Publish June 20, 2023
How to ’Shock and Awe’ Potential Interior Design Clients: Appearance on Wingnut Social Podcast
pam durkin

Attracting Ideal Clients: A Crucial Ingredient for Business Success

As an interior designer with over 30 years of experience, one lesson I’ve anchored my career on is the power of understanding and attracting ideal clients. I had the pleasure of reinforcing this during an engaging conversation I recently had with Darla Powell, host of Wingnut Social podcast.

Darla and I thoroughly examined and exchanged insights on how to hone your messaging and materials to attract the type of clients that align perfectly with your work style and aesthetics. The conversation revolved around how we, as entrepreneurs, can craft and utilize our ‘perfect client avatar’ in the best possible way.


Amongst the many insightful pointers we covered, I emphasized the importance of defining your ideal client. Understanding the needs, aspirations, fears, and wants of your perfect client is a necessity. I am a firm advocate for taking inspiration from your best past clients to mold your ‘perfect future client.’ It’s about resonating on a personal level with these particular clients that fuels the fire of physical growth in business.

In my personal experience, my best clients are those who make decisions promptly, understand the nature of professional work, and are comfortable with the occasional hiccups that may emerge in the journey of design.


The concept of auditioning clients surfaced during our discussion, and it is an essential part of my business philosophy. Being selective saves you from the potential damage of entrusting your creativity into a project that may not eventually align with the client’s vision or create roadblocks that drain more energy than the project’s worth.

I focus more on the initial connection, how the clients express themselves, their sense of style, and their understanding of the design process than on the budget during these auditions. I have learned not to hesitate in turning down jobs when I trust my intuition that they won’t be a good fit.


One of the standout moments from our exchange was when I introduced the concept of the ‘Shock and Awe’ box. This box is a practical expression of how you intend to treat your prospects in a project before being hired. I fill this box with a sneak-peek into my design process, past work examples and some enjoyable add-ons like snacks and drinks. I believe this small yet profound gesture communicates your thoughtfulness, and it’s something I regularly use with prospective high-end clients.

By the end of our conversation, Darla and I had straightened out how crucial it is to know your ideal client while navigating the industry’s tide. The power of defining your perfect client avatar and harnessing that knowledge can significantly impact your business growth.

A massive thank you to the brilliant Darla Powell for hosting me on the Wingnut Social podcast. It was a pleasure sharing and hearing nuggets of wisdom on such a critically important topic. Listen to the full episode here. Tune into my podcast on iTunes here or on my website and keep up with my other blog posts. Remember, the secret to success is not just about attracting clients but attracting the right clients.