Interior Design Marketing Success

Just like a house, to be a success an interior design marketing strategy needs solid foundations

Interior design marketing success is like building a house. We need to get it right from the bottom up. That’s to say, we need solid foundations. Otherwise, just like a house, our marketing strategy will crumble and fall

As interior designers, we know full well that a strong base leads to a stable structure. Yet, too often interior design start-ups skip over the basics and pump time and money into quick-fix marketing ‘solutions’. The result, endless posting on social media. A fortune lost on paid ads. And not enough clients

Lay Solid Marketing Foundations

There’s only one measure of success for a marketing strategy: more clients for your interior design firm. Engagement, followers, and likes don’t pay the bills. And to ensure we have a successful marketing strategy we need to lay solid marketing foundations. But what are they?

  • What. Our services and products: design consultation, turn-key, project management. And in which sectors: resi, hospitality, workplace and so on
  • Who. Our clients. And they’re not just anybody. They’re somebody. With needs we can satisfy, wants we can fulfil, and problems we can solve
  • Who x 2. Our competitors. And they’re not just other interior design firms. They’re estate agents, travel companies. Even motorbike manufacturers!
  • Why. We are different. How our interior design firm stands out from the crowd. And it’s about more than just the services and products we provide

To summarise, the foundations of a successful marketing strategy are ‘What, Who x 2 and Why’. Lay these foundations well, and we’ll attract new clients to our interior design practice

What We Do

When I speak to many interior designers, especially those starting out, a reluctance to specialise becomes quickly apparent. For instance, concentrating on residential design, and not F&B, could cramp our creativity. Or worse, could mean fewer clients

Yes, the creative process for a residential designer is the same as a F&B designer. But just because we can do it all, doesn’t mean we should do it all. Why? Because clients love an expert. A handyman can do the same job as a plumber or a carpenter. At least for the most part. Yet, when Jane or Joe Public wants a new tap, they’re more likely to call a plumber

Specialising doesn’t have to cramp our creativity. Selecting a ‘What’ now isn’t about choosing one niche forever. It’s about building our interior design firm, one niche at a time. And it can lead to more clients, not less. Because by concentrating on one demand, we’re better able to understand why that demand exists. More importantly, who is doing the demanding

A quick word on how we say what we do. ‘High-end residential interiors’ means something to those in our industry. ‘Giving you the luxury home you’ve always dreamed of’ means much more to our interior design clients. We need to tell the client what we do using their words, not ours

Who our Clients Are

They’re not just anyone. They’re someone. And we need to know who they are, so we can connect with them on an emotional level. So we can satisfy their needs, fulfil their wants, and solve their problems. With our beautiful designs

Take the case of a client who owns an expensive property in Belgravia. And feels the need to make an impression amongst their peers. Satisfying the need to keep up with, or even beat, the Joneses can win you this high-end residential client. Similarly, take someone who whiles away their time researching design ideas on Pinterest. Although possibly frustrating, you can win this client by fulfilling their want to be part of the design process

It’s not just private clients who are people. Commercial, retail, and workplace clients are people too. For instance, the newly promoted executive charged with replacing the old, overcrowded office. The problem she faces is the Board is breathing down her neck to make sure the project stays within budget. It’s you that’s going to solve that problem for her. And she’ll love you for it!

I sometimes hear concerns that by appealing to target clients we are somehow guilty of discrimination. We’re not. We’re all individuals due to our upbringing, circumstances, experiences. Consequently, we all have different needs, wants and problems. Concentrating on being the interior designer that satisfies that need, fulfils that want, or solves that problem isn’t an ‘ism’. It’s good business sense

Who our Competitors Are

Even if we’re very niche, we’re still likely to have competition. A luxury residential interior designer who specialises in West London townhouses will have still have competition. And not just from other high-end residential interior design practices. To work out who our competitors are requires some lateral thinking

The investment banker’s partner who wants a nicer Mayfair pad doesn’t need to employ the services of an interior designer. Moving house can satisfy their need, fulfil their want, or solve their problem. And this means that high-end residential interior designers are competing with estate agents. But this is just the first step in our lateral thinking journey

As the COVID pandemic went on, many residential interior designers saw demand rise. Why? Outside of hospitality and travel, the economy wasn’t all doom and gloom. And people had money to spend. But less to spend it on. So they spent it on their homes. As the world opens up, holidays and meals out will again satisfy people’s needs, fulfil their wants, and solve their problems. And interior designers will need to compete

How about motorbike manufacturers? As surprising as it may seem, motorbike manufacturers compete with residential interior designers. A post-sales questionnaire by Harley Davidson asked customers, ‘If you hadn’t bought a Harley Davidson today, what would you have bought? By far the most common answer………………..a conservatory

To understand how clients’ needs, wants or problems determine who our competitors are, we must first understand the sales funnel. The subject of next month’s business success blog. Make sure you don’t miss out and subscribe

Why We’re Different

Getting this right is crucial to our marketing success. Often, it’s not about our creative ability. Nor the quality of our designs

Imagine you’ve borrowed a gazillion to convert a country home into a luxury restaurant. What would you worry about? Most likely delayed opening, attracting affluent diners, and mounting debt. How will your product or service satisfy your client’s need to open on time? Satisfy their desire to serve wealthy customers? And solve the problem of their ever-growing debts? Unfortunately, the answers won’t come from the beautiful portfolio pictures we’ve posted on Insta

How could we set ourselves and our firm apart from the competition in this scenario? To appeal to this client. We could achieve it by just understanding their needs, wants, problems and, even, fears. Creating a perception in the client’s mind that says, ‘We get you. And we’re going to be with you, every step of the way’

The Rest of the House

We’re at the end of our interior design marketing success starter guide. However, we’ve not discussed our marketing message. Nor our marketing channels. Put more simply, how and where do we successfully market our interior design studio. The how and where questions are the walls and the roof in our house analogy. We will come to them. Once we’ve laid our solid marketing foundations: what, who x 2 and why

Thus, our interior design marketing strategy will be built upon:

  • What we do
  • Who our clients and competitors are
  • Why we are different

However, the answers don’t lie in our own views or our own perspective. Instead, we will find them amongst our clients’ needs, wants and problems

Next month’s business success blog shows us how a sales funnel can help get new interior design clients. Make sure you don’t miss it. And subscribe to have the business success blog delivered straight to you

Does Your Interior Design Firm Need Solid Marketing Foundations?

YourCoachApproach is a business coach specifically for interior design professionals. I’m Andrew Brown, an accredited Coach who can help prevent you from losing an age and a fortune on poor social media marketing. And take you towards interior design business success

Why not take the first step? Book a FREE 30 Minute chat with me, and let’s see what we can do together

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