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Below we're continuing our coverage of how to get started on Houzz.

Adding Photo Tags

You can add extra information to your photos with tags. Tags should highlight the features of the product on the photo. For example, you can add tags about the colors, size, and price of the product.

Create tags from frequently asked questions about the product.

How to Generate Leads from Houzz

To generate qualified leads on Houzz, you need to know your target customers and let them find you. With a good strategy in place, you can attract prospects to follow you and close sales deals. Follow these three steps:

Step 1:  Make Your Ideabooks Visible

The Ideabooks is the biggest avenue on Houzz to show your capability and to generate leads. You can control which photos in the Ideabooks appear to the public and which ones are kept private. Unless the photo is for a specific client, you should make it public. Potential clients can bookmark your public photos to be able to reach you when they have their next design project.

You can also use Ideabooks in public collaborative projects. For example, you can share your Ideabooks with other clients and fellow professionals to get the word out about your service. Those who like your profile have an option of following you to keep up with your work.

Apart from sharing with the public, you can also share the Ideabooks with pre-determined prospects. To share, simply enter their email addresses, edit the permission settings of the album, and share.

Step 2: Make it About Prospects

Use Ideabooks to educate or entertain your prospects to promote brand awareness. Below are some ways in which you can use Ideabooks to connect with prospects:

a)  Carry out research. Post photos related to what your prospects are interested in and find out what they think. For example, you can post two different product photos to compare them and find out which one your audience prefers.

b)  Educate and entertain prospects. Create an Ideabooks that is dedicated to educating your prospects on various design options. For example, you can dedicate a particular month to showcasing different types of bathrooms in a specific Ideabooks.

c)  Provide tips and advice. Since you know your product better than your prospects, why not share the information with them? If you have a lot to share, you can dedicate particular Ideabooks to help your customers understand and get the most out of your products or services.

d)  Host a contest. Many service providers have not experimented with holding contests at Houzz. To create a contest, create an Ideabooks with a selection of different designs and let your followers choose the best design. You can promise them something valuable in return, such as a discount on the next project that they contract you to do.

e)  Promote partnerships. You can run a promotion with a local design partner to expose both of your brands.

Step 3: Increase Your Profile Rank on Houzz

You want your profile to rank high on Houzz when prospects search for various key terms related to the service or product you offer. High ranking profiles get a high number of visits and generate more leads.

You can increase your profile rank in two ways:

i)  Link to your Houzz profile from external sites

You can place your Houzz badge on external websites to expose your profile. For example, you can have the badge on your email signature, website or blog. This will help other prospects that may not be on Houzz to easily find you on the social network. The badge links directly to your portfolio and gives prospects a direct link to save your work on their Ideabooks.

ii)  Increase your reviews

Getting more positive reviews on Houzz will also increase your profile rank. Clients can add reviews of your service on the website. After finishing a client’s projects, remind them to leave you a review. The more the average of your total reviews is, the higher your profile will rank.

TIP: Create a good rapport and maintain communication with your clients when doing the job. This will not only enable you to enjoy your work, but will also make the client not hesitate to write you a good review.

Create an Effective Brand Presence on Houzz

With so many service providers in Houzz, you need an effective brand to stand out. Below are some tips on building an effective brand:

a)  Upload lots of images

Upload many quality images on your Ideabooks. Give prospects different views of the same product or work you are showing. For example, you can have a close shot of a product and other shots where the product can be seen in a home environment.

b)  Tag your photos

The most popular product tags on Houzz are green products. To maximize your reach, tag photos of rooms that you upload to your company’s Ideabooks. If you have a number of professional designers and architectures following you, ask them to tag their photos with your products. This will further expose your brand to more prospects.

A good practice is to add 3-5 tags for every image. The tags should have a detailed product description, price and other information prospects may be looking for.

c)  Create titles for uploaded photos

Organize your uploaded photos in projects. Photos for different products can be uploaded to different projects. You can also group your photos by line, type or other key segment.

Your products will appear by title in alphanumeric order on your profile page. Make sure each project has a vivid description of the images.

d)  Showcase your products

Use Ideabooks to showcase your products. Ideabooks can pull any photos that are in Houzz, not just those that you have uploaded. This is your chance to get creative. The more interesting your Ideabooks are, the more likely you will be followed and generate more leads.

You can also drill down your Ideabooks into more specific groupings of settings, colors, products or even gift guides.

e)  Interact with your prospects

Get involved in the discussions on Houzz. The social network is built to enable communication between service providers and homeowners. The first discussions you should take part in are those regarding your products. Answer any questions that may have been left by your prospects on your photos.

The discussions on your images remain on your company profile. Check your profile regularly to know of any queries.

TIP: Strive to answer your prospects’ questions fast. This will help to enhance brand awareness and can play a significant role in lead generation.

Best Practice Tips for Your Ideabooks

Using the Ideabooks correctly is crucial to generating leads on Houzz. There are, however, some best practices that will improve your marketing efforts on the social network and quicken lead generation. Below are some best practice guidelines you should follow:

a)  Upload eye-catching images

Houzz is all about captivating home designs that make prospects tick. Avoid posting dull or uninteresting photos. Uploading dull photos will make your followers lose interest in you, which means potential lost sales.

Upload hi-res and colorful photos. These are more likely to be shared by other users and expose your brand further.

b)  Update your Ideabooks regularly

To attract new followers and keep them engaged, you need to upload new photos on a regular basis. Uploading is simple but the big challenge can be getting the images that are worth uploading.

To overcome this hurdle, follow other designers offering similar services. You can get ideas and inspiration for new content from their Ideabooks. Regularly sharing and bookmarking other designers’ images helps to expose your brand more and can help you build a bigger following.

c)  Open up your Ideabooks

To enhance your social credential, it is good practice to allow other users to edit photos on your public Ideabooks. True, some albums may have to be restricted from being edited. However, other Ideabooks with photos that are not necessarily your projects can be left open for edits.

For example, you can start an Ideabooks with summer design ideas and let other designers and prospects add more photos to it. This can be a good tactic to promote a particular trend and also encourages the contributors to share the Ideabooks with others. The result is more exposure for your profile and brand.

However, be cautious when opening your public Ideabooks for editing. Since not all users are great contributors, the Ideabooks may end up with not-so-great photos. To avoid this, target prominent designers or clients with good design tastes.

TIP: Avoid asking people that you have not interacted with in the past to contribute to your Ideabooks. This may come across as a bit “spammy.”

d)  Add links to your images

When you upload a photo of a project you have described on your website, link to it on the description area. Likewise, if the images you are uploading are from a different source, link to its URL. If users want to find out information about the image, they may want to read the original piece of content. Make their work easier and they will come to trust you as a reliable source of information.

e)  Watch copyright issues

Beware of getting images online without finding out their usage license and using them on your Houzz account. Content owners go after your business if you use their images without their permission. Treat your Houzz account just as you would your website. If you doubt the usage rights of an image, do not put it in your Ideabooks.

Houzz is a good promotion tool for interior designers and other building professionals. Following the steps in this guide will help you generate leads from your Houzz account.