Tip 9: Marketing on a Shoestring

by debra on June 4, 2018

Clients can’t hire you unless they’re aware of your services. You might be the most talented stager, but without marketing no one will know how to find you.

This is one of the reasons many stagers struggle after taking home staging courses that only teach them about color wheels and where to put the furniture.

Success in home staging is all about how to run a profitable business, and marketing is a cornerstone of that.

So how do you go about marketing yourself, especially when you want to do it on a shoestring?

That was certainly my situation when I started my own staging business as a single mom. I needed to “make a splash” and get noticed, yet I had no budget for advertising.

Fortunately because of my years in marketing, I knew better than to waste funds on newspaper ads and door-to-door flyers (techniques used by many stagers who don’t know any better).

Here’s why those approaches don’t work

Prospective clients have to see your name 7-10 times before they even notice you because of the overload of information and ads coming at them all day.

That’s why unless you can afford to buy ads on a regular basis, a one-time investment is not going to get you many customers.

And a flyer in their mailbox?

Virtually all the people who get it will send it straight to the garbage or recycling bin. Statistically speaking, you’d have to distribute 1000 flyers for even one person to keep it and call you.

I’ve written many articles about marketing in the Home Staging Business Report. One of my favorites is about a Staging Diva Grad (and former member of the US Air Force) who started her business while working full-time and raising her kids. (You’ll find a link to her story in the PS at the bottom of this message.)

She hosted a personal tour for neighbors after staging her own home, a creative and no cost way to get exposure in her area.

One of the ways I got clients early on was answering decorating questions at a local Mom’s Group meeting. Another, was convincing a local realtor to feature me in her own advertising. I also donated a home staging consultation to a silent auction for the local school.

These efforts cost nothing, gave me tons of exposure, and helped position me as a staging expert— even when I was brand new in my business.

Using my marketing expertise, I also gained a lot of media attention in magazines, newspapers and even HGTV. This really got my name out there in a bigger way than I ever could have done on my own.

Staging Diva Grads have copied these techniques and had great success. I’ve seen them in magazine articles and on TV too.

Here’s another thing to consider.

You can bypass that 7 to 10 rule I mentioned earlier, if your marketing message is in front of people at the precise time they’re looking to hire a stager.

(It’s kind of like how you don’t really notice makes and models of cars on the road until you’re ready to buy one.)

Imagine someone is tossing and turning at night worried about how to get their house ready for sale. They go online and search “Home staging .”

Would your staging business come up in their search results?

You can build your own website using services like SquareSpace or WIX, but having a website isn’t enough.

You have to also “optimize” your website for search engines. This means making a website that not only appeals to your human customers, but Google’s robots too.

One of the easiest ways to get found by Google (without any technical expertise) is to have your web presence on an already established website.

That way you don’t need to start from scratch.

One example is the the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, which all Staging Diva Graduates have the opportunity to join. When you search for “directory of home stagers” on Google, my graduate directory is at the top of the first page.

Being part of the Staging Diva Directory is a great alternative to building your own costly website, as it gives you a professional web presence complete with all the important portfolio elements I discussed in the Tip 8 email you received a few days ago.

Course 4 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program delves deeper into all things marketing, including tailoring your marketing message, reaching your 4 key target audiences, marketing on the Internet and more.

Best regards,

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President, Voice of Possibility Group Inc.

P.S. Read this story about how Staging Diva Grad Kasia McDaniel shocked her neighbors.

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