Best Ways to Land a Freelance Interior Design Job
When you get right down to it, freelance is largely about networking. Of course, you first need to have strong interior design skills and knowledge. From there though, the key to finding and landing regular freelance interior design jobs is making and strengthening connections. With that in mind, here are four tips that can help you establish your freelance interior design business.
1. Make the first move.
As a freelancer, you can’t wait around to be approached. You’ve got to take action. First, tell your personal, academic, and professional networks that you’ve started a freelance business and you’re looking for clients. Even if you think there’s zero chance that they’ll have freelance interior design jobs for you, they may know someone else who does (now or in the future). Remember to also always carry business cards in case you meet someone who could be interested in using or recommending your services. It’s always best to be prepared!
Another move is to let local design firms know that you’re a skilled professional looking for freelance interior design jobs. Keep in contact with these companies, and hopefully when they need an extra hand on a project, they’ll turn to you.
2. Be easy to find online.
Say someone you meet loses your contact details. What happens when they Google your name? (Check this using your browser’s incognito or private mode to see less biased results.) Your online website and portfolio featuring your past freelance interior design jobs should be among the first results. To boost your site in the rankings, keep updating it regularly and add content with relevant industry and localized keywords. Be sure to include an about section describing your interior design skills and experience. At the very least, every portfolio piece should have a title, a city and state, and a project summary.
If having a common name has pushed you down in the rankings, check whether someone who searches your name plus “interior design” can find you. If not, consider giving your business a unique name that people can remember and that makes you easier to find online.
3. Build your brand on social media. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest can be a great tool for promoting your expertise and making important connections. For starters, always present yourself professionally and make sure your contact info and portfolio link is visible on these sites. When you meet people at industry events, land a new client, or meet local business owners, connect with and message that person on social to make a lasting impression and sustain your new connection. Even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate interior design freelance job, it might in the future.
As for marketing yourself on social, create a plan and stick to it! Share something every day—whether it’s your latest work, your opinion on a new industry trend, or an article you found insightful—or engage in a conversation with others in the interior design field.
4. Delight your clients.
Making your clients happy is one of the best ways to get new freelance interior design jobs. First, there’s the chance of your client becoming a repeat customer. Second, if your client loves the interior design work you did, they’ll recommend you to others at every opportunity. Both of those scenarios means more work for you, without time spent on marketing or business development.
If you know you have a satisfied client, ask to use them for a reference or testimonial. Adding quotes from satisfied customers to your online portfolio can add credibility and help you stand out. While it’s important to demonstrate in your portfolio that you can produce beautiful work, a good customer testimonial can reveal that you’re reliable, personable, and able to customize solutions to customers’ needs—skills a picture just can’t show.
If you’re interested in an interior design career, explore our online programs at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division to learn how we can help you prepare.