So You’ve Qualified as an Interioir Designer. What Now?

How do you get clients?

A great friend of mine is an interior designer and a very clever one at that. The greatest challenge he faced though was not how to adopt a given style, or create style-sheets, put a particularly complex scheme together, it was something quite different altogether – how to get clients for his newly proven skills.

Though to people who are more… let us say… artistically minded, rather than business minded it can be quite a daunting and of course critical issue, but here are some simple guide lines.

Lets us say you’ve got your design blog going and are pin interest. You are trying to engage on Twitter but are just not getting the leads. Most of the engagement is with those already in the industry rather than potential clients and it’s gong to take some time to develop the brand. Money is tight so you don’t have the budget for glossy advertising in any of the “Home” magazines.

Ask yourself who would be likely to benefit from your interior design skills? Chances are we are talking about two major sectors – domestic and commercial. You may favor one sector over another.

Let us imagine you favor the domestic sector. Here is something worth trying that just takes a bit of effort and doesn’t cost a great deal.

Identify the areas that those homes you could provide designs for will be situated. Every city has a more wealthy area than others, perhaps several “better off” areas and you could identify them by post code, then down to individual addresses.

The next stage of developing your Client base, is to approach those households but slowly, they will probably not welcome cold calling so you would need to think very carefully indeed about how you’re going to make your approach so consider this version of Direct Mailing.

A very carefully worded hand written letter using good quality writing paper Again, though the care and precision you take will make all the difference so I’d suggest you approach the lady of the house and ensure you research her name correctly and spell it correctly. This information will probably be available from the electoral roll.

So, taking stock, you have the houses and the names of the people who live in them or at least a proportion of the names, but you’re right, this is hard focused work, but it will pay off.

Next thing is to decide what you’re going to say to grab the lady of the houses attention. Remember that this is to get your first projects and if you do a fab job, you can build on references and referrals. So from this point of view, you might consider offering to do some design schemes free of charge.

Furthermore, remember that this lovely hand written letter of yours (importantly with a postage stamp not franking) will be opened for sure, so remember also that the average person will read 15 to 18 words within 3.5 to 4 seconds so you can afford to write a really appealing first paragraph and how’s this for that all important opening paragraph?

“Dear Ms XXXX

I am a recently qualified, passionate and (though I say it myself) talented interior designer hoping to develop a valued Client base.”

Now hold your breath it may take a while and a lot of patience and tenacity, but I’m going to guess (and wouldn’t be adverse to a small wager) that you’re going to get some phone calls – good luck


avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Formerly Finance and Operations Director of anmarketing agency. Now luckily semi-retired. Amateur interior design buff, constantly experimenting on my own home (much to the chargrins of hubby) and passionate about anything to do with home interiors and improvements. Wish my house was bigger!

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Posts by Alexandra Eager (49)