Online Evangelism: Telling Your Design Story in Social

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I make no claims to be anything other than self-taught when it comes to my expertise with interior design. I’m not a trained designer; I’m a voracious consumer of design and décor information. I use to call myself an interior design addict, but now I say I’m a design evangelist, by which I mean I have fervor for the kind of interior design that resonates with me. As it turns out, that, and a few other tricks I’ve learned along the way, makes me good at promoting design online. Part of what I’ve learned—and recently shared with attendees at the Caesarstone booth during KBIS—is that there are four major attributes of an online design evangelist:

1. Be Passionate

The online design space is, to put it mildly, cluttered. Think of all the blogs, Tumblrs, and other interior design resources online—from Home Depot to Lonny Magazine—and you get a sense of what I mean. In order to stand out in that crowd, you have to be passionate about your viewpoint on design. With my blog, Japanese Trash, I’ve accomplished that by steadfastly posting only content that falls within my self-defined viewpoint: “masculine design”. Be sure the content you choose fits your specific design passion and that it will differentiate you and your brand from everything else that is out there.

Unusual Art

Courtesy of Japanese Trash.

2. Be Mindful

In order to bolster your brand awareness with online viewers, remember to keep your content focused on a specific passion or set of related passions—be mindful to not post anything and everything you’re passionate about. Images of yachts are great if nautical design is your niche, but otherwise they will dilute your specific brand and lead to fewer followers online.

3. Be Social

My personal belief is that different people gravitate toward different social media tools and that you should focus on as many or as few of them that work for you. That said, I also believe that Pinterest, with its focus on inspirational images, is the online design community’s best friend—and best resource for bringing in new readers of your online content. Always link your social posts back to your website or blog to ensure the social community becomes aware of all you have to offer there.

4. Be a Good Online Citizen

Successful online design brands follow a few important, sometimes unstated, rules of online etiquette, such as always acknowledging and linking back to the source of any images, following others’ sites, leaving helpful comments, and doing your best to establish a posting routine then sticking with it. All of these things are best practices that will encourage your readers to see you as an authority—even if you and I know you’re really just an evangelist.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for your insights…..you brought a fresh and meaningful perspective to KBIS. Thrilled to share the stage with you!

    • Karen, the pleasure was all mine. Thanks for keeping it so fun and easy — looking forward to doing more together!

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.