Storytelling can be a compelling component of interior design. Designers today are incorporating storytelling to connect hospitality guests to the local culture or history. In a restaurant, design can help tell the story of its commitment to using local, sustainable sources. Through design, companies can convey the story at the heart of their brands.
Weaving storytelling into an interior’s design transforms a space into a place. It gives it an extra dimension of meaning or significance. You can tap into that same power of storytelling to propel the marketing and promotion of your business.
Every project has a story
Viewers of design TV shows don’t just watch for the tips or trends. They tune in for the drama. They want to go on a journey with the homeowners, to experience their dreams and disappointments. Whatever you think of those programs, the formula works. So why not borrow from their playbook? Tell the story that will connect your projects to prospective clients.
When prospects visit your website, blog or social media page, they’re not necessarily coming to check your credentials. They want to be inspired. They also want to gauge if they sense a connection with you and your designs. Captivate them with storytelling in interior design, and showcase how you have helped clients to realize their dreams.
Portfolio as storybook
A story, to be successful, requires two essential ingredients
- a conflict that needs to be resolved;
- and a reason for the reader to care about the story and its characters
An inquisitive prospect is already primed to be told a story. Show them why they should care about you and how you design.
Each client and project is unique. Yet, certain elements of every project are universal. Describing those will allow the reader to enter into and identify with the story:
- What is the client’s story?
- What was their need?
- What was their vision for the project?
- What was the outcome they were hoping for?
- How did you satisfy or exceed their expectations?
To turn your portfolio into a storybook, focus on the emotional rather than the technical aspects of a project. Walk the reader through how the choices you made in creating and implementing the design were guided by the client’s story and brought about the desired outcome.
Any accomplished storyteller knows that what brings a story to life are the details. They help the reader to have a more complete vicarious experience. Photographs, of course, are essential to storytelling in interior design projects. But so are details about the items that appear in the photos.
This is where you can best demonstrate your considered and deliberate selection of products and materials that make your interior design unique to each client’s story. Explain how they relate to emotions, memories and experiences that reflect and give body to the story. Delve into the significance of your choice of color and texture. Talk about the history behind a particular furniture item, accessory or piece of art.
You have a story, too
Integrating storytelling into your marketing, promotion and outreach efforts allows you to connect with potential clients on a deep, emotional level. At the same time, you are showing how you can incorporate storytelling into their own project.
When you meet with prospective clients, share yet another story. This is the story of the journey you will take them through. That story begins with a dream and ends with the realization of that dream. Narrate a vision of how their lives or their business will benefit. Make it personal, and meaningful.
Because they speak directly to our experience and on so many levels, stories connect with us in ways that mere explanations do not. Utilizing the power of storytelling in your interior design business will give your projects and your portfolio more depth. More importantly, it will entice prospective clients to learn more about you and what you do.