If you don't have an email list yet, don't fret. BUT. It's time to start one. Email marketing is KING when it comes to getting in front of your clients, and - different from social media - you actually own your email list. When facebook or twitter or instagram make changes that effect your business, you can rest assured that you at least own your email list. So, if you haven't, start putting together an email list.
At Lauren Figueroa Interior Design, we send out an email once a week (on Thursday mornings at 9am to be exact!). This has been a good rhythm for me and my team, and it's not so much content that I feel like all I'm doing is writing newsletters.
My most recent and longest running system has been to create a blog post every other week - which I insert into my newsletter template to send out the day it posts - and on opposite weeks, I send out a simple newsletter template that includes tips, updates, upcoming events, and more.
Below is an example of a blog post sent out via my newsletter (see the full newsletter here). I'll typically include the first paragraph or two along with a link that says "continue reading" that takes the reader to the full post on my website. This is great because it get's the reader to actually go to your website, look around a little, and maybe take one step closer to hiring you.
So...What the heck do I write about?
Of course, there's always the question: what the heck do I write about in a newsletter? I get it. Thinking of something new every week can be a daunting task, so after four years of putting out a weekly newsletter, I have a handful of ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
1) Client Testimonials
What better way to bring someone closer to hiring you than the story of someone who had a great experience and amazing out come working with you. Snap a quick photo of the clients in their beautifully designed room to send along with the review!
"I met Lauren at a New Year’s Eve party, and I hired her shortly thereafter to help me design the interior of my new four-season sunroom. My main goal was to create an oasis where I could spend time reading, working, and hosting guests.
She worked with the builder to completely remove the existing screened-in porch and add a brand-new room with vaulted ceilings, skylights, heated floors, and beautiful new furnishings and décor.
The new space is not only gorgeous, but also functional. It is everything I hoped it would be. Working with Lauren was easy, and she helped me to feel confident in my design choices. I highly recommend her!"
2) Product Reviews
People will definitely be interested in your expert opinion when it comes to the product you're specifying and working with day in and day out. Got a favorite tile? A lighting company you like to work with? Give your followers some insider information!
3) Design Tips
What? You want me to give away my secret sauce? For FREE?! Yup. I sure do. Giving away some free design tips helps build credibility with your audience. You want to show them that you know what you're talking about! Teach them how to hang their curtains, or how to hang artwork over their sofa. Create a guide on how to hang a gallery wall or how to arrange your bedroom furniture. The clients who are DIYers will take this information and do it themselves, but your IDEAL clients - the clients who wouldn't dare do it themselves, either from lack of time or lack of know how - will think, hey, this girl knows what she's talking about!
4) Local Highlights
Highlight some businesses in the area that have an excellent aesthetic! Snap some photos, talk about why the design is a good one, and include links back to their site. This will build your local reputation as someone who loves to help out and celebrate fellow local businesses, and they might even reciprocate! Highlight local artists whose artwork you'd love to use in a space, or local craftspeople who you'd like to collaborate with. We have a great relationship with a local plant boutique - Peace & Toil - and we love highlighting them regularly in our content.
5) Before & Afters
People go crazy for before and after content. Just think Chip and Joanna. Queer Eye. HGTV. You know how it goes! Always make sure to snap photos of your spaces before you transform them, and from the angles you think you'll want to snap your after photos from. It's always more impactful to showcase your before and after photos from the same angle so people can visualize how the new and old spaces relate.
6) How You Work (AKA Your PROCESS!)
Many, many people have never worked with an interior designer, and even if they have, every design firm works a little differently. Providing content on what it actually looks like to work through a design project with you is a great way for would-be clients to get a look behind the curtain and warm up to the idea of hiring you.
7) Upcoming Events
Teach a class! Speak or show at a trade show! Host a meet-and-greet happy hour! Invite your audience to the event in your newsletter with a link to an event page.
8) Links to Your Portfolio
If you have professional photos - which you should! - your portfolio will basically do the work of selling for you. So link to this as often as possible! Write up a little blurb about the particular project you're linking to and why it was such a fun one, and send it out to your audience.
9) Free Downloadable Content
Create some type of free resource that will catch your audiences attention! At LFID, we have a free e-book that teaches clients how to create a home that makes them happy (view that book here). This type of content is fun and interactive, and can also be used to actually build your email list!
10) Project Updates
Design projects have a long shelf life...we might be working on a project for 8-10 months before it's able to be photographed, so we want to get as much content out of the project as possible, and at all stages of the project! Share your inspiration boards, your pinterest boards, share your floorplans, initial style direction. We do 2-3 posts per project...an update post with our presentation documents (we post this after presentation, once everything has been approved), and installation post (we have a photographer on site during install, and then talk about how the installation went), and a reveal post where we highlight some before and after photos and talk about how everything turned out in the end.
Now it's Your Turn!
Now you have some ideas about WHAT to write, so it's time to get started. I recommend writing all your posts and newsletters for the upcoming month at one time (this is called "batch working"). It can take some time to get into the writing flow, so I like to sit down, come up with a handful of ideas, and just pump out 4-5 blog posts and newsletters at a time.
Book a 1-on-1 Coaching Call
Ready to take your blogging and newsletter game to the next level? Book a 1-on-1 coaching call here and come with all your questions about blogging and newsletters. I'd love to share my experience with you!