Marketing is a chore for most residential architects, who would rather draw than dream up ways to attract new business. It’s easier to rely on word-of-mouth advertising and the casual connections formed at kids’ soccer games, dinner parties, and board meetings. Conventional wisdom says that personal networking is, in fact, the most powerful marketing tool there is. Consumers place far more trust in people they know than they do in advertising messages, and that explains the growing number of companies turning to online social media—blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the like—to generate interest in their work. There’s a lot of hype around online schmoozing, to be sure, and some see it as a trendy Internet time drain. But there’s evidence that it can be a powerful professional ally—especially for small firms and independent practitioners, for whom each connection is a multipliable building block.
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