Promoting your architectural firm and attracting potential clients is no joke. You’ve invested a considerable amount in your firm, people are counting on you, and failing is not an option.
If you are on the lookout for strategies that could bring in business quickly without needing a huge budget or a large enough staff dedicated to marketing, you’ve come to the right place.
But if you expect some magic Architectural Firm Marketing 101 that will make your brand an overnight success, prepare to be disappointed. Being a successful architect requires a few different skills - including, but not limited to marketing.
All good things require a bit of strategic thinking, hard work, a long-term approach, and more importantly, a good deal of patience.
Here are a few excellent strategies you could adopt to gain publicity for your architectural firm.
Speak Up in Public
Are people in the same industry familiar with your architectural firm? If that isn't the case, you should start asking yourself why.
It could be because you don't regularly speak at relevant public events like trade fairs and conferences. Yes, posting content online is a great way to attract new clientele and build your firm image but some clients (especially those with larger-scale projects) will want to know you personally before trusting you with their business.
This is where public speaking engagements could prove to be a turning point for your business. You could demonstrate your skills and share your experience in the architectural world.
If public speaking doesn’t come easy to you, you could always enlist the help of a talented staff member.
Also, there are a lot of free online webinars on communication strategies and presentation skills which can help you make a list of techniques and body language secrets to note. However, public speaking can only get better with practice and interaction, attending one-on-one communication coaching sessions where you will be guided to practice voice inflection to complement your delivery and get feedback from a professional course can be effective.
Press releases are also an excellent option to make an impact within your industry and reach a wide range of clients. Get the Word Out provides an overview of how you can use the power of a press release for marketing without too much hassle.
Build an Awesome Website
There is no denying that we live in an increasingly technology-dependent world. Meaning your brand’s online presence can literally make or break your success.
The first thing you must do when building your brand’s online presence is to build a great website. And by a website, we don’t mean a mediocre site that shows your basic details. You must ensure that your website mirrors your brand’s image and tells a story. Because there’s no better way to capture human attention than stories.
Your website should also host your portfolio and plenty of visual aids. In fact, putting up quality images on your website might be all you need to rake in new business. Also, make all your images shareable on social media platforms, which will increase the traffic to your site.
Remember to avoid cluttering your site, which will put off visitors. You should try to strike a perfect balance between providing relevant information and showcasing your work to your potential customers. You might need the skills of a copywriter - or some effective copywriting software like ClosersCopy - to pull this off correctly
Lastly, make sure to adopt a great SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. This will maximize your site’s visibility to internet users, especially those in your location. You could either self-teach the basics of SEO and do it yourself, or you could use the help of a professional to do so. However, when it comes to marketing for architects, it would be best if you hire professionals to help create a lead-generating website for your firm.
Use a Lead Generation Service
Perhaps the quickest marketing strategy to gain publicity for your architectural firm is to use a lead generation service.
Basically, a lead generation service is a company that excels in running online ads to attract potential customers looking for an architect in your area.
Say your firm is based in Denver, Colorado. If you search for Architects in Denver, many ads will show up. And if you were to click on any one of those ads, you’d be asked to fill a simple survey (in exchange for something free — say a list of best architectural firms in Denver). Once a potential client (or lead) completes the survey, their contact information will be sent to a couple of architectural firms who have signed up for the service.
Moving forwards, the firms that receive the leads will have to follow up themselves and compete to win potential clients.
Another prominent form of lead generation is cold calling. This is where you call thousands of unknown (cold) people to see if they're interested in your services. This form of direct marketing shows some results but could put those off who don't want to be disrupted by phone calls.
While using a lead generation service is a quick way to gain publicity for your brand, keep in mind that some of these leads are low quality and might not pan out.
Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media
When it comes to gaining publicity for your architectural firm, you shouldn’t disregard the power of social media. Take it from the architect Jody Brown, who emphasizes the importance of social media for architects in this conversation with the AIA.
While social media is probably one of the cheapest (potentially free) marketing platforms out there, it requires effort and patience to ace.
If you’re going to make a social media page for your business and then leave it to stagnate, let us stop you right there. You’re only wasting your time. Because all the followers you manage to attract will leave the page and you won’t rake in new ones either.
You need to adopt a thorough social media marketing strategy and must post regularly. Also remember to develop a consistent tone and style that fits your brand image. Once again, you might need a skilled copywriter to pull this off.
You should also determine a platform that’s appropriate for your business (architecture in this case) and marketing goals . If you prefer a professional social network where you can establish yourself as the authority in the sector, Linkedin is a great platform.
On the other hand, you can use Pinterest — an image-based network — where you can share your portfolio pictures that will get people talking about you.
Okay — now that you've read our list of the top marketing strategies to gain more architecture clients without blowing off your budget, it’s time to get to work!