The quickest way to gain notoriety, exposure and inquiries as an interior designer is to have your interior design work published. There is no clear blueprint on how to go about getting published. It feels like unless you have an expensive marketing team or costly publicist, getting your work published online or in print is next to impossible.
There is good news: that couldn’t be further from the truth! With some research, patience, and beautiful photos, publications are happy to publish interior designers, even with small portfolios of work. We spoke to some of our favorite designers who shared their tips on how to get your interior design work published.
1. Keep it offline.
Keep all project photos offline until officially published (sneak peeks in Instagram Stories is okay because they are only visible for 24 hours). Hold off on adding them to your portfolio as well. Large publications are looking for new, original content to captivate readers and that almost always means exclusivity. Once it has been published, it’s fair game to share and promote.
2. Pitch One Publication at a Time.
To help ensure exclusivity, pitch just one publication at a time. You don’t want to be accepted by multiple publications and have to backtrack when they want exclusivity.
Clara of Banner Day, who has been published in Architectural Digest, Rue Magazine and Domino to name a few says:
“It’s often the case that I will submit a story and while there is initial interest, the editor falls off and I have to follow-up to see what the status of the story is. I never take a lack of response from an editor or rejection personally. Editors are often juggling many balls when they’re deciding whether or not to publish a project. They are most likely considering other projects, seasonal features, deadlines, etc., all while trying to satisfy the discerning eye of the executive editor. I pitch to only one publication at a time and follow-up without being too annoying (hopefully). Persistence is key! It’s taken as long as a year working with a publication to have a story published.”
Many publications (especially blogs and digital magazines) can’t respond to every submission. After two weeks, one follow up email is appropriate. If you haven’t heard anything after your follow up email, you can submit to the next publication. This politely lifts your exclusivity and opens your opportunity to submit elsewhere once those two weeks have passed.
3. Submit Professional Photography
It is imperative at any phase in your design business marketing, that you have your projects professionally photographed. Most digital publications will require high-resolution, already edited photography. Submit no more than three photos of the project and offer to provide a Dropbox link should they need more.
Chrissy, of Harlowe James, broke down the significance of professional photography and how it has helped her land literally dozens of editorial features at some of the largest publishers online.
“For as long as I have been blogging, submitting content to online publications has drastically changed my online presence. When I first started this endeavor I just had a blog and wanted to get my content and name out there anyway possible. I created a bevy of very curated lifestyle photoshoots with the intent of being featured on a larger site with a specific following. Shockingly everything I have ever submitted has been published by at least one of the places I submitted to.
4. Research + Carefully Select Which Publication You Submit To
Ashley of Scout Modern has had every project successfully published online.
“First and foremost, you should know about the publication you are submitting to. It’s essential that your project lines up with their readership. I keep my submissions quick and casual, sending a zip file or dropbox link with high res images- but only enough to get the publisher interested! I like to include mostly wide shots of the room but at least one close-up/ styling shot as well. I make an introduction and a couple sentences that describe the project (what makes this project special?). I recommend waiting a week or so before submitting elsewhere; publications almost always want the exclusive so be sure to let them know upfront if the project has been already been featured someplace else.”
5. Tell A Story but Keep it Brief
Key Points to remember when submitting your interior design work online:
- 1 follow up email is appropriate, more than that is not
- Include one small compliment, be kind but brief. Show you’ve done your research
- The shorter the better
- Don’t say “it would be a good fit” – that’s their job to decide, not yours
- 3 pitches a year to the same editor is ideal – even if none were selected
A Few Publications to Submit to + Where to do it (as of July 2018):
- Apartment Therapy: Adrienne Breaux firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arch Digest: Lindsey Mather email@example.com
- Better Homes + Gardens: Allison Maze firstname.lastname@example.org
- Domino: Anna Kochanan email@example.com
- Dwell: Jensen Power firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elle Decor: Abby Wilson email@example.com + firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lonny Mag: Jill Slattery email@example.com
- Rue Mag: Abby Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sunset Magazine: Chantal Lamers email@example.com
For more tips on expanding your interior design portfolio’s exposure or lifestyle brand’s website, check out this post, this post and this post. The Identité Collective is a full service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.