The key to getting results from your online marketing efforts is to establish a presence where your prospects are. For architects, remodelers, landscape designers, interior designers, realtors and other design build professionals, the place to be is on Houzz.

Houzz is an online social network built around Pinterest’s visual board features. The social network connects interior design enthusiasts, architects and homeowners and attracts over 25 million monthly visitors. The social network is the biggest residential remodeling community online, with more than 90 percent of the members being homeowners rather than renters.

Did you get the catch phrase? More than 90 percent of the members are homeowners. These are people who have the power to decide whether to renovate or decorate their homes. They are simply customers-in-waiting.

As a home design services provider, you need to find a way to connect with these prospects and build your brand to close deals easily. In this guide, you will learn how to get started with Houzz, the best practices of using the social network, and how to enhance your brand and close sales.

So, let’s get into it.

Registering an Account

Like any other social network, you need to register to create a profile on Houzz. You can register using your email address or your Facebook account. After registration, it’s time to brand your page.

More than just being a social media platform, Houzz is also a business directory. Enter your contact details to make it easier for potential clients to contact you. Provide your website, telephone and postal address. Do not leave this information out of your account and hope a prospect will search for you on the Internet.

TIP: In addition to the address, include your location. This will get your profile ranked higher when homeowners search for local area designers.

Filling Your Profile

Houzz allows you to create a sales pitch on your profile on the profile description area. In this section, help prospects know more about your company by using your best copy. Provide an overview or history of your company and then indicate the services you offer, locations you serve, industry certifications and memberships to professional bodies.

Make it easy for your profile to be ranked high when prospects search for various keywords on Houzz. To enable this, include some target keywords in your profile description. For example, depending on the services you offer, you can include terms such as “spacious terrazzo tile bath,” “mid-century modern living space,” and so on. Keywords should be included in your profile copy in a manner that makes sense.

Strive to accomplish three things with the profile description: be found, be trusted and be hired.

Be found: In your profile description, use the keywords that prospects are likely to type on Houzz when searching for your services.

Be trusted: Provide a comprehensive description that indicates your services and highlights your successes.

Be hired: Have a call-to-action message inviting the prospect to take the next step. For example, you can end your profile description with: “Call us at (808) 697 6979 to discuss your design requirements.”

Branding Your Houzz Page

There are over 250,000 service providers registered at Houzz. All of them are competing for the attention of homeowners looking for various services. To catch the attention of the prospects, your profile should stand out from those of other service providers. You need to brand your page to improve your chances of closing deals.

Branding on Houzz mainly involves using unique images on your profile. Let’s get started.

i)  Upload a Profile Photo

Upload your personal photo as the profile picture of your page. Make sure the photo is clear and you look professional in it. Ideally, the image should be from the shoulders up, and balanced to occupy two-thirds of the size of the photo.

Avoid using your company logo for the profile picture. Buying is all about trust. It is easy to trust a person after seeing his/her picture than one whose photo is a logo. Prospects like the see the faces behind the Houzz profiles they are interested in. Using your logo or a different picture can increase the connection barrier between prospects and you.

Takeaway: Since you already have your company name on the profile, reserve the profile picture for your personal photo.

ii)  Upload your Portfolio

Houzz allows you to upload photos of your portfolio in the Ideabooks and Projects.

Use the Ideabooks and Projects to show prospects your prowess in design. You can upload photos of concepts or projects you have been involved in. Create different albums for different projects. The photos on your Ideabooks can be bookmarked and saved by other designers or prospects that visit your profile.

When a photo in your Ideabooks is bookmarked, it links back to your profile. Therefore, prospects will be able to find you easily should they need a project similar to what they bookmarked in your Ideabooks.

Use high quality photos on your profile. This will improve your chances of generating leads. Large and crisp photos attract prospects to check out your Ideabooks and follow you. After uploading, you can edit the photos by reordering them, editing their keywords and descriptions, or adding new photos to projects.

TIP: For optimum grade and good display on desktops and mobile devices, make sure your photos are at least 1000 pixels wide.

Want more? Click here to read Part 2 of the Guide to Getting Started on Houzz