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Pushy. Devious. Manipulative.
Often, we associate these words with people trying to “sell” something to us or, we assume we need to be pushy, devious or manipulative in order to sell something to others. It obviously doesn’t have to be that way if you master the art of selling without actually selling.
Ideally, anything you put out into the marketplace should sell on your behalf. To get there, you need to do more than just sell. Here’s how to sell services online:
Tips To Master The Art Of Selling Services Online
To sell services online means to understand your market and consistently create content that aligns with your prospects’ interests.
When your dream clients express an interest in your marketing – consider it a green light to start selling your offer.
1. Understand the Motivation of Your Client
Selling online gets sleazy only when you are selling it to the wrong person. To the ones who are truly interested in what you’re selling, it is just another conversation that is educational, helpful, informational, or entertaining. To sell your interior design business services to the right people, you need to understand your prospective client’s motivation first.
When you truly understand your ideal clients’ pain points and convey them to them, your services act as a solution, something your dream client would be naturally interested in, as opposed to you trying to convince them to try.
To understand your prospective clients’ motivation, you need to be very specific on who you cater to in the first place. Is your client a corporation considering an office makeover? Or is your client a family who wants a trendy, modern home redesign? By asking these questions, you are essentially niching down -the first step to outsmart your competition and skyrocket your interior design business.
Once you’ve found the right clients to offer your interior design business services to, you need to let them know about it. By building genuine relationships with them.
2. Build Genuine Relationships With Your Audience
To get your audience interested, become their friend. Not their salesperson. For that to happen, build genuine relationships with them. I should also say that not a single person out there cares about your brand or what you have to offer unless it addresses their pain points or solves any of their problems.
This is just the truth.
But you can get people to pay attention and notice your brand.
One way to do this and effectively learn to sell services online is to create content your prospects will find educational. Social media, blogs and email newsletters are a great starting point.
Consistent Social Media Presence
Social media is undeniably the best place to attract your dream clients and get to know them. Addressing your target audience’s pain points through your posts and engaging them in conversations about what they care about most, positions you as the expert who deeply understands what they are going through. And can help.
Doing so consistently will help solidify your brand in prospects’ minds.
In addition to posting relevant and valuable content, use social media to actively listen to your clients and ask open-ended questions. Questions with answers that are more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will help you connect with your audience more effectively.
Most people check out a business’ social media presence before working with them as it acts as social proof and trust.
Blog, Frequently, on Your Website
Content that differentiates your interior design business from your competition is crucial to soft-selling.
According to Hubspot, businesses that publish blogs regularly get 67% more leads than those that don’t. This means, long-form content is still appreciated as counterintuitive to the whole blogging is dead narrative.
>>> I’ve got a whole blog discussing this topic at length, if you need some leisure reading. Here is the link: Do people read blogs and does your interior design business need one?
Blogs where you explore different evergreen interior design topics your clients could be looking for and proposing your services as a solution is a technique that employs a subtle sales approach.
Which your clients won’t mind at all.
You need exceptional website copy to pull in the right clients without a hard-sell the minute they click on your blog. A professional copywriter can craft compelling blogs that’ll sell your services for you and move your clients. If you need some help in this department, feel free to reach out to me here.
Email Marketing is Worth The Hype
You are renting out a small section of every social media platform you use to promote your interior design business services. You don’t own Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. As a business owner, you need to own your audience because if Instagram goes down (the way it did recently in October of 2021), your business doesn’t have to.
Owning your email list where you have full control over what content you want to send out to your clients should be on top of your marketing blueprint. Start an email list where you interact with your clients like you did on social media but with more personalized emails.
As a service-based business, the relationship between you and your prospective client carries more weight, you need to go beyond the generic “Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter” emails and give your audience something more substantial like using the questionnaires from your social media as use cases in your emails.
Other newsletter ideas: You could simplify decor for families by providing exclusive decor tips from a designer’s perspective or help your audience save money by choosing the right decor for their homes.
Bottom line: Your social media posts, blogs and email newsletters are all part of conversational marketing, a marketing trend every interior designer needs to try in 2022. You need to build relationships with your clients and become their friend for your services to sell on your behalf.
3. Delight Your Old Clients to Sell Services Online
The best way to sell services online and find new clients is to delight the old ones. Your old or current clients are an asset for your interior design business. Their testimonials and referrals hold weight when your prospective clients want to work with you.
According to SemRush, 88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommended it. This is the power of word of mouth strategy.
If you are already working with a client and they appreciate your interior design work so far, offer them a discount if they choose to work with you next time.
Also, to maximize your referrals and make it semi-regular, you can create a referral program or a reward system where, when your client recommends your service, they get a reward.
Just like if you were marketing for your prospective client, the key here is to make it about the client and not about you. Let them know how much of a delight they were to work with and that you would love to work with them in the future.
4. Create an Irresistible Personal Brand
Whether you know it or not, you are a personal brand. Your prospective clients will choose you over your competition because of who you are/ what your interior design business stands for.
As a service-based business, there’s only so many ways you can differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your personal brand should be #1.
Do you need to actively work on making your personal brand apparent to your clients in order to close deals? Yes. Because, the easier it is for them to spot you in the crowd, the faster you close deals.
Take Skip’s Kitchen, a Californian burger restaurant for example. They are pretty much the same as any other burger joint except when you pay, the waiter pulls out a deck of cards and if you pick a joker, your meal is free.
Their personal brand, their word of mouth strategy is just immaculate. You will be talking about this burger joint to everyone you know and that’s exactly what they want. They’ve barely spent any money on advertising.
>>> I go over how to build a personal brand for your interior design business in this blog. I highly recommend you give it a read.
5. Know your Why
“12MP Ultrawide camera”, “128MP Wide-angle camera”, “48MP Tele-photo camera” vs “Capture the best candid photos of your kids”. Which one do you think sells better? The latter, right? Because consumers care about the transformation. So, sell the transformation. Not your services.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking about what you’re selling instead of why you’re selling. Make sure your why is apparent in every social media post and blog you publish.
Your interior design business is a service-based business where you can only talk so much about the benefits of working with you. To sell services online, you have to shift your perspective. Turn the tables around by sharing client testimonials in your marketing. Use storytelling to convey the transformation. See how many prospective clients you close deals with.
Leverage the power of storytelling to sell the transformation.
If you’d love it for a professional copywriter to take this weight off your shoulders and focus on doing what you love, creating beautiful spaces, reach out to me here and I’ll be more than happy to help.
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Hi, I'm Masha
The words expert, coffee connoisseur, and the face behind Content Vertical.