Well, it’s official. The US is in a recession. I know that isn’t the best economic news, but it also doesn’t mean that people don’t want to have gorgeous homes. In fact, we’re in a strange time where the economy is down, but the home has never been more important to our clients. Now that they’ve been at home for months at a time, they know what needs to be changed and improved. So the key to getting clients during a downturn? Marketing. It’s always marketing. Here’s why marketing is the LAST place you should cut your budget during bad times!
1. Short-Term Thinking
I know your first thought in a down economy is to cut costs. But cutting marketing dollars is short-term thinking. The only way for you to really reach your clients right now is through your marketing strategy. And there are so many low-cost ways to do it, too! There’s email, social media, networking, and more. And the only advertising dollars you might consider, if you are cutting back, is a few hundred dollars for digital ads. But if you stop putting your brand out there, when clients DO have money to spend, you might be the last person they think of.
2. Show Your Strength
Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses that won’t make it through this recession. There can be a silver lining for your business because there will be less competition. So be sure your brand is out there, posting every day, still sending emails, showing that you are in business and ready to work with them. If you “go quiet,” your clients might think that your company has shut down, too!
3. Don’t Assume
You might make the assumption that your clients don’t want to spend money right now. And that could REALLY hurt your business. Surveys of consumer behavior are showing that clients are holding back on most purchases – EXCEPT for the home! They know that their future means staycations and much more time in their houses, so that’s become a BIG priority for them. While it’s true they may not go for the super-high-end in finishes and furnishings, they are not going to hold back on renovations and projects. And home sales are hotter than ever, too. So don’t assume!
4. Show Your Love
What’s the #1 way that interior designers get new clients? Word of mouth. It’s still the best way to find those great prospects. So I can hear you ask – “OK, Kathleen, then why the heck do I need to spend on marketing?!” First, you need to stay in touch with your former clients! You need to show them you’re there and you care. Check in with them to ask if their family is okay and how they’ve been doing during the shut down. Ask if their homes are holding up to all that locked-in energy! HA!
What you are really doing is showing that you care about them, even after you’ve finished their project, and that will pay off in the long run as they recommend you to others. In fact, don’t be afraid to ask for business. You could say: “Is the house holding up, or do you need some touch ups?” Or: “Is there anything you’d like to change about the house now that you’ve spent A LOT of time in it?” Or you can even ask if they have friends/family to recommend you to. ALL of that is marketing!!
I know it isn’t easy to hear words like recession and wonder how you’ll stay afloat. And it’s especially tough with a pandemic and social unrest on top of it. So please download my FREE Guide to Handling the Highs and Lows of the Interior Design Business. It will help you ride this rollercoaster with confidence.Click Here to Download Your Guide!