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MARKETING: A Little Brain-Storming, Please

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Fellow Strucs:

I have been trying to think of some strategies to help me get "noticed" by
potential clients, esp. Architectural firms with whom I'd like to do
business. One idea I had was suggested in another context by something a
geotechnical engineer told me he had done: He called up contractors and
offered a "free seminar" on geotechnical engineering issues for residential
construction (his particular specialty).

He would buy a bunch of Subway sandwiches, chips and drinks, and provide
lunch while he did his presentation at noontime at the company offices. He
made a lot of great contacts that way, that paved the way to doing work for

In my case I'm just looking to get on the list for proposing work. I realize
now--as I did not a few years ago when I got involved in this--just "how low
to go" in trying to get this work on a competitive cost basis, most
Architects being notoriously stingy with a buck (with apologies to our Archy
friends in attendance).

I do feel like I can do a better-than-average job in my construction
documents, and I know my design stuff probably a little better than most of
my peers as well (based on my observation of others' construction documents
here in our area). But Architect-clients don't seem to care about that, at
least at first. They want to know if they can pay you less and pocket the

But they need to know who I am, and thus the "foot-in-the-door" strategy I'm
contemplating. I would like some input on two fronts:

(1) Can you come up with other strategies to get yourself noticed by your
target client base?

(2) Can you think of some topics for "brown bag presentation" topics that
would be of interest to potential client organizations (Architects,
developers, etc.)?

Thanks to all for your consideration. Hope that some of the answers might
benefit others here, too.

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