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Grow your Instagram with a plan in 2022

Instagram can be a great marketing tool for you.

But before you find yourself freaking out over stagnated growth, understand there is a strategy and plan to  instagram growth for Interior Design.

As a design company what is your goal?

When you consider what your pillars of content will be you should first determine what do I want people to do when I post this? The larger goal is for your client to know like and trust your design business. But all along the way you will want to be having your social media audience do certain actions or respond to you in a certain way. These small actions help to create larger results.

What do you want your audience to do?

Do you want your audience to join your email list? Do you want them to click on a link and buy items? Do you want your clients to follow you and stay tuned to see the final results of your design? will they go to your blog?

Here are examples of what you want your audience to do:

-Buy: Grab that item you just recommended

-Excite: want your audience to get excited about hearing from you

-Engage: like the post or respond to you in comments, possibly share with a friend?

-Connect: Feel like they are a friend that I am interacting within are grateful .

-Teach:  what your business process is like

The type of post should help spur the audience to feel something and the sequence of interactions should cause your audience to predictably respond to you.

First Step to finding Your Social Media Pillars for an Interior Design Business

Start by following your competitors and other interior design businesses. There are a few helpful Tiktok search operators that will help you find users to follow based on their profile names, such as “interior design” or “interior designer.” You can also search for related hashtags such as #interiordesign or #homedecor. 

Once you’ve found some accounts to follow, write out the 5-7 types of content they are posting. Consider looking at lifestyle brand social media and professional interior designers. You may not need to make your children or your dinner part of your social media plan, but getting in front of the screen is more important than most designers believe.

Choose which Social Media Platform is best for your Interior Design business

Pick the social media platforms that you enjoy, find fun and enjoy participating on. Your social media platform will take away from your work. Make sure you are doing something enjoyable. It’s social so you will need to interact with other people on the platform. The newest features will result in growth and what worked years ago will probably not work moving forward.

What do you want your audience to do?

What designers can learn from Lifestyle brands

They are not just posting pictures of their lives, Lifestyle brands are making you feel intimately connected to them. That their lives are better than others. Lifestyle brands are crafting a persuasive story.  They are not randomly posting images to their social media.

We see this trend being used by many influencers, but the ones that use it best are lifestyle brands. They have an Instagram strategy that is centered around their brand and product. They share lifestyle posts to help people transform themselves to be more like them through buying the items that they recommend. They have a gorgeous family let me tell you what my strategy was behind the outfit we chose to make this picture look so great. Buy those items here.  What you love my bedroom? I do too! Here is how you too can have such a delightful space, buy here.

Interior Designers shy from the camera and they miss out

The more real you appear, the more people will be interested in your content. The more their trust will grow and the more they will stay engaged with your content.

Incorporating a video of your face and hear your voice to be more friendly on the social platform is a good way to engage with the ideal audience. It provides a chance for them to know you better and become loyal followers of your content. This is called Parasocial Interaction.  The phenomenon that makes people willing to walk up to a celebrity in a restaurant and talk to them as if they are their friend and they know them.

One way to get your audience involved is by asking them questions and getting them to answer it. This helps you give your audience a sense of ownership and community. Then with time you can move them to your email list and your business assets.

You can also do this by reporting on what they are interested in or what they need help with. For example, if you’re a content writer, you may ask your readers what kind of content they need help with or if they have any feedback for improving their blog posts. You can also create a poll and ask readers what kind of blog post topics they would like to see more of in the future.

The break down is: give give, give, then ask

1. You give great design inspiration,

  1. a glimpse into your work and work space
  2. new lights that you love
  3. then you can ask for their email to get more information on new products

Here it is again: give give, give, then ask

  1. a new wallpaper you recommend
  2. the behind the scenes in a showroom that is trade only
  3. a job site visit with an amazing view
  4. ask them to share your post with a friend- or check out your blog.

Is your social media following wanting to hire you to design a home? 

It may be that they follow you for a year or years…. and a real interior design client isn’t going to buy items from links or request a paint color. They will go to the website and request a phone call. they may be on your email list before they schedule a discovery call,- either way they are hiring you because they like you.  Chances are they are not hiring your business because our industry is very personal.

This is how they will see you interact: give, give, give, ask

  1. Know you, know you are reliable
  2. See you solve peoples problems
  3. You can accomplish what they want in their project
  4. When they are ready, they know what the next steps are…

How can you do that on Instagram?

This is what is known as a social media strategy, On Instagram, you must be able to see the process of how your design was created and who it was designed for. The more content you post the more likely you are to get followers, just from frequency. Remember social media likes to promote their newest features and the early adopters will typically win out.

There are many beautiful pictures and feeds telling compelling stories. It’s time to step up your game……. Social media is important, you should implement a strategy behind your social media presence while making it more fun and successful.

hands photographing ice cream

Does this really work for your business?

It’s 2022…. Today, I want YOU to be YOUR ideal client.

Congrats! you won the lottery.  You have a chance to build the home of your dreams and completely furnish it to the top….  

pick a budget in your head and

—like a magician (that we all are) The Interior designer will do it for you.

Now that you have won the lottery because ideal clients have unlimited funds… or maybe your ideal client is budget savvy -whateves…. let’s just go with it.

What does the desire to find the right designer for your ideal client looks like?

I would love for you to understand why she/he is online stalking all of the images that you produce.

Is it your new fondness for hot pink and they love it… but are too afraid to try?

Is it the new showrooms you share beautiful pictures from?

Is it the sneak peek of the rooms you are working on?

Is it your signature opinion that they want to begin to understand the method to your work?

Was it that the last job site you mentioned a problem, now they know not to make for their home?

Is it the custom pieces you had made in a lovingly considerate way, that is perfect for each of your clients?

Is it because you share all of the newest samples that come in?

The answer is YES.

Social Media; Why do you use it & Why do they use it?

Instagram accounts fall into two categories, those who use it for business and who use it as a chronic visual testimony to their #personalbusiness.  

Well, right now YOU are YOUR ideal client.  You want the best designer to listen to you.  You want the best designer to take care of you and get the best look.  You have hundreds of feeds to look at… Why does this one stand out to you?  Why is this feed the best one?

Why spend 3 minutes of their day every day to see you?

Sum Social Media up:

Instagram is like the news,

Facebook is like a talk show 

Reels is like a commercial.

IG Stories is a reality show.

TikTok is like a conference

If someone is looking at pictures from you and tuning into your reality show. You need a strategy to turn them into clients. You need a PLAN.

It’s called 5 categories/features or repeating items in your feed.  Those 5 categories then repeat each week and you elaborate on your zone of genius.

A good social marketer makes sure their audience is being educated.

Why your client is on Instagram?  He or She wants to be SMARTER.. a better consumer/ more on-trend/ did I say…SMARTER.

You (Designer) are on Instagram to create KNOW/ LIKE/ TRUST.

laptop and pencils

Set yourself up for success

What are Interior Design Pillars of Content?

The Expert – to position you as an expert in your field; 

Influencer – influence and persuade your audience; 

Testimonials – you are visible and desirable, + press

Tips- Shortcuts to Mastery

Inspiration-Teaching what is desirable and / Design insider secrets

Behind the Scenes-why you are needed; what its like in the day in the life

Familiarity- a Trusted resource and Friend

WHY 5?

The Goal to establish know, like and trust is to repeat know, like and trust over and over…..  More than 5 and it’s too much work- and your ideal client can’t register what you are conveying. You are going to go, rogue, one day – we will call those your other unnamed categories….  or Squirrels ( delete squirrels.) _-you got that opportunity to tag that you were with a celebrity designer but by now it’s buried in the #hashtag world- And it is not working for you.

Your feed is a portfolio is always working for you.

So consider your features/Categories, here are the 3 most important for the industry…

Each post should establish——————————————————-

Know       Like        Trust

Experience:

  1.  Talk to your audience like they are your current client. 
  2.  Completed rooms, mini crops of vignettes
  3.  Talk to them about how long the process takes,
  4.  Issues that come up and how you handled it. 
  5. Ask Me anything Opportunities.
  6.  Testimonials
  7. (**They don’t like to see real-time remodel work.  They prefer more before and after. Think HGTV has them trained to focus for 20 minutes, —from start to end.)

Well Resourced:

  1. Newest and Best Product/samples
  2. A Style board for a room
  3. As a designer WOW this person with things I can’t find on my own.
  4. Press

Familiar:

  1. Faces…  I want to know my designer personally
  2. Does this designer know what it is like to live with a dog?  Or cats? 
  3. Does this Designer deal with kids?
  4. Do you have an amazing knack for recommending the best new restaurants?  
  5. Do you know where to go and when to go?  
  6. Do you go to places that positively influence what I want?
  7. Oh, that is what it looks like when I walk into a design appointment!  
  8. That showroom she goes to is amazing.
  9. Where is that shop?
  10. Your standard design process that makes clients feel safe comfortable and happy.

All of those questions can be answered in sharing about you and your life.

Your other 2 features:   

Will fall in the line with your particular practice.  Do you design Dr.s Offices? Restaurants? Drapes? only new construction? Turnkey? remodels? Multi Family etc.

Can you talk about new up and coming items in that specific area/ clients biggest problems/ how you handle it?  Maybe you are a woman-owned business and you support women-owned businesses or artisans maybe you are wellness Cert or Green…. The more unique you are the better you are to stand out.

In these 5 features that you highlight consider addressing positive client communication.  Talking about why the family that you are creating this dream home for is so kind and fortunate. *how you make the client’s life better, * house better * Happier lifestyle.  What solutions you worked together to select, have specific qualities and meet the requirements of the project.

Also, call things what they are and show your personality….  If you are a designer that says NO to things and thinks things are ugly- out loud to their face.    Give a little of that in your feed.  Make it entertaining-Post terrible things from places and how you would fix it.- in stories. (giveaway a free room advice for a follower, have them chime in on polls.) Even though you don’t really want their advice they want to be involved. What do you think about these new samples?  You have a great tool in front of you to establish trust.

If your social feed shows me pretty rooms, products I like consistently and a person with credibility, experience, expertise and an ability to make me feel comfortable and respected.  Now it’s your turn who would you hire and why from their social media feed?

Check out this Post on TikTok which covers the Reels and Short video

Grow Your Audience

There are many social media platforms that are popular among interior designers. Here are six tips for how to get noticed on social media as an interior designer.

1. Optimize your profile to appear at the top of search results – this will help you be easy-to-find if someone types in ‘interior designer’ city location

– Use a photo of YOU as your profile image, showcase your work with a background image.

 Kimberly Sundt has an optimization sheet that helps you to know which size your image needs to be so e that across all platforms you have your image optimized.

– Use hashtags

Hashtags are different based on the platform you are on. For example, on Instagram, hashtags are often popular phrases with a particular theme. On Twitter, they can be words or phrases that have a certain meaning.

It’s as simple as using client words like:

“curtains”and “couch” on Pinterest

“Sofa” and “drapes” on Instagram.

Each platform has its own language and It’s always best to spend some time researching what is used on each one. When you are looking for Hashtags for your interior design business that are relevant to the type of design you do, brands that you love, or events that you are participating in.

One thing that does not change is that you work in specific areas. You should use your geographic location for where you want to work. Are you working on log cabins in Aspen? Or are your projects modern beach houses on remote islands. Do you design airstreams or homes of dreams? Consider what your client would be looking for? If a home Playa del Carmen needs a redo the use of hashtags will be different.

Using Geotags

Aside from the hashtag

  1. geotag your projects if they are downtown in a city you work. is it a #Penthouse?

Attending the AIA home tour in your area, or participating in a showhouse is a way to connect with more people and find new connections in your area. Think of how you mingle with people in your ideal working area on social media.

For example when I began a project in a different town I found my builder by searching for the “type of home” I wanted, “the town name” and “builder”. I found him. It’s that easy.

Use the location in the hash-tag and as your actual location in your posts.

Boost up your Bio

– Create a short bio about yourself which includes details about your experience in the industry (press placements), where you are located and your name. Yes, I said your name. Let me call you by your first name because we are friends and I feel like I know you.

Collaborate and Listen

Look for opportunities to collaborate with other influencers in your industry – this will help you establish connections and relationships with other people in the field, which can lead to potential collaborations, joint ventures or even joint content creation projects.

Branding

Build up your personal brand is really fun on social media. You can get immediate feedback from your audience and you can pivot your style and aesthetic to reflect what type of work you want to be focusing on.

by creating engaging content on your blog or website – one of the most important ways to build up a personal brand is through social media channels by posting regular updates about what you’re working on, what inspires you

Parasocial interaction is a psychological term that describes the bond between a celebrity and their fans. It’s characterized by a one-sided strong admiration and affection for someone, such as a celebrity. Parasocial relationships are typically formed through one-way communication such as TV or radio programs, video games, podcasts, and social media.

The expert is someone who is an authority in their field of work. They might have knowledge about something that can be useful to others. They can provide information and advice on various topics

Influencers are people that use social media marketing to promote products or services to their followers and audience members. They stand out from other social media users because they have built up trust with the people who follow them; these followers aren’t just looking for information but also want to learn from them as well.

Remember Parasocial Interaction is working on your side.

The pro’s of using social media are that it can help create awareness for your brand, it can increase referrals and traffic to your website, it can educate current and prospective clients, and lastly but not least, it’s another form of marketing which will help you get the word out there about who you are and what you do.

The con’s of using social media are that there is a lot of competition on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., there is no guarantee that people will actually see your posts or if they do see them they may not hire you.  It can become expensive to hire a service to do your social media and it may not pay off.

 Set up a Interior Design content calendar

The content types that I typically produce are blog posts, Instagram stories, Tiktoks, emails, and Pinterest pins.

A significant part of marketing yourself as an interior designer is posting quality content about your projects on various social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. But not all projects are suitable for social media. Your projects may be too complicated with too many moving parts to actually show in detail on these platforms but if you pull back and look at your life from a spaceship view you can see that you have a system behind your madness.

It’s all about taking images and videos that are already out there, and distributing them on other channels.

Repurpose you content

Repurposing can be effective because it saves time and money by not having to create something from scratch. It also allows your company to reach new customers by using their existing content.

The goal is to create content that is relevant for your brand, but that has been distributed on different channels before.

The more content you create the easier it becomes to broaden your reach.

Audience Building is Work

 It’s about developing a relationship with your audience. And that’s the only way to teach them about what you do.  Build your content around answering their questions as you talk to your audience. Encourage them to talk back to you.

Leverage others audiences by interacting with them through remixing videos, duets on tiktok or stitches.  Participate on Podcasts and invite collaborative Instagram reels with brands. Use all the features and try new ones when they come out. It’s the best way to broaden reach.

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