Why this home stager will always be social
I’ve been thinking about writing a post about social media for a while. It doesn’t really come under the banner ‘home staging’ but I figured that many of you who read my blog are budding home stagers, have your own business or are interiors junkies like me.
When I set up my business nearly 3 years ago I knew that social media would have to play an integral part.
Integral firstly and luckily because I didn’t have any money to promote my business in any other way. I say luckily because traditional advertising doesn’t work if you are a home stager. The reason? Very few people know what a home stager is and what they do. The role requires explanation and conversation. An ad in the local paper wasn’t going to bring me business, nor was a listing in the yellow pages but I knew that social media could.
Leading on from this I feel strongly that home staging is for everyone – whether you are reading some tips on a blog that you can then action yourself or you pay for your whole vacant house to be staged, every property and owner can benefit from presenting their property in the best way. That’s why I often say that I’m in education first, that I need to teach people the importance of home staging, why it works and how to do it. I wanted to be seen as an expert in my area (home staging ) and my area (Brisbane). Social media is perfect for this. Whether it is a blog post, a quick #stagingtrick on twitter, a funny example of how not to stage on my facebook page or a behind the scenes shot of the furniture warehouse on Instagram.
Finally social media is a very visual medium which is fantastic for companies like mine that are selling something visual. A before and after picture of a house that I’ve staged shows people quickly what I’m capable of.
Plus, did I mention it was fun? Or that I’ve met online, and in real life too, so many fantastic people: other stagers, stylists, clients, industry experts, publications and people who refer business to me?
Here’s a quick low down of why I like each social media
- Twitter is great for sharing content such as links to interesting blogs or online articles
- Its a great way of following or chatting to industry experts. For example, I connected with Realestate.com through twitter and have since written blogs for them and appeared as a guest expert on their monthly #propchat
- Chatting and building relationships with a wide variety of people. Also finding out who won the X factor without having to watch : )
- Facebook drives me mad but I’m sticking with it as it brings me business and its the most known and used social media. Often a potential client will ‘stalk’ me for a while on Facebook before booking a consult. It makes sense from their point of view. They can get to know me before inviting me into their house.
- It’s all about pictures on facebook so its a great place for me to share a picture of a room I’ve styled or a rug that would look great when staging a house.
- Linkedin has more of a business focus. Agents, if they are on social media, are usually found here so its a good place to connect with them.
- Linkedin also has good groups of like minded people. I’m a member of a staging group and a couple of real estate groups. A community within a community if you like.
- I love to blog and blog with WordPress. It helps me get my ideas clear and motivates me to learn more about a given subject. I love that, after reading my blogs, homeowners have learnt how to stage their property to sell. If they call me for a consult that’s even better!
- Blogging consistently gives me a lot of content to share through other social media and helps position me as an expert.
- Once I started blogging I was asked to be a Guest blogger. This has generated more traffic and business for my company.
- Pinterest is my online scrapbook of so many things for example:
- I also use Pinterest for my clients when sourcing items for them (after a home staging or re-design consult). They get their own board full of items to buy and they can add to the board too. Here’s a recent example
- Instagram is my current favourite. If you love interiors and styling there are 1000’s of hugely talented and generous people posting the most amazing stream of pictures onto Instagram. I’ve met so many amazing people this way
So…what’s my social media strategy?
Well, because this is my business I don’t have to have one! – don’t you think strategy sounds way too corporate anyway? The reason I no longer work in advertising is so that I don’t have to sit around in boardrooms wearing my high heels and my lanyard and talking about a social media strategy! That said I do have some principles:
1. Be consistent
2. Chat, comment, get involved, be generous. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your mum overhearing (I did this once and I won’t be doing it again. Tough lesson learned)
3. Share stuff that’s interesting to your followers. Don’t just talk about me me me! This is not a hard push. It’s more of a gradual drawing in. As an aside – Real estate agents are one of the worst culprits on social media of what I call the ‘check out my listing’ mentality. I would LOVE to get my hands on their social media but that’s another job for another day!
And finally the BIG question. Does it work?
Look, I’m not big on stats – I’m more of a qualitative rather than quantitative type of girl. However I’ve lost count of the times clients have said to me “I’ve been reading your blog and…” “I’ve followed you for a while on Facebook and…” “I’ve just referred you to X” or “could you write me a guest post” or “I saw your board on pinterest and…”
So, for me, it works. Yes it takes time but apart from an ill fated foray into google adwords it has been FREE… and a LOT of fun
I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane. I would love to connect with you on Social media. Just click on the icons in this post.
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