If you’re a small architectural firm, you may have quite a small budget for marketing as with the rest. Hence, you need to be strategic in spreading the word and attracting new clients. 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 far from 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 be part of 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 is at the core 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, you should build a brand people can trust.
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.
One of the least expensive yet effective ways of getting more clients as an architect is sending out regular email newsletters to your existing and prospective clients. This will keep you top of mind whenever someone in your circle needs an architect.
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.
Online marketing is cheap and effective, but that can also be true for offline strategies. Joining community groups is one simple example. 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. When clients are saying great things about you, that’s the best marketing you can ever do.