It can be a challenge for people working in interior design to gain recognition with customers seeking their specific services. Why?
Traditional marketing methods such as radio or print ads aren’t usually as effective as they are for people offering more widely-needed services or homogenous goods. And, while word of mouth is a great way to build a business, it’s not likely going to be enough to make your design business profitable.
If you want to boost your brand awareness and exposure, you first need to define and market your brand the right way.
What is Your Brand?
Famous entrepreneur and blogger Seth Godin said, “A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
In other words, your brand is people’s perception of your business. How do you want your brand to be perceived? Maybe you specialize in high-end, luxury decor. Or, perhaps you excel at maximizing small condo spaces or staging homes for sale.
Marketing for interior designers is based on defining your brand based on your specialization. Look at your clients, your style of decorating, whether you specialize in residential or commercial properties – whatever it is that sets you apart from the competition.
What’s the Difference?
Speaking of differentiating yourself from the competition, part of effective marketing is looking at what other home design companies are doing, and what they’re not. For example, if the design companies in your area focus on creating “elegant” or “trendy” homes, why not focus on the fact that your projects often come in under budget?
Don’t forget to have some facts to back up your claims, such as testimonials or percentages. If you’ve won awards or other accolades, why not mention those? Anything you can offer clients that sets you apart will help get your brand get noticed.
An image from the portfolio of North Vancouver company A Stroke of Genius
What’s Your Brand Experience?
Your interior design marketing strategies should focus on immediate recognition by potential clients. Visual branding is a key part of your brand experience, including your:
• Logo: From your business cards to your invoices, this is often the first thing people will see. Work with a graphic designer to create a logo that reflects your brand and looks equally amazing on a small image or a big banner.
• Images: Obviously, high-quality images are a necessity to market your home design company. You’ll want to showcase your work in your portfolio and any other images you’ll be using on your website or in your marketing materials.
• Colour scheme: Marketing for interior designers centres around colour schemes! Fortunately, you know all about complementary colours and probably won’t need much help coming up with them. Remember that colours evoke people’s emotions and feelings and choose ones that set the mood for your business.
Take a look at the Italian textile brand Basetti Home Innovation’s color palette. They use a set of primary and secondary colors to convey innovation, novelty, bravery and freshness.
• Font: Your typeface also affects your brand experience. Too many companies make the mistake of using a huge array of different fonts across their marketing materials. Choose your header and copy fonts and keep them consistent. Stick to no more than two different fonts to represent your brand.
How Do You Share Your Brand?
Now that you’ve done the work to create and differentiate your brand, it’s time to share it! You’ll want to have a consistent website, business cards and perhaps brochures or handouts for trade shows and other events, as well as social media accounts.
Most businesses focus on Facebook and Twitter, which is a great idea for any business. However, as a home design company, you have an ideal opportunity to utilize image-focused social media platforms. Research has shown that visual content by drives the most engagement by far, so explore sites such as:
• Pinterest, which has categories like Home Decor and Design trending
• Instagram, which is based on sharing image-centric content
• Houzz, a huge online community where people go to improve and design their homes
Building your brand and boosting brand awareness is an ongoing project, not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition! Think about the experience you want your clients to have every time you post an image on social media, display your logo on a sign at an event or update your website.
This is why working with a professional branding and graphic design company can make all the difference. Your logo and business branding materials will uniquely distinguish you from your competitors, giving you a competitive advantage above others that lack these critical components of the business.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media. If you are new to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing, my monthly group coaching program, AMPLIFY! Business Academy http://amplifybusinessacademy.com/ is a perfect way for you to incrementally learn the best strategies and tactics to help you grow your business online.
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