In a previous post about analyzing your market, we offered some general guidance about market research that could help you grow your interior design business. Today, we’d like to add a tip that will help you further: Survey your audience.In the world of online marketing, building an email list is considered one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal for engaging with prospects and clients. What many of the online marketing “experts” neglect to mention is that your list can also be an incredibly valuable resource for developing important marketing information.The feedback you receive from your list may be the most valuable source you have at your disposal because you already know they’re interested in you and your business – they told you that by opting-in to your list.Survey Your Email ListWhether you have a big audience or a teeny tiny audience doesn't matter. What does matter is that you need to be sending out questions to get to know your audience better. And, since your email list is something of a captive audience, they’re an excellent resource for marketing information.Using the information they share with you in response to your surveys will enable you to create more products and services that your audience wants. This will not only increase your sales, but it will also help you to build a stronger social media following and increase traffic to your website. These are very good things!You may have heard that surveying your audience is something that you should be doing but, it’s very likely you are not, and it is tragic if you are not continually surveying your audience on a quarterly basis.We recommend putting this activity into your calendar where, perhaps once a quarter, you get an automatic alert that notifies you that it’s again time to send out a survey to your list.Survey Questions for Your ListA time-tested practice would be to limit your quarterly survey to about five questions. Why just five? You want to respect people's time, and they are going to answer it out of the goodness of their hearts.For example, you might send an email to your list saying something like:“Hey, I’m at this place in my business where I'm wanting to make sure that I'm on target and I'm giving you the best value that I can. So, I have five quick questions for you, and it would mean the world to me if you could take a minute and answer them for me.”One of the questions on your survey should always be:“What's your number-one most burning question when it comes to working with an interior designer?”Of course, you may have a more specific category that is your most burning question for your audience but, you get the idea.You can ask them about anything that matters to you: leather vs. cloth furniture, rugs vs. carpeting, draperies vs. blinds, mass-produced vs. hand-finished products, etc.Whatever you choose to ask about, that is always a must on your surveys because you'll start to find patterns among the answers you receive, illuminating the most common questions people are asking. Once you know what matters most to them, you can begin to shift your marketing to meet that need.Use the remaining questions in your survey to follow-up on that subject, perhaps with questions they might ask themselves – if only they knew what to ask. After all, you’re the expert, so ask the questions an expert would ask.BONUS TIP: Use these surveys to help you create content for your blog, tip videos, and social media too. Frankly, the more people who see you addressing the issues that matter most to your audience, the larger that audience will grow. This will boost your reputation, both online and offline, increase website traffic, expand your list, and increase inquiries from potential clients.That’s a win/win for everyone!Again, your goal is to find out what matters to your audience, without your personal or professional biases leading you in a direction that may not profit you.Looking for more new design trends, marketing tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.