Marketing Your Business
Marketing is really just as simple as telling the right story to the right people. Marketing is the process of building a brand, or in other words, recognition for a reputation. Every business has a brand (good or bad), what's yours?
In order to build the brand you want (and deserve), start by answering some basic questions.
- What does your business stand for?
The essence of a business brand can usually be described in just a few words about the integrity, authenticity, uniqueness and reputation of a business. The value of that brand is what customers or clients are willing to pay for.
- What should be the name of your business?
There are many things to consider when naming your business, including appellation, trademarks, registration and domain names.
- Who do you want to work with?
Identifying your ideal client will help you to target your marketing efforts to those individuals and companies that you can best serve.
- How will you find your clients?
Many designers attribute word of mouth as one of the biggest ways they find new clients. Potential clients are everywhere, so understanding the finer points of selecting clients and networking can mean the difference between a thriving business and just making ends meet.
- What marketing tools work best to reach your clients?
Demonstrating your expertise (through your portfolio, speaking engagements, writing articles, creating a Web site, etc.) and joining organizations that attract the kind of clients or partners you want to work with are successful strategies that both boost your credibility and get people's attention.
- How will your clients experience working with you?
From the initial interview to post-project follow up, every interaction with the client is an opportunity to strengthen your brand. Are you attentive, reliable, professional, responsive, creative, resourceful? Your brand is what you do, not just what you say.
- How much do you really know about what's important to your customers and how they feel about doing business with you?
Customer satisfaction research may be the key that unlocks their secrets.
- Who are your competitors?
Knowing your competition is important if you want to effectively promote your services to clients. In addition to interior designers and architects in the area, you are also competing with the design services offered from furniture stores, interior decorators and even furniture showrooms. The key is not to down play what your competitors offer, but to demonstrate how your skills and services better match the needs of the potential client.