Michele Dempsey is the president of DxDempsey in Scranton, PA. Thanks to the constantly expanding strategies she is learning from AMI, she has mastered the art of marketing for commercial architects. In her interview with Richard Petrie below, she shares how she got to Sunshine Island—the magical destination where architects and designers earn high fees and work on fulfilling projects.
Get ready to pick up clues, insights and framework your thinking for the success you deserve!
Richard calls Michele “a force of nature” as she turned herself into a high-end specialist, creating a new category of architecture where she is the number one designer in that niche.
After working for multiple firms, Michele started her own business taking any projects that came along. When she landed a retail client in Las Vegas, she realized that these projects were brand-oriented.
Michele explains, “It’s about building a brand, each little project is its own unique brand experience. I really wanted to tell their story and bring the brand into that firm. I realized I love doing anything that had to do with creating a brand experience, bringing it into the workplace and the intersection of brand in the built environment.”
When Michele joined AMI, she learned to create a process and a framework for her Strategic Branded Experience. She was honing her creativity in the corporate and branding world and in retail and retail banking. She now creates a branded environment to tell their story providing high value results for her high value clients.
“Choosing a niche doesn’t keep you from doing everything, it just lets you focus on the things you really want to do and that you’re really good at,” Michele says.
The Return on Design can be measured as she translates the brand into the built environment or as Michele likes to say, “We design inspiring workplaces that express your brand, attract and retain top customers, enhance your culture and improve your bottom line.”
Michele is an excellent example of marketing for commercial architects. Sharing the secret to her success, Michele says, “Once we landed on that Strategic Branded Experience framework, we started to know exactly what we do, we started to know how to talk about it, we started to know what projects to take and to not take. So we made some really big decisions and we came up with our own vision, mission, and values.
“We know who our A-list clients are and we value our relationship with them. They become our partners. I can speak about my clients’ businesses as deeply and as knowledgeable as people who work there. And that’s the friendship. We don’t think we’ve been successful unless they’re successful.”
When asked for her marketing tips: “Newsletters are a given” Michele states, “I think their biggest value is keeping you top of mind with people and it’s action and educating people, letting them know about you.”
“The Shock and Awe Box is a great marketing tool. It’s a perfect gift for a new client to make them feel special.”
Michele admits, “I really have to give credit where credit is due. AMI really helped us to learn how to come up with a system, to market what it is we do and how to get our message right. We worked on these like a muscle, you have to have discipline around it, you have to do it, you have to keep doing it, start with one or two things. Otherwise it’s like drinking out of a fire hose [thinking] I can’t do all this, it’s too much. We added items, step-by-step, until we got the system down.”
“I want to thank you, Richard, and thank you, AMI. What an awesome network of people. Another amazing part is the other architects in this group, the kind of generous sharing is unbelievable, people spilling their guts about what they do. I think it’s elevating the profession quite frankly. We’re sharing with each other because for too long we have kept all the cards close to our chest and it’s kept us small and in the shadows. This is really great.”
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