By: David Neishabori
Whether your Interior Design business is just starting out or has firmly planted roots, there is always room to grow.
Here are some tips to creating a focused interior design brand:
- Market yourself “up the food chain: In order for a design project to happen, buyers and developers have to build homes. Before a designer is even involved, there is someone else in the industry ahead of the designer in the food chain; an architect, a builder, a real estate agent. Go meet them. Go market to them. Let them know of your skills, your vision, your desire to work with them and what you bring to the party in terms of special skills and abilities. Send them images of your work, network with them at social events. In short, get out there and “market Up the Food Chain”.
- Update your business card: Make sure to list any professional memberships you belong to.
- Take advantage of Social Media: Consider options such as: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google plus. Make sure you blog to increase your SEO. The below article from Sprout Social offers 15 tips on building your social media presence:
15 Tips to Build a Social Media Presence
By: Dominique Jackson/Sprout Social
On the surface, social media marketing seems like a fairly simple concept. Just create your accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, then post some links and you’re done right? Not necessarily.
Setting up profiles and tweeting links is easy. Building your brand to the point where you have significant reach and influence in your industry is an entirely different story. Follow these 15 tips to build your social media presence.
- Set S.M.A.R.T Goals and Objectives
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The very first step in building your presence on social media is to set goals and objectives. If your answer to “why are you on social media?” is because everyone else is on it, that’s a problem. Start by setting S.M.A.R.T goals. That means your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. An example of a good S.M.A.R.T goal for social media marketing would be: Increase our Twitter response rate by 25% by the end of the first quarter.
- Specific: We’ve specifically identified the social channel (Twitter) and a metric (response rate).
- Measurable: The response rate can be measured from the Sprout Social dashboard.
- Achievable: We didn’t make an outlandish goal of say, a 100% increase in 10 days.
- Relevant: Our goal will have an impact on our overall social media presence, making it very relevant.
- Time-bound: The goal has to be met by the end of the first quarter.
Give your social media marketing efforts a purpose and you’ll be able to avoid wandering around aimlessly.
- Identify Your Audience
Who are you looking to reach on social media? There are millions of consumers on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, but you have to narrow down your target customers to know where your focus will be. Identifying your audience is going to play a role in determining:
- Which social media sites you’re active on
- Your posting schedule
- The type of content you publish
- Your “voice”
- The information in your profiles
Once you’ve segmented your audience, get to know what their challenges are, how they use social media and what other brands they engage with on social media. Looking at how your audience interacts with other brands they follow will give you an idea of what resonates the most with them. Then it’s just a matter of mixing in those elements with your own style.
- Be Human
One of the worst mistakes you can make on social media is coming off as the faceless corporation with zero personality. In today’s age of transparency, people want to get to know your company on a more personal level.
A lot of companies have gotten into the practice of creating separate Twitter accounts specifically for handling customer support issues. This is an amazing opportunity to humanize your brand. A great example is the Toronto Transit Commission’s. Every response to a customer has the initials of the person who sent the Tweet. On top of that, it uses “I” when replying instead of “we,” which really makes customers feel like they’re having a more personal interaction.
- Build Relationships
It’s easy to neglect the social aspect of social media. But if you want to build your presence, you need to start interacting with customers, influencers and other people in your industry. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to build relationships with people all over the globe within a matter of minutes.
Instead of focusing on getting as many followers as possible, focus on getting engaged followers. The difference is that engaged followers with whom you have established relationships with are more likely to Retweet, Like and +1 your content than someone who only followed you because you followed them first.
Here are a few tips for relationship building through social media:
- Always @mention people you reference in your social media posts.
- Answer questions people ask.
- Reply when people @mention you or share your content.
- Don’t just Retweet and Like other people’s content; reply with a comment to start a conversation.
- Create an Editorial Calendar
It’s true that each social media channel has its unique nuances and best practices. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take an integrated approach for planning the content you publish to each one. Instead of having five different content calendars, you can create one and specify how you want to syndicate content on each channel. For example, if we were sharing a link to this article on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, each headline would look slightly different. A Tweet would be short and include a hashtag, a Facebook post would have an eye-catching headline and the Google+ update would include a summary preview of what the post is about.
Editorial calendars allow you to plan what and when you want to publish content. That allows you to optimize every headline and send them out at the right time.
- Automate the Right Way
Scheduling your social media posts ahead of time is a good way to automate your campaigns. On the other hand, sending out auto-replies to customer complaints is an entirely different story.
Avoid automating any type of human interactions on social media. Automated responses can come off as insincere to customers that are hoping to interact with your brand or express their concerns.
- Help Instead of Selling
Social media is one of the best platforms to use for content marketing. One of the main concepts behind content marketing is providing value to your audience without always expecting something in return. Use that same approach when you’re building your presence on social media.
For instance, if your company sells powder for itchy feet and someone Tweets “just came back from the beach and my feet won’t stop itching!” don’t just reply back with a link to buy your product. Share a link to a blog post about what to do when you’re itchy after coming back from the beach. Or better yet, create a blog post with solutions and share that link with them.
By offering solutions to problems instead of just pitching your products all the time, you’re proving your company is an authority and potentially earning a lifelong customer.
- Optimize Your Social Media Accounts
Use social media optimization to help your brand stand out and be found by new people who aren’t already connected with you. When people are searching Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for keywords related to your industry, you want to make sure your account shows up. You can do that by:
- Adding relevant keywords in your profile
- Sharing content related to your industry—include keywords in your posts
- Connect with popular accounts in your industry
- Get Visual
Social media and visuals go together extremely well. In fact, images were rated as the most important tactic for optimizing content for social media. They also get more engagement. So if you want to make a big impact on social media, start posting more images.
What type of images should you post? Generic stock photos aren’t going to do the trick. Some of the most shared types of images for social media are:
- Team photos
- Photos of customers
- Photos of events
- Behind-the-scenes photos
- Quote photos
The one thing that these types of visuals all have in common is that they’re made by you. Don’t forget to brand custom graphics with your logo or website name so people can trace them back to your company. There’s always the potential for a selfie to go viral or an infographic to get shared by authorities in your industry. That’s a quick way to add a boost to your social media presence.
10. Make Your Profiles Known
This is one of those tips that is so simple that it’s easy to overlook. Use every opportunity possible to promote your social media profiles. That means:
- Adding social media icons to your website
- Adding links to your profiles in your email signatures
- Putting your social media usernames on printed materials
- Linking to your social profiles in guest blog posts
People shouldn’t have to search endlessly in order to find out whether you have an Instagram account. Prominently showcase your profiles whenever you can.
- Stay Active
How often do you publish content to social media? A lack of activity is a quick way to get overlooked. Nobody wants to follow the company that only posts once a month. Add the fact that content moves extremely quickly on sites like Twitter and Facebook, and it’s easy to see how you can get lost in the mix if you’re not active.
Using tips #5 and #6 to schedule your content in advance is a good way to avoid stagnant periods of time without putting out content. But don’t forget to keep interacting with your audience too.
- Track What’s Trending
Being on top of the latest trending topics on social media is a good way to land in the feeds of consumers who aren’t following you already. On Twitter, when people look at what’s trending, they’re able to see the most popular Tweets related to that topic regardless of whether or not they’re following the accounts.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Pay
There’s a huge myth that social media marketing is 100% free. It’s true that social media levels the playing field for smaller companies bootstrapping on a shoestring budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t spend money. Running ads on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn can give your company an added boost and more visibility quickly.
Advertising on social networking sites gives you the advantage to target on a much deeper level than you’d get by paying for a banner on a single site or even using Google AdWords. For example, Facebook lets you narrow down your demographic according to age, education, location, Pages they’ve Liked and a wide range of other criteria. You can get started on a minimal budget and get a great ROI.
- Use Tools to Monitor Your Activities
If you want to get serious with your social media marketing campaigns then you need the right tools in place. You need social media management software like Sprout Social to give you reports on your engagement, follower growth, popularity of the content you’re sharing and all of the other data that’s going to fuel your campaigns.
Unless you’re running paid ads, most social media sites won’t give you enough information to track campaigns on a deep level. Use tools to get a full picture of the impact you’re having across your different social media accounts.
- Create & Share Amazing Content
We’ve saved the best tip for last. Above all else, you need to commit to creating and sharing the most high quality content possible. That means creating share-worthy blog posts and curating the best content related to your industry. Where a lot of companies fall short is they’ll only share their own content to avoid sending traffic to other sites. That can end up doing more harm than good.
Your followers want great content regardless of what site it’s on. By being the source on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to find that content, you’re giving consumers a reason to follow you. Not only that, but you’ll also have a much better chance of getting people to engage with you.
Start Building Your Social Media Presence
Put these tips into action to make your presence known on social media. Prioritizing your audience and focusing on content is a winning formula for social media success.
- Participate in speaking engagements
- Participate in a designer showcase, industry events.
- Network with industry partners (see images below: Sources For Design Issue 6 Premiere Party at AZADI Fine Rugs in Scottsdale)
Stop by AZADI Fine Rugs to see their collection of over 10,000 area rugs.
Azadi Fine Rugs is a certified child-labor free rug gallery. You do good, globally, by your participation in the elimination of child labor in the rug industry. With your business at AZADI, you are creating this special legacy. Choose your rug dealer carefully, one that is a trusted and knowledgeable resource like AZADI Fine Rugs. Many Interior Designers believe that a beautiful hand-woven rug can be the basis of their design plan. As we say at AZADI Fine Rugs, the rug is The Foundation for Fine Living. For a complimentary in-home consultation, contact AZADI Fine Rugs at (480)483-4600.
For all of your favorite area rug and home design trends stop by AZADI Fine Rugs, best rug store in Scottsdale. AZADI has a collection of over 10,000 fine area rugs. Whether you’re designing one space or an entire home, AZADI is experienced with taking care of your needs instantly. Our many types of rugs include; hand-woven rugs, contemporary area rugs, Tuscan design rugs, transitional design rugs, simple and clean design rugs, Oriental rugs, wool area rugs, vintage area rugs, Persian tribal rugs and Antique area rugs. Let our professionals help transform your space with exquisite rug design. At AZADI Fine Rugs we deliver the quality of these exquisite designs with impeccable Seven-Star Service.
To learn more about AZADI Fine Rugs in Scottsdale call (480) 483-4600 or contact us online at www.azadifinerugs.com.
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For more information about AZADI Fine Rugs read the below article:
Dealer Touts Fine Rugs for Décor & Investment/By: Georgann Yara, AZ Republic
More than 200 years after David Neishabori’s great, great, great grandfather made a living by trading wool in what is now Azerbaijan, the family business has evolved into one of the nation’s premier importers of heirloom rugs, coveted by a demographic who can afford them.
Since Neishabori raised the business to a more public level and launched AZADI Fine Rugs in 1995, the Scottsdale company has grown to include six locations, in four states, serving clients worldwide.
And while rugs have always been part of his pedigree, Neishabori’s own fascination with collectible floor coverings, which started in his youth, is largely responsible for creating the company as it is today. He eagerly talks about the lengthy history of rugs and which periods hold the greatest value, and effortlessly articulates details and obscure facts about this distinct niche.
“We had to like rugs because it was a family thing. It was in my blood. But when I discovered that, as they age, they get better, I got involved with antique rugs quickly…It became a passion because it was art,” said Neishabori, who co-founder AZADI with his friend Kimberly Karahadian, who chose the Persian word meaning “freedom” as the company name.
Six generations ago, AZADI’s origins began in 1790, when Neishabori’s ancestors, farmers in what was part of Russia at the time, traded wool for goods and services. Each generation, Neishabori explained, put its own spin on the trade, graduating to weaving and ultimately the importing business his uncles and father started just outside of Persia. Neishabori grew up in Iran and moved with his family and the company to California as a teenager.
With inheritance of the family business looming near, Neishabori initially looked to Aspen CO, as the location for a showroom where he could publicly show and sell the handcrafted Oriental rugs that had fueled the successful company. En route, he made a stop in Scottsdale. Lured by the weather and friendly people, Neishabori made this detour permanent and opened AZADI Fine Rugs in Arizona.
Specialization in this exclusive industry appealed to high-end clients wanting to add beauty to their homes beyond traditional works of art. Collectors – much like those who seek exotic sports cars, impressionist paintings or fine wines – also sought out AZADI. Demand led Neishabor to open additional stores in Sedona, Telluride, CO, Kona, HI, and Jackson, WY.
Because his rugs are rare, tangible assets not subject to the whims of the stock market, aggressive collectors view them as an alternative to traditional investments, Neishabori said. The quality of the wool, dye and workmanship adds to the value of the pieces.
“It’s art that keeps giving. You get to share and enjoy it on a daily basis, it makes you money and there are no taxes,” Neishabori said.
Clients range from individuals to interior designers who fine AZADI through word of mouth. High-caliber rugs not only increase in worth over time but also hold their condition and often can be passed on to the next generation intact.
“There’s tremendous value when they can enhance their homes with beautiful rugs. Our moods change with the colors and designs we surround ourselves with, “Neishabori said. “When we surround ourselves with beauty, we start feeling beautiful.”
Teresa Nelson, partner at Nelson Barnum Interiors in Scottsdale, first met Neishabori 10 years ago when a client needed a quality luxury rug. She’s been working with him and AZADI ever since. Most of her clients request one-of-a-kind pieces, and Nelson appreciates Neishabori’s extra TLC when working with them. Before clients make a decision, he brings the rugs they request to their homes, plus a few others for comparison.
“It’s the third dimension in the room, so rugs need to be seen in the house. I’ve always had good experiences with them, and the clients are always very happy in the end,” Nelson said. “He has really beautiful rugs you don’t see everywhere. Just when I think I’ve seen everything, he surprises me.”
Over the past nine years, Patricia Newman has purchased more than a dozen rugs from AZADI. A couple of them are in her Florida home, but the majority are in the Scottsdale residence she is in the process of selling. When it sells, Newman will have those rugs shipped to her current Deephaven, MN, home.
“I’ve purchased rugs here in the Midwest, and I cannot wait until my house sells so those can go away and be replaced with AZADI rugs, “Newman said.
She also raved about Neishabori’s customer service. “David is very knowledgeable, ethical, honest, sincere and hardworking. He respected my choices, and I respected and trusted him. He’s just a prince of a man,” Newman said.
A deep embracement of his career as an opportunity to enrich others’ lives with art that – unlike painting a wall or installing new flooring or tile, has instant results, is at the core of how Neishabori operates. And the extra customer service care? That’s all part of the job.
“When I was a child, my grandfather said, ‘You don’t do business to make a buck. You do business to build a relationship.’ I thought he lost it,” Neishabori recalled. “But I found that if I focus on building relationships, the buck will come anyway.”