It’s every small business’s dream, architects included, to get out of the feast or famine cycle. Stepping away from that cycle not only gives you confidence that your business will make it, but it removes the stress of constantly fighting for jobs.
“That sounds great”, you may think, “but how do I do that?” The key lies in how you approach your marketing for architects. It’s vital to note that marketing for architects can look a little different than marketing for other businesses – although the main points will remain the same.
Making your marketing as efficient as possible won’t mean you won’t still have to work for it. In fact, in the initial set up your marketing for architects you might have to work harder. It also doesn’t mean you won’t have periods of famine in your future – it happens to the best of us. We aren’t promising a get rich quick scheme here. The key is to use all the right strategies to your full advantage, so every hour you do spend on marketing efforts brings you more clients.
If you can harness your marketing to make it work for you – not against you – you can spend less time fruitlessly chasing clients and more time improving yourself and your company. That renewed effort in your architectural work will result in highly valuable content for your marketing.
How Do I Market Myself as An Architect?
To understand what marketing for architects is, it’s important to clarify what marketing for architects isn’t. Marketing for architects isn’t ads, although advertising is one part of marketing for architects.
How will you know your marketing is working? The easy answer is if you are getting more clients. Most websites and social media platforms will provide metrics. You can track how people are reacting to the marketing content you provide. Are they contacting you? Are they going to your website?
Understanding Marketing Concepts for Architecture Firms
We already wrote a fantastic blog post on concepts to know for marketing for architects, so we won’t rehash that here. Make sure you understand the concepts listed below. If some are unfamiliar to you, take a peek at that blog post, and get acquainted.
- Target Audience/Market
- Marketing Channel
- Inbound Marketing
- Outbound Marketing
- Client Journey
- Top of Funnel
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
- Business Development Qualified Lead (BDQL)
- Conversion Rates
- Account Based Marketing
- Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Cost Per Lead (CPL)
- Client Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Payback Period
Especially in a modern marketing organization, knowing these concepts will help you apply them the right way to your marketing for architects.
Marketing for Architects Strategies
Most likely, you will end up using a whole slew of strategies for marketing for architects. How to pick which ones to go with? Start with the one that you have the most skills at. Are you an awesome public speaker? Have you been thinking about getting published? Going for strategies that you are good at and that you enjoy doing will make sure that the marketing content you are putting out is top-notch.
You can also think about where your clients are and what will attract them. If you have been tracking your marketing efforts, then you can look at the results to get your answer. Weed out the strategies that aren’t speaking to your potential clients and focus on the ones that are.
If you aren’t keeping track or if you are a new firm, you will have to make some educated guesses on where your potential clients are and what will speak to them the most.
Every firm will have its own marketing plan made up of different strategies. Spend time coming up with one that fits you and your firm.
The Client Demand Pyramid
One big issue with a lot of the marketing strategies that architectural firms use is they aren’t catering to the biggest percentage of potential clients. The Business of Architecture uses something they call the client demand pyramid to understand this.
Say you have a pyramid with three tiers. The top tier of potential clients are the ones who are ready to hire an architect and the bottom clients are still gathering information. The ones in the middle have specific questions.
The vast majority (91%) of potential clients are in the gathering information stage. If all of your marketing for architects is geared towards that top tier of potential clients with “hire us now” type of content, then you are missing the vast majority of your potential clients.
By shifting most of your marketing content towards that bottom tier, not only are you meeting their needs but when they shift to the top level of the pyramid they already know and trust you. If you wait until your potential clients are in that top level to reach out to them, it is too late. You have to work extra hard to convince them that they should trust and hire you AND you have to hope you happen to catch them at the right time.
Social Media Marketing for Architects
Social media marketing is one of the best strategies for marketing for architects. Because social media is often so visual, it gives you a great place to showcase your work.
Social media is also, of course, social. This gives you a great opportunity to talk with your audience. You can communicate directly with them about what their needs are and showcase your knowledge.
We recently wrote a complete guide to social media marketing for architects. Take a look at that if you are needing some help creating your social media marketing plan for architects.
Email Marketing for Architects
Email still has a lot of sway. The key is to stand out from the daily onslaught of junk and promotions. The fatigue people get from just looking at their email inbox is real.
Make your audience want to open your emails by making sure everything you send out has some kind of benefit to your readers. Always build your email list through an opt-in system – that way you know everyone on your email list has asked to be there.
Archmark has a great article to help with email marketing for architects that draws potential clients in.
Content Marketing for Architects
By providing visitors to your website with helpful and engaging content, you are already providing them with something of value – something they will remember. It’s typically easy to add a blog section to your website and free to cheap to generate content.
You are essentially selling your expertise and experience. Your clients will want to hire you if they feel you will not lead them astray. Writing content is a great way to show off your expertise. Focus your content marketing for architects on entertaining or informative blog posts. Make sure it’s a topic you know what you are talking about.
Focus on your reader. What would they most like to read? If you don’t know who your readers are, either look at the metrics provided on your blogs or do some old-fashioned thinking about it. Don’t forget to write content for the people who might want to partner with you or recommend you to a potential client – contractors and possibly other architects.
Use this content to feed your social media channels. It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
Don’t forget that blog posts aren’t the only content you can create. Videos and podcasts are great content for architects to put out there. Get creative with it and have some fun!
Whatever content you create, the number one rule is to always be creating content. Make sure you have a backlog of content. If you think you might struggle with this or if you are struggling with this, it’s worth the money to hire some help. Your audience will quickly lose interest if you start with a bang and then don’t update with new content for months.
Still need more help understanding content marketing for architects? Check out this great blog post by Archipreneur.
SEO for Architects
You wrote all that wonderful content for your website and blog. Now you want people to see it. Problem is, the internet can be such a saturated place – it’s easy to get lost. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the key to making sure your efforts are reaching your audience.
Two of the main things to focus on with SEO are updating your website content often and including keywords. The best way to update your website content frequently is through a blog or other content marketing. Just make sure you are focusing on quality content.
Keywords are just words that your reader might be using to try to find your content. It’s helpful to have a primary keyword and some additional keywords. An easy and free way to get some keyword ideas is to enter your primary keyword into Google. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Google has suggested some related keywords based on past Google searches. Use those to build your list of keywords.
There are a few more aspects to SEO for marketing for architects, which you can read about in the blog post we created to be a guide to SEO.
This might not seem like marketing for architects. When you are sending in a proposal it can feel like the time is over for marketing for architects. This is not true. A proposal is just another form of marketing for architects. After all, you still have to convince the client to trust and hire you.
Even if you aren’t selected for that specific job, a high-quality proposal can still cement you in the client’s mind as a good option for future projects. For some clients, a proposal will be the first they hear of you – make it a good first impression.
If you think your proposals might need some help or if you aren’t sure, take a look at the guide to architectural proposals we wrote.
Other Marketing for Architects Strategies
The above strategies are the ones that we recommend everyone seriously consider for part of their architectural marketing ideas. They have the biggest reach, and most will be expected by your clients.
The following are some less common, yet still incredibly impactful, strategies for architecture marketing for architects. Remember to build your plan using strategies you enjoy/are good at and ones that will speak to your clients.
- The 4 Ps of Marketing for Architects The 4 Ps are position, process, professionals, and portfolio. If you have ever heard a client tell you that all the firms they talked to, including yours, seemed the same, it might be a good idea to focus on the 4 Ps. Find out what makes your firms different than all the rest.
- Lead Generation Services Cold calling and digital marketing are two branches of this fairly old strategy to marketing for architects. Both will get you in contact with a lot of potential clients, but you have to be ready for a fair amount of rejection.
- Expand Your Website View your website as more than just a place to store information about your firm. Your website, and your portfolio, in particular, are your chance to impress and vital to marketing for architects. Improve the content by reworking the wording or upgrading the images.
- Public Speaking If you like public speaking and are good at it, this is a great way to get you and your expertise in the face of potential clients. You are positioning yourself as an authority on the topic.
- Develop Your Elevator Pitch Your elevator pitch is a short – as in, can be said in the time it takes to travel in an elevator – sales pitch. It should be short and sweet, interesting, and hit on the thing that makes your firm different from the competition.
- Get Yourself Published This will build your reputation fast, but it isn’t all that hard to do. There are many options out there to get published.
- Create Your Newsletter Newsletters may seem old-school, but they are a great way to show off to your website visitors. Collect email addresses of potential clients by offering them something for free in exchange. A free eBook or video are both perfect options. A regular newsletter keeps you fresh in their minds. Fill the newsletter with whatever you think your readers would like to see.
- Don’t Throw Away Old Leads Many firms focus all their efforts on chasing new leads and leave old leads in the dust. The problem with this is you don’t know the reasons the old lead didn’t decide to hire you. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for them and in a year, they will be in a better position to start the project.
- Adopt New Technologies Virtual reality and Building Information Modeling are new technologies that more and more firms are using to sell their services. They are new enough to impress most clients.
Create Your Marketing Plan for Architects
Still unsure where to start or what path to take? We get it. Marketing for architects can be a big deal and hard to wrap your head around the whole thing. Archmarketing and archipreneur both have checklists/flowcharts to help you with creating your architecture marketing plan for your architectural firm. Here is a sample marketing plan for architecture firms.
We know that between the phone calls, meetings, and general work it takes to run an architectural business it is easy to let your marketing come last. Plus, architecture marketing can be intimidating. But, having a marketing plan is your roadmap to success for your business. It is worth it to invest lots of time and thought into it.