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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 which will be seen in an instagram search.

Think of it as a way that the app categorises 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  search bar and type colourfulinteriors. This brings up images which 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 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 amount 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 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 which 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 who 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 which 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 and seen by a wider audience. You might even win a prize! Here’s some of 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 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 which are based 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 better reach rate when using hashtags in the caption – so I’m sticking with it!

  • Use them on reels

Reels are currently favoured 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 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 struck 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 minute after minute

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

Be consisitent in your 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 which 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 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 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 interiors niche. 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 which I posted before I started using my strategy. Take a look at the insights on the 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 which 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 is 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

How to build a successful interior design business

3 Top tips on how to build a successful interior design business

 

build a successful interior design business

 

It’s always good to get advice from experts when making decisions about your business. Building a business is a challenge and so much can be learned from working with specialists in your field. I asked Dionne Sherwood a Chartered Certified Accountant who specialises in helping interior design businesses for her top three tips on how to build a successful interior design business. Here’s what she shared with me.

1. Have a plan to build a successful interior design business

If you want to build a successful interior design business ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you in business?
  • Why are you in the business of interior design, particular?
  • What part of the interior design sector are you in?
  • How long do you plan to run this business?
  • Do you want to grow it and sell it so that you can retire?
  • Are you planning to grow it and pass it onto the next generation?
  • Do you have a plan to grow and reap financial rewards, without having to be there all the time?
  • Can you make it provide you with a comfortable income for as long as you need it?

It really doesn’t matter what the answer is to any of the above questions. Yes really!  However thinking about the answers will mean you have an idea of where you want to take your business.  If you don’t at best you’ll just amble along and find that everyday is a fight for business and security.

When doing design work for a client, you will talk with them.  Find out what they want, how they use their rooms and the type of activities that might take place.  You’ll then plan those rooms to meet the needs of your clients.

Working out how to build a successful interior design business is exactly the same.  You need to know what you want your business to do for you. Once you establish this, then you can build it and run it.  It doesn’t matter if you have big plans and big dreams, or smaller aspirations.  Whatever they are you can make them come true, but only with a plan.

If you have borrowed, or plan to borrow money to set up your business, you will have put together a business plan.  Don’t put it to one side thinking it has served its purpose, once you have the funding.  Keep it alive.  Make it a living breathing document, that you refer to when you are unsure whether to take a particular piece of action.  You can use it to see if you are getting the results you set out to achieve.

And like all things, plans change over time.  But that doesn’t matter.  You can tweak it and update it as things in the industry change.  No doubt you have had a client that wanted to achieve a particular look, but your experience tells you the room was too small, or without sufficient natural light etc, but by making certain adaptations, you were able to get a really good result.

Think of running your business a bit like designing a room.  You have a plan but things can sometimes go wrong, or at least result in a slight change.  The important thing is that you have that plan in the first place to guide you.

 2. Price what you are worth

How do you price for your services?  How do you know what to price?  Most business owners price emotionally rather than strategically.

Many people have a formula based on the amount of time it is going to take, plus the cost of the materials, plus a mark-up on the materials.

There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but there are disadvantages.  For example:

  1. If you tell a client you charge £80 per hour there is no incentive for you to complete a project ahead of schedule. In fact it benefits you to take longer and no doubt you have good reasons for taking longer which you would expect a client to pay for, especially if they change the remit.  Equally if you take less time, the client is likely to expect a reduction in the fee.
  2. If you tell a client, on a tighter budget, how much the materials are, they may well decide to source cheaper options themselves, and with the internet they probably can (although there might be questions over the quality).

Either way the client is likely to haggle the price down.

So, if you don’t want to get into a bartering conversation you have to find a way of working with the client’s budget.

my deco marketing interior design business blog

Pricing for success

Rule No 1 is never crash and burn on price.  The prices you set are the prices the customer will pay.  Those that haggle on the price and want to pay the lowest price possible are the ones that are going to give you the greatest amount of grief.  Simply by starting on a bad footing with the price, means your relationship with the client is going to be tense.  This is not unique to Interior Design, and neither is Interior Design immune to this – it happens in all businesses.

There are ways of working with your client to set the price that both you and the client are happy to work with.

Know your niche and your worth

Knowing your niche and how to define your ideal client will help determine how much you can charge and so too will your geographical location.  But don’t compare your prices to the interior designer down the road. Ha

ve a strategy for getting the best prices, knowing that your clients have had a say in that so that they know what they are getting for their money.  Small businesses cannot compete on price, so don’t even try.  You only end up in a race to the bottom and that’s no way to run a successful interior design business.  Show your value because that is what customers actually buy.

3. Keep on top of the finances

This is probably quite an obvious one, but if you are working on your own it often gets put to the back of the queue.  You don’t like doing it, you might not even understand how to do it.  Some people are frightened of numbers and finances, and that is quite common in creative industries.  If this is you, you are not alone!

Unfortunately keeping on top of the numbers is crucial.  When running a business you have responsibilities to you, your family, your customers, your suppliers and to the tax man.  Whilst I have put the tax man at the end of this list, he does have the most influence if you get it wrong. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse.   That said, as far as I am concerned, he stays at the back of the queue.  Get everything else right and the tax man will be dealt with.

 

interior design business owner

Get help where you need it

There is a load of stuff out there now to help you manage your finances on the go. From sending your invoices out, automating reminders for payment, automating actually getting paid through Direct debit or Credit Card. You’ll also want to make sure your supplier invoices are recorded so that you can schedule the payments and most importantly manage that cashflow.  But if numbers really do frighten you, or you just don’t have time, then get professional help.

The taxman has changed the way VAT information is submitted by introducing “Making Tax Digital” (MTD) and whilst you might think it doesn’t affect you because you are not VAT registered, MTD for income tax (sole traders & partnerships) and corporation tax (limited companies) is on the horizon.  Get your finances digitised now rather than later and MTD will be a piece of cake.  Digitising your finances means that you can spot the problems before they happen when it comes to cash in the bank.

Ultimately Cash is King and if you don’t have any, you will have sleepless nights.  Manage your finances properly and the rest of your business will be a joy to run. Be prepared to invest in planning, pricing and managing your finances and you will reap the rewards.

About Dionne

Dionne Sherwood is a Chartered Certified Accountant at DS Small Business Help who specialise in helping small businesses, in particular Interior Designers.  Her focus is on helping clients set their goals, build in profitability and run a successful interior design business. Dionne helps clients understand the best way of pricing their services and managing their businesses so that the business works for them and not the other way around. If you would like to know more e-mail her at dionne@dssbh.co.uk

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.

UPDATE!!

Since I wrote this blog I’ve come across a few hacks and work arounds 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 play list 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 this 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 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 affect. 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 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 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 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, 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

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.

 

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.

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 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 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 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. 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!

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.

 

The 4 Best Social Media Platforms for Interior Designers

The Best Social Media Platforms for Interior Designers

Social media is an essential marketing tool for interior designers and home decor brands. However, whilst an effective  social media strategy brings results and new clients, throwing all your energy into social media can be time consuming and a drain on valuable resources.

So what is the best social media for interior designers to use?

How can you make sure you’re investing your time wisely to get the results you need? Step one is to focus your energies on the 4 proven best social media channels for interior designers. Here’s my guide to where to promote your interior design business on social media

1. Pinterest

Pinterest is the number one social media platform for interior designers to focus on and here’s why. It helps to think of Pinterest as less of a social media tool and more of a search engine. Unlike other social media platforms when people  use Pinterest they are in research and buying mode, looking for inspiration and saving ideas for their dream home. 

With 250 million active monthly users (Sept 2018) Pinterest is driving trends. Designers often tell me they can predict what clients will ask for this season by what’s trending on Pinterest. Interior Design and Home Decor is one of the most active categories on the platform and your business needs to be visible in it.

Unlike Instagram and Facebook where content is famous for 15 minutes, on Pinterest good content is shared and re-shared giving it longevity. Sharing your content on Pinterest should be a well planned part of your content strategy.  Done correctly it will drive traffic to your website boosting your website presence.

Additionally if you are considering social PPC advertising talk to us about Pinterest. Facebook and instagram are reaching saturation with advertising especially at times of the year like Christmas when you’ll pay even more to reach your audience. As Pinterest is a search engine Pinterest users are already searching with intent to purchase, so what better place to advertise your wares.

Another interesting fact is that Pinterest users also spend more per purchase than Facebook users when they click through from pins. As a place where people research expensive purchases it’s geared towards a higher spend.

As a designer Pinterest is also a great place to collaborate with your clients. You can share boards with pins to build ideas together for projects.

2. Instagram

As interior design is a visual business Instagram is a great place to showcase your work. It also allows you to connect with your audience. Success on Instagram relies on sharing inspiring content which brings value to your audience. Think of your Instagram post as a daily mini blog.

It’s a great way to connect with people tell them what you’re up to.  Talk about what interests you as a designer and showcase your work. Using hashtags you can quickly find your tribe and grow your followers. Don’t get hung up on numbers but instead focus on quality connections.

The internet loves video and IGTV provides a platform for interior designers to share their expertise with the world. For Instagram tips… can you guess what I’m going to say… follow me on Instagram @fiona.mostyn

If you’re ready to invest in growing your instagram with either social media management or one to one training head over to the instagram services page.

 

“What’s the main difference between marketing by

posting on instagram and posting on your blog?”

Read my next blog post to find out

Interior Design blogs and instagram

3. Houzz

Houzz is the world’s biggest platform for connecting home renovators with the professionals they need to get the job done. A place where interior designers, architects, builders and landscapers and home decor brands showcase their work for home owners to discover.

Houzz.co.uk has around 200,000 users in the UK. Similarly to Pinterest, users on houzz are in active buying mode and searching for professionals to help with their project. It’s a great place to collaborate with your clients through the use of ideabooks to plan out your projects. Similarly to Pinterest boards you can use ideabooks on Houzz to get feedback. However they are far more fully featured than Pinterest boards.  There’s an opportunity to share in-depth information with your clients and some designers eeven integrate them into their workflow as a project management tool. Get active on Houzz with a well optimised profile and qualified leads to your business will follow.

For home decor brands it’s essential to create a profile on Houzz. Firstly you’ll you reap the benefits of their powerful SEO. Secondly you’ll also showcase your products to the thousands of users searching their site each month. Did you know you can tag your products in lifestyle pictures on the site with direct links to your ecommerce pages to buy?

Did you know I’m a qualified Houzz Marketer. I’ve even got a certificate!! You can download my top 5 tips to boost your business on Houzz here. If you want to boost your business find out more about my Houzz Marketing Services.

4. Facebook

I actually debated whether or not to put Facebook in the list and this might be a controversial decision but here’s why. Facebook is still the world’s biggest social media site so yes you do need a Facebook page. You also need a Facebook page to run your Instagram as a business account.

Every social media profile benefits you with links back to your site building your profile across the web. If you have enough resources in your business host a consistent presence on every channel you possibly can. If your time and budget are limited concentrate on the ones that will give you the best return.

With this in mind here’s what I think works for Facebook. In recent times as Facebook has streamlined their business to increase their revenue from business users. Since this happened organic reach from businesses to potential customers has plummeted. On the plus side Facebook has some of the most sophisticated customer targeting of any media out there. Facebook advertising used to be an easy way to reach customers but businesses are now spending more than ever on Facebook ads to maintain their reach.

Who should you target on Facebook?

If you are a home decor brand selling low to mid price-range products Facebook is a great place to find your audience and sell products through paid media. In contrast it’s different for an interior designer working on high-end homes. It’s unlikely you’ll persuade someone to spend £50K+ on a kitchen from a Facebook advert. That business is far more likely to come from Houzz.

However the older, well heeled target demographic kitchen buyer can be found using Facebook. In fact it is their social media of choice! Unlike making a quick decision to buy a sub £50 cushion, your kitchen buyer will need a carefully planned campaign to win them over so don’t dive into Facebook ads without a solid strategy to convert your buyer to your offer that suits your business.

However as with all aspects of your business and your branding on social media maintain an up to date profile. If you are going to be visible on a social media platform share inspiring content to show your business in it’s best light.

Other Social Media for Interior Designers

As I mentioned before any social media profiles you create that link back to your site are good for your presence on web. LinkedIn is great for connecting with other businesses. Interior designers in hospitality, commercial and property development are likely to find connections through LinkedIn. Especially as it is more geared to business use than social media sites  that people use for leisure.

You Tube is the domain of influencers. It works particularly well with selling products through demonstration. So where you can’t build a presence yourself collaborate with influencers to build your profile. 

Social media can be time consuming to manage whilst you’re busy planning, sourcing and project managing. My Deco Marketing offer social media management specially focused for interior designers and home decor brands. Choose the right channels, whether it’s Pinterest management, Instagram strategy or building your Houzz profile. Build your reputation and find new customers whilst you get on with running your business. Contact me to find out more

 

Social media for interior designers