Are you thinking about venturing into an exciting, good-paying, and interesting career field? If your dream is to earn a living as a full-time interior decorator, then it’s time to get busy. Successful certified interior decorators spend several years acquiring the right education, skills, connections, and business acumen to make it happen. It’s not easy, and there are no shortcuts, but the long-term rewards are many. They include excellent financial compensation, the chance to meet all kinds of people in your community, the chance to grow your business in multiple directions, and being your own boss. What’s the best way to get started? Check out the five-step path below and begin your personal journey toward a career that delivers a high dose of lifelong satisfaction and financial security.
Assess Your Skills
Consider speaking with a professional career counselor to see what skills you already have covered. Many who want to get into interior decor and design tend to be naturally artistic, but it’s not a requirement. Many people are surprised at how much business skill is involved in building a rewarding home decor career. Remember, no matter how talented you are, there’s no income without clients.
Get a Relevant Degree
You can do well without a college degree, but most of the top people in the field have a four-year diploma in some area of art or design. The biggest challenge at this point is figuring out how to finance education once you decide on the degree you wish to pursue. For huge numbers of future home decorating professionals, the solution consists of taking out a student loan from a private lender. It’s a smart way to cover the entire cost of school, gain access to competitive terms, and get the peace of mind that comes with a fully financed degree program.
Start Small and Local
Diploma in hand, the first steps of your professional career should be among the people you know best. Often, that means neighbors, friends, former classmates, and homeowners in your personal network. This is the time when you should be amassing a portfolio that will serve you later on, when you begin to land larger jobs that pay more. Consider creating a small niche specialty for yourself, like decorating fireplace mantles, and getting your brand out that way. From there people who enjoy your style and approach will inquire about your services for other parts of their home as well and your opportunities will continue to grow.
Connect With Suppliers
There’s no better networking move you can make than connecting with retail and wholesale suppliers in your area. Leave no stone unturned. Visit big box stores, specialty equipment sellers, subcontractors, painters, lawn/garden centers, and any commercial entity that sells home-related items. At this stage of the process, you’ll need a ready supply of business cards and a nice looking website so all your fresh contacts can contact you easily. Put on your most positive, professional face while making at least one hour of daily rounds.
Use a Three Prong Promo Strategy
While business cards and an attractive website are musts, but as your client list grows, a third piece of the promotional puzzle becomes all important, and that is your portfolio. Begin compiling it on your very first jobs, whether they were paid or not. And, consider hiring a professional photographer to document your best work.