Are you passionate about design and love transforming spaces into beautiful dreamscapes? As an interior designer, building an extensive professional network is essential to achieving success in the industry — regardless of whether you’re working for a company or have your own business. The connections you forge can provide opportunities for growth, help you expand your portfolio, and ultimately land you that dream job. In this blog post, we’ll run through the essential connections you need to make it as an interior designer.
Colleagues and Mentors
Networking with other interior designers and industry experts is an incredible way to gain insights into the industry, obtain advice, and make new friends. Meeting peers and mentors provides opportunities to share experiences and knowledge, learn new techniques, and collaborate on projects. Ultimately this enhances your portfolio and boosts your profile as an up-and-coming interior designer — which may be invaluable as you start out.
Suppliers and Manufacturers
Building good relationships with suppliers such as furniture manufacturers, wholesalers, and fabric houses is key. This gives you the chance to receive sample products, get insider knowledge on new stock, and gain an understanding of how products are produced. Whether you need access to trade furniture or you want to purchase items on account, these relationships will be key. Plus, this can all be incredibly valuable for presenting ideas and concepts to your clients when working on your projects.
As an interior designer, your clients are your most important connection. Satisfying their needs and building a strong relationship can ultimately lead to references and recommendations for more work in the future. So, you’ll need a strong Rolodex to start building up your portfolio and expanding your client base. Then, keep in touch with them after each project, send them updates on new ideas, and show them that you care about their needs continually.
It’s also a great idea to engage with the local design community by attending events, trade shows, and conferences. This engagement allows you to exchange knowledge and ideas with others in the industry, showcase your skills and gain exposure. Overall, you’ll find that this could lead to new design work projects or even allow you to position yourself as more of an authority.
And finally, you’re also going to want to use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too. Here you can start showcasing your skills as well as creating an online portfolio of the work you can do. Take advantage of available hashtags, DM other interior designers, events, and publications you’ve followed, or refer and create meaningful connections.
Making it as an Interior Designer
As an interior designer, building a valuable network of colleagues, mentors, suppliers, clients, and using different social media platforms can provide essential advantages in the industry. With the right connections, you will expand your knowledge, gain valuable insights, and receive referrals. Ultimately, this will allow you to build the reputation and profile that will allow you to have lasting success in your interior design career.