This is the key marketing effort.
I think architects should implement a simple Six Step Marketing process as their key marketing effort. Simple. Cheap. Easy.
See this post for the whole process.
This post is about the first step - FINDING IDEAS. Ideas are all around you.
Each project that you undertake for your clients holds a lot of opportunities for attracting the next project. In a word - for marketing. A simple blog post distributed by email is all it takes.
You want to inform past or potential clients of what you are doing and keep your name in front of them.
Write a couple of sentences about what is going on; add a picture, a screenshot, or a quick graphic; and you're done.
Depending on how many projects you have in progress, spend an hour or so every week, fortnight, or month to consider what you can talk about. Fill in any dry spells with a recap of past work or go into current work more deeply. A simple wall chart or spreadsheet will help you track what is coming up. (See image.) Studies have shown that the best days and time to get attention are T-W-Th between 10:00am and 2:00pm.
MASTER LIST OF OPPORTUNITIES (key opportunities = BOLD)
Don't make a big deal out of each post or it won't be sustainable. A photo and a caption is all that is required. Keep in mind that these posts have a life expectancy of 15 seconds - if you are lucky.
Consistency and interesting content are important.
BTW This is easily delegated to just about anyone who is willing to help. Take photos with your phone at project sites. Make a scan of a sketch. Take a screenshot of design work in progress. Add 25 words or less to make a point. DONE.
The cost of building a reputation this way is insignificant and so is the effort compared to the cumulative impact year after year.
If you like my spreadsheet, you can download the Mktg Planner here.
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