Interior Design Brand Strategy, here's the secret.
Want to know the truth about branding your interior design business in 3 little words?
Graphics + Communication = Branding
Simple huh? Okay, that's our lesson for today. Goodnight!
Oh, that's not enough to help you? It wasn't for me either.
It's Not Your Job Title
The real formula for creating an interior design business strategy doesn't start with your job title.
You're an interior designer. That's your job and when people are looking to hire you, that's the first thing they look for when they decide to work with you.
If my car is broken, I'm not looking up "interior designer" on Google. I'm looking for a mechanic because that is who can solve my problem.
And when I look for someone who is a mechanic I already assume he knows what the hell he's doing. He's an expert at fixing cars.
Your Website is One Ingredient
Next, I check out their website. This is where I get a sense for who they are and if I want to give them my money. That's also what your clients are doing to you.
Your client goes to your website and gets turned off, they leave. It doesn't mean they don't think you're unqualified to design, it means that they didn't feel like you'd work well with them. They have this view of the world (and of interior designers) in their head that was preconceived before they ever found you.
So if you don't know who your ideal client is, you can't really make your website a place for them to feel comfortable in. That's not to say that you change your website to fit with your dream client who has a big fat wallet and a weird infatuation with paisley. It means that if you have also have weird infatuation with paisley, you'd be showing it off in graphical elements of your website (like your secret Bat signal to your client).
How You Communicate is One Ingredient
You'll also be talking to your client directly on your website. All the elements of your website, including your pages and your blog. This is where you get real. And by real, I'm not saying you're not real right now, but you might be only showing one sliver of your personality. You need to let it all hang out, girl.
Your website is your billboard to push out your message. How you think about interior design and life. You know you feel a certain way about design, and your opinion matters. Your peeps want to hear your take on it.
Everything you put out there in writing, video, or audio, is your message. Your message is what starts the relationship and how you continue to communicate it is what keeps the relationship going. And the money coming in, too.
A Brand is a Promise of an Experience
You can go hire a graphic designer to create a logo, a website and all of your graphic elements so you can keep a consistent look online, but a logo doesn't make a brand. Nor does a website.
The way you talk, the way it all looks together, the message you have to share brings everything together into a brand. And your brand is what is really deep down in your soul.
Don't Be a Commodity
Designers fail to bring in business consistently because they acting as if what they have to offer is a commodity. Yes, people will select who they work with ultimately on the value you provide and how much your services cost, but that's one tiny piece of the bigger selection strategy in their mind. If you charge a bazillion dollars, but made that emotional connection first, your clients who really want to work with you will find a way to afford you.
They are deciding on whether or not hiring you is going to be a life experience they want to have.
When you dig deep into your own personal values and thoughts, know that your customer has those same feelings. Surprisingly, we are all humans (dur). We all have emotions and when we choose to work with someone it's not like we're turn off our emotions when we hit the "buy now" button. In fact, we need to bank on that we are making a great emotional connection with our clients so they do click that button.
Starbucks Isn't Just Coffee
If Starbucks wanted to fail, they would've just sold a cup of coffee. They don't just sell a cup of coffee. I'm buying into their brand. Every piece of their brand, their logo, their ideals, their look, their stores with places to meet with friends, the free wi-fi, the cups, the Oprah sleeves with quotes on them, and bringing people together.
If you want to fail, copy someone else's brand.
If you want to win (which I know you do) you've got to do the work.
You were born with authenticity, the problem showed up when you decided to hide the bits about yourself that God intended for you to share. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with you when he brought you into this world. In fact, he loves it when you let your freak flag fly.
You have to stand out to get notice, so if you can allow yourself to dig deep, and acknowledge the really interesting parts about yourself and use those pieces as your personal brand stamp, you’ll be unstoppable.
But all those great little bits about you that make you so cool, have to come out through a filter of love. If your message comes out in a nasty way with bad juju people will sense it and you won't be on their short list. If you're in a negative space right now, blaming everything else for why you're not succeeding, you need to fix that first. It's a mindset issue.
Digging deep is a process that many avoid out of fear, procrastination and the belief that they simply aren’t good enough to figure it all out.
In fact, when you do the work, find your true self and what makes your heart sing, you’re going to reap all of the rewards in life you are due.
The things you never really thought were possible for yourself. The blessings you never imagined you could enjoy.
You already have the keys to unlock your own interior design brand strategy, you just have to stop, collaborate and listen. (Yes, Vanilla Ice was right about something.)
When you find your authentic self and share it with the world, the treasure chest you’ve been trying to pry open with a crow bar flies open all by itself.
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.