“I wish my followers would become clients!” I’ve heard this time and time again on intake forms, during discovery calls, and from current clients. We’ve all been told that social media is a goldmine for finding people to work with you. But when it doesn’t seem to be happening for you (even though you’re posting allll the trending reels and spending hours studying Instagram tips and tricks), it can feel like all the social media experts are just talking a load of B.S. While some of the tips are cackapoo, I’m here to give you proven strategies for how to use Instagram to attract interior design clients.
There are 4 key components to a successful Instagram strategy (aka, one that increases awareness of your brand, build connections, and leads to clients). They are: profile optimization, strategic content, intentional engagement, and most importantly: not putting all your eggs in one basket.
In order to get clients, you need people to be able to find you. One of the easiest ways to do that (and what I see WAY too many interior designers missing out on) is to use highly searchable terms in your name field. Wasting that space on your business name means people who don’t know your business name yet are less likely to find you. So instead of saying “Brianna Michele Interiors”, think about what someone would look up when wanting to find a designer that offers what you do: Interior Stylist for Vacation Rentals. If you work in or are based in a specific location, be sure to add that to your name field as well!
(P.S. Want to learn more about the work we’ve done for Brianna, and how Instagram has led to tons of quality direct leads? Check out her case study here).
When a potential follower first lands on your profile, they’re going to make a decision about whether or not they want to learn more FAST. In order to make them stick around, you need to make sure your bio is set up to grab their attention and keep it.
First things first: Make sure it’s very clear what you do. Designing homes for families, Luxury interior design studio, etc. Don’t waste valuable profile space on quotes or quirky fun facts (save that for a feed post!)
Second: Add authority builders, if you have them. Mention years of experience, homes designed, or places you’ve been featured.
Third: Don’t forget to direct new followers to your website with a clear call to action. For example, “Download our service guide” or “Inquire about your project.” After all, your website is where they’re going to learn more about your services and inquire! (More on that later)
Optimization doesn’t stop with your bio. Next, they’ll see your highlights. Think of these as mini-web pages to cover the most important information someone would want to see when learning more about you. I recommend having the following:
And finally, consider which posts you’ll pin to your profile. Those three pinned posts will live on the top of your grid (ahead of new posts), and are a fantastic way to maximize traffic to important information. I recommend having a post that introduces you, a project you’re proud of, and one that explains how to work with you.
If you want these points in an easy-to-remember graphic, you can snag my free Checklist for Instagram Success here!
Hooray! Your optimized profile made that visitor hit follow. How do you keep them around?
With amazing content! When creating your posts, you want to speak directly to the type of person you are hoping to work with. Which means: avoid the DIY content! In order to use Instagram to attract interior design clients with the qualities and budget you want to see, speak to their concerns and what they’d want to get out of their work with you. Hint: it’s less “how to choose a paint color” and more “why working with an interior designer will save you hundreds of hours you don’t have.”
Don’t forget to show off your personality as well!
P.S. Need content ideas? Check out these 10 story ideas for interior designers and these 10 post ideas. If 20 isn’t enough – I have just the thing! Purchase my PDF of NINETY content ideas specifically for interior designers, including reels, stories and feed posts!
I hear this a lot from my clients who are newer interior designers. If you don’t have an extensive profile, it can feel overwhelming to try to create content. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck!
For additional tips on how to create more content when you feel like you don’t have enough, check out this blog post.
If you take one thing from this section, notice that I did NOT recommend reposting other people’s content to your page. Not only could this confuse your customers (as Katie of Dakota Design Co explains so well in this blog post) and hampers trust-building with your audience, it also is an intellectual property violation (especially if the project was shot by a professional photographer). Instagram’s copyright rules are strict and you don’t want to put your account at risk! Same goes for downloading content from Pinterest. If you didn’t take the photo, or pay the photographer that did, don’t post it.
By the way, this isn’t the only mistake I see interior designers making on IG. If you want to know the other three to avoid, download my free guide to the 4 mistakes you DON’T want to make on your Instagram!
Posting content is one piece of the puzzle, but the way to truly see success on social media? Is to remember that it’s about being SOCIAL. When your focus is on building community, you’ll see a higher quantity and quality of leads coming your way.
There are two types of engagement on Instagram:
Inbound engagement is when you’re interacting with people you already follow or who follow you. Staying up to date on comments and messages ensures that people will continue to engage with you (after all, nobody likes to interact with someone who doesn’t give them the time of day!) This type of engagement is what creates a strong community.
But outbound engagement is what introduces you to new potential members of your community – and it cannot be overlooked. Especially for a small business wanting to grow on social media organically, putting yourself in front of people you want to work with is SO important.
Not sure where to look? For interior design clients, many of them might be private or not as easily found as a public-facing service provider. I like to look through the followers of competitor & peer accounts, as well as the followers of related services – for example, local realtors or family photographers!
Most importantly, when you engage, remember to do so ACTIVELY. Scrolling through your feed and throwing out likes won’t get your ideal client’s attention. Be sure to leave meaningful comments (and stand out by actually responding to their call to action!) and start conversations.
Ok, you say. I’m spending all my time on Instagram, trying all the tips – but my reach is TRASH 🗑
Before we dive into the fourth component of a successful Instagram strategy for attracting interior design clients, let’s do a quick recap of how the app works.
The Instagram algorithm is based on RELATIONSHIPS – meaning, how well the app can tell if you’d like someone’s content and vice versa, based on your interactions (more on that from Mosseri here). This is why engagement is so important. If you’re wondering how to use Instagram to attract interior design clients, the key is to focus heavily on the connections you build and demonstrating to the app that those people enjoy your content!
If your reach is low, there could be a couple things going on:
Back to what it takes to attract clients with Instagram. And for this final step, we’re talking about why you need to go BEYOND Instagram.
I recommend thinking of IG of as a place to show off your portfolio and build a community around your brand. But it’s only one touchpoint along your customer journey. Once someone lands on your Instagram, where do they go next?
In most cases – your website. It’s so important to have an on-brand website that makes it easy to reach out to work with you. I had mine designed by Create With Danielle, and can’t recommend her enough. If custom web design isn’t right for you, she also offers stunning templates. I recommended her to one of my interior designer clients, and right after launching her new site she had multiple inquiries and is now booked until summer 2023! These people found her through Instagram, but her seamless web experience sealed the deal as they moved along the customer journey.
And what happens after they’re working with you? Your client experience during the project will help you land referrals and expand your network if done right. My most successful clients have a robust referral network that not only act as social proof, but continually help send new traffic to their IG and websites through post sharing, recommendations, and more.
Instagram is a powerful tool for building a community around your business, connecting with potential clients and peers, and showing off your portfolio. With a search-optimized bio, quality content, intentional engagement and a customer journey that extends beyond IG, you can use this incredible platform to attract new interior design clients.
And if you need some help doing so? My friend, that is my bread & butter! Book a 90-minute strategy session where we can talk through your content blocks and craft an engagement plan that works for you. Already busy and want help amplifying your efforts through social? Let’s chat about social media management on a free discovery call.
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