Are you looking for how to get more interior design clients?
Getting more clients can be one of the biggest struggles for a interior designer.
Whether that is driving traffic to your interior design studio, converting a lead into a client or becoming more known within your area – there is a lot to consider when trying to grow your business.
With so many options out there, I’ve compiled the nine most effective tactics at driving new clients for your interior design business in 2021.
Let’s get into it!
- Hyper-Target Potential Clients With Facebook Advertising
- Drive Referrals With Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
- Get Discovered by Potential Clients on Houzz
- Let Google Help by Supercharging Your SEO
- Spend a Little to Get a Lot with Google Adwords
- Build Your Brand With Blogging
- Create Your Own Tribe By Building An Email List
- Get Added Support by Joining Associations
- Unlock the Power of Instagram
Hyper-Target Potential Clients With Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising for interior designers is a massively untapped channel for driving new clients. You can start with a small budget (£50 or even less) and test the waters to see how it works for your business.
One of the best features of Facebook advertising is the level of granularity with the targeting.
For example, you can target people who live in a specific location – the below image shows it targeting just people within 40km of Leeds. You can define it as a smaller or larger area depending on your specific business.
You can also define the age and gender of your advert targeting – so if you know that all of your clients are female between the ages of 30-55 then you can be that specific!
With even more targeted options such as interests, behaviours, and even education level – you can test out different adverts to see what performs best for you. For example, you can target people interested in interior design (so they are probably more likely to take pride in how their home looks) and engaged shoppers which is when Facebook knows they have previously made a purchase after seeing an advert on Facebook.
You can target people who like your Facebook page, attended events you’ve created and so much more, but all those details are best saved for a dedicated blog post.
As I mentioned, you can start with a small budget to test the waters. You can see how many leads you get and convert into clients – if it works for you then you can increase your spend from the money you make from the initial test.
I’ve seen some designers achieving phenomenal results with Facebook adverts, with some getting multiple new clients each week.
Drive Referrals With Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Interior design referrals can be the lifeblood of your business. While they might happen organically, you can do a lot to ensure they happen on a regular, predictable basis.
So how can you help drive interior design referrals?
Firstly, as you are already working with the client and they are appreciating your talent, just ask them. Let your clients know how you are enjoying working with them and ask if they have any family, friends or colleagues that would also appreciate your services as an interior designer.
As with any marketing efforts to get new clients – the key is to make it all about the client and not about you. Make them aware of how great they are to work with and mention how you’d love a few more clients just like them.
You can maximise your efforts to drive referrals by creating a reward system for your previous and existing clients to make referrals. Most clients won’t need or want a reward but it’s always great to say thank you, whether that’s a bottle of wine, a voucher for a great local restaurant or invites to an event you are hosting.
You could even provide vouchers for your own services as well to try and entice the client to keep coming back – they could also be giftable so they can be leveraged as an easy referral device.
Finally, the key is to keep asking. Not in a spammy and desperate manner. Occasionally check in with your client once the project has finished making sure they are enjoying the space you have created and mention again you loved working with them and ask for referrals. Subtle reminders of you can also help, things like Christmas cards, small gifts, additional recommendations of new products as you come across them.
Get Discovered by Potential Clients on Houzz
Houzz marketing can drive regular leads to your interior design business if used effectively. The key to the platform is to keep it updated and complete your profile completely. Use your profile effectively as an advert for your business.
Houzz’s platform has disrupted the traditional way homeowners find and choose an interior designer. They have created a powerful platform that has an immense amount of traffic from search engines around keywords such as ‘interior designs in london’ so making sure you are on the platform is crucial.
Houzz conducted extensive research on their users and discovered that they are:
- upscale homeowners (89% own their homes)
- have an average home value of $450,000
- Have an average income of $124,000
- 78% are married
- 27% are in their first home
- actively building, remodelling or decorating
- 72% plan to decorate or redecorate
- 40% plan to build an addition or remodel
- 10% are planning to have a custom home built
- are spending quite a bit on these projects (kitchen remodel is about $27,000, on average
As you can see these are prime candidates for finding an interior designer – so you’d be crazy to not take Houzz seriously.
Top Tips for Houzz in 2021
- Houzz states openly that their algorithm includes the factors of recency and frequency, so staying active on the platform is very important.
- Get as many reviews of your services on Houzz, not only will it help you appear higher on the platform – it will set your profile apart from others who have only a handful of reviews.
- Upload your most impressive projects, complete will as many high-quality images and a full description of the project and each image – most people just upload and forget, by adding more information you will really stand out.
- Interact with the community – ask and answer questions on the platform to drive both your accounts activity as well as building your network.
For more tips on how to get the most out of Houzz, check out the Houzz Marketing Strategy Tips guide.
Let Google Help by Supercharging Your SEO
I have had SEO described to me as a ‘dark art’ – which definitely makes it sound a lot more exciting to actually do than it really is.
In reality, SEO can put new leads on autopilot for your business and can easily drive a consistent 10, 50, 100, 1000+ new leads each month once you’ve put in the work.
There is a lot of miss-information around SEO and hundreds of thousands of articles on many different parts of SEO which can make it seem extremely daunting for non-SEO specialists.
A quick note to start, in terms of the best platform for SEO to build your site – WordPress is the best way to go. Squarespace and Wix are great website building tools – but if you are serious about getting more clients (from SEO) you really need to be on WordPress.
Key Word Research
The very first thing you need to do with SEO if you’re an interior designer is keyword research. This forms the basis of pretty much everything you will do and it shows you the exact search terms you can target to drive more traffic to your website.
Now most interior designers that I’ve worked with have been locally based and servicing a particular area (for example they cover the county of Essex) – so for the workflow, I’ll presume this is what you are too. [Note: if you are not, reach out and I will help you choose your keywords to look at].
To do this (for free) head over to Ubersuggest. Put in your location + interior designer as the keyword (in the example below I’ve used ‘essex interior designer’).
You can see it then spits out the average monthly searches for your keyword – if it’s not zero then we’re in business.
Further down the page, there is a ‘keyword ideas’ section which will show some similar keywords – some of these will also be relevant (obviously keywords like ‘interior design jobs essex’ won’t be relevant to try and get more clients).
Repeat the above process for any locations you cover, make sure you do a mix of town, city and county locations – as they all may have people searching for them.
Now you have your target keywords, it’s time to put them to work.
Including your keywords in core places on a given page will increase your chance of ranking for that keyword (note: there is such a thing as ‘keyword stuffing’ so don’t go mad as it won’t end well for getting traffic from Google). Try to include your keywords naturally in places such as:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Headings (H1, 2,3,4…)
- Body Copy
- Image Alt Tags
- Internal Links
Now it’s time to build some links. Links are one of the most important things you need to rank in Google. You don’t necessarily need hundreds and thousands to start competing but you need to try and keep the links relevant to the design world. Here are some ideas to get your started:
- Ask your suppliers to be featured on their site (maybe give them a testimonial)
- Guest post on other interior designers blogs
- Get featured in your local press – they love a success / new business story
- Source contributors for your own blog (ask bloggers or brands to write for you)
Finally, if you are a locally-based interior designer then you need to make sure you have set up your Google My Business page. If you are servicing a local market then this is an absolute must. They appear on almost every ‘local’ type search, you can see an example below…
Some quick tips on getting the most out of the Google My Business profile and increase your chances of appearing for these searches:
- Fill it out your profile as completely as you can
- Upload your best photos that best represent your style and the work you do
- Keep it updated, if you change office, change your address
- Ask clients to leave reviews – and respond to them
- Add posts & videos to maximise engagement
Remember, SEO isn’t a ‘quick fix’ and takes time to really see the benefit of it, however, if you get it right you can seriously reap the rewards.
For more SEO tips for interior designers, check out this post on Topology.
Spend a Little to Get a Lot with Google Adwords
Appearing at the top of Google is easy if you pay them. But it needn’t cost you a lot of money.
The cost is dependent on how competitive the keyword is, in terms of how many people are trying to appear for the same keyword. Some locations, such as London, will cost you more for the traffic to your site, compared to other locations like Manchester, Leeds or Edinburgh. See the table below for the average costs you’ll pay for each visit to your website.
|Keyword||Avg. Cost Per Click|
|interior design london||£5.00|
|interior design edinburgh||£1.90|
|interior design harrogate||£2.50|
|interior design manchester||£2.00|
|interior design leeds||£3.00|
|interior design devon||£1.10|
If you’ve done your keyword research to optimise your site for SEO – you’ll know exactly what keywords you can test out creating adverts for.
There are many moving parts of Google Adwords, but here is a very quick guide to get an advert set up.
Google has made this process very straightforward with a simple step by step form to set up your first advert.
Firstly, you need to choose your goal. Don’t worry too much about this but it is useful in more advanced features as you evolve your Google Ads knowledge. As we are looking to drive leads to our site, select that option.
Google Ads combine multiple different advertising options, from Search Ads, Display, Shopping, Video, etc. For our ad, we want to select just ‘Search’ to keep things simple to start with.
You then get asked the ways you’d like to reach the goal, as we’re trying to drive people to your website, just select ‘Website visits’.
Next up, you need to select your daily budget, there is no minimum amount you can put in here – but I would recommend you put at least £5. This does not mean you will spend £5/day – you only get charged if people click on your advert.
Then it’s setting up what keywords you want to target, you can use the keywords you found from your keyword research from your SEO work and simply paste them in here.
Finally it’s time for the advert itself. The ad is made up of two core components – headlines and descriptions.
Google often stacks these next to each other (like in the image preview below). It’s important to call out your key value propositions you offer, such as free consultations, if you’ve won any awards, etc.
It is also useful to include some of the keywords from your research in some form in the advert (such as location) to reaffirm to the searcher that your advert is the best to click on.
The best approach to spending on Google Ads is to target the right keywords, experiment with low spend and see if they convert into leads and clients – if they aren’t converting then it’s either the wrong keyword or your site isn’t selling yourself well enough.
Pro Tip: They key to maximising the return on your Google Ads spend is to send them to a landing page which has been created specifically for that keyword. This may be a different page with fewer distractions but focusing on your key strengths as a business with a simple form for them to get in touch.
Build Your Brand With Blogging
Businesses using blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t. [Hubspot]
Having a blog can super-charge online interior designers and become a client generating machine.
It gives you an opportunity to really show off your skills, make sure you use imagery on your own projects to really make yourself stand out. But be careful not to make your blog posts too ‘salesy’ as it’s a perfect way to turn off your readers.
Instead, utilise your blog to build yourself up as an authority in the industry, whether that is the broad interior design industry, or if you niche down then you can focus on becoming an expert in specific rooms or styles of design.
Blogging is also a great way to make new connections – you can feature other (non-competing) designers, brands, bloggers who can end up a valuable source of new clients in the future.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of blindly writing articles and expecting miracles to happen with their traffic and leads. In reality, with a little extra preparation you can blow those competitors of yours who are doing that out of the water.
So what does it come down to? We’re back to keyword research!
But for a different purpose this time.
This time we’re looking for some keywords that people may be searching for when they want to solve a problem they have related to interior design.
And Google helps out a lot with this already, head over there and start typing in the search box something like “how to decorate a bedroom *” and see all of the different options that come up – these are all valuable, long-tail keyword ideas that people have actually searched for. Genius!
As before, now you have your keyword(s) you need to make sure you use them. Remembering the key locations being:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Headings (H1, 2,3,4…)
- Body Copy
- Image Alt Tags
When it comes to blogger it is crucial you have a great headline that makes people want to read. Something simple like “How To Decorate A Bedroom” doesn’t scream “read me now” whereas something along the lines of “How To Get A Hotel Bedroom Feel For Less Than £100” will make people really want to read on.
Pro (and Free) Tool: If you are using WordPress, make sure you install Yoast SEO plugin. It’s really simple to use and great to make sure you don’t forget anything when creating a blog post. Simply put in your keyword you are targeting and they use a traffic light system to guide you to make sure your article is suitable optimised.
Create Your Own Tribe By Building An Email List
Building an email list could be the single greatest investment you ever make to land more clients.
Many designers think that it won’t be worthwhile but in reality, it can be a source of repeatable, high-quality clients who already love your work before you’ve even started working with them.
It doesn’t need to be a huge investment of your money and time:
- You can start for free, use ConvertKit which free for up to 1,000 subscribers and will keep you going for a while
- Set up a Welcome Sequence (I’ll explain more on that shortly), which will take you anything from a few hours to a few days dependant on what you want out of it
- Send a monthly newsletter, which can feature your latest blog posts, case studies, trends your seeing, anything that you think people who follow you will want to see – this should take no more than a few hours a month.
How to Grow Your Email List
Yes, you might find these pop-ups annoying but the truth is that they REALLY work! On average between 3 and 10 in every 100 people who see an email sign-up lightbox fill it in and sign up.
There are many tools out there that you can use for pop ups, one of the best is Sumo (which has a free plan). Which allows you to completely customise the pop up with headline, copy, call to action, images etc. – whilst being super easy to use.
Using dedicated landing pages to collect subscribers for your blog’s email list is a very smart move.
Creating landing pages can be incredibly effective, some landing pages can convert visitors to subscribers so well that over half of the visitors to that page become email subscribers.
Landing pages give you a central place to direct traffic, the chance to sell what your subscribers are going to get.
On a basic level, having a few forms on your website will drive some people to sign up to your newsletter. This is absolutely fine if you are very strapped for time, but to really jump up those numbers you need to incentivise them to part with their email address.
The Content Upgrade.
The faster you grow your email list for your interior design studio, the faster you will get more traffic, and make more money from said email list.
The Content Upgrade, a term coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko, essentially puts your lightbox pop-ups on supercharge and can increase the number of people who sign up by up to 5 times. So rather than getting 5 subscribers from every 100 visitors. You could get up to 25 additional subscribers from the same traffic!
Content upgrades are uniquely crafted lead magnets designed to be downloaded based on the post a visitor is reading, a hyper-relevant additional resource for the reader. For example, if you have a post about Hygge, you could add a specific upgrade with The Ultimate Hygge Checklist.
They’ve Signed Up, Now What?
The very first thing to do once someone has signed up to your email list… thank them. Make them feel appreciated for taking the time and effort to give you their email address.
You can do this as part of a welcome sequence. Depending on what they have signed up for, the first thing is to deliver whatever that was (a checklist, a guide, etc).
Then you can follow up every few days with bonus content so they can get to know you and what to expect from being on your email list.
As part of your welcome sequence you can also include:
- An invite to follow your social media accounts
- Showcase some case studies/projects you’ve worked on
- Educate them on your services if they were to ever need them
Your welcome series can turn potential leads into customers in no time at all if executed well.
After your welcome sequence, you should get into the habit of emailing your email list at least once per month with new content you’ve created, new projects you’ve worked on or features you’ve seen elsewhere. This will keep them engaged and keep you front of mind for them to become a client when they are ready.
Remember, you must give your potential customers a really strong reason to sign up and you must keep them engaged.
Get Added Support by Joining Associations
Joining professional organisations such as the British Institute for Interior Designers is a great way to make yourself stand from your interior designer competitors. These institutions often have pretty strict guidelines to be able to join so can’t be joined by just anybody.
They can help you get more clients in a variety of ways:
Building Your Network
Using the BIID as an example, they run numerous networking events all over the UK to connect interior designers together as well as relevant suppliers and potential partners in the industry. These can be great at acquiring new clients in future.
You get a dedicated profile page on their site where potential clients can find you – the BIID can be a starting point for many looking for interior designers so is a great place to be featured with client referrals sent directly to your inbox.
The BIID offers access to exclusive media and public speaking opportunities. Whilst these may not be everyone’s cup of tea – they provide a great platform to raise your own profile in the industry to become more known and drive clients directly to your interior design services.
In addition to these client-driving factors, they often provide a lot of training to keep you up to date with the latest technologies, are available to give legal, HR and similar guidance as well as having exclusive access to discounts for insurance or suppliers.
Unlock the Power of Instagram
Instagram is the social media of choice at present and it fits perfectly into the interior design industry with its heavy imagery focus.
It can be an incredibly powerful tool to increase awareness of your interior design business and can showcase your style to potential clients all around the world.
Consistency is key, when someone lands on your profile then they should understand what you are all about. The style you resonate from your imagery – if you’ve got them this far this should be enough to convince them to follow you.
Naturally, the quality of your image’s need to be of the highest order. High-resolution images can add an extra kick needed to convert people from visiting your profile to pressing that elusive ‘follow’ button.
To drive some serious follower numbers you should be aiming to post 2-3 times per day. This is not always easy with everything else that is needed to run your interior design business, but using tools such as Schedugram or Later to bulk schedule your posts in advance can make it much easier to maintain.
When posting, you will need to make sure you are using the right hashtags. Users can search for Instagram posts using hashtags. This means they can find new accounts (like yours!) to follow. Using the right hashtags for your interior design business is a great way to attract new followers.
It’s crucial to engage both with your own audience as well as engaging with others posting similar content. Perform regular searches – and comment on other profiles posts but make sure your comments are useful and not just ‘great post’ as that is a sure-fire way to look spammy.
How to drive traffic to your site & get clients from Instagram
Now for the main part, getting more interior design clients from Instagram. Due to the nature of Instagram – there is a possibility that you will attract fans from all over the world so some may be outside of your usual ‘radius of work’ but I’ve seen some huge opportunities come about through Instagram which have made these more than worthwhile.
Firstly, you need to make use of your Instagram bio, and particularly the link. As links aren’t allowed in the posts, this link is your powerful tool to drive traffic to your site.
To encourage your followers to go to your site, you and direct them from your posts to your ‘link in bio’.
To maximise the return of this effort – you can adapt the link to be more relevant for the image. For example, if you posted an image of a recent project you’ve completed, you could link it to the case study of the project on your site so users can explore more of the same project.
Performing all of these tactics may seem like a lot of work, my advice would be to focus on one at a time to see the best results.
As an exclusive offer to my readers (and for those who are genuinely looking to implement tactics to grow their interior design business) if you want any advice or feedback on implementing these tactics on your interior design business to get more clients – feel free to contact me to get completely free feedback.
Happy client hunting!