How do you make your design business stand out?
Well, let me tell you, it’s not by being like all the others!
I know it’s true. We all have a LOT of similarities. It’s no coincidence that we fell in love with design. But, if we look a bit closer and dig a bit deeper, each of us has a unique story. It’s that story that should help you differentiate your design business.
Why would we want to be different? I know you LOVE my Pinterest boards as much as I ADORE yours. We have a mutual admiration society for sure. But, the reason you want to be different is so you attract your ideal clients and help your business succeed.
USP-Unique Selling Proposition
Business coaches and marketing gurus from all industries preach the benefits of finding your unique selling proposition—the thing that makes YOU stand out. It’s no different for those of us in design.
Yes, most of our clients will be attracted to the pretty things we put in our designs that are represented in our portfolios. Since they hire us to transform their spaces into beautiful and functional areas, that only makes sense.
BUT, once they move past the pretty pictures, people like to work with others who they share a kindred spirit with, embrace similar working styles and who offer them that very specific niche service or expertise that no other design business does. And, yes, people like to work with people they LIKE.
Your Niche is a Moving Target
Your unique selling proposition (AKA your preferred niche) does and will change over time. You can’t set it and forget it. It seems like when I just get mine figured out, others soon jump in and I don’t feel unique anymore. We need to constantly refine and define ourselves and our businesses.
To get you started thinking about yours, I’ll share mine with you:
You see, not only am I an interior designer, but part of my unique story is that I also have an MBA and a Real Estate Broker’s license. I also own and manage several apartments and have flipped hundreds of houses.
So, when I make my clients’ spaces beautiful and luxurious, I’m doing it through the lens of adding value as well.
Have You Defined Your Niche Lately?
When was the last time you defined and refined your business? If the answer is NEVER or it’s been more than a year, it’s time to dig in and ask some questions to be sure you are positioning yourself in a niche that will help you succeed.
Before we pass go, it’s important to check in on your passion. You started your design business to make your own unique mark on the world. Are you living that passion? When you set out on your own, what did you think you could bring to the marketplace that nobody else on planet Earth could? Once you are refocused on your passion, it leads to finding your niche. A few points of caution:
- Don’t try to please everyone.
Your design business needs to be different than anything else out there. Avoid being a jack of all trades and master of none.
- Know your competition and do your market research.
To BE different, you must know what else is out there and that people want what you have to offer.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Next, ask yourself these questions to figure out your niche:
- What’s my elevator pitch for my business that would grab a client’s attention?
- Is there something in my client experience or service that would set me apart? My education, background? Style?
- Do I want to provide services in a particular way or in a particular part of the world? Heck, maybe you’ll be the first virtual reality designer? Who knows?
- Is there something in my price point or the way I deliver services (monthly programs, clubs, etc.) that is unique to me?
If you already have a niche business, but it’s been awhile since you checked in to ensure it’s still relevant, ask yourself:
- Is my niche still a good one? Have others invaded my niche so it’s no longer one-of-a-kind? Have I changed and offer something different than when I first developed my niche?
- Do I ONLY take jobs that fit within my unique selling position or do I take any jobs that come my way?
- How could I make my niche stronger? Could I improve my skills in some way to help me dominate my niche?
- What is holding me back from being the best in my niche? (Oh, just save this phrase for use later. . .What is holding me back is useful in so many ways!)
Believe me, identifying a niche to help you stand apart from other interior design businesses WILL help yours! I promise! Have fun going through these questions and dreaming of the possibilities.
To make it even easier, I created this Guide to Niching Your Design Business