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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

 

“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