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Let’s face it, the interior design business is cyclical. We either have too many clients, not enough clients or not enough of the “right” clients.

Yes, it’s true. You don’t just want to take just ANY clients. Sometimes, having the wrong clients can make bigger complications for your business than if you didn’t take the business in the first place.

Not every client is the “right” client. So, what makes a client “right” for your business?

Here are some of the things I consider to determine if a client is “right” for my business:

  • Am I able to provide the services they need in the timeline they expect?
  • Are we on the same page about the costs of the project and the potential for additional expenses along the way (we KNOW there are always additional costs)?
  • Is the client’s project something I even want to do? Is it the kind of project that gets me motivated?

When we ensure we work with the “right” clients, we need to make sure we have a consistent flow of ideal projects. That consistent flow of ideal projects leads to what we all love—a consistent flow of revenue!

Click Here to Download Your Ideal Client Worksheet

Guess what? There is not one perfect answer or how-to on how to get more of the “right” clients, but you will have to hustle a bit. And that means you must go where your future clients go.

So, where do they go?

  • Instagram
  • Your website
  • They get referrals from friends and business colleagues


A potential client may see a gorgeous image of your work and then will pull up your entire Insta feed. That’s why it’s super important for you to regularly look at your feed as a whole. Does it portray the professional image you wish? Is your design work represented in the feed or is it filled with pics of your kindergartener winning a trophy?

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE pics of my family, but not on my business profile 😊.

You need to be sure your business Instagram account gives your prospective client what they are looking for—a sense of your design aesthetic and skills.

There a ton of strategies to grow your Instagram followers just a Google search away, so I’m not going to go into that here.

What is important is to make sure the images on your Instagram feed reflect your work and/or your working style to attract the “right” clients. Remember: It’s not about pleasing everyone who stumbles across your feed, it needs to appeal to your “right” clients.

Once a future client follows your Instagram feed, it’s a gateway to anything else you want to point them to—your website, an article about your work, publications that featured you or ANYTHING else that sheds a good light on your expertise.

You want to be sure your Instagram feed is current. In design, it’s about NOW, not last year. If you need to bulk up your presence, write a blog post that will entice your ideal client. And, your website needs to be killer!


Your website is the digital billboard for your business. Most future clients WILL check out your website to get to know you BEFORE they engage in a conversation with you. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Make your website pretty and intriguing enough, so they want to spend more time there. The more time on site, the more opportunity you have to WOW them!
  2. Your “About” page is key! Don’t make it boring; make it your story! If someone relates to you, then they will reach out to you. Don’t be afraid to be you! Authenticity rules.
  3. Portfolio. No-brainer, right? Not exactly. The only no-brainer is that the images are professional, stunning and represent your passion! Be sure that the images and categories reflect your niche and that your niche is clear.
  • Do you want to focus on new builds from concept to all furnishings and accessories? Then, make sure your portfolio shows pictures of several rooms of a single home. If you only show kitchens, then that is what they think you do.
  • If you only want to do work with a certain look, only show images of the projects that feature that look.
  • If you only want to work in one neighborhood, feature projects in that area.
  • If you are just building your portfolio, invest in your home. Make each room ideal for your future clients. Be sure to have pictures of your home taken by the best photographer! That’s priceless!


You need to ASK for referrals! I know. It would be fantastic if we didn’t need to solicit referrals, but that’s the name of the game. It could be humiliating, but it doesn’t have to be if you just don’t make it a “thing.” If you incorporate the ASK into your business processes, it just becomes natural. For example, after you finish your project, follow up a week later and see how everything is going.  Are they pleased with the design and function? Do they have any friends who may want this type of service? Oops, there it is! See, how you slipped it in?

Even though asking for a referral in person is very personal, a call can be quite effective and is certainly more personal than an email. Sometimes a casual phone call is a perfect time to ask for a referral.

So, remember my three surefire ways to find your future clients to make 2018 your best year yet!

  • Instagram
  • Your website
  • They get referrals from friends and business colleagues

Do you have any favorite tips you want to share?