26 Ways to Promote Your Interior Design Business Online
From locating new suppliers to connecting with customers, the web makes our business lives so much easier. The Internet is truly an endless business resource if you know where to look and what to pay attention to.
So how can we use the Internet as interior designers and suppliers to the trade?Here are 26 ways to promote your interior design business online:
- Create An Inspiring Website
This one goes without saying. Whether you are just starting out, freelancing or working within a practice, building and maintaining a great website remains the cornerstone of great online marketing.
You don’t have to hire a web developer and you don’t have to spend a fortune. The best websites are often the simplest and that means great content presented with easy to use navigation. Try WordPress as an easy code free platform that can grow with your business over time.
- List Your Business In A Directory
Online directories are fantastic resources for supplier research so it goes without saying that listing your business in a relevant directory can help to generate sales leads.
At Goodwyn London, you’ll find us listed in The House Directory, Interior Design Directory and the BIID in the architectural hardware pages. Many others exist so you’ll be sure to find one that’s perfect for your business.
- Setup A Google My Business Profile
If you have physical shop use Google My Business to secure some extra visibility from the world’s favourite search engine. Entirely free to use, all you need is an email address and your business information to create a professional profile to showcase your business in Google Search and Maps. A weekly email will even tell you how many people are find your business online, call or ask directions.
- Create A Facebook Business Page
Facebook is the world’s largest social network so it goes without saying that you’ll find many prospective customers here. Why not reach out to them by creating a Facebook business page?
Slightly more information required for this one but it’s worth the effort to create a professional business listing that represents your brand to the Facebook audience.
- Build A LinkedIn Company Page
LinkedIn is the Facebook of the professional world, more sombre in tone and not as glamorous at first glance as a space to showcase your portfolio.
It does however offer a superb toolkit for businesses not least the ability to create a separate company profile page to represent your brand. All your need to do is create a personal LinkedIn profile and have at least one employee to start building your network here.
- Upload Your PDF Content
If you supply a physical product, you will no doubt be familiar with the humble PDF. The industry standard for production specification sheets, the portable document format is also widely used for brochures and digital sales collateral.
You can showcase all of this wonderful content by uploading PDFs to your website and other sharing resources like Issuu.com. Not only can your customers locate and download detailed information but Google also displays PDF content within the search results helping to make your business even more visible.
- Make Friends with Industry Bloggers
Interior design blogs abound online with influential bloggers covering all aspects of our industry. A simple search will help you locate who is active in your sector so reach out online and ask for reviews and testimonials about your product, service or business. Why not offer exclusive content or VIP material? It’s a great way to promote your business via modern day networking.
- Find and Attend Industry Events
Use the Internet to keep on top of industry news and attend events relevant to your business. Getting to know your industry peers is a great way to find new suppliers or prospective clients.
Even in this digital age nothing beats good old-fashioned face-to-face communication for forming lasting relationships in business or in personal life.
- Enter Yourself For Online Awards
A classic from the marketing textbook adapted for the Internet age. Online Awards are a great way to showcase your brand attracting publicity and business opportunities.
Got a showcase product? Why not enter the international product design awards? Writing a business blog? How about the Amara Blogs Awards? The opportunities are truly endless for this brilliant marketing tip.
- Record Yourself On Video
Shooting original footage is a great way to promote your brand, products and services to a wider audience. Create profiles on Vimeo and Youtube to start building an online audience for your brand today.
Modern smartphones like the iPhone 6 are equipped for HD video so you don’t even need to hire separate equipment in many cases. Edit with Adobe After Effects or hire a professional videographer to take your footage to the next level.
- Use Twitter For Business
An effective Twitter presence is a great way to promote an interior design business online. From following the latest news to speaking to customers directly many interior design businesses are using twitter effectively.
However, do remember there is etiquette to follow when posting. Take a look at this quick guide to make sure your business makes full use of twitter.
- Showcase Customer Testimonials
No matter what future advances in technology it’s a safe bet that Word of Mouth marketing will remain among the most effective ways to sell online or offline, so it’s good to hear that the Internet makes it easy to source and showcase customer testimonials.
Why not feature past testimonials online? If you have an ecommerce website you can even use tools like Feefo or Trustpilot to automate this process.
- Run A Competition
Raise your profile by sponsoring a competition in a magazine or online newspaper. Far more cost effective than traditional print media, this is a great way to get your brand out there by collaborating with an established media source in exchange for a small cost, special offer or product giveaway.
- Be Your Own PR Agency
If you really want to raise your company profile it’s a good idea to invest in some PR activity. If hiring an agency is beyond your budget, why not consider promoting yourself online by running your own PR campaigns.
Distribute press releases via PRWeb, create and send electronic press packs and use tools like HARO to find opportunities for expert comment. The internet makes building your brand through PR easy.
- Add Your Commentary in Forums
Share your experience and expertise in online forums to add valuable, useful commentary to provide solutions and advice to prospective clients. Done correctly this can yield remarkable results but do take time to understand the rules and etiquette of each community prior to posting.
- Write A Guest Blog
Having identified influential bloggers in your sector you may want to get in touch and offer your content as a guest blogger for the website. Not only does this help to raise your profile online but if done correctly you’ll also be helping to give your website and SEO boost raising your visibility in the search results.
- Create an e-brochure
If you haven’t already invested in a PDF brochure this one is a quick win. Simply put together your best imagery with some effective sales copy and you can create a cost effective, easily updated sales brochure to share with prospective clients. For those already familiar with Adobe Creative Suite this can take no more than a couple of hours – or you can ask a freelancer to create something for you.
- Become an Expert Spokesperson
My friends who work in journalism are always seeking out expert commentary to add depth to news articles and opinion pieces but they don’t always narrow the search to celebrities or established industry figures. If you have passion for work, put yourself forward – it can be as simple as a few well-written emails.
- Advertise on Google Adwords
Effective advertising doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you have a product or a service to offer chances are that your next client is looking for you on Google right now. Put your business directly in front of them by advertising with Google. Their Adwords programme is easy to learn and quick to setup, bringing qualified traffic directly to your website.
- Offer Your Expertise For Free
No matter the business there is always someone out there who would benefit from your hard work, talent and expertise. Perhaps there is a local trade or charity in need of some advice? Reach out directly and be generous with your time, even if all you get back is experience you’ll be surprised how rewarding giving can be.
- Teach Someone What You Do
The best way to know if you truly understand something is to teach others and the Internet makes this simple. Contact a local design school and offer your experience to the next generation. How about organising a free talk, class or workshop? Eventbrite makes it easy to build an audience and promote your events online. You could be teaching your future customers or business partners.
- Comment on What You Read.
The Internet is awash with design blogs covering all areas of the industry. Chances are you are already reading a whole bunch that are relevant to your business so why not join the conversation? Engage with key bloggers by offering up thoughtful and relevant comments linking back to your business. It’s a great way to keep learning and network for the future.
- Teach Yourself A Little SEO
Many marketing professionals, myself included, have made a living from ensuring that businesses reach the top of Google. But you don’t have to be an expert to start building traffic to your website. Spend an afternoon teaching yourself the basics of SEO and your business is sure to benefit.
- Advertise on Facebook And Instagram
It’s likely that you use Facebook and Instagram in your personal life and, if you find the time, you may have profiles setup and managed for your business as well. So why not experiment with a little paid for advertising? You can start building your following from less than £10/week, promoting your business to a valuable audience of prospective customers and influencers. Here is a guide to get you started.
- Launch a free e-book
This one is a classic of Internet Marketing for one simple reason: it works! People are always looking for valuable content online and will gladly offer an email address for an e-book about your area of expertise. You don’t have to be a great writer to get stated, take a look at this online guide and start publishing great material today!
- Make Use of Your Email Signature.
When you answer your phone, always say your company name and who’s speaking. When you send an email, always make sure your email signature contains your company name and logo. Be polite and friendly at all times because you never know who might be calling. Get these basics right and you’ll strengthen your brand and your reputation.