Publish December 7, 2023
Marketing Techniques for Resilient Businesses: A Chat with Rion Willard on Business of Architecture Podcast

It was a great privilege to join host Rion Willard on the Business of Architecture Podcast. Our conversation took us through marketing strategies, why it’s critical to connect with people both offline and online, the importance of proactive engagement with potential clients, and the lessons learned from being in the business for over three decades.

A Quick Overview

Navigating the complexities of marketing in architecture is often perceived as a daunting task. Frequently, architects and designers have this notion that they’d rather design than market their services, which is certainly understandable. However, integrating effective marketing strategies is crucial and doesn’t have to shift our primary focus.

Embracing Proactivity in our Marketing Approach

One of the key topics we delved into during the podcast was reactive vs. proactive approaches to marketing. Traditionally, many architects and designers adopt a reactive approach. They sit back and wait for potential clients to contact them with their project ideas. This approach seems safe and comfortable but does not foster growth.

I advocate for a proactive approach, which involves actively curating opportunities to engage with prospective clients. This shift from a reactive to proactive model requires tactical mindset changes. For example, reimagining and redefining your ability to attract quality leads and remembering that everyone’s journey in their business is unique.

Navigating the Complexities of Networking and Relationship Nurturing

Networking is always a hot topic. Although virtual marketing platforms have increased significantly, nothing replaces the effectiveness of in-person networking. Starting a conversation, establishing meaningful connections, and cultivating relationships are forms of hand-to-hand marketing that contribute significantly to business growth.

As we move prospects from our broad radius of influence to our immediate reach (or from rented land to owned land, if you will), we need to keep strengthening those connections meaningfully. And vital to longevity in any industry is the consistency of your message.

Understanding When to Say No

Another insightful conversation I had with Rion was to know when to say no—guardedly being selective about what projects to take on based on fit, not opportunity size. It’s better to reject a project rather than spend months stressing over a job that stands in the way of you doing your best work or even worse, turning down other right-fit opportunities.

Despite established reputations, all businesses can improve when it comes to marketing. Be sure to build your list, focus on your target market, consistently deliver your message, and always create memorable conversations.

Special thanks once more to Rion Willard for hosting me on the Business of Architecture Podcast. It was a pleasure to share and exchange insights on our professional journeys in the wonderful world of architecture and design. Listen to the full episode here. Tune into my podcast on iTunes here or on my website and keep up with my other blog posts.