Architects & Designers: 5 Steps To Boost Your Marketing With Houzz
Houzz is an amazing marketing tool for architects, interior designers, and other professionals in the home and construction field. Not only can it generate a significant boost for your traffic, but also get you new projects and clients.
To get you started today, we put together a simple 5 step plan:
Step 1) Create a Professional Houzz Profile
There are over 400,000 professionals in more than 60 categories on Houzz. Therefore, you want to make sure your profile is the best representation of your business!
So go ahead and sign up for a profile right here. Go ahead, I will wait.
Be prepared to fill out the form in its entirety. There are a few things you should keep in mind when setting up your profile:
- Be as specific as possible. It is impossible to stand out among 400,000 other professionals if everyone just lists architecture in "Services Provided" and calls it a day. If you focus entirely on commercial architecture, say it. A great example is Cornerstone Architects who specialize in "Luxury residential, commercial and multifamily architectural design services"
- Link to your website. Although this will not create a back link to your website, it will help interested searches gather more information about you. If you do not have a website yet, you should invest in one - but until then Houzz allows you to build one with their website builder.
- Use long-tail keywords. Think about the words you use to describe your business, your area and your style. Are those the words your clients use? Do not use technical lingo if your clientele would not use them to search for you.
- Write a detailed business description. Houzz offers you a great tool to write about yourself. Well actually, the business description should not be about you, but more about what you can do for your client. What can they expect when working with you? What is so special about your business or your approach to design?
- Use a professional-looking photo. You do not have to splurge on a photographer session just to get a great head shot. Have someone stand on a chair and photograph you with a good camera in natural day light looking slightly up. Take a few shots and edit them if needed with Picasa or PicMonkey.
Step 2) Create Projects and Upload Photos
Houzz is the largest database of home-related pictures out there with more than 3 million HD photos.
Navigate to "Upload" right next to your profile picture on the top right.
Houzz allows you to show off your skills in a portfolio, called projects. A project is basically a collection of photos of your past clients or if you are a manufacturer of furniture etc. you can upload several photos to showcase your work.
To create a new project, choose under Project Description > Project and choose "Create a New Project" in the drop down box. Choose a project name and choose a category and one of the 14 provided styles.
- Follow the Houzz guidelines: You can only post great quality photos of residential spaces, your pictures need to be larger than 1000 pixels wide and in the format of JPEG, GIF, PNG, or 1-Page TIFF file formats. The website has a stringent manual review process and your photos will not be posted if they do not meet the guidelines.
- Enter long-tail keywords. Using specific phrases helps you target the searchers who are interested in exactly what you have to offer. Houzz will even suggest frequently used keywords for you. Avoid broad terms like sofa and use phrases like mid-century modern sofa.
- Link to your project on your website. There is nothing more frustrating to a user than being sent to your home page after finding an awesome project that they are really interested in learning more about. Leverage your blog or portfolio section of your website to go in more depth to showcase your work and then link from your Houzz photos directly to the project blog post or portfolio entry on your website.
- Describe your image. After uploading your image, you can give it a description. Make sure to spend a few minutes as this will help your prospects learn more about you and your work as well as Houzz's search algorithm to learn what they are all about.
Step 3) Get the word out!
There are many ways to let people know about your Houzz profile. Select "Your Houzz", on the top right, and click on your picture. This will bring you to your Houzz dashboard.
In the dashboard you can click on the Invite your Friends to reach out to any interested contacts and share your profile on other social media channels.
Other ways to get your Houzz profile some exposure:
- Embed your idea books on your website. Houzz allows to easily create an embed code to use on your website. Just follow the instructions after you clicked on "Embed on Your Site".
- Search for current and former clients as well as other professionals you work with. Follow them, take part in their discussions, like their ideabooks, and ask them for a review (more on that in a minute).
- Add a Houzz Badge to your website. You can easily create a badge or embed your profile on your website here. This will create trust and shows professionalism.
- Link Houzz to your Facebook Business Page. On the same page, you can install the Houzz Facebook Page Tab which will install an app in your Facebook page.
- Add a link to your email signature. Give your prospects easy access to your website and social media profiles by embedding a clickable link in your signature.
Step 4) Be helpful and give advice.
One big advantage of Houzz is that it brings over 23 million active users in contact with professionals and allows them to ask for advice. Show off your expertise by answering questions and responding to questions users have on your photos.
Navigate to "Advice" on the top right of your navigation. Here is where a lot of users come to get help for their design dilemmas or show off a recent piece they found.
You can filter the Advice posts by topic or by activity. Find some current posts where you could add value by offering your opinion. As a professional user you also have the option to ask other professionals for their opinion in the pro-to-pro corner.
Another great option for a professional is to show off your "Before and After" here. Just add your images, describe your project challenges and how you solved them. This will drive some traffic to you for sure.
Step 5) Ask for reviews
As the Annual Houzz survey confirmed, reviews are THE most important criteria for end users to select a professional. I cannot stress this point enough.
72% of people surveyed say they put as much trust in an online review as from a review from a person they know. (Search Engine Land)
But even more than that, reviews on Houzz will increase your visibility and your exposure to potential clients.
Reach out to your network or clients and other professionals asking them in a personal email to review you. (If you need help you can download our "Please Review Me" Email Template.)
You can email them directly from your email application, such as Outlook with your business email or you can start the process from Houzz directly. If you send the email to your clients or other pros make sure you include the link to the page where they can review you.
If you are using Houzz to submit your review request, the system triggers an email including a link.
After any review is written, it will be submitted to the Houzz team for approval. As I mentioned before, Houzz has very strict guidelines. They only allow respectful, fact-oriented reviews that include complete descriptions of 20 words or more. Once approved, you will be notified via email and the review will be visible on your profile.
Bottom line: Houzz Is An Effective Marketing Tool for Architects, Interior Designers and Other Professionals
At this point you probably feel that all this is a lot of work and you wonder: Is this really worth it? Will I see any return for all the time I put in this?
Let me introduce you to three very successful Houzz pros.
I have received six projects thanks to Houzz in under five months. Clients tell me they have seen my work on the site and want to talk about their project ideas. - Ben Herzog, Architect
Houzz has been great for my business. Six of my clients hired me for projects after seeing me on Houzz. One of these clients is having me design the kitchen and all the bathrooms in her 5,500 square-foot home. - Toni Sabatino, Kitchen and Bath Designer
99% of my business comes from Houzz – I don’t know where I’d be without it, especially as a young entrepreneur. The jobs I receive are all incredible clients to work with, who found me through the local professionals directory on Houzz. I owe my livelihood to Houzz! - Allison Jaffe, Interior Design LLC
I hope this inspires you to create a Houzz profile and have some fun doing it.