By Jenna Gaidusek, CEO & Creator, eDesign U

The circumstances in which designers are adapting their business to the online world is less than ideal. But, if we are being honest, it is really the kick in the pants many of us needed to get online and reach a larger audience. Tech companies beat us to the punch with online interior design and since we are being honest, they poorly represented us and ruined the integrity of our profession. Unfortunately, this is the perfect storm to take back our industry and show consumers what interior designers really do. Designers are talented and adaptable and when there are hurdles thrown at us, like we have experienced this year, we get creative and we design our way to a better situation. 

I’m going to share a few tips with you on how to get started in the online space whether you have a new interior design business or you are expanding your local business to the virtual space. 

  1. Your website is your online business card. Be sure it represents you and your brand and the type of client you are trying to attract. 
  2. Create a series of blogs that celebrate your niche and area of design expertise. The more original images you have in the post, the more content you can create for social media and Pinterest to send viewers to your website. 
  3. Create some form of “opt in,” a way of collecting emails from your website visitors in exchange for something of value to them. This may be something as fun as an interactive quiz or a downloadable guide to help them achieve something on their own. 
  4. Nurture your email list by sending them valuable and helpful information with a “call to action,” which may be to learn more about your design services, join a workshop, visit a passive income product (shop the look) you offer or anything else that you’d like to drive traffic and attention to your clients.

Here is the deal. You can do this all in one clean project by layering these elements into each other. Let me break this down.

  • Use a sample project, maybe your own house or a friend/ relative. 
  • Write down 4-5 design styles that you enjoy decorating. 
  • Start curating 2 design concepts for each of the 4-5 styles. 
  • Create a concept board for each design concept (I recommend Photoshop or Canva). 
  • Write a blog post about each design style to include:
    • Why you chose each piece in the space. 
    • Alternatives for the products you selected. 
    • Links to the products you selected (use affiliate links if you are able, if not, this is a great project to refer to when you are applying for them. Once accepted, go back and add an affiliate link). 
    • Add a “Call to Action” and invite your website viewers to check out your eDesign services or an opt-in to collect their email. 

You can also make these posts into  a style quiz. I teach how to do all of this in my eDesign U courses with capstone evaluations to keep you moving forward and implementing traffic driving procedures for your business all the while streamlining your process. 

You do not have to do it all yourself! 

We, as design professionals, have the opportunity to help each other thrive during these unsettling times by using each other’s talents. Many of our established businesses are booming right now because the general population is inside and ready to update their home after being in it for so long. Firms with a lot of business can outsource any task like writing blogs or shop the look posts, writing emails to your email list (newsletters and updates), render or create stunning concept boards and do other tasks that you need to get off your plate but implement to keep your pipeline full and your business trajectory on the up and up. Now is the time to use younger designers that have been raised on the latest tech programs for the industry and have a savvy graphic & interior design sense to elevate your vision into stunning graphics to present to your client. 

Fun fact:  many designers who outsource renderings actually factor in a markup or small percentage in their flat rate package pricing for their virtual services. Like many other trade offerings, there are ways to elevate your presentation whether it is a remote or in-person collaboration with the use of digital concept boards, renderings and interactive tourable experiences. We are not in the business of passing money around, consider that as you structure your virtual offerings and outsourced tasks.

Now that I have hopefully caught your attention with my “Getting started with eDesign” tips, let me introduce myself. I am Jenna Gaidusek, interior designer and founder of eDesign Tribe, Inc. My company started out as a small Facebook group in 2018 and has now grown to over 3,400 interior design professionals looking to take all or some of their business online.  eDesign Tribe is a community for anyone to join and be part of a positive community of like-minded design professionals. 

In October, I launched a new tourable virtual campus called eDesign U which contains continued education courses to implement your online process and market your eDesign services. The courses are accompanied by an optional platform which contains a highly photorealistic rendering software that is exclusive to us along with a program I developed that allows you to generate and embed or share a clickable shopping list in minutes using either affiliate links or links to your own website or invoice for a client. It’s all the things that were missing from the industry that if you aren’t a practicing virtual designer, you wouldn’t know were absent from the process. Our ecosystem of designers and educational tools and mentorship allows designers to connect, learn, and grow their own business without having to rely on other large corporations or platforms to earn money. Setting ourselves up for success in the future is the best thing we can do for our business at this time, best of luck to you!