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Starting an Online Interior Design Business during a Pandemic

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Napoleon Hill

During the past year, our world has been through an extensive trial. Many of my colleges, sisters,/brothers are losing jobs and businesses.

Even though the struggle surrounds our world, the urge to succeed is still throughout the creative community. I hear the longing of many who are longing to start their own business but have the real concern during a health crisis of, “should I start an interior design business, now?” the answer is yes! I’ll tell you why…

The Home is More Important Than Ever

Home is a shelter from storms-all sorts of storms.

William J. Bennett

Our homes have evolved into our sanctuary from the storms we are facing today.

As an interior design, you have the unique opportunity to make your client’s sanctuary feel unique to them.

As many of us are still in quarantine, forced to stay at home has caused us to take a second look at our new 24/7 environment. Home has become the schoolhouse, doctor, workplace, and restaurant. Many designers have used their expertise to take on what some of these changes will look like in 2021.

Combining all those different places and needs can be quite difficult. Many see now that the way their houses used to be set up doesn’t work anymore. If you are a creative individual who is longing to start a business that assists people who need a little assistance, this is the time to do so!

The clientele is Moving Online

As the pandemic continues, full-service interior design is now moving online. The interior design industry was one of the powerhouses in transitioning an entire industry online. Thanks to revolutionary women like Jenna Gaidusek, the founder of eDesign Tribe, the many within our industry could transition their already Luxe services into luxury online design.

For an example of what you can create with the edesign tribe, please see this blog post.

For many years, online interior design was devalued and under-appreciated by large scale companies that sought out to cheapen the skill set of talented individuals. However, many have turned to online design with the health crisis and seen that you can produce a luxury design experience completely online.

It may feel like an online business is the only way you can achieve your goal of being an interior designer but what you’ll find out is that online design is the future.

Now you know two reasons why you should. Next, let’s talk about how.

So when I first started a business after being laid off during the pandemic, the fear almost overwhelmed me. I’m sure if you are reading this blog post today, you’re in that place as well. You have either been laid off, or you’re currently in a position that passion isn’t driving you. Now, more than ever, is the time to change that.

Create your Brand

Your brand, the personality of your business that makes it uniquely you. A brand is what your consumers or clients identify your business as. Creating a brand is one of the most important steps to creating a successful business. There are 3 core steps to this.

  1. Find your ideal client.
  2. Define your story; what brought you to where you are now?
  3. What is your niche?

We could dive much deeper into each of these steps, but we will be working on those steps in the coming year. I successfully executed each of these steps executed in my own business to create my brand during these unique times.

Build a Website

As a designer, your website is more than a portfolio site. Your website defines who you are. Make sure that your website showcases your brand and your personality. If you are a fun/free-spirited woman, let your website showcase that implementing type or colors invoke a light, airy feel. If you have a business mindset, maybe you should go for more of an earth-tone website that is more grounded. Think of it like choosing fabric or wall color for a home; you choose certain colors because they bring a feeling, correct? Do the same for your website.

Make sure these key pages are on your website before launching it:

  1. Home
  2. About
  3. Services
  4. Portfolio

Optional Blog: I strongly suggest adding a blog to your website. The skies the limit on opportunities when you have a blog! SEO advantages, Passive Income, and grow your following!

Get Social

I know some people hate me right now, but you need to have some social media presence to grow your business. Whether you like social media or not, it is important to grow your following to get noticed. I always explain my marketing strategies like a puzzle; social media is just one piece. You don’t want Instagram or Facebook to be the largest piece, but we have many tiny pieces, which a beautiful image creates. So what do I do to continue to grow my social media following?

1. I use Canva to create my Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook content.

2. I use Unsplash for free stock images

3. I use Planoy to schedule my post and plan my grid on Instagram. I also use this tool to create hashtag groups.

These tools are so helpful when growing your social following. Remember, you don’t have to have 10,000 followers to be an influencer. Having an influence is about what are you doing to help your audience.

Self Care

This is the hardest one for me. But it’s essential in the coming new year Self Care. As a business owner, you have to learn how to take care of yourself. Take time for yourself. One of the simple things I am starting to do is make sure I get up every day, do my makeup, and get dressed up, just as if I was going to the office. Some days this is harder than others; those working at home know what I am talking about! Take the time for yourself; you’re worth it.

I hope you each have a blessed New Year, and I look forward to hearing in the comments about what you are doing this year to set your business apart!

Here is a list of the resources Lauren Ashley Design can offer you to help get your business off the ground!

Free Work at Home Schedule!

Rendering Services

Canva Social Media Templates

Canva Business Templates

Mentoring

Stay tuned for more in the coming year!

Blessings,

December 31, 2020

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