10 Not-So-Obvious Marketing Strategies Architects Can Use to Find ClientsFeb 09, 2024
As an architect, a great marketing campaign is essential if you want to find and retain new clients. You probably already know the basics of online marketing for architects — having a great website, maintaining active social media pages, creating a blog that’s optimized for search engines, and so on — but if you want to get the most out of your marketing campaign, you’ll need to think outside of the box.
With that said, here are ten creative types of marketing that architects just like you can consider:
1. Hosting Design Inspiration Nights
A great marketing campaign doesn’t have to focus solely on direct connections with clients; if you arrange an evening to network with other architects and professionals in adjacent fields (like interior design), the connections you make can lead to numerous referrals.
These nights don’t have to be extravagant affairs, either; all it takes is a group of creative professionals to come together with some refreshments. Everyone can share their portfolios, offer feedback, and discuss their processes for creating spaces.
They’re more than just a great outlet for your architecture marketing efforts as well; since they function like informal creative workshops, there’s a chance you’ll learn a thing or two!
2. Speak at Industry Events
Though you may not find your next client at an industry event, building your credibility with others in your industry is nonetheless a key part of marketing in architecture. Speaking at conferences and other such occasions will help get your name out there, and that, in turn, might increase your chances of getting referrals.
For instance, if another architect or designer sees your presentation and finds it memorable, they might give one of their own clients your contact information if they’re looking for a certain style that’s close to what you offer.
3. Send Personalized Thank-You Notes
Writing and sending thank-you notes might sound like an odd, old-school form of architectural marketing that has to do with building your client base — most professionals don’t take the time to thank their clients, much less write them thank-you notes — but your clients will remember such a thoughtful gesture. If they’re already satisfied with your work and then receive a personalized thank-you, you just might find yourself with a few more referrals.
4. Offer Free Consultations
If you’re trying to get more clients, you’re aiming to earn more money, so free consultations might sound counterintuitive at first, seeing as they take time and don’t bring in money.
That is, however, only in the short term; if your consultations are free, you’ll get more people scheduling consultations with you. Even people who aren’t completely sold on working with an architect will be more inclined to set one up.
Of course, some may ultimately decide against working with you, but if you make a good impression, you’ll more than likely be able to add a few more clients to your roster.
5. Have a Robust Cross-Promotion Strategy
Cross-promotions work best for professionals whose work intersects with that of other fields — just like you. Architectural work is related to interior design, building, and buying/selling real estate, so if your client roster could be longer, engaging in some creative collaboration might be your best next step.
Developing a great strategy for cross-promotion is a great chance to get creative. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Invest in joint marketing campaigns
- Co-host a special event
- Run promotions (for instance, if you work with an interior designer, they might offer their clients 20% off your services)
Keep in mind that cross-promotion will be easier in some situations than others. If two businesses have very different target audiences, for example, cross-promotion may not be particularly effective.
6. Run Weekly Giveaways
You already know that maintaining an active social media presence is vital when it comes to digital marketing for architecture firms, but getting your audience to engage (and stay engaged) with you can be a lot harder than it sounds.
There’s no better way to get people interested than to offer them free stuff, and even then, giveaways don’t have to break the bank; you might consider offering gift cards or brand swag.
7. Use Seasonal Mailers Strategically
For potential clients, choosing an architect to work with is a major decision, and that means you need to entice clients to take a look at your past projects. If you’re constantly sending out promotional emails, clients, both current and potential, will quickly grow tired of them and may even unsubscribe.
You want to be able to generate interest in your business year-round without spamming your clients’ inboxes, and one of the best ways to do that is by putting together seasonal mailers that feature beautiful photos and inside looks at some of your best projects. When your work is strong enough to stand on its own, you can rely on photos of past projects to draw in potential clients.
How you distribute these mailers is up to you. Sending them via email is easy and inexpensive, but if you have the budget and preference to send them through the mail, you can do that as well. To make sure you reach as many as possible, don’t forget to promote your mailer on all your social media channels as well.
8. Create and Share Valuable Resources
You might already be creating how-to guides, checklists, informational videos, and other useful resources as part of your SEO strategy. Sharing resources like these does more than just bring people to your site when they search for certain keywords; it also establishes you as an authoritative source of information. Even if the strategy doesn’t immediately lengthen your client list, it’s likely to draw more people in over the long term.
If, for example, you’ve created a guide to various architectural styles, someone who intends to build a home in a few years might find your guide and see that you know what you’re talking about. Then — once it’s time for them to actually hire an architect — they’ll already have a positive association with you and be more likely to choose you as a result.
9. Do Pro-Bono Work for a Charity
When you think of strategies for marketing architectural firms, you likely won’t immediately think of doing free work for a charity, but it is, in fact, a great way to get your name out there. It generates goodwill, and would-be clients will see you as someone who’s invested in your community and more than willing to give back.
10. Use Podcasts to Highlight Satisfied Clients
Recording a podcast might sound like a substantial undertaking, but it’s an excellent way to engage your target audience, and recording one is a lot easier than you think. If you want more clients, recording an architectural or design podcast may help.
After all, when people are trying to choose a doctor, a restaurant, a lawn service, or just about any business, they read reviews, and when you have a podcast interviewing satisfied clients, you’re effectively creating an in-depth review that both offers valuable insights and encourages potential clients to consider your business.
That doesn’t mean your podcast should be exclusively focused on your clients, though; if you have an existing podcast focused on architecture and design, you could just dedicate a small section to interviewing your happy clients.
Starting a Marketing Campaign? We Can Help!
At Behind the Design, we’re committed to cultivating a community for architects and interior designers, and while helping you make connections is an important part of what we do, it’s not all of it.
If you’re looking to maximize your business’s potential, check out our marketing services. Our architectural marketing agency is familiar with your marketing needs, so we’re uniquely equipped to help your business. Leave the marketing to us and focus your efforts on building your business!
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