The Five Best Ways To Create New Leads, Prospects and More Clients

The Internet has fundamentally changed the way people look for and buy services. According to Google ZMOT studies, people find, discover, share, shop and connect more than 30 times with a business in an online environment before they commit to a sale. Prospective clients seeking built environment services from architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape designers are spending more time than ever conducting online research. It's common for buyers to examine social media accounts on Houzz and Pinterest, investigate online reviews, conduct a survey with friends, and email peers to get opinions before deciding to buy.  Pre-purchase research has never been as stringent as it has become in the last few years. If your firm has nothing more than a portfolio website and a Facebook page, you are missing out on potential clients. If you are seeking growth or better clients your marketing should (at the very least) include the following. 

  • Update your website weekly with new keyword-rich content and/or a blog.
  • Spend time on Houzz weekly. Post a project, start an idea book comment on a blog article and follow the work of others.
  • Send out emails to prospects and existing clients using an email service provider with an automated marketing system.

Getting potential customers to visit your website, share your content with others and commit to learning more about your firm before they buy is an accomplishment. A marketing plan can help your company save time and create effective customer targeted messaging that is effective and results in sales.

Here is a summary of the key components you will want to have in a content marketing plan:

1 - Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is not rocket science.  It is simply a matter of getting your website found on the Internet by using long tail keyword phrases you expect prospects use in search queries. 1 billion people use Google search each month. Dismissing this source of prospective clients is foolish. Helping your website to get found online is simply a matter of writing high-quality content about the services you offer. Higher rank in search engine results comes from using a mix of competitive but necessary general terms, like "Landscape Architect" with specific terms that describe your aesthetic like "mid-century modern renovation" and product specific descriptions like "stainless steel cable rail system". Using keywords effectively for SEO purposes requires frequent blog article and portfolio page updates. Every photograph should have a thoughtful keyword-rich description and caption.

2- Write Blog Articles Weekly

Blogging is a simple way to keep content on your site fresh while demonstrating your company is an authority and illustrating your unique aesthetic. Blogging can be time-consuming and must regularly be done. We suggest writing two blogs articles weekly that have 400-600 words each. Regular content production that includes keywords you want your firm known for will result in business growth. We currently have a client that has been posting blogs twice weekly for three years. Before blogging, they had 120 visitors to their website per month. Having just surpassed the three-year mark, they just hit 25,000 unique visitors monthly. The result has been a 15% to 22% increase in gross sales annually over the last three years. 

Prospects, customers, and search engines all love the content generated through blogging. Prospects do because it helps them understand your firm and how to buy your services. Customers like it because it helps them stay up to date with what you offer, and search engines respond to increased blog articles because each post represents another page they can index and feed to people searching for that phrase.   

3 - Post Blog Articles on Social Media

Houzz, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the current top social media websites being used by built environment companies. Firms that wish to stay in touch with prospects seeking to learn about their industry and drive traffic back to their company site with backlinks need to be active on social media.  For example, companies that use Twitter on average have twice the number of leads per month than those that do not.  Blog articles are a great way to post content on social media. Posting lots of blog articles on social media will increase the chances others will share them.  The more these articles are shared, the greater the chances of your firm will be found by someone who is interested in your services or simply wants to sign up for email notifications for a future project they have in mind. 

4 - Create Offers for Website Lead Generation

Email is 40x more successful at acquiring new clients than either Facebook and Twitter.
— McKinsey & Company

List building starts by providing content offers on your website that a prospect perceives as valuable.  Asking for contact information in exchange for a paper, guide, video or presentation will allow you to build a list of prospects based on their interest. If they are willing to give up contact information in exchange for a "Guide To Hiring A Design-Build Contractor - Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract" - you have just been told that they will have a project soon. A strong call to action tells people what type of information is in the offer and it links to a landing page with a form where the offer can be downloaded. If you're not gathering contact information from the people who visit your website, you’re missing out on a great way to generate leads.

Potential customers use the Internet to do their research, according to the Pew Research Center. If someone shows interest in your product, why not offer an informational packet or some other offer now, then follow up with the prospect via email a few days later? By providing them with this advice, they will come to understand how your goods and services could potentially fill their need.

5 - Begin Lead Nurturing with Automated Email Marketing

Don’t let a prospect lose interest and wander off to buy built environment services from a competitor. Develop a strategy to maintain customer interest by using an email based automated marketing campaigns.

Automated marketing is growing more popular because the cost of lead nurturing software is dropping and in the right hands, the tactics are becoming more effective. According to an MIT study done with, 78 percent of sales that start with a web inquiry go to the company that responds first. Email based lead nurturing helps you respond immediately to inquiries and further educate and build relationships with potential customers.    

About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.

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