Word of mouth is not enough to grow your interior design business. No doubt it works wonders, but it can be unreliable. To generate consistent leads, you will need a realistic marketing plan. Sure, you would be attracted to stick to online methods, but offline marketing is just as effective. Just yesterday, I saw an ad for Spectrum cable and Internet plans on the subway station. I was surprised they still rely on offline marketing. It certainly worked because I Googled Spectrum when I reached home!
Being a solopreneur, your first job is to market your business and then be a fabulous interior designer. Check out these offline marketing strategies that work like a charm for attracting customers.
1: Design a Business Card
Isn’t it always convenient to hand over a business card? This simple yet effective marketing technique minimizes the likelihood that your leads will forget you.
Don’t settle for a plain business card. Instead, invest in a premium one. Your business card’s design and quality have the power to indicate who you are as a brand. Here are some handy tips for designing a catchy business card:
- Choose a unique background color
- Pick the font that is consistent with your brand
- Add a magnet to your card to make it more usable
2: Good ‘Old Cold Calling
This old-school marketing technique is still the best. Cold calling allows you to start a conversation and end with a face-to-face meeting. For it to be effective, it’s imperative first to identify whom to call. The ideal prospects are customers who need your services such as boutique hotels, spas, cafes, and other small businesses.
Don’t forget that it’s a game of numbers. The more numbers you dial, the greater your chances of finding someone who’s interested in your services.
3: Distribute Flyers
Another effective way of getting the word out about your interior design business is to distribute flyers. You can use flyers for promoting your services in general or when there’s a special event. This piece of marketing paper allows you to meet and greet your prospect and form a connection.
No need to print a ton of stuff for getting noticed. The flyer must feature the necessary message. It must include your contact details, specialty, location, and other important information about your business.
4: Participate in Showhouses
Haunt down designer showhouses in your local area. To participate in a showhouse, you will need an invitation. A jury of interior designers usually sends the invite. If there’s a show happening nearby, send your portfolio. Once you are invited, and you manage to show your masterpieces, this could mean huge success. You will be able to get loans and build yourself a network.
Don’t shy away from interior designer showhouses thinking they are meant for experienced interior designers only. Juries welcome new designers as well. Even if you’re not able to win a prize, it’s not a loss because you will get tremendous exposure.
5: Direct Mail
Regardless of the type of business, offline marketing is incomplete without direct mail marketing. It’s all about sending promotional content through the mail. Some people call it junk mail. Before you consider skipping this option, I would like to tell you that the response of direct mail is 6% whereas that of social media is 0.6%. Choose your marketing weapons wisely!
The best thing about direct mail marketing is that it’s customizable and affordable. Start by targeting specific neighbors and test the response.
6: Set Up a Branded Event or Seminar
To spread the word about your business, create an event or a seminar, and introduce yourself to your target audience. Send the invites by printing flyers. Make sure you are inviting your target market. Offer appetizers, wine, and a small tour to your showroom (if anyone) or samples you can showcase. This is an opportunity to let your guests show what you are made of. Don’t let it go to waste!
7: Contact Local Print Publications
Print Media hasn’t lost its charm either. Pitching a press release to a magazine or newspaper is still effective in reaching out to your target audience. Press releases let you showcase a milestone or an important business event. It has the power to land valuable attention.
All of these strategies have the power to attract new customers to your interior design services and impact your bottom line.
When the Internet service wasn’t accessible everywhere, alongside billboard ads big companies like Spectrum used offline strategies. These included direct mail and cold calling to entice a prospect in dialing the Spectrum phone number. These strategies are just as effective today as they were in the old times.