How to get clients as an architect?
This is a question that comes to the mind of all architects planning to grow their business. I am sure you must have thought about it too.
The internet has revolutionized the way we market our services online. Any professional services business requires an effective advertising platform, and the Internet as a resource is one of the best ways to improve your service’s visibility. Of all the advertising platforms, the Internet is by far the surest option to generate business.
Research has it that 93% of online experiences, including shopping have begun at the search engine. As opposed to the 1.7% success rate of email advertising, SEO’s success rate is significantly higher, at 14%. It is also a fact that 95% of search engine users will click on the first three results.
Running an Architecture firm requires you to be visible, interact with clients fast and effectively and maintain relevance by building a reputation. Investing in your Architecture services visibility is worth it, to say the least. Granted there exist a bunch of advertising platforms you can utilize. While some media are good, the most effective to date is the internet, and the statistics confirm the theory.
With this information in mind, we shall explore the different types of marketing, you as an architect can utilize, and in turn effectively make your business a success.
1. ADVERTISING PLATFORMS AND MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social Media advertising has revolutionized advertising as we know it. With over 1.5 billion active monthly users on Facebook only, you can easily reach out to your target only. The best thing about social media marketing is that it lets you work within your disposable budget.
You also get to choose your own target audience, determine the frequency of ad appearance and utilize interactive tools to ensure your word reaches your target audience fast and effectively. What’s more? You can beta-test the advert for free before using the ad boosting tools.
Almost every other company has some form of social media presence, be it a Facebook page, Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile or Pinterest listing. While choosing the demographics or audience, you will be able to select the ones you know your architecture service will appeal to. It could be a home renovation company, a construction firm or even a quantity survey corporate.
Here’s a breakdown of all social media platforms you can use to advertise your architecture business.
With Twitter, you can utilize the three available options of advertising, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts.
- Promoted Tweets – With this feature, your message will appear on the target audiences’ timelines, enabling you to directly appeal to customers who would require architectural services.
- Promoted Account – You get to invite people to follow your brand. Your page will frequently appear on your target audience’s Twitter feeds.
- Promoted Trends – Trending topics on Twitter are the most talked about subjects on the social media space. Using Promoted Trends will allow you to place your advert close to, if not at the top of that list.
The good thing with Twitter is that you get to interact with potential clients. The audience has been narrowed down to those who are likely to require architectural services.
Twitter is very interactive. With over 319 million monthly users, there is enough audience for your architecture firm. Advertising on Twitter is pretty simple and could go a long way in building business networks.
With a worldwide audience of over 1.5 billion active users monthly on average, there is no denying Facebook is one of, if not the most powerful social media advertising platforms. With Facebook you have the option of using Photo ads, Video ads, Carousel ads, Slideshows and Canvas options to advertise your architectural business. Key Facebook advertising features include
The tool allows you to use a filter that selects audiences based on education back ground, ethnic affiliation, what generation you want to appeal to, the household composition, users life events, parenting, current relationships and job. For your architecture business, you can select preference based on job, generation or education background for example.
You can customize your advert to reach the desired target based on user interests. These interests have been categorized under business and industry, fitness, food and drink, relationships and family, hobbies and recreational activities, and shopping. For an architectural business for example, ads would reach users with business and industry interests that relate to architecture.
Filters user based on data collected by Facebook and its partners. You can also choose to include people you have been in contact with or interacted with on Facebook.
Facebook’s ad pricing policy is interactive. After you customize your ad based on the above factors, you can set the pricing based on your budget.
You can easily turn your Facebook page to a network building platform, a system of getting feedback and also getting word out there about your company. You can design your posts to appeal to companies in the industry, example construction firms that are near to you and have a Facebook profile. The best thing about Facebook is that your post can reach a potential client’s personal profile, not necessarily through their company page, if they have one.
Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, your advertising options are closely related to those of Facebook. You can use Photo, Video or Carousel to get the word around. Once you select your objectives, your advert will appear to the filtered audience’s Instagram feed. Just like Facebook, pricing is based on number of engagements. Pricing starts at $0.72 per click.
Architecture involves photography a great deal. Instagram as a photo and video sharing platform is the perfect place to visually showcase your projects to potential clients. You can get direct messages and comments as you interact with your audience on a personal level.
Ads on Pinterest also known as ‘’Promoted Pins’’ are just normal pins, but are promoted to reach a wider audience. Pinterest uses three campaign strategies to promote ads.
- Awareness Campaigns – If your architecture business is new and you want to improve its visibility online, this is the best option to use
- Engagement Campaigns – Pinners get to interact with your advert, either by repining or clicking on your advert, in this case Promoted Pin.
- Traffic Campaigns – if your architecture business is online, you can use Traffic Campaigns to direct potential clients who are on Pinterest to your web page.
With Pinterest, you can also select targeting based on location, type of device, gender and language. The location filter would be useful if you are focusing your services on a specific area. You can share your projects, ideas and information to millions of people as you widen your scope of cover and build your profile.
LinkedIn is designed to appeal to professional businesses, and professional services like Architecture would fit in perfectly on LinkedIn. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, the users are professionals and employees. You can filter your advert targeting based on location, industry, their level of seniority and how big the company they work for is.
With LinkedIn, you can advertise your service by sharing the content with a targeted audience. The key tools in LinkedIn include
- Sponsored Inmailing – allows you to send ad campaign messages directly to a LinkedIn user’s inbox.
- Sponsored Content – allows you to set you advert to reach LinkedIn users through posts that appear on their timeline.
- Text Ads – allows you to market your services at the right hand side of the LinkedIn page.
- Dynamic Ads – also appear in the right column of the page, but they include display ad units formats.
LinkedIn is more professional, with thousands of businesses that would require architecture services. You can build your professional profile and boost your profile using the above modes of advertising.
2. AUTHORITY POSITIONING MARKETING
Authority Positioning marketing enables businessmen and entrepreneurs gain authority status in the industry they work in by using their knowledge as leverage. Once the individual establishes a position of authority, they can amplify their services and reach even better-paying clients. Basically, once you provide enough proof of your competency, skills and expertise, you leverage yourself against competition.
Authority Positioning has been utilized by Architectural professionals, as clients often look for the best in the market. If done correctly, you can set yourself apart, and appeal to clients who do not have specific Architectural services at their disposal.
The most popular ways of successfully conducting Authority Positioning include
- Leveraging against competition – You can make your architecture business reputable and respected by doing what the competition is not doing. This would involve research to obtain information that would provide leverage for your business’s strategies
- Creating Influence – You can build your architecture practice to stand out from competition by presenting yourself as influential in the market
- Build trust – You can leverage against competition by building trust between you and your clients. Some clients value loyalty and once you market yourself by being trustworthy, you can get loyalty from clients.
The key to successful Authority Positioning is to differentiate your practice from competition. When potential clients search online for architecture services, stand-out and authoritative professionals with proven credibility stand a better chance at securing business. Authority Positioning is a perfect way to appeal to serious, more intricate clients. They are the ones with big business too!
3. WORD OF MOUTH
Speaking directly to potential clients has to be the oldest marketing mediums to use. Getting word out there by word of mouth can be rewarding especially if your architecture business is reputable and well known. Some of the most effective word of mouth your architectural business could utilize include
- Using your reputation as leverage – Customers often want some level of assurance. You can utilize everything good about your business to your advantage when advertising through word of mouth
- Value your customers – clients more often than not pick up tiny details that they use when selecting a good architecture service. Your customers are golden, and ensure they know that too.
- Retain your current clients – ensure you are in constant communication with your clients, keeping them up-to-date with any information that would be relevant to them. Obtaining feedback is also a great way to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Use Referral Campaigns – referral campaigns are a great way to get your word out there. Create a referral campaign that provides incentives to clients who create business for you by word of mouth
- Create networks within the construction industry – Create useful networks in the construction industry that would advertise your business just by speaking about it. Networking is one of the most effective ways of advertising by word of mouth
Word of mouth is the most popular marketing platform for an architecture business. Word of mouth is about expanding your network and connections. You are building your reputation with influential individuals from different sectors of the industry. Your word if done correctly can appeal to clients who take up references from friends and colleagues.
4. GETTING PUBLISHED
Getting published involves developing content from scratch that is useful to industry players. Books, journals, handbooks, newspaper columns and articles are examples of ways you can get published.
Pros of getting published
- Getting published builds your reputation as an architect.
- It also helps build trust with current and potential clients
- Your published work will be proof of competency and skill
- You will appeal to clients who do not know about you
- You will be able to get feedback from your target audience
Making publications about your practice or architecture, in general, would appeal to people who read newspapers and print media. Print media is still popular, even though social media is the digital alternative. Print media is here to stay. The older generation relies on print media for news and information. You can design your advertisement to be appealing to that generation.
5. CONTENT AND INBOUND MARKETING
Content Marketing involves creating, publishing, marketing and distributing content over the internet. Content marketing is different from other forms of internet marketing. Inbound marketing involves creating content that attracts a certain audience as opposed to outbound marketing. Content marketing focuses on meeting the needs of your audience through information provision. Other forms of online marketing focus on creating demand for the products they are selling.
Content marketing will help your architectural business to
- Get the attention of clients and generate leads to your key points of sale
- Expand your customer base by providing solutions to people who need it
- Improve your online presence which will, in turn, generate business for you
- Improve your business credibility and visibility
- Engage and interact with online users as a target audience
Examples of content you can create to boost your architecture business online presence includes
- Videos – You can create informative or instructional videos that are useful to your audience. Head over to the VIDEO MARKETING excerpt within this article to know how to use video marketing effectively.
- Informative articles – You can create content in form of articles that highlight the various services your architecture business is providing to reach out to your target audience. a good place to start, for example, is creating ‘’How To’’ articles or ‘’Top Lists’’.
- Webinars, surveys, Q%A, interviews, infographics, quizzes and podcasts are also good examples of content you can create
You can use Content Management Systems (CMS) to track the success of your content. Examples of CMS platforms include Joomla, Drupal, DotNetNuke, SharePoint, MODX, CMS Made Simple and concrete5.
6. Video Marketing
Video Marketing involves creating videos that appeal to your target market directly. Statistics has it that by the end of 2017, videos will account for 69% of online traffic. Creating videos that are useful to your target audience is one of the most effective ways of strategic marketing.
Advantages of video marketing
- Naturally engaging
- Increases chances of going viral
- Easy to create
- It is the future of content marketing
Once you create your video, it is important to market it correctly. A great place to start would be launching your own YouTube channel. From there you can use YouTube’s video advertising features to reach out to intended targets. Other video sharing platforms include VideoEgg, Dailymotion, Google Video, AOL and Eyespot. There are over 60 video sharing spots online.
You will then need to use video marketing tools to ensure the success of your video content. Examples of interactive tools you can use include
These are just examples. They are powerful tools you can use to create interactive, instructional and engaging videos in minutes. You can then publish your content via YouTube, the social media or even your own website.
7. EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing involves reaching out to your target audience via their email addresses. You will need to create an ‘’email list’’ and then utilize powerful internet tools to send bulk email to potential clients. Email marketing involves using utility tools to send many emails at once. Examples include
- Litmus Mail
- Mail Chimp
- Mad Mimi
- Cake Mail
These tools have been designed to meet all your email marketing needs. All you need to do is sign up for a service and you are set.
The best thing about email marketing is that nowadays it is impossible to operate a business without an email address. Therefore, your email list can include companies with the likelihood to require architecture services. You can separate the wheat from the chaff and ensure your information goes to the right audience directly.
8. RADIO MARKETING
Radio Marketing involves the use of radio broadcast to reach out to potential clients. It can be powerful, especially for a n architecture firm. There are radio channels that focus on the construction industry, with the listeners being industry players who form the biggest portion of your clientele. If your target market listens to the radio, you can use radio adverts to push your services through. Advantages of using radio marketing include
- Targeted audience – every radio station appeals to a specific market segment. Choosing a station that is specific to your audience ensures success
- Radio is convenient – figuratively, radio is still popular and given how easy it is to listen to the radio, marketing via the medium is effective
- Voice is memorable – Unlike written word, sound or voice is more memorable.
- Cost effective – given the outreach numbers, Radio uses repetition frequency and chances are that an audience will hear your advert more than once. This is also cost effective.
9. OUTDOOR MARKETING
Professional service providers including architects have utilized outdoor advertising since time immemorial. Outdoor advertising utilizes either print or digital media to showcase your services outdoor. Advantages of using outdoor advertising include
- Diversity of audience
- Appealing and eye-catchy
- Reach and frequency work to improve your brand’s visibility
- Some outdoor advertising formats are interactive
- It is always on, thus the life of your campaign is extended
There exist so many ways of improving visibility. Architecture relies heavily on word of mouth advertising. Technology has improved the way we conduct advertising. The internet is one of the best marketing resources you can use.
Search Engine Orientation is the best way to advertise. You will not only attract more clients to your key point of sale, but also increase your service’s visibility. This will, in turn, translate into more business for you.
10. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) FOR ARCHITECTS
Search Engine Orientation is by far the best long-term marketing strategy for clients. Here is why.
SEO as a marketing discipline focuses on improving visibility on the search engine. The three most fundamental facts about SEO include
- SEO will improve traffic to your website, especially if you are using the web as your main point of sale
- The search engine is designed to respond to how well you utilize SEO
- The right keyword combination will increase traffic to your website effectively
While the social media can act to generate leads to your website, SEO works to improve the efficiency of your website in terms of visibility. As an architect, you need to generate leads to your services the fastest and most convenient way possible. When people search for architecture services online, SEO will increase the chances of the potential client landing to your website.
Granted, there exist several SEO management tools online, some of which are free. You will need the best tools available. If your budget allows you to pay for one, do it. Cheap SEO tools are not as effective. Below are some of the best SEO tools available.
- Moz Pro
- AWR Cloud
Advantages of using SEO
SEO is the best long term advertising solution for your architecture practice and here is why.
- Visibility. This means you stand a greater chance of securing that client who decides to use the search engine to look for architecture services
- Cost effective. The advantages far outweigh the costs. Brand visibility is important for any thriving business. SEO is actually not that expensive to use as a marketing strategy.
- Easy website navigation. SEO has been designed to assist your target audience get the most from a simple web search. Once you utilize the service, you are not only generating leads but also increasing your website’s usability and ease of navigation.
Why SEO Is Better Than Any Other Paid Strategy
Increased Chances of Landing Clients
Whether you are advertising via social media or through your website, you will still need to increase chances of directing people to your point of sale. Chances that a client with no existing architecture connection will go online and search for architecture firms are very high. SEO will ensure your business is not a needle in the haystack.
Creates More Leads
SEO will create leads directly to your website. By orienting a potential client’s keywords to the content in your website, you are already forming a network between you, the internet and your client.
Search Engine Popularity
Google is the most visited website currently. This means almost every web navigation starts with the search engine. Making the engine work in your favor increases the chances of landing clients.
Sustainable Marketing Advantage
The initial cost of doing SEO might seem high. But once you generate leads and traffic, the traffic works to your advantage. Compared to other media, SEO is more sustainable as your business increases in popularity with time. The magnitude of audience increases, but you will only need to invest the same or a slightly higher amount of cash into SEO.
New Competition Will Need To Play Catch-up
That new start-up will need to get in line when they choose to also use SEO. Your business will always be steps in front of new businesses especially start-ups. Compared to the other advertising media, SEO takes time but once you are up and running, anyone new will be below you. Your already existing leads give you a competitive edge to leverage against the competition.
Where Do I Start?
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