The time has come for you to finally launch your interior design business.
Is this going to be overwhelming? Possibly, but know that:
You can't do everything in a day
Nothing will ever be perfect
Mistakes will happen, you'll live
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get to it.
9 Steps Launch Your Interior Design Business In 2018
Step 1: Who Is Your Dream Client?
You've heard it before but without having some idea of who you're looking to work with you'll waste a lot of time to grow your design business. The more specific you are with your business helps you to market your business and helps your prospects identify themselves as your dream client.
While you haven't had a dream client yet, dream them up. There is someone like that out in the world just waiting to work with you!
Step 2: Income Goals
You're launching this business to make money. Now it's your turn to decide how much money you'd like to make. You'll want to be realistic in your goal. A million dollars that first year is gonna be rare to earn.
Step 3: What Services To Offer
What services do you want to offer? Don't offer complete room designs for $500, please. An average room design could take you 40 hours. Break that down into your hourly fee (which is still pre-taxes and other fees) and you might as well take your ass over to the Fast Food joint.
Seriously put some thought into the time it will take you to offer the service. Do a pretend client run-through documenting your process and time to get an estimate of where you are now to deliver each of your services. Then you'll be able to see how many of each service you can offer each week and what the potential revenue will be. Hint: Inside the Society, I've got a Masterclass and spreadsheet to show you how to do this.
Step 4: Get A Website
You need a website. A website that costs you actual dollars. Do not get some shitty free website. A free website tells your prospects that you're cheeseball, not professional. and not serious about your business.
Think about it, if you can't spare a couple hundred dollars to buy your own domain and website hosting - you need to seriously rethink what you're doing here. It costs money to make money.
Step 5: Words On Your Website
Take some time with the words you put on your website (AKA copy). Your website is your 24/7 salesperson and it needs to sell. Selling doesn't mean you talk about yourself because no one really cares about you at this point. Everyone who comes to your website cares about themselves. So you talk about them, too.
Imagine Jessa shows up on your website. Imagine the pages of your website as the different types of conversations you'd have with a prospect. Jessa shows up to your About page and reads the douche-a-rific drivel about you, your early life, your education, your affinity for collecting travel spoons and why you chose to be a designer, Jessa doesn't give a fuck.
Would you rattle that shit off to Jessa if she was standing right in front of you? No you wouldn't because that would be weird.
Step 6: Start Your List Building
Start building your email list today. I don't care if only your mama is visiting your website right now. The traffic to your website will increase and you need to capture the email addresses of the peeps visiting. Why?
Because if you build this list you can avoid the client drought that so many designers go through. They don't focus on building their list but building their social media profiles. You don't own the audience on social media, you own your email list. Build it, treasure it and use it to market your business.
Step 7: Content Matters
I don't really care what format you use but you need to create content. Create videos, write blogs, whatever you do, you need to create content. The content attracts people to your website and business.
Publish it regularly. If you do a Facebook Live, take that video and share it on your website, on Youtube, on Instagram, etc. Repurpose that motherfucker and get lots of miles out of it.
Step 8: Pick 2 Social Platforms
You already have a lot of shit to focus on as you launch your business so start with two social media platforms to start growing your presence. You can pick the two you like so you can learn the ins and outs of it. Yes, the two you like. Fuck the guru that tells you that you must be on this one or that one. They are sharing what works for their business, but if you hate Instagram you won't ever be truly invested in making it work for your business.
I like Pinterest and Facebook. Pinterest because it brings me a lot of traffic to my website without spending a lot of time on it and Facebook? There's a shit ton of people there and scheduling is simple enough.
Step 9: Marketing Happens All Year Long
You can't choose to promote your services when you don't have any clients. You need to constantly market your design business. Know what you want to promote each month and figure out how to market it (blog posts, advertisements, newsletters, contests, social media).
You are a design pro, but you're now also a marketing pro for your business. Take this job seriously.
Step 10: Mingle With Design Peeps
It's good to make friends with peeps in the industry. Yes, we know that some of them are snots - avoid those turds like the plague. The good news is that there are a lot of cool and down to Earth design peeps in the world. Meet them and learn from them.
Ready to launch your design business now?
Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in helping soulful interior designers attract clients with clever marketing strategies. Celebrity gossip whore.