Tips for Architectural Marketing

  • Try to write your firm descriptions in as esoteric language as possible. If the potential client doesn’t need to use a thesaurus at least once, you don’t need them anyway.
  • Show your work, including some sketches from your undergraduate school days at RISD.
  • Show only work that has won an award. Do not point out that the award was given to you by your peers.
  • Use the word “conceptualization” as often as possible. Just sprinkle that one on everything, like salt. Or Salk, just like Kahn would do. Well, maybe not exactly like Kahn would do. Stay away from the young interns. And public restrooms.
  • Give the client a sense of who you are. Share something personal. Don’t be afraid to admit your flaws. That you’re human. That you have needs and wants and desires, just like the rest of us. That you too sit at home in your pj’s watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and eating Cheetos. I’m just kidding. THERE IS NO PERSONAL INFORMATION ALLOWED. You CAN add photos of your dog though. Assuming you design “edgy” lofts for “young professional”, which you do, and assuming your dog is a bulldog. It is a bulldog. Her name in Ando.
  • All graphics should be in black and white. Mostly white.
  • Include at least one blank page. If you’re printing the materials include the phrase “this page intentionally left blank” on the blank page.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you’ll get.
  • Try to vaguely imply value while never mentioning your fees. If you mention your fees, they will remember your fees.
  • Act unattainable. You just might be.
  • Make sure to mention that you have a wide range of experience in a wide variety of building types. Use broad gestures and broad strokes. Make sure they know that you can do anything. Just in case they want you to do something. It’s good to be non-specific. Jack of all trades, Master of all trades, as the saying goes. Jack is Jack Nicholson in this example.
  • Put your logo on every page. at least twice. Do not put your phone number or address anywhere. Make them Google. Make them come to you. You want to seem aloof. Mysterious.
  • Like in all design, sometimes it’s a good idea to turn the marketing materials over and look at them upside down. If you can’t tell the difference, you’ve nailed it.
  • Have a friend read your marketing materials. Ignore their comments.
  • What you want to do is leave the prospective client wanting more. Maybe less. Yes, less is more, so more. Just say less. simplify things less. More clients will appreciate you less often.
  • Only post your marketing materials on your own website.
  • Sit by the phone. (Wait, you did put your phone number in there didn’t you?)


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