How do you stand out from your interior design competitors when there are a gazillion and one interior designers? I'm so glad you asked, buttercup. Let me first start off with it has nothing to do with your logo, your brand fonts or your design services. Nope, uh huh. It has everything to do with being YOU and owning it.
You don't have to follow every piece of advice I (or any other business advisor) out there throws at you. Everything I put out there comes from a best practices which means, sometimes it doesn't apply to your business.
So how do you know what advice to follow and what to ignore? Once again, it comes back to YOU. You're the big cheese around here. You say how you do business and YOU are the secret weapon that will make you stand out from your interior design competitors.
While I said all the advice I throw out there is best practices and it may not apply to you, these three things do. You must start with these.
If you have an unlimited marketing budget, skip this section. Still here? Okay, you must pick a niche. It's like choosing where you want to shine as the expert that you are.
You're an interior designer >>niched down to a residential interior designer >> niched down to a residential interior designer who works with young families to create functional and timeless spaces.
When you select a niche, you can target your marketing efforts because you know what problems a young family needs a solution to. Then you can write content that addresses their problems.
Do This: Write down 10 questions your niche would search on Google to find you. Example for the young family: "How do I organize my children's toys"
You know what niche you are going to rock the effing socks off of (i.e. your niche) by becoming the go-to expert. So now you need to decide who these perfect people are that you want to work with. You can't work with just everybody, be clear about it on your website. That could be by spelling it out and allowing your online brand tell your story so people can self-sort themselves out of your life if it's not meant to be.
Do This: Answer these questions about your dream customer...
Chick or Dude?
Age Range (10 year span)?
Married, Single or Spoken For?
Children? Still At Home?
Type of Home - House, Apartment, Condo, cardboard box?
Income and from what type of job?
Biggest design and decorating problems?
Perfect dream solution to those design & decorating problems.
Figure out how you're different. This doesn't mean you need to go out and start slamming your fellow designer and decorator. This could just to be that you're the only designer out there that specializes in an area or result.
You don't need to compete in the marketplace when you are totally different, right? Show everyone how different you are. Imagine if you were the designer who only did pink rooms, or did themed spaces, or rooms from TV shows, or .... SHIT! The list goes on and on. Do you see how you could stand out?
"Oh you should totally work with Alex, she does rooms inspired by TV shows! You could totally have her design you a Mad Men home office!"
Now how many designers and decorators do you know who specialize in areas like that? I can bet you'd remember them (and so would others).