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Re: MARKETING: A Little Brain-Storming, Please

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Bill,

        There are architects out there that are good to work with but there are
also a lot like those you described in your third paragraph.

        One thing I would not do is offer a low fee introductory offer to "get
your foot in the door".  You will a) get your foot smashed a lot and b) get a
lot of low paying work which is not much fun doing with a sore foot.  Plus
you'll get a reputation for working for low fees; even if they do get a good
paying job they won't give it to YOU.

        Giving some short courses is a good idea; it will introduce you to a
number of potential clients and show them how good you are.  I don't think I'd
give free brown bag lunch seminars though.  I'd try to give two hour to eight
hour low cost seminars in the evening.  Promote them through the architects and
the engineers societies and try to arrange continuing education credits.
Possible subjects include a) fire walls (which just came up on the list again
today), b) static wind loading analysis (I understand, rightly or wrongly, that
ASCE 7 changed its procedures recently); c) low and medium height retaining
walls to name a few.

        Good luck, Bill.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

Bill Polhemus wrote:

> 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
> them.
>
> 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
> difference.
>
> 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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