30th August 2022 | IN DESIGN STUDENTS | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn As with many industries, networking is an essential part of interior design business. Meeting other experts who work in the same industry can be inspiring and good for your career, as well as positively impact the projects you produce. You should never turn away a chance to meet with other industry professionals or interior designers, particularly if you are interested in similar sectors, styles and ideas. Make Industry Contacts Interior design may be centred around the design, but ultimately, you will need to be able to make that design a reality to bring your ideas to life. The procurement and specification of a project involves multiple overlapping trades, industries, and suppliers including furniture retailers, realtors, general contractors, as well as skilled craftsmen. When you need help with implementing a design idea, you should have access to the best people in the industry to consult with. They could help you source suitable materials, design lighting schemes, build bespoke furniture, install fixtures compliantly and much more. It’s essential to have these people in your contact list so you can reach out whenever you need their specialist advice to support in your project development. Our interior design supplier directory is a great place to start if you’re looking to build on your network of industry specialists with approved suppliers committed to excellence and best practice. Improve Your Networking While what you know is important, who you know can be just as valuable in the interior design profession. It’s essential you take advantage of the wealth trade shows and networking events across the design industry. This active engagement will help you keep your finger on the pulse with the latest trends, products and innovations to help you discover new ideas for your designs. The Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) work to create various networking opportunities with accredited trade suppliers, through delivering CPD training or hosting showroom talks, tours and other activities. This could help you make new connections to enhance your projects in a more relaxed and informal setting. Not sure how you can boost your networking? Before anything else, you need to perfect your pitch. If someone asks what you do or what you’re working on, what’s your answer? You should be able to tell them in one or two sentences to keep it concise and appealing. Learn more about elevator pitches if you want to really leverage this. Leverage Online Media It’s no surprise that social media has become a valuable tool to help you reach wider audiences in a cost-effective way. The rise in online media consumption directly impacts the way prospective clients might be searching for your services. You should be making full use of relevant social media channels to grow your online presence, including LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and more. While it can be tempting to post everywhere – it’s important to understand your capabilities and consider which platforms are the best for your particular business. Think about where your ideal clients are and what content they are most likely to engage with! Social media is a wonderful way to reach new people, increase enquiries and showcase what you do in a visual and creative way. Create Referral Programs A referral program allows other people or companies to recommend you and your services. If you get the job, you can provide incentives through payment or some sort of reward that benefits both parties. This is an effective way to encourage people to help you out and build a pipeline for your business in a way that is mutually beneficial. Join Organisations Being a part of an organisation for your industry can be a quick way to connect with the wider professional community and meet other like minded interior designers or new suppliers to specify. Joining a professional body also brings a host of other industry benefits which you can utilise to promote your practice, access exclusive events, as well as support your career and business development. SBID’s designer directory acts as a valuable search engine to help those seeking interior design services find and discover proven professionals for their project needs! Networking is key in most businesses, but it is particularly important in the evolving world of interior design. Get started now by applying to join the Society of British and International Interior Design.