Your website is perhaps the most crucial piece of the marketing puzzle for home staging businesses.
Since you have no store front, your website is the entrance to your brand, and peoples first impression of your business.
Luckily since you are considering starting a home staging business, you are likely already a creative individual and know what looks good. You can use this creativity to craft a beautiful website for potential clients.
What content do you want on your website?
Arguably the main pages of your home staging website are your homepage for first impressions, your portfolio, and your contact or "request a quote" page.
But there are a number of other pages you need on your site too. Here is the bare minimum.
Homepage: Your homepage sets the first impression. Since we work in such a visual industry, showcase your best work with large images, and great photography.
If you have been lucky enough to stage a home that is for sale by a realtor, you might have access to some high quality professional photography to show off your work. For your homepage, low quality cellphone images won't be good enough (unless you're a bit of a whiz with your smartphone camera!).
A common term when talking about web design is "the fold", and placing important content "above the fold".
The fold is the area of the webpage that can be seen by the user when the page first loads. Essentially it is what the user can see before they need to scroll down.
The content above the fold is super important, as not all users actually scroll down a page. So make a great first impression above the fold to impress.
It also pays to include a "call to action" above the fold. This is a headline or a button which tells the user what to do next. Ask yourself, now that the user is on your website, what do you want their next step to be?
View your portfolio?
Request a quote?
Read your testimonials?
See your certification?
It's up to you, but the answer is probably one of the first two options above.
What else should go on your homepage?[TESTIMONIALS IMAGE]
If you have testimonials the Homepage is a great place to add two or three of these. Certifications in home staging or interior design should also be showcased on the homepage.
Give a brief summary of your services.
Do you do full staging? Partial staging? Furniture hire without styling? Outline your main services, and link them through to more indepth information from your "Services" page.
Sell yourself on your homepage.
Why should prospects choose your home staging business?
You should have a good understanding of the answer from Chapter 1.
Use the homepage to explain your unique selling point (USP). Remember that this could be pricing, quality, quick turnaround, niche design, qualifications, range of furniture, or any other USP you have identified for your home staging business.[IMAGE FROM https://www.thelook.co.nz/contact/ and https://www.homebase.co.nz/book-online/]
Request a Quote: This page can be as simple or complex as you like. It is typically a contact form which sends the enquiry to your business inbox.
At a minimum, you'll want the user's name, phone number, email address, and a small message from them describing the job. You can then follow up with more information such as dates, location, number of rooms, services required etc.
If you opt to gather more information from the contact form, you'll cut down on the follow-up work. You can add additional questions such as date of booking, property address, rooms required, client details, property accessibility, etc. Then you can follow up with any finer details you need to quote on the job.
Typically the simpler the form, the more enquires (and tyre kickers) you'll get. No one fills out 15 questions if they are just kicking the tyres and enquiring at 20 different staging brands.
One tip for your 'Request a Home Staging Quote' page is to emphasise that the quote is free, and no obligation. Although both of these go without saying (who charges for a quote?!), it pays to just give that reassurance.
Another tip is to always ask for a phone number and make the field mandatory. If someone isn't willing to give a phone number, they'll typically be a bit of a tyre kicker and need be a high maintenance customer.
Some customers lock in a deal after 2 phone calls, others lock in the deal after 23 emails of 4 weeks.
It's ok to be picky and choose low-maintenance customers to ensure you don't drown in admin and communications before you even get paid.
Testimonials: It can be uncomfortable tooting your own horn, but this is where you need to toot it as hard as you can!
For every home staging job you do, you need to ask for a testimonial.
Once the job is complete send two links to the customer, once for your Facebook page for a review, and then one for your Google My Business page for a review (this will help with your website traffic from Google, and helps you build credibility before the customer even lands on your site).
You can then copy/paste the best reviews of your home staging business onto your website.
Your testimonials page is also good to showcase your home staging certification, or any other home staging courses or training that you may have done.
See if the provider of the certification or course has a badge or seal you can use on your website, or a digital version of your certificate.
Having proof from the third-party organization is a quick way to build credibility and prove that you know what you're talking about.
Portfolio: Your online home staging portfolio will more than likely be looked at before the customer enquires with you, so it is critical to ensure you put a lot of effort into polishing this page.
This means high quality photography, and a range of photos showing a range of your work. If you don't have a portfolio of work because you are just in the early days of starting a home staging business, then feel free to stage your own house, and use this as your portfolio.
This isn't deceptive, as it is still showcasing your staging skills, and that is the goal of your portfolio. You can choose to show either before and after photos, or just show some top notch after photos.
The interesting thing about portfolios is they often filter the type of work you are going to get in the future.
If your portfolio shows mainly staging jobs you completed in apartments, with modern decor, then you are going to attract people living in apartments, who want it staged with modern decor. You'll then add these jobs to your portfolio, and then attract more of these jobs.
So if you are starting your home staging portfolio from scratch, start it in the direction you want to head.
Don't go staging an apartment to start your portfolio if you know there are only 2 apartment blocks in your city! Your future work could be inhibited.
About: Home staging is quite a personal business. Customers are inviting a professional to provide their services. It's different to, say, buying a car or bouquet of flowers, where you are buying a product.
The customer will want to know bout you. If you have a team, they'll want to know about the team too.
Your About page should introduce the home stagers, their job titles, and a brief bio of the stagers history and credibility.
What qualifications does each home stager have, what do they love outside of work, what most excites them about home staging, how long have they worked in the industry, etc
Sell your home staging staff in a few hundred words! If possible, include a nice headshot.
If you have ever been quoted in the media or on a blog, this is the page where you can showcase that too.
This once again comes back to credibility. If a home staging blog, or even an interior design website or architecture magazine, has quoted you or featured some of your work, it does WONDERS for building your brands credibility.
If you have never been quoted in the media, keep an eye on opportunities to squeeze your way in there.