2020 Awards: it's time to start laying the groundwork

Have you started thinking - strategically - about your awards entries for 2020 yet?

I know we still have to get through quarter four - and probably complete a few projects before Christmas. The holidays are inevitably followed by a shut-down in January, and that’s when most architects turn their attention to awards entries. 

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Fresh into the new year, architects make all sorts of promises to themselves about gaining mastery of their marketing. If you want to make 2020 the year you finally set and accomplish your comms and marketing objectives - so you can attract more of the right kind of new clients in 2020 and beyond - you can start by doing a key piece of awards preparation now.

How? Ask your past and current clients - the ones whose projects you will enter into awards in 2020 - to complete a questionnaire about tworking with your firm, and the design outcomes you provided.

Why? You’ll be able to use their responses to frame your awards submission, AND your subsequent marketing and promotional activities. These include:

  • Publishing in magazines, to attract new clients. 

  • Publishing online, to attract new clients. 

  • Emailing your newsletter list, to spread the word about your firm’s unique selling proposition (USP)

  • Creating testimonials, to attract new clients.

With so much new architecture business coming via word-of-mouth, it makes sense to convert your past and current clients into ambassadors for your practice, because their friends and family have already experienced your project first-hand!

And that’s just for starters. 

Let’s face it: entering awards is a significant marketing outlay. Your firm’s directors need to consider which projects to enter, and which programs offer the most bang for buck. 

Then there’s the investment in quality photos; the time it takes a staff member to complete the entry forms, compile drawings, schedules and credits (or the cost of paying an external copywriter to do that for you); and then additional director’s time to review the submissions before the deadlines.

Usually, that process is condensed into a mad two-week rush just before the entries are due, in February. Then you quickly scramble to complete additional forms for other programs with deadlines in March and April.

Imagine turning that significant investment of time and money into a strategic marketing campaign for 2020. You’re putting in the effort anyway; why not make it really pay off?

I’ll be running a workshop about how to select the right awards programs for your practice, put together award-winning awards entries, and then repurpose those into marketing campaigns, to attract new clients in 2020, in late January. But, you can get a headstart now, by downloading my client questionnaire.

If you set the wheels in motion this side of Christmas, you’ll be ahead of the game once you have the bandwidth in January to focus on awards entries. 

Believe me: your 2020 self will thank you for taking this small step now. 

Click here to download the questionnaire and kick off your 2020 strategic communications NOW.