Last updated on October 7th, 2017
The promotion of an architectural design business can seem like a daunting task. Where should you begin? Is it best to focus all of your efforts in one place, or to try a variety of tactics at once? Which avenues are the most important, and which will be most relevant to you? It can seem like a lot to cover, but there are a few key areas to keep in mind when promoting your business or firm.
From developing your online presence to finding ways to make your architectural design business a center of attraction, successfully promoting your business requires a bit of strategic thinking, as well as an awareness of how to approach the various channels and platforms that can get the word out about the work you do.
Here Are 10 Tips For Promoting An Architectural Design Business
01. Understand Your Target Audience
Promoting an architectural design firm can present a particular challenge, as you’ll likely be aiming to appeal to a very specific target market. Developing a deep understanding of your clientele is crucial when developing your brand and making decisions about every aspect of promotion – this should be the first place you start, as it will be the backbone of your marketing efforts.
Consider exactly what it is you offer, and whom you’re offering it to. Are you a luxury property firm, helping affluent individuals design their dream homes, or do you work with a more corporate clientele? Once you know exactly whom you’re targeting, step into their shoes and do some research around your competitors to see how they are appealing to your audience – and take some inspiration from their techniques.
02. Build A Great Website
As the modern world becomes increasingly technologically dependent, the online presence of your architecture firm can make or break your success. Your first online consideration should be your website design, as when it comes to architecture, a well-designed site can make the difference between appealing to a potential client and turning them away.
Make sure your site design reflects your brand and also includes plenty of visual aids and examples of your work. A great architecture business website strikes a balance between providing all the information your visitors need to know about and showing off the fantastic work that you have done.
On top of this, make sure your site makes use of good SEO (search engine optimisation) to maximise your visibility to anyone searching in your industry and location. There are plenty of basic steps you can take yourself, or you could consider enlisting the help of a professional consultant or agency.
03. Social Media
Social media may not be your main source of lead generation, but it’s important in developing a credible and authentic online presence. It’s also surprisingly easy to get the hang of, so don’t let it fall by the wayside!
As a visual art form, architecture lends itself perfectly to social media, particularly on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure you have profiles on all major channels, and share interesting content that is in line with your overall brand.
Post regularly, and try to develop a consistent tone and style that fits your brand both visually and in terms of content. You can also post industry updates and offer insights into recent developments, or simply provide aspirational images of your past work. In each instance, make sure the content you post is tailored to your target audience.
On top of this, connect with businesses and influencers in the industry, and start to make your presence known in the architectural social media sphere. Sharing the content and posts of people you’ve worked with before is a great place to start with, as it’ll reinforce and cultivate any positive relationships you already have.
04. Network Online And Offline
Networking is a vital part of promotion, but this is particularly true for architectural design firms. With both the online and offline worlds presenting countless networking opportunities, making the effort to capitalise on them can pay dividends.
Networking online can involve simple social media connections (particularly on platforms like LinkedIn, where you can easily find individuals or businesses you’d like to work with) or even just email outreach. Creating mailing lists of potential, current, and prior clients and writing them a regular newsletter is also a good way to liaise with useful contacts.
Offline networking will involve attending networking events, trade fairs, and other social meet-ups with individuals in your niche. Promoting an architectural design business doesn’t just involve connecting with potential clients, but also significant people within the industry – so keep an eye out for any opportunities to meet useful contacts, and get out there often.
05. Partner With Specialists
Architecture firms inevitably work with a number of contractors and specialists. This is often true when projects require specific products or materials – for instance, if one of your projects is going to involve cutting-edge sliding glass doors, chances are you’ll decide to work with a glazing specialist, rather than try and source and install the products and materials yourself.
By reaching out to businesses like these, (particularly ones you work with on a regular basis) and proposing partnerships between your firms, you can create lucrative opportunities for promotion. By recommending their services to your clients – and receiving their recommendation in turn – you can widen the net of potential clients you’re reaching significantly.
At the heart of great architecture lies innovation, and the chances are that as an architectural firm you’ll be aiming to push boundaries and design inspiring new projects regularly. Capitalising on this spirit of innovation and aiming to make a name for your firm as an industry leader is a great opportunity for promotion, as it can make your business a talking point.
You could consider partnering with academics and conducting cutting edge research, or you might want to develop a new technique or product unique to your business that also fills a gap in the market, and sets you apart from the competition.
Seeking opportunities like this and finding ways to put yourself at the forefront of the industry are fantastic sources for promotion across all channels and platforms, and will have people talking about your firm in an excited and positive way.
07. Use Your Projects As Advertising Opportunities
As an architecture firm, you have access to some of the most striking and powerful advertisements in the form of your past projects. Capitalising on this is a great way to promote your firm, particularly if you work on commercial or corporate buildings.
For example, simply offering business cards in the foyer or reception area of any commercial building you’ve worked on is a fantastic way to let people know that your firm was the creative design lead on the space. Similarly, using signage on a building you’ve worked on that is for sale can be a great opportunity to tempt new leads.
08. Contact Press And Publications About News
Architecture is a popular talking point, and features describing upcoming projects often appear in newspapers, magazines, and various online publications. You should aim to capitalise on this by reaching out to any relevant publications about your completed and upcoming projects. Try to develop working relationships with local newspapers and community magazines, and let them know about the exciting projects you’re involved in.
Publications will react favourably if you can create your own press releases about your work, as well as any exciting events you are organising or attending. This will help you to build those pivotal relationships with print and online publications in the architectural sector.
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09. Speak Up
One of the best opportunities to promote your architectural design business is to regularly speak at relevant events, such as trade fairs and conferences. You can use these platforms to demonstrate your expertise, delivering talks on developments in the industry, the specifics of your niche, or simply your experiences as an architectural business.
From potential clients to useful business contacts, you never know who might be in attendance at corporate events. In terms of getting your firm in front of influential people, delivering talks is perhaps the best way to make your business a literal talking point. If you’re not particularly enamoured by the prospect of public speaking, then enlisting a talented member of staff to help is a great idea. Which brings us to:
10. Get Your Staff Involved
Successfully and consistently promoting an architectural firm is no easy task. It’s not as straightforward as it is for other businesses that can simply employ traditional advertising and marketing methods, either – so it doesn’t make sense to attempt this task alone.
Your employees can help your efforts in all kinds of ways, and enlisting their support is a great way to not only promote your firm, but also cultivate a sense of loyalty and team spirit. Teach your staff to become ambassadors for your brand, and capitalise on their existing skills. If you have team members who are great writers or are social media wizards, then see if they can lend a hand with your content creation.
Similarly, keeping your team up to speed with all of your promotion efforts via regular meetings or memos is a good idea, as they can factor this in when they are meeting clients or speaking with other industry professionals. If you foster an attitude of teamwork when it comes to promotion, you’ll be able to broaden your efforts, and having everyone behind the success of your firm is no bad thing.
With the above -mentioned tips you can market your architectural firms without blowing off your budget. Though, don’t expect instant results, you need to continuously put efforts to make a mark.