Does this sound something like your current marketing plan or strategy? Not to be overly negative or judgmental here but, the typical interior designer marketing plan looks a bit like this:
- Blog posts – when the mood strikes and when there’s time.
- Facebook & Instagram posts – a few times a month, when there’s time.
- Tweets – a few times a week, when there’s time.
- Emails to the list – every few months, when there’s time.
- Monthly newsletter – every few months, when there’s time.
- Attend industry functions – if the fee is not too high when there’s time.
Of course, the result of such efforts is relatively obvious… New clients show up – if the mood strikes – when they have time!NOTE: While the above may seem harsh at first glance, it must be said this type of “marketing plan” is fairly typical of most small businesses and solopreneurs today.Again, the point here is not to find fault but to let you now that the time you may spend on such efforts is virtually wasted. In fact, you would be far better off focusing on just one or two of these marketing strategies and devoted yourself to them – effectively – than to waste time trying to do all of them – poorly.With this in mind, let’s examine some marketing plan priorities.How to Develop a Marketing PlanOver the next few months, our goal will be to provide you with the basic elements of a how you can develop a marketing plan that will enable you to grow your interior design business. While the elements we present may not lead to “Aha!” moments for you, you can take comfort in the fact that they’ve been proven effective and should not be overly time-consuming.So, where do we begin? With a few marketing plan basics.
- Stay local – For the vast majority of designers, your market is local. This means that putting time, effort, and cash into developing a national reputation is mostly wasted. On the other hand, developing a strong local reputation can lead to expanding markets. So, focus your efforts near to home and, as you build your reputation and your list of satisfied clients begins to grow, the expansion will take care of itself (to a large extent).
- Target audience – Marketing your services to people who do not want them is a waste of time, as is marketing yourself to those you do not want to work for. Far too many entrepreneurs go into business without a clear idea of who may need – and want – and be willing to pay for – their services. Discovering who it is that needs and can afford the work you offer is the first step to developing an effective marketing plan. (More on this step later.)
- Watch other designers online – Check out the content and blog posts from the other designers or companies that you follow and glean tips from their frequency and the focus of their content to bolster your web content and blog posts. (Local competition will tell you where they’re struggling if you learn to read the signs.)
- Check your menu – Are there aspects to design work that you dislike? Are there areas in which you excel, and others in which you struggle? Of course, there are – you're human. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, perform a bit more research and learn which of your competitors excel in the areas you struggle, and which struggle in the areas where you excel. Then, market yourself accordingly and keep your menu of services focused on those areas. (Who knows, you may even be able to come to an agreement with them in which you recommend each other for those projects.)
These tips should get us started, for now. Yes, they’re somewhat obvious yet, without these in the forefront of your mind, it will be nearly impossible to begin working on a coherent interior designer marketing plan. Plus, there will be plenty more ideas where these came from as we move forward in this series of blog posts. So, stay tuned…Looking for more interior design marketing tips? Get in touch with TD Fall today.