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To the right customer, a specialist designer is preferred over a generalist designer. Ensuring your ideal clients choose you over your competition because you are an expert in something they care about is the way to go. Niching down helps you with just that.
When you want to bring your interior design projects to life, you hire a photographer to document the transformation. If faced with two options, who would you choose? A photographer who specializes in real estate or the one who does family portraiture. Would you go with a specialist or a generalist?
The textbook definition of niching down is prioritizing a specific segment of a huge market. This puts many interior design businesses and design and build firms in a tough spot.
Doesn’t niching down mean missing out on potential sales? Counterintuitive to the whole “go big or go home” notion, this isn’t the case.
How Niching Down Will Only Improve Your Interior Design Business
“If you market to everyone you market to no one” – you’ve heard this before. But there are other benefits too A cost-effective, easy-to-implement marketing strategy with clear goals for starters.
1. Finding Your Dream Client Gets Easier
“We design functional spaces for all. From small retail spaces to large office buildings”. The services page on your website might read this. Your prospective client, having reviewed the content on your website, decides to reach out. All goes smooth during the initial consultation and discovery leading up to onboarding until you realize it’s not your ideal client.
Defining your brand’s guiding principles and highlighting the services you offer strategically through the copy on your services page will help you close deals with the right clients instead of wasting time chasing the wrong ones.
As a savvy service provider, you have limited bandwidth allocated to each client. You can only work on so many design projects at a time. This implies you need to be strategic about who you market to in order to pull in the right kind of clients every single time. Those you actually want to work with. That’s why niching down is key.
The minute you niche down, it becomes easier for you to:
- make it clear who you want to work with
- weed out clients that don’t fit your ideal client criteria
- define your Unique Selling Proposition
All of which are key to attracting your dream clients who you’ll enjoy working with.
2. Key to Loyal, Long-term Clients
Who does a better job at convincing you to try a new product, check out a new restaurant or book an appointment at a hair salon you’ve never been to before (scary, I know)? Your friend (or someone you trust) or a random ad on Instagram?
According to SemRush, out of the top five popular ways to recommend a service, word-of-mouth comes first, followed by Facebook, Google, Instagram and Twitter. This strategy is especially prominent in niches and is key to small businesses and service providers who want to gain a loyal client base.
A niche is basically a specialized segment of the market which means, they consist of extremely passionate people who will use any chance they get to talk about their interests.
Essentially, by niching down, you get access to these passionate clients who are already convinced on what their needs are. What you have to do is nudge them to take notice of your interior design business.
Bottom line, cater your services to your ideal clients’ specific needs by niching down, and they are more likely to recommend you to others. And since services, unlike products, are more relationship-based, these new-found clients are more likely to stay loyal to you, recommend you and continue doing business with you for a long time.
3. Your Interior Design Marketing Becomes Laser-focused and Impactful
Name a store that carries only organic foods. Whole Foods.
What about a popular yoga clothing brand? Lululemon.
Online retailer where you could buy something with a click and have it delivered the next day? Duh. You get the point.
The point is, you immediately think of something or someone, which means their efforts to market to a specific niche works.
By choosing to focus on a small, well-defined group of people in your market, you can ensure your marketing is more impactful and delivers what you intend it to. Convertkit, for example, did this when they first launched. Without defining their niche -email marketing for content creators- it would be impossible for them to compete against giants like Mailchimp.
They found unique pain points their target clients were facing and provided services that solve those problems. You need to do just that with your interior design business.
Side note: I discuss other marketing trends interior designers must try this year which includes examples of businesses (you’ve heard of before) and how they differentiate themselves to stand out from their competitors. I highly recommend you give it a read.
How impactful can a marketing strategy be without powerful website copy and social media messaging? Make sure you let your ideal clients know you understand their pain points and have a solution waiting for them.
If words are not your zone of genius and would love it for a professional copywriter to take this load off your shoulders, reach out to me here!
4. You Cut Down Competition
Nothing is more painful than a small business that is forgotten not because their services were average but because they had no real differentiation strategy in mind while marketing themselves.
Avoid competition from other interior design businesses by niching down and making your Unique Selling Proposition crystal clear to your clients. This will help you cut down competition faster than any marketing strategy.
To make sure your dream clients choose you over your competition, you need to give them a reason. Your niche could be one of the reasons. Interior designer for corporate office spaces (or home offices ) over interior designer for office spaces. You’ve cut out so much competition with just this alone!
Going back to the Justina Blakeney example, she could easily cut down competition because she defined her niche. Boho aesthetic. To add to this, she incorporates transformations from her personal spaces -which sets her apart- something most of her contemporaries don’t offer.
Boho aesthetic is a pretty large market. But, by adding a personal touch to it, she was able to lock in loyal clients who trust her because they know for a fact that she used most of these designs in her own home.
5. Become you are Industry’s Go-to
Eco-friendly home designs, sustainable living, downsizing.
Most businesses ignore the underrepresented niche markets because they assume it is not worth their time. This is where you can shine. Empathize with your prospective client’s pain points and provide your services as a solution.
By identifying a niche that is underrepresented, you can position yourself as an industry expert and market your services to that group. Sooner or later, you’ll be their go-to interior design business.
Since you’ll be attracting the right clients, you can turn these clients into elaborate case studies or stories to further market yourself to your niche. Building a network this way becomes more strategic and streamlined for you.
Also, since your services are one of a kind, tried and tested by a small group of passionate people and you have a track record of satisfied clients, charging premium prices will not be frowned upon by your prospective clients.
6. Better Search Result Rankings
If you haven’t recognized it already, as an interior designer, you’re a local business first. Striving to top the search results for “best office space interior designers near me” should be prioritized in your marketing blueprint.
By implementing local SEO, you automatically weed out the competition because ignoring SEO is one of the most common mistakes a majority of interior design businesses make.
Having a website for your interior design business where you publish blogs regularly will help a ton with SEO. How?
Let’s say someone looks up a very much of a niche content “How can you add the boho-chic vibe to your living room” on Google. You’ve published a blog about it and strategically plugged your services because that’s your niche.
Now when this person lands on your blog, they are more likely to discover your interior design business and consult you. Now imagine if you’ve successfully niched down, picked a side, and are now publishing regularly on your blog – addressing your audience’s topics of interest…
According to Hubspot, 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. This could be your interior design business if you start writing website copy that is SEO-focused.
If you’re ready to take the leap and transform your messaging with SEO, reach out to me here and we can come up with an SEO strategy that will entice your audience.
Bottom line: By identifying with your more passionate audience and taking advantage of the general lack of interior design businesses that cater to a specific niche, you establish yourself as your dream clients’ go-to.
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Hi, I'm Masha
The words expert, coffee connoisseur, and the face behind Content Vertical.