Do I need a website?

For designers only

Yes, you do.

I am surprised by how many interior designers still don’t have a website.  Given my sales perspective, it’s essential in attracting and closing new project opportunities.  And while there are many out there who can tell you chapter and verse of what you should do to create a great site, I’d like to offer my 2 or 3 cents on what your site needs to be or include to help you to close more business.

1.       Reflect YOU.  Whether it’s your ‘brand’ or your specialty, the look and content should be aligned and in synch.  This is a chance for you to distinguish yourself from everyone else.  Even if you have done a variety of projects, pick something that you love and are passionate about (and are really good at) and make that your distinctive moniker and direction.  If you are a colorist, have your site and the photos be colorful. Don’t try to be everything to everyone – you’re special so show it.  You can always go off type but if you try to attract and please everyone, your site will be boring and message-less.

2.       Forward the buying process.  You want your prospects to be able to use your site to see the kinds of projects you have done and to help them to choose you.  Before and after shots (and this month’s Traditional Home is ALL before and after shots) tell a huge story for the viewer.  The before shots can be taken by an amateur but the after shots need to be professionally shot.  Add to that testimonials from the client about the challenges and solutions, and you have something your prospect can identify with…and it will reduce the number of requests for ‘just put something together and we’ll see if we like it’ and will showcase your talent and expertise and credibility.

3.      I have a website built on a blog format so that I can change it easily and inexpensively (okay, I don’t change it, my social media assistant changes it).  Some designers have told me that they don’t have the finances to invest in a site….not true if you use a simpler format, which would allow you to not have to pay a webmaster to maintain it or adapt it as needed.

Keep it simple, keep the message straight forward, and keep it relevant and a showcase for you.

Now, go sell something.


An Event-full Event

Last Wednesday I was the featured speaker at an event presented by Sherwin-Williams at the Boston Design Center.  My topic was “Social Media for Designers” – how to use it to increase visibility and revenue with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  I was able to use designer/tastemaker Mark Sunderland of Sunderland Interiors /Antiques as an example of how you can really capitalize on the benefits for FB and Pinterest for connection, style direction, selling product and sharing your (in his case, hilarious) self.  And I was happy to recommend Monica Rodgers / Revelation Media as a company that can manage the social media needs of busy designers.

And if that wasn’t enough, I got to reconnect with friends like Sydney Marshall Turner, who’s returned to Boston and is re-establishing her One Day Decorating business and with Christine Fuchs of Tassels, who writes the most incredible e-newsletter to her clients and prospects.

Our host, Sherwin-Williams, introduced “Chip It!” a very cool download program that allows you to identify their paint colors in any image you select.  And they also took the time to introduce a new no VOC, high durability paint called Emerald.

What I loved most about the event was how Heather and Christy of S-W created a simple environment (with lots of green!!), engagement between the corporate people (who were in Boston for dealer meetings and attended the event) and designers, and packed a lot into a very short time without shortcutting anyone or anything.

And for those who signed up and were unable to attend and other designers around the US who would like to learn more, we are creating a webinar of the event so that you can get what you missed or couldn’t fly in to attend.  I will post that on FB and here on the blog, so watch for it!