastly improved opinion of companies that improve their communities. This is a great way to genuinely contribute to your community.

Most importantly – take the time to sit down and think about your personal brand.

What is unique about you or your business? It doesn’t always have to be a particular service – differentiation can come from a particular style you design well, knowledge of current trends (i.e. which blinds are most eco-friendly), or something else that touches on the emotional side of doing business in interior design. Get past the insecurity and fear of selling yourself.  Learn to value yourself and your talents. Learn how to sell based on your personality and your client’s. Your brand can act as a theme to carry through your marketing efforts, and execute in every job you work on. You will be sure to be remembered!

Always, always have a readily accessible portfolio of your best work.

Even if you are not on the web, you should still use your past work to generate new business! Design a nice flyer or brochure and have it printed professionally. Include before/after pictures and DD renderings, testimonials from satisfied clients, a list of the services you provide and your contact information. Watch the newspaper listings for home sales in your area and mail a hand written introductory note with the brochure.

This brings us to the next point… Read Part II