The Design Industry: Stay Informed, Stay Current!
The interior decorating & design industry is one of the fastest-changing ones out there. As a professional, it’s your job to stay on top of the most current industry standards and trends. After all, your clients come to you for your expertise and you certainly don’t want them to know more about your industry than you do!
So how can you make sure to stay on top of what’s going on?
Read, Watch & Listen
The Internet isn’t just there for you to advertise your services. It also contains a horde of information that can be valuable for your business. So set aside 30-45 minutes every day to scour the Internet for the latest and greatest!
Follow influential industry leaders on social media
There have to be a few people out there whom you truly admire for their design and decorating work, right? Taking the time to follow these people on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram means they’ll become a source of content curation for you. If you have similar interest to these industry leaders, they’ll recommend articles to read and videos to watch that will keep you well informed!
That goes for YouTube, too!
Those industry leaders we spoke of… they probably have YouTube channels. Subscribe to them and watch some of their videos. They can teach you something new or at least give you a few fresh ideas you can use to “wow” your clients!
Read (or at least skim) the most popular design & decorating blogs
Go ahead and Google “Top Decorating Blogs” and add a few from those top 10 lists to your daily repertoire. Sure you don’t have the time to read every single article posted every day (unless that’s your full time job), but skimming their headlines at least once a week will yield a few articles that are worth your time. Make it a habit to at least read a few of these articles every week.
Subscribe to popular design & decorating newsletters
Some manufacturers, vendors and suppliers are more well-known than others, and strive to keep their brands relevant in new industry trends. As such, they’ll often send out weekly or monthly newsletters that talk about the latest and greatest for their brands. Sign up for these email lists and you’ll quickly find the few emails that are worth your time!
Jack of all trades = master of none
While you should have a general idea of what’s going on in the industry, you can’t be an expert in every topic… so don’t even try. Instead, pick and choose which trends your brand will be known for, and focus on those. If a client comes to you looking for a trend that isn’t in your wheelhouse, you should be ready to refer them to another professional who can provide that expertise.
Ask your audience
If you’re doing your business justice, you have a social media presence. Why not poll your audience and find out what trends they’re most excited about for the upcoming season? If you find out what your target market is excited about, you can endeavour to become more of an expert on that particular topic.
Find a gap in the local market
As a savvy business owner, you should know what’s going on locally. Keep tabs on your competition and what trends they’re focusing on. If there’s a particular trend no one else is doing, make sure you gain some knowledge on that subject! This isn’t a golden rule… and you should always make sure to do what’s best for your brand… but this tactic can help set you apart from the competition and increase your market share.
Start your own trends
If you truly want to excel in the industry, you should endeavor to become a trendsetter yourself. Don’t be afraid to generate a bit of buzz and excitement over some of the work you’re currently doing. Set up your own social media accounts, blog and YouTube channel to talk about YOUR best practices and trends. This will not only set you apart from your competition, but will also impress your potential clients!
Just do it!
You might think it’s impossible to spend the better part of an hour each day just doing research, but it’s a good habit to get into… and it’s NOT a waste of time! Staying informed can mean the difference between getting new clients and being left out in the cold.