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Architecture is indeed one of the most creative professions out there!
But sadly, architects struggle with promoting their services to land new clients. As a result, firms shut down without even having the chance to share their designs and plans with the rest of the world.
That said, do you want to know how you can get your firm to stand out with proper marketing tools? Well, you’re in the right place.
Through this guide, we’ll be taking you through a crash course on the marketing strategies required to grab the attention of prospects and convert them into clients. But before that, you’ll need to understand the mindsets of architects, which prevents them from being proper marketers.
Furthermore, we’ll help you think from a marketers point of view and explain a few marketing terms to provide valuable insight.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in to know more about how architects can be better marketers.
Architects Can Be Better Marketers
- Architects Can Be Better Marketers
- The Architectural Mindset
- The Reality Of Marketing For Architects
- Engulfing The Marketing Mindset
- How Can Architects Be Better Marketers?
- Definition of Marketing Terms For Architects
- Promote Your Firm On Social Media
- Defining Your Position
- Invest In Your Website Portfolio
- Using Lead Generation Services
- Speak In Public
- Circulate Newsletters
- Get Published
- Never Discard Old Leads
- Adapting To Latest Technologies
The Architectural Mindset
Architects think and act differently than marketers as their creative minds turn a blind eye to the importance of promoting their service to potential clients. They’re convinced of being smart and important but often allow ego to get the better of them.
Even if they want to help people, saying something salesy to grab the attention of clients is not their cup of tea. The adaptive nature and circumstantial changeability of marketing are considered going below their level of sophistication, which is not true.
Architects tend to forget that there are several architecture firms scattered all over the country. There’s competition involved in finding the best firm with the most notable architects sharing their valuable expertise and knowledge in the field.
Let’s face it; it’s unlikely for a client to go knocking at the door of any and every architect without proper validation. Hence, it’s no doubt that a business needs to be promoted in order to create a name in the field and build an initial level of trust.
The Reality Of Marketing For Architects
To put it simply, marketing for architects is all about landing new clients for the security and stability of their business. The core skill required for this is basically going out and getting potential clients through the door. But unfortunately, most architects are not comfortable with this marketing technique.
This is one reason why firms shut down; consequently, founders lose money, energy, and time. If you try asking them the reason for their business failure, the answer is always the same – “We didn’t have enough clients.”
Before architects even consider setting up their own firms, they need to understand that business success is different from job success. They won’t be able to run their practice successfully by bringing in a “job mindset” of doing work reactively.
In the case of architectural firms, the risk and responsibilities involved are not taken by someone else. It’s crucial to remember that in order to build a business, getting clients proactively is a must. And the willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed is key when it comes to marketing.
Architects need to step out of their comfort zone and eliminate the bias of marketing and sales to see it in a new light. Overcoming fears of embarrassment, rejection, and pushing people is key to ensuring marketing success.
Remember, in order to see your architectural practice flourish; you might have to walk up to people and promote your services. So, breaking stereotypical barriers is the need of the hour.
Engulfing The Marketing Mindset
To be better marketers, architects need to first understand the mindset of those working in the marketing and sales industry. That said, a marketer or a salesperson is aware that to build a business, their client needs to buy a particular product or service. And that’s why their ultimate goal is to sell by converting the potential client into an actual client.
Getting positive feedback for your services is great, but in order to last in this competitive field, a transaction has to be made between the two parties. And the trade of money for architectural services should keep growing.
Marketers also know that most of their products and services may not stand the test of time. But they don’t really take it personally; instead, they’re more persistent in rolling out more innovative things and making them work. For them, the difficulty is an opportunity to work on a new marketing strategy, and that’s what makes them stand out.
As an architect, you may think that your ideal client is motivated, smart, and driven, but that’s not always the case. They’re probably confused and not sure about the type and design of the structure they wish to build.
So, sharing your expertise with a whole lot of options will probably confuse them even further and drive them away. The first goal is to understand what the client actually wants and then present designs and plans that match their requirements.
That’s how a marketer functions; they don’t just focus on their own area of skills and expertise but also dedicate themselves to creating marketing strategies and messages, motivating prospective clients to take action.
How Can Architects Be Better Marketers?
Now that you’re acquainted with the topic of architectural marketing, it’s time we addressed the elephant in the room – Can architects be better marketers? If yes, how?
Well, architects can better marketers, provided they identify themselves mentally as marketers, keeping aside their creative mindset and expertise in the field. So, if you’ve unconsciously avoided learning marketing and sales tactics because of biases or any other reason, it’s time you changed the dynamics of your thought process.
In this section, we’ll be highlighting the crucial marketing strategies to help architects promote their architectural practices and services. But before that, we’d like to explain a few marketing terms for creating a better understanding.
Definition of Marketing Terms For Architects
Let’s now take a look at a few crucial marketing terms and their definitions:
Advertising architectural services are similar to promoting any other brand or business. It involves proactively delivering marketing messages in platforms where potential clients seeking architectural firms are found.
Printing ads in magazines or local newspapers and building the firm’s reputation on any social media platform are the first steps to landing a client.
This is the second step, which comes after you’ve managed to get the attention of a prospective client. It’s the stage that can make or break a deal, so make sure you communicate with transparency to build trust and eliminate apprehension. Ask the client about their needs and get them to buy the service.
The term is a predetermined metric of any potential client taking action, such as clicking on an ad, completing a survey, subscribing, buying, or hiring.
The goal for every marketer is to get the client to buy more, and to fulfill this goal; the architect must have designs and plans to offer. Find out what your client specifically wants and then tailor your service to meet their requirements. This will help build trust, allowing you to form a stronger relationship with them.
- Lead Generation
The marketing term refers to the initiation of consumer interest in the products and services of a business. For instance, suppose a visitor finds the information provided on your website valuable. In that case, they’ll be willing to trade their contact details for more offers and services.
Promote Your Firm On Social Media
Never underestimate the power of social media when it comes to marketing architecture firms. It can be a gateway to potential clients, provided they’re used properly.
The biggest mistake most architects make is that they create a social media page for their firm and then leave it stagnant. As a result, earlier followers lose interest and abandon the page, leaving no scope for gaining new followers.
While building a social media strategy, the platform also plays a significant role. Although it’s not impossible, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll land a client by promoting the architectural firm on Instagram.
Professional social media platforms like LinkedIn is a better alternative to help establish your practice as an authority in the industry using its ever-expanding network. This gives you an edge over your competition as most architectural firms don’t really think about making use of social media platforms.
Defining Your Position
Browsing some of the architectural firms’ websites will help show you how to present yourself as an architect. It’s important to tell your client who you are and what are the services they can avail.
Many firms try to portray themselves as multitasking marvels listing every architectural service as part of their area of expertise. However, this tactic of drawing clients may create the impression that the firm doesn’t offer quality. In order to avoid this, let them know what you specialize in with examples and a portfolio of previous projects.
The client may not need the specific service you offer and excel in, but they’ll more likely choose your firm over any other multi-discipline company that sells itself too much. You’ll have a firm position in the market with a better reputation than others through word of mouth.
Most architectural firms view their websites as simple business cards, providing basic details; instead of using the platform to build their brand. This is a mistake that needs to be avoided as digital marketing proves to be a powerful tool in promoting services provided by architects.
Your website offers you the opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise as an architect. So, make sure you provide a portfolio of all the previous work and projects you’ve completed in order to attract potential clients.
The image quality of your portfolio alone can be enough to expand the business. Just ensure that the images are shareable on social media platforms and consider the message you send out through the website.
Each line of content provided on the site has to serve a purpose. Clutter or unnecessary texts or images lead to bad web design, which can be a turn off to prospective customers. Allow the firm’s website to tell your architecture story through proper digital strategy planning.
Using Lead Generation Services
We’ve already explained the concept of lead generation, but how do you reach that stage in your marketing campaign? Use lead generation services like cold calling and digital marketing to put the architectural firm out in front of people quickly.
Cold calling is one of the most prominent forms of this service, where a company obtains the data of thousands of individuals. Using this data and the information provided by the firm, it makes calls in the hope of getting people interested in the relevant architectural services.
No doubt, the direct form of marketing ensures results, but it may also turn people off if they’re not interested, and they don’t like the interruptions caused by phone calls.
On the contrary, digital marketing companies create websites to promote the firm’s services. These sites come with forms that the company uses to capture visitor information. And if any visitor enters their information, it means they’re interested. You’ll automatically get notified so that it can be treated as a hot lead.
Speak In Public
In order to get people to know your firm, you need to go out there and build a reputation for yourself. Posting online content on websites can help in growing the brand’s name, but clients also want to see the real deal.
That’s why making speeches public architectural events and engagements can be a crucial technique for promoting your architecture services. With a room full of people who want to hear your opinions and ideas, you place yourself in a position of authority, influencing your captive audience.
Of course, words won’t be enough to get leads and make conversions, so back the creative opinions with presentations and imagery. Remember that public speaking won’t help much in marketing your architectural practice if a potent message isn’t delivered.
So, practice speaking for engagements and events, making sure you’re able to put across a clear message to potential clients. Once you get it right, the audience is bound to grow, paving the path for new opportunities for the firm.
After attracting prospective clients, focus on keeping them engaged. They might like the services offered by your firm but may not require them immediately. And if you don’t keep them engaged, your firm might slip out of their mind by the time they could actually use the services.
This is why it’s crucial to create newsletters and ask visitors to sign up for monthly or weekly emails. Any simple form asking them to share their email address is sufficient. However, many websites also offer added incentives, such as a free booklet for signing up.
Once you have the email address, start sending newsletters to keep your firm at the top of the client’s mind. In other words, the prospect will be contacting your firm as soon as they need architectural services.
There’s no better way to build your reputation faster than getting published. Architects have plenty of options to gain recognition in the industry; they may conduct studies and publish white papers to open up new opportunities.
It’s important to note that any space you take up in industry magazines and newspapers can add value to your firm and marketing efforts. And if people consider you to be an expert in the field, you’re bound to make more conversions while selling architectural services.
However, getting published is not just about educational work and knowledge related to the architectural industry. As an architect and marketer, you’ll need to think about where you’re getting published.
Let’s face it; no matter how great your article is, it won’t mean much to those who’re not really interested in the field. Seek help from press release distribution services to position your content in front of audiences interested in your brand.
Never Discard Old Leads
This is a common mistake made by most architectural firms. They discard old leads while chasing new ones but fail to realize that a lead may not have converted into a client as the prospect at the time wasn’t in need of the service. In other words, these businesses were selling their service at the wrong time.
Suppose a client contacts you for more information regarding your services, and after some discussion, they decide not to go ahead with the deal. There are innumerable reasons why this could happen.
So, instead of discarding the client’s details, consider following up after a few weeks. Send an email asking if they’re still interested in the service and whatever was discussed. The answer might be negative, but there’s equal or even a higher possibility of them being in a position to move forward.
Imagine if you hadn’t contacted them; the chances of converting the lead into a client would be zero.
Adapting To Latest Technologies
The innovation of technology has changed the dynamics of the architectural field. Earlier, creating models in a digital software package was enough to sell an architectural design or plan to prospective clients. But today, technologies such as virtual reality and methodologies like Building Information Modelling are being used by most architects to showcase their designs.
Now, the key to selling a brand is moving ahead with time. Suppose your firm is one of the five companies presenting their designs to potential clients. The other four firms are presenting portfolios and models, but you decide to display your ideas using virtual reality. Guess the obvious winner?
It’s more likely for the client to be impressed with the use of innovative technologies during the presentations. So, make sure you market your firm by adopting the latest technologies and methodologies to set yourself apart from competitors.
In order to establish yourself as a successful architect in the competitive architectural field, you need to market your firm and its services to a wider group of potential clients. Only then will you be able to generate leads and finally convert them into clients.
But as we all know, the creative minds of architects fail to realize the significance of marketing strategies in expanding their business. That’s a common mistake that you have to avoid if you wish to see your firm grow.
So, get yourself out there, reach out to a broad audience, and sell your architectural services. Our informative guide will surely help you learn more about marketing and be a better marketer.
On that note, we’ll bid you adieu. But we’re always here to help, so reach out whenever you’re in need of a few more marketing tips.