Tips for Attracting More Interior Designers
One of the most common questions I get from printers wanting to get into the interior design market is how to attract interior designers. They can print their products, yet they don't know how to make the connection and get started. Typically, the first part of my answer is, "You're not alone." Remember, digital, on-demand printing in the interior design market is a new concept. In fact, many designers do not even know it's an option. That's starting to change though, and it's changing quickly.
Interior designers are used to going through traditional channels to source their materials. If we want them to explore a totally new way of doing that, we need to make sure it's as easy (if not easier) as what they've been doing all along.
3 Tips for Attracting Interior Designers
Update your website
You want a designer to feel welcome when they come to your website. They also want to feel confident that you know what you're doing and understand how they work. Either give your entire website an overhaul or create a section devoted to interior designers. Consider looking at websites of traditional suppliers to get a sense of what they're used to seeing. Develop a website with that in mind so it's visually familiar to them when they arrive at your website. Also, make sure it is aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate.
Educate them about your business
Keep reminding yourself that this is a brand-new concept for designers. You will have to do a good job of explaining how it works. You may need to explain the printing process, common terms, or materials details. Interior designers are used to picking materials already produced, so they are a step removed from the manufacturing process.
Meet them where they are
If you want business from interior designers, you can't expect them to find you or magically find your website. You will need to go to the places they are and interact with them directly. In some cases, that could mean going to in-person trade shows such as NeoCon in Chicago or the Healthcare Design Expo + Conference (this year in San Antonio). In addition, engage with them on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. For success on social, hire someone who can effectively implement a real strategy and foster relationships.
There is so much potential for digital printers in the interior design markets. The more designers use this technology, the more they'll see the unlimited possibilities.
Related story: On-Demand Printing is Entering the World of Interior Design
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.