It's a more important question to ask than you might think.
Maybe you, like a lot of business owners, think it's only natural to hire a designer first. That way, you'll have your website all mapped out so you'll know what copy you need when you go to a copywriter - right?
Not so much.
In my last blog post, I talked about how utterly overwhelming and intimidating the “marketing beast” can be.
Even when we know how important it is to be constantly marketing our businesses in order to stay in business, making marketing a regular task seems totally impossible. It’s like putting “Raise great kids” or “Save the rainforest” on our to do lists.
Too much. Too hard. Too everything.
But in the interest of helping you tame the marketing beast (aka, eat the elephant, take a journey of 1,000 miles, insert other making-something-daunting-feel-achievable metaphor here), I’ve broken the mega-concept of marketing your interior design business down into 4 simple steps.
“I know I need to market myself more, but...”
Do you hear other business owners say this as much as I do? Do you say it yourself? I know I do!
The truth is, we all know how important marketing is for our businesses and we even have great intentions when it comes to trying to check it off on our ‘vital business practices’ to do list. That’s not the issue.
We don’t do it enough (or at all) because marketing yourself is freaking hard.
This is kind of a fun little technique to try, but it can give you truly valuable insight into what might be happening in your business.
The idea is to look at your website with fresh eyes to help you find some relatively easy-to-fix problems that could be costing you clients.
Why 5 seconds? Because stats say a business has anywhere from two-tenths of a second to 15 seconds to make an impression on their website visitors that will lead them down a path to buying.
That means that even on the generous end, there’s no time to diddle around, slowly dripping out the information your prospects need to decide if you might be a good fit for them. Five seconds is just a happy medium to test your site.
You know your blog is a major marketing vehicle for your interior design business. It’s how you communicate to your readers (and prospective clients) that you’re the bomb, that you know what’s happening in the interior design marketplace; that you create amazing interiors for your clients.
But it can – and should - be much more strategic for your brand message than that.
When I first learned about cornerstone content, I was like, “Duh!!! Where have I been?! Of course every blog needs this!” I mean, just the name ‘cornerstone’ means it’s foundational, people. All of our blogs should be built on it.
Why in the world would a professional copywriter like me want people to DIY their website writing?
Great question. It boils down to this:
I really, really, REALLY want interior designers to have great websites, no matter what their budget is.
Designers, let’s be honest – you’re really hard to shop for!
I mean, you have amazing taste. As a non-designer, I run a serious risk of picking something for you that’s – well, less than amazing.
I know it’s the thought that counts, but come on - how embarrassing!!!!
I'm so behind the 8-ball on this that even if I do know for sure that something is amazing, you likely already have it... Heck, you probably told me about it!
This year, though, I was determined to crack the code on finding gifts designers might actually love to receive.
Here's the deal: As unfortunate as it is, it's now a fact of life in the design industry that there are shady people out there on the *interwebs* who would just as soon snag your gorgeous project images and try to pass them off as their own as they would look at you! It's gross and pathetic, yes, but it's just how it is.
The coolest designers (such as my wonderful clients) not only watch their own backs for this - they also watch for their fellow designers' work popping up in places where it shouldn't be and without proper, ACCURATE credit. Yay for the rising tide that lifts all boats (not to mention good juju!).
Ok, everyone, I’m going out on a limb here. I know I’m a writer, but I really – and I mean REALLY – want to help you in the area of selling.
First of all, the website writing and brand messaging writing I do for you IS a form of sales. What makes me unique as a writer is that I understand you and your clients, so I can write about your value in language that will appeal to them.
Secondly, I have a background in sales. I managed several high-end boutiques in my early career, and I fell in love with the idea of using my sales roles to actually help people.
I’m kind of a writing geek in that I hang out on writing websites, read books and magazines about writing, and belong to Facebook groups for writers. I’ve even been to a few writers’ conferences. No judgment to my fellow writers, but interior design industry events are much more fun. Better swag bags too!
Anyway, I do all of that in-the-trenches, boots-on-the-ground wading through information about writing so I can deliver gems like this one to you: