Interior designers have to balance a lot on a daily basis — client communication, drafting, reviewing color palettes, billing, and much more. But if interior design marketing is not on your daily schedule, you’re not quite as busy as you should or could be.
Interior design marketing strategies take a lot of work, but they have the potential to bring in a lot of new clients. At Cedreo, we love the fact that interior designers across the industry use our software to create beautiful, photorealistic designs, and we want their businesses to be as successful as possible. That’s why we have put together this post. These proven strategies are going to make marketing your interior design business as easy and rewarding as possible.
11 Effective Marketing Strategies for Interior Designers
A solid interior design marketing plan should include multiple strategies. If you focus too much on one marketing method and it doesn’t work well, you might have missed other opportunities to bring in leads. With the strategies we discuss below, you have plenty to choose from so you don’t fall into that trap.
1. Optimize your Google My Business (Maps) profile
If you need to raise local awareness about your interior design business, it’s hard to beat Google My Business. This platform is a massive collection of businesses that maintain profiles with information relevant to their customers. What you do on your Google My Business profile helps to determine how your business shows up in Google search results and Google Maps.
So, how does Google My Business fit in with your interior design marketing? It’s one of the best ways to get local leads for interior design projects. That’s because — as you know — people find services online now. It usually starts with a Google search, and your Google My Business profile is a great way to show up for such a search in organic results and Maps results.
Around 5% of views of Google My Business listings result in a call to the business, direction request, or website visit. And while that may not sound like a lot, consider the fact that nearly 50% of businesses get more than 1,000 Google My Business views per month. That could easily mean the chance for 50 leads or more on a monthly basis.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing involves a few key strategies:
- Fill out every available field, including hours, business descriptions, website address, and social media links
- Add photos of your business and your work
- Post regularly on your Google My Business profile
2. Use photorealistic designs to close deals faster
As an interior designer, you can and should take photos of all of your completed work. But if you want to showcase your skills for a type of project that you haven’t yet completed, you aren’t going to have photos to show a prospective client. That’s where photorealistic designs come in.
Cedreo lets you create photorealistic interior designs that help clients see their dream project in full color and detail. This creates an emotional response that can close more deals than many other marketing strategies. With Cedreo, you can create stunning, detailed interior designs in less than half the time.
3. Use Google Ads to rank for service-based keywords
Unless your interior design business is large, you probably haven’t considered doing much advertising up to this point. Who can afford TV commercials, billboard ads, and large newspaper ads? Not many of us, unfortunately.
But there’s another, arguably more effective way to advertise your business as part of your interior design marketing plan. It’s called Google Ads. These ads allow you to show up at the top of the search results for keywords of your choosing. For interior design, you would want to focus on service-based keywords that include your location, such as “Miami interior designer.”
It’s hard to overstate the value of showing up at the top of the search results for a keyword like that. Keep in mind that Google Ads costs money, so you should account for that in your budget planning. But the returns on that investment can be enormous.
4. Publish a portfolio page
Most interior designers know they need a website. And most of the successful designers have one. But you can’t just buy a domain and expect that website to do anything for your marketing. You need to put relevant content and information on the pages of that site. That includes a lot of different kinds of content, but one key item to include on your website as part of your interior design marketing efforts is a portfolio page.
An online interior design portfolio should include images and videos of your completed projects. Include any and all projects you are proud of, especially if they showcase different parts of your design abilities. That way, when people visit your website, they can quickly see your skills and picture your talent applied to their own homes.
5. Promote your business on industry lead-gen sites
Your own website is an important part of your interior design marketing strategies, but it’s not the only website that matters. You need to promote your business in multiple places on the internet. Industry lead generation sites are a fantastic place to start.
These sites often function as directories of businesses within certain industries. You can set up a profile and fill it out with your business information. Then, many of these sites allow you to pay money to promote your profile in searches of the site so that you are more likely to show up when users are looking for an interior designer. Many businesses get a significant portion of their qualified leads from lead generation sites like these.
For interior design, you will want to focus on directory sites that are specific to home services or design. Here are some of those sites to get your started:
- The Blue Book
Some of these sites will charge a fee to interior designers who want to set up a profile. In most cases, the fee will be worth it, but be sure to monitor the performance of each profile you set up to make sure you’re actually seeing ROI.
6. Participate in designer show houses
You may notice that a lot of the interior design marketing ideas in this blog post focus on showing prospective clients what you can do. There’s a reason for that: This is a visual industry, and it’s all about showcasing the unique abilities you have to make clients’ dreams a reality. One highly effective way to show your abilities is to participate in designer show houses.
These events allow prospective clients to get an in-person look at your work and truly experience it. That kind of connection is difficult to imitate in almost any marketing setting, so these show houses are definitely worth the time and effort. Often, you have to be invited to participate, but you have a better chance of getting an invitation if you reach out to the organizers to make sure they know you want in.
7. Collect and publish online reviews
Reviews are an essential part of marketing your interior design business. Here’s why: 72% of consumers will not purchase a product or service or even call a business to inquire until they have read online reviews of the business. And those reviews need to be positive.
Unless you want 72% of your prospective clients leaving your website or closing their laptops instead of calling you, you need to get more reviews. You can do that in a few ways:
- Ask clients for an online review after you have finished their projects.
- Use your social media platforms to ask for those who have worked with you to leave a review.
- Send a request for reviews to your email list.
- Offer a discount or some other incentive for everyone who leaves you an honest review.
Getting more reviews is only half the battle, of course. You also need to respond to those reviews to show that you are an engaged business owner who cares about your customers. Whether the reviews are positive or negative, take a few seconds to respond. Negative reviews can be tricky — the best practice is to ask the reviewer to call you so you can address the issues they identified head-on. This shows that you care and want to make things right when expectations aren’t met.
Finally, you need to do more with your reviews than just let them sit there and gather dust online. Screenshots and quotations from reviews make fantastic social media posts for interior design businesses that want to build trust with new customers and get the word out about their services. Also, consider adding the best reviews to a testimonials page on your website.
8. Fill Pinterest boards with your best work
In terms of social media platforms, there’s nothing quite like Pinterest for design work. This site appeals to users who are creative because it allows them to group ideas into “boards,” and they can refer to them later when they set out to get a project done. The platform’s appeal among those who have creative dreams is a big reason why it quickly became part of the marketing strategy for interior design businesses.
Here’s how you can get in on Pinterest: Set up an account and upload pictures of your work. Be sure to title the pictures with descriptive keywords so other Pinterest users can find them. The magic happens in the next phase: Users find your work and like it, so they add it to their boards that contain ideas for interior design work they would like to have done. When the time comes to actually do the project, you are the best choice of interior designer. You already did it once, so the client knows you can do it again.
9. Share your work on Instagram
It’s almost like Instagram was built for interior design marketing. This image-first platform has more than 1 billion monthly active users, meaning you have a lot of potential to get more leads from Instagram.
Images of your completed projects, as well as photorealistic designs you have created, make wonderful Instagram posts. But if no one sees them, they don’t have much value from a marketing perspective. That’s why you need to apply appropriate hashtags to your posts. When someone searches for, say, “interior design ideas,” one of your posts might come up because you included that hashtag on it.
You also need to be consistent. If someone lands on your profile, make sure they have plenty of posts to look through. That way, they can see that you are productive and a leader in your field.
10. Send direct mail offers
Anyone who tells you direct mail is dead probably has never created a marketing strategy for interior design businesses. A comprehensive interior design marketing plan must get your business in front of everyone — and while most people are online, that’s not the only place you can reach them. Direct mail is still a viable and relatively inexpensive marketing tool.
To market your interior design services via direct mail, you’re going to need an offer. Consider offering a discount in your direct mailers so that those who receive them are less likely to throw them out and more likely to call you. If possible, include photos of your most eye-catching past projects.
11. Run a referral program
Word-of-mouth can take you far in interior design. When you have a happy client, they are much more likely to spread the word about you and your skills. That’s great marketing, but you can take it a step further by adding an incentive for people who refer new business to you.
You can do this in a number of ways. You could offer anyone who refers a new client to you a small discount on future services, or you could offer branded swag items like water bottles, T-shirts, and the like. Alternatively, you could offer your clients the ability to give a discount to whoever they refer to you. That way, the person they refer is even more likely to work with you.
Level-Up Your Interior Design Marketing Strategy
Without interior design marketing, it’s hard to have a successful interior design business. Marketing is how you bring in new clients, and it needs to be a central part of your efforts.
We hope these marketing strategies give you a good starting point. As you bring in more leads, use Cedreo to create detailed and beautiful 3D designs of projects to close more sales. With professional, affordable and intuitive interior design software, you can shorten the sales cycle, close more deals and grow your business.