Becoming The Hard To Get Interior Designer

I think we have a problem. A problem of solving problems. I get it. You are so brilliant. You can see a room and see it completed. You know where the issues are and can see the solution without drawing up a single thing.

Except you can't communicate that to your clients.

They don't get it. And so then you don't earn what you should


One of the biggest things you need to do to convey that you have the solution is to tell a story. Remember, your client has a story and they need to know that you get it. The story starts with them and ends with you.

Second it's about knowing you're valuable. Because you are.

When I first started my design business I was totally the "affordable designer". You know what that equals? A broke-ass designer.

I'm sorry, but the older I get the more I see the value of design. And I want you to, too.

Hiring a good interior designer isn't a right. It's not included in the Constitution. This is about you've got the knowledge to help them solve their problem.

I think back then I used to hate the term "luxury interior designer" because that wasn't my bag. I wasn't luxury. I like fast cars and jeans, not BMWs and fancy pants. I couldn't reconcile the two.

Here's the deal, though.

Interior design is a luxury.

If you want to be the interior designer for the masses, you could end up broke.

And I know all of the $200 room design websites don't help. Yes, they are great if you're just starting and need to get your feet wet, but if you just wanted to earn peanuts then screw interior design. You can just go work at the mall at some clothing store.

This all comes down to your brand.

Are you the Wal-Mart of Interior Design? I hope not. You need to be hard to get, not the easy-all-access pass to interior design.

The hardest thing to do is to raise your rates and wait. More often than not you'll raise your rates and feel like an eternity before you land a client willing to pay your fees. And then you get weak in the knees and go back to your bottom barrel rates.

Listen to me. Be strong. While you'll see cheap interior design services all over the internet - that doesn't mean it is harder for you to compete. It doesn't.

People will pay you for your brilliance.

They will and if you look at how many clients you really need to fill up your project calendar with higher fees you don't need a billion clients.

I know it's hard to charge higher fees - and look I'm not telling you to target the affluent. That strategy reeks of bullshit. I want you to see your value and sell that.

There's nothing wrong with being hard to get and charging more than your competition. Think about it. Who would you pick? The cheap hussy or the hard to get chick?

I always like a challenge. Don't you?

So are you going to charge more? When?