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 YOU get business with 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 first Social Media Director 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 that I was at ONE 10 STUDIO, we blogged, created a Facebook Page and managed a Twitter feed. Eventually we added Instagram and Houzz to the mix. Each of us also managed our on Social profiles to a greater or lesser degree.
Was our work in Social perfect? No. I always had a list of broken links and profiles that need to be flushed out. We even struggled through capability issues between website and blog after a re-design. And, as far as I know, no one has written a post for the blog in A LONG time!
Could we, should we be have done better? Yes, but the reason I’m sharing all the dirt is so that you see that we had the same struggles you do. We were far from perfect. We were still seeing positive results.
We were able to attribute a number of projects directly to our efforts in Social Media Marketing over those 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 built those relationships over time and essentially turned a few of those 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 decided 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. We became 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)
These are all things that you can do. If you’d like to read more about getting started and succeeding at Social Media Marketing I’d suggest reading:
Be smart about it. Develop a strategy and follow it, but just get started. I’ll steal a line from Jeremy and Jason over at Internet Business Mastery and say make “progress not perfection.”
If you’d like to read the story of another Architecture firm that’s succeeding through Social Media Marketing try “LA Architect Sees 6X Increase in Traffic & Leads Using Hubspot.” As you can tell from the title, this article doubles as a marketing piece for Hubspot but Modative’s story is the real deal.
What are you doing with Social Media? Is it working for you? Do you need help?
Original Photograph Credit: StudioThirteen Design and Construction: ONE 10 STUDIO