What marketing venues are working for you? | Cheryl Kees Clendenon


Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Everyone is constantly evaluating their marketing pitfalls and successes and using that data to lay the groundwork for a full pipeline and profitable business in the future. Curious about the current trends, I asked my Facebook group, ‘Small Business Think Big’, what marketing channels are providing the most results for their firms right now, and received some surprisingly diverse responses.

For our firm and retail shop, referrals from clients and the community work extremely well. People trust those they know, and a personal recommendation usually means more than a paid ad. Aside from that, our key marketing vehicle is our website. We put a lot of effort into having it represent our brand, voice and values, and it definitely pays off. We also carefully cultivate our Google ads and keep our Google My Business profile up to date. With Google ads, it’s important to adjust the key words for the target audience.

TIP: Put a Meta description on your website’s homepage and it will show up in your ads, too. Many people don’t, but it is simple to do. Put your city or location and perhaps your key services or what you sell. If you do not use a meta description, you are leaving it to Google to decide.

 Let’s see what others have to say!

Many said networking with vendor reps and local contractors has been their main source of quality leads.

Trudi Elias Smith of Trudi Smith Designs in Walworth, NY said, “I just got a fantastic whole house lead from my Sherwin Williams store manager. My contractors are my biggest source of love. I take good care of these guys. I’m responsive. They all know how I design and how I treat customers.”

This is why it is so important to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with your vendors and contractors — they are a valuable part of your team!

It is also hugely advantageous to be an involved member of your local community by attending events, networking functions and participating in civic groups to create brand awareness and build trust amongst your potential clients.

Donna Fedor of Donna Brann Interiors in Scottsdale, Ariz. said her “networking group is the best source for higher quality leads … It’s an amazing group of well-connected people that really want to help each other.”

Ryan Williams of Artisan Design Studio in Atlanta said, “In-person networking and relationships are by far my best driver of business. Nothing else is even close.”

Interestingly, many mentioned simply sharing their work in social groups and on community platforms as being more productive than any of their paid advertising.

Madelaine Rose Mayer of AD:Roit, based in NYC, said many of her clients “come from neighborhood Facebook groups where I actively post my own work and comment on other’s posts to demonstrate value. People in the group now comment on other inquiries with my name, even if they haven’t personally worked with me, which is really lovely!”

Meeting your ideal clients where they are and building rapport is key — and what an easy, inexpensive way to do it!

Others said Google, Houzz and their own websites have had the biggest impact. Keffie Kristine Lancaster of Lancaster Interior Design in Sarasota, Fla. said, “I get the best leads from Google and Houzz! I believe our central location and reviews play a big factor in that.”

And Californian Sheeja Nair of Raashi Design in San Ramon said she has found “some fantastic and valuable clients and projects” through both Houzz and Google My Business. Isfira Jensen of Nufacet Interiors in NYC concurred, saying, “Google Business (local SEO) page has been HUGE” for her success.

Some, like Julie Anne Baur of Winding Lane Interiors in Cincinnati, have found success through local print media and the additional marketing opportunities it provides: “Our main source of marketing is The Scout Guide (TSG) Cincinnati. Not only do they produce a gorgeous, printed book that is in many of the upscale local businesses but also the social media marketing they do as well as their website and articles about us get us a lot of attention. And most importantly, the in-person connections we make through TSG events and cross marketing promotions they do, and we do with other TSG businesses have been hugely successful for us.”

No matter the channels you’re using for your marketing, it’s important that your content is optimized, represents your brand, and offers value to the client. What is working for you? Send me an email and let me know. I would love to hear from you!

Cheryl Kees Clendenon owns In Detail Interiors, a full-service design-based retail showroom in Pensacola, Fla. She also consults with and coaches other small businesses and interior designers, and writes HAT’s “Retailer to Retailer” column every month. cheryl@indetailinteriors.com

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