Okay, do you want your mind blown apart now? You do! Excellent.
What if we were to make you out to be a star … imagine presenting yourself, not just your Monkey's Fist, as if you were a celebrity architect on your website.
Imagine a Hollywood-style guru is creating your character as an architect. Maybe you'd be cast as a rock star architect or the cowboy architect, or even a leather-clad biker.
Am I going too far? No architect would ever present themselves like that!
Well, think again. I was talking to Mastermind alumnus Javier de la Garza the other day on this very topic.
I explained to him that he needs to develop his character and persona. I described a completely over-the-top imaginary character.
Javier said, “You obviously know Peter Marino.”
Well, I have never heard of him, actually. But here is a guy who has gone ALL IN.
Not even I could have asked for such a persona to be constructed.
Here are 4 ways to make yourself into an architect celebrity:
- Get yourself featured in publications. (Check: Peter has done this. Google him and see.)
- Get yourself photographed with famous people. (Check)
- Get yourself a unique look. (Check)
- Separate yourself from every other architect so that you cannot be compared. (Check, check, check!)
This guy is the textbook example of how to turn yourself into a celebrity.
Peter Marino does not create the design, he IS the design.
When people hire Peter Marino, they get the whole storytelling experience. And I'll bet they pay HUGE money to have this Hollywood biker architect turn up.
Make NO mistake. Peter knows exactly what he is doing. He had to have planned this out.
And what does it do when someone is able to get the look that expresses who they are? It can add authority and credibility. It shows a clear style. At the very least, the prospect knows there's a story there, and probably wants to know what it is. It is much more clear from the start what you are offering and what the client will be getting.
Peter's look may not be anywhere near who you are, but we can all take a huge leaf out of his book. This guy 100% follows my #1 rule for making money as an architect:
1) A marketer of architectural services first,
2) Doing architectural services second.
From what I can see, Peter Marino has part 1 mastered. I cannot comment on part 2; his designs look not unlike everyone else’s, but what do I know. All I am asking you to do is promote yourself, with a little drama and theatre. I am not asking you to go all in and do a Peter Marino on yourself. I couldn’t expect you to be as bold as a leather-clad biker, but you could craft something on your side of halfway between where you are and where Peter Marino is.
Now, what do you do next? Because getting the attention is only the beginning. Here at AMI, we use an acronym: A.I.D.A., which stands for “Attention,” “Interest,” “Desire” and “Action.”
And when you are getting all of that attention you’ve lined up, you need, not just anyone, but high quality potential clients to hear about you and your firm.
Here are a few ways to attract attention:
• Being referred through word-of-mouth
• Getting an introduction
• Sending a letter
• Making a “cold” phone call
• Job-site sign
Don't dabble in all of the strategies; pick what works for you and do it very well. Even though we are focusing on the first part of the AIDA formula here, I’ll give you a quick tour of the other three parts.
The second part of the AIDA formula is “Interest.” Once you capture their interest, you have to have the substance to hold their interest. You do this by showing what sets you apart in terms of your work — your products, people and processes.
One of the easiest and most compelling ways to differentiate your firm is to specialize in a specific project type or niche.
So you've captured their attention; now it has to be turned into desire. That's based on emotion. It goes beyond the fact that you are a great architect who has the capability of designing a building that will meet all of my needs.
If you can understand not only the wants but also the hidden needs of your clients, then you’ll be getting much closer to your goal. This is where you usher them into Action, which is the next step. Set up the next meeting or even reach verbal agreement to work together and proceed from there.
It all starts with getting noticed.
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Image by CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK from Chicago, USA / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)