If you’re a small architectural firm, you may have quite a small budget for marketing as with the rest. That means you have to be strategic about it to attract new work. The good news is, there are many ways to do this today, many of them even for free.
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 far from a fad. People come here to talk about their lives. Some social media sites are made exclusively for architects and their clients or potential clients, and there are general sites like Facebook, which is for everybody. The idea is to listen and take part in the conversation.
If there’s something you absolutely have to invest in as an architect, no matter how limited your marketing budget may be, it’s a professionally designed website. It’s a core component of your brand. Most importantly, it must be a website created with your clients in mind. In fact, everything you do is part of your brand, from your website to the car you drive. At the end of the day, the brand you build should make people trust you.
Networking is like planting seeds – you’ll never know which ones will sprout and give you a new client, whether directly or through connections. So go around and tell people about what you do, but make sure to keep it real and 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. For instance, 3D visualization and modeling tools let you and your client see what the project will cost or look like even before the space plan is done.
Marketing your firm online is cheap and effective, but there are other ways to do it for the same cost and results. Getting involved in community groups is one example. Choose a group that is a target market or one that can hook you up 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.
Finally, make sure your existing clients are happy so they will talk about you in all the positive ways. Remember that word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool you can use. Clients speaking well of you, is marketing.