Why Interior Designers Don’t Get Business from Instagram

Are you constantly thinking about what to post on Instagram and panic if you don’t feel like you have enough - good - content? I know this is the case for a lot of interior designers. On the weekly calls I have with the members of my Design PR Insider Membership, Instagram comes up almost every week in some shape or form. How often should I post? Do I need to do videos and reels? Why don’t I get more engagement? Does it make sense to hire someone to help with my Instagram? And so on.

It’s a real issue for many interior designers. And since I am always keen on providing solutions for my clients on anything that relates to their marketing and PR struggles, I love to learn from other experts in the industry. There is so much out there, and podcast have become one of the main ways that make it easy to get really good information from top authorities in any industry. (Now, if only the days had more hours so you could listen to them all, right?!)

I am here to provide a bit of a shortcut to a recent one I loved and direct you to a specific episode of the The Kate Show that I found enlightening. It’s called 3 Reasons Luxury Interior Designers Don't Get Clients from Instagram, and she lays out a very convincing case of why all the attention and effort interior designers put into Instagram may be misguided, especially for interior designers in the luxury space. 

That is not to say that there is no place for Instagram. In reality, interior designers need a solid and current presence on social media - but not necessarily to attract clients. The podcast lists detailed demographics of the people who use Instagram, and it quickly becomes evident that most of them are not in an income bracket that could afford an interior designer, and certainly not a high-end one.

Consider that the top three interests of Instagram users are travel, music, and food and drink. For interior designers who want to do well on Instagram, this means they have to use much more of a lifestyle angle to generate engagement. What also works well is an aspirational angle where you help and give tips to people who can’t afford an interior designer.

My favorite part of the podcast is where Kate says: “Because you likely won't get clients from social media, let's adjust your goals. Your goals for social media should be: 1) to indicate that you are open for business, 2) to share photos of your work, and most importantly, 3) to share the story of your brand. This can be done by sharing photos of yourself, your family, your team, and behind-the-scenes shots or videos. You don't need to post more than once per week, and you don't need to worry about reels, stories, or live videos unless you enjoy doing those things.”

And it gets even better when she continues:

”Rather than throwing money at boosted posts and social ads, invest in a long-term relationship with a PR firm, while also pursuing referral partnerships with other professionals who serve your ideal client as well.”

Now that we have established the importance of PR versus spending all your time and money on social media, I will say that having an active Instagram account with current posts that reflect your brand well is important for PR. Why? Because if you attract the attention of an editor, the first two places they will look for info on you and your business are 1) your website, and 2) your Instagram account.

That said, you have permission to stop chasing whatever lofty follower number you are pursuing on Instagram. Unless you intend to become a full-blown influencer, it is a vanity number that will do wonders for your ego but little for your business.

Here is the link to full The Kate Show podcast episode. Enjoy!

P.S. If you’ve developed more of an appetite for PR, now that you are armed with this new knowledge, but don’t know where to start, set up a complimentary 30-minute call with me.


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