Be thankful: We are in an old industry

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Gerard lynch
Gerard Lynch has built a reputation as an instructor and expert on heritage masonry. Here, he demonstrates some old tools at a workshop in Ottawa. “Old” has marketing and business value in this industry

If there is anything to learn about effective architectural, engineering and construction marketing, it is this: You don’t have to work exceptionally hard at it to be exceptionally successful.

This is because this industry doesn’t lead the pack with effective marketing. In fact, most people leading AEC businesses live somewhere in the past when it comes to the basics of website development, social media, publicity and media relations, and anything to do with advertising and marketing. Some have built successful consulting businesses in capturing and restoring heritage trades. See this story about Gerard Lynch, for example.

book cover
I’ve rewritten the electronic edition of the 2009-2010 original Construction Marketing Ideas book. You can receive a free copy of the update if you purchased it earlier.

There isn’t anything wrong with this old-style circumstance — traditional values and strategies still work. You can start your business by bidding low (you’ll eventually learn your prices are uneconomically low once you are established), delivering exemplary service/value, and then attracting a solid client base through word-of-mouth and reputation. Then, if you are smart, you’ll begin grasping the business development/marketing techniques available through a diversity of clients and resources, “professionalize” your business, and determine how big you want to grow.

How do you decide where to go and what marketing methodologies will work best for you?

You can read my books, of course. Or you can connect with resources at your relevant trade association or group. The simplest strategy may seem the least exciting but certainly has proven to be the most effective both in results and lack of cost — build out your client base into a systematic referral and repeat business network.

You don’t need to be a marketing genius to do that — just start with the approaches that you took to get started and succeed initially. It isn’t rocket science, but it works.

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