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Building a rock-solid personal brand should be at the top of your to-do list this year. And, frankly, any year, if you want to stand out and emerge as your prospective clients’ go-to.
As a service-based business owner, you are the product. So, sell yourself.
Through your personal brand.
Here are 5 steps to building a strong personal brand that will carry your business even when the referrals dry up for whatever reason.
1. Make your service offerings super clear
For your dream client to get in touch with you immediately after coming across your work online, they should be able to instantly pick up on the fact that your services are tailored specifically for them.
For this to happen, you need to clearly define what interior design services you offer. Be specific. It can be tempting to offer generic services other designers offer but, you should position yourself as a leader in a specific market to stand out.
Take Amazon for example. Before providing a slew of services like PrimeVideo, Audible, Alexa, etc, they focussed on becoming the biggest retailer in the world. Once they did, they kept adding other services that complemented their main service.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to clarify your offerings:
- What are your goals for your interior design business?
- What is unique about your existing offer?
- What are the key principles of your interior design business?
- What’s your Unique Selling Proposition?
- How to convey your service offerings to your dream clients?
By defining your offers and making them obvious on your website and social media, you attract your dream clients. Once you’ve identified exactly what your service offerings are, it’s time for you to piece it all together. To do this, you need to be crystal clear about who you serve.
2. Who is your Target Market? Make It Clearer
The art of niching down. Every business, whether product-based or service-based, needs to make this decision. As an established interior designer, you know exactly who your clients are. Making this apparent through your marketing will help you close deals faster.
To build a strong personal brand, your interior design business needs to stand for something, believe in doing things in a particular way that appeals to a very specific group of people, and showcase it confidently on your IG or other social media channels.
Once you narrow down your target market, your brand becomes more appealing to your ideal client. Not having a niche, often means not attracting the right type of audience. To have a lasting impression in your ideal client’s mind, consider niching down.
3. Leverage the Power of Storytelling
Do your clients actually know how are you different from other interior designers? Do prospects know what it’s like to work with you? Use storytelling to let both prospects and clients get to know your brand and how you operate.
Learn to tell your story and tell it effectively. Because, in the midst of their decision to work with you, most of your clients will remember stories over facts and figures.
According to Stanford, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than statistics and data, further solidifying the fact that you, as a service provider, can leverage stories to stand out from your competition.
Stories need to be an integral part of your interior design marketing strategy because they are key to persuasion. They move the listener and compel them to take action. They shape how your clients see you. When you’re out of the room, your story, your personal brand will back you up.
You can use storytelling to advocate for your unique approach to consultations and presentations, take your client on a journey about what it’s like working with you, and give them a sneak peek of your design philosophy.
To tell a good story ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the purpose of your story? Define your goals.
- What will compel your prospective clients to listen? Give them a reason to pause.
- Why would your clients want to take action? Specify a call-to-action on social media and your website.
- Why should your prospective clients care? Come up with a solid differentiation strategy.
I have dedicated a whole blog talking about creating a strong differentiation strategy – 5 Ways to Differentiate your Interior Design Brand. Read it here.
Now that you’ve got an understanding of how to tell your story, make it a part of your marketing strategy. Use your signature story to describe your design process and in your testimonials and case studies. Persuade your prospects to take action.
4. Define your Interior Design Brand Voice and Tone
Your interior design business logo can only do so much to convey your personal brand. To take your personal brand up a notch, define your brand voice and tone.
According to coschedule, brand voice is the personality and emotion infused into a business’s messaging. The words you use in your social media posts and blogs and the tone in which you connect with your dream clients are a part of your personal brand.
Getting this right is very important because your brand words could be your Unique Selling Proposition, a reason for your prospective client to choose you over your competitors.
Since your brand voice is a reflection of your client’s language, you convince your prospective clients that you understand their pain points and have a solution. This will help you build trust which is key to any long-term relationship with a client.
Here are 3 tips to define and establish your brand voice:
Audit your Current Brand Voice
Every business has a brand voice whether they realize it or not.
Take a look at your current communication style. How you interact with your audience on social media, what language you use, what words resonate with your audience the most, etc.
Once you have a list, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of your brand voice. The next step is to brainstorm more ways you can make this apparent in your marketing and stay consistent.
If you need help defining your brand voice, let’s connect – I help interior designers and service providers by developing their very own Brand Voice Guides making them totally irresistible to their ideal clients.
Truly understand your audience
To convey your brand’s message to your audience better you should talk to them. In their language. To do that, you should have a great understanding of their likes and dislikes, beliefs, hopes, personalities, etc.
Define your brand tone of voice
If a prospect was in a room with you right now, how would you tell them about your interior design business and the services you offer? What language would you use? Formal? Or informal? Would you use jargon? Swear? Is it converstaional, like sitting with a friend in a bar over drinks? Would you use humor? Or would you keep it strictly professional? Do you want to sound like a down-to-earth expert – professional, yet very much casual, putting your audience at ease?
Think about this. The answer to these questions can help you define your brand tone of voice. Whatever your tone is, stay consistent across your various marketing channels – social media, blogs, your website, emails comms, etc.
Bottom line: Your brand voice bridges the gap between you and your clients. Using your brand voice across social media and website copy consistently will ensure you connect with your clients on a more authentic and deeper level.
5. Provide More than Just Services
To stand out from your competition is to provide more than just services.
Connect with your ideal clients beyond business transactions. Blogs and newsletters with exclusive content that inform and educate your audience are a good place to start.
Blogging is the easiest way to position yourself as an expert in your industry. With blog writing, you can truly address your clients’ pain points and provide quality information so that they develop trust towards your brand. This combined with SEO for interior design businesses will open up a wider audience who you can turn into raving fans down the line.
Weekly newsletters are the most sought-after strategy to convert random visitors to your website into loyal clients. Email is 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined when it comes to customer acquisition according to Hubspot.
Nurturing your audience with personalized emails through storytelling will help you become your prospective client’s go-to. Not having a newsletter sign-up form on your website is one of the common mistakes interior design businesses make on their website.
I have a great blog – 7 Mistakes Interior Designers Make on their Website that Need Fixing Pronto – talking about this and many other mistakes. Check it out here!
Avoid this by getting started with email marketing as soon as possible. Since emails are a bit more personal and by sharing them, your clients are letting you into their safe space, you need to make the most out of this. Emails that hit the nail on the head in terms of moving your clients with copy should be your priority.
Want some help building your personal brand for your interior design business? Book a discovery call with me.
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Hi, I'm Masha
The words expert, coffee connoisseur, and the face behind Content Vertical.