How Designers Use Influencer Marketing to Grow Their Business

No doubt you’ve heard of influencer marketing. But do you know how to define it? What makes someone an influencer, who can become one, and how it can boost your design business? We asked Laiza Cors and Anne Sage, industry experts at influencer marketer agency Embello, which matches influencers in the design field with home brands, to break it down for us. Here, the two share their tips for harnessing the power of influencer marketing.

Photo courtesy of Light Lab, Photo by Jeff Mindell

Written by Elizabeth Brownfield

What is Influencer Marketing, Anyway?

“Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive brands’ message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, brands instead inspire, hire, and pay influencers to get the word out for them,” says Laiza. 

Whereas traditional marketing casts a wide net, influencer marketing (IM) can create a more authentic and organic brand campaign by tapping into an influencer’s niche audience.

IM might seem like the Wild West of marketing strategies, but in fact it’s big business. Here are the numbers: there are over 1 billion people on Instagram alone and 2.2 billion on Facebook. Pinterest has an audience of 200 million people, and YouTube boasts a staggering 1.9 billion. On average, we spend over 2.5 hours per day on these social media and messaging apps.

Considering how much time we spend on these various social media platforms, it’s no surprise that 86% of today’s marketers have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing. For every dollar brands spend on IM, they get an earned media value of 5.2. That means every dollar allocated to IM is 5 times more impactful than if dedicated to traditional forms of advertising.

Who Qualifies as an Influencer?

You might think you need an Instagram following of 100k or more to be considered an influencer. But Anne says a following of as little as 5,000 can be enough. In fact, she says a smaller audience is usually more engaged because each follower is likely one you earned, not bought. Interested? “Embrace the idea that you’re already an influencer and start acting like one,” Anne advises. 

What Are the Benefits to My Design Business?

According to Laiza and Anne, IM can boost your interior design business by:

  • Creating and building relationships with brands
  • Growing your own social presence
  • Creating content; gaining access to new products and bigger budgets
  • Becoming a trusted source in your industry
  • Earning compensation 

How Do I Get Started?

To get to the moneymaking stage of IM, you first need to create a winning media kit that will inspire brands to pay you to endorse their products. 

Think of a media kit as a quick snapshot of why the brand should work with you. An agency like Embello will create one for you. But if you’re DIYing, your media kit should include:

  • Your name, front and center
  • A headshot
  • A punchy tag line about who you are and what you do
  • A longer, more detailed bio that allows your personality to shine through
  • All your social media accounts, blogs, etc., with stats and demographics
  • Sample work and any previous partnerships
  • Your contact information

Hopefully this primer has given you a good idea of how influencer marketing works, and how you can get started. For more tips from Laiza Cors and Anne Sage of the home-focused influencer marketer agency Embello — including how to price your work and best practices for working with brands, click here to watch the complete webinar.