Promoting your business as an architect depends equally on the trust in your work, and the style of your work, displayed in a portfolio. Like so many other businesses, people come to you for your vibe, so showcasing that is integral to your marketing, but since this work is so permanent and structural, proving your expertise is also vital.
Often these businesses can operate on word of mouth, where a past client will tell all their friends about you throughout and after their project is completed, or the relationships with other vendors who will make a referral. However, to build up that client base, and to reach new audiences and new generations of home owners you’ll need to expand beyond the more passive options, and become proactive in gaining discovery from those who are likely to need to hire an architect in the near future.
My recommendation for an architect is to:
You should also make sure you take photos and video of the following:
For best search engine optimisation:
Depending on whether you mostly work on residential or commercial projects, or a mix of both, you’ll select the platforms most likely to help you reach your target audience. This will likely include LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or TikTok. To have the best results:
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To build up that client base, and to reach new audiences and new generations of home owners you’ll need to expand beyond the more passive options, and become proactive in gaining discovery from those who are likely to need to hire an architect in the near future
This will be a place to run awareness ads to share about your brand, traffic ads to send people to your website service pages, and conversion ads to send people to your forms. You can show up in front of people in your area, who are the right age, who are either homeowners or working in certain industries, and possibly who would be likely to enjoy your style of design.
You can also retarget to those who liked or engaged with traffic ads or visited certain pages on your website. In particular, you might like to use these ads to get back in front of people who have not engaged with your content in a while.
If there’s enough people searching for your services in your area, you can run search ads. This is something that won’t be for you if your budget per month is modest, but could be a great option for those with a few hundred dollars to spend on ad budget each month. Start small and build the budget so you can find the search ceiling for your area and keywords. Regular testing of your ads is recommended, so you can continue to make adjustments week to week, don’t set it and forget it.
You might also like to add YouTube or display ads to get in front of people outside of search too.
Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with people as they plan their projects and wait for the right time to reach out. You may need to pay for a software to help you facilitate this, although many softwares have a free plan to get you started. Email is a great space to gain trust and share your expertise.
If you don't have a website, and plan to combine the email list, blog and website into one combined site, check out Beehiiv. For those who already have a website separately and are looking for a tool just for email, is Flodesk. Their templates and platform make it super easy to set up your own email templates and automations.
You may like to use a software you already have for client or project management, or one which integrates with it.
To entice people to sign up for your email list, you might like to provide a free document they receive on subscription. This might include information that will help them prepare for their project with you, rather than to replace any of your services. This can be doubly helpful in that your new clients are slightly more prepared than they would be otherwise. You might use the forms or documents you have as part of your onboarding as a starting point for this. You might also create a download of jargon and things to know to help them upgrade their knowledge.
Once they’re on your list, it’s best to either not contact them too often, possibly monthly or quarterly, or to at least provide key value when you do send emails.
You may find that hosting events gives you a reason to reach out to people and for them to connect with you. That might be asking them to be a guest, a speaker, or to sponsor a larger event. You can:
You might like to create blog posts around the common questions you get from clients and potential clients, or to expand on how parts of the process works. If you have a brand specific process for all projects, you might like to share insights, without giving everything away.
On a podcast, you might like to share similar content to your blog, or to interview people who have worked on projects you love, as well as potential future collaborators. On a Youtube channel you can really focus on the visual aspects and storytelling in unison, and make project videos, and educational or inspiring content.
You might also like to create content for other’s sites, or be a guest on other’s podcasts, rather than, or in addition to hosting your own. You might choose to collaborate with those who create content for other architects, developers, interior designers, suppliers, and your potential clients.
Having or being a guest on a podcast can act as fantastic networking. However, finding a mentor, coffee chats with peers, attending conferences or other vendors’ open houses and launch events are also great ways to meet people in person.
You could choose to join Facebook groups, Mighty Networks, or more formal networking groups from your local area. Sometimes the right groups for you are ones that overlap or are separate to architecture. This could be a mums or dads group, a business owners group, or something based around one of your hobbies, where you can occasionally mention your work, but it's not the focus.
If what’s out there doesn’t quite suit you, why not create it?
You may find local or national awards that you can submit your projects for. While these don’t often receive news exposure to the end consumer, it is helpful in making contacts and exposure in the industry, and can open up possibilities for press.
Fostering a connection with property photographers or editors of magazines and blogs can aid in gaining press, since it is often the awareness of your projects and the timelines that helps them keep you in mind for future prints.
This type of press usually requires more professional photos, and once your clients move in, that’s often too late to showcase the project in the way you want to. If you plan to submit your projects for awards or press, it will be best to invest early in those shoots. If you don’t know of any photographers or videographers, reach out to your real estate and interior design contacts, and browse magazines to see who they have credited in past editions. Don’t forget to get some snaps of you standing outside or inside the project too. Phone or DIY snaps are great for social, but these professional shots will up your credibility for awards and press, and for your website too.
No matter which platforms you choose, and how much effort you put into your marketing, it’s important that your focus is on the contacts you could receive and the potential exposure to potential clients. This awareness can be complimented by your word of mouth referrals, but means you don’t rely solely on your past work and can reach new audiences.
Disclaimer: This blog post is a small guide to some platforms this business type could use to expand their marketing. It is not a marketing plan or marketing strategy and is not tailored completely for your business. If you are looking for a marketing strategy, let’s chat.