How and why to qualify incoming leads for your interior design business

How (And Why!) To Qualify Your Leads

As your company grows and your schedule gets busier, qualifying your leads before your first Discovery or Design Call is a prudent way to make sure you are only spending your valuable time on leads that could potentially turn into (the right kind) of business! Here is a quick guide for how (and why!) to qualify your incoming interior design leads. 

Some designers choose not to pre-qualify their leads for the following reasons: 

  • They are not yet busy, and value the opportunity to take every Discovery Call, even just as a means for practicing their sales skills and confidence. 
  • They have services for a variety of price points (Example: Virtual vs. Full-Scale design), and don’t want to weed out clients based on budget. 
  • They are building their email audience and want to collect as many contacts as possible, in case they can convert to business later down the line. 

If any of these pertain to you, maybe you want to think twice before taking on any of the lead qualification strategies outlined below! 

However, if you are really busy and looking for a way to make sure that any one-on-one conversations you have are promising to turn into a closed deal, lead qualification is your best way forward. 

One of the easiest ways to spot any “red flags” before wasting too much time on a lead that will never be the right client for you is to qualify your leads as much as possible. The most common qualification points are: 

  • Budget – If they cannot afford your services, that is not likely to change no matter how great your sales skills are. 
  • Timeline – If they want to begin work in the next month, and you are fully booked through the end of the year, there’s likely not going to be a solution that works for both you and the client. 
  • Values – Remember, you are going to be in this client’s home and spending time with them regularly. If you get a bad feeling or are treated poorly in the beginning, take note! 

 

How And Why To Qualify Leads From Your Website 

Publicly including information like pricing, availability/timeline, and how your process works right on your website will help clients determine if your business is a good fit for them. This puts the client in the position to pre-qualify themselves. However, there are a few things to think about before adding all of this information to your web copy: 

  • If the client never reaches out through the contact form, you never get their email or other contact info. This is a missed opportunity to add them to your audience and engage them in the future. 
  • While you want your website to be thorough, you don’t want it to feel overwhelming. Be careful of overloading the primary pages on your website with too much information. It is better to include internal links to secondary pages with more details. 

 

How And Why To Qualify Leads Through Your Automated Funnels

In order to save on web development time and encourage more (less qualified) contacts to reach out through your form or booking calendar, you could instead include your qualifying information in your automated email funnels. 

For example, every contact who reaches out through the website might receive: 

  1. A welcome packet with information on your pricing and process. This educates the contact so that they can qualify themselves a bit more before booking the Discovery Call. 
  2. Before the Discovery Call, you might automatically send a design questionnaire (sign up to 4Dbiz) to get our free Design Questionnaire template) with very specific questions about budget, desired style, ideal timeline, etc. This will give you the information you need to determine if this client is a good fit. 

 

How And Why To Qualify Leads In The Discovery Call

Ultimately, whether or not you have done any pre-qualification before your Discovery Call, your first touch point is the biggest tool you have for spotting red flags and weeding out the clients who are not a good fit for you. 

This is where you can get a sense of both the tangibles (budget, timeline, etc.) and the intangibles, like how this client communicates and what they expect from your collaborative relationship. 

 

Ready to create a lead qualification system and elevate your lead-to-sale funnel? Contact 4Dbiz today!

Our Marketing Team can help with everything from strategy, to content creation and implementation.

Design Networking Strategies

Design Networking Strategies

You have the skills and knowledge, and you’ve taken the first step to starting up your own interior design business. But when it comes to design networking and finding clients, you’re not quite sure where to start. Does this sound like you? Or perhaps you’re already heavily invested in your design career, but there’s been a lull in new business lately. Business owners are known for having to wear many hats, including being the primary salesperson for their services. It can be overwhelming at times, but selling your services doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn how you can reach potential clients and build your business at the same time.

Digital Networking Strategies

In this day and age, technology is heavily relied on for both business and pleasure. So it can be extremely beneficial to utilize digital media as a powerful design networking and marketing tool.

 

Promote Your Business on Social Media

It is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to have a presence on major platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest. Social media is at the fingertips of most of the world, and it has become useful for expanding one’s circle and discovering potential clients.

Gone are the days of high-pressure sales. Posting regularly on major social media platforms introduces your work to a broad audience and creates a sense of familiarity with them in a low-pressure environment. You can also use hashtags to make your posts show up in more searches and increase their visibility.

To fully take advantage of social media promotion strategies, you should maintain active involvement on major social media platforms. This includes:

  • Liking and commenting on others’  posts
  • Spending time in the “Explore” section on Instagram
  • Researching hashtags that are relevant to your field
  • Following accounts that could lead to potential referrals or collaborations down the road. You never know if the builder you follow might notice your work and ask you to design the interior of a project on which he’s been working!

 

Become an Interior Design Blogger

Starting a blog is another efficient way to network and make your business known in the digital world. An interior design blog can feature:

  • Creative decorating tips
  • Inspiration images
  • Behind-the-scenes looks at projects
  • Sneak peeks into the design process to show clients what they can expect from your services.
  • Anything else that shows off your knowledge and expertise in the field!

Blogging will help you gain credibility and build trust with the public more quickly. Interested readers will follow along, and when the time comes that they need help with a design challenge, your business information will already be in their back pocket.

There are opportunities to reach a wider audience and increase the revenue stream for your business through affiliate marketing. You can use your blog to highlight products or services in your projects, and many companies offer commission for recommending their products. Not only could you potentially increase your revenue, but you will also expand your reach by appealing to the followers of the company you are promoting.

 

Tailor Your SEO To Optimize Design Networking Opportunities

For those on a limited budget, search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make all the difference for your business. SEO involves using analytics and keywords that are attached to digital content to increase traffic from search engines. In other words, it’s a little boost in search rankings for your business. The best part? It’s free!

To improve SEO for your business, you can start by paying attention to these factors:

  • Brainstorm keywords and short phrases that you think your target market will search to find your services. Use an online research tool to confirm which of these phrases are searched most often and keyword difficulty (how many other businesses already have a high ranking for that search term.)
  • Keep titles simple and unique: include a strong identifying keyword, limit to 55-60 characters, and use words like “how” and “why”
  • Meta descriptions should be 1-2 sentences and include a very detailed summary of what readers can expect from your content. Don’t forget to include an identifying keyword!
  • Use short paragraphs and bulleted lists
  • Use headings and subheadings with keywords for visual appeal
  • Call-to-action buttons that guide your reader and help them navigate to your services

Online Advertising

If marketing services are within your budget, it can also be a good idea to consider investing in online advertising. Google Ads offers business owners the opportunity to promote services and products through search engines like Google, as well as on websites, videos, and mobile apps. Ads are pay-per-click (PPC), which means that you only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it. Major social media and e-commerce platforms also offer advertising services, including campaigns that start as low as $1 per day.

 

Launch Design Networking Email Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns are typically very successful in drumming up referrals and additional business from previous clients. Start an email list with current contacts who might be interested in your services, then focus on how to grow that list.

Use Lead Magnets

One effective tool for growing your email list is a lead magnet. Lead magnets offer free access to exclusive content, in exchange for the interested party’s contact information. This is a great way to identify who is interested in your services. You can build an email list, while also sharing your knowledge with potential clients. Examples of lead magnets include:

  • Newsletters and updates about your business – new projects, events, behind-the-scenes, etc.
  • Special offers for services
  • Whitepaper – offer in-depth product recommendations, design tips, or other educational information that will teach readers something new
  •  Surveys and polls – show readers that you’re interested in their input; this helps you learn more about your audience’s interests so that you can improve the appeal of future content as well

Email Campaign Tips

Send out periodic email blasts to everyone on your list, as a gentle reminder of your services, and make sure your content offers something valuable to your readers. You never know when an email might reach someone at a perfectly opportune time.

Still not sure what to include? Here are some additional ideas:

  • Introduction for new subscribers – describe your business, goals, background, anything you think will create a connection!
  • Relevant industry information – share case studies, the latest news in interior design, etc.
  • Calls to action – encourage readers to take immediate action

Find Additional Marketing Support

The challenge with navigating the digital landscape is that all of the design networking strategies listed above take time – time to learn, time to post, and time to grow. Outsourcing social media responsibilities for your design business can prove to be an effective solution. 4Dbiz offers marketing assistance from knowledgeable professionals who find satisfaction in collaborative work and celebrating business growth right alongside you. Contact Evelyn at 4Dbiz to schedule a call today!

 

Boost Your Design Business With Real-Life Connections

In spite of the emerging trend toward digital spaces, don’t overlook real-life connections either! There is something to be said for design networking in-person, as these interactions can make a more memorable and lasting impression.

Referrals

Sometimes drumming up business is all about who you know. For example, Client A approaches you with a small renovation project. You’re not sure if you should accept because it will take up a lot of your time, but you ultimately decide it sounds like a fun project. When the project is finished, Client A is so happy with the results that she tells all of her friends about it, including Client B. Client B is a developer and has been looking for a solid interior designer to assist with a multi-family housing project. Client A’s referral could not have come at a more convenient time, which means you’ve just earned yourself more business.

In-Person Design Networking Opportunities

Look for opportunities to get involved in circles with which you aren’t familiar. Here are some suggestions:

  • Collaborate with a contractor, builder, or even another interior designer who has a little more exposure than you
  • Do some volunteer work and partner with local organizations to show how your business is an impactful contributor in the community
  • Host workshops and special events at your own office or a public space to meet new people who might be interested in your services
  • Design networking can also be outside the industry. Find people who align with your values. For example, if your niche is sustainable interior design, find referral partners who are also interested in sustainability (you will probably have overlap in your ideal client) – You’ll have to reword this, but you get what I mean!

It’s always a good practice to keep your ears open for new opportunities to meet people. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!

Need a little more help getting started with design networking? Schedule a call with 4Dbiz today.

interior design business coaching crash course

Interior Design Business Coaching Crash Course

interior design business coaching - maximize profit

What is your current method for pricing jobs, creating proposals, and closing sales? Does your final estimate end up being more of a “best guess”? If so, there is a 99% chance that you are consistently shaving your profit margin thin, and missing out on valuable income for yourself and your business.

 

interior design business coaching - using time efficiently

How are you currently managing your project workflow? Do you have a clear set of expectations with your client for every phase of work? If not, you are most likely working overtime, essentially giving away your valuable design time for free. But you deserve better than that!

 

interior design business coaching - operations and systems

Do you manage a team? If so, are you thoughtfully delegating work in a way that gives you more freedom and fulfillment – or have you just replaced design work with putting out day to day fires? If you are in the process of building your company and growing your team, you need to have a streamlined system of procedures in place.

 

If any of these scenarios sound a little too familiar – don’t worry. You are not alone! These are common pain points that we hear from interior designers ALL the time. And that’s why we created a 2-4 week interior design business coaching Crash Course. To help you increase profits, save time, and bring some JOY and FREEDOM back into your interior design business. But… how? Here’s the bottom line:

 

Making more money while saving time all comes down to working efficiently.

 

In just 2-4 weeks with our 4Dbiz Executive Team, you can have all of the tools you need to run a more streamlined and efficient business. You can have your business operations clearly outlined in a simple, easy-to-follow document. You can create a personalized calculator that will make building detailed proposals and estimates a breeze. All by going through what we call our Business Roadmap & System Of Procedures Crash Course. For a limited time only, you get all of this for just $1995.00.

How It Works: 

  • 2-Hour Interior Design Business Coaching Bootcamp with 4Dbiz Co-Founders Shayna and Evelyn, where we will do a deep dive into your current operations.
  • Up to 4 hours of 1-on-1 with Shayna to thoroughly overhaul your existing systems, find opportunities for improvement, clarify what’s working, and identify any gaps that need addressing.
  • Up to 1 hour of Shayna working independently to supply all deliverables (listed below).
  • Up to 2 hours of 1-on-1 marketing consultations with Evelyn to audit your current marketing strategy, identify areas for improvement, outline your ultimate business goals, and create a marketing strategy to help you reach them.

Deliverables: 

  • System Of Procedure document, outlining your entire design process in detail.
  • Organized client folder ready to be duplicated for all future projects.
  • Templated proposal builder to help you build effective proposals and maximize profit in every project.
  • Recommended marketing strategy, complete with expectations for cost, timeline, set up, and on-going content plan.
  • Search Engine Optimization report with recommendations for how to improve your rankings.

 

We only take 2 interior designers into this course per month – so don’t wait!

GET STARTED TODAY.

Marketing Support for Interior Designers

Marketing Support For Interior Designers

Marketing Support For Interior Designers

At 4Dbiz, our mission is to help interior designers succeed in business. One of the most common pain points we hear from our designer community is that marketing often falls by the wayside. Maybe you are so busy that you just don’t have time to spend on your digital marketing efforts. Or, maybe a lack of understanding leaves you feeling unsure of how to market your design business. Either way, 4Dbiz is here to provide marketing support for interior designers. And we would love to work with you!

Marketing Consultant For Interior Designers 

When you sign up to work with the 4Dbiz Marketing Team, the first step will be to schedule your first marketing consultation with our Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Evelyn Roberts. 

Evelyn’s background is in copywriting, digital content marketing, and branding for interior designers. She is passionate about helping every designer find their unique brand voice and create tailored content that provides value to their ideal client. 

Working with Evelyn, you will be challenged to break down your overall business goals into actionable, measurable steps, then to think critically about what specific marketing actions will draw you closer to those goals. At 4Dbiz, we do not believe that you need to invest money into paid advertising in order to succeed (at least not right away). Rather, Evelyn will help you strategize the most effective organic marketing efforts your interior design business can begin today!

 

Marketing Consultations For Interior Designers 

Since the first step to working with our 4Dbiz Marketing Team is the 1-hour marketing consultation, you might be wondering, “What can I expect from a marketing consultation?” 

In the 1-hour call, Evelyn will:

  • Do a web search of your business and provide feedback about how you appear online right now
  • Ask critical questions about your current marketing strategy
  • Outline the monthly marketing plan that you should be working toward for your business
  • Get to know your business voice, brand, messaging, and target audience
  • Help you identify the best first step(s) for your business to take today, whether you plan to do it yourself or have the 4Dbiz Marketing team do it for you!

 

Content Marketing For Interior Designers

After the 1-hour marketing consultation, you can decide which course of action is best for you: 

  1. I will take all of this valuable feedback and implement it on my own. 
  2. I do not have the time to implement this feedback on my own. I will collaborate with the 4Dbiz Marketing team to have this done for me.

Ultimately, how you choose to move forward is completely up to you! Either way, you will have Evelyn as your dedicated Marketing Consultant. So you’ll always have someone to bounce ideas off of, ask questions, request feedback, and get ideas from! 

If you do choose to work with the 4Dbiz Marketing team, here are some of the ways we can help you market your interior design business online: 

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

  • Audit your website for its current SEO score
  • Provide copywriting, web design, and keyword recommendations
  • Implement changes to increase SEO score 
  • Design and build new landing pages based on keywords that are not yet represented
  • Google My Business profile optimization 
  • And more!

 

Social Media Marketing

  • Post creation and publication on Facebook
  • Post creation and publication on Instagram
  • Instagram reels and stories
  • Daily community management to increase followers and engagement 
  • Optional add ons for LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more

 

Blogging

  • Blog article creation based on target audience, target keywords, and service niche
  • Image selection and tagging
  • Keyword optimization
  • Inclusion of affiliate links, if relevant to your business 
  • Promotion on Facebook and Instagram if requested 

 

Press Releases & Publication Pitches

  • Pitch articles to online and print publications to increase domain authority for your website
  • Write and publish press releases when your business has a news-worthy story to tell 
  • And more, depending on your unique goals 

 

Automated Lead Funnels 

  • Automate your communication journey for every contact, from initial inquiry to paid services
  • We work with many different tools and softwares including (but not limited to) Dubsado, Mailchimp, Hubspot, and Constant Contact 
  • Keep the human feel, with email content written to reflect your brand and personality

 

Lead Magnet Creation

  • Creation of a downloadable PDF that will act as a magnet to grow your email list
  • Content written and designed for your business
  • Publication of a sign up form and/or pop up to your website
  • Automatic funnel to increase conversions

 

Email Marketing 

  • Engage your existing audience with email newsletters that convert
  • Encourage repeat business and referrals 
  • Promote your blog, affiliate links, and other monetized content 
  • Share promotions and other calls-to-action 
  • Great for interior design businesses with an e-commerce site

 

Direct Outreach and Community Management 

  • LinkedIn outreach
  • Cold calls
  • Cold emails
  • Social media outreach
  • And more! 

 

This is just a teaser of what our 4Dbiz Marketing Team can do for you. Everything is customizable based on your business and your goals.

Schedule a marketing consultation to get started today!