An Effective Architecture Firm Website And The 3 Client Stages

effective-architecture-firm-website-client-stagesIs it possible to use your architecture firm's website to attract new clients and projects?

The stories I've heard of this happening are few and far between (except for residential firms, for whom this is increasingly common).

Yet it does happen, and with more communication and media moving on-line it is bound to happen more in the future.

Yet again, sophisticated clients aren't doing a ‘Google' search to find the professionals that will help them with their next building project.

Or are they?

The 3 Stages of a Prospective Client

To answer this question better, we need to take a look at the 3 stages a prospective client goes through when planning a new project.

These stages can be roughly categorized in the following way:

  1. Idea gathering
  2. Need specific advice
  3. Ready to hire

The number of prospective clients at any given time in the ‘idea gathering' stage is much greater than those in the ‘need specific advice' stage. And there are more potential clients in the ‘need specific advice' stage than in the ‘ready to hire' stage.

This is because as prospective clients progress through these 3 stages, they eventually find a solution to their problem (engage an architecture firm) or decide to cancel or delay the project.

Naturally there are more opportunities at the wide end of the funnel.

Are you trying to decide about the best content to include on your firms website?

Here's a tip:

Make the content on your website mirror the 3 client stages.

Ok smartie, how do you do that?

Here's a content strategy for an effective website (these percentages exclude the portfolio, which is a separate item):

80% of content targets the ‘idea gathering' stage
10% of content targets the ‘needs specific' advice stage
10% of content targets the ‘ready to hire' stage

All you need to do is make sure you have content on your website that targets all 3 clients stages, in the proportions outlined above.

You may be wondering what this content looks like.

Here are some examples of content that targets these various stages:

  1. Idea gathering

A blog post with an educational article
A slideshow showcasing project ideas
A white-paper with research findings
A project case study

  1. Needs specific advice

An offer for a needs analysis
An offer for a feasibility study
An offer for a pre-programming package

  1. Ready to hire

A downloadable company brochure
Firm and staff bios
Testimonials from past clients

As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities for website content!

You'll also notice that most architecture firm websites focus on the last category, the “ready to hire” stage.

Here's a great example of content that targets the ‘idea gathering' stage (see below).

Ask yourself this question: Would a client who is considering a corporate office interior build-out find this interesting?

Read this infographic carefully and leave your thoughts in the comments at the end of this page:



Enoch Bartlett Sears is the founder of the Architect Business Institute, Business of Architecture and co-founder of the Architect Marketing Institute. He helps architects become category leaders in their market. Enoch hosts the #1 rated interview podcast for architects, the Business of Architecture Show where prominent guests like M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Thom Mayne share tips and strategies for success in architecture.

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