How to Build Your Online Presence as an Architect
Whether you are a fresh faced architect looking to make a name for yourself as a rising star in your profession, or an experienced veteran who’s created a strong reputation of quality design and function. Displaying your work and skill is imperative for staying relevant and being sought after by potential clients. Of course, classic marketing techniques (i.e. postcards, print ads, trade shows, and public proposals) are still great things. However, without a strong online presence you could be missing a serious opportunity. Designing and creating a standout website and a solid social media program to accompany it is far easier than you may imagine.
Develop your brand as an architect
– One of the most important aspects of marketing today is creating a brand, this includes your name and the image that stays with your clients. Your brand makes you recognizable among competitors and can set you apart as a designer. Many architects just use their name as their firm name, which is fine, but they should still design a brand image around that name.
Don’t just build, design your website
– Websites today are your potential client’s first impression of you. Whether you like it or not, you are judged on your design capabilities by your website. Architects are artists, and your website should immediately let your future clients know that you are a talented designer with a gift for functionality. The first time a client views your website, their eyes should light up with intrigue, making them want to look closer at your interesting work. Though it is possible (and not so difficult) to build your own website, you may find that hiring the work out to a web design firm can save you a lot of time and frustration. It would be a good idea to choose a design template before getting bids on the build. A few good places to browse templates are TemplateMonster, Wix, and Templates.com.
Showcase your work through photography
– The world today is image centric. If you want your designs to stand out, they have to be visually stimulating. It is of major importance that you have quality photography of your work, and showcase in every venue available. Does this mean you have to go spend a fortune keeping a pro photographer on retainer? No. There are some fantastic tools out there that can help you create top notch images from your camera, or if you have the knack, even your smart phone. The Adobe CC suite is a pretty minor investment and gives you pro quality software. If you are using your smart phone to take quick pics for social media, there are aps like SplitPic and Aviary that are super handy for turning a regular pic into a visually stunning piece of art. That being said, hiring a photographer is never a bad idea. Top quality photos and prints are tough to pull off without being a pro. Remember, there are over 200,000 images posted to Facebook every minute, so there is no such thing as too many pictures of your work.
Social Media is a powerful tool and constant showcase
– Along with your website, social media is where you post all of those quality images of your work. Social media is a gateway to notoriety. If you are proud of the work you do, and want to build a name for yourself or stay relevant, having accounts on LinkedIn and Facebook can seriously boost your audience. You can catch up on your industry specific news, make comments on your colleagues post, and showcase your work and proposals. Social media is very wide ranging and includes basically everything you do online. The most popular and relevant social media platforms for architects are LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter. Within each of these sites there are groups that you can join that are specific to your industry. If you know that you will not be able to keep up on all of them, try to choose one or two to really focus on.
Everything that performs well takes maintenance
– Your internet presence is never a one and done project, it takes consistency to stay relevant. If you want your website to show in search engines, and your social media to have a constant stream of new visitors, it takes persistence. Updating information and images on your website regularly is the only way to stay relevant online. As long as you are keeping up with it regularly, setting a little time out each week to update, you will find that building your presence is easy and fun.
If you have any questions or experience on this topic, leave a note in the comments section.
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