As we gear up for 2021, it’s only natural to evaluate our business wins and losses over the past twelve months and set new goals for the year ahead. Like most small business owners, you may be looking for ways to step up your revenue streams, and one of the most effective ways is through our preferred affiliate program, RewardStyle. You may be vaguely familiar with affiliate links programs, but we believe it’s one of the most important tools in Content Planning for Interior Designers.
Not only does RewardStyle help interior designers earn commissions from the products sourced in their projects (more of that later!), but it allows designers to monetize their Instagram, Pinterest, and blog content with ease. If you’re brand new to RewardStyle for interior designers or just brushing up, we’re sharing how to utilize this affiliate program for a passive income that makes a big impact on your bottom line.
If you aren’t familiar with earning income via affiliate links, it’s simple. When you link products on your website, a custom link is created that takes followers from your site to the product page. When customers use that link to make purchases, you get a commission of approximately 5-15% depending on the company. You can use affiliate links on your blog, on your portfolio, via email or direct message or even on Pinterest. It’s also a great way to establish yourself as a resource for followers looking for style inspiration and product guides. Since you can only link retail products, it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase “Get the Look” options for your non-client followers.
Incorporating affiliate links can totally feel intimidating, but it’s actually super easy when established on the right platforms! We’ll delve into the specifics of incorporating RewardStyle links into design portfolios to generate passive income and better serve your followers. And if you want to streamline things even more, we’ll tell you how to incorporate your RewardStyle account with our website templates. The Arlo Template, The Carmen Template, The Kennedy, and The Evian all include affiliate shops, making it a seamless RewardStyle integration. We’ll also touch on the LikeToKnow.It app and how it can serve interior designers.
RewardStyle is “an affiliate network for influencers in the fashion, lifestyle, and beauty industries” per their official description. Fun fact: It was started by a blogger who wasn’t happy with her options for affiliate link programs, which means it was designed to serve people in the industry! They work with more than a million lifestyle brands, like Rejuvenation, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Wayfair, Serena + Lily, Crate + Barrel. That means if it’s a recent purchase, it will likely be linkable! Raking in $20 billion in annual sales, RewardStyle has established itself as an incredibly effective platform and a top choice for influencers.
Partnering with RewardStyle for interior designers takes a little effort on the front end, but that’s actually a good thing for you! Their exclusivity and high standards create a network of lifestyle brands that are hand-picked and reputable. Once you’re in, you’ll start earning commission when your curated product links are used to make purchases. What you may not know is that commission will apply to ANY purchases made that originate from your link, not just the specific product. If your follower purchases the linked product plus 15 others, you will get commission for the entire purchase. Even better, RewardStyle ups the commission rates for high performers, so the opportunities for passive income are literally endless.
So, what does it take, you ask? You’ll need a working website, an output of quality, original content for at least three months. Pro tip: product round-ups are a great way to produce original content if you’re just starting out. Their online application can be found at rewardstyle.com/apply. We encourage you to provide honest, accurate numbers and submit only your top publishing channels (i.e. Pinterest, blog, Instagram). There are no formal requirements, which means you don’t have to have 100k followers to be accepted. Their review time typically takes 1-2 weeks and they’ll contact you either way. If you’re denied, don’t fret too much. Keep putting out quality content and apply again in two months!
RewardStyle is our preferred affiliate program because it has the widest range of partner brands (especially in the home + lifestyle industries) and earns the highest commissions. If for some reason it isn’t for you, there are alternatives you could check into. ShopStyle Collective, ShareASale, Amazon Associates, and Wayfair are a few.
Links are key, obviously, and RewardStyle for interior designers offers a few options for creating them.
I also recommend incorporating the Link Ninja app for creating links efficiently. It can be difficult to search the RewardStyle site for products, but with this app, you can go onto a partner site and click the product and have Link Ninja do the work. If you do find products you like on the RS site, all you have to do is click the heart on the listing to save it to your file. You can even create albums categorized by project, style, budget, or room!
Copying a link is easy, too. As interior designers, you are constantly asked for sources. Through Link Ninja, you just click “Get Link” and it’s automatically added to your clipboard. Should you use it, you can find the link by going to your RewardStyle page and find all your saves listed chronologically, which we find to be so convenient. This makes it super easy to send a link that gives you commission instead of the original URL, which sadly will not.
If you’re an Ivy software user, you can use the clipper tool to keep your links organized. When the project is finally finished and installed and ready to be shared, the links will be waiting for you. Just be sure to check and make sure items are still in stock! If not, you’ll be able to search for similar items you can recommend.
The most obvious channel for earning income through RewardStyle for interior designs is project images. If you aren’t already blogging project reveals, you’re missing a key opportunity to drive website traffic and link your sources. As your Instagram following starts to grow, you will begin getting constant comments asking for sources. Here are IDCO, we have a deep respect the bespoke nature of interior designers’ work, not to mention the trade vendor relationships which they source many of their products. While some designers understandably prefer to not reveal sources in any capacity, we’ve found that linking to a similar product can be a really good compromise. This gives your non-clients a similar aesthetic to your style and earns you a commission, all without compromising the integrity of your work.
When it comes to placing product links in your posts, refer to the methods above. You can link it in the text body of the blog post as you discuss the pieces you chose and why. If it’s a bigger project, consider creating a “boutique” grid of items for each room styled. You can also create a product graphic in Photoshop with the link in the caption, but keep the items to 15 favorites or less so that the image doesn’t overwhelm. Product graphics are a favorite of many of our interior design clients for how Pinterest- and Instagram-friendly they are!
Another option for portfolio links is placing text links directly in the photo captions. You can also place the “Shop the Look” widget at the bottom of the page for easy access. Below is an example of a graphic we created for a client. Each written number would link to the corresponding product.
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven
eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen
You can even earn passive income from shoppers that aren’t on your site. If you like to keep your projects organized on Pinterest boards, there is an incredible opportunity for you to maximize your passive income through affiliate links. All you have to do is use the Link Ninja tool we mentioned above and click “Pin it.” This will allow you to Pin the product to a project board using your specific link. If someone purchases that item after finding it on Pinterest through your Pin, you will receive the commission. This is a really effective way to convert these links to sales, especially if you have a large Pinterest following. And, the link never changes, so no matter how old the project, you can still earn commission as long as it’s available. To really maximize interest, link similar items!
If you’re on Instagram, you’re familiar with the swipe up feature available to accounts with more than 10k followers. With the RewardStyle app (iPhone, Android), you have all of your saved product links at your fingertips. It makes it so incredibly easy to drop that link into images on your stories and monetize your swipe ups. If you don’t have the app, just text yourself the link and copy + paste!
For project reveals, save the stories to your highlights with the sources linked in the swipe ups. They will generate interest, and hopefully commission, as long as they’re up! It’s also a nice taste of your portfolio for followers without even having to click over to your website. If you don’t have swipe ups yet, link that Pinterest board link in your bio so that they can shop all the linked products in one spot!
We know as an interior designer, you are getting comments constantly asking, “Where’s that rug from?” and “How can I get those pillows?” Remember, linking to a lookalike product is always a great option to earn a commission without giving everything away. However, if you are willing to share sources, we encourage you to NOT reply with a vague answer like, “It’s from Crate + Barrel!” or reply with a product link, which isn’t clickable in Instagram comments. The best option is to reply telling them you will send the source via DM. Then, you can send them your affiliate link. It’s a convenient click for them and commission for you! Here’s a template for the exact DM we recommend sending:
“Here is the link to that (insert product name here) you asked for! If you end up wanting to purchase it, I’d so appreciate if you could shop using this link directly. It earns me a small commission + costs you nothing extra!”
We have found that most people are more than happy to use the affiliate link!
Another popular Instagram option is the LiketoKnow.It “Shop My Instagram App.” If you download the app, you can access all your saved RewardStyle products. When you want to create a LiketoKnow.It enabled image, you do so through your RewardStyle app. You can link up to 14 products per image and post directly to Instagram from the app. Once posted, your followers are able to screenshot and shop directly on the LiketoKnow.It app with all the products linked.
Sales are reported every 3-5 days in your RewardStyle dashboard. The amount of time it takes depends on the retailer the product was purchased through. Commissions won’t finalize for 90 days in case of returns, exchanges, cancelled orders, or damages during delivery. Don’t worry if it’s slow at first—commissions will start pouring in soon after that 90 days has passed! When it does come through, you’ll see a notification of “Payment Due.” The balance you accumulate will be transferred to your Paypal account every other Friday!
How do I introduce affiliate links to my followers without feeling spammy?
Remember, your followers are there because they admire your style. By providing them the links to get the look, you’re adding value to your content. Start small – begin by providing links to portfolio project sources only.
How do I continue to provide custom design services for my interior design clients while sharing links to the product sources?
This is where “similar items” come in handy. Many designers use “to-the-trade only” products in a project. By booking your exclusive interior design services, they’ll have access to products you can’t link in RewardStyle.
If I book your Instagram Management package, does it include managing my RewardStyle account?
We offer monthly Instagram content management and growth strategy services to interior designers and lifestyle brands. Each week, we’ll post 6 images with custom, professionally written captions, curated hashtags, and actionable geotags. Additionally, we’ll spend 15 minutes a day engaging with your followers. The standard package does not include RewardStyle management. However, if you’ve saved your RewardStyle products in your account, we’d be happy to link to them from your stories. Click here to learn more about our Instagram management services.
If you aren’t capitalizing on affiliate links and the limitless potential for passive income they provide, it’s time to hop on board! We hope this guide will make it easier for you to get started earning. If you are looking to update your website and blog to make it easier to start utilizing affiliate links, our IDCO Templates are a great option. With our limited release website templates, you can easily integrate RewardStyle into your blog posts, no coding or web designers necessary. Simply replace with your RewardStyle account and you are ready to start earning. But if you’re in need of a more hands-on approach from the IDCO Studio, in addition to our 3 weeks of support, we also offer an implementation
For more tips on elevating your brand and social media strategy, check out these posts:
IDCO Studio 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. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.