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In our conversations with architects, we have heard many of the same concerns and fears. We believe you have some of these same fears so wanted to share with you how we address them.
No one person or company can do everything well. Those that try are most often mediocre at most, if not all, of those things. The smart person, the successful architect, does what he/she is great at and brings in others who are great in the other areas. Divide and conquer.
AMS cannot give you the answers to these eight questions. They are not simple questions to answer and they will be different for each of you. Your skill sets, your market, your Brand is different than the next guy. Your success is built upon the foundation of your Brand. Understanding and defining your Brand Voice, Brand Promise and Brand Strategy is how we work together to achieve success.
1. How do I stand out from my competitors?
It’s not just about being different, it’s even more than just being better. It’s about being Distinctive. It’s that Distinctive Brand that puts you not only on the short list, but the one chosen.
So how do you do that? AMS has a blog that addresses 18 different business models that have caused companies to earn that Distinctive Brand. But the fear to many isn’t the amount of work to do it, because you already are hard-working, right? It’s about the fear of the unknown. To try something new when the status quo is sort-of doing ok. But if you are thinking about trying something new, then you realize the status quo isn’t getting it done for the future.
You can be one of the 18 business models. Those who have become Distinctive. By definition, Distinctive stands out. Just as the old saying goes “if it were easy, everyone would have started their own company” it isn’t easy to re-brand and become Distinctive.
2. What industry should I consider target?
That is called Account Based Marketing where YOU choose who your clients are. You don’t try your best to find business anywhere in the marketplace, you choose who your new industry is. Which companies you search, seek and achieve. Through research. Through having a Distinctive Brand.
Determine what your business model can be, based on the clear skill sets you offer now, or can offer. This ‘new you’ can be created with a new employee, new alliance partner, or by reallocating your company resources to a new category.
This change is the scary part which is the #1 reason why most companies never change. If you are doing ok with residential but know that commercial is where you want to be, then it’s time to fish-or-cut-bait and reboot your business to become a Distinctive commercial architect.
The answer to which specific industry should I consider to target is not answered here. That answer comes from you, your business model and who is in your company. Successful companies in every industry have to pivot. You can’t do the same thing year after year after year. You must adapt to market trends, both local and national.
3. How do I get my name in front of decision makers?
It’s back to you, and who you consider to be the industry that your particular skill sets can solve their problems. If you can solve their problems, you can be successful. And once you know which industries have problems that you can solve, it is very easy to find those decision makers. Through digital marketing efforts and from old school marketing like direct mail, cold phone calls, email marketing and boots on the street.
Yes, old school still works no matter what the digital marketers say. Which is also another way that you become distinctive. Doing things differently than everyone else.
4. How do I find new B2B clients when my business is mostly residential?
You find new clients through research. Though library work. After you choose the industry for which your skill sets can solve problems, you focus your efforts to learn the decision makers: commercial builders, village managers, zoning boards: the insiders who know the future. You become part of that inner circle, and you can change from residential to commercial.
Can it be done? It has. Can you do it? Only if you focus your efforts and build a plan to do it.
5. How do I concentrate my efforts to get into this new B2B channel?
You can’t overlook current business and the experience you have. That is where the revenue stream is coming from. So you either segment you and your partner, or you delegate a key employee to take care of the current business while you concentrate on your new channel, on your future.
This will take time, so the focus needs to be on the future from you, and the current from your partner or employee.
6. What role does digital marketing play to achieve these new goals?
Digital marketing is many tactics and strategies. Whether you are using some old school marketing techniques or not, you need digital marketing to at least supplement your efforts, if not to be the key area. That is because it’s almost 2020 and many research companies state that 85% of all conversion decisions will be driven by video on digital platforms by the end of this year. Video. Digital. It works.
7. Why does my digital presence matter to achieving these goals?
There are many reasons. Which one fits you?
Digital marketing offers higher ROI, and a quicker turnaround than old school marketing. With your website, social media platforms and your Brand Voice and Story, you can reach more decision makers in a manner where they chose to learn about you, without a time-consuming one on one approach. Yes, it works.
8. Do I need, and how do I add, additional alliance partners to my organization?
Strategic Alliance Partners (SAPs) are a strategy to add skill sets to your company, without paying them a salary or percentage of your business. You align skill sets. You do A and B really well, but don’t do C well. But C is needed to land that new client.
Find companies or a person who does C well, and you have now broaden your capabilities and add a skill set that you can talk about in your advertising or messaging plan, or in your presentation to a prospective client. Your client doesn’t care who does the work, on-time, on-budget. The client only cares that their project is achieved, and their problem solved.
Can’t do that now? Find that Alliance Partner to help you achieve Distinction.
The purpose of this 8 Fears of an Architect is to provide an overview summary of the many questions that architects have asked of themselves, and have told us. You are not alone in thinking these fears.
By choosing architects as our account based marketing channel, we have asked ourselves many of these same questions. And through research, talking to, and helping architect clients, AMS understands these fears first hand and is able to help you improve your Brand Voice, Brand Story and Brand Image.
To learn more, please contact us with a call at 331-303-0959, or at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you understand your fears can be the reason you are more successful in 2019.