When you’re in business for yourself, creating a steady revenue is always a major concern. You’ll no doubt experience the ebb and flow of business. As an interior designer, how do you protect yourself during those shaky times when your revenue recedes?
Your best strategy is to diversify your income. With this strategy, you never need to depend exclusively on one source and then go into a panic if (and when) that source dries up. But how?
Let’s discuss the top ways that interior designers can create multiple revenue streams.
Maintain a Blog
One of the first and easiest ways to create an alternate stream of revenue is to start blogging. Here are two ways to earn money from blogging:
Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Impression (CPM) Ads – With this option, you partner with an ad network, such as Google. The ad network displays advertisements on your website/ blog and you earn money either each time one of your visitors clicks on an ad or per 1,000 views. This is not the best option to monetize your blog. Not only does it cheapen the look of your website, these networks can show irrelevant content to your website visitors. Also, you won’t make a lot of money from these ads, especially if you don’t have a huge amount of visitors.
Use Your Content to Promote Your Services – Use your blog to attract prospective clients to your services. You can create how-to guides or share interior design tips. It may sound counterintuitive to create a blog that teaches people how to do the same things that you offer. However, keep in mind that this also showcases your expertise. Many times, your best clients are the very same people who thought they could DIY their interior design but realized that they couldn’t. At the end of each guide or post, you can direct the reader to your services.
Become an affiliate and use your blog or social media platform to directly advertise for other businesses. In this setup, you’ll promote a product that will earn you a commission. Commission rates vary based on the company you partner with, the type of products you’re promoting, and the amount of sales you bring in.
Fortunately, it’s easy to become an affiliate in the interior design industry. You can partner with companies such as Amazon, One Kings Lane, Jonathan Adler, Wayfair, and Graham & Brown.
Here are two best practices to follow when promoting the products of other businesses:
- Only advocate products that you’ve personally used and loved. Choose products that are worthy of your professional reputation.
- Only advocate products that are directly relevant to the audience. As an interior designer, it wouldn’t make sense to promote pet-related items to your audience.
You can also set up an affiliate partnership with local businesses, such as florists and boutique furniture designers.
Get Active on Instagram
Instagram is a perfect platform for interior designers because it’s all visual. You can use this social media platform to position yourself as an influencer and also to attract prospective clients to your services.Use this social media platform to attract prospective clients to your services. Click To Tweet
There are two great ways to bring in income via Instagram: sponsored content and affiliate marketing.
With sponsored content, you’ll promote a product on your account and earn a flat fee per post. How much you earn will depend not just on your number of followers but also their level of engagement. If your Instagram followers like your content and leave comments, you’ll be able to command more per post. Be sure to get social with your followers on Instagram and encourage them to interact with your content. Another perk of increased interaction is increased visibility. The more people interact with your content, the more of your content they’ll see at the top of their feed.
Your second option is to work as an affiliate marketer. You can earn a commission from each sale that generates from your Instagram account. But, if you’ve spent any time on social media, you can predict why affiliate marketing on Instagram is a challenge: Instagram doesn’t easily allow you to link out to products from your post. You can only have one link in your bio at a time, which can inhibit your ability to sell multiple products through your Instagram account.
This is where LIKEtoKNOW.it comes in handy. LIKEtoKNOW.it is an app that works within Instagram and allows you to link to products in your posts. The Instagram user can immediately find the product they’re lusting after and you can make a commission off of the sale. Another great thing about LIKEtoKNOW.it is that you will earn a commission from any item that the user purchases, not just the one that you linked to.
LIKEtoKNOW.it is invitation-only, but you can apply as an influencer here.
Start a YouTube channel and start earning money through advertisements, sponsorships, and self-promotion.
An obvious way to monetize YouTube videos is to allow advertisements to play at the start of your videos. However, this isn’t the most lucrative option for the video platform. Instead, consider promoting your own services while also integrating sponsorships into your videos. YouTube works quite similarly to Instagram. You can leverage your number of followers and interactions to score better sponsorship deals.
While you can join a platform that neatly organizes and announces sponsorship opportunities to its members, it’s often best to approach companies directly— no middleman. This way, you don’t have to mess with middleman fees and sticky contracts. Instead, you deal exclusively with the sponsor. Of course, scoring your own sponsorship deals requires more research on your part, but it can be much more lucrative.
You can also link to all of the products you use in the information section of your video and take advantage of affiliate opportunities.
Sell Your Own Products
If you’re more established in your career as an interior designer and have a pretty solid audience base, you can also create and sell your own branded products. Be mindful that this revenue stream will only be productive if you already have a community of followers who love your work. Your ability to attract potential buyers is directly connected to your reputation as an interior designer. If they admire your desire aesthetic and are looking to re-create that vibe in their own homes, they’re much more likely to buy your products.
What should you sell? Here are some options:
- Your design book – A coffee table design book or a practical resource guide are always welcomed.
- Fabrics – Work with a fabric artist or create your own using a service like Spoonflower or WeaveUp.
- Linens – Create your own custom linen line. Hire a private seamster or work with a company like Loom Decor.
- Artwork – Hire an artist to work exclusively for your business and sell their bespoke art (or reproductions) through your online shop.
Consult as a Separate Service
Have you considered pricing all of your services separately?
Many interior designers package consultation along with planning or styling, but to build another stream of revenue, you can also sell it as a standalone service. With the rise of the DIY interior decorator, standalone consultation is in-demand. Not only is it more affordable for your prospective client, offering a consultation also gives you an opportunity to upsell.
Before you go, check out these related posts:
- How to Find Clients as a Newbie Interior Designer
- Should You Offer Online Interior Design Services?
- How to Better Monetize Your Interior Design Business