The business of being a freelance architect involves more than good design. It is essential to devise a good strategy for promoting yourself and implement it methodically.
Polish Your Resume
Your resume is to promotion what your business plan is to funding. Make your resume flawless: free from typos, clean layout, impeccably written descriptions of your skills, training and experience and solid references. Hand it over with pride anytime a potential client asks for it.
Build a Website
Your website is very much like your portfolio and your resume rolled into one high-tech package. It should deliver information and imagery, as well as give potential clients the feeling that they are dealing with a professional. As a freelance architect, the design of your website should in some way reflect your style as a designer.
Making connections within your local community is vital to promoting your freelance architect business. Find guilds and associations of people within the industry of building and design in your city or town. Whether they are contractors, developers or small business owners, seek out other professionals and let them know who you are, what you do and that they can refer business to you. You can also contribute work to nonprofits and charities in exchange for name recognition within your community.
But don't stop at the local level. Make your presence felt on the world wide web. There are a number of professional networking websites like Linkedin.com, where you can join in forum discussions and make friends. There are also online architecture publications like Archinect.com, where you can contribute cutting edge ideas and articles pertaining to your architectural niche.
Never underestimate the power of good old fashioned flyers, business cards and classified ads. Some local businesses still go door to door offering promotions. You could use some variation of this technique with other businesses. Advertise as a freelance architect in local newspapers and free online classified ads. Give your business card out while networking with other industry professionals, at parties or even your child's baseball game!
Though they can be costly, trade shows are another way to promote your business. Find listings for architectural trade shows within your design niche at Tsnn.com. Whether you go to mingle with other architects and hand out your business card or enter and display your work, research to find a trade show that is a good fit for your freelance architect business.
Enter Design Competitions
Enter a design competition to bring your designs to leading professionals in your industry. Many websites such as Thearchitectureroom.com, Deathbyarchitecture.com and Architectureweek.com have listings of design competitions taking place all over the world.
Your success as a freelance architect will rely heavily on how well your promote your business. The above steps outline a well-rounded promotional plan for an enterprising architect just starting out.