10 Marketing Strategies for Architecture Firms
Get Your Firm Noticed with These Architectural Marketing Ideas
You need to take several things into account when selling architectural services. The role of your salespeople is vital. Without a strong sales strategy, you won’t be able to maintain communications with prospective clients.
But how do you open communications in the first place? Cold calling and other sales strategies can work. However, some people prefer not to establish contact in this fashion. In fact, people who may have become clients might turn away from your firm if you cold call them.
As a result, you need some marketing strategies for architecture firms. Your marketing will expose you to people who become interested in your company based on the information you present. Less direct than sales, marketing allows you to build your brand and inform potential clients.
There are tons of architectural marketing ideas out there. Pulling them all together into a cohesive marketing strategy is the key. This is especially important for startup firms. Without a solid marketing strategy, you may not make a dent in the market share your competitors enjoy. Of course, established companies also need to keep marketing themselves if they’re to enjoy continued success.
So where do you get started? Here are 10 marketing strategies for architecture firms.
Strategy #1 – Use Social Media
Do not underestimate the importance of digital marketing for architecture firms. Those free social media pages can be your gateway to new clients, if you use them properly.
The biggest mistake you can make is to create a social media page and then leave it to stagnate. Any followers you attract early on will abandon the page, plus you won’t attract any new followers.
Instead, you need a full social media marketing strategy. Furthermore, you have to consider the platform itself. For example, LinkedIn is a professional social network. As such, you should use it to network and establish yourself as an authority in the sector. By contrast, Pinterest is an image-based network. You can use it to host images from your portfolio that may inspire people to talk about you.
Adopting social media may offer you an edge over your competition. After all, many architecture firms don’t make full use of their social media profiles. This leaves a gap in the market that you can use to build your firm’s reputation and brand.
Strategy #2 – Define Your Position
You may hear people talk about the 4 P’s of marketing for architects. This structure outlines the four key concerns architects must keep in mind when creating their marketing strategies.
Your position in the market is one of the “P’s”. You need to tell your clients exactly who you are and what you can do for them.
A quick browse of some architectural firms’ websites will show you how not to put this P into practice. Many firms try to become multitasking marvels. They’ll list every architectural discipline under the sun in an effort to attract some clients. However, this tactic creates the impression that the firm may not offer quality. Think of the old cliché of “a jack of all trades is a master of none”. It applies very well in this situation.
You need to avoid this. To do that, set your stall out early on. Let potential clients know what you specialise in, and provide examples of your work. Yes, some clients may not need that service. However, those who do will be more likely to choose your company over a multi-discipline company because you have a firm position in the market.
Strategy #3 – Use Lead Generation Services
It may be one of the older marketing strategies for architecture firms, but lead generation services do work. In fact, many people point to this as the fastest marketing strategy in the sector.
Lead generation takes several forms. Cold calling is one of the most prominent. A company will obtain the data of thousands of individuals. Using this data, plus the information you provide about your firm, they’ll make calls in the hope of getting people interested in your services. It’s a form of direct marketing that does produce results. However, it can also turn people off if they don’t want the disruption of a phone call.
Other lead generation companies use digital marketing. They’ll create websites to advertise your services. Usually, these sites contain forms that the company uses to capture visitor information. If a visitor enters their information, it gets sent to you, and you can treat it like a hot lead. After all, this person has just shown an interest in your company.
Lead generation campaigns put you in front of a lot of people very quickly. However, you’ll also need to prepare yourself for a lot of unqualified leads.
Strategy #4 – Invest in Your Website Portfolio
Many architectural firms are behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing. They see their websites as simple business cards. They’ll provide some basic details, rather than using the site to build the firm’s brand.
You should avoid this mistake because digital marketing for architecture firms is a very powerful tool. Your website offers you the opportunity to showcase your wares like few other marketing tools. For example, you can host every part of your portfolio on your website to attract potential clients. You may find that the quality of the images in your portfolio alone could be enough to bring in new business. Make those images shareable on social media and you’re on your way to creating a great digital strategy.
Closely consider every message you send out via your website. Each piece of content needs to serve a purpose. Clutter leads to bad web design, which will turn visitors off. Remember that your website offers you the opportunity to tell your story. Grasp it with both hands.
Strategy #5 – Start Speaking in Public
Does anybody in the industry know who you are? Why not?
It’s probably because you aren’t getting out there and building a reputation for yourself. While posting content online can help you to develop your firm’s brand, some clients are going to want to see that you are the real deal.
This is where public speaking engagements could become a crucial technique for selling architectural services.
Public speaking offers you a captive audience. The room will be full of people who want to hear your opinions. More importantly, as a speaker, you place yourself in a position of authority. You become an influencer because your opinion is now louder than everybody else’s.
Of course, you need to back that impression up with your presentations. Public speaking won’t help if you can’t deliver a potent message. Practice for every engagement and make sure you always have a clear message to deliver. Get it right, and your audiences will grow, which means more opportunities for your firm.
Strategy #6 – Work on Your Elevator Pitch
Have you developed an elevator pitch for your firm? This isn’t the bulky sales pitch that you may use in full conversations with potential clients. Instead, your elevator pitch is a quick description of what your firm does. It should be short, snappy, and to the point.
Ideally, your elevator pitch should last no more than a minute. That shortness is the point. You should be able to deliver it anywhere, without taking up too much of the listener’s time.
Figure out your firm’s value proposition, which is the thing that separates your firm from the competition. Work that into the pitch, alongside a snippet of your story. Keep trimming it down until you have a pitch that delivers the essence of what makes your company so good.
A strong elevator pitch is one of the key marketing strategies for architecture firms. Hone yours until you know it will break the ice at the start of any conversation. The pitch should leave the potential client wanting more, so always keep that in mind.
Strategy #7 – Get Yourself Published
Nothing builds your reputation faster than getting published. Happily, there are plenty of options available to architects. Conducting studies and publishing white papers will earn recognition from those in the industry. You may open up new opportunities thanks to the quality of your work alone.
However, getting published involves more than educational work. Any space you take up in newspapers and industry magazines is valuable for your marketing efforts. It all adds to your air of authority. If people see you as an expert in the industry, they’re more likely to listen when you’re selling architectural services.
A common strategy is to mention something that you can provide to readers in your articles. For example, you may have a booklet that offers useful information. If your article is good enough, your readers will want to read more.
Of course, you need to think about where you’re getting published. A great article doesn’t mean much if the wrong people read it. Research relevant publications and start building connections with editors to improve your chances of getting published.
Strategy #8 – Circulate Your Newsletter
Let’s circle back round to digital marketing for architecture firms. You may have a great website that attracts visitors, but how do you keep those people engaged? They may like what they see on the site, but may need your services right now. If you don’t keep that prospect engaged, you may slip out of his or her mind by the time they could use your services.
This is where creating a newsletter could help. Use your website to ask visitors to opt into a weekly or monthly email. A simple form asking for an email address is often enough. Many people offer an added incentive, such as a free booklet, for signing up.
Once you have the user’s email address, you can start sending newsletters. This will keep you at the top of the person’s mind, meaning you’re one of the first ports of call when they need architectural services.
Strategy #9 – Don’t Discard Old Leads
A lot of firms get rid of their old leads when they don’t come to fruition. It’s an understandable decision. After all, why should you focus on old leads when you can chase new ones?
That’s a valid point, but it ignores circumstance. A lead may not have converted because the prospective client wasn’t in a position to use your services at that time. All this means is that you were selling architectural services at the wrong time.
Let’s say that somebody contacted you about your services. After some discussion, the client decided not to go ahead. There could be any number of reasons for that.
Instead of discarding that client’s details, think about whether it’s worth following up later on. Wait for a couple of weeks and send an email asking if the client is still interested in whatever you discussed.
Yes, some will answer in the negative. However, others may now be in a position to move forward. If you hadn’t contacted them, you may never have had the chance to turn that lead into a client.
Strategy #10 – Adopt New Technologies
The ideas behind how to sell architectural design change constantly. Five years ago, it was enough to create interesting models in a digital design software package. Today, we have new technologies, such as virtual reality. There are also new methodologies, like Building Information Modelling.
A key part of selling architectural services is staying ahead of the pack. Clients want to work with companies that move with the times.
Think about it like this. Your company is one of five that is presenting to a potential client. The other four companies go through their portfolios and models during their presentations. Then, you enter the room with virtual reality hardware. Instead of talking the client through your ideas, you can use virtual reality to show them.
Who do you think the client is going to be most impressed with?
Adopting new technologies will help you to market your firm. In fact, moving forward with, or even ahead of the industry will set you apart from your competitors.
That rounds up the 10 best marketing strategies for architecture firms. Hopefully, you have read something here that you can put into practice when selling architecture services.
Now, you need to start building your portfolio. ArchiStar Academy can help. We have courses on sales, marketing and business development. We run several courses in some of the architecture industry’s leading digital design software packages. We also offer many of these software packages at industry-leading prices on our website. Get in touch to find out more.
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Posted on 10 Dec 2018