It happens. Sometimes your referrals have dried up, and you’re struggling to get a consistent flow of clients for your firm. Maybe you are getting plenty of clients, but they don’t want to pay the prices you think you deserve to charge. It can be a struggle, but marketing yourself correctly as a premier architectural firm can help you land those awesome new projects.
Social media can seem daunting at first. Maybe you’ve made a few posts of some projects you’ve worked on but they only garner a few likes at best. The thing to remember with social media is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to use relevant hashtags, like #architecture, #architect, and more specific hashtags such as where each project is located. Don’t take the photos you post lightly either. If possible, hire a photographer with experience shooting architecture to photograph your projects. Having high quality imagery will attract more likes and follows, which in turn could lead to more leads.
Another important step is to interact with the community. Follow other architects! If you see work you like, comment on their post and tell them. A potential client may see your comment and check out your page. The more you interact, the more chances you have of being seen as well as establishing yourself as a regular in the community!
Be sure to stick to a consistent schedule, interact with your followers, and stick with it! Over time you will start to see growth that gets quicker over time.
Sometimes, your personal knowledge can be your best marketing asset. Is there an architecture podcast you love listening to? Reach out and see if you can be a guest. Maybe there is a blog or magazine you frequent. Send them an email asking if you could write an article for them. By sharing your knowledge and providing value to others, you not only increase your reach but position yourself as an expert in your field.
You might be wondering, “what could I possibly share that would help other architects?” That’s a valid question. I once heard from a fellow branding designer that there is always another designer who is not as experienced as you. Same is true in your case. There are designers everywhere who are either fresh out of school or struggling more than you are. Any value you can provide will benefit them. So, maybe your firm specializes in designing local boutique stores. You could share how architectural design can be used to enhance the customer experience and generate more store traffic. Not only does that help educate new architects, but a store owner could stumble across the article and find who they want to hire.
Finding your niche in the world of architecture can be a huge game changer for your business. Sure, at first it can sound counter-intuitive. Why would you limit your scope of projects to one small area, when you could get tons of clients from all different target markets? By niching down, you can become THE go-to firm for a specific type of project. Imagine if a restaurant owner was looking for an architect to design his new restaurant. Naturally, they google, “restaurant architect”. Who do you think he will want to hire? A studio who is labeled as just an architecture studio, or one that is specifically marketed as a firm that knows the in’s and out’s of restaurant design.
By limiting the size of your target market, you actually increase the amount of leads you will get, and can charge more as you position yourself as the top firm in the niche you choose.
It’s easy to just post a hundred pictures of your last project to your website and call it a day. Your work might look great, but a potential client wants to know what working with you would actually be like. Use your website’s project pages to tell the story of the project! Get quotes from your client sharing their side of the project and what it was like to work with you. Post photos of sketches and renderings, so your visitors can see your entire creative design process.
Your project pages can be a story full of life that gets people wanting to work with you. Anyone can post pretty pictures of the work they have done, so let your process and story telling separate you from the competition. If this means having just two great project pages instead of 30 project pages with just images, it is so worth it.
Following on the heels of number 4, your website needs to be able to convert. A website that doesn’t get you new architecture clients is wasted money. A successful website should help you generate the bulk of your new clients. There are a few easy things you can implement immediately to help your website rank higher in web searches.
First, make sure you are using relevant keywords to your niche. When creating content, speak as if you are talking directly to them, even calling them out by name. If your niche is dentist offices, make sure it is known! Having keywords about your niche will help those people find you even faster.
Secondly, make sure your site is mobile friendly. Most everyone browses the web on their phone more than their computers now. Your website could be killer on a desktop, but when scaled down to mobile it could absolutely fall apart. Make sure the experience is just as good, if not better, on mobile than it is on desktop. Search engines take note of this too. If your site is poor on mobile, you will rank lower in searches.
Your website could be the first place a potential client finds you, so make sure it is memorable. If you feel like your website could use an overhaul because it isn’t getting you new clients, or you don’t know the first thing about search engine optimization, give us a shout. We would love to work with you to help you book your dream architecture clients.