Lessons from France, Part 1: Sell Like a Church

My family and I are calling France home for 3 months. You know, that little cheese eating place a long way away from many of you … and yes, you read right … 3 months. How on earth can we possibly do that? Our secret is to Sell Like a Church. 

You might have walked through the Disney World’s France Pavillion, but we’re in the real place — the home of berets, a certain famous tower, and other sources, I find, for marketing inspiration. Telling a story through architecture is powerful. 

Billboards on a Cathedral?

Our vacation home is in Sallanches, 25 minutes down the road from Chamonix. On the Swiss border, we have a beautiful view of The Alps and it’s just a hop and a skip away from Italy. So recently, we made the 4-hour journey to Milan, the home of fashion and more specifically, the third largest cathedral in the world. 

Standing outside the Duomo of Milan, I noticed a big graphic billboard on the side of this church — for the church itself. The contrast is obvious between this historic Gothic architecture and a modern form of marketing. Argue if you will about whether it's appropriate, the point is it felt authentic to people who put the billboard up there. It gets me thinking. How can you sell like this church?

Duomo has no issues with selling. The site has told stories about faith and art and architecture for more than six centuries — still going strong

Tell a Story Through Architecture

But anyone doing professional services can sell like Duomo di Milano. Let’s face it, we’re all selling stuff. Maybe you’re faced with obstacles, but that doesn’t have to stop you from telling your story. Marketing is about storytelling. Tell a story through architecture, through your eyes as an architect.

If the third largest cathedral can put a billboard up, you can do a bit of marketing. You can. Put yourself out there. Don’t be salesy if that feels inauthentic to who you are as an architect. Instead, market in your own unique way. 

To find your style, read our How Architects Can Be Creative in Marketing: https://archmarketing.org/architects-creative-marketing/

Au Revoir!

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