Houzz it going? Using Houzz as the Foundation for Finding your Ideal Clients
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Do you Houzz? As you might know, Houzz is an addictive website for anyone who loves home remodeling, decor and design. For lack of a better comparison, I'll call it "Pinterest for Houses." But it's more than that. As an interior designer, Houzz can be your no. 1 source of quality referrals, if you use it right! Building an impressive presence on Houzz will augment your own website and other social media channels since your ideal clients are on there for home design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews.

Just to give you an idea of how massive it is, Houzz houses 3 million photos to date! Here's why it's the place to be for anyone who works as an interior decorator: Everyone on there is talking about home design. On Facebook people are looking at their friends' photos and sharing news of their day. On Twitter, you're competing with breaking news and celebrities' clever Tweets. On Pinterest, people are looking at everything from party planning to awesome spring dresses. Not Houzz! Everyone there is checking out home design. And it's a great platform to showcase exactly who you are and what you are about, to help lure those ideal clients straight to you.

So how do you get those clients coming to you? Here are some tips.

  • Maximize your presence: Houzz' algorithm gives high search value to users with followers and to the quantity and quality of photos shared, as well as reviews from clients and colleagues, how many questions you've responded to and whether you have a Houzz badge. So make sure that you work your Houzz profile.
     
  • SEO counts. You want to show up high in the search. And that means uploading lots of quality photos, projects and idea books and tagging them with the words that not only describe them but that you think people are searching for. So, if you have a whole kitchen and you want to call attention to the tile, make sure you have tagged it with descriptive words, from the details to the overall feeling, such as "modern kitchen." The more complete details you provide, the more likely you will attract and inspire that ideal client.
  • Engage, engage, and engage. Once you have your profile optimized, make sure that you actively engage with not only customers, but other home design experts.

  • It's perfectly all right to admire someone else's amazing taste. In fact, it makes you look confident that you can share a kind word with "competitors." And of course, you want to provide useful information to prospective clients in your own content. The web is full of "free information," (like this for example!) and often people look to experts online for advice. Are they going to take your carpet details and do it themselves? Maybe! But you can't avoid that, and a customer who asks for a free consult in their house might do the same online -- but you’re also out all the time to travel and meet with them!
     
  • Make the content specific for Houzz. Even though above I flippantly called it a "Pinterest for houses," it's not. Because it's actually a competitor. You’ll find there isn’t a Pinterest social share button anywhere on Houzz (though it's doable) because they really want you to stay on their platform. And this allows you to really drill down to what your Houzz personality is and engage with all those home design focused ideal prospects and leads. On other social networks you might be sharing inspirational thoughts, posting holiday-related items or sharing inside news on your business, but Houzz doesn't need or want any of that!
     
  • Build up the "trust, like and know" factor. This is the secret sauce to success in social media marketing. When you engage with your customs -- on Houzz and then other mediums -- you are building that relationship step by step. When they finally become your customer -- and many of them will! -- you have already jumped over the 'get to know you' phase and the project is bound to go so much smoother. They already feel comfortable with you and have chosen you!

So take advantage of Houzz and all of its users looking for home design advice and guidance.  Many of them can be a continual stream of dream clients for your home décor and interior decorating business. And while there, make sure to follow interior design marketing expert, Alycia Wicker, and myself, online marketing expert, Laura Wallis, and ask us any questions you may have about interior design marketing. And share with us what you are doing to successfully market your home decorating business on Houzz. We’d love to hear!

Laura Wallis is an online marketing consultant known as the  “Web Navigator Gal”

She’s on a mission to help entrepreneurs navigate the world of online marketing so they can get noticed and grow their business

Alycia Wicker is a business coach for creative entrepreneurs. Her clients land more of their own dream clients and make more cash, period. Celebrity gossip whore. Elvis-obsessed.