How To Use Houzz To Market Your Design-Build Firm

Design-Build Professionals are Finding Clients and Getting Business Using Houzz For Marketing

Design-Build Professionals are Finding Clients and Getting Business Using Houzz For Marketing

Houzz has enjoyed a rapid ascendancy within the built environment world. It offers people interested in a new home improvement project the opportunity to browse millions of images uploaded by professionals, who are eager to show off their latest work. Houzz is an avenue for prospective clients to connect with design-build professionals for advice and tips. The goal of providing construction or design advice is to encourage the sharing of your images, being featured in search results and ultimately, to nurture leads into customers.
Houzz profiles, images, project descriptions and direct engagement serves prospects information on a range of needs. It is often used by people researching a new home or kitchen and bath remodel, people seeking advice on design. Houzz is a proven marketing platform for marketing and advertising. They have seen tremendous growth in users that have resulted in more than 46 million unique visitors each month.

So the question remains: If you're a design-build professional that's not using Houzz, why? Why not tap into the potential resource that can put your work in front of 46 million unique visitors each month? Houzz has the power to drive visitors to your website. This will help your sites page rank on Google search engine results pages.  So even if you're not enthralled about yet another "social media opportunity", you should certainly use Houzz for the SEO bump.  The following is an eight-step outline on how to use Houzz into a marketing tool for your firm.

Create a Complete Houzz Profile Page

Your Houzz profile tells potential clients a lot about who you are. And just as you design your website to reflect your design values, consider doing the same for your Houzz profile. This will include your company name, a brief description of you and your work, the services you offer to clients, and any certifications or awards you may have won.
Social media is always a balance to between informational and promotional material, and it's a good idea to go easy on self-promotion. That said, make sure you let your potential consumers know about your greatest achievements, as those may certainly influence their ultimate choice. (Houzz's popularity, of course, has attracted vast droves of designers. As a result, increasing the competition for consumer attention.)

Add As Many Projects as You Can. Post 10-12 Images in Each

As a design-build contractor, you need great photography to illustrate your value. It's easy for you to show your clients what you're capable of, rather than to try to explain it with words. There are some basics to uploading images for Houzz. From a technical standpoint, make sure you images are high quality. This means large file sizes with high resolution so that users can appreciate every detail.
Quality also has another connotation—professional-caliber photography. Remember, you're competing against millions of other images, and poorly taken photos are a quick way to weed your efforts out of consumer minds, no matter how great your design. Professional photography may be a sound investment for your business. If that's out of reach, spend some time learning how to improve your skills.
When choosing which photos to upload, make sure you focus on your core style. While you can certainly include the full range of your work, you'll do better by focusing in on your niche. It goes without saying that you shouldn't include any work you're not especially proud of, just to add images or diversity to your profile.

Create Ideabooks to Craft Your Design Narrative 

Idea books give you the ability to establish themes and narrative for your work. If you're already on Pinterest, you'll find that idea books are similar to Pinterest boards. While users ultimately curate their own collection of favorite images, idea books are your opportunity to present an enduring creative vision for potential clients.
By creating an idea book, you better the chance of having a visitor engage with more than a single photo from your work. If they find a photo they love and learn it's connected to a bigger idea book, they're much more likely to spend time browsing your work and learning more about your exquisite style and creative genius.

Join The Conversation and Be The Go-To Firm For Answers

Houzz is, after all, a social network. You can't expect to stand idly by and wait for the prospect to fall into your lap.Houzz offers plenty of opportunities for engagement, and this is certainly where you'll want to focus on being informational, not promotional. It's also your chance to become a thought, leader.
To join the conversation, contribute to ongoing discussions within Houzz, offering professional advice for those working out the designs in their heads. Adding value to a conversation will build your credibility and, down the line, open doors to promotional opportunities.
If you're answering a question that you've answered many times for other clients, it's perfectly fine to make a note of your experience to add authority to your opinion. That way, you're blending the informational and promotional content, which should make everyone happy.

Build Your Houzz Network By Reaching Out To Others

Engaging in conversations is one way to build your network on Houzz. The other is through following relevant brands or other professional you admire or work with. This can help consumers understand your taste and aesthetic and also softens your presence on the site, showing you're about more than just self-promotion.
Speaking of which: Promote, Promote, Promote
Like all platforms, Houzz works best when connected with other social media outlets. If you're already active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, make sure you let your followers know that they can find you on Houzz, too.
If you send automated emails as part of a marketing campaign, be sure to include a link to your Houzz profile. Likewise, you can include Houzz among your social media links on your website. For your print products, like business cards or promotional catalogs, noting your Houzz presence can help capture traffic through other channels as well.

Encourage Client Reviews Early and Often

Customer reviews continue to be vital to online commerce. From Yelp to TripAdvisor to Amazon, a five-star review can be the difference for consumers when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
You can harness that power through your Houzz profile with customer reviews. Do not encourage reviews on projects that didn't go well. Reviews from happy customers can build a tremendous amount of confidence in the mind of a Houzz user who has never had the opportunity to meet you or see your work in person.
In all likelihood, your customers will be most enthralled at the completion of a project. If you have the opportunity, bringing along an iPad at final completion can provide a quick way for you to offer an immediate opportunity to review. If that's not a plausible option, an email follow-up is good chance to request the favor. If they love your work, they likely won't mind a bit!

Stay Active on Houzz, The More Time Spent Interacting, The Better

One of the challenges with entering another social media platform is upkeep. And while we'd like to tell you that Houzz is a set-it-and-forget-it option, it's not. (Nor is Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or any other aspect of your digital marketing presence.) Staying active by joining discussions and answering questions is the best way to build brand awareness about your design-build firm and move the needle toward sales from your Houzz account.

In short, the more often you contribute, the more you'll get back. If you're not yet a big brand on Houzz, consider engaging by offer compliments on other designs from more well-known firms. That way, users will draw connections between your work and that of the most admired designers on Houzz. Obviously, you may not want to reach out to your nearest competitors, but you get the idea.

There are no shortcuts in the digital marketing age. And, if things get overwhelming, there are professionals who have dedicated their work lives to helping design-build firms get noticed online and translating that awareness into revenue. Houzz is critical because it operates in your niche. Unlike Twitter or LinkedIn, popular but generic platforms, Houzz is the specific source that millions of users rely on every year for design ideas and answers.
Whether or not you decide to join Houzz, the conversations on the site will still take place. Users will find a design image they love, and they will get professional answers to the questions that are central to their home improvements. That's why it's critical that you get started building your own Houzz profile today. It's your opportunity to be that design, to be that answer. And the more often your work or words assuage consumer pain, the more likely you are to be the answer when they, too, want professional help to manage their experience.

About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems. 

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