A while back I was invited by the American Institute of Architects to speak at their National Convention. What a great opportunity! I love that type thing. You get to meet a lot of great people. You get to make great connections “in real skin.”
I really enjoy helping, hopefully even inspiring people to find success in their work through Social Media Marketing.
In the course of one of the conversations I had right after my presentation someone asked me if Architects can actually find work through Social Media Marketing. Later in the day I was thinking back through some of those conversations. It struck me that I get that question a lot … and not just from Architects; from all kinds of business owners.
Is this a question that you’re wondering about too? Can using Social Media actually bring more business through the door? Can Architects find work through Social Media Marketing?
Well, the short answer is “Yes.” Let me give you an example of a firm that uses Social Media and sees results.
ONE 10 STUDIO is a four-year-old firm that was formed when the partnership of another firm split up.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I was the Director of Digital Marketing for ONE 10 STUDIO.
Basically Friday we made up three fourths of one firm and then Monday we were 100% of a brand new firm we decided to call ONE 10 STUDIO. We carried over a couple projects and clients but were essentially starting from scratch; no website, no logo, no Social Media, no nothing.
Two years later we were the AIA Indiana Distinguished Firm of the Year. Does Social Media win your firm awards? No, excellent work wins your firm awards. Social Media can’t do everything!
So what CAN Social Media do?
Over the four years of ONE 10 STUDIO’s history we have blogged, created a Facebook Page and managed a Twitter feed. Recently we added Instagram and Houzz to the mix. Each of us also manages our on Social profiles to a greater or lesser degree.
Is our work in Social perfect? No. I’ve got a list of broken links and profiles that need to be flushed out. We’re even struggling through capability issues between website and blog after a recent re-design. And, no one has written a post for the blog in A LONG time!
Could we, should we be doing better? Yes, but the reason I’m sharing all the dirt is so that you see that we have the same struggles you do. We’re far from perfect. We’re still seeing positive results.
We can attribute a number of projects directly to our efforts in Social Media Marketing over the past four years. (Remember, we started from scratch on day 1.) That list looks something like:
3 custom homes
1 major residential renovation
2 potential development deals
1 craft brewery project that has led to 5 more brewery related projects
So how did we do it?
The vast majority of this work came from building relationships with key influencers. I’ve written before about identifying your ideal client and identifying their key influencers. It’s important. We’ve built these relationships over time and essentially turned a few of these people into ambassadors for our brand. These were people that we “met” online and then continued to build the relationship offline; you know, in real life.
One of the custom home projects came to us as a result of a blog article that I wrote. It was an article that was only tangentially related to the eventual project. From reading the article, identifying an expertise and relating to the personality that was transmitted through the writing, they to reach out to us.
You’ll also notice that 1 craft brewery led to several subsequent projects. Is the craft brewing industry in your area exploding like it is in Indianapolis?
After we completed that first project (and had a beer named after us) we posted photos and Tweets about it. We had a happy client. Our client’s patrons loved the space (and the beer). Word quickly got around the tight-knit Indianapolis brewing community. Now we’re an integral part of that niche market.
So that’s how we did it. We:
Organically built a network of influencers
Established ourselves as experts in our field
Entrenched ourselves within a community (of brewers)