In today’s digital age, savvy interior designers have multiple revenue streams because one on one interior design is time intensive. Here are several other revenue streams you can set up that bring dollars in the door; just be sure you get the set up right.
True passive income streams for interior designers can be made to run on autopilot. I’ll address them in the next post. These secondary revenue streams can be created on your own, include your team, or you can outsource expert help. These streams are designed to deliver quick revenues with less effort than full scale one on one projects.
Before diving in, assess which revenue streams really resonate with you and fit in with your current interior design practice. Then, select just one to focus on, establish, and build before diving into more. Trying to do too much will set you up for failure instead of success, and scattered focus is a creative’s greatest challenge.
#1 Revenue Streams: Digital Interior Design
Digital design is about delivering your design talent online without the benefit of meeting a client face to face or physically seeing their space. Instead, they send you pictures, measurements and more and you provide degrees of design services.
Rates on this range from less than $100 per room to $5K and up per room. Quality, style, and what the consumer gets vary widely as well. Determining your target market clearly is the key to making this work well. While it may be the same as your local market only long distance, it is often those who can’t afford your highest level of service. You’ll also attract do-it-yourselfers seeking expert guidance, recommendations, plans, and a shopping list.
In order to save yourself time and maximize impact and income, create a tight process and specific deliverable. You want to produce these efficiently and capture rave reviews.
#2 Revenue Streams: Product Licensing for Interior Design Product
Have you designed custom pieces of furniture, rugs, accents, mirrors or other design elements and had other clients clamoring for the same pieces? Licensing will take your creative genius out to the larger market. Your best route to this revenue stream is to hire a licensing agent and explore your options.
It may feel like you are setting up a new business, not just a new stream. You’ll need to brand a look, create collections and more. Your licensing agent will direct you to best fit manufacturers. Marketing will be a joint effort between you and your licensing agent and partner. They rely on your brand impact, influence and reputation to sell more product.
#3 Revenue Streams: Ecommerce
With ecommerce you aren’t usually manufacturing your own product, but instead you are reselling product. Product may come from either home furnishings or antique wholesalers. Alternatively, you find unique pieces on your travels, at auction, estate sales, or antique shows and having them made over (think Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper.”)
Ecommerce can be time consuming and costly to set up. And it isn’t as simple as build it and they will come, instead you’ve got to actively market your online shop and advertise strategically to drive traffic, social media is also a key tool to leverage.
#4 Revenue Streams: Influencer/Brand Ambassador
If you’ve got a significant expert presence online, whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter, there are brands who will pay you to be the face of their marketing. It’s called “influencer marketing” and can take place by blog, at in person events, on video, by podcast, by live stream, or by social media campaigns.
You’ll need a specific media kit with the details of your audience (fans and followers) on each network and their demographics. The brands want to clearly understand your reach and impact. You can make from a couple of hundred dollars a month to a few thousand depending on your level of influence.
#5 Revenue Streams: Specialty Consultations
Specialty consultations can be an effective way to get an income boost or create a baseline revenue stream each month. Select a type of design that you love and are particularly good at. It could be color consultations for either the interior or exterior of the home, or both. You may be particularly talented at art placement and accessory display. Or, you might be a wizard with space planning and enjoy redesign with a client’s existing pieces. Any one of these and others can be packaged into a stand-alone consultation with a fixed fee on it.
Avoid competing head to head with all of the other full service interior designers in your market. And, at the same time, provide another path to getting you in the door for future projects and earning you revenue at the same time.
Incorporate a written report or plan as a tangible benefit to the client, not just your recommendations verbally. The more robust you make this, the more enticing it will be. Include a VIP savings certificate that you apply to full service work if they hire you within a specific time frame (never leave that without a deadline.)
The Wrap Up
Select just one of the revenue streams here and dive in. Get that entirely established and bringing revenue in before jumping into another stream. Share your talent more widely and be handsomely compensated at the same time, creating a win/win for you and your clients.
If you’re a design professional ready to add revenue streams, get your Red Hot Revenue Streams Complimentary Consultation HERE. You’ll know exactly which revenue stream is the right one for you and get the quick step by step on getting it launched. I’m Melissa Galt, an interior design business consultant and business coach for interior designers. I’ve been practicing design for over two decades and been an interior design business coach and consultant for over a decade. You want to earn more and I’m here to help you make that happen. Get your complimentary consultation here, can’t wait to meet you online!