Brandon Hubbard is the founder of TheArchitectsGuide.com, a website dedicated to helping
architects with their job applications and career goals.
Previously, he was at Foster + Partners in London where he worked on several high profile
design projects including Heathrow Terminal 3, the Bloomberg Headquarters in London, and
the SAMBA Bank Tower in Riyadh. Currently, he is a Senior Architect in San Francisco
working on large scale commercial and residential projects.
Q: How did you first become interested in architecture?
A: I would say I have always been interested in architecture. I spent most of my early childhood in New Zealand, so there was a lot of inspiring building design between the relatively recent British colonization and native Māori architecture.
Even at an early age, around eight years old, I can recall wanting to be an architect. I think part of it came from being interested in drawing and building models. As a kid I built little models from scraps of wood in my backyard. Not only did it create a tripping hazard for my parents, but it also got me interested in the profession.
Q: What does a typical day for you look like? How do you balance The Architect’s Guide and working in a firm? Do you think you will one day go full-time with The Architect’s Guide?
A: I work full-time at a mid-size firm in downtown San Francisco. I bike to work, so weather permitting, I have a really great commute. Balancing my full-time work and The Architect’s Guide can be challenging. In the beginning, it took an enormous amount of time to get it off the ground. For the first couple of years, it consumed most of my evenings and weekends. However, nowadays I work on it as needed. I try to not push too hard because I still want to keep it a fun side project. This is one reason I might not consider it as a full-time thing, since it may stop being fun. Going all-in on The Architect’s Guide would mean that I would stop being an architect in the traditional sense, which is ironic.
That being said, who knows what the future holds.
Q: What inspired you to create The Architect’s Guide? Did you have any prior internet marketing experience?
A: When I was working at Foster + Partners I received a lot of emails from architects asking how to get a job there. They would often send me their resumes and portfolios and I could see immediately there were problems with their applications, so I would often provide feedback before forwarding it onto the Senior Management.
I used to give tours of the office to architects and students and would sit down with them afterward to answer any questions. Usually, the conversations would gravitate to how to get a job there. I actually applied there with only a two-page portfolio, which I later wrote about and was one of my first articles published by ArchDaily.
So, I found over time I was giving the same advice. I thought there must be an easier way to provide this information. Shortly after moving to San Francisco I decided to take this advice I had been providing and turn it into a website. That way I could just forward the applicants to a relevant article whether it was a resume, cover letter, or portfolio issue.
I didn’t have any internet marketing experience, so it was a steep learning curve and one reason it took so much time and effort in the beginning.
Q: What are some social media tactics that you have found to be
successful in growing the community around The Architect’s Guide? Have you thought about transitioning from written content into any video content like YouTube?
A: One tactic I have found useful is to pick only one social media platform to start. I see a lot of people trying to do everything at once, which I think is a mistake. Also, pick a platform that is the best fit for your particular niche. I decided to focus on LinkedIn. Since it is a professional networking site, it aligns with my architecture career content.
I am an avid YouTube viewer. I think it is truly a game-changer in the world of entertainment and increasingly, education. I will definitely produce video content at some stage, it is just a much bigger time commitment than writing.
Use the form on this page to download your copy of the full interview with Brandon Hubbard! He talks about what books have played a part in his entrepreneurial success, as well as how he began getting published on the world’s most visited architecture website, ArchDaily. You don’t want to miss it!