If you have a small architectural firm, your budget for marketing is probably limited just like the others. Therefore, it’s important to be strategic about it in order to bring in more work. The good news is, there are lots of ways to do this now, and most even cost nothing.
Many architects have been slow in adopting social media as a strategy, even if it offers a whole sea of real prospective clients. Social media is hardly a fad. It’s a place where people connect and talk about their lives. There are social media sites that are meant solely for architects to connect with potential or existing clients, and there are those that are for everybody, such as Facebook or Twitter. The idea is to listen and take part in the conversation.
If there’s one thing you should invest in as an architect, even with a limited marketing budget, it’s a professionally designed website. It plays a key role in your branding. Most importantly, it must be a website created with your clients in mind. In fact, everything you do contributes to your brand, from your website to your office and even your car. At the end of the day, you must build a brand that people will find trustworthy.
Networking can be likened to planting seeds – you won’t know which are going to sprout and bear a new client, whether directly or through an acquaintance or connection. So go around and spread the good news about what you do, but be sure to keep it authentic.
Among the most cost-effective but effective ways of marketing your architectural firm is sending out email newsletters regularly to both current and future clients. When someone in your circle needs an architect, you will be top of mind.
There’s a lot of technology now that you can use not just to boost your efficiency at work, but also to help you manage your client’s expectations. With 3D visualization and modeling tools, for example, you and your client will know how much the project will cost or what the building will look like even if the space plan is not yet complete.
Online marketing is cheap and effective, but that can also be true for offline strategies. One basic example is involvement in community groups. Look for a group that aligns with your target market, or with people who can connect you with your target market. For instance, join an animal rights group to meet prospective vet clinic clients or just animal lovers who might be interested in remodeling or building new homes.
Lastly, keep your existing clients satisfied and they will talk about you in positive ways. Note that word of mouth is still your most powerful tool when it comes to marketing your architectural firm. Clients speaking well of you, is marketing.