Interior Designers: Star Ratings in Google

How to get a 5-star rating on Google searches for YOUR Interior Design business.

Interior Designers and, indeed, smaller companies in general face a significant disadvantage in showing up and standing out in Google search results. You have a lot of bases to cover and, let’s face it, bigger companies like eBay may sell a similar (but inferior) product / service to you but it is VERY difficult for you to get ahead of them.

There are a few tricks that can help you. This post/article looks in a bit of detail at getting pretty STARS against stuff that  you write. As shown in the image below.

Have a look at this screen shot of something I’ve worked on recently related to fabric searches for certain kinds of Mohair Velvet in one of the markets we are targeting.

Interior-Designers-Getting-On-GoogleYou’ll notice a few things that make either KOTHEA or me stand out.

1. Being on the first page! Yes that helps!! If you write a blog then Google give you bonus points for new content and that content ranks highly for a small period of time, say a couple of weeks.

2. Having a pretty mug shot of yourself. This is linked to ‘authorship’ of your page and is quite involved but can be achieved if you have time to spare. I can cover that in another article if anyone is interested. It’s quite important.

3. Images/Image Search Results at the top. That first product image at the top is one I took. I can’t remember whether it is on a blog page or a website page but I appropriately ‘tagged’ it with the ‘right’ keywords and voila! there it is.

4. Adverts. On the bottom right hand side one of my adverts is showing up. Cool!! but I have to pay for it 🙁

5. Brand/Company Results. These are not shown on the image above but if you properly set up a company or brand page in Google+ (or get a Wikipedia entry) then additional information about your company will appear on the right hand side where the shopping results and adverts currently are.

6. If you sell products OVER THE INTERNET then you can use Google Merchant and results will appear on the right hand side. I don’t really know how to do that as we do not sell products over the internet (that is a pre-requisite).

7. Ranking stars. You will see that on one of our website’s pages we have a ranking. 9.4/10 … how cool is that! This article/post is going to talk about how you can get those.

RANKING STARS – RATING STARS

OK. Here is where your problems start. (Don’t worry though if you keep reading I will tell you how to circumnavigate those problems).

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To get a star ranking to show up then you have to have, from memory, at least 10 ‘proper rankings’ in ‘proper places’. The figure used to be higher but it has been lowered recently.

Now, if you are eBay or amazon then of course you could get hundreds of rankings every week from the myriad of customers you have and you can build trusted ranking systems into your online e-commerce package. Fair enough. Except, as an interior designer, you might only have 3 projects/customers a year and sometimes client’s don’t want to write a review even if they are super-happy with what you have done for them. So, if you can get one review per year, then you might have to wait 10 years for your reviews to filter through to Google’s rankings. You probably also do not have the same resources that Ebay or Amazon have to dedicate to their online e-commerce solution.

That is clearly not fair and clearly does not create a level playing field for small- to medium-sized organisations. Indeed it positively UNlevels the playing field in favour of larger firms. So, despite the internet giving smaller companies a chance, the nature of the search-engine-beast mitigates that chance considerably downwards.

And it’s worse than that. Because larger companies FOR SURE employ agencies to boost and create spurious/fake rankings. Cheating, basically. Google try and stop this and some of the companies that produce the rankings try and stop this but in reality the ranking companies are not going to stop their customers paying to use their ranking service.

Here’s what you can do:

1. TRUSTPILOT.com: This is one of the ranking companies. They all charge for their services as far as I know. Trustpilot are no different BUT do provide an initially free service where you can mail all your past customers asking for a review. Once the free service expires then your future customers can still leave a review but they have to create an account to log in and then leave the review. In reality that discourages customers from leaving a review. If you want to leave a review for KOTHEA then you can do it here: http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/blog.kothea.com. I wouldn’t want you to leave a review about our products if you have not bought them, however it is ethical that you could leave a review about our blog and any value that adds to your efforts. The paid-for Trustpilot service might be appropriate for you if you have 50 sales transactions a month as there are other benefits to reviews rather than just getting pretty stars to appear on Google.

2. Google+: If you haven’t already got a personal Google+ page AND ALSO a Google+ page for your business then you should do. There are many google-related search benefits for having one. Once you have a Google+ page for your business then there is automatically a section created by Google+ for reviews. So you can invite your customers to leave a review. After you have finished a job or sold a product you should ALWAYS ask for a review to be left here. These reviews WILL count towards Google’s star ranking of you. The less honest amongst you will ask all your friends to leave reviews. Naughty.

3. Aggregate ranking code. You can look at all the rankings you have all over the internet and aggregate them together manually. You can then display the result on your website with a small piece of HTML. The less honest amongst you will just invent an aggregate ranking.

You might want to display this on each relevant page:

Starts:

“Customer Survey

UK Interior Designer: April 2014

Rated 9.9/10 (1063 reviews)”   : Ends
To do that you need to insert the following HTML code which will even work on a WordPress blog:
Star-Ranking-HTML
You can change the text if you think about it a bit. Basically you can change the bits in black.

There you go, you star!! Go give yourself a gold star for reading this far. Oh yes and please thank me by clicking ‘like’ or leave a comment. I hope you found it useful….there’s lots more business tips for designers on this website and there will be lots more in the future.

 

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Interior Designers: Business Bible

Office PURE GRUPPEHere are all (most) of our articles on “the business” of interior design. Sales and marketing resources for a modern digital world.

Your comments or likes or backlinks are all appreciated as we invest considerable time into producing this content.

  1. business-tips-for-interior-designers
  2. 9-common-interior-design-mistakes-marketing
  3. 9.5-ways-for-interior-designers-to-make-more-money-profit
  4. interior-designers-get-more-customers-on-your-website
  5. Interior-designers-boosting-your-position-in-google-search-results
  6. the-proactive-interior-designer-1-0-1
  7. 6-things-that-interior-designers-do-wrong-on-their-web-sites
  8. interior-designers-5-and-a-half-ways-to-twitter-badly
  9. pitching-winning-managing-business-for-interior-designers
  10. use-pinterest-more-to-generate-interest
  11. facebook-interior-designers-10-steps-to-setup
  12. retail-interior-designers-8-ways-to-sell-more
  13. bad-things-they-say-about-interior-designers
  14. interior-designers-facebook-4-ways-to-correctly-use-it
  15. 7-facebook-mistakes-interior-designers-make
  16. designers-twitter-is-rubbish-use-twitter
  17. interior-design-marketing-2010-predictions
  18. designers-what-to-blog-about
  19. spying-on-competitors-staying-ahead
  20. interior-designer-did-your-web-site-just-popp-up-in-my-search
  21. interior-design-marketing-strategies
  22. facebook-adwords-effective-ad-writing-for-interior-designers
  23. interior-designers-facebook-key-elements-for-your-fan-page
  24. designers-interior-design-links-how-to-get-them
  25. target-markets-for-interior-designers-interior-design-marketing-strategy-2012
  26. interior-designers-an-update-on-using-facebook-linkedin-wordpress-blogs-and-twitter
  27. interior-designers-in-2012-how-do-people-find-you-on-the-web
  28. interior-designers-how-to-specify-a-luxury-cashmere-throw-for-your-client-projects
  29. an-interior-designer-gets-lots-of-web-visitors-but-few-leads-enquiries
  30. interior-designers-ipad-essential-apps
  31. interior-designers-to-houzz-or-not-to-houzz
  32. who-is-the-best-interior-designer-in-the-world
  33. interior-designers-and-their-financially-lucrative-bit-on-the-side
  34. interior-design-marketing-strategy-business-strategies-plan-for-designers-2012
  35. interior-designers-what-should-i-write-about-on-my-blog
  36. pinterest-and-customer-interest-interior-designers-pin-their-boards-to-the-wall
  37. interior-designers-why-does-no-one-visit-your-web-site
  38. marketing-strategies-interior-designers-consider-these-areas
  39. interior-designers-how-good-is-your-brands-colour/
  40. how-to-create-a-bad-digital-first-impression-for-interior-designer/
  41. sponsored-blog-post-by-interior-designers-charge-fair-rates-stop-getting-conned/

For more information on luxury cashmere throws or to request cuttings please visit www.kothea.com.  For black faux leather upholstery fabrics try <here> and for mohair velvet and mohair velvet upholstery fabric please follow the links.  Upholstery Linen is also one of our specialities as are luxury  silk velvet  fabrics.

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Luxury Yacht Interior Design

Interesting take. A lot of artists are targeting the interior designers for yachts at present. Try some of the linked groups.

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Interior Designer: Target Markets & Marketing Strategy

Customers are Ignoring You
Customers are Ignoring You (Photo credit: ronploof)

Whether you are a new Interior Designer or an accomplished Interior Designer of repute and long standing there is always a need to know who your target customers are. In fact, if you don’t really know your target customers then, unless you are lucky, you will not stay in business long.

Times change. Remember what was a great target market in the boom times might not be if things get tough, you should look at your target markets annually.

There are broadly two types of customer; residential, and commercial. The former would be characterised by an individual or household decision making unit whereas the latter would be characterised as an organisation, potentially an organisation can be very difficult to deal with as it can be more complex with decision makers, buyers, specifiers, influencers and many people involved in the decision making processes.

A potential, residential customer could be a friend, relation, someone down the road, a referral. Essentially someone who wants to ‘do’ their living space.

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A potential commercial customer could be a hotel chain, your local restaurant, the office where someone you know works; often it will be a ‘workplace’ of some sorts but it could also include a large property developer/builder building an apartment block or a private aircraft or yacht manufacturer/designer.

What is NOT a target market. Green design is NOT a target market. Kitchen design is NOT a target market. You must always phrase the target market in terms of the customer. So the preceding examples become: People who are environmentally conscious in their interiors purchasing decisions; and People who are replacing their kitchen.
Remember. There are a LOT of people in this world. There are a LOT of workplaces in this world. So you will probably need several criteria to precisely specify your target market.
And here is where it gets tricky.
You can use criteria like:  Age; Location; Gender; Income level; Education level; Marital or family status;  Occupation; and Ethnic background. But then, really, how meaningful is that for your marketing? If one of your criteria is “educational level” then, for example, ‘graduate’ may well describe all of your previous customers BUT how useful is that criteria in seeking out new customers? Will you really vet everyone that comes to you to see if they have a degree? Will you assume that all graduates are intelligent (very many are not, trust me!)? Will you assume that all graduates are wealthier? In  your marketing how exactly can you target graduates? If you use alumni magazines for advertising then I admit that would be a great route to graduates but really alumni magazines!? With the advent of Facebook advertising you CAN specify that adverts are only shown to graduates…so assuming that the Facebook user is telling the truth about themselves then OK I accept that would be reasonable. Think it through, whatever you decide.
So what you are trying to achieve with your target markets is a level of manageable clarity. Clarity in the sense that it becomes clear who your customers are going to (hopefully) be. You can see how your marketing efforts will be focussed towards them. Manageable in the sense that there are enough that you can ‘easily’ target them with the money, time and manpower you have available for marketing.
Do not fall into the trap of saying that your target market is “People who buy my type of service”. That won’t really help you! despite it being obviously true.
Once you properly know your target markets (which might require some research) you will be able to work out how big they are. You will be able to see how easily you can get your message to them. You will be able to assess if they can afford your services. Much of your marketing will ‘fall into place’ relatively straightforwardly once you have figured out what you are selling and who you are selling it to.
Remember that there are LOTS of people out there trying to get the same business that you are. So you have to be smart. The obvious market may well be obvious to 100 other interior designers and your basic design service the same as the one offered by those 100 other designers. Often it is good to aim for a less crowded market with a relatively unique offering that is suited precisely to that market. Easier “said”, than “done”, of course.
Here are some suggestions:
Commercial Interiors
  • Hospitality & Leisure
  • Marine
  • Medical
  • Aerospace
Residential Interiors
  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • Marital or family status
  • Occupation
  • Ethnic background
  • Eco-buyers
  • Buy to let
  • New builders
  • Renovators
  • Landlords
  • Tech savvy
  • Time poor family
  • Friends
  • Networks/ past client networks

If the target user of your service is someone you might not directly contact and you have to go through someone else (usually an organisation). then that organisation becomes your channel to market.

Examples here include;

If you have any additions to suggest please add them via a comment below. I will put them into this list.

There are links below to more related and detailed stuff. Here are some of the posts I previously wrote or you can find them all in one go by <clicking here>
Related articles
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Interior Design Marketing Strategy – Business Strategies & Plan for Designers 2012

New Target Market
New Target Market (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

Interior design professionals, designers with shops, freelance designers, decorators and in-house interior design teams from international architecture practices all share the need to plan all aspects of their businesses. The larger the organisation, the more there is the tendency to do the planning ‘properly’. The larger the organisation, the higher the tendency to stick to plans where possible and the lower the ability to react quickly to unexpected opportunities.

A small design practice might have had several successful years and yet each year did not follow the plan that was set at the start of that year.

A large in-house design team’s manager might bemoan the amount of time s/he has to put aside to planning and budgeting each year.

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Focussing initially on marketing, a design graduate might shy away from a financial plan when starting out in business. Only then to realise that the financial plan is really only what the bank is interested in when it comes to taking out a startup loan.

A fledgling business-owner might spend many nights worrying over the financial forecasts of cashflow and sales as those are what pay the mortgage, the salaries and office rent.

So we all come at business planning from a different perspective and we probably all agree that some degree of planning is necessary. You might just be a bit confused about the difference between a marketing strategy/plan and a business strategy/plan – as many people use those terms to mean the same thing.

Essentially what we want to know is how to allocate the resources we have; people, money and time. And then how to measure, monitor and control that allocation.

But what brings you here is probably that you want to know how to allocate your resources SMARTLY. And how others in your industry do it. You might want to just find a plan that someone else has already done that you can follow and copy to save a bit of time.

Well I think I will have a series of textbooks to write to answer all of those questions! And many plans to collate and link to in order to get the right one for all the readers of this.

So before we go any further let me just point out that there are some links to other materials at the end of the article and that the remainder of the article will just touch on a few aspects of marketing and business plans.

Plans and strategies (and goals for that matter).

A business goal is EXACTLY what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. The business strategy is the method by which you want to achieve it. You might also have some longer term aspirational stuff set in missions, visions and values but I’ll leave that alone here.

So:

Goal: 10% growth in sales revenue this year at existing gross profit levels.

Strategy: By organic growth from existing customers.

This higher level stuff is important in the sense that it will determine what happens lower down in the organisation. For example the strategy I have just laid out might well require existing sales people to think of themselves as ACCOUNT MANAGERs and undergo the appropriate training rather than recruiting 10% more sales people. Or it might not! But you get the point hopefully.

So these goals and strategies will filter down to the various parts of your business. They will manifest themselves in various tactics when seen from the MD’s point of view. From within each department (if your business is large enough) your department head will be tasked to achieve these organisation tactics. It’s just that they will instead view them as their GOALS. So their departmental goals then require departmental strategies and tactics and so on, cascading down to the individual level.

THE MARKETING STRATEGY

What your marketing strategy needs to do is figure out all of this in terms of customers.

So one of the first things you will need to do is to work out who your target customers/markets are. You NEED to do this in terms of groups or types of customers. These groups are called MARKET SEGMENTS. You SEGMENT or divide up your entire market into distinct measurable groups. It’s important that these groups all behave in a similar fashion. This is because when you try to reach each segment you  will want to simplify the ways that you appropriately reach (market to) that segment.

For example:

Target markets: Buyers of new-build houses, buyers of house-to-flat conversions.

You are based in, say, Central London so you will need to narrow your market down by area, say Chelsea and Westminster and Islington or specific postcodes. Presumably also narrow it down by house value as well and so on.

To quantify your market segments you might then soon come to realise that you need to be looking at the website of your local council to look at planning approvals. Free information that will tell you exactly which building work will be started in 1-6 months time by postcode. It will probably also tell you the owner and architect/builder. Or you might decide to drive around your target postcodes and look at the building works already in progress. Usually the architect will have a board outside. Would you try to do show homes? (You might target varying sizes of construction company). Or you might try to tackle it further down the line at the estate agent level knowing that a buyer is going to spend money on interior design fairly immediately after buying a house, rather than in 6+ months time when construction starts? Of course the house buyer may well already have the interior designers/decorators sorted out at this stage or might simply be doing it themselves, it might be prudent to make contacts as early in the process as possible

And of course building firms and architects (and maybe estate agents) probably already have existing Interior Designer contacts or in-house capabilities. I never said this was going to be easy! But then again they may have been let down on the last project and could just be looking for your services.

But the point of all of this is to narrow your thinking down. Then to focus your efforts. The silly but obvious example is that if you had not chosen specific postcode target markets you could be driving around the whole of London for the next two months or spending many evenings trawling through London Borough Council websites. But of course if an ad-hoc opportunity comes your way you grasp it even if it is not in your target market (within reason).

Or you might have jumped straight in to building a web site saying what a great London Interior Designer you are and how good you are and where you were educated and so on. When the reality is that the people you are trying to reach might NEVER even look at the internet for an interior designer. Your target market might just use the internet to check you out after they have received a contact from you from some other (non-digital means.

So; for each target market you then need to think about the 4P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

4P is easy to remember but not necessarily helpful so here’s what they are to you:

  • Product – really the service(s) you offer to EACH target market (they could be different or tailored)
  • Price – you got that one! (Here’s something I wrote earlier)
  • Promotion – the marketing/promotional/PR type activity you will be be using. (Here’s something I wrote earlier).
  • Place – or Distribution – or how you get to your true, end client. what MIDDLE MAN you use. eg the architect or estate agent in the above example. This ‘PLACE’ might not be  so important if you are going direct to your customer.
The links below will show you more comprehensively how you can structure a business plan.
If you are not the detailed planning type then another approach is to use the SOSTT 4M mini-planning model. Let’s say you are thinking about how to revamp the marketing you do from your shop or from your web site. You’ve got an idea of something you’d like to try. Normally you’d just go ahead and do it and perhaps not think through all the implications. Is that you? Then if so here, perhaps, is a quick way to checklistise what you are going to do
SOSTT +4m
  1. S – SITAUATION: What is the current state of play. The problems, opportunities, worries. What are you good at in this particular area?
  2. O – OBJECTIVES: Exactly what do you want to achieve? Use a SMART goal (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-delimited). eg increase my awareness in a certain targetmarket by 5% by the end of the year, measured by XXX.
  3. S – STRATEGY: How are you going to achieve this? eg By increasing my online presence in social media
  4. T – TACTICS: How are you going to achieve this in a bit more detail?  focus on Twitter Restauranters and LinkedIn Restaurant Groups
  5. M – MANPOWER: Who exactly is going to do all the various activities. eg My partner
  6. M – MONEY: What will it cost. Probably very little in terms of cash.
  7. M – MINUTES: How long will it take? 2 days set up and then 2 hours every Sunday night.
  8. M _ MONITOR: How are you going to check how this is all working? You might have a special new web page that is the same as your homepage but called index2.htm. All your twitter activity and LinkedIn activity might point only to this new web page. That way you can track EXACTLY the hits you get from your new activity to see if it is working.
So that’s it. For a marketing plan for a small business, those are the things I would make sure you have covered before devoting a week to a fully detailed plan. If indeed you get that far!
There are links below to more related and detailed stuff.
Here are some of the posts I previously wrote or you can find them all in one go by <clicking here>
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Interior Design Marketing 2010 – 8 Predictions 8 Actions

2010: Sort It Out Now
2010: Sort It Out Now

With the benefit of proverbial hindsight the changes that have hit the Interior Design sector in 2009 were ‘obvious’. I’ll take a quick look at how some of the aspects of sales & marketing in interior design will affect ‘you’ in 2010. As always I’ll be practical and sensible and not carried away by the hype of technologies or media evangelists.

So prediction number one. I started my introduction by saying how it will affect ‘you’ with the you in parentheses. That means all of ‘you’, plural, not just you my dear reader. Well, very, very many of ‘you’ will do little different this year to what you did last year or the year before. So not much change there. But just because you refuse to change does not mean that change will not be forced upon you by the market. For example, many large design practices are now much smaller, the people who left are now starting innovative new businesses and stealing your customers. Action Point: Innovate and survive. Make a point to change something in your business this year, something important not trivial.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

Prediction number 2. 2009 was an historically pivotal year. The time we are now living in will be looked back on by scholars as the period when the East truly began it’s economic ascendancy over the West. Not a nice prediction I know and I am not happy about it. Unfortunately, in 2010, the western economies will experience further serious difficulties. The American economy will trundle along and the UK economy will either stay in recession or double dip back into recession as massive, impending public spending cutbacks put government employees out of work. (The UK government has over the last year borrowed more money than all UK governments EVER ADDED TOGETHER that is a LOT of money and yes I have written it correctly and yes it really is true. The country and 6th ish biggest economy risks bankruptcy). This will impact you designers indirectly and directly. I doubt many of your clients work in government; however their businesses rely, in part, on the direct and indirect custom and spending power of government employees and government agencies. Action Point: Look at the type of customers you have and assess the risks to your future levels of business from that area. Survey the economic landscape in your target markets.

Prediction number 3. Many of you will start writing blogs because either it’s a good idea or because you competitors do it. About half of you will stop doing that because it takes up too much time. Action Point: Either write a weekly business blog  or, if you have not got enough time to grow your business (hmm?), use Twitter/Facebook to micro-blog.

Prediction number 4. Some of you will take a strategic view on where new customers will come from and prosper accordingly. Look where the money is. Bankers STILL get huge bonuses and many spend it on houses. There is less funding available for large capital intensive projects like hotels but, once started, hotels are usually finished. Multi-billionaires are still billionaires; they will still buy ski chalets, yachts and villas because they are still rich. Footballers and MDs of PLCs still get paid too much. Fewer people will buy second homes and overseas homes. The property market (sales not letting) might grow from last year but it will still be at low levels. B&Q recently reported good sales in 2009…indicative that people are spending money on where they live now and not that they plan to move. HOWEVER remember that all economic bubbles EVER in history ALWAYS burst. (South Sea Bubble, Dot come bubble, house price bubble,  footballers’ salaries!, etc.) also remember that just because an industry is in recession it does not necessarily mean it EVER will pick up at some point in the future. Action Point: Review and understand your customer segments.

Prediction number 5. No new marketing wonder solution. 2009 saw Facebook dramatically take over from MySpace. Facebook will continue to prosper. You should use it as a marketing channel if your clients ‘hang out there’. A mini-risk with Facebook is that adoption by the young and trendy is slowing as it is no longer as cool as it used to be, mainly because their parents’ updates keep appearing on their wall.  Even I remember that sort of thing is not cool (just like using the word cool probably). Action Point: Use Facebook for your customer networking remembering that you are trying to network with potential business partners or customers NOT the competition, it’s not the size of your network that counts.

Prediction number 6. Traditional advertising’s terminal disease will not improve.  Online advertising will continue to be adopted by designers. Traditional print circulations are falling, technologies exist to let us skip TV ads, etc. How many times do you get called with the latest greatest deal for a full page ad in some magazine you’ve never heard of? How many times does a new online web site try to sell you advertising space?. Why, for the first time in 23 (TWENTY THREE) years has Pepsi stopped spending on advertising on the Superbowl and switched to an alternative online media campaign? Advertising is intrusive, usually annoying, often irrelevant and we can now avoid it as well as ignore it. If I owned a small design business I would not entrust my money with an employee marketing manager to spend blindly on advertising. If I controlled my own media spend I would review closely every penny I spent on traditional print advertising and I would want proof that it worked. And that proof would not be forthcoming. Unlike Google AdWords, for example, which tells me exactly what happened and only charges me for success. Unlike this blog post that I know will get at least 500 hits. Action Point: If you do not advertise do so online with a limited budget. If you do advertise in print consider switching a significant chunk of your spend to online.

Prediction number 7. Although Twitter is rubbish. People will use it more and more in 2010 because, for the time being, it fills a need. The need is broadly defined by the ease of connecting with people, simple quick messaging, and convenience of use with technologies like mobile/cell phones. Action Point: You should really use Twitter for your business.

Prediction number 8. Search engines have changed and continue to so do. They now look more at the instant chats and posts that your customers are making. Maybe they evangelise about your business or are less than kind about it. Either way that sort of up-to-date pertinent information will find it’s way up Google’s ranking and you really, really (yes REALLY) should know what is being said about your business. Action Point: Review weekly what is being said online about your business.

Is that all so far fetched?

You can read more of my sales & marketing for interior designer post here.

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Bad things they say about Interior Designers

Truth & Consequences
Image via Wikipedia

You have a great business. You have great referrals from clients and you have a good presence at events and online.

What if you suddenly started getting a lot of bad press, perhaps because of just one well connected but disgruntled client? What if you did not realise for 6 months? The consequences could be disastrous, right?

This is one of those things that are, hopefully, unlikely to happen but if it did the CONSEQUENCES would be severe. So it’s the kind of business event where you probably need not worry too much BUT you do need to give it some thought to plan contingent action.

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Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

An easy thing to do as part of a response to this issue is to look at: online articles and publications; and online social networks.

At its most simple level: once you realise what is happening make every effort to politely counter what is said in written and make efforts to make the disgruntled client happier.

At another level think about a way of monitoring the PR you get on a regular basis to avoid cumulative bad press.

7 Marketing Strategies for Interior Designers

Photo Credit: McVitty

Interior Designers need to understand their whole marketing strategy and how each of its 7 constituent tactics work together to grow the business.

This article is a checklist. Go through each of the points I’ve listed and apply it to your sales and marketing in your business. My opinion on what are particularly important marketing communications for interior designers are highlighted in bold and might differ if you target business rather than the public. Let me know your thoughts: The checklist contains links to other resources and there are further articles referred to at the end of this article.

1. Search Marketing – Get your prospect at the time of their decision-making.

2. Online PR – Create Awareness of your brand by getting it mentioned.

  • Industry Portal Representation (eg Thehousedirectory.com)
  • Social Media (blogs, feeds, communities)
  • Media Alerting Services
  • Brand Protection
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

3. Online Partnerships – Link your brand WITH OTHERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY

4. Offline Communications – You should know these.

  • Advertising
  • Personal selling
  • Sales promotion
  • PR
  • Sponsorship
  • Direct Mail
  • Exhibitions
  • Merchandising
  • Packaging
  • Word-of-mouth (your old clients are your best and cheapest salespeople)

5. Interactive Ads

6. Opt-in Email

  • House list emails (your clients and prospects) – look at mailchimp.com
  • Cold (rented lists) – not normally a good idea
  • Co-branded (share the marketing load wisely and boost your brand image)
  • Ads in 3rd party newsletters

7. Viral Marketing – Electronic variants of traditional ‘word of mouth’

What do you think?

And as a PS I will follow this up with 2 more articles; one about different ways of engaging (financially) with clients; and a second about using facebook for an interior design business. The first comment, below, reflects a theme running through many questions posed to me: website designers (techies) and ad agencies (space sellers) are trying to get you to part with  your hard earned design fees; I would read a book on digital marketing that comes more from the marketing end rather than the technology end eg “Mastering Web 2.0 bu Susan Rice Lincoln”, that’s a good way to start. DON’T SPEND £10k/$15k on a new web site think about your customers and how they behave, your marketing communications need to latch into their behavioural characteristics.

Photo Credit: McVitty (Designer)

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