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How Interior Designers Can Grow a Business Using TikTok

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How Interior Designers Can Grow a Business Using TikTok | Behind the Design

Across nearly every industry, one thing remains true: If a brand doesn’t want to be left behind, it needs an active social media presence. As an interior designer, you can grow your client base through word of mouth — but if you want to draw in more clients and build credibility in the field, having active and engaging social media accounts can help.

You might be familiar with Facebook and Instagram. But if you want to connect with younger, fun-loving audiences, there’s another app you probably aren’t using: TikTok. Here’s how to use TikTok to promote your interior design business.

 

Understanding TikTok

Every few years, a different social media app seems to get its 15 minutes of fame (remember Vine?). Sometimes, these apps are here to stay, and TikTok seems to be one of them.
But how does TikTok work? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • TikTok was launched in 2016
  • As of 2022, it has more than 1 billion daily users
  • Users post short videos (generally between 15 and 60 seconds)
  • Users can also broadcast videos in real-time by going live
  • Users tend to be younger (about 40% are between the ages of 18 and 24)

The app might seem like it’s just a way for people to connect over silly videos. But it also offers marketing opportunities that even major brands are discovering. Chipotle, the NBA, and other prominent entities have created successful awareness and advertising campaigns.

TikTok also helps business owners use the platform to grow: During the TikTok signup process, you can choose to open a TikTok for Business account.

 

Creating a Profile for Interior Designers

Just like with any other type of social media, successfully using TikTok for interior designers involves developing a clear strategy. But before you start creating fun, interesting, and potentially viral content, you need to take the first step: creating your brand profile.

Here’s what you need to successfully create a memorable business profile:

  • Name: For a business account, use your business name (working in keywords like “design” can also help your page rank)
  • Username: Make this as close to your business name as you can
  • Bio: You only get 80 characters here, so use short keywords to tell your audience (1) what you do and (2) the kind of content they can expect — make sure your brand personality comes through!
  • Links: Make it easy for your audience to get to your website, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  • Profile Picture: Make this your logo so your brand is easily recognizable

Need some inspiration? It might help to find designers who do similar work to yours and see how they’ve set up their accounts. Learning how to create TikTok accounts can be harder than it looks!

 

Finding Your Audience

Traditionally, “finding your audience” has meant discovering the ages and other demographics of your most likely customers. But TikTok itself notes that if you want to find your target audience, you need to think in terms of what content interests them.



 

You can target groups (or “subcultures,” as TikTok calls them) fairly easily through hashtags. And finding design-related hashtags is as easy as searching for relevant keywords or interests in the app. When you run a search, the app will show you hashtags as well as the conversations surrounding them.

Once you see what hashtags are most popular with design enthusiasts, you’ll have an idea of the kind of content you want to create.

 

Generating Content Ideas

One of the best ways to generate content ideas is to jump on current TikTok design trends. Remember #cottagecore and the more recent #dopaminedecor? Trends on TikTok move fast, so the best way to identify them is by spending time on the app.

That being said, as a designer, you likely also want to show off interior design work that doesn’t fit into current trends. One way to get content ideas is to check out the pages of designers you admire. Using TikTok for designers isn’t always intuitive, so taking a look at established designer accounts can help.

Still not sure how to make a TikTok video? Here are a few general suggestions for creating TikTok content that app users will love:

 

Before-and-After Shots

Everybody loves a good before-and-after shot. TikTok isn’t always the ideal platform for designers, but juxtaposing pictures of rooms before and after your work lets viewers experience your skills. And if they aren’t already familiar with the world of interior design, they’ll see the difference a good interior designer can make.

 

Site Tours

Short video walkthroughs are another great way to show off your work on TikTok and potentially gain more followers and customers. Because it’s shot from the point of view of someone walking through the home, it makes viewers feel like they’re right there with you.

 

Commentary

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you know that content creators often post text over their videos or offer spoken commentary. This can be a way to make your videos stand out and engage your audience.

For example, you might include a video of you working on a project (with a catchy song in the background). From there, you can add some text commentary with emojis. Bonus points if it’s funny!

 

Design Tips

As TikTok has steadily grown, people have started turning to it for more than just entertainment. Some TikTok users want to learn something while still being entertained.

Of course, you want viewers to eventually become customers. Not all of them will, but offering DIY tips helps you build credibility. It also might help some TikTok viewers discover that they’re more interested in design than they had thought.

Keep these tips pretty basic — remember that you aren’t making content for other designers. Here are a few ideas:

  • How to choose a color scheme
  • How to declutter
  • How to select accessories for a room
  • How to pick out great furniture on a budget

If you build a large enough following, you also might consider asking your followers what types of tips they want to see!

 

TikTok Challenges

TikTok users love viral challenges. These challenges are (sometimes dangerous) feats. Recent ones include the Cha-Cha Slide challenge (where users dance the Cha-Cha Slide to different songs), the level-up challenge (where pets jump stacks of toilet paper), and the full-face hot wax challenge (self-explanatory — and not recommended).

Getting in on challenges can be a great way to help your brand reach more people. Of course, you shouldn’t attempt all of them — just the ones that are in line with your brand’s general ethos and personality.

 

Implementing Strategies to Grow Followers

Growth strategies are never guaranteed. Building your brand’s TikTok audience may take some trial and error, so make sure you dedicate the time and effort needed to make it a success.

Even though each business is unique, some proven techniques can help you build up your follower base:

 

Work With Influencers

If you already have a business Instagram account, you’re probably familiar with influencers. Maybe you’ve even worked with one!

Influencers are social media users with an unusually high number of followers. Brands often enter into paid partnerships with these users; for a fee, the influencer promotes the brand.

However, for an influencer campaign to work, it needs to feel authentic. For instance, if an influencer who posts about motorcycle repair promotes your interior design business, you probably won’t get many new followers. The goal is to work with an influencer whose posts are related to what you do.

 

Post Frequently (But Not Too Frequently)

Consistent posting is a great way to encourage your followers to engage with you, and accounts with more engagement are more likely to rank higher in the TikTok algorithm. Most experts suggest posting about three to five times a week. Between posts, spend time replying to comments and direct messages from followers as well.

 

Don’t Forget Hashtags

Hashtags make it easier for users to find you. For instance, if a TikTok user clicks on #interiordesign under a post, they’ll be directed to a page showing all posts with this hashtag.

There’s nothing wrong with using general hashtags like #interiordesign. But bear in mind that there are thousands of posts with this particular hashtag, and users don’t want to scroll through every page of results.

You might consider using more specific hashtags. For example, Dallas-based designers can use #interiordesigndallas. Since there are fewer posts with this particular hashtag, interested TikTok users are more likely to see yours.

 

Generate Quality Content

These TikTok tips can be extremely helpful, but only if you have content that’s worth sharing and engaging with. If your videos are entertaining and shot with a decent-quality camera, you’re much more likely to get and keep followers. Figuring out how to make TikTok videos can be a challenge, but it’s worth taking on!



 

Monetizing Your Presence on TikTok

Growing followers is important, but as you likely already know, it’s not the end goal. The point of getting more followers is to turn at least some of those followers into customers.

But how exactly do you do that? Monetizing your TikTok presence isn’t always intuitive, so here are a few tips for convincing your followers to take the next step:

  • Offer TikTok-Specific Promotions: For example, followers might get a 20% discount on an initial consultation
  • Offer Limited-Time Promotions: Followers won’t be in a rush to use an open-ended promotion, so you can encourage them by making a promotion valid only for a set period
  • Connect With Followers: If you take the time to reply to comments and otherwise engage with your followers, you humanize your brand — and customers are more likely to buy from brands they can relate to
  • Use Calls to Action (CTAs): Asking your followers to book a consultation, make a purchase, and so on dramatically increase the chances of turning them into customers

This is another area where you can learn from established brands. Do you have a favorite interior designer or design firm with a strong TikTok presence? Take a look at their pages to see what strategies they use to draw customers in.

 

Find a Community With Behind the Design

If you’re an interior designer, you may have already discovered that navigating the business landscape is more complex than you thought. You aren’t alone!

Behind the Design is dedicated to cultivating a friendly, mutually supportive community of interior designers. Whether you need career advice, want to expand your knowledge with courses, or are just hoping to connect with other designers, our community is for you. Join us today!

 

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