So, you're an interior designer and you're ready to level up. You want to increase your bottom line, get a larger client base and be taken seriously in the design world.
You may be thinking, "Aha! I need a blog!"
And while that is correct (blogs are AMAZING for increasing your SEO over time and helping you rank higher and higher on Google - check out our blog HERE for all the details), it's crucial that you get a few things in line first.
That's right - as a blogger, I'm telling you to PAUSE. Don't write a single post. Don't hire me yet. Don't even make a list of topics you'd love to write about.
Because before any of that can take place, you absolutely need to have a foundation to build upon.
Here's the deal - you can technically start a blog right now. And that blog will technically add SEO to your website. But if it's just a blog with no branding foundation to stand on, does it really matter? How are you actually going to set yourself apart from the competition?
Blogging with a solid brand identity not only makes writing easier, but it also strengthens your business, allowing you to be clear about who you are, what your values are, the type of clientele you want to work with, and the process by which you design.
Here are the five things you need to have in place before you start that blog...
So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and knock out that list! The sooner you can get that blog up and running, the higher you will rank. Let's get those client leads flowing!
Do I REALLY need a blog? Is social media REALLY that necessary? Can't I just put my website out there and call it a day?
If any of these questions have been running through your mind, we've got to chat, my friend. Because while technically having a blog and social media presence doesn't promise an out-of-this-world ROI, and "marketing" as a whole is pretty intangible, there's no doubt that when it comes to building up your interior design brand and identity, content is KING (scratch that - QUEEN).
You've heard it before: SEO is a must for your website. But what does that even mean? Aside from injecting keywords, updating your meta descriptions, and naming your images strategically (and on and on), what more is there to do? Won't the leads just start rolling in?
Possibly. But that's not guaranteed to be sustainable in the long run.
Think of your website and social presence as an ever-moving and constantly-growing thing. It's a teeny tiny puppy, if you will. It's got a lovely little dog bed "home" (your URL or social profile), and it occasionally does fun things like playing tug-of-war with a new toy or snuggling on your lap (your pretty Insta-worthy photos and portfolio pages). But if you don't feed it and let it out to use the bathroom (update your blog and Instagram posts), it will probably not grow or survive (views and followers stuck at one level), and at the very least the whole experience will backfire on you and pee all over your floors (follower count dropping down, down, down, and ZERO leads or new business).
Alas, there IS a solution (and I am guessing you know exactly where I'm going with this): refreshing your blog and Insta on a regular basis! Huzzah!
I know, I know - you are neck-deep in client work, trying to get an artwork install completed, and dealing with all sorts of custom furniture order snafus left over from the pandemic. Blogging and social is the furthest thing from your mind. And I totally get it.
But that doesn't mean it's not important.
Refreshing your design blog and social media posts is essential to keeping your business top of mind for potential future clients. Because as far as SEO goes, the more content you can load onto your site (good content - not just random infusions of keywords), the more likely it is that you'll continue to pop up in Google search results. And that, as we all know, means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
Blogs are about more than sharing your expertise (although that is obviously very important as well). At a baseline level, they work to inject constant SEO juice into your site, making you rank higher and higher the more you post. Same goes with Instagram - the more you post, the more the app recognizes your activity and rewards you with exposure. It's not a perfect algorithm, but it's an algorithm nonetheless, which means it's in part logical and scientific - you just have to follow the code.
Now, I'm not saying you now have to work an extra 10+ hours a week somehow figuring out how to craft the perfect sentences and string together researched hashtags that will get you noticed. Nope - not at all. Your expertise is DESIGN. If you want to up your exposure, you totally can - you just need an extra set of hands to get it all done.
If you're ready to step up to the next level with your content, give me a shout out. A refresh and ongoing stress-free content production is just a click away (I even put a pretty little button below - it's THAT easy!). Then, once we've partnered up, you get to keep your focus on what you do best: design, design, design. I'll take care of the rest.
Ok. You have a website. You have a blog you sort of update once in a while. You've even added all those little icon doohickies on your Instagram story highlights because that's just what you're supposed to do (or so everyone says). And yet...
The comments aren't magically rolling in. Your followers are still at the same level. Your designs are pure gold and though you've won multiple high profile awards for them, you can't seem to compete with the blogger babes out in the world for viewer attention. What gives?
In short, there are two different types of designers out there in the social sphere: one specializes in designing for clients (what we all usually think of as an "interior designer"), and one that specializes in designing his or her own projects in order to create a constant content stream (what we think of as a "design blogger" who may or may not do a few client projects or sell branded merchandise). If you fall into the first category and are suddenly thinking this whole thing is for naught, that you may as well give up now and admit defeat - please don't. I am here to tell you that there is a happy medium between the two extremes and it is possible to reach your content production goal - you just have to do like the bloggers do. After all, it turns out that they all tend to have a few things in common across the board, no matter their home style or ability to wield power tools.
So, read on for all the details. It's far more doable than you may think.
Beautifully-designed website? Check.
Branding on point? Check.
A gorgeous portfolio? Check.
Social media presence? Check.
An active blog? Not so much.
If this sounds like you, you're not alone. The thing is, as an interior designer, your focus is on designing, not on writing. Many of my clients understand the importance of a blog, but they either don't have time to sit down to write one, or when they do sit down to write a post, they can't think of anything to say.
Why someone is interested in hiring a writer may vary slightly from person to person, there are several frequently asked questions I get about the process. If you've been wondering about any of these, I've got your answers all primed and ready to go.
How do I create posts that are interesting for my clients/potential clients?
This is hands down one of the top questions I get asked by new clients. Most people feel like every time they sit down to write a post, their words freeze up. They sit and stare at their screens wondering how the heck they're going to translate their know-how into an interesting post. And most of the time, they're second guessing their once-exciting ideas, sure that everyone will find their thoughts boring.
So, today, I'm sharing my quick tips for creating a blog post that helps you actually engage with your readers. Because we've all got expertise, but learning to share it in a successful way isn't always as easy as it seems.
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your website as just a landing page or a one and done endeavor. After all, you hired a web designer five years ago, they created your site, your contact information is on there, so what else could possibly need to be added? (Hint: a lot.)
In today's tech-savvy world, your website is the crux of your business reputation. If it's ignored and never updated, you'll eventually earn a reputation as someone who doesn't have the chops or willingness to compete for new business.
To be fair, it's tough to be constantly changing with the techie times we live in, and of course, nobody expects you to have to take on every single element of web design or social media - you're an interior designer by trade! You should be focused on your craft!
However, you do still need to make your website a major focus of your business if you want to be taken seriously by potential new clientele. Past clients and referrals might not care about your site, but if you're looking to grow, you definitely need to be on top of your website and social media game.
To get you started, I've compiled a list below of 5 proven ways to improve your home design website. Whether you implement these on your own or hire someone to help you get started, these steps will help ensure that you're seen as not only a design expert, but also a design expert with an amazing website.
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
Let's set the scene: it's 2018 and you're a highly skilled interior designer who has the magic touch when it comes to transforming spaces. All of your clients have absolutely loved your work and recommend you any chance they get. But despite all that positive feedback, your client roster never seems to grow. For years you've relied on word-of-mouth and referral business - which has been great - but you can't quite understand what it is that sets your competition apart from you (and why you see so many other design firms getting an influx of customers seemingly on the daily).
You turn to your website to compare. Everything seems to be in line. You've got an aesthetic that perfectly meshes with your brand, your logo is beautiful, and your projects are clearly showcased. So what gives?
The answer, my friends, is your blog.
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
"DIY" is to homeowners what "treat snack" is to my dogs: magic. The second I yell out that phrase, my dogs are sprinting from the backyard to the backdoor in seconds looking for a tasty morsel of food.
Likewise, for people looking to save a few bucks but still get work done on their homes, DIY is pure gold. The problem is that not all DIY posts actually give readers adequate instructions. If you're considering adding a DIY project to your home design website, remember that a successful post needs to have these 5 items to draw readers in:
By MEGAN JOHANSSON
Well-known home design bloggers tend to have blog posts on lock down. They do a phenomenal job at capturing readers’ interests, and as a result, their websites get mega hits on the daily and their income continues to tick up. But there are a ton of great design firms out there who have beautiful websites but don’t utilize their blogging capabilities. Those businesses are missing out on key traffic that could bring in fresh leads and result in more sales.
The solution is simple: incorporate home design blogging into your site on a regular basis, then watch the leads roll in.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not all blog posts are created equal. Some work and some fall flat. In order to make sure you’re floating in the “work” category, here are some key things to consider in your posts: