5 Signs Your Design Firm Could Benefit from Blogging

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How do you know if blogging is a smart investment for your design firm? What are the signs that your business could see positive results? What are the potential short-term and long-term results of blogging consistently?

Today I’m answering all these questions using the results and stories I’ve personally seen with clients we’ve had over the years. Combined, I think the potential of blogging will really surprise you.

If you have asked several or all of the following questions, you will want to seriously consider adding blogging to your marketing strategy. Come take a look.

1. How can I improve my design firm’s SEO?

If your website’s performance in search results isn’t ideal, blogging can help increase your SEO in 7 ways. I’ve written an entire blog post about it already, so I suggest reading it if you haven’t yet!

However, it’s important to understand that improving SEO isn’t something that happens overnight. It can take several months to a year to see noticeable results and for those results to compound.

Case Studies: 

I would love to pull together a blog post with some actual stats our clients have seen, but for now, I’ll share some of the feedback we’ve received from several long term clients:

  • “Thanks for all your work on SEO – it’s working!”
  • “The majority of our traffic is now coming from Google.”
  • “I’ve been getting more inquiries from Google searches because of the blog!”
  • “Blog posts are competing for the top 5 pages on our website.”

Although you may have to wait to see results like these, the good news is that those months spent building up your SEO will not be time wasted. As you’ll see in this post, blogging has SO many other benefits to your business that will take effect immediately. 

Note: If your SEO isn’t great, make sure that all of the existing pages on your website are optimized. This means having a “meta description” for every page (something done in the backend of your website), having SEO-savvy headers, and “alt-tags” for all the photos on your site.

2. Can blogging attract more of my dream clients?

If you’re looking to attract more of your dream clients, a blog can definitely help. However, if you are already attracting clients who aren’t right for you, you need to diagnose what currently isn’t working.

First, look at your brand. Is it on par with what your dream clients would be looking for? For example, if you run a high-end design firm but your branding (website, logo, fonts, visuals) has more of a mid-market, piecemeal feel to it, you will have a hard time attracting those luxury clients.

Second, look at your website copy. Is it all about you? Or does it clearly define who your client is and what they can achieve with your help? A website that consists mostly of “we do this,” and “we do that” is far less likely to attract its desired clients. For more on how to position your website copy to attract the right client, read here. 

If both of these — your visual and written brand — are perfectly positioned to attract your dream client, that’s great. NOW, you’re ready to kick things up a notch…. with a blog.

A blog gives you the chance to discuss topics that are important to your dream clients. It shows that you understand them, that you can help solve their unique problems, and that you are the perfect person or team for the job.

Case Studies:

  1. The first example I have for you comes directly from O&B. Multiple clients have told me they decided to hire O&B because they read just ONE blog post and were convinced that I could help them. And yes, these wonderful designers are our dream clients and a joy to work with!
  1. An interior design client of ours in California self-reported that several new design projects surfaced because of her blog. 
  1. Another designer/GC in Atlanta recently shared that she continues to get design project inquiries thanks to the blog posts we’ve published together.
  1. At the outset of COVID-19, one of our clients expanded her services to offer e-design. She told us she was skeptical about getting any projects, but she published a blog post on e-design anyway. Several days later, she sent me this email: “After I released my blog post this weekend, I was hired for two small jobs. Can you guess? A home office and an outdoor shed design!”

A blog gives you the opportunity to attract your dream clients, connect with them, and build a long-term relationship.

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3. How do I know what content to share on social media & in newsletters?

If you’re running out of content to share on your social media platforms (or in newsletters) or scratching your head on what to share next, I have two solutions for you:

First, take a look at this list of 9 things you should be talking about in your marketing. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, those topics are likely to spark some great ideas that are low on fluff and high on strategy, relatability, and interest. 

Second… start blogging! 

Great blog posts are PERFECT content to share on social media — and it’s also content that will motivate new followers to go from your social media accounts over to your website. (Yes, that is the metric you should be looking at; not “likes,” but clicks over to your website.)

Why is it important to attract ideal clients from social media to your website?

  1. Because you do not own your social media followers. Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook do. And they could be gone tomorrow. You NEED to get your ideal clients over to your website and mailing list (via a lead magnet), because those are the digital territories that are yours.
  1. Because your website is where your marketing funnel begins. This is where new potential clients sign up for your lead magnet… get your monthly newsletters… learn to know, like and trust you… and eventually become paying clients if they’re a good fit.
  1. Because once potential clients are on your mailing list, you can share future blog posts with them, too. And by consistently offering up valuable content, you are building their trust, showing your expertise, positioning yourself as an expert (you are), and sharing opportunities to work with you.

Case Studies:

  • In looking at several clients’ social media analytics, we have seen that the amount of traffic going to their website increases month over month with consistent blogging and at least 2x/week promotion on social media channels.
  • We’ve also had clients self-report seeing more newsletter signups over time. (Note: It is also worth promoting your lead magnets on their own on social media with a signup link directly available in your bio.)
  • We’ve had SEVERAL clients report that sharing their blog posts in newsletters resulted in traffic to their website, an influx of positive comments from the people on their mailing lists, and in some cases, new project inquiries.
  • One client said, “What I love is how you have taken what I am all about and created a unique path for what I wanted to realize but wasn’t sure how. To me it’s not only content for a terrific blog but also gives me Instagram and Facebook direction for each month.”

4. How can I attract clients who better understand the realities of a design project?

Whenever I have a Content Strategy Session with a client, this is inevitably a topic that comes up — the disconnect between clients’ expectations for a design project and reality. For example… the client who reaches out in October for a kitchen renovation to be completed by Christmas. 

It’s the nature of the industry that most interior designers have to educate their clients on the realities of design with respect to… 

  • Investment
  • Timeline
  • Scope
  • The nature of a your role (I bet most clients don’t expect you to be drawing up electrical plans, am I right?)

It’s also true that creating realistic expectations for clients before they ever set up a discovery call with you is going to save you time — and make for a much smoother, happier project. 

This is precisely where your blog comes in. And yes, you can literally write posts explicitly on these topics! It doesn’t matter if they have been written on before by other designers. I guarantee that you have a unique voice, brand, audience and way of predicting things like timeline, scope, and investment. 

So write on these topics. Share them far and wide. And bonus… the next time someone emails you a question on these topics, send them the link instead of a lengthy response! These topics then become a resource library for new clients.

Just a few blog posts. So many advantages. 

Case Studies:

  • One client told me in an email: “The blog posts are very valuable in being able to link information. This latest one will be awesome when sending out initial information to potential clients.”
  • Another designer mentioned during our Content Strategy Session that she wanted several posts that could make up a resource library for clients before and during their project — and we’ve since created a great one!
  • And yet another design client of ours told me that these types of posts have been their most popular, getting several hundreds of visits every month! 
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5. How can I take my marketing to the next level?

Many of the designers who start working with us are in either or both of these situations: they feel that they have maxed out their marketing potential with what they have been doing up to this point OR their business is doing really well and they are ready to reach the next level.

A blog is a great next step in both of these scenarios. Why?

  • Blogging strategically can help you see all of the above benefits — better SEO, attracting more of your dream clients, having additional content to share, setting clients up for a better project experience. ALL of which add up to your next stage of business growth.
  • Bonus: If you are expanding your design offerings to include things like digital products or an online store, a blog can help you launch and market these products in authentic, intriguing, and relational ways. 

Case Studies:

This is another result that is difficult to measure because so many factors are involved in marketing, but again, I will tell you what I have seen:

  • I personally saw O&B’s website traffic grow by 6x from 2018 to 2019, with our mailing growing by 5x and our client roster growing by 2x.
  • After 1 year of blogging with us consistently, promoting posts on social media, and sending monthly newsletters, one design firm doubled its team and number of projects.
  • Another design firm and furniture store reported, “Customers tell us they look for the latest blog post each month. I didn’t realize how much business blogging would bring into the store.”
  • One designer client said, “Thanks to [O&B], I have an on-brand marketing strategy that starts with the blog and trickles down to the social media platforms. I feel like I’ve stepped up my game and I can clearly see it in the website traffic!”

What’s the Verdict?

If you look at just one of these benefits of blogging, you might think, “Yeah, that’s great, but is it worth the time and energy?” But if you look at all of these benefits, from the short-term to the long-term, it’s a no-brainer.

The only reason I can see for not blogging is if there are other things you need to do first — such as update your website, fine-tune your website copy, or set up a lead magnet and mailing list. Blogging works most successfully in tandem with these other elements of your marketing.

But — if you have these elements in place. If you have a defined brand and you’re ready to elevate your marketing across the board — a blog could be just the thing to reach that next stage of business growth.

If you’re not sure, book a 20-minute discovery call with me. I’d be happy to chat with you about your business and discuss whether blogging is the best next move.

Xoxo,

Jaquilyn

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