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interior designer
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women and men
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new business
How To Find Clients And Market Yourself
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How to Find Clients And Market Yourself

“People everywhere dream of having a home they're proud of; a place they can share with their family and friends. Surprisingly, most don‘t know how to achieve it. -- If you are an Interior Designer or Decorator, you can solve a problem that thousands of people struggle with, if only they knew who you were, and that you are there to help.”

So how do you get your message out there?

The very first and most important step you can take in marketing your new business is to tell everyone you meet what you do. You don't need a sales pitch, simply look for situations where it’s casual and comfortable to start a conversation and explain what you do.

You will be absolutely amazed at how many people jump at the chance to get your help. Ninety percent of the people I meet; women and men alike, that ask me what I do for a living reply, “Oh my gosh, I need your help.”

I have met clients in the checkout line at a craft store, a Mom that was hosting a birthday party I dropped my son off at, and the paint isle at the hardware store. Just about everyone you meet would love help with their home. So get out there and start talking, spread the word, and don’t forget to carry your cards. They may not call you right away, but when they decide they are ready to get started, you will be the first person they think of.

I bet you’re thinking, “Marketing is something that big companies do”. This is false... The truth is that, marketing is for everyone that wants to grow their business. If you don’t want to design any homes and you don’t want to make money, then by all means, don’t take your marketing seriously. On the other hand, if you want to be successful, with a little creative thinking and a plan, marketing can actually be easy and fun. Having more money than you really need IS kind of nice.

Here’s a golden example; one of my favorite ways to get new clients is centered around giving back to my community. I find a charity organization, or school that’s having a fundraiser involving a silent auction. (They are more common than you may think) I'll donate a free consultation or a block of design time at no charge. Of course I create a cute gift certificate on my computer and include it in a basket or floral arrangement that I put together. Remember, your presentation will be their first impression of your taste level and your attention to detail.

Note of Caution: If this career is new for you, don’t grow your client list too fast. Take it step by step and cultivate your client list at a rate that matches your skills and experience. Even for seasoned designers, it takes practice to juggle multiple projects at the same time. Be patient and give every job you work on your very best efforts. Satisfied clients will become the greatest marketing tools you have. Over time you will learn how much you can handle. As your experience grows, so will your ability to work multiple projects with a high level of devotion.

Like I said before, marketing is simply letting people know that you can help solve a problem they have. In the same fashion, your clients will tell their friends how well you solved their problems, and they’ll tell their friends, and so on, and so on. It’s just like those old Breck Shampoo commercials, women like to share their experiences, both good and bad. As you’re starting out in your career, you must realize that every happy customer will spread the word to at least two other people, but an unhappy client will tell ten! So be aware that every job, no matter how small, deserves your full attention and the very best of your skills.

Marketing doesn’t have to include expensive mailers or village newspapers just yet. There will be plenty of time for that. Right now begin by spreading the word yourself at meetings, practices, school groups, or the local hardware store… and don’t forget to ask your friends for help in sharing the good news of your blossoming business.

Street Talk

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  about 9 years ago
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