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Re: MARKETING: A Little Brain-Storming, Please

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Bill,

Find a niche.  Do you have an area of structural engineering that you know
you are particularly good at or that you enjoy?  Identify potential clients
in that niche, and figure out how to meet them informally on their own turf.

My niche has become structural design for repair and strengthening of
buildings that are older than I am.  I went to a talk on early 20th century
craftsman houses by an Architect who specialized in preservation and
rehabilitation.  The subject was not related to anything that I really
needed to know.  But I went just so that I could say, "Hi", and chat with
him about his talk and my interest in structural work related to what he was
doing.  It turned into a good professional relationship and very interesting
work that I enjoy, and continues to lead to more contacts.

Good luck!

Nels

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net

| 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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