We can’t underestimate the importance of personal branding when we start building our interior design business. It is about growing your value on the marketplace and defining how others perceive you and your business. If you developed successful personal brand you will get dream projects, the clients that you have a pleasure to work with and good money. Here are the steps to make it happen:
Talking about the image in terms of building a personal brand, first of all, I recommend you to think how you can make your appearance more memorable and recognizable. I don’t mean that you need to dye your hair green, it can be a little detail but something easily noticeable. For example, for Kelly Hoppen, it is her blond curly hair, for Karim Rasheed his glasses and funky suites. Ask your friends what is the first thing they noticed about you when they met you. If this is your eyes, you can highlight them further with makeup, if that’s your hair, you can make unusual hairstyle. Your clothes should be an extension of your personal style. By looking at you, clients need to get an idea what kind of interiors you create.
When talking about image many people think mainly about personal appearance – clothes, makeup, hairstyle…. At the same time forgetting about so many other things that surround us daily – mobile phone, pen, notebook, car, etc. They also play an important role in how people perceive us.
The successful brand always starts with an engaging story. For example, we all know about the fascinating life of Coco Chanel – how she was raised in an orphanage and taught to sew, and then because of her talent, character, and luck, she soon became famous not only in France but worldwide and established one of the most successful fashion brands. What is so captivating in her story? People love self-made success, women like to associate them with her – this brand is about women strength, empowerment and femininity.
Think about which story you can tell about yourself? Is there something unusual about your personality and biography? Also, visualize your ideal client – who is he or she? where does he live? what does he like to do? Craft your story around these answers. Create something that your potential ideal client would love to hear.
3. Emotional appeal
Emotional appeal is all about shine in the eyes, beautiful smile, positive energy, openness, and confidence. You can buy the most expensive and stylish clothes but if you are reserved and gloomy people will hardly want to work with you. Make a list of the qualities that you find attractive in other people and also those which people like in you. Develop them further.
4. Social media presence
Let’s face it – in 2017 you can’t build a successful brand without using social media. It’s the reality of the modern society and we need to adapt accordingly. Becoming an influencer is not easy – it takes lots of time, effort and dedication. But it is really worth it – if you have a big followship on SM you can spread any message about your brand quickly and efficiently. That’s one of the best advertisement channels and it is also free (or requires little investment). That also influences how others perceive you – great presence in Social Media increases your credibility as an expert.
Networking is a great tool in building a personal brand. Let’s start with the fact that we don’t live in a vacuum – we are surrounded by other people and it is impossible to establish a successful business without the help of others. Start to accumulate useful contacts, convert your online acquaintances in personal meetings, connect with people from your industry and not only. Try to make a habit to attend at least one event per week where you are likely to meet your potential clients or business partners. It could be exhibitions, trade fairs or informal events. Many people attend parties with a primary goal – to be the first one who reached the tray with oysters and champagne. Be different, understand what opportunities this event might bring to you. If it is attended by 80 people – try to personally meet each one of them, give them your business card and connect on Social Media (the last one is very important because if a person added you on Facebook, you will appear in their daily feed and they will remember you).
What activities do you do to build your personal brand? Please share in the comments below.
I hope this was useful and if you haven’t read my Marketing for Interior Designers eBook, check it out – it is full of practical and effective tools to grow your interior design business: