As the rich get richer, they continue to build and customize their homes, both their full-time residences and additional properties. Despite the investments in new homes, business for interior designers is not increasing. Instead, business for those in the interior design profession is decreasing month after month as their client base continues to age. Currently, interior designers are having a difficult time acquiring new clients for their customer base.
In a recent survey conducted across more than 300 professional interior designers by Unity Marketing, respondents indicated that finding new clients was their number one challenge. That sentiment was further lamented by a YouGov survey which states that among the wealthiest Americans, those that have a net worth greater than $10 million and yearly income greater than $350,000, only 10% regularly use an interior designer. Findings from both surveys illustrate the gap.
In this current day and age, more and more customers are going the do-it-yourself (DIY) route. With shows on HGTV and other channels showcasing how easy a home makeover is, homeowners have found it much more cost-effective, and often less work, to complete a small-scale remodeling or redecorating project on their own. The hosts of these makeover shows make these remodel or redesign projects look not only easy but also fun.
With the DIY mindset prevalent, how do interior designers effectively reach out to the untapped 90% of wealthy clients? The answer is effective marketing. In recent years, interior designers have turned to social media to attract new clients and promote their business. In a recent survey, 80% of interior designers indicated that they are active on social media; yet, only 17% rate social media as effective. In other words, for 8 out of 10 designers, social media underdelivers in terms of promoting their business to prospective clients.
Unity Marketing noticed the performance gap indicated by their original survey and conducted a follow-up survey in order to dive deeper into the challenges presented by social media. The results showed that designers do not use social media effectively. The results indicate that designers don’t know how to measure its effectiveness and the best platform to use, and have not equated social media marketing back to financial success. One designer in the survey even went as far to say, “designers are wasting their time. It makes them feel good while they are going broke.”
With the pros and cons in mind, interior designers need to work to find what works best and get rid of the rest. Designers need to evaluate which of their social media platforms actually work for them and are the most effective. Designers should follow four simple tips when planning and executing their marketing plan. First, successful marketing is just as important as successful designing. Second, hope is not a strategy, they see the likes, shares, and retweets and assume it is working. Third, don’t throw away good time or money. In efforts to make marketing better, many will focus on social media, but more time on these platforms could potentially lead to a downgrade in future designs. Lastly, interior designers should be strategic with their marketing and make marketing truly work for them at an individual level.