The door slowly creaks as it closes behind you, hermetically sealing you into place. As you scrunch your nose trying to get the smell of formaldehyde out of your nostrils, you realize that the only thing deader in this place is interior design as we knew it.
*cue the funeral music*
What? You don't like a good funeral? I love 'em. I get to nudge the old people and tell them they're next! But, I digress. Interior design as we knew it is muerto (translation for the gringos: dead). And that's why I thought I should address the number one question I get...
How to get more interior design clients?
And we all know they can be as elusive as a Kardashian's MENSA membership card, but I think that some of you think you are marketing to two different client personas in this regard, but you're really not.
Audience #1: Real Life Interior Design Clients
Audience #2: Virtual Interior Design Clients
I'm going to give you a really important piece of information that will help you focus your marketing results like a laser beam when you are trying to figure out how to get more interior design clients.
You see, all of your "real life clients" and your "virtual clients" are going to look for you on the corner on the internet.
Meet Mabel, she lives in Eastvale, California (my current spot in the "Land of the Dirt People" until I can escape to a tiny cabin away from stupid drivers here in the mountains of another state) and she's hankering to hire a designer. She will ask her friends first, but her friends may reply with either a) they did and that wench was horrible or b) no they haven't. Next, Mabel will be Googling, not using the doorstop formerly known as the phone book, to find an interior designer.
I know a lot of interior designers in the past relied on referrals, but even now, a good referral is great, but your clients are still gonna Google you/read your blog/virtually judge you and then decide if they want to call you. All of this based almost entirely on your online presence i.e. your website.
And Mabel is going to click, bookmark, stalk, ponder and repeat. For a while. It may seem like a lifetime, but unless you have an online presence that Mabel finds irresistible, she's gonna think on hiring you. Whether or not she wants you to come to her house or not.
My point, whether you're going for a real life or virtual interior design client, you must be online. And be doing it right. All the other marketing you're gonna do in person, trade shows, chamber or networking meetings of course will help you spread your info into the world, but you must be online with a website that your clients find smokin' hot that they are scrambling to find the “WORK WITH ME” button within minutes.
Get Your Interior Design Business Online
I know, I know. It sounds so trite. It's really important because whether or not you want to have an eDecorating business or not, you need to be online. And you need to have a virtual pad that turns your clients on not in that way.
Your website, your blog content, your keyword research, your branding all together is what is going to pull you through to continue to make money. It is a work in progress and it is something that you will continue to build.
First, overnight success takes years. Second, you must hustle.
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.