The rise of online platforms and the ever-expanding influence of social media has completely changed the way we approach business. In this day and age, if you don’t have an online profile, you’re missing out on a whole host of prospective clients.
Don’t be put off by the forward march of the technological revolution. On the contrary, if you’re in industries such as architecture or design, where visual content is particularly important, these sites can be a godsend.
Case in point: Houzz. This incredibly useful website provides a platform on which you can share your designs, hone your creativity and get directly in touch with people who could benefit from your services. The best news? It’s free! So, if you’re not already making the most of Houzz, read on to find out how you can start tapping into its significant potential.
Table of Contents
- What is Houzz?
- Who can (and should!) promote themselves on Houzz?
- How to win clients on Houzz
- Embrace the power of online social platforms
What is Houzz?
Houzz is an online community created for anyone interested in home improvement and renovation—be they professionals or enthusiasts. The homepage encourages visitors to “Get inspired. Shop products. Find pros.” And judging from the amount of activity on the site, it’s clear that many people are! In fact, Houzz boasts 14 different global sites and currently welcomes 40 million users a month. Not too shabby!
When browsing Houzz, you’ll find a plethora of inspiration and advice in the form of portfolios, ideabooks, professional profiles, message boards and more. Adding your work to the site and getting involved in the community is a really effective way of increasing your online presence and thus building awareness of your brand. Plus, while you’re there, you can keep an eye on what your contemporaries (ahem, competitors) are up to!
Who can (and should!) promote themselves on Houzz?
We don’t have to tell you that ‘home improvement and renovation’ covers a wide range of services, products and skills. There are plenty of people out there who would benefit from having a profile on Houzz—be you an architect who specializes in large, modern builds, or a craftsman with a penchant for tiny glass coffee tables.
If you have a product or skill that people can use to improve their homes, you’re missing out by not promoting yourself on this platform. If pushed to be specific, we’d say it’s particularly useful if you’re an architect, home builder, kitchen fitter or interior designer.
To see what Houzz could do for your personal business, check out the story of Andrew from APD Interiors, below:
How to win clients on Houzz
So, now that you’re convinced Houzz is worth your time, let’s get stuck in to how you actually go about using it effectively. The most important thing to remember is that this should not be viewed as a purely money-making endeavor. Yes, some extra cash could be a nice perk once you’ve created a strong presence, but your initial goal should be to add value to the community while becoming an authority in your field. Once you’ve achieved this status, the benefits will become very apparent.
The first thing on your Houzz ‘to do’ list is to create your professional profile. This basically acts as your shop front, so make sure it is both enticing and impressive. If you’re not sure how to present yourself in the best possible light, take a look at some of the existing profiles on the site that are doing well. There’s no harm in copying a few of their tactics!
Think about what represents your brand: include high-quality images of your work, details of recent projects and maybe even awards or testimonials, if you have them. Once your profile is complete, don’t see it as done and dusted—you need to re-visit it regularly, to make sure it’s fresh and up-to-date.
There is also the option of a Houzz Pro+ account, which includes advertising tools. Before seeing dollar signs and jumping at this opportunity, find out how well the free version works for you first. Give yourself time to really perfect your profile and successfully engage with the community. This will give you a basis for comparison, should you choose to access the paid features later.
Showcase your work
One of the great things about Houzz is that it gives you the opportunity to make your work accessible to a large audience. So, make the most of it! Utilize images that really show off your skills and present the full spectrum of what you are able to achieve. When uploading pictures, use keyword tags (based on the kind of thing your target clients would be searching for) to label them. This should increase your visibility and make it easier for people to find your work.
You can also have fun creating ideabooks, which are a bit like Houzz’s take on Pinterest boards. An ideabook is a collection of sources like photos, stories, professional profiles and discussions. Aim to create collections that stick to a specific theme or project, e.g – ‘Scandi style living rooms’.
Ideabooks are a great way to organise your own creative thoughts and show other people what you can do. Don’t be afraid to include the work of others, too! Once they’re assembled, you have the option of sharing them privately with specific clients, or making them public. The latter is a really useful way to build your brand identity.
While you’re at it, have a flick through the ideabooks of other professionals whose work you admire—there’s inspiration to be found all over Houzz!
Share your knowledge
Once you’ve established a presence on Houzz, make your voice heard. Comment on the work of others (keep it positive and polite), help fellow professionals by leaving reviews on services you’ve tried and respond to any user questions aimed at you in a timely manner. Being useful and not too self-promoting is the best way to make yourself a valuable member of the community.
Anther great area where you can join in the conversation is on the discussion boards. Filter the topics based on your expertise and start dishing out advice where you can. Again, don’t be too much of a know-it-all, just let people know you can be a source of help. It goes without saying that you should keep it professional and friendly at all times.
The more your name pops up in these various discussions, the more people will notice you and, by extension, your work. This process lays the groundwork from which you can gain a following of people who appreciate your designs or products. As is the case with social media, the Houzz platform thrives when users both give and take.
Embrace the power of online social platforms
We hope this guide showed you just how valuable a platform like Houzz could be to your business. Why overlook a free tool that can help you both personally (organise your ideas and gain inspiration) and professionally (increase your online presence and gain new clients)? Plus, it’s easy to use and opens you up to a wide range of professional opportunities. What’s not to love?!
For more industry tips and advice on how to make the most of your work, check out the rest of the Scan2CAD blog.
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