Content Marketing for Architects: How to position yourself as an expert online?
Content Marketing has become very popular with more and more cross-disciplinary creative businesses using it to their advantage.
The major benefit of content marketing is attracting more leads to your business.
Social media positioning for most designers and architects is not anything new. We gladly post well thought through, beautifully captured photos of our designs on Instagram and Pinterest. We write articles about our achievements in the area of design and share them on LinkedIn, Facebook as well as online magazines. We collect beautiful images and are not afraid to expose our creativity publicly. However, content marketing- outside of its visual advantage carries yet another value. With fast developing digital society content marketing has risen to become a new, and currently the most effective way of sharing information.
With most of us spending hours scrolling down our social media we are constantly exposed to content. Get more of the content that will help you launch your own online educational course for other architects by joining my Facebook group.
Despite plenty of irrelevant and often mediocre information being shared, most of us use social media to read articles and stay on top of our game as design professionals and business leaders.
Amongst abundant social media-driven data, bombarding us on daily basis, we still find our way towards valuable articles, which we delightfully consume. Clever businesses started to use that to their advantage, by actually creating articles targeted at those individuals who seek intelligent content.
There are opinions about extensive use of social media contributing to less intellectual society, and that is surely true for those who use such platforms mindlessly. Most of us however navigate though the panoply of information astutely capturing content, which helps us grow, educate and ultimately be better versions of ourselves.
If you have something interesting and truly valuable to say, you will reach the appropriate audience no matter the platform you use. And that can be of enormous benefit to your business.
Why would that benefit your business you ask?
Self-publishing gives you the freedom to express more about your inspiration, your background and your passions. It builds a platform for authenticity and helps you attract high quality audience, who follows you because they’re genuinely interested and supportive of your contribution.
Sharing your expertise online is a great opportunity to show that you are the go to person in your area of focus. It also allows people to get to know you better as a human being, not just the name behind your designs. As much as the products of your creativity can be moving to many, at the end of the day people connect with other people and what they are truly interested in is who you are and how are you as a person. By publishing thought through enriching content you can help others get excited about the things that drive you. People who seek your expertise will find you and follow with the intention to either learn form you or to potentially collaborate with you. Exposing more of yourself online can help others gain trust towards you as they will see consistency and be able to connect with your values by scanning your contribution. As a result, they will see you as a go to expert in your particular area of design or architecture.
However, there are few things to think about and a few actions to start implementing regularly before you see the results.
How to build online presence?
So, of course the center of your online presence is your website. This is where you show the world your creative endeavors and draw a picture of yourself as an expert. Your website is a portfolio but also a sales machine, as you publish it with the intention that people who land on it will contact you for collaboration.
However, in order to have your website serve this purpose you need to have an audience (traffic) land on it.
Attracting qualified leads to your website is a viral part of the success of your business. You may have the most beautiful and well designed website but if there is no visitors on it, it is worth nothing.
So how do you actually bring high quality leads to your website?
They’re are many ways to promote your website.
In this article I want to give you easy to use, simple and self-directed strategies which you can start on today, that are proven to gain you following and help bring high quality leads onto your page.
The undeniable benefit of those strategies is that you don’t need a third party publication to approve you before you reach an audience. You can independently catch attention starting with your own circle of influence. See how I do it in my Facebook group for architects.
There are five different strategies you can implement to bring more leads to your website. And all of them involve you sharing your expertise online to qualify leads and filter through your audience such, that the people who eventually will land on your website will be more intrigued and interested in you as an individual and a professional.
You don’t have to start with implementing all of them at ones. Some strategies may not feel right or fit your personality.
However, just utilizing one of those can already benefit your outreach and potentially result in more clients.
One of the most powerful ways of sharing your expertise with others is writing about it. In the old days, writing books and publishing in magazines was the only way of communication. Problem with those ways was that after the hype was down, books and other papers ended up stored in libraries, buried under many more forgotten inputs of research and knowledge contribution. Nowadays we simply use other platforms to exchange information.
The added benefit to it is that we can actually reach more people with our online publications, globally. Writing blog articles is one of the most effective ways to bring visitors to your website, help you build following as well as communicate your work not only visually but also by expressing your inspiration, sharing about the process of creation, educating your audience about your work and presenting yourself as someone approachable. Your life’s work, research and contribution might be revolutionary to many and with todays ability to link your profile to each publication you are reachable by anyone, within a matter of one click.
One thing to remember is to learn how to properly tag your blog posts so that you cross-pollinate your content between your other publication platforms. Here, you just need to make sure that you direct your reader to the channels you want them to land on, especially your sales oriented platforms (which in your case will be your website)
Podcasts are audio content, which you can access from iTunes. They become more and more popular, as they specifically cater for busy individuals who like to listen to content on the go. It is a way for many to access interesting information from their car, whiles driving or doing any other activity, which allows the listener to focus on audio. Podcasting is a great way to share your expertise, build up an expert profile and contribute through thought leadership. Producing a podcast where you talk about your design, interesting inspirations and projects you work on could be a way to start. If you don’t feel like entering the realm of becoming a regular podcaster, you can consider being interviewed on other expert podcasts. Leveraging such opportunities can enable you to share your expertise and reach audiences, which perhaps wouldn’t hear about you otherwise. With that you can potentially bring in new clients into your practice. Of course, the other approach would be to get interviewed by podcasters within your industry allowing more people in your niche to hear about you.
Video is a great way to communicate your ideas with people as it involves not only audio but also visual aspects. It is an absolutely amazing medium to show your work, present your designs and also back it up with valuable, informative content. The great advantage of video is that you allow people to better connect with your personality. Body language is 80% of our communication so by producing visual content you bring people closer to who you are as a person. There is many ways in which you can approach creating video content. You can record your own content, with an iPhone or any other smartphone. You can also hire a video production company to help you. You can decide to host interviews and publish about people who interest you and who can add value to your business. You can also decide to just record facebook / instagram lives which are a more relaxed way of sharing information though video. You can produce video series oriented around certain methodology that you may decide to share with your audience. Here you can disclose secrets about your work approach or share your extensive knowledge about your niche with others. Last, but not least you can use screenshare and record a video of a prepared presentation of your business, you can show your designs or even prepare a lecture to share with others. Again, all this is a way in which you can share your expertise and target your audience visually by inviting them into your creative world.
A very valuable form of sharing your projects and methodology with others is in form of eBooks. You can create eBooks on any subject of your interest, starting from your own projects, case studies illustrating how your designs influenced your clients, as well as research publications. When approaching this form of content creation don’t only think of glossy images of your finished products. Many people would be interested to buy or download this kind of material from you because they want to find out more about the subject than what they can just read online.
Good case studies take the reader on a journey though the full process, your decision-making, difficulties, failures and solutions so that your reader can actually learn from your way of thinking. Design, in a grand scheme of things is a way to troubleshoot and no matter at which level we find ourselves we can always learn new approaches from experts ahead of us. eBooks have the added advantage that once posted they live online by their own means, finding trajectories of attention and reaching audiences globally without your control. This allows your knowledge to stay alive, to keep being re-discovered over and over again and truly keep pollinating the online ecosystem with the specific context of your expertise.
Downloadable material (pdf)
Finally a good and quick solution would be to produce sharable guides or reports strictly focused on providing useful information for your target audience. Think of your ideal customers and see who are those people who would be just perfect for you to work with. Than think where do they agglomerate and what is their burning desire. Than produce content in form of a guide or report, which can feed that particular audience with information that they mostly seek. The content may also be targeted at your audiences’ worries or struggles. Often times, people look for experts because they do not know how to solve their problem. And within your practice there surely is endless situations where you help your clients overcome a problem. Think of such situations and brainstorm upon solution-publications you can create and make available online, so that the next time anyone around the world faces a similar problem, they can find your solution online. Essentially, what happens next is that those people will seek contact with you and potentially even hire you as their solution.
If all your work is focused on design and you live for aesthetics more than methodology, you can produce look books with material boards or product collections, which you often use for your designs. I can guarantee you that there are more people out there who will draw inspiration from you and will find your material useful. Share those collections on your instagram or pinterest.
ebooks, guides, lookbooks and reports are an excellent way to use as lead magnets. To understand the benefits of lead magnets read: Lead magnet as a powerful tool of audience qualification for architectural experts.
Content marketing is a rewarding practice, as it helps you build an audience who engages in your publications and bring more leads to your website. However one of the very important things to think about when choosing this approach to marketing is an ability to stay consistent with your work.
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