Find Your Fish, Ideal Clients in Architecture


Today I’m coming from the Hamptons … where the Kennedys used to come for their weekends. Rich New Yorkers still vacation here. A place like this might be where you can find your ideal clients in architecture.

My wife and I are staying about a kilometer from the beach. The homes near us are worth a million dollars.

Design a $25M House

On the shore, homes cost anywhere from $15 to $25M. It seems to me, once you get past $6 or $7M for these houses, every extra million doesn’t make a difference. Many of the homes are owned by a couple whose teenage kids find the Hamptons too boring to come to so you have 8 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms — a lot of room for just two people, but, if it’s what they want, and they can afford it then no need to talk them out of it.

If you design a $25 million dollar house there should be a little profit in it for you.

Meet the clients you really want to work with

Back to marketing. The question on your mind should be: Where do I find my ideal customers?

If you’re an architect targeting high-end clients in this area, the Hamptons is a great example to live by. This is where the fish swim. You might not be the only fisherman but better to compete in a pond where the fish swim than be the Lone Ranger trying to catch dinner out of a puddle.

We just need to out market the others and that isn’t hard.

The clients in the top 1-5% of your market tend to behave in certain predictable ways. If you understand their patterns of behavior then you can work out the best places to drop your bait. The secret is to ask yourself great questions.

Ask questions when looking for ideal clients in architecture

What clubs do they belong to?

What do they read?

Who do they get advice from before they talk to an architect?

Do they have holiday homes in certain locations?

Do they work in certain industries?

Who makes the decisions?

If they don’t do anything predictable, they might not be a very good niche. No point fishing if you can’t identify where the fish are.

Where do your fish swim? This is probably the most important aspect of marketing. Get this wrong (most people do) and nothing happens. Even the greatest marketing message (or bait) in the world will fail if you are fishing in a puddle.

Here’s how to get it right for your ideal clients in architecture:

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