Become a social climber

Helen Crouch says bathroom and kitchen designers must seize every opportunity to promote their business

27 Jul, 18

Director of Concept and Completion Helen Crouch says bathroom and kitchen designers must seize every opportunity to promote their business. She is astonished more aren’t using social media

Become a social climber

Before I became an interior designer, I worked for Yellow Pages so I have a background in marketing. As a business, you have to spin several plates but you shouldn’t forget marketing.

Do individuals in the kitchen and bathroom industry market themselves enough? Probably not, I would say. Naturally most people aren’t marketers.

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It’s strange we are almost coy about promoting ourselves, which I think is the British way, but you need to promote your business. You may not need clients now but it’s about customers knowing you’re out there when they do need a bathroom or kitchen.

It’s a balancing act. If you don’t promote your business, eventually a slump will happen.

Seize opportunities

Designers should take advantage of all marketing opportunities. I applied to design a roomset at Grand Designs and was shortlisted to the final eight.

But instead, I was asked if I would take part as one of the eight designers in The Lavatory Project to create a downstairs bathroom. I said ‘why wouldn’t I?’ thinking it’s great exposure for my business.

But apparently some designers wouldn’t be interested in creating a toilet! I benefited more from creating the toilet, inspired by the recent Royal Wedding, than I would have from a roomset.

I wrote a press release and contacted my local paper, the Leicester Mercury, who wrote a story about it. From the editorial in the newspaper, I was interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester and asked to recreate the set at its offices.

I even made a video on my iPhone that featured on, achieving over 500 views. I have constantly pushed the project on social media, to the point that I’m sick of seeing it myself.

But the more you chuck the more it sticks. I’m going to use the story for 12 months; I may even use it for 18 months, because if you look at how many designers have exhibited at Grand Designs over the last 10 years, there’s not actually that many. So I should be proud of that.

Use social media

If somebody asked my advice about marketing, I would first ask if they have a Facebook page. Why would you not use something that’s free?

I spoke to a company exhibiting at Grand Designs which, although was big, had no social media. How can a big company not have a social media network?

I think there are a lot of industries that haven’t ever had to do social media. Although it’s been around for years, a lot of people still don’t understand it.

So naturally they stay away from it and don’t feel they need it. We are an industry that advertised through newspapers and Yellow Pages, but all that has gone now.

I always look at social media as a shop window and if you’re not using it, you’re not going to get seen. I’m a dab hand at Facebook, and Instagram I’ve learned pretty quickly. I think being on social media is key to business.

I do a 12-month marketing plan at the start of my financial year because if you’ve got things pinned down, you’re likely to adhere to them. Social media has become a bigger part of that plan.

On a normal day, I’ll check into commercial projects where we are refurbishing and feature a couple of photos, either going through the process or after completion – it depends on the client.

I won’t do it every day and I don’t think you need to be on Facebook daily because I think people can get fed up of it. But, generally, in a week, I’ll spin through all my social media channels.

It’s about being seen and that will grow your business.

For more tips on mastering social media, we can answer the long-standing question of whether you should use Instagram for your business, and also why hashtags are so important.

Become a social climber 1

Pictured – Helen Crouch