We recently spoke with Kerrie Kelly, Furniture, Lighting & Decor editorial advisor and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Chair-elect, about her interior design business and the value of her connections in ASID. She also shared some tips for growing an interior design business that would benefit newcomers and veterans of the industry alike. See below for Kelly's tips for building your brand and growing your audience.
Get Your Social Media Spot-on: Social media is one of the best marketing tools to showcase your unique work and authentic personality. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to engage your audience is through imagery and video to show the quality of your work, your personal style and design flavor. Pinterest is great for offering design tips and tricks, Instagram is perfect for sharing beautiful project photos and behind-the-scenes stories, and Facebook is good for spreading your interior design business' services widely. YouTube lets you showcase a completed project in real time or offer home decor tips.
Win a Contest: Have any awards under your belt to promote on your website? The American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) ANDYZ Awards are held at the Las Vegas Summer Market each year. It is open to all designers— you do not even have to be an ASID member — is easy to enter, and is affordable. If a designer will be at market anyway, why not enter? It’s the perfect way to promote your business and to understand how joining ASID could benefit your personal development and professional practice.
Use Houzz: Houzz is the place where more than 20 million people go to find interior design advice and inspiration. Any person with an interior design business or offering interior design services should be sharing their work and actively commenting. We all know that decision-making happens online and people want to read reviews to help them in that process. Houzz allows you to showcase your projects to potential clients, to make comments and share. Ask people you know to jump on Houzz and write a rave review of your work — when people see the positive comments, they will be encouraged to use your services.
Establish Brand Partnerships: Visit your favorite interior design manufacturers and ask about their partner programs. If you are a loyal designer who purchases a significant amount of product from a brand, there may be synergy in promoting each other and sharing project and product imagery for social media and blogging efforts. You may even find yourself with an additional discount, being asked to participate in events or being asked to present yourself on a co-branded panel. When they come across clients needing assistance, they may also refer you as a designer.
Be Authentic: Most important is being authentic to your design style and who you are. What is the one thing about you that makes your interior design business, product or brand special that can’t be gotten anywhere else? Focus on that. You have a unique story to tell.