Does the idea of helping someone create their dream home or dream office excite you? Are you constantly walking into buildings and noticing the details of the furniture and the decor?
If so, you may have a future as an interior design business owner.
Whether you have years of experience in interior design or you’re just starting out, opening an interior design business is a dream you can turn into a reality. If, you’re willing to put in the hard work.
But, where do you even begin when opening an interior design business?
Begin with this guide.
Read on to learn how to launch your own interior design business.
Build a Website
If you want to be taken seriously as a professional interior designer, you need to build a website.
If you use outdated methods to market yourself, such as pamphlets and brochures, everyone is going to think your design style is outdated as well.
A slick, well-designed website shows others that you take your craft seriously and that you’re a cutting-edge designer.
Now, keep in mind that a website is different than a portfolio. You can’t just slap some samples of your work on there and call it a day. Besides samples of your work, your website should contain contact information, customer testimonials, pricing information, an “about me” section, and a blog.
Having all of these elements takes you from “freelance interior designer” to “interior designer business owner”.
Fifty Shades and Blinds has a great example of a professional website that brings in clients.
Figure Out Your Target Client
These days, saying you’re an interior designer isn’t enough to get you noticed.
Because guess what? No one wants to hire a general interior designer. People want to hire an interior designer who fits their specific needs.
Therefore, before you dive in too deep with your business, think about the type of client you want to target. Maybe you want to focus on office interior design? Or, maybe you want to focus on modern home design? Or, maybe you like the idea of designing restaurants?
Whatever it is, make sure your website samples and your marketing materials clearly reflect your niche. A lot of people think picking a niche closes you off to potential customers. But the truth is, selecting a design niche will actually get you more customers.
People want to hire someone who shares their vision and who has experience designing what they’re currently dreaming up.
Create a Logo
Creating a logo is one of the most important aspects of launching an interior design business. Logos help people recognize your business, and they set your business apart from the competition.
Think of your logo as your first step to building your brand.
When designing a logo, remember to keep your target client in mind. If your design style is all about creating sleek, super-modern spaces, make sure your logo reflects that.
While you may be tempted to tackle the logo on your own, remember, graphic design is very different than interior design. Hiring a professional graphic designer is the best way to create a logo that gets noticed.
Do Some Work for Free
Many people cringe at the thought of doing work for free. But, when you’re just starting out, working for free is one of the best ways to build your client base.
No one is going to hire you if you don’t have samples of your work. But, how can you get samples if no one will hire you?!
This is where offering your services for free comes in. Very few people will turn down a free interior design service. So, find 1 to 3 clients that are willing to let you work your magic on their place.
Make sure you take high-quality before and after photos. And, be sure to make a deal where, in exchange for your free services, they write you a glowing review and they give you full creative license on the space.
Dive Into Online Marketing
Merely having a website and a logo isn’t enough to get the word out about your interior design business.
In order to gain more clients, you need to dive deep into the world of online marketing. The forms of online marketing we’re talking about include:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
All these different marketing methods may seem like a lot at first, but take it one step at a time. Start by creating blog content for your site. Once that’s up and running, create a Facebook page and an Instagram page.
Offer places for people to sign up with their email for newsletters and deals. Then, once you have an email list, you can start the email marketing process.
Attempting to do all the marketing on your own can be a lot. It’s a good idea to consider hiring a marketing agency or a freelance marketer.
Attend Trade Show Events
A trade show event is a great way to establish your presence in the community and get new clients.
As soon as there’s a trade show on interior design in your town, make sure you sign up right away.
A trade show is your chance to mingle with industry experts, get advice on your business, and scope out your competition.
You’ll want your trade show space to reflect your interior design skills, so a table with some brochures is not going to cut it. Find out how much space you have, and see if you can put together a mini sample of a room design you have in mind.
Are You Ready to Launch Your Interior Design Business?
Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide, it’s time to get the ball rolling on your interior design business.
If you have any questions about starting an interior design business, please let us know in the comments below.
Otherwise, stick around to learn other ways to grow your interior design business such as giving out promotional products.