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Architects Find Ideal Clients with Social Media Marketing

Give it all away; that’s advice you’re probably not looking for. But what if giving it all away was the best way to find your Ideal Client? What if giving it all away was the key to building a successful Architectural practice through Social Media Marketing?

So what do I mean by “give it all away?” That term is vague at best.

What I mean when I say “give it all away” is that you need to share all of your knowledge and expertise. You need to tell the world everything you know about what you do. And you need to give it away for free.

Do you design custom homes? Tell me what I need to know about zoning issues related to building my new home. Demonstrate for me how to lay out an open floor plan. Tell me how to select the best builder. Explain to me what I need to plan for so I can age in place. Show me the 5 most critical details in the construction of my new home.

Write blog posts, post photographs to Instagram, upload videos to YouTube; use whatever Social medium best highlights your expertise.

So, do you think I’m crazy?

I figure this idea will probably have the hair on many an Architect’s neck standing on end. You’re an expert. You’re entire business is based on being paid for what you know that your clients don’t know.

Hear me out. I’m not talking about working for free. I’m talking about putting your skills, your talents, and your expertise on display so that when your Ideal Client finds you they recognize your value.

I’m talking about giving it all away so that your Ideal Client can find you.

Do you know Marcus Sheridan? He got into Social Media Marketing in 2008 when the economy was crashing and he was in danger of losing his swimming pool business.

His company has since become one of the most successful in the country because of Marcus’ very simple mantra: “They ask. You answer.”

Marcus and his partners sat down and made a list of 200 questions that customers and prospective clients asked their sales people, their office staff and their installers. That’s a pretty extensive list of FAQ’s. Their goal was to answer every question they’d ever been asked.

They gave away all their knowledge. Today it’s hard to google anything related to swimming pools (especially fiberglass pools; their niche) and not have Riverpools and Spas pop up at the top of your search results.

If you’re thinking about building a pool your research will lead you to Marcus’ company. You’ll find a wealth of knowledge about pools in general and Riverpools and Spas products and services specifically. They even provide a free buying guide on their website.

By the time you leave their website:

  • You’ll be well educated about swimming pools.

  • You may decide that a new pool is beyond your budget.

  • You may decide that a fiberglass swimming pool isn’t right for you.

  • You may decide that you’d rather work with one of Riverpools and Spas competitors.

OR, you may decide that Marcus and his crew are the most open and knowledgeable swimming pool company around and that they’re the company for you.

How would you like it if everyone that called you was already educated about your process and had already decided that they wanted to work with you?

Would that help your business by cutting down on the number of potential client interviews and cutting down on the amount of time you spend meeting with people you may never hear from again?

Would that help your business because you’d be able to spend that time on billable projects rather than meetings that you’re not getting paid for?

Are you still worried?

Jay Baer is one of the smartest marketing minds in the business right now. He owns Convince and Convert in Bloomington, Indiana. I like the way he puts it:

“Giving somebody the list of ingredients doesn’t make them a chef.”

“Knowledge and expertise is not the same thing. No one can steal your expertise.”

Putting your expertise on display, giving away your knowledge is not going to hurt you.

Still not convinced? Are there examples of Architects that are “giving it away?”

Modative is a firm of Los Angeles Modern Architects. They specialize in small lot subdivisions in LA. Take a look at their website. They have a free resources section filled with information and downloads that tell you everything you need to know if you want to develop a small lot in Los Angeles. They even have a blog made up of articles specifically about small lot subdivision.

If you want to build a 10,000 square foot custom home in Malibu, one visit to Modative’s website will tell you that they’re not the firm for you. But if you own a lot that you want to develop in LA, Modative will be your first and only phone call.

Want another example?

Build LLC is another Architecture firm that’s giving it away. Surely you’ve seen the Build Blog. It’s a wealth of resources about designing and building Architecture.

Build provides tools like the “Residential Construction Budget Cheat Sheet. Wouldn’t you love it if your Clients came to you with a realistic, refined budget? They publish information like their Case Study House(s). This is where they outline the project process, timeline and cost from start to substantial completion. And they suggest design ideas, examples and accessories that match their architectural style.

Once you’ve spent some time on the Build Blog you’ll not only know what Build is all about and how they work, but you’ll be an educated Client.

How valuable is a prospect that already knows and identifies with your style; that understands your value and your process; that walks in the door educated and with realistic expectations about their project timeline and budget?

Is “giving it all away” worth it?

What are you giving away? How are you displaying your expertise? Do you need help figuring out the best way to highlight your skills and knowledge? Leave a comment below or drop me an email. I want to know.

My goal is to start an open dialogue and let Architect of the Internet be a forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social Media Marketing.

Image by Lane Hartwell

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About Jeff Echols

Jeff Echols is the creative Storyteller for Award-Winning architecture firms and the Social Media Campaign Manager for industry professionals. He is a graduate of Ball State University with over 20 years’ experience in the marketing departments of firms ranging from three to three thousand employees.

Jeff spends countless hours studying, developing and implementing strategies for insuring marketing success for Architects and other business owners in the online arena. He documents the good, the bad and the ugly in Social Media at Architect of the Internet and speaks about Conquering Social Media in venues ranging from the Board Room to the Convention Stage.


  1. Your Blog is compelling, however the dialogue that you talk about among architects is the problem. Architects need to have dialogue with businessmen and other experts to help them become better businessmen and more successful. Otherwise it becomes a pity party of architects talking to each other of how the world doesn’t understand them. Unfortunately, the beautiful art of architecture is a profession where practitioners must do business and compete as all other businesses do.

    • Norbert, I’d be interested to know what I wrote that gave you the impression that I’m advocating for Architects to only talk to other Architects. On the contrary I agree with your assertion, Architects must learn from other businesses (please see my references to Marcus Sheridan and Jay Baer). In this particular article, I’m encouraging Architects to share their knowledge and expertise by creating content that informs and answers the questions of potential clients. I’m not encouraging Architects to share information with each other. I apologize if my article didn’t make this clear. – Jeff


  1. […] my recent article “Architects Find Their Ideal Client With Social Media Marketing By Giving It All Away” I wrote about how we shouldn’t be afraid to share all of our knowledge and […]

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