Are You Ready to Hire a Marketing Person for Your Interior Design Business?Aug 23, 2023
You know you’re a talented designer who consistently delivers quality work. So why are your leads drying up?
The truth is that you could be the best interior designer in the world, but if would-be clients don’t know anything about you, that distinction won’t do much good.
Just last week, I heard that a small business owner should spend 60% of their time on sales and marketing. You probably didn't decide to start your own firm just to spend less time designing. But, if you want to make more money and create a business you love, then you need to make marketing a priority. Fortunately, you don't have to do it alone.
It might seem counterintuitive to spend money hiring a professional if your business is becoming less profitable. But when you hire the right marketing person, that fee quickly pays for itself. Not sure if you’re ready to make the leap? Here are a few ways to find out whether it’s time to hire a marketing consultant.
How Can You Tell if It’s Time to Hire a Marketing Person?
When your interior design business is just starting out, you don't have the means to hire a marketing professional. And generally, your efforts aren’t spent on marketing — they’re spent building up your business, obtaining clients, and putting together a solid portfolio of work.
But once you’ve reached a certain point, you find that you can’t do everything alone. You want to get the word out about your business and find new clients, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to manage the business side of things, work on actual design projects, and create and execute a marketing plan.
So how do you know if you’ve reached that point? Here’s how to tell if you’re ready to hire a freelance marketer.
You Don’t Have Enough Hours to Work on Your Business
Marketing is important. But if your marketing efforts are making it more difficult to do your actual job, it’s time to make a change.
If you’ve built your business alone from the ground up, you might take pride in managing everything yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you find yourself stretched too thin, the quality of your work (and everything else) is likely to suffer. If you hire a marketer, you can expand your business’s reach without compromise.
You Don’t Have Marketing Expertise
An effective marketing strategy involves a lot more than just posting a few ads. It requires a detailed plan and constant engagement.
Some intrepid business owners might opt to try to learn the ins and outs of marketing themselves. However, this approach is often counterproductive. The hours you invest in learning marketing would be put to better use working on your business itself.
Even if you do build a solid knowledge base, keep in mind that you won’t have the same expertise as a seasoned marketer. Marketers can leverage their experience to design a marketing strategy that works. And if that strategy doesn’t work the first time, they have the knowledge needed to fix it.
You’re Having Trouble Finding Clients
You may already have a solid client base. But most clients don’t routinely need the services of an interior designer. If you want to maximize revenue and keep your business as stable as possible, you’ll need to be able to constantly find new clients.
If you do good work, you might find that your past clients refer new clients to you. But if you want to reach even further, the right marketing campaign can work wonders. And if you want the best marketing campaign, you need to hire the most effective marketers.
You Don’t Have a Great Website or Social Media Presence
It’s virtually impossible for a business to succeed without a solid online presence. And these days, it’s not enough to just have a website or an active channel on one social media platform.
If you don’t have a business website, there’s no question about it — you need to hire a marketing person. If you do have a website, ask yourself a few questions:
- Does the site look visually appealing?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Is all or part of the website content optimized for search engines?
- Is it regularly updated?
- Is it integrated into a content marketing strategy?
- Is it connected to the business’s social media channels?
If you answered “no” to one or more of the above questions, you’re missing out on potential leads and sales. A skilled marketer will be able to get you started with a structured online marketing campaign.
Maybe you already have a decent presence on social media or an established website. But if you’re like many business owners, you get so caught up in the daily grind of running a business that it’s hard to maintain a consistent presence. And while it might seem like a small detail, a poor online presence has the potential to negatively impact your business.
Think about it this way: you’re a client seeking out a designer, and you find two potential businesses to use. One business has a website with a regularly updated blog, and it posts at least a couple of times a week on social media.
The other business’s blog hasn’t been updated in six months. And when the client visits this designer’s social media channels, they see that there were regular posts up to three months ago, when the posts suddenly stopped. Assuming everything else is equal, which do you think the client would choose?
With the right marketer, you can ensure a robust online presence. A blog or a series of Instagram posts might seem trivial. But quality posts are a great way to win over potential clients. If someone feels like your company has added value to their life before they even spent any money, they’re that much more likely to hire you.
You Don’t Keep Track of Marketing Data or Marketing Activities
Marketing is a science just as much as an art. If you do have a marketing strategy, are you keeping track of valuable key performance indicators (KPIs)? If you don’t have data to help you see what works and what doesn’t, you’re missing out on the chance to elevate your marketing strategy.
To someone without any marketing experience, the analytical tools used to track marketing strategies might seem overly complex and confusing. But a qualified marketing professional will be able to use them to shape a winning strategy and set your business up for success.
Getting Started With the Right Marketing Professional
By now, you may have decided that you need a marketing person. But how do you go about hiring a marketing consultant? Here are a few helpful tips to consider.
Decide What Type of Hire You Need
When you hear the word “hire,” you might think of a full-time employee. But as you’ll likely be relieved to find out, you don’t need to take on a full-time or even part-time employee — you can simply hire a freelance marketer.
So what does a freelance marketer do? These independent contractors do what any other marketer would. The difference is that they work for themselves, often remotely. Many freelancers juggle several clients at once.
For business owners, the main advantage of working with freelance marketers is that you don’t need to pay the cost of a full-time salary and benefits. But keep in mind that freelance marketers generally set their own rates. If you aren’t offering competitive compensation, they’ll probably move on.
That being said, hiring a freelance marketer almost always pays for itself. It doesn’t usually cost much. And in many cases, the increased business you’ll get will offset the hiring cost and then some.
Take Your Time and Find the Right Person
Many freelance marketers work remotely. This means that you have access to a vast pool of professionals who may be willing to work with you. Don’t just select the first one you find. Take your time to interview candidates.
Find out the type of marketing campaigns they’ve worked on, how much experience they have in the field, and whether they have any degrees or certifications. You also should make sure they have experience in the type of marketing you need.
It’s a good idea to choose someone whose personality meshes well with yours. To create the best marketing strategy possible, you’ll need to communicate regularly and effectively with your marketing professional. If you hire someone you don’t really like being around, that communication can be grating and uncomfortable.
Communicate Your Goals Clearly
Communication is important in every type of relationship — especially working relationships. And before your chosen marketer gets to work, they need to know what you want to accomplish in as much detail as possible.
Most marketers will ask you about your goals from the start. But if the person you hire doesn’t, there’s nothing wrong with being proactive and addressing your business goals yourself. Here are some common marketing goals you might consider:
- Increasing revenue
- Gaining more clients
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Establishing your brand’s authority in the design world
- Increasing awareness of your brand among potential customers
If you aren’t sure what your goals should be, say so. A good marketer will be able to talk with you and help you decide what goals to set for your business.
Set Expectations for Your Working Relationship
Part of the beauty of freelance marketing is that it offers outstanding flexibility. When you work with a freelancer, it’s not a standard employer/employee relationship.
If you have the time and inclination to write blog posts and make social media posts yourself, you might just work with your marketer to develop a marketing strategy and then meet up monthly to discuss progress. However, if that’s not enough, you can hire someone who’s willing and able to take a more hands-on role.
Likewise, the marketing professional you choose will likely have some expectations of their own. For instance, some might agree to regularly answer questions by phone and email. Others might only want to address questions and concerns during scheduled meetings. If you start your relationship with clear expectations, you’re more likely to create a successful campaign.
What Can a Marketing Professional Do for You?
If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed with the logistics of running and marketing your business, hiring a freelance marketer just might be the right next step. A professional marketing campaign will pay for itself with new clients, and it also frees up valuable time for you to grow and expand your business.
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