Picture it. Wednesday. 2019. And you're sitting there asking yourself how to find interior design clients without losing your marbles because without clients you've got no business.
So you go to Mr. Google, go on a terribly long and tragic search for answers. There are so many gurus who all seem to think they have the answer. And then you pop back onto social media, and there are more answers from some more gurus.
Depending on the guru, you'll get a different answer.
Maybe they want to show you how they got 300 clients in one month with their new system (which if you sign up for their stupid free course is just a glorified ad for their new course that tells you to start your own Group on Facebook 🙄).
Maybe the other guru catches your eye with their woke language and intuitively chosen bridge of the nose piercing, and they're probably all of 19 years old.
They convince you that they know the way and if you just follow their simple instructions, you too will be a baller drinking water out of a box.
Here's the thing that you need to remember when you want to know how to get clients as an interior designer... solve a problem.
A business only exists if it solves a problem, which means you need to find a problem that requires your skills to solve it.
The problems clients have are limitless, but they are specific.
👶 Tyler is having a new baby that will the most extra baby in the entire world and needs a nursery that is so extra.
🏕️ Emily has a vacation rental property and needs to be booked, like now before it becomes as stale as the latest reboot of "Jersey Shore."
🔮Joseph is a metaphysical practitioner and needs a sacred space with an altar to align his chakras and get in touch with his spirit guides.
💄Samantha works from home and is ready to become a beauty vlogger, but her office looks like an Ikea shit-show.
☮️ Christopher loves the boho style, but sadly his place looks like Hurricane Home Goods that inflicted the horror of bargain decor gone wrong leaving a sad trail of "Live, Laugh, Love" signs in its wake.
💃 Beatrix is a minx if ya catch my drift and she needs help in the boudoir. Well, not that type of help, but surely you can't expect her to have over an array of stellar lovers in the bedroom when it looks like a shitty no-tell motel.
Now, what are you to do? Sign up for 37 free, yet shitty, sale pitches disguised as webinars only to learn what one specific strategy worked for them?
Or you could do the work and basically become your own version of the "Single White Female" without getting all murderous.
Let's take Emily. She has a vacation rental and needs it booked out. You can do the basics like create a website, slap your services upon it, and wait.
Sounds like fun and totally not a plan.
Instead, as you channel your inner Ed Gein and slip on her skin, figuratively, of course, you do what Emily does. She looks on the Airbnb forums for help. She searches Google looking for answers to her questions, not even aware of the fact that maybe hiring you could be a part of the solution to her problem.
Yes, she will need help on how to photograph her property and to create a listing that isn't as boring as listening to Ben Stiller on Howard Stern talk about how every single person he works with is "amazing" (trust, they aren't, but I suspect that's his go-to adjective). But! You are here to be her new bestie with information that is going to rock her world.
You need to become the most attractive mofo on the planet to Emily, and that means you need to be sharing content about all the things that she cares about.
And if you don't know it, learn it.
You see, talking about decorating a vacation property is just one of the topics you could be sharing with Emily. But she also needs to turn a profit, be booked consistently, get great reviews, which investments in her property will give her the best bang for her buck.
And if it was me (*cough* steal this idea and do it! *cough*) I would create a one-stop-shop website where I create content related to:
smart home technology
writing a listing that gets clicked
stocking the kitchen
creating a brand
seasonal booking tips
explore different niches for vacation rentals (cannabis, eco-luxury, pet-friendly, family travel)
mistakes to avoid
how other vacation rentals are slaying with their eye-catching (and Instagrammable) properties
interviews with booked out property owners
Am I a vacation rental expert? No, but I searched on Mr. Google, and within 20 minutes, I found out more information that would lead me on the right path. You just need to be curious about who your client really is and what else they want to learn about as it relates to your niche.
Wanna do another one?
Let's go with Beatrix. This one is definitely going to be more risqué, but totally fun.
Beatrix is all about romance and wants to be loved. She's not serious with anyone, so she's probably on a dating app.
She needs a romantic bedroom. Maybe she wants to spice things up in the bedroom with some toys. She probably is also interested in sexy smelling candles and aromatherapy.
Sexy satin sheets are something she is curious about, but that one time she had an unfortunate accident that seemed like she was recreating an episode of "Ice Road Truckers."
There's this one person she'd like to get serious with because they make bank, but she's not sure how to connect on a different level that doesn't involve doing the horizontal mambo.
And let's not forget about the music! Is it okay to play "I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men and "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd or should she get with the times and find some new music to knock boots to?
If I were trying to get Beatrix as my client, I would be her new bestie kinda like Sue Johanson. And if you haven't seen this lady's videos from back in the day, you are missing out!
Maybe I'd talk about romance, relationships, setting the mood, music, aromatherapy, sexy furniture, colors for the bedroom and the dangers of silky sheets.
And the key to creating this content is that you're building awareness about your business, your solution, and your brand, so people trust you. Because you're not Amazon over here, people don't know you from Snooky so you need to establish trust and become the authority and the PERSON that they can trust.
The HOW when it comes to how to get clients as an interior designer is all about baiting the trap with the right stuff so they can get a whiff. And where will they get a whiff? Wherever you know they are hanging out.
You know they will be checking out Mr. Google, they will probably be in a Facebook group, maybe they're on Reddit or Twitter and more than likely there's someone else in an adjacent industry that already has their attention that you could partner with.
Solve the problem, create content related to solving various aspects of their problem, and then share it all over the place. Now onto the tips…
How To Get Clients As An Interior Designer
Get inside your client’s mind so you can speak their language and earn their trust.
Optimize your website with SEO
Write blog posts that matter.
Focus on where your website traffic is coming from and if you're getting business from it
Be consistent with your marketing
Be consistent with creating valuable content
Clearly express what problem you solve and for whom.
Make your signature design process works and is documented for prospects
Start and use your email list
Pick one social media platform to slay on, then you can add another to the mix
Learn how to manage your time and schedule activities to gain visibility for your business
Meet people and make friends
Do pro bono work when it's good to do it. Don't do a job for your neighbor Judas who just wants to use you.
Prequalify prospects and don't talk to everyone for free
Learn how to seal the deal by answering all of the possible objections
Have your friend go through your website and see if it’s easy to hire you and if you answer all of their questions
Document, study and understand your metrics of your business
Make it a regular task to collect testimonials
Upgrade your sales funnel
Figure out ways to automate portions of your sales funnel
Research the competition and fill the gaps their not addressing
Learn the art of copywriting
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Take no shortcuts (there aren’t any)
I totally wish I could tell you the easiest way to get interior design clients is to go to the end of the rainbow, shake down the leprechaun and take the pot filled with the perfect interior design clients. Except that doesn't happen in real life. Unless you're on some type of drug.
And with this list of tips, I don't want you to be the squirrelly interior designer who tries to do all sorts of crazy shit at one time and then needs to start a meth addiction. I seem to be on a drug reference kick today. Anyway, you need to go back to tip #18 and focus.
When you're wondering how to get clients as an interior designer you need to get into their head. Understand what solution they want, why they need it and then you need to become the one person that they will trust to help them. And let's be honest, you're already a therapist of sorts when it comes to working with your clients so why not embrace it and go all in?