How Not to Write an Interior Design Blog

Writing blog content is an excellent way to market your business. On the surface, well written blog content provides thoughtful content that your clients will enjoy. Behind the scenes, however, it also boosts your SEO and online presence, making you more visible over your competition. Getting the balance right between engaging content and foolproof marketing material is not easy.

 

how to write an interior design blog

5 Top Tips on How to Write An Interior Design Blog

With this in mind, I’m sharing 5 tips to help you write a successful interior design blog, without falling into some of the most common pitfalls I see all the time from novice interior design bloggers.

1. Don’t Write the Same Blog as Everyone Else

The first common blogging mistake happens before you even begin to write when choosing the topic of your interior design blog. The first critical step is to try to avoid writing the same thing as everyone else. Choosing a subject that is unique to your brand will set you apart from the rest, whilst picking a trending topic will set you up for an additional competition that could have been avoided.

It’s always tempting to write an interior design blog on topical themes. Remember though that whilst a popular subject might see some increase in website searches, it will ultimately also receive more competition. Read on to discover how to set yourself ahead.

One such blog topic that surged during lockdown was centred around demonstrating how to create a home office. Whilst this is a relevant topic, a generic blog on such a specific theme only adds to the pool of thousands already out there. To create interest, the blog content has to be unique and relevant to your specific audience.

interior design blog and blogger

Some seasonal topics are unavoidable. Within the interior design calendar, there are a few key moments where we’ll all be writing about the same thing. Take for example the Pantone and Dulux colour of the year or a visit to an interior design event. Although these topics are extremely popular, there is no need to shy away from writing about them. The key is to add your own personal spin to the blog and make it relevant to your audience.

Tailor the topic to your audience persona. You know your audience best so consider how you can make it attractive to them. For example, let’s look at the topic of creating a home office. Instead of a generic blog let’s look at titles that tackle the problems your audience might be facing

  • How to create a home office in a small space
  • Create a work from home and homeschooling space
  • How to create a home office in your living room
  • How to create a garden room office
  • 5 Things you need for a perfect home office set up

Where possible use your own projects or examples of your own personal taste when talking about the topic. This will make the post more genuine and give it your unique style and flair. And remember – you don’t always have to love the colour of the year!

2. Don’t Talk About Things That Your Client Wouldn’t Actually buy

Following on from writing about what you like, the next tip is to pay attention to what your audience likes. Writing blogs that are un-relatable to your clients will alienate loyal readers and confuse your marketing niche.

To avoid talking about things that your client wouldn’t actually like, first pin down who your target market is. Check out my content marketing blog for tips on how to determine your audience and create content that resonates with them. When choosing the topic of your blog, consider carefully if this is something that they would find interesting. If your target market is financially secure but strapped on time, a blog post on DIY upcycled furniture may be amiss.

Similarly, if you are in the mid-range of the product market, avoid showcasing products that people simply cannot afford. For example, if your client shops within the ranges of say West Elm or John Lewis, try to avoid promoting bespoke furniture which is out of their price range. Keeping your client’s priorities and limitations in mind will help you to create popular blog content amongst your target market.

3. Don’t Talk about your Holiday or Anything too Personal

When you are running your own business, it can be difficult to draw the line between your personal and professional life. However, unless you are a lifestyle blogger, it is important not to blur the lines between the two too much. For example, you may find inspiration in your holiday travels. However keep the blog sharing part to the inspiring buildings, hotels, galleries, shops, or restaurants you visited. Sharing pictures of your family around the pool is to be avoided.

Keeping your interior design blog relevant to your services means also keeping it professional. When building an audience through your blog, it is important to keep the posts consistently in line with your brand. Posting about anything personal or off-topic, could lead to your clients viewing you as less professional.

If you are keen to share parts of your personal life, do so by keeping it on-trend. If you have visited a marketplace with antiques, or have spied a luxurious holiday villa, stately home or beautiful garden whilst on your travels, these are the snippets that your audience may find interesting. Remember to keep it super relevant to your clientele and business.

write an interior design blog

Click here for 5 Essential free blogging tips for interior designers

4. Don’t Forget About the Importance of SEO

Writing interesting content for your clients is a fantastic tool for keeping up views and engagement on your website. However, it is important not to forget that new viewers can also be reeled in through relevant website searches. When writing your blog, keep in mind how you will need to factor in keywords to boost your SEO.

Using keywords to enhance your SEO will help your site to become more visible on search directories. Focusing on the long-term goal of getting your keywords into each blog, will help to build up visibility over time.  If you follow the tips above and keep your blog relevant to your brand, it will be easier to integrate your keywords into each entry. At My Deco Marketing, we consistently achieve excellent results in ranking our client’s blogs above their competition. Contact us if you’d like to find out more about our blog writing services.

5. Don’t Use Low Quality Images

As we all know, interior design is a very visual business. It would therefore come as no surprise how important is to have great quality images on your blog. Aesthetically pleasing images will help to entice clients to your blog and give off the right impression for your services.

The aesthetic can be a great tool for guiding a blog post. Pictures that you source or take yourself, could be a fantastic source of inspiration. If the images can inspire you, they may also inspire your clients.

If your blog showcases an interior design project you have completed, it is even more important than the images show the project in the best light. However, this rule should be enforced for all images you upload to blogs. Any images that are not high enough quality reflect badly on your brand.

Take a look at this blog for tips and tricks on how to create great interior design images to promote your business.

I’ve written hundreds of interior design blogs for both designers and home decor brands. If you’d like to find out more about our done for you blog writing services do get in touch. Alternatively if you’re raring to go off and start your blog but still stuck for ideas on how to write the perfect interior design blog I’ve got you covered with the definitive guide in my ebook.

365+ Blog Post Ideas for Interior Designers

Discover how to write blog posts that convert readers to clients. An almost limitless list of blog titles you can use to build your blog and promote your interior design business.

In this 50 Page ebook You’ll discover how to craft perfect blogs with step by step guides for…

  • How to write blogs that sell design services
  • Blog Planning Checklists
  • SEO Tips for your blog
  • How to promote your blog
  • Instagram tips and content ideas from your blog posts

 

PURCHASE NOW

Take a look at what’s inside…

365 bog post ideas fiona mostyn

 

 

You’ll never be stuck for ideas with 365 blog post ideas to choose from plus a matrix of blog post title content designed to help you craft the perfect blog post to showcase your interior design knowledge and services.

Once you’ve decided on the title, use the guides and checklists inside to help you craft blog posts designed to help you sell your interior design services.

Interior designers who’ve purchased this book love it as it’s helped them quickly and easily take control of their blog writing to make it effective in promoting their businesses

“The 365+ blog book is a brilliant source of ideas for the Decorbuddi website and social media. The checklists, planning tools, and SEO tips are particularly useful, helping us to ensure that every post is as effective as possible. I am sure that it will be an excellent resource for creating content for the Decorbuddi blog for many years to come.” Amy Dhala, Co-Founder Decorbuddi

Your blog booklet inspired me. It’s so good and packed full of brilliant info. I actually managed to write a blog post today, which is quite an achievement for me! Alison Anderson Interiors

 

PURCHASE NOW

 

Instagram Hashtags for Interior Design Businesses

Are you feeling stuck with instagram hashtags ? Finding effective hashtags for interior design businesses can be the key to a successful strategy on the platform. I’m here to simplify social media for you. Especially for those of you in the world of interior design and home decor, where social social media and instagram are key to your marketing strategy to connect you with your ideal customer.

Here’s my guide to everything you need to know about how to use hashtags to grow your reach and following on the platform.

instagram tips for interior designers

What are Instagram Hashtags

Simply put they’re a descriptive word or phrase which is prefixed by the # symbol. The #hashtag represents a collection of posts that will be seen in an Instagram search.

Think of it as a way that the app categorizes and files posts so that they can be found by people searching for content that interests them. For example, if you’re interested in the design of colourful rooms you might try clicking on ‘Tags’ in the search bar and type colourful interiors. This brings up images that have been saved to that list of posts because #colourfulinteriors was added in the caption or comments. It will also bring up a list of similar words to choose from which are popular tags in that search category.

Under this, you’ll find two tabs Top and Recent. The most popular posts with the most interaction and engagement are shown under Top and the newest under Recent.

interiors social media

Instagram Hashtag Search

As well as being descriptive of the content, they are also a way to represent communities and brands on the platform. Instagrammers gather together sharing and engaging on content under specific tags to help each other grow. Interiors bloggers, Instagrammers and interior designers are very active in a range of tags through popular communities. Read on to discover more about how interior design communities connect with each other later on in this blog.

Why Should You Use Hashtags

Increase your reach by allowing you to get seen in Instagram searches

This happens by helping your posts get discovered by people searching for specific content. Especially for inspiration in the architecture, home decor, and lifestyle category. In short, if you didn’t use hashtags your content would only be seen by people who follow you. Not only that but Instagram doesn’t show your posts to all of your followers. It’s simply not possible with the number of people that use the app. It tends to reward popular content so in that sense, it sometimes feels like a bit of an uphill climb.

How does my content get seen if I don’t have a lot of followers?

Hashtags is the answer you’re looking for. When you use them it ensures your pictures are seen by people searching for the type of images you’re sharing.

Hashtags make you appear in all the right places

Additionally using hashtags is one thing that helps to tell the app what your account and business is all about. The other is what you search on to see the tip below. Along with the recent ability to search on caption text, using hashtags about homes, design, furniture and decor will let Instagram know that you want your content to be seen alongside other homes and interior design accounts. For example, your explore feed serves posts that are based on what you, your followers, and similar accounts are engaging with. Using hashtags for interior design content will help this process.

Tip: Click on that magnifying glass and look at your explore feed. Are you seeing pictures of interior design, home decor, and other designer’s images? You should be. If you’re seeing recipes, make-up tips and memes that’s because that is what the app thinks you are interested in. Try and keep your business account focused on interiors and use another account for your lifestyle and hobby searches.

Connect through community

Using tags can connect you with other similar accounts that will follow and engage with you. Searching on hashtags for interior design posts is a great way to find and connect with other accounts. Whether they are suppliers, other designers, or inspirational content creators, many Instagrammers start engaging with each other by sharing an interest in the same hashtags and the Instagram posts under them. The interior design community is strong on this platform and there are many popular and highly active community groups to join in.

Hashtag Challenges

Challenges are daily, weekly or monthly competitions that invite you to share your content with their community under their tag. Taking part in these challenges is a great way to find effective hashtags for interior design businesses. You’ll gain an opportunity to connect and engage with similar active accounts (which the algorithm loves), your content may get shared and seen by a wider audience. You might even win a prize! Here’s some of the challenges and communities with active followers that you can join in to grow your audience

  • #myhousethismonth
  • #myhouseismycastle
  • #mydailyrenovation
  • #myhousedownsouth
  • #mymonthincolour
  • #mycolourfulinterior
  • #myhomevibe
  • #storyofmyhome

 

social media posts for interior design

 

There’s many more of these out there. If there’s others that you think to deserve a mention please do add them to the comments below.

There are a few ground rules to follow for success:

  • Follow all your hosts
  • Follow the sponsor or prize giver
  • Check for daily, weekly, or monthly theme prompts. These will tell you what type of content to post for a chance of a share or win. Make sure your images are relevant to the theme.
  • Make your caption is as engaging as your images, making sure it is also relevant to the theme and conversation
  • Engage with other posts and accounts which use the hashtag
  • Post consistently. In some challenges this is part of the winning criteria

How to Use Hashtags Effectively

Here’s a few basic tips that will help you get started. If you would like to find the most effective hashtags for your business to use try our tailor-made hashtag strategy.

Do

  • Use up to 30
  • Have a mixed strategy to include tags of different sizes
  • Use tags that are based on describing the content of your post, location, and community
  • Research your hashtags well to find new active tags
  • Put your hashtags in the caption*

There is a lot of debate about this one. The jury is still out on this and I think it depends on many other factors of your account. I’ve always preferred to put them in the caption rather than the comments. After reading this article, which details a comprehensive study of over 650,000 Instagram accounts, one of the recommendations is that sub 100K accounts have a better reach rate when using hashtags in the caption – so I’m sticking with it!

  • Use them on reels

Reels are currently favored in the algorithm. They are being shown at the top of the list under searches of hashtags. A great place to get visible.

Don’t

  • Use the same tags over and over again

Instagram sees this as an attempt to game the system and it can result in your content not showing up in the searches at all. Read on to discover what to do if you get stuck with a hashtag ban

  • Use hashtags that are very popular

The chances of being seen in popular hashtags such as interior design, interior, interiors or home decor are not good for small accounts. There’s simply too many posts coming in a minute after minute

  • Use hashtags that aren’t relevant to the image or the caption

Be consistent in the subject of your content and caption. Even if your posts get to the top of the list if they’re not your ideal audience there isn’t much to gain from it

  • Use hashtags in your bio

Putting #interiordesigner in your bio, for example, gives the user the opportunity to click on that tag and take them away from your account down an Instagram rabbit hole to who knows where – they may never come back! The only exception to this is if it is related to your brand, #mydecomarketing  for example where all the content will relate to you. Avoid generic terms like #interiors #minimalist, #colourlover or anything else descriptive.

  • Use hashtags in your comments on other people’s posts

Putting a link in to take people off a post to other people’s content can be seen as a little underhand. Whatsmore when I recently tested this the app stopped these from being active, they no longer click through, so it just looks spammy.

What to Do if you Stop Appearing in Hashtag Searches?

The hashtag ban or shadowban is real? Well here’s the thing. Instagram doesn’t call it a shadowban so apparently it doesn’t exist however some of you will know not appearing in hashtags it is all too real. This happens when your posts don’t appear under the hashtag searches that you have added to the post. Instagram tell us that they choose not to show all posts under the hashtags for various reasons

But how will you tell if your post isn’t appearing in hashtag searches?

Check your insights to see where your post has appeared. Are the hashtag impressions low? Ask a friend to use their account to click on one of the hashtags used in your post and see if they can see your post listing under the tag. If it doesn’t appear I’m afraid you’re on the naughty list.

Why me?

You may have put a hashtag into your post which Instagram has banned. There are some which obviously go against community guidelines that exist to protect us all from things we shouldn’t see. Anything that might relate to sex, nudity, drugs, and hate speech are obviously no go. However other innocent tags sometimes get spammed with offensive content which causes them to appear on the banned list. These three for example are all banned but could easily appear in a relevant context in a post about decor

  • #boho
  • #desk
  • #elevator

Your account has been reported. Violating the terms of service or Community Guidelines causes your account to get reported. Copyright infringements for example if you post other people’s content without permission. Or use a copyrighted music track. There is a three strikes and you’re out for this one. Instagram may disable your account if this happens but in the meantime it could give you a lengthy timeout. You’ll get a notification if this happens.

You’ve exceeded your daily limits. You’re simply too active on your account with comments, likes, follows, DMs, etc. This can be a problem especially if your account is very new. As I mention earlier actions that are repetitive and bot like can get seen as such and the app will put you in time out for this including not appearing in hashtags and/or limiting your activity. Again you’ll get a notification of a timeout if this happens.

In my experience here are some things that help posts do well in hashtags

Great content. It all starts here. There’s no secret formula to this. Simply keep putting out great content that engages the people likely to search or follow the hashtags you use. Good quality photographs, engaging, humourous reels and storytelling or content that gives value in your captions. To check this search up your tags and make a note of the type of images and content that is reaching the ‘Top’ page in the hashtag. This is what you need to emulate

Single Images and Reels. For my posts these are what perform best in hashtags. Reels are a great way to get visible and Recently I’ve found carousel posts don’t do as well in hashtags. Check your insights and see what works best for your posts.

Here’s what to do next if you experience the problem of not appearing in hashtags.

Take a few days off. Make a clean break and stop all your activity on the app for a few days. Next prepare for a fresh start. Delete your hashtags from your last few posts. Create your next posts with just a few hashtags to start with and work up. Some users report putting hashtags in the caption, if they didn’t before, helped their hashtag reach.

How do I Find Relevant Hashtags to Use in My Posts?

Finding effective hashtags for interior design businesses to use on Instagram will build and grow your following quickly. The easy way to do it is to purchase a My Deco Marketing Hashtag Strategy and list.

Buy this service and you’ll receive a questionnaire to tell us about your business and Instagram goals. Within 7 days you’ll receive in your inbox your tailormade list of 150+ tags. Alongside this, there’s a best practice guide on how to use hashtags to grow your reach and engagement. We choose your hashtags based on your account size, location, business goals and competitive activity. Our hashtag data is pulled from an extensive search across thousands of accounts in the niche of the interior. It is refreshed every two weeks to help you find the top most effective up-to-date tags to use on your posts.

I use it on my own account and my clients and it has made an incredible difference to the reach of posts. Take a look at these examples here.

In the first image, you’ll see an image that I posted before I started using my strategy. Take a look at the insights on post-performance. You’ll see I posted the same picture a little while later and look at the difference in results. There’s also an image of another post that did very well in hashtags. Worth noting that all of these results are organic with no money spent on advertising or promotion.

social media for interiors

 

social media for interior design

 

social media for home decor

Buy the Strategy and List – How it Works

You’ll receive a tailor-made list for your business based on your goals, niche, target clients, and location. As well as this, if you’ve enjoyed the tips in this article you’ll get an even more detailed step-by-step guide on how to use your hashtags and how to research your own effective hashtags for interior design posts.

The strategy and list are just one of the Instagram services offered by My Deco Marketing. From 1-1 consultation to ongoing monthly management. Contact us to find out more!

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 let’s 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 on 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 favorite 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 troubleshooting 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.

UPDATE!!

Since I wrote this blog I’ve come across a few hacks and workarounds that can make music on reels work for you. Here are a few for you to try. Let me know in the comments if any of these work for you

  1. Try tapping in the place where the button should be just above the speed button. This has been known to bring up a playlist to use. So in effect, the music function is there but the button doesn’t show.
  2. Switch to a creator account. You can do this in “Account” in settings. Once you’ve done this wait a few days and the music should appear. Creator account is similar to business however gives you access to a lot more analytics and a few more features. Find out more here
  3. Use the audio from another Instagram reel. To do this simply find a reel using a track you’d like to use. Tap on the audio and the option will come up to “Use Audio”, tap and you will open up a reel where you can upload your video to play alongside the music you’ve chosen
  4. Add ‘original music’ from another source. Use another video editor app such as a wave. Video or inShot to edit your video. In these apps, you can choose from hundreds of library music tracks
  5. Change your Instagram category in settings. Choose something not too business-related. Rumour has it the music licensing rules may be different for some businesses and Instagram is limiting the options to business accounts because of this. Again you will need to wait a few days to see if this takes effect. Thanks to Lesley at Pfeiffer Design for sharing this one with me!

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 that 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 this you should find it quite straightforward. Choose a cover image for your reel. Similar 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 yours 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 or head over to my instagram services page to see what my clients say about growing their Instagram with me.

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 prioritizes 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 take 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 the short-form videos a bit more enjoyable on this platform. I’d love to know who your favorite creators are for Reels so leave me a message with their account handle in the comments.

Amazing Instagram Reels Ideas for Interiors 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 are 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 my guide to Instagram reels for your interiors business. If you’d like to, grow 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 take a look at the Instagram services page to see how I can help.

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 maximize 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.

Market Your Design Business with Reviews

 

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 number of reviews accredited to your business will give your company a further layer of integrity. Keeping a catalog 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 a 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 onto 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 swiping 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 by 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 number 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:

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 give 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 a 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 medium, 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 between 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 an appearance on Instagram, how to follow up and generally improve my social appearance to attract followers and send traffic to the 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

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, its reach and its 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 of 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 the 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 modeling was first created by computer engineers who worked on the automatization of data. It was Ivan Sutherland, who created the first ever program 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 programs’ interface is based on Sketchpad.

In 1969 Sutherland and Evans launched their company specializing 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 visualization 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, 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 colors 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 visualization 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 space.

Programs used to the 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 colors 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 programs is, that they can also demonstrate how different materials interact with light.

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

  1. Step Three: Light

One of the strongest features of 3D design programs is, that they allow you to ‘build in’ light sources. It can be natural daylight (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 look realistic. It creates depth, brightness, and shadows. When you work digitally, the 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, 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 Steps 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 the 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 them.

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

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 that 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 are two really important aspects to this.

  • what you communicate
  • how you deliver that communication for the 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 read 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 the 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 it’s 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 tTips 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

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?

6 Instagram Tips for Interior Designers

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 are 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 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 your 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 spider 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 niche of the interior 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.

Head over to our Instagram services page 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 take 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 accounts 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 program for your interiors business.

Whilst there are 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.

Work With US

Whether it’s full platform management or a one-to-one power hour to audit your profile and get you started on the right track. Take a look at our Instagram services page 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

In times of crisis look for 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.

Designers Making a Difference

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 within 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 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 organization 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 sells 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 favorite places to find discount designer homewares closes its doors temporarily. But did you know that on closing all products from the food departments from each store were taken to local food banks 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 mobilized 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 pitched 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 a 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

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.

Tips to Create Perfect Interiors Pictures for Your Design Business

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 are easily apparent from your pictures.

As a digital marketer, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to present beautiful, captivating pictures of everything you do. The ability to create the picture of the perfect interior 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.

Hire a Professional Photographer

It always pays to employ a professional.  A good photographer will have experience shooting interiors.  As well as the 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 on 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 stylish, 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 catalogs 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 favor showing pictures that 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

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 favorite interiors magazines, brand catalogs, websites, and social media. They’ve been kind enough to leave 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 the 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 the 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 photoshoots 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 following

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 of 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 mustn’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 paperwork, 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 on 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 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 the 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