Lessons from France, Part 3: The Niche Can Set You Free

Architects ask me: Should I specialize? It feels risky to only do one thing. Any great reward requires risk. If you worry it means putting your firm in a box … well, it’s not so simple. The niche can set you free. Today, I want you to discover the power you wield within a niche. The real question you should be asking is: How can I choose a niche for my architecture firm? 

Why specialize? Because there are niches and riches.

First, here's why you should specialize …

The higher end of the market wants to go to a specialist. You will attract the top 20% if you position yourself as a specialist in one area.

Now, let me start with a quick case for choosing a niche THEN I will go through all the excuses people have for not actively niching their marketing, THEN I will build a case against each excuse.

Sound like fun? You bet!

Okay, so niching or segmenting is the process of positioning yourself as a specialist in a particular submarket.

The benefits are:

1) You can charge higher fees

2) You can deliver your work faster

3) Deals close faster

4) People value your opinion more

5) People seek you out

6) Yada yada yada and many more

Why? Well simple, my friend, because you are perceived as an expert. 

Everyone thinks his or her situation is different.

If you had a problem with your heart would you rather be treated by a GP or the heart specialist? Obvious.

Would you rather a marketing generalist or an architect marketing specialist with all his pre-made tools and scripts and approaches that have already been proven to work for architects? Obvious.

Big spenders in any market want the BEST. And the specialist is considered the best because … “It’s all we do.” 

We assume the specialist knows the pitfalls, nuances and secret methods for getting great results for my specific condition. Sometimes they do.

… So much for the theory – I know you agree “in principle.”

“But Richard I like to do a variety of work.”

Let’s eliminate a HUGE misconception. Marketing is about identifying various target markets and having a separate marketing approach for each one.

You can do a variety of work – you can be a specialist in two different areas and even a generalist as well if you felt you were going to miss out but the two specialist niches need to see, hear and feel you as the expert.

“Okay, so what should my website say if I want to have more than one niche?”

Good question, you have a couple of options.

Option 1. You have a couple of doors on your home page redirecting people off to the relevant specialist area.

Option 2 (My favorite). You have a website for each specialty.

www.richardpetrieheritagehomes.com and www.richardpetriemanhattanlofts.com www.richardpetriebrandedbusinessdesign.com

How can I choose a niche for my architecture firm? 

Well, you probably already have. Think of the kind of projects you really love. Which project jump starts your day at the crack of dawn? When do you feel most fulfilled? That's the sort of work you could be doing every day. That's how you become “#1.”

For some fantastic examples of niches, read on: https://archmarketing.org/become-an-in-demand-architect/

One comment on “Lessons from France, Part 3: The Niche Can Set You Free

  1. Jerry De Paepe on said:

    Great article. I completely agree that going niche can help you attract more and better prospects and charge higher fees. Here’s an article I just wrote on this topic: https://blog.archisnapper.com/give-up-something-to-get-something-why-it-pays-to-go-niche-for-architects-and-engineers/

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