Instagram reels ideas for interiors businesses

Instagram reels ideas for interiors businesses

So if you’re scrolling on Instagram recently you can’t help but notice a new feature that has appeared – Instagram Reels. Read on to discover everything you need to know about Instagram Reels for your interiors business. How to create them, why you should use them and a list of ideas to help you with topics for creating Instagram reels content. 

 

ideas for creating instagram reels

What are Instagram Reels

Firstly lets start with the basics – What are Instagram Reels. Reels is a new way to create entertaining, quick fire video content on your Instagram feed which lasts just 15-seconds. Video content is simply exploding across social media and Instagram won’t be left behind. The ever rising trend of short video content started through Snapchat and Instagram countered by creating the stories feature. Now with the popularity of quick-fire video content on Tik Tok Instagram has brought out Instagram Reels.

How to create a Reel

Firstly make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of the app and then head over to your Instagram Stories. Swipe along the bottom of the screen to choose between the video options which now include Live, Stories and Reels.

You can record reels live or upload a pre-recorded video. You can live record one continuous video or stop and start to piece together multiple short clips as one video. When you’re in the Reels screen you’ll see some icons to help you create more engaging videos

how to create instagram reels

Audio

Audio allows you to add audio tracks to your video. There’s a huge selection of music to choose from. Instagram makes suggestions for you and you can browse your favourite artists, songs or music genres in the search bar to find the perfect track to match your video. A word of advice here is that I highly recommend that you use the tracks within the app. If you don’t you may find that your Reel gets removed due to copyright issues – even if it is one that appears in the app’s music listings.

Unfortunately the Instagram gods have conspired against me and I don’t have the audio feature on my account. In spite of not being listed as a known bug I can see from various forums that there is plenty of people out there with the same problem. I also have this problem on some of the accounts I manage whilst I can use it perfectly on others. I’ve tried all the usual trouble shooting for issues which simply include turn the phone off and on and delete and re-install the app. None of these have worked. I’ve also tested on another iPhone and an Android phone but no luck so far. So as much as I’d love to use the Instagram music library I’m currently uploading with other copyright free library music. I have reported the issue and I suggest you do the same if you have this problem too.

Speed

The speed icon controls the speed of your video allowing you to speed up or slow down. Speeding up a video to get a fast moving piece of content really does suit this style of media.

Effects

Tapping on the effects button changes the menu to show a row of effects which you can choose from. Scroll through and test the effects to choose for your video. Tapping on the effects button also starts to record the video. So it’s worth getting to know the effects before you actually start recording.

How to add effects to instagram reels

Timer

Using the timer helps if you are self-recording giving you time to get into position before the video starts and record from your phone hands-free.

Align

The final icon in this list is Align which appears in the live record mode. Tapping on Align takes the last frame from your previous clip and applies it as an overlay over the next clip in your video. This makes for very smooth cuts and seamless transitions. For example when people do those quick outfit change videos and they always appear in the same spot, no cuts or jolts – this is the tool that makes it happen. Test it out and see what you think.

Text and Stickers

You can also add text and gif stickers just as you can in stories. If you’re looking for interior design themed stickers head over to my Giphy Channel to choose some. 

Publishing your Reel

So now you’re ready to publish your video. I’d always recommend saving a copy of your video to your phone as well as a draft. When you download it to your phone it will remove the audio but you can easily add it back on again. This gives you the opportunity to review and make sure you’re really happy with your video before publishing.

The publishing screen looks very similar to IGTV. So if you’re already familiar with with this you should find it quite straightforward. Choose a cover image for your reel. Similarly to IGTV you can either choose a still from your video or upload a picture from your camera roll. publish instagram reels tips

If you want to use an image from your camera roll you’ll need to have the image already in there to select so if you don’t then save your video as a draft so you can add this later.

how to publish instagram reels

You can choose to share your just to your Reels page or to your Reels page and your feed. The image you choose as your cover will be the image that shows on your feed and in your Reels page.

After you publish or save your reel for the first time the reel icon will appear above your feed to show people that you have Instagram reels to view. You can also now go to your reels and share your video to your story or send it to another Instagram account.

Save draft of an instagram reel

 

That’s all there is to it so get creating!

Why you need to use Instagram reels

Whenever a new feature is released on a social media platform it’s a good idea to use these features and build them into your content plan as soon as you can. The objective of using any social media is to use it to showcase content that will make your business visible to the app users. This way you can build a following and fans that you can later invite to buy your product or service. Take a look at my blog for Instagram tips to grow your following

As you may well know it’s not as easy as it once was to get seen on Instagram. Instagram is busy and competitive. Because of this it now only shows your content to a small percentage of your followers. However when a new feature comes out on Instagram they really want you to know about it. Instagram now prioritises Reels content over other content such as still photos or even IGTV. If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram recently you’ll notice lots of Reels coming up in your feed. You’ll also notice the new Reels explore feed is now front and centre, encouraging you to scroll through that content first. As you can see from this picture reels takes up about two thirds of the space on the explore feed. Like I said – Instagram really wants you to see these videos!

Instagram reels explore

There you have it – the exact reason you should be using reels – because Instagram is making them more visible. So for a better chance of being visible make content that is already a front runner in the Instagram algorithm.

I’m also saying this inspite of myself as I’m really not a fan of Tik Tok style videos. I find them busy, confusing and kind of exhausting. However if you want to get more visible on instagram you’re going to need to use them. I’m hoping Instagram creators will bring a bit more style and grace to this form of content so I might find short form video a bit more enjoyable on this platform. I’d love to know who your favourite creators are for Reels so leave me a message with their account handle in the comments.

Instagram Reels ideas for interior design businesses

As always I’ll repeat the mantra that the best kind of content informs and inspires. A tip to discover Instagram Reels ideas that work is to search #interiordesign on Tik Tok where you’ll find endless interiors videos. Take a look at what is popular and trending in the hashtag to help develop some ideas. Here are some Instagram Reels ideas you could try

Inform and educate

Reviews – Quick look around a new product, design showroom, hotel room or restaurant

Design hacks – Teach some how to tips and tricks

In the studio – a quick look behind the scenes

Inspiration and aspiration

Moodboard ideas – here’s one I made earlier

House Tours

Quick room changes

Styling a coffee table, dining table, shelfie, bed or sofa with cushions and throws

Flower arranging

Compare rooms – Ask your followers to comment on which they prefer

Ask for opinions on design choices – fabrics, finishes, hardware etc

Quirky video ideas

The quick fire content format lends itself to quirky little moments which are oddly satisfying to watch. Here’s some ideas to try.

Strangely satisfying – Stirring paint, painting walls, wallpaper hanging, using power tools, stencils

Stop motion animations and transitions. Try speeding up, slowing down and adding transitions and effects into your videos

Funny moments – As with Tik Tok people don’t take life too seriously on Reels! Try creating a fun prank or film your pets doing something cute or silly – in a beautiful interior of course!

So that’s it my guide to Instagram reels for your interiors business. If you’d like to, improve your Instagram feed, add more video into your content planning, whether it’s short pieces for social media or longer testimonials and house tours to share with potential clients then contact me for a chat.

How to market your design business with reviews

How to market your design business with reviews

In this blog I will be breaking down how you can market your design business with reviews, using testimonials to boost your digital profile. Reviews are no longer confined to simply deciding your next meal out, or figuring out whether that product from Amazon looks the same as it did in the photo. Used shrewdly, they maximise the impact of your business online, and here I’m going to show you exactly what they are good for and, more importantly, how to use them.

 

interior design business reviews

Why Reviews are Good and Why You Should Use Them

Traditionally, reviews reassure potential clients that you are an expert in your field and a trustworthy service or trader. A compliment from a happy customer gives your work credibility and new clients the confidence to choose your services.

The amount of reviews accredited to your business will give your company a further layer of integrity. Keeping a catalogue of happy customers indicates experience in your field, the sheer number of reviews expressing that people keep coming back.

Digital media now gives the power of reviews an extra value, advancing their reach so that they provide an additional marketing service. Careful placement of reviews across the web will increase the visibility of your business and entice more consumers to browse your goods or services. Links created on partner websites and review site directories will also benefit your SEO.

Where To Use Reviews

Your Website

So now that we have established how fantastic reviews are for proving credibility and drumming up new business, let’s take a look at the best placements for your winning references.

The first step is to integrate reviews onto your own platforms. You can control which testimonials are highlighted where, and use them to boost the impact of your content. Use all of the channels you have available. Posting reviews on your website, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, will ensure you are reaching as wide an audience as possible.

When integrating reviews on to your website, be sure to make them super visible. Whilst it is great to have a page dedicated to testimonials for clients to have a scroll through, the best reviews should be present on your main pages, displayed in alignment with your brand and product. Check which of your pages get the most traffic and seamlessly weave reviews into your site. Add a stand out review to your home page, or some glowing testimonials which are specifically relevant on your services page.

Your Social Media Channels

Social media as a platform for reviews, is more visual in general. The best way to catch the attention of people scrolling through their feeds, is with an eye catching image.

For Facebook and LinkedIn create graphics in line with your branding to showcase your reviews. Here is one I made earlier:

how to market your design business with reviews

Take a more subtle approach when posting reviews on Instagram. Instagram is a visual medium that likes you to post images of interiors. Rather than posting text graphic posts of reviews, which could distract from the focus of your feed, follow these tips for sharing on the platform:

  • Post a picture of the project and put the testimonial from the homeowner in the caption. The image of the finished project will complement the review, whilst keeping your feed looking fabulous!
  • Use a text graphic of the review in the same post, but as the second swipe. Branded graphics can be used to make the review stand out, and also the swiiping keeps viewers on the post for longer.
  • Share graphic testimonials on your stories and collate them all into one highlight. Use this as a mini testimonials page on your Instagram. Viewers can swipe through all of the projects and their reviews in one go.

External Sites

Reviews posted search engines, such as Google, are a great way to reel in fresh clientele and market your design business. Use these large scale platforms to access a broader audience, and build your presence across the web.

For reviews on Google, first ensure you have a Google My Business account. This will allow you to monitor your presence across the site. Direct your clients to your Google page to write reviews to build up your profile. Adding the reviews to your profile will help you to be found in local searches for your field. You can then monitor these using the Google My Business account – it’s that simple!

Interior design websites, such as Houzz UK, Homify and the Decorcafe, are another great outlet. Prospective clients browse through these platforms, looking specifically for design businesses. Having strong testimonials will make your business stand out amongst the other services.

It is particularly important to have reviews on Houzz, as having reviews pushes your profile up the rankings of businesses in your area to be more visible to homeowners looking to hire a designer. The higher your rating, the better your exposure. It will also help you get found in Google searches such as “Best interior designer in Brighton”. You can test this right now by typing in the same query with your own nearest town or city and you’ll see Houzz is usually at the top of the list.

Getting reviews from Houzz throughout the year is really important, best of service badges are awarded annually, based on the amount of good reviews you obtain throughout the year. Once you have three reviews or more, you can also place the reviews widget on our website. This updates automatically as clients leave new reviews. Here’s my reviews widget which I can place anywhere on my website:

 

Houzz

Reviews Sites

Home Decor companies selling large quantities of goods should consider integrating Feefo or Trust Pilot into their website, adding an extra layer of credibility. These services gives  you the opportunity to build the review process into your customer journey. They also seamlessly automate review requests once an item is purchased. The reviews also create a more engaging user experience by adding photo or video reviews to help tempt new buyers, whilst social proof helps to increase online conversions.

Consumers are more likely to buy from a peer recommendation, review or user generated content than a brand’s advert. This is why influencer marketing and review sites are so popular. Additionally the strong SEO of these platforms helps to make you more visible online. When customers are looking for validation on a product they have in mind they will now specifically search for reviews on that product. Sites such as Feefo allow your products to appear more often in those searches. The Feefo 5 star rated table lamps, for example.

Printed Marketing Material

Let’s not forget that not all marketing is in the digital sphere! Go old school and integrate reviews onto printed materials. Consider the size and format of these materials carefully. Design is a visual media, and so much of what you do relies on visual representation.  Small, one-liner reviews could work on a business card, but if you are an interior designer or owner of a creative business, you may find that a more visual card has a bigger impact. Having a larger format will allow more room for visual designs. Postcard sized cards that can be delivered door to door or given to estate agents if you’re a home stager would be great! Cementing your top reviews onto these, would be a sure fire way to create a bigger impact on potential customers.

How to get the Best Reviews

Whilst it is all good and well to have the perfect placements, in order to market your design business with reviews, we need to take a look at the content of the reviews themselves.

There is a significant difference in good reviews and the best reviews. Good reviews will give you compliments on your work, but the best reviews will quantify the results that you achieved. Take this review from one of my lovely clients, Fleur Ward, for example:

‘Fiona was so helpful during my power hour. She talked through helpful hints and tips regarding appearance on Instagram, how to follow up and generally improve my social appearance to attract followers and send traffic to website. I have already seen an improvement on both of my accounts. Highly recommend’

Fleur highlights specific positive points from my services. She also gives a quantifiable result from the power hour; an increase in followers. The review gives browsing prospective clients confidence in my abilities, and an indication of what I could achieve for her.

But how to obtain these reviews? Although you cannot actually write the reviews yourself (if only!), there are some great ways to ensure that your client is writing their review so that it remains honest, whilst giving you the best reference. Firstly, ask your client for a review as soon as possible after the job is completed or the product purchased. This way the project is fresh in their mind and they are able to give more detail. Prompt things that worked well, such as completing the project in good time or sticking to the budget successfully. Guiding the client gently through the review process will ensure the reviews are as impactful as possible.

So there you have it! Reviews are not just compliments for your brand, but a solid marketing tool that could be used to reel in new business. Follow these tips to market your design business using reviews, and improve the digital presence of your brand. If you need help setting up Houzz  or putting systems in place to get great reviews from your customers, contact me.

 

Future Vision – 3D Design for Interior Designers

3D Design for Interior Designers – How to envision the future with your clients

Why is 3D interior design a standard tool for interior designers in this day and age? How is it going to boost your business? I’ve invited Anna Klepikova of Anna K Studio to tell us everything you need to know about 3D design for interior designers. It’s history, it’s reach and it’s essential values.

About Anna K Studio

Firstly let me introduce Anna. A successful interior designer with an MBA and a degree in interior design from Chelsea College of Arts. Anna has worked on residential and commercial projects across Europe, collaborating with property developers to provide visual representations of new apartments. Anna later took a lead role as Head of Design at O & A in London, before deciding to build on her ten years industry experience by opening her own 3D studio.

3D living room designs by Anna K Studio

Spotting a gap in the market to provide 3D design for interior designers and property professionals to help them envision the future with their clients and deliver successful projects, Anna started Anna K Studio. Anna is passionate about the role this evolving technology will take in the future of design. I also feel this is even more relevant as we adapt to our recent changing circumstances and navigate and connect more than ever through virtual spaces in our lives and businesses. So now read on to discover from Anna everything you need to know about 3D design for interior designers.

A short history of 3D design for interior designers

We don’t have a precise date when 3D design started, but we know that first 3D models were developed in the 1960s. You’d probably assume that architects were the creators of 3D software. Surprisingly, this is not the case. 3D modelling was first created by computer engineers who worked on automatisation of data. It was Ivan Sutherland, who created the first ever programme for drawing 3D models. He called it Sketchpad. Together with David Evans, Sutherland established the computer technologies department at The University of Utah. To this day most 3D programmes’ interface is based on Sketchpad.

In 1969 Sutherland and Evans launched their company specialising in 3D graphics. Their first clients were advertising companies and TV channels but soon this kind of service spread out to different industries, especially architecture and interior design.

The process of creating 3D models

To become part of this progressive movement we need to get some insight Let’s have a closer look at the process of creating 3D models.

3D Bedroom Design by Anna K Studio

 

The main purpose of interior design visualisation is to get images of an object or interior from different perspectives. To achieve this, 3D designers use specific software to create a geometric vision of a space, add materials, they create natural or artificial lighting, they even include an impression of the surrounding environment (for example a view from windows) and they make sure that the appearance of surfaces resembles real-life texture.

After everything is ‘built’, 3D designers render the interior to get photorealistic images. For high-quality final images, 3D designers usually edit final renders in Photoshop, because it allows them to adjust the light and colours of the images.

The stages of 3D visualisation:

  1. Step One: Creating geometric or 3D models

You need to know the precise measurements of the space and each and every object in the room before you start building it. The main objective of 3D visualisation is to show everything in precise scale, as it is in reality. The benefit of applying exact dimensions is that you can be 100% sure, that objects not only fit but are also proportional to the space.

Programmes used to model are: Autodesk 3Ds Max, V-ray, ZBrush, Google SketchUp, Blender, Revit, Rhino.

  1. Step Two: Materials and textures


To make your interior appear as realistic as possible you have to add materials and colours as they are in the specification. 3D proficient software allows you to choose the precise materials you want to see in an interior. One of the major benefits of 3D programmes is, that they can also demonstrate how different materials interact with the light.

To add materials, you can use all programmes listed in Step One.

  1. Step Three: Light


One of the strongest features of 3D design programmes is, that they allow you to ‘build in’ light sources. It can be natural day light (the sun) or artificial lighting at night. You can create two versions to show how the same space might look at different times of the day.

Why is using the light feature so important? Only natural light makes images looks realistic. It creates depth, brightness and shadows. When you work digitally, effects of light have to be properly adjusted to make sure the images look realistic.

  1. Step Four: Positioning virtual cameras


Cameras allow you to take photos of the space and make videos. Cameras have their own settings, where you can choose the quality, the size and different effects for each image.

  1. Step Five: Rendering


Rendering is the process of projecting 3D space into 2D photos or videos. This should be done after Step One to Four have been completed.  The most common rendering software applications today are Maxwell Render, Corona Render and V-Ray.

With new technology you can create not only 3D images and videos of interiors but also 360 degree panoramas, 3D tours and VR experiences. Go to Anna K Studio website to learn more.

The role of technology in interior design

The design industry has changed in the past decade with a significant increase of different new technologies. There has been much progress and still, the industry continues to change and evolve. Even though we still have tools that are “the norm” for technical drawings, we are already witnessing the appearance of many new apps that work faster. They are also are more versatile, offer more features and tools. This in turn helps to make the design process faster, easier and more inspired.

3D Design Apartment interior design

New technology for new experiences

Revit (for architects) and Sketchup (for designers) are already starting to replace AutoCAD. These software solutions offer a better user experience with more options, like easier 3D render within a programme. This is becoming a must-have feature in software, because it gives designers the ability to work in 3 dimensions straight away. Using this they can produce pictures, videos, specifications and technical drawings much more quickly and efficiently. More and more clients are aware of this useful technology and they expect designers to provide them with 3D presentations.

3D Design by Anna K Studio My Deco Marketing Blog

Before and after: A new build apartment photographed as it exists in reality alongside the 3D design visualisations for the proposed  interior design scheme

The design industry is not exempt from the effects of the unprecedented economic and financial downturn, which we are currently experiencing. Interior design clients will be more aware and more selective as far as their investment is concerned. Digital design technology offers designers effective tools to get through these times. This is done by demonstrating to their clients in a very impressive and convincing way that not only is their idea budget effective but also works well for the client.

Design in the New Normal

Another reason for using advanced technology is the e-tendency. We are going online and that is not going to change for a while. Some companies might not return to office-based work routines, if working remotely can be done more efficiently. What about interior design? New technology allows us to have Zoom meetings. We can now do virtual home tours, which means there is no need to go to a client’s house. In addition we use project management programmes to control our progress.  We use online platforms to order furniture and so on. Digital design is more than just technology – digital design is a new way of communication, it is a new way of presenting your ideas as well as a great way to win a project. Sometimes we have just one chance to present our ideas and we should not waste it.

What to expect next?

We can all agree that technology is advancing faster and further than Sutherland and Evans could have predicted. The next steps will see architecture and design merging with virtual reality and augmented reality. There is no big rush. You don’t need to integrate these technologies into your business right now. But for those like me, who like to stay ahead of the game, this is something to be aware of and to stay engaged with.

Thank You to Anna K Studio for an insightful round-up on the use of 3D design . For more articles on the business of design take a look at the My Deco Marketing Blog. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.

 

Interior Design Content Marketing Made Simple

Interior Design Content Marketing Made Simple

There’s a saying that goes, when you love what you do you’ll never feel you have to work a day in your life. Interior design content marketing is very similar. When you create pieces of content that talk to your ideal customer, service their needs, solve their problems and align with the way that they want to live their lives, you’ll stop feeling like your spinning a sales pitch and start feeling like your having conversations.

 

My Deco Marketing digital marketing for interior designers

What is interior design content marketing?

These days there’s so many choices in the way that people purchase the things they want in their homes. Buyers want to support brands align with their lifestyle. This means speaking to them about more than just the actual product or service on offer.

Here is where what makes your business unique really comes into play. Content marketing is an opportunity to tell your story by communicating with your customer. Using multiple marketing channels both online and in the real world.

There’s two really important aspects to this.

  • what you communicate
  • how you deliver that communication for best impact

Communicating with great content

To do this you first of all need to define your ideal customer and speak to them in their language. Think about who they are and how you can help them. The more you can hone in on this the better you will be able to communicate with them. Determining your ideal client is one of the cornerstones of your overall marketing strategy. Get this right and the results will drive success across all of your business activities. Feel free to hit the contact button if you need some help with this

Let’s look into this in a bit more detail.Whilst you may think your ideal customer is just anyone who wants beautifully co-ordinated interiors, the latest trends in furniture or a new kitchen, we really need to dig deeper.

Instead think in terms of…

  • where they live
  • their profession
  • what their income is
  • their age and life stage
  • do they have children

Then think about things like…

  • their personality
  • how they spend their time
  • do they enjoy activities or sports
  • are they interested in arts
  • how concious are they about sustainability and environmental impact
  • do they spend a lot of time at home

Now when it comes to creating content such as writing a blog post or creating a piece of video, you now have some options. You could simply talk about designing a new kitchen, that would be a piece of content. However depending on your ideal client you could write, for example, about kitchen design ideas for a family in a large detached house in a leafy suburb. Or what about kitchen design ideas for a busy professional couple who work from home in a small city apartment.

Delivering stories across multiple platforms

Now when it comes to how to create and present your content you have multiple options. Blogs and videos are usually the most popular forms of content. Other things you might like to try are creating lead magnets and ebooks or webinars. As well as pre made video content try live appearances through social media such as IG live video. If you’re stuck for ideas take a look at this blog post on 35 ideas for interior design blog posts to get you started. As well as blogs, many of these ideas could also be translated into video content too.

interior design content markting by My Deco Marketing

 

Once you’ve created your blog post or video you need to get it seen by as many people as possible by sharing it through

 

People often ask me how to grow on instagram and other social media and the answer is really simple. Keep showing up with great content your audience loves. Having a regular supply of great pieces of content makes you visible on social media. It gives you another good reason to show up and grows your audience.

 

Remember that people consume content in different ways. For example some might prefer scrolling instagram to reading blogs, so to start with you’ll want to hedge your bets and create content across multiple platforms. As time goes on you’ll discover which are the most popular with your particular audience. This will determine where you should focus your efforts. Again knowing your ideal audience also helps here. If you haven’t done the research to profile your ideal customer how do you know where they consume most of their content?

Invest in expertise

Here at My Deco Marketing we regularly create content campaigns through social media and paid advertising. Knowing how to target your ideal client firstly by creating content that makes an impact, then following through by sharing content both organically and with well targeted paid search and social media. Precise targeting results in more cost effective campaigns which reach more of your core audience.

Interior Designer or Design Blogger?

Too often I see designers who fall into the trap of taking their inspiration from interior design bloggers and content creators. This can be a bit of a novice pitfall and here’s why. The best content creators produce beautifully presented blog posts and videos that usually showcase other people’s products and services. They work hard on driving traffic to their sites. However for the most part that’s all they have to do. Before succesful influencers post anything on their site or social media channel they’ve usually been paid for it.

As a designer on the other hand you have to work twice as hard. Firstly you must produce the attractive content that get’s eyeballs on your business.  Secondly you need to make sure it persuades them to make the leap from viewer to consumer. It’s true that content creators do use their influence to persuade people to click the buy link. However the product or service on offer is usually a much less considered purchase than thousands of pounds of interior design services.

Showcase your expertise

Think of your content marketing as part of your customer journey in building your relationship together. Avoid creating a magazine style look book of images for them to simply source inspiration from. Someone who is preparing to spend thousands on a design project will be more interested in aspects of your service delivery, expertise, specialist product knowledge as well as connections with trusted trades and problem solving skills. This is the kind of knowledge sharing that will raise the bar on your content – and most of all its all unique to you.

It takes time and consistent effort (see tip 2 below) to position yourself as an expert authority that people will trust. Think about this as part of your content strategy planning. I’m afraid if you are expecting someone to pick up the phone after you post your first blog you’ll more than likely be sorely disappointed. However it has happened to one of my clients – see the testimonials at the bottom of the page!

Interior design content marketing tips for success

content marketing tips for success

 

Finally here’s a round up of my tips for success for your content marketing strategy

 

  • Know your customer
  • Be Consistent
  • Create content across multiple formats
  • Promote your content effectively
  • Collaborate to create great content
  • Monitor your results to define what your audience likes
  • Rinse and repeat

 

 

My Deco Marketing works with interior designers and home decor brands to create highly engaging content that drives traffic, making your business visible and generating leads. Contact us if you’d like to find out more about how we can work together on your interior design content marketing strategy.

Instagram Tips for Interior Designers

Instagram Tips for Interior Designers

Welcome to the My Deco Marketing Blog. I guess you’ve landed here looking for Instagram tips for interior designers. Are you an interior designer struggling to get growth or attract the right type of follower on instagram? Have you been posting beautiful pictures but you still struggle to get any engagement on the channel. Do you want to know the secret of making more connections and getting business from Instagram?

Well here’s the one thing that you can start to do today… create an ideal target audience. This means an audience filled with your perfect customer. Want to know how? Here’s 6 Instagram tips for interior designers to help grow your target audience.

 

Instagram for interior designers

1 Create the right kind of content

Create content related to your niche that will attract your ideal audience. Any kind of content marketing is all about knowing your audience and creating the right kind of content which will attract them to your offer. Instagram is no different. Many times when I look at designer’s feeds and  whilst I see beautiful project pictures on their website portfolios, meanwhile over on Instagram I see pictures of their cats, last night’s restaurant meal and a wonky selfie taken at a wedding.

One of the key Instagram tips for interior designers is to only create content that informs or inspires. Remember Instagram is a free opportunity to showcase your talents, achievements and offers. If you want to sell design services through the social media platforms make sure you say this in your captions. Additionally your images need to showcase the best of what you have to offer. It’s a great opportunity to share your knowledge and position yourself as an expert in your field.

2 Follow the right kind of people

If you want your Instagram to focus on bringing you business follow people in your industry. The more you follow people in the interior design niche, the more your posts will show to them.

Interior design marketing tips for instagram and social media

Additionally try and make sure you only follow accounts

  • who you’d like to do business with either as your client or their customer
  • that your ideal clients would follow
  • if they inspire and inform you

The Instagram algorithm works like a spiders web of connections between you and the accounts it thinks you should be connected with so make sure you tell it where you want to be seen.

If you’re only interacting with celebrities or your friends and family, you’re unlikely to gain any traction and visibility in the interiors niche where you’d really like to get seen.

3. Use the right hashtags

Using hashtags boosts your visibility on the platform. Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant and active. An effective hashtag strategy differs depending on the account.

Using hashtags in the wrong way can result in Instagram making your posts invisible in hashtags, so research your hashtag strategy thoroughly.

There’s no one size fits all solution for hashtags. The right hashtags to use will depend on lots of different factors including your design niche, location and your number of followers.

Contact me to book an instagram power hour and level up your hashtag strategy.

4. Welcome your new followers

Send a DM to your new followers. Tell them about your business and ask them about their home. Build a relationship from the start by thanking them for following you and give them a link to your website where they can find more information about your services.

5. Engage with the right accounts

Don’t just post and pray. Another mistake I see a lot of is people just posting pictures then anxiously waiting for the likes and comments to drop in. You also need to make some time each day to like or comment on other accounts especially if they take time to comment on yours. I always visit the accounts that comment on my posts and like some pictures and leave a comment as a thank you – comment on one of my posts @fiona.mostyn to see.  You’ll find that the more you give the more you get. As with the earlier advice stick to people in the interior design niche and like similar to yours so instagram knows where you want to be seen.

6. Choose the right people to help you

Instagram marketing tips for interior design businesses

Need help to grow your instagram profile?

You could spend a lifetime searching across the internet for more instagram tips for interior designers or you could take action today to get your instagram working effectively with a tailored programme for your interiors business.

Whilst there’s lots of social media managers to choose from finding one that really understands your industry can be key to your success. Not just in growing your followers but in connecting and collaborating with the people who can build your business too.

If you’re considering hiring a social media manager take a look at their Instagram profile to see if they have built an active engaged audience in the design community.

Whether its full platform management or a one to one power hour to audit your profile and get you started on the right track. Get in touch to get started with growing your instagram today.

Finally for more tips on marketing your design business make sure you follow me @fiona.mostyn on Instagram!

Designers making a difference

Designers Making a Difference

In times of crisis look for the helpers is how the saying goes. But how are designers making a difference in the current crisis?

We are currently living through times of unprecedented change and disruption to our daily lives. Stay home is the message to live by right now. Whilst many see this as a chore I feel we should take a moment to consider what a privilege it is to have to simply stay at home whilst frontline workers care for the sick and keep our daily lives as normal as possible under lockdown.

So how exactly are designers making a difference right now. Well there’s the bigger picture in that design is all about solving problems so we see some of the UK’s most innovative designers and engineering firms such as Dyson and The Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium coming together to make urgently needed ventilators.

Meanwhile on a smaller scale there are designers making a difference by using their skills and materials at their disposal to help however they can. Charity begins at home so they say so I’m starting by highlighting some of the projects I’ve been able to connect with in my local area and through the Decorcafe network which I host in Brighton.

Decorcafe Members Doing Good

Designer and Decorcafe member Anna Hayman has produced this beautiful signed print to order. The profits from each print go to the The Lewes Food Co-operative. A collective of local food businesses who are providing free meals to NHS workers at a local hospital. At the time this blog was written within just a week of launch this project has raised over £2,000. 

Anna Hayman Designs Charity Print

I’ve ordered one and I feel in the future when it’s on my wall at home it will remind me of the good people who helped us get through these strange times. Order your print at annahaymandesigns.com

I’ve also donated to a collection for NHS Charities by Decorcafe member Emer Gillespie from Spark and Bell.

Spark and Bell Charity Raffle

Every person who donates will be entered into a raffle to win a very generous £500 voucher to spend on beautiful lights at Spark and Bell. The raffle is open until Sunday 3rd May and you can enter here  

Caron McQueen from McQueen Bespoke is another member of our Brighton Decorcafe hub using her skills to help the cause. She’s been busy sewing these beautiful scrubs from patterns available from a local neighbourhood watch scheme.

 

NHS Scrubs for charity

 

Meanwhile in London Decorcafe member Mel Porter has listed these beautiful rainbow fairy lights on her website. The profits will go to South London Scrubbers – a charity organisation financing and sewing scrubs for the NHS.

Mel Porter NHS lights for Charity

 

The Instagram community is helping

Next I’m looking to my instagram community which I have to say has been an inspiring place to be lately.

Poodle and Blonde is an instagram account I love to follow because 1. They have beautiful fabrics and wallpapers and 2. Dogs are a major part of their marketing strategy. If you’re wondering why I like the dogs take a look at my Sunday instagram posts on Dogs and Interiors!

Poodle and Blonde offered sample packs of fabric offcuts in exchange for donations to help NHS charities. The fabrics were hugely popular and sold out very quickly.

Poodle and Blonde NHS Charity

Luks Linen sell beautiful hand loomed Turkish cotton towels and blankets.  Ethically made and hand loomed by master weavers in family ateliers. Every Wednesday they’re sending a free blanket to an NHS worker. You can nominate someone you know to win a blanket by tagging the #blankethugs post on @lukslinen on instagram from Saturdays.

Luks Linen NHS blanket

 

One of the things I love about instagram is it connects you with like minded folk across the world. Based in California, Nathan Anthony is an account I follow which makes beautiful bespoke furniture for interior designers. They were able to transform their facility to temporarily make PPE masks to supply to local health care workers.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by N A T H A N A N T H O N Y (@nathananthony_official) on

Last week they donated 150 masks to the LA Food Bank. However when friends, family and instagram followers asked to buy the masks they also put them on sale and now donate a share of the profits to the Global Giving Corona Virus Charity.

Back in the UK Homesense, one of our favourite places to find discount designer homewares closes it’s doors temporarily. But did you know that on closing all products from the food departments from each store were taken to local foodbanks in the community. The brand also donated vouchers for the Red Cross to buy clothing and essential items for those in isolation who are in need.

What can you do to help?

Well I’m delighted to tell you that I have offered to help with the Design Havens for Heroes project. Quickly mobilised via instagram by interior designer Francesca Rowan-Plowden the project will offer free room makeovers to our NHS Heroes. So far she has pulled together dozens of interior designers to help. As well as this home decor brands and design bloggers across the UK have also picthed in to help. All committed to making over a room for an NHS hero in their region. I’ll be writing more about this soon but in the meantime head over to the instagram account @designhavensforheroes to nominate someone you know who deserves a haven for a home. If you are home decor brand or tradesman that would like to donate products, skills or time to the cause – especially here in Sussex where I’m based – please contact me so I can put you in touch with designers making a difference through this wonderful project.

5 Ways corona virus impacts interior designers

5 Ways corona virus impacts interior designers

Corona virus is having an effect on businesses across the board. As I’m having conversations with clients and brands in the interior design world here’s some of the concerns they’re raising about how Corona virus impacts interior designers.

1. Day to day working in your business

As I write this remote working from home is now the new normal. This may not be much of a change for many interior designers who are often sole traders working from home or alone in a studio.

However its important to try and continue to keep your projects on track as much as possible. This means talking to people and staying connected. Make sure all the tools you need to run your business are cloud accessible.  Zoom.us is a video conferencing app which I use to consult with many of my clients. Use it to set up virtual meetings with multiple participants, screen share to show information such as documents and plans.

If you are larger interior design practice and employ people you’ll need to keep abreast of the government guidelines for employers. At the time of writing the government advice is that businesses should encourage people to work from home as much as possible. Check the latest guidance for employers.

The government has also laid out a package of support available to small businesses which includes help with reclaiming statutory sick pay, business interruption loans and support with business rates.

2. Disruption in the supply chain

There’s never been a better time to shop local. One of the main ways corona virus impacts interior designers is through uncertainty in the supply chain. The impact on the supply chain has been felt for some time now. There’s reports of delayed shipments from China, cancelled orders and long lead times due to factory closures. Whilst some of the factories are now back up and running it may be some time before they are back up to full productivity. We are yet to discover the impact on retailers here in the UK. Similarly we are yet to feel the effects on furniture export of the lockdown and travel bans of countries such as Italy and Spain. At a time like this you need to be in close contact with your suppliers and manufacturers as the situation changes day by day.

3. Design shows postponed

KBB at the NEC in Birmingham may be the last event we’ll see for a while. The Spring season of design shows across the globe takes a huge hit from the Corona virus epidemic. Corona virus impacts interior designers look at the new season’s offerings as trade shows such as High Point in the US and Salon del Mobile were cancelled. Here in the UK Clerkenwell design week has postponed from May to July. Grand Designs in May will now be in August. The Ideal Home Show is postponed and we await further news of a future date. For more details see my  interior design events calendar which I’m updating as quickly as I hear of the new dates.

4. Home decor product sales to slow

It goes without saying sales of home decor products will be affected. Sales of everything are affected as people rein in on spending down to the bare essentials. However the good news is that there is a precedent in that after recovery from global events that financially affect us such as 9/11 or the 2008 recession people spend more on their homes in order to feel safe and nurtured. Similarly the luxury goods market is always one to recover quickly. Consumers that spend more on say high end furnishings and luxury interiors are more likely to have the means to ride out this storm of financial insecurity whilst it lasts. They will come back stronger as we already see now in China. The malls are reopening and consumer confidence returns with consumers “revenge spending” at the joy of being free again. Let’s hope that happens here too!

5. Property development and sales

There is an expected slow down and delay of construction projects due to shortage of labour and materials. Estate agents are already reporting viewings being cancelled. Whereas some are offering virtual viewings to avoid customers having visitors in their home. Additionally, when things get back to normal we’ll have to wait and see how the banks react with new mortgage approvals after this period of economic uncertainty. We can expect a knock on effect from these impacts on property development and sales into the interior design and home staging sector

How to keep your business visible and trading during the slow down

I’m not going to say I have a magic wand here. This is going to be a tough time for all of us. We are facing something we’ve never seen before and it is hard to predict what the outcome will be. Some of you may have experienced tough times before in 2008 and it’s time to dig deep to that resilience that got you through.

There is good news in that we are seeing the figures of new cases in China are now almost negligible. Things there are slowly returning to normal. With that in mind we can hope that it is just a matter of just a few months that we have to ride this out before we too are back to business as usual. With that in mind here’s two things that you can do to help you get through this that involve minimum expenditure.

Keep in touch with your customers

80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Contact them and let them know how you are still operational in the current circumstances. Let them know you’re still here and ready to help, how you are able to manage this and that right now no job is too small!

Be flexible and diversify

Offer a variety of services that position your service at different price points. Break down and stagger services room by room if possible. Offer online consultations via questionnaires or colour consultations. If you offer home decor products introduce products at entry level price points if you don’t already have them.

Finally here’s one more thing that I’d recommend you must do at whatever level you can afford to.

Don’t stop marketing your business

Right now everyone will be thinking of cutting back on their advertising and promotions to save money. However think about the fact that this makes it a much less crowded field to stand out in. If you can afford to plan campaigns in the next few weeks as things return to normal you’ll be really visible in your marketplace. If your budgets are tight use social media and email campaigns to keep in touch and at the forefront of your customers minds.

Best wishes to you all as I hope you all get through this ok, stay safe and keep your projects on track. 

Corona virus advice for interior designers

Perfect interiors pictures for your design business

How to create perfect interiors pictures for your design business

What’s the best tool you have for marketing your interiors or decor business?

Does it surprise you to know that it isn’t social media or email or networking. It starts way before you employ any of those elements with perfect interiors pictures.

Creating perfect interiors pictures is a fundamental cornerstone of your marketing and here’s why. In any industry you are only ever as good as your last job. However in interior design the success of your last job, your unique style and every good reason people will hire you or buy your products is easily apparent from your pictures.

As a digital marketer I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to present beautiful, captivating pictures of everything you do. The ability to create the perfect interiors picture is the tool you need to make your business visible. Social media, online and print editorial, advertising and email marketing only work if your pictures are the best quality to showcase your work at it’s finest.

Good photography is the starting point of any marketing campaign and will help to elevate you against the competition.  It’s also the backbone of your portfolio.  Online photography, in any shape or form, is often people’s first encounter with a brand.  It can be a single image or a consistent style that defines your work. Make sure you get the best images to position your work and brand as professional.

Here is a step by step guide to getting the  most out of photographing each completed job. I’ve also asked some industry professionals to give us their tips on how to get the perfect picture so read on and get ready for perfection in your next project photoshoot.

Create perfect interiors pictures with a professional photographer

It always pays to employ a professional.  A good photographer will have experience of shooting interiors.  As well as experience they will have the best equipment and  good lighting.  Lighting is essential for illuminating your interiors work in the best way, even on a dull day. They can do wonders to get the best photos from the most challenging situations such as bad light or awkward shaped rooms or products.

When hiring a professional photographer you should always agree in advance the number of images you can expect from the shoot. Additionally who will own the rights to images and where they can be published.

 

Perfect Interiors pictures

Image: Cathy Pyle – interiors photographer

Do it with style

Styling also goes a long way to creating the perfect picture. It may be worth investing in a stylist, here’s why. A stylist will bring props such as plants, cushions, throws, fresh produce, rugs and flowers. The photographer may have someone they work with regularly or you and the photographer can do this together. If your business is product based consider hiring a location  space for your shoot. Presenting your products in a beautiful home or perhaps a more quirky location such as an industrial space, garden or historic building is creating a lifestyle vision of your products which is key to your brand. Lifestyle photos are an essential part of your marketing assets. Alongside the lifestyle products cut-out photos are a must have for ecommerce online catalogues and featuring in the media.

Decide on a shoot list

This is a plan of the shots you would like to achieve and the order you would like them done.  Also to consider at this stage, is how to shoot them. Wide angled shots will best represent the context of each space or room. By wide angled I mean where the most part of the room and furniture in it can be seen. However avoid using any lenses that distort the image just to fit in the whole room. Awkward or small rooms are where the trained eye of a professional can really get the best results for you. Well lit images that display the whole room are the type of shots that do best on social media. Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz algorithms all seem to favour showing pictures which display all or a large part of a room. Close up pictures don’t do as well here. However you’ll want to consider more particular close up shots that will communicate ideas about materials and design details. These can be used for your own websites, brochures especially if you are working with products.

Deciding in advance the list of rooms, products and the particular elements you want to highlight will help you put together a shoot list. This all forms part of the brief you give to the photographer to discuss how you will get the best out of your project.

Tips from the professionals for perfect interiors pictures

I asked some industry professionals to share with me their top tips for perfect photoshoots. Between them these ladies have created countless beautiful images for our favourite interiors magazines, brand catalogues, websites and social media. They’ve been kind enough to leave me with me some great advice on this topic which I’m so pleased to share with you.

Cathy Pyle

Cathy Pyle is an interior and lifestyle photographer who works with some of the UK’s leading interior magazines as well as with creative brands and designers. She is known for her calm, light-filled images of homes and creative spaces, and she seeks to bring her love of all things seasonal, handcrafted, and vintage into both her work and her own home.  Cathy also offers workshops and one-to-one photography tuition from her home studio in Guildford.

cathypyle.com

@cathy.pyle

perfect interiors pictures bathroom my deco marketing

Image: Cathy Pyle

Cathy Says…

  • Compelling images are all about emotion and story. So before you start, think about the mood you want to evoke, or the story you’d like to tell, in your image. This will guide the choices you make in setting up and capturing your shot.
  • Light is, of course, key to a great image. Notice where the light is coming from, and see if you need to remove or add light (which can be done easily by turning off lights, and using a diffuser or reflector). The quality of light you’ll need will depend on the story and mood you’re aiming for.
  • Less is more – I’m a huge fan of simplicity. It’s always better to start with fewer items in shot and then add elements in where needed.
  • Pay attention to the lines in your image. In any interior shot, straight lines – especially the verticals – are a must.
  • It’s often tempting to rush to get your shot, but attention to detail is key.  Take time to tidy away any distracting elements such as wires, wipe away dust, and straighten cushions etc, before you start photographing. I speak from experience when I say it’ll save you  time (and the frustration of a less than perfect shot) later!

 

My deco marketing perfect interiors pictures

Image: Cathy Pyle

Leona Harper

Leoma Harper is founder of Style the Clutter a styling service to transform your home into a stylish functional space, you will love to spend time in for years to come. Leoma frequently styles photo shoots for brands and homes for magazine shoots. Style the Clutter always has perfect interiors pictures with high visibility on Instagram to share with her growing folllowing

styletheclutter.com

@styletheclutter

Bedroom image by style the clutter My Deco Marketing photography tips

Image: Style the Clutter

Leoma Says…

‘A good picture always needs a focal point, but its also what is around it the really counts. Using accessories such as rugs, sheepskins, candles and plants softens a the scene drawing you in to the picture and making you feel at home. Floors are usually pretty plain, its nice to fill them up with pattern/texture through rugs and sheepskins, pets are also always a good and  fun way to fill a dead space on the floor. Walls again look sparse, ensure they have pictures, a mirror or wall hanging to draw the eye and add interest. A tray on a coffee table candle, eucalyptus in a bud vase with a little pile of books to the side adds character and interest. In summary the space being photographed needs personality to give the viewer a sense of dipping into the lifestyle within the setting.

 

interior desgn photography tips by style the clutter

Image: Style the Clutter

Alex Crabtree

With many years experience, in the bespoke kitchen, interiors and property market Alex Crabtree is an expert at styling kitchens for shoots. You can also get a taste for Alex’s love of styling on instagram where she’s built up a loyal following who love her daily dose of unique style as she posts photographs of beautifully styled eclectic maximalist home. Here Alex kindly shares her 12 tips for perfect interiors pictures alongside these images she styled for Brayer Kitchens

alexcrabtree.co.uk
@alexcrabtreepr

Styling a kitchen photography tips

Image: Styled by Alex Crabtree for Brayer Kitchens

Alex Says…

Working with Magazines

  • For kitchen styling — one of the most important things to remember is that magazines don’t like any lights on or strange wide angle shots!
  • The magazines change what they like fairly often. One needs to keep up with their styles and also if an editor changes of course they have a different view too.
  • Also the magazines generally don’t like shots over-propped. Although equally it musn’t look too sparse either, as it looks like no one lives there.
  • Try to use clients china etc if possible. However if it doesn’t fit with what a magazine would want to feature, I use my own.

 

Interior design photography styling a kitchen

Image: Styled by Alex Crabtree for Brayer Kitchens

 

Styling Kitchens

  • I start by stripping out all the personal items from the kitchen such as family photos and paper work, children’s toys etc! Also if there are too many piles of old recipe books too.
  • When I am styling a kitchen I take two large wheeled boxes of ‘props’ from my store! Such as plates, China , etc.
  • Always buy fruit, vegetables and flowers to style the kitchen.
  • I walk around the kitchen at the beginning of the shoot. This way I see what I need to focus and work with my photographer to see the best angles.
  • I virtually always use bowls of one colour of fruit e.g. green apples or lemons and then boards of mixed vegetables! Again, I try and stick to one palette of colours! Usually green and white and with the flowers too.
  • It takes a little while to sort which is the best position for all the props and to make sure that they aren’t blocking the tap, oven etc and don’t conflict with each other in the shots making it look too busy.
  • I try not to move items around too much for each shot as there needs to be consistency of props position. 
  • Also a very good working relationship with a photographer is paramount.  I have worked with mine for several years and we both understand how each other works and what the clients and magazines need.

So there you have it the My Deco Marketing guide to creating perfect interiors pictures. Do you have any good tips to share on how to get perfect pictures? I’d love to hear them so please leave a comment below.

Photography tips for interior designers

Interior Design Blog or Instagram Post – which is best?

I’m answering a simple question for you in this blog. What’s the difference between marketing with Instagram versus marketing with an interior design blog?

Instagram is often seen as one of the most popular ways to showcase your services and products as an interior designer, designer maker or home decor brand. It’s visually appealing, easily accessible and has a large audience who focus on their interests and aspirations when choosing who to follow.

By comparison, blogging can now seem rather old school. It takes more time to create the perfect interior design blog post. However the impact of a great blog post can reach far beyond an Instagram post. I’m not saying there is neccessarily any less value in using instagram to market your business. However like everything in your business you need to evaluate your marketing channels carefully. To have a consistent strategy and use each one with intent is the key to success. With this in mind let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of blogging versus Instagram.

 

interior design blog vs instagram

Marketing with an Interior Design Blog

Having a blog on your website is a great way to showcase more of your business to your existing and potential clients. It’s an opportunity for your clients to get behind the scenes and find out what really makes you tick. Every successful piece of content starts with one essential marketing tool – great photography. This is the same for Instagram as it is for blogging. This is especially true in the world of interiors where visual aesthetics count for everything.

Inspire and Inform your Audience

One benefit to an interiors blog is that as well as that one scroll stopping picture, you also have the opportunity to educate and inform your audience and provide them with valuable knowledge that positions you as an expert in your field. Without the limit of having to be concise in a short punchy caption, you can easily expand with your explanations and take the time to really inform your readers. Additionally you don’t have to gamble on the one image you think will make an impact. Your blog can include several photos, graphics and even video to help you get your point across.

But here is where the blog really comes into it’s own. Google loves fresh content. Having a blog on your website means there’s always a place for news and information around your business. This is especially important if your services or products don’t change that much from season to season.  Ideally your blog should showcase your latest interior design projects or home decor products. However projects take time to complete and product offerings usually appear seasonally so what do you write about all year round? If you are looking for ideas then take a look at my 35 interior design blog post ideas.

blogging tips for interior designers

The Power of Blogging and SEO

The power of a blog post over Instagram really is in the longevity of of the post and it’s SEO value. See the infographic below for a quick and easy comparison. A well written blog post will provide you with keywords which are searchable in Google boosting your visibility in search engine rankings.

Guest posting on another blog or working with a blogger to post about your business makes you even more visible. This is because it will link back to your website which is another good sign to Google. All of this happens for the lifetime of the blog post which can be indefinite. Focus on well produced relevant content and those searches will keep bringing people back to your site for years!

Marketing with Instagram

Now let’s talk about Instagram. Instagram is a great tool for marketing your business. It’s easy to use and hugely popular with design enthusiasts. Using Instagram can be a huge boost to your business if you’re consistent with your posting. Where as a blog post takes time to craft and then you leave it to do the work for you, Instagram is the exact opposite. It is what it says on the tin – instant. Posts are quick to create and can be very attractive however their effectiveness is just as quick too.

On a platform that claims to have 1 billion active monthly users, content churn is frequent, especially in a popular niche like interior design. Aside from those viral posts that top the hashtags and explore feed, the lifespan of an average post in the feed is around 1-2 days. After this is is most likely to be superseded with fresh content. This means you have to be consistent and post at least 3-4 times a week to stay visible, growing your audience so they can come to expect regular inspiration and information from you.

As captions are short and don’t allow for much information, video is a key tool to focus on here. Using stories is a great way to be present and give timely, behind the scenes insight into your business.

As much as the content is instant the best results come from Instagram when you build an engaged community around your account. This really does take time. Don’t just ‘Post and Pray’! Engage with your followers and the people you follow. Comment on their posts and reply to their comments on your posts to build a relationship. Connect through direct messaging and use every opportunity to link back to your website – in your bio, via direct messaging and through IGTV and stories if you can.

If you haven’t yet built your own following yet on Instagram consider partnering with an influencer to boost your reach. This works particularly well with home decor products. Bear in mind that if you choose an instagrammer that also has an effective blog, your campaign also benefits from all the plus points we mentioned in the blogging section earlier.

Blogging versus Instagram: A comparison

 

instagram or blog post which is best

 

In summary both instagram and interior design blogs are tools that you need to harness to build your visibility online. An analogy to the physical world is to compare the two media to the difference between a product flyer and a product catalogue.

A flyer like an Instagram post is an attention grabbing small piece of media with essential information on it. You may save it in a folder (like you would on Instagram) if you find it shares really valuable information. However the likelihood is that you’re going to get another of these flyers tomorrow, and the day after and then the day after that for the foreseeable future. So unless this particular flyer has a call to action that suits you, you’re probably going to recycle it pretty quickly and look forward to the next one coming along.

Meanwhile when you receive the catalogue it is full of so much invaluable information – page after page. You simply have to find a place for it in your office filing. When you need detailed product information you’ll search through the catalogue (as you do on Google to find an article). There you’ll find all the information you need about the product or service you were searching for. You’ll then replace the catalogue keeping it for as long as the product information is valid. Similarly Google will return search results to blogs for as long as the content they share is popular and relevant.

Two very different media where each benefits the other. Use Instagram to do the attention grabbing but don’t forget to back this up with more in depth content on your website with your blog. If you’re thinking it’s about time you started that blog on your website I’m here to help. Download my 5  Essential Blogging Tips for Interior Designers. If you need advice making your interior design or home decor business visible online contact me to book a consultation. Don’t forget to keep up with my latest tips, news and events by following me on instagram @fiona.mostyn and make sure you sign up to my newsletter.

 

From Interior Designer to Online Vintage Store Owner

Selling home decor items online is a natural addition to the portfolio of services for many interior designers. The My Deco Marketing ‘Know Your Niche’ blogs focus on designers who have followed their passions to create a niche. This not only defines their ideal customer but also supports their business and lifestyle goals. In this blog meet Aline Mackenzie-Reid of The Textured Room, interior designer turned online vintage decor store owner.

 

Aline curates a beautiful collection of vintage decor which she photographs in her own home to sell online. Her signature english country house style is gaining a devoted following through her beautiful instagram account @thetexturedroom and was recently photographed to appear in Country Living magazine. Aline shares how she moved from the fast paced world of commercial interior design to build her new online vintage business. In doing so she combined her passion for antique and vintage furniture into her interior design practice.

 

How did you first start as an interior designer?

On an amateur basis, and I imagine like many designers, I spent many hours as a child rearranging the furniture in my bedroom. Then I tried to expand my influence to the rest of the house until my parents put a stop to it!   Following this I started my professional career about 20 years ago, slowly working my way through from junior to senior posts in some of the most creative design practices in London, including Fox Linton Associates, Ezra Attia Associates and then finally to Hotel Design Inc, where I was Senior FF&E designer/stylist.

We had huge amounts of fun as a team working on concept and completion of 5 to 6 star hotels around the world. From contemporary to classic as well as high- end residential projects, including some for celebrities.  About 12 years ago I started my own design practice.  I delivered numerous commercial projects for restaurants and cafes as well as houses and apartments in central London.

Tell us about a favourite project you’ve worked on.

This is split evenly between hotel projects in Algeria and Egypt. With a brief to transform a luxury hotel in Algiers where the scale of the project was rather challenging and the design brief super-contemporary.  Expectations were incredibly high. I was fascinated by the need to deliver concepts that would appeal to many different cultures.  Quite a different challenge than, say, designing the interior of a London hotel.  I also very much enjoyed working on the redesign of an old, French colonial hotel in Cairo, located just on the banks of the Nile. On balance Algiers wins, simply because it was whole lot safer when crossing the road!

What’s your design style?

I’m originally influenced by French and Italian design, probably because I was born and raised in Paris. However, I have gradually fallen deeply in love with the simplicity and singularity of English design.

Online Vintage Store

 

Through life, I think your taste evolves constantly. Influenced as much by what life throws at you as where you live and the life stage you are at.  Today, after living in London for more than 20 years, I live in the beautiful East Sussex countryside. I know my attention and interest have shifted away from highly sophisticated spaces. I still appreciate these but  these days I’m now drawn towards designs that are more influenced by nature.

the Textured room online vintage store

Although I still love the French mid-century era as well as for instance contemporary Belgian and Spanish product designers, I have come to really appreciate the work of English designers and artists, for example William Morris and Eric Gill.

Starting The Textured Room as an online vintage store

Three years ago I started selling vintage and decorative antiques on the high street.  I have always been passionate about vintage shopping for myself, so at the time it just felt the most natural next step for me. Whilst being a busy mum I was able to apply my styling skills in this new enterprise.  However, social media means things move on very quickly and a lot of buying is done online.  So six months ago I rebranded and launched “The Textured Room”, an online-only vintage and decorative antiques store which I combine with my interior design practice where I design local interiors that improve people’s lives. I’m passionate about making homes more beautiful, with a real emphasis on nature, textures and sustainability.

What do you look for when choosing items to sell?

I carefully curate all items myself, as I am a big believer in things going right if you really believe in them.  I try always to just be myself in all aspects of the business. From my design for the website to the interior designs I deliver for my clients. This is especially true in the items I find and then sell-on (just occasionally keeping some for myself!).

 

Antiques and vintage online

 

I have a real passion for what I do. If you really enjoy yourself  with your creativity, for example when taking pictures, it radiates and shows through in your business.   I am all for sustainability, so for me buying vintage is just that.  Of course you can mix the old with the new – and that’s fun too.  However vintage pieces add something that a brand new item will never deliver in an interior.

 

The textured room

They have their own stories, they’ve often had pride of place in someone else’s life many years before. As a result of being owned, loved and handled, they are a little imperfect, but all the more beautiful for being so.  I like to think that when I buy for my store, I am looking for beauty in imperfection.

What challenges did you face transfering to an online store?

The challenges I am facing with the store online are probably the fact that people need to find us.  So one of my answers to this is getting on social media as much as possible. I mainly focus on Instagram and Pinterest. I probably don’t do enough activity on these channels at the minute as I am still working things through and learning, but I aim to have this all sorted in the near future.

What tips do you have for creating perfect pictures?

You need good light, a good camera, then throw what you like together and keep experimenting. I don’t really have any technical tips for creating good photos. I just try and show my items and interiors for what they are, and enjoy styling each room and item as best as possible.  Primarily I think it is important to try to establish a consistent visual style. Keeping simple clean lines is also essential.

 

antique leather chair

Tell us about shooting your home for Country Living magazine.

 

Country home the textured room

 

Behind the scenes during the Country Living shoot last month was actually very simple, much more so than I anticipated.   It was all about light and continuity of each scene.

I learned a lot about taking a good photograph, just by watching them at work. But most of all I had a lot of fun with the team and was really in my element all day!  What better day than making things look beautiful all over again!

What’s your perfect interior

My perfect interior would start with the all-important framing . Key original features such as fireplaces, plain or painted floor boards, attractive windows, interesting doors.  Then, with a clear functional purpose, it would be filled with beautiful vintage pieces. Occasional contemporary items where they fuse well, but topped off with gorgeous natural fabrics such as linens, wool and cotton.

online vintage store marketing

My perfect interior would need to have had a great deal of attention to detail brought to it, with many different textures such as timber, metal, ceramic, and natural materials and tones, all inspired by nature.   Textures are to me the most important ingredient in a feel good design, hence The Textured Room.

Most of all, it would have to be perfect in its imperfection, with the right amount of meticulously curated pieces of vintage in it.  Ultimately, a good and successful interior is one where it feels good to be in, rather than just stunning to look at.

 

Discover Aline’s curated collection of online vintage finds at The Textured Room and follow her on instagram @thetexturedroom

 

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