50 Ways to Market Your Interior Design Business 1. Hire a public relations agency to help plan and carry out a CUSTOM ADVERTISING PROGRAM. Work closely with PR specialists and maintain final approval of all materials. 2. OR – Create and maintain a DO-IT-YOURSELF CAMPAIGN. Measure the balance between expenses for a professional service versus your own efforts. 3. Have a clearly defined GAME PLAN. Know where you want to go and plan how to get there. 4. Select a SPECIALTY and commit to it. Explore a niche by developing specialized letters and packets geared to specific markets, i.e. Corporate, Hospitality, Medical, Tenant and so on. 5. Become an EXPERT in your field by focusing on specific clients and types of projects. Learn the “expected” jargon. Provide goods and services within your niche. 6. Discuss with your STAFF the firm’s marketing plan. Every employee within your firm helps you sell your services and unless you ask, you may never know who has an important connection with a potential client, perhaps making the difference in securing a project. 7. RESEARCH your client’s problems, concerns and frames of reference. 8. Build a PRESENTATION to energize your message. 9. Check your COMMUNICATION ATTITUDE and delivery skills. 10. PHOTOGRAPH WORK and attempt to have features published in trade publications. 11. Create a PORTFOLIO in an easy-to-update format. 12. Establish MEDIA CONTACTS: Radio or Television – Print Media – Trade Shows – Internet 13. Issue PRESS RELEASES telling prospects about personnel changes, new contracts, design awards, senior personnel, and special events on a regular basis. 14. ADVERTISE in local publications on a regular basis announcing promotions, projects and items of interest. 15. Develop an introductory BROCHURE stating your mission and providing contact information. 16. Create SALES PACKETS with Scope of Services and Client References. 17. Seek SPEAKING opportunities to reach decision-makers. 18. Maintain HIGH VISIBILITY within the community. 19. Enter DESIGN COMPETITIONS whenever possible. 20. Plan MEDIA APPEARANCES publicizing your successes. 21. Create an IMAGE that builds higher value to demonstrate your level of professionalism and ability to do the job. 22. Remain VISIBLE in your field and make sure clients and prospects are aware of your services. 23. A LETTER is one of the most important and effective ways to communicate to customers one’s capabilities, knowledge and professionalism. Be sure correspondence conveys an appropriate, error-free response, while highlighting the benefits of your services to the customer. 24. Create a NEWSLETTER to send out periodically. Announce new projects, firms’ background, trends within the industry, upcoming events, organizational involvement, completed projects, projects in progress or other pertinent facts clients might be interested in learning. 25. Develop a specific DIRECT MAIL media marketing campaign. 26. Write and PUBLISH books, surveys, articles, and newsletters. 27. Offer SEMINARS. Meet with individually specific market groups on an individual basis. 28. SPONSOR MEETINGS at your facility. 29. Develop a REFERRAL NETWORK of associate, business and client contacts. 30. NEGOTIATE with a manufacturer’s representative for client listings. 31. PARTNER with appropriate businesses to increase visibility. 32. Find time to PROSPECT. Contact the 500 fastest growing companies in your area. 33. DIG UP LEADS from Construction Reports, Cold Calling, Personal Contacts, Business Contacts, City Planning Offices, Architectural Firms. Seek to be considered when others accept multi-disciplined assignments. 34. Contact large “OUT OF STATE” FIRMS for small jobs in the area. 35. Never pre-judge a lead. Make it known all LEADS ARE WELCOME. 36. Tackle COLD CALLS with a goal of obtaining an appointment with the decision maker. Know your purpose, research telephone techniques, project an attitude of enthusiasm, talk about solving problems, ask open-ended questions, make observations, listen, and use positive statements. Prepare a checklist with answers to possible questions and objections. 37. Ask permission to place INSERTS on letterhead in trade magazines and books at your local bookstore or within local news venues. 38. COMMUNICATE with clients and future prospects on an ongoing basis, perhaps every three to six months. 39. NETWORK in client circles. There is no substitution for “face-to-face” interaction. 40. VOLUNTEER when possible for community activities and promote good will within the community. 41. Keep a MASTER LIST OF 250 CLIENTS, which you contact or call on a regular basis. Send thank-you letters for client support and patronage. 42. Develop RELATIONSHIPS with clients. As your clients needs change, be there to help them implement the changes necessary. 43. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION. Resolve customer complaints immediately. 44. Offer one day of FREE CONSULTATION to your top 10 clients. 45. Search for new business from old business. Ask for REFERRALS. 46. Invest in first-rate TECHNOLOGY and resources to enhance your perceived value. 47. Visit local design schools to discuss and SHARE KNOWLEDGE of the industry with up and coming designers. 48. Offer a MENTOR PROGRAM at your place of business. 49. Become a PERMANENT fixture in your industry. 50. Keep your ears and eyes open for any opportunity to PROMOTE your business or DEVELOP a new contact.