Sunday, February 23, 2014

How did you find out about me? Interior Design Inquiries

One of the areas a busy interior designer often struggles with is the marketing aspect of their business.  Well, I shouldn’t be speaking for all of us, but I’ll just say it’s a challenge of balance between keeping our name out there while trying to provide quality services for clients. 

I get so engrossed in projects, it’s easy to forget that I need to be thinking about where the next project might be.  Will it be from a past client who is ready to refresh or has a lifestyle change, a referral, or will it be from new someone who is considering hiring an interior designer and they’re flipping through websites to determine who might be “the one?” 

One of the first questions I ask, when a call comes in, is:  “How did you find out about me?”  Referrals are more commonplace than online but that’s changing in today’s world of web searches, especially of the mobile kind.

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I’m always updating and tweaking services based on what I see as the direction and constant shifting of what the consumer feels they might need.  I also have to be careful not to go too far with that, because it can be confusing to them as to what they really DO need. 

I know in my own personal experiences, from looking into service providers, I don’t always know what’s available until I schedule a consultation and everyone has a different twist or experience to offer.  (And I’ll preface it to say, if it’s going to be more than a phone call, I never expect for them to offer up advice for free.) 

I also know, if I go in to a meeting with such a super definitive thought process, I may not be aware of options because, after all, I’m seeking assistance in an area in which I don’t have a total skillset or expertise.  I loved that a recent client shared with me that while she’s had advice, outside of our working together, I’ve spoiled her with knowledge, listening to her, and also in how I take care of her.  Oh, I need to ask her to shout that from the rooftops!

Okay, back to the subject at hand.  I do try to take time to make it easy to find me.  There are so many “channels”, that it’s like taking on the elephant, one bite at a time.  And I can get a bit “full”, after a while.

Of course you are already here, reading my blog:

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And then there is Facebook:

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And my Houzz page, which really needs some attention.  I understand that’s a great way for clients to find designers:

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And my guilty pleasure, Pinterest.  It’s my sit-down-and-relax-at-the-end-of-the-day time.  Who knew I should be thinking of marketing there, too?

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I’ve recently dabbled in Google+.  I’m still figuring out this one:

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And then there is Twitter, LinkedIn . . .

Oh, and I’ve just added a YouTube business channel.  Would love for you to subscribe for the future videos, I hope to create.

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There may be other places I’ve even forgotten about!

For clients and for folks who are interested in my newsletter, I try to create something monthly.  This month’s was short and sweet . . . just like me!  (We had a few snow days and it was time to play a bit.)

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I’ve also guest posted for companies, like Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace, Hooker Furniture Corporation, and have shared information for various other publications. 

With all of the promoting of my work, this gave me pause to think, does this sound like I’m just always tooting my own horn?  In my personal life, I tend to lean more towards this:

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Yes, I know it’s difficult for people to know if one is worth knowing if they can’t be found.  But the first portion of the phrase is the part that can be missed with all of this other activity.  It may be a slower process, too.  But I think it allows for more depth.

So, I’ll stick to my guns on being engrossed in client projects, first and foremost, because the latter won’t mean a hill of beans if I don’t deliver on the former. 

All my best! ~ Wanda

PS – You can click through all of the images to visit those pages.  I really don’t mind! (wink)

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