The practice of architecture is changing. With growing competition, architects have to market themselves differently than how they did many years ago. The main focus now is going digital and reaching out to a broader pool of prospects.
Architects have been growing their business through word of mouth, networking with other firms, attending seminars on marketing strategies and participating in continuing education programs to stay relevant. In this profession doing a lot of research on different ways architects can market themselves is essential. Yet, to stay on top, architects need to level up their marketing methods.
Here are five effective marketing practices that are being used today by small and large architecture and design firms:
As with almost every other industry, architects are starting to use blogs as a way to reach clients. A blog is an easy way to share relevant content and update clients on the firm’s projects and what’s new in architecture. Through blogging, architects not only attract new potential clients but also stay in contact with existing ones.
Many people want to read about an architect’s work when they visit a firm’s website before getting their service. So, it makes sense to provide them with written articles from your perspective as an architect which showcase your design process, design philosophy or even some practical tips on how to finish a room in your home.
Podcasts are another great way for architects to connect with clients and prospects, but this time over the airwaves. Podcasts are a growing method of communication as they can reach a large audience.
Podcasts allow architects to showcase their personality and design philosophies instead of just talking about projects or their firms. They could also talk about the latest design trends, technology changes that are making the industry better, how to get started in the field and other relevant topics.
This is the “bread and butter” of small to midsize firms who are looking to improve their architecture marketing. There are many affordable options for website hosting, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and social media advertising.
Web Hosting – A firm needs to have a stable website that loads quickly and looks professional. If it takes more than 5 seconds for a site to load on the client’s computer or mobile device, it’s considered slow by today’s standards.
There are many affordable options out there to host your site like Wix, Squarespace or even WordPress. An architect can also find a professional web designer who is ready to build custom websites.
SEO – Search engine optimization is a way to get a website to the top of search results on sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This helps drive traffic to the firm’s website.
PPC – Pay per click advertising is a way to get traffic directly to a website. This can target people recommended by location, where they’re searching from and what kind of device they’re using.
Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all social media sites that architects use to grow their business and reach out to others with different design ideas. Think outside the box when engaging people in traditional conversation. Use social media networking as a forum for informal chats, Q&A sessions, webinars, and self-guided tours of project portfolios.
Giving a speech or presentation at an industry event is one of the best ways to get an architect’s name out there. People can see them in action, hear more about their background and design philosophies, which can help create trust with potential clients. Through speaking engagements, like webinars, a firm can get great exposure and create new business opportunities. An architect can grow into a public figure with huge credibility as well.
Adopting New Technologies
Clients prefer companies who are steps ahead of their competitors. When an architect can show them how a new technology works, they will be more likely to work with the firm on future projects. A firm can stand out from other firms when they use the latest design software with features that make it easier for clients to visualize the projects in 3D before groundbreaking or having virtual and augmented reality solutions for the entire project.
Whatever marketing practices you decide to use, make sure they are beneficial to the overall growth of the architectural firm. The best way to find what fits your firm is by starting with the simplest form of marketing and moving up as needed.
Also, do not take too much time away from doing what really matters – providing exceptional design services. Don’t let marketing practices consume all your time and energy. Build them into your daily routine and be patient because results will come.