At the show I was asked if I had any TOP TIPS for fellow architects striking out on their own so here goes:
Become a Chartered Architecture Practice
It doesn’t cost much more and it opens the door to taking part in the big shows and conferences, elevates you to a higher level of professional integrity (kudos) and gives you the opportunity to shout about it on social media (good PR).
Talk the Language of your Clients
Think! What are their pain points? What are they struggling with? Jot them down on a piece of A4 and create some Key Fact Sheets with the answers to those pain points. By giving your clients some useful content from day one you’re beginning the relationship between collaboration and support. It’s a partnership from start to finish.
Find a Mentor
It’s hard doing this on your own. A professional mentor can help you identify which areas of practice you want to pursue as well as be there with feedback, guidance or simply someone to bounce ideas off.
Enter Design Competitions
Design competitions can help you create a name for yourself and establish industry connections. Even if you don’t succeed keep trying – just entering the competitions is a useful discipline in itself and you soon realise what the industry standard is in levels of excellence. Hey, even if you get Highly Commended or Finalist it’s an accolade that can be used across all your branding.
Be Passionate About Architecture
It may sound obvious but not all architects love what they do. Yes, it can and should be all-consuming but your passion is a great DIFFERENTIATOR to your clients. If you’ve little time for passion, think about the benefits of a franchise model, which removes the stress of marketing, branding and lead generation, leaving you more time to develop your true passion for architecture.