I am perplexed! Why is it that only 25% of all interior designers have a website?
One of the speakers at our upcoming Interior Design Summit, David Bassett-Parkins, founder and CEO of Ava Living and I talked last week about the industry and how it is changing radically with social networking (conversing with other like-minded people on social sites such as Ava Living, Facebook and My Space) as the catalyst. If you don’t have a website today, how will prospective clients find you?
David and I developed our friendship and business relationship because of Ava Living. What is even more intriguing is my partnership with Nika Stewart for the Interior Design Summit. We started an email conversation on Ava which led to a telephone call which then led to a joint venture relationship. Nika and I haven’t even met in person!
David and I have met three times since our first conversation in March, and we are now working to make changes in this industry. What we are doing may be a little intimidating to some of you, but I can promise you that if you aren’t learning about the new trends in communication and technology, your business will suffer and might be a casualty with the additional impact of the economy.
OK…that is a little scary to some of you, but it doesn’t have to be.
First of all, you absolutely must have an online presence. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a website (and months of your time to get online). You can start today by setting up a WordPress blog and by setting up your profile on Facebook and Ava Living. If you downloaded the first two chapters of my ebook (electronic book – online PDF that you can download and print), you have the checklists you need to get started today.
Second, once you finish that, you should get a Twitter account and start micro-blogging. You can only write 140 characters (20 – 40 words at most) at a time and that can update your profile on Facebook and My Space.
Why should you have a blog? Google and all other search engines love blogs. The content is fresh and that means that when the spiders or Google bots (automated search robots) look for the latest information, the freshest content rises to the top…like cream. That means that if you want to be found in the search engines, the only way to accomplish that is by updating your content frequently.
“Interior Design Blogs” is a search phrase that is often used to find information on the Internet. Don’t take my word for it, do a keyword search for that phrase and you will find that it has a high search volume every month.
Static sites such as corporate websites are not updated frequently, so they don’t rank very high within the search engines. That means if people are searching for an interior designer in your area, you may not be found. So why spend thousands of dollars on a website and then not have people find it?
If you have a website, one immediate action step you should take is to set up your blog, call your webmaster and have them style your blog to look like your website and add a tab to your static site for your blog. This will automatically update your website whenever you add a blog post.
Your webmaster can also include a link to your Twitter account so that your “tweets” post to your website. You can easily do a tweet at least once a day and have your content updated. If you start writing blog posts about interior design, follow that with a tweet that alerts your followers that your blog has been updated.
- Set up your blog and include the key word “interior design” in the URL
- Set up a Twitter account
- Set up a Facebook account
- Have your Facebook account receive your Twitter updates
- Tell all of your prospects, clients and vendors about your new blog.
- Tell all of your prospects, clients and vendors to follow you on Twitter
- Create an email signature and include your blog and Twitter address…”Follow me on Twitter”
- “For the Latest In Interior Design Tips, Subscribe to My Blog www.myblogaddress.com
- Blog as often as you can…bare minimum is weekly and it should be between 300 – 500 words
- Tweet daily and always tweet about your latest blog post
- Add a page to your static website with your blog
- Add Twitter updates to your website
- Stay tuned for more tips!
We are tentatively offering a blogging class in November and another one in December for those of you that would like the extra education about setting up a search engine friendly blog.
If your phone is unusually quiet this fall, be sure to check out our Interior Design Summit for information about 14 experts that can help you get your business off of life support and back on track for success. The most important investment you can make is in yourself. If you want to succeed in this business, you need to keep learning and growing.
Now I am going to tweet my blog post!
About Gail Doby, ASID: Gail has been an interior designer for over 20 years with specialization in multi-million dollar new construction design and multi-hundred-thousand dollar remodels. Gail’s mission is to help interior designers grow their businesses and learn new strategies to achieve success in this complex business.