There are no shortage of social media platforms. After each new platform rolls out and grows in popularity, you get another marketing guru telling you why your business must be using Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest if it has any chance to succeed in the digital world. And while you may not want to hear this at first, we have one more piece of advice: You need to be on Houzz.
What is Houzz? Houzz is a social media platform dedicated to interior design. More than 300,000 home improvement professionals have built profiles on Houzz—and more than 16 million unique visitors navigate to Houzz every month. These visitors have targeted interests in interior design, whether they're looking for ideas or for professional services. No other site is has the same focus on interior design.
If you want proof of its scope, Google “interior design ______,” inserting your city name in the blank. For almost every city, the first search result is Houzz. Building your profile on Houzz is the only way to capture that power to grow your business. The more active you are on Houzz, the more likely local interior design researchers are to find your business.
How to Put Houzz to Work for You
Create a Great Houzz Profile
Here's the fun part: Houzz relies primarily on visual images, so the core of your profile gives you the opportunity to show off all of your fantastic design work. Your images should be organized on a project level—think in terms of what potential clients might be doing, such as “master bath renovation” or “lake house kitchen.” If you're wondering which projects to choose, make sure to include those that best represent your style.
A second important part of your profile are idea books. Idea books are photo compilations that offer advice or inspiration to potential clients. Think of these as content marketing pieces—they should be useful, informative, easy to understand, and not outwardly self-promotional. You can share space-saving tips or budget-friendly DIY concepts, even ideas from other designers you admire.
The final component of your profile is straightforward. Include your Web address, telephone number, and mailing address so that anyone who falls in love with your work can contact you quickly and easily. You'll also want to add a description of your services and style.
Encourage Your Clients to Review Your Work
Crowd-sourcing continues to grow in popularity and authority, and Houzz is no exception. Heavily reviewed designers appear higher on Houzz listings, so getting your recent clients to post about their experience is a must to grow your presence. Don't try to influence their reviews, which in addition to being unethical also tends to seem transparent. Focus instead on reaching out to those that you know enjoyed their experience and love your work.
Stay Active on Your Houzz Profile, and Others
A static, neglected Houzz profile doesn't live up to the idea of a “social network.” Like other platforms, greater activity yields greater value. Following other designers you admire or vendors you often use can result in receiving a follow from them, building your network and increasing your exposure. Complementing the work of others is an easy and positive way to grow your presence. And if you receive comments or questions, reply promptly. Every interaction is a chance to build your personal brand and add voice to your work.
Stay Subtle with Self-promotion
Just because you're using Houzz as a tool for self-promotion doesn't mean you should finish every sentence with, “...and that's why should hire me.” You would tire of reading that about another company or service, so there's no sense incorporating it into your own work. The best way to create interest and excitement around your design business is to be active on Houzz and provide the quality content that will bring potential clients back again and again.