From our home tours and interviews to our in-person workshops, we’ve built an incredible resource branch within our lifestyle community geared specifically toward interior designers. I’m looking at you, boss babes! We’ve got a great little library of expert advice features and we’re keeping it coming in the New Year. 2020 is finally here and it’s the perfect time to revamp your strategies, organize your projects, capitalize on your relationships, and more. The design industry is ever-evolving and so is the media that showcases it. Natalie Norcross, former designer, PR expert, and CEO of A Design Partnership is joining us today to chat through a few simple steps you can take to prepare your business for maximum exposure and success in the new year.
Develop Your Brand
Do you know what your brand’s key message is? A brand message helps create a story around who you are, why you do what you do, and how. This is something you can carry across all digital platforms and relate to clients and incorporate when communicating about any of your work. Storytelling is a great way to continue to strengthen brand identity and recognition among new and current clients. Make sure your mission statement and purpose are clear and consistent when communicating and pushing out your brand.
Getting featured on national outlets is the ultimate goal, but to go big, you have to cover all of your bases first. If you think about it, national media will want to know who you are before going after a story, so they will Google you, like everyone else. If you have created relationships and a presence with the local media sources and influencers in your area, you will appear legitimate. Get in good graces with the local media channels and social media.
We all know that consistency is the key. When it comes to PR, it will lead to the success of your digital presence. Aim to post on Instagram and Facebook three to four times a week. This doesn’t mean that each post needs to be unique, but it does have to be relevant. Post before-and-after shots, new business relationships, a new blog post, or just inspiration for the day. People want to be able to relate to you and know that you are constantly thinking or working on projects. Think about posting things that show people who you are as a person behind the biz, too. Things like favorite color palettes, fun industry events, holiday celebrations, etc. will improve your engagement.
Create and Push Out Your Own News
Do not rely on anyone else to move your business forward but yourself. Take the initiative to get involved. Non-profits are a great way to collaborate with other creative designers and volunteer to update a space. This is not only good news material, but it also helps broaden your portfolio and expand your potential client base, not to mention the networking aspect. Additionally, check out some local opportunities to get your name out there. If there are any local projects to try and get in on, go for it. Pursue opportunities to get involved in the community that could potentially turn into personal stories you can share with your community.
Strategic Moves Always Pan Out
If you’re lying to yourself, you won’t get anywhere. At the end of the day, not every single one of your projects is “press-worthy”, which is FINE. Get honest with yourself and prioritize the projects that are worth sending over to the media options. Make sure that the photos are professional. If you’re sending over projects that are lower quality, you risk your reputation with the journalist who is considering publishing your work. Also, each media source has specific projects that they like to publish. If you have a project that is catered more towards one, do not send it out to every single media source you have contacts with. If they deny the project, then move to the second option. This works best because you can mention that the project or story is exclusive only to that publication.
Clean it Up
Clean, clean, clean. This means the office, electronic filing system, email, etc. If you think it could use a trash run, go for it. A clean and organized environment will help you focus on what you need to get done plus efficiency runs on cleanliness and organization.
Do you know those tasks that you’ve been saying “we should do that”? Well, this is the time. While it’s slower and you do have the time and bandwidth for, don’t waste any more time talking about it. Do it. Once you get started, the project will inevitably get thrown into action.
Focusing on your PR goals has to be at the forefront or else, why are you working towards anything? Staying focused on those goals is another story. Focus is required for success, but it seems to typically fade when the pressure of growing a business gets heavy. Do the best you can to remain focused, because it’s one of the things an agency needs to most.
Once you’ve chosen the goals and strategies/tactics, prioritizing is back in action. Maybe one goal that was at the top of the list at the beginning of the year is now a little lower on the totem pole. That’s normal. Figure out the order of priority and have an honest conversation with your team about what can be done. Don’t spend too much time on one thing on the list and not achieve everything else, you’ll get nowhere fast.