How to make your architectural firm stand out and win valuable customers
In these times of uncertainty, it is of great importance for your architecture firm to stay solid in the market. This cannot be achieved magically, but instead requires a long-term approach focusing on improving both your business and marketing presence.
Four strategies on how to win more valuable customers and stand out in your business are explored below.
Increase your online presence with digital marketing
Before the Pandemic, attracting new clients online was only relevant for young professionals, due to the typology of the requested projects – mostly residential and light commercial. If you are new in this field, the best option would be to hire a company that specializes in running online advertising. There are several providers of these types of services online, and it would be best to choose one that can focus on your targeted clientele.
These days, in order to take control of your architecture firm's future, you must focus and invest in showcasing the best qualities of your firm in the online sphere. According to RIBA’S 2013-2014 report, up to 5% of total practice turnover is spent on marketing, while it has been increasing a lot more in the consecutive years.
When it comes to public speaking, it sure is not for everyone. Nevertheless, it is one of the most effective strategies for winning architecture clients and showing the qualities of your architecture firm. There are several conferences and workshops where you can share (or teach) valuable lessons with your audience and future potential clients.
Nowadays, most events are being held online via virtual meeting platforms like webinars, which makes it easier to reach a large audience and cut costs. Selecting into which events to speak at, consider focusing on your preferred project typology: healthcare, residential, interior, etc. You might even host such events yourself, and invite your loyal clients to spread the word in their group. This saves you time and enables you to get your message to many potential clients at once, which can result in many future opprtunities, because it surely increases your firm's recognition.
Traditional media publishing
Getting published in local newspapers and magazines is a tactic that adds authority and raises the profile of your architecture firm. Since written media is a vast field, your article must be part of a publication that can be read by your potential clients. Even though it is advised to write about your main area of expertise, you need to not be too technical.
To get published, other than finding an interesting topic or project you want to write about, your main focus should be on building relations with editors, writers, and journalists of your target media. Nowadays, you can easily do that by expressing your interest via a formal e-mail or requesting an online meeting.
In addition, you also need the right visuals and photographs that enhance your project’s value. Exceptional images attract the readers and therefore increase your chances of being noticed and contacted by a future client.
Architecture is built on relationships, and these relationships are built over time – just like your projects. The main asset of your firm is your network and this is a classic strategy that never fails. Getting involved with several groups in your area can help you build relationships that last and get you more clients.
Even though it can be uncomfortable to call or visit your network contacts, it is the quickest way to spread the word and bring you your next project/client. Some of your best clients come from your friends' acquaintances and therefore you need to share your plans and ideas with all the people you meet.
Remember, that your past leads (whether successful or not) are also part of your network. It is important to reach out and ask them if they are still considering doing/building the project they were planning on. This showcases your seriosity in the profession, and even if they are not ready to continue with the past project, such an initiative can open up the conversation for a new project, or they might refer you to a new client.