This article was completed originally as a part of the ArchDaily application process, and has since been published on ArchDaily as “How To Invest in Your Online Presence to Help Grow Your Design Business.” Check out the full article here!
We live in a world today that spends more time online than outside. And as architects and designers, we invest in creating a more engaging world by means of enhancing life through building. However, through perhaps a unique form of tunnel vision, we are missing an incredible opportunity to expand our impact on the world via alternative mediums.
Here are 5 ways to utilize your creativity to produce unique content that will help enhance your impact on the world of design, and in turn, push you and your design business forward.
Perhaps the fastest growing form of content online, podcasts provide a great platform for sharing longer form content in a more streamlined manner. Episodes can range from short, useful advice on a particular topic, to longer, more in-depth dialogue that tells a story or anecdote ultimately teaching listeners valuable lessons relative to your topic. You might be wary about not having a specific topic in mind, but that’s not a problem. A lot of the more popular podcast shows today feature a group of hosts simply sharing their experiences and learning from each other. This is something we all can do, and odds are there is someone out there wanting to learn exactly what you have to offer.
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. And because it is owned by the first largest search engine (Google), YouTube often receives higher priority in most searches. Search terms like “How to…” and “How do I…” usually yield a majority of video results, and because of this, tutorial videos are by far the most popular choice when getting started with video. If you have a specific skill that you have mastered and have always wanted to share that skill with others, YouTube is the perfect platform. But more importantly, as designers, YouTube offers yet another opportunity to push our creative abilities to the limit and experiment with the different aspects of photography and cinematography that will inevitably improve our design minds. Eric Reinholdt is a great case study of how to directly implement everyday architectural activities into beautiful video content. Check out his channel, 30X40 Design Workshop, for some great inspiration to get you started.
3. Write a Book
This is perhaps the most strenuous but has the opportunity to reap the greatest reward. Many of the “starchitect” firms today have printed large volumes of their work, but perhaps the most popular prints have been those that found a way to translate a big idea into written form. My favorite example of this is Bjarke Ingels’ archicomic Yes Is More. The book isn’t just a way to showcase BIG’s work, but the book itself is designed to emulate BIG’s overall mission as a practice.
4. Social Media
There are very few architecture firms taking advantage of social media, specifically the heavyweights: Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. The firms who are taking advantage, however, are seeing the results. With the advancements in advertising capabilities on Instagram and Facebook, it is now easier than ever to reach thousands of people with just a few images or a short video. And like YouTube, Instagram stories also have the potential to provide your followers with curated creative content all while growing a community around you and your designs.
Perhaps the easiest to get started but the most difficult to achieve success from, starting a blog is a great way to quickly share your ideas and stories with the world. Five years ago, pioneer bloggers enjoyed earning a living simply by putting their lives on the internet, but today because of the growing popularity and appeal to Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week way of life, hitting it big via blogging is nearly a shot in the dark. While admittedly the main appeal for putting some effort into blogging is the longshot that enough people want to hear what you have to say that ultimately your laptop is the only thing you need for a workday, blogging can also help you hone your written communication skills; something we often neglect as architects.
Buildings aren’t the only thing we can create as architects to make an impact on the world we are designing for, and an investment in any of the above for you and/or your firm is sure to produce results.