Helping more of your perfect clients to find you, whatever the weather

Posted by Derek Mason

18th June 2024

Picture credit: R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash

Summer means different things to different industries, but for many of us the warmer weather means one thing only: we’re busy. It’s easier to have work done in the summer months, and something about the emergence of warmer weather reminds people about the projects they’ve been putting off.

Whether or not you’re busy with client work right now, there are some important tasks you might be neglecting. It’s good to get a reminder of those tasks every now and then. After 35+ years in this industry, and 13 years of running Super Structures Associates, I’ve got a handle on my processes in these areas, and I like to share this hard-won knowledge.

So here are seven key points to help you stay busy with work, whatever the weather:

 1. Become a marketer

Most of us didn’t get into the work we do because we like marketing, but it goes with the territory of running a business. Marketing is not just a necessary evil – it’s something you need to get good at, if you’re not already. Read books, listen to podcasts, and learn about this discipline. It makes everything else you do much easier.

 2. Get your website working for you

How’s your website doing? Does it bring you enquiries, or is it more of a liability than an asset? It’s common for websites to gradually go out of date, until they become something you’d rather a potential client didn’t see.

Or sometimes a website can look great but doesn’t seem to attract clients. If there’s a problem with your website, fix it. Your business will run more smoothly when you’re proud of your website, and when it brings you a regular supply of potential clients.

 3. Don’t copy your competitors

When you work on your website, don’t copy what your nearest competitors are doing. You want to stand out, not blend in. And chances are, they don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to marketing.

 4. It’s all about the follow-up

I’ve said this before, but following up with enquiries is key. You need to move fast, consistently. Have a system for keeping in touch with every enquiry, and everyone you’ve sent a proposal to, and follow that system. A friendly phone call to check in with a prospect can make a huge difference when it comes to winning the project.

 5. Promote your business, even when you’re working crazy hours

The hardest time to promote your business is when you’re feeling overworked. But you must carry on promoting it, to prevent a future famine. The feast and famine cycle is so common because it’s very difficult to stay on top of client work and stay on top of marketing your business at the same time. But doing those difficult things is the difference between a thriving business and a very up and down business.

 6. Ask for testimonials

I’ve just googled “architect Twickenham” and the first four options that came up all had 4.9 or 5-star testimonials, on average. So far, so good. But each had a different number of testimonials. One practice had 77, one had 41, one had 9 and one had 8 testimonials. Imagine you’re a potential client. Which architect would you click on first? We both know the answer to that, so this is your friendly reminder to ask for testimonials from your happy clients. And then remind them if they don’t do it. Once you’ve got a large number of good testimonials, they’ll do a lot of your marketing for you.

 7. Ask for referrals

What happens at the end of every project? Aside from checking your client is happy, and asking for a testimonial if they are happy, there’s another step that can make finding good clients a lot easier. It can feel quite difficult to do if you haven’t done it before, but the results make it worthwhile. The question to ask is, “Who do you know who might need my/our services?” And then stop talking. That’s it. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing it years ago.

I hope that’s helpful. Keeping the lights on in your business requires constant effort, and the more you put in, the more you get out. A pleasant side effect of working hard on these aspects of business is that you often end up with more rewarding work, for clients who are good fun to work with.

Here’s to a great summer. And if you need assistance with the structural elements of an upcoming project, please do get in touch.

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