You should bookmark Michael Conway’s Means of Production blog, especially if you are a residential builder or designer. This is one of the most refreshing and insightful blogs I’ve viewed in recent months. You’ll discover in it the best of content marketing, appropriate of course since Conway uses the blog to promote his marketing agency and design services.
Among ideas I’ve gleaned:
You may find there are better options than WordPress for site/blog design. Conway recommends Squarespace.com. Unlike WordPress.org, Squarespace isn’t free — but the monthly fee for a full-access account will be a drop in your business budget especially if you simply need a single well-built website/blog. I like how Conway explains why it makes sense to consider this option.
In some respects, being the first and biggest name in an industry, product, or service can be the thing that keeps your brand going. When consumers recognize your name as the leader in the industry, whether it’s perception or reality, you have an opportunity to build your brand bigger than that of your competitors.
The key there is the difference between perception and reality. You see, a recognizable brand has created a great perception among potential buyers, but as in all things in life, perception is almost never reality.
When it comes to web design, there are names like Go Daddy and WordPress that have really managed to make themselves the go-to places for website architects, including amateurs and professionals alike. But just because you’re familiar with these names, these companies aren’t necessarily the best in the business. In fact, some might argue that there are a plethora of better options that architects can use to design their cyberspaces.
You’ll see also how he offers a whitepaper — if you give him your email address. This sort of strategy of course is the first stage in building your list and lead base for future business/clients.
First priorities for social media (for residential work) are: Houzz,com Pinterest.com and LinkedIn. Of course just this information (which may be obvious to you) isn’t enough — you need to define your strategy and approach for these social media services. Conway suggests some ideas.
You can read the other four in his blog post. He starts off with one of my personal favourite money-wasters: The fancy brochure.
1. Expensive Brochures
Fancy brochures are often a waste of money for built environment marketing (or any marketing, for that matter). Think about the last time you actually read a brochure, let alone hired a company because of one. Modern consumers are looking for personalized interaction from their architects, designers and builders, not generic marketing materials.
Plus, brochures rarely offer information that can’t be found on your website. While it’s important that your website doesn’t look and function like a static brochure (interactive features are the key to generating leads), the site should say everything about your company that needs to be said. Built environment marketing dollars are better spent on driving traffic to the site than glossy brochures.
Possibly Michael will enter his blog in next year’s Best Construction Blog competition. In the meantime, I’ll give it a thumbs-up, and encourage you to consider it as a resource.