Every years young Architects come out from University like an army of bees, they are fresh, software skilled, full of ideas, good intentions, but somehow this devoted army is missing one major aspect, business knowledge. Yes, that’s right! Something that will dictate their ability to strive on this competitive market and create their own Studio in a near future.
Universities nowadays they almost fabricate molds of architects, works like a factory. The chip implemented is, know how to manage a huge amount of graphic software, 2D, 3D Virtual reality, you name it.
“Sometimes let me think, there’s not enough interest to teach this on purpose.”
What’s missing here, is the most important and that’s a common global fail. Teach notions of business, how to run a business, how to open and create a Studio, how to find clients and so on. This is super important, like I said previously this knowledge will dictate the success of your future when you’re ready to go solo. Sometimes let me think, there’s not enough interest to teach this on purpose. As if there’s the thought of “ let them fail during maturation time, means, less competition for me”.
And to get things worst there’s that kind of Boss that have the perfect conscious, if you go there alone, start your own business, you’ll become a successful Architect and for them it’s a threat. Most of these bosses sometimes teaches on Universities. So, I see here a shady duality.
“Didn’t expect either to someone do the job for me, but while I was studying, I would like to have a complement on principal notions to run an Architecture business.”
No one ever came to me and taught me; “you need to do things this way…”or, gave me a shortlist of many things I should accomplish before get my own studio. It was a process of trial error.
Worked almost like a punishment, “you want to go solo, taste what and how it is!”
Didn’t expect either to someone do the job for me, but while I was studying, I would like to have a complement on principal notions to run an Architecture business. They teach many crap stuff, that many times when you finish your degree it doesn’t apply anymore. It’s like the mainframe was there for a short period and don’t make sense nowadays.
But, let’s focus on my title, which happens to be, Networking to get clients.
Why Networking is so damn important to get your clients?
Here’s the tips University don’t teach you;
1. Social events platform
Have you tried Meetup or Internations? No? Let me say you’re losing! Both have the same concept, the difference between them is their public range. In common, both are platforms to gather people with the same interests as you, normally those interests come in the form of Groups and once a week or so, they organize events on public spots for people to meet.
How cool is that? Who knows you can exchange your business card with someone you’re chatting with and, later on, that can translates into a new client!
Meetup you’ll find a younger public, with a year range between 28 to 45.
Internations, people here are more mature, 40 to 65 or more.
It’s for network and friendships, if you go there with stupid flirting ideas prepare to be ignored!
Be active among friends and be open to meet new people, sometimes a friend of a friend knows someone that’s looking for an Architect. That person didn’t gave the first step, because simply they don’t know and don’t have a referral for an Architect.
3. Real Estate Brokers
Everyone as the shady idea about real estate agents. People say they’re capable to sell their mom just to get the commission and so on. If you have the lucky to have a friend that just turned into a real estate agent, why not talk with him/her and ask for the possibility to pitch your services in their company. Sometimes buyers need an Architect for renovations, that way you can start build a portfolio.
These guys are hard to find! I mean available ones with good portfolio. Most of times they already have a reliable Architect to help them, many times they are Architects and saw an opportunity to turn into a developer as well, creating some sort of power house.
If by chance you spot a developer that delivers good projects and the Design language /style is similar than yours, ask openly if he doesn’t want to collaborate with you. Both can start with a small project just to run a test.
5. Community / Crowdfunding
If in your community there’s a dumped lot, nobody solves it, empty, only gaining trash and rats, somehow if you have a nice idea that could benefit the community, why not talk with them, pitch your idea, talk with the local administration or municipality. Create engagement between them and you, who knows, launch a crowdfunding campaign to build your idea.
Everyone would benefit, you as a Young Architect and people who could use your project.
Sometimes I hear podcasts, or read articles on blogs or websites, there are people who stand for voluntary work and preach it’s a good way to get the first project, personally I’m not a fan of this method. Do voluntary work, if you’re into it, like helping animal shelters, homeless people, elders and seniors, among many others!
Only do, if your heart it’s saying for you to do, don’t go expecting to have your big first project only because you’re there! Disappointment and reality might fall on your leap very rapidly.