July 6, 2023

Marketing for architecture firms: Humble Brag

https://youtu.be/119jVHXUZU8

Introduction

Ah, humble bragging. It’s the Minnesota Nice of self-promotion but with a bit more subtlety. It’s also a secret weapon of marketing for architecture firms – helping provide the crucial balance needed in architecture. You’re part art, part science, and you have to project this intricate persona not just through your work but also through your communication with clients.

It doesn’t always work.

Because… some architects (I’m not saying it’s you) are more prone to the overt bragging that can come across as ego. Check out this recent post about how your personality impacts your architecture career for more if you aren’t sure it’s you (and what to do if it is).

This post teaches you how to highlight your genius as part of your architecture firm marketing – without looking ego-driven. Stick with me, because it’s more nuanced than you’d think.

We’ll explore:

  • Why humble bragging is a must have
  • What it is, what it does
  • How to humble brag
  • Long-term benefits

Why Humble Bragging is a Must in Architecture Firm Marketing

Friends – the need for the humble brag stems from the very core of who you are as architects. You are often swimming in contradictions. Art and science. Tangible and intangible. Solving problems and making dreams come true.

You are not born marketers. so it is tough to communicate your vision and skill without coming off like you have a God complex or are self-absorbed. Can it be done? Absolutely – but that’s a skill in itself.

Done wrong, you’re not just seen as self-serving; you come off as hiding behind a guise of humility. But, no worries – there is a right way to do it.

And that’s where humble bragging steps in.

The Art and Science of Humble Bragging

What is Humble Bragging?

Humble bragging is the art of subtly showcasing your talent with an air of modesty and humility and without overpowering the conversation or making it all about you. Imagine designing a building that blends into its surroundings so naturally that it takes a moment for people to realize the genius behind it—that’s humble bragging in architecture.

bragging man in denim shirt points at himself

Why It’s an Essential Tool in Architectural Marketing

Let’s face it -architects, by nature, are not hardwired for architectural marketing. For many, it seems akin to me trying to assemble Ikea furniture without instructions. Except with less swearing. “Where does this piece go? WHY is there always an extra screw?”

And… no one likes an egomaniac. I’m not saying you are one – I’m saying at times you sound like one.

Yet, marketing for architecture firms is essential, as is talking with clients about your awesome work – and humble bragging is the tool you didn’t know you needed. It lets you put your achievements into conversations effortlessly, making you appear skilled and down-to-earth.

Strategies for Mastering the Humble Brag

Now that we’ve got the why sorted, let’s dig into the how. Humble bragging is an art, and like any art, it needs a bit of finesse. Here are a few ways you can present the information to set the tone:

Storytelling: The Narrative Approach

Facts alone are dull. Weave your achievements into an engaging story. Storytelling is an extremely effective approach in architecture marketing. Talk about the challenges you overcame, the teamwork clients would kill to have, and the fun story you’ll reference many times to come. This makes your achievements come alive, and your bragging less direct.

Sharing the Credit: The Team Effort

A project’s success is rarely due to one person. When you talk about your projects, don’t forget to share the credit. It shows you value teamwork and amplifies your humility.

Client-Centricity: Focusing on the Value

This is one of THE most important things to keep in mind when donig any marketing for arcitectue firms. Want a good architect client relationship? Don’t go on and on about yourself. When discussing a project, focus on the value it brought to your client rather than the genius of your design. It demonstrates your commitment to delivering client satisfaction, which is a brag in itself!

Remember, the key is subtlety. It’s like using garlic in a dish. Too little, and the dish is bland. Too much, and you’re scaring everyone away.

The How To: Humble Bragging in Architect Marketing

Let’s translate our humble bragging skills into the world of architect marketing. Remember, it’s not just about sharing your achievements, but also about how you make your clients and potential clients feel. Let me share some ways you can do this:

Visual Aids: Show, Don’t Just Tell

Architects, your work is inherently visual – use this to your advantage. Posting photos of your projects with captions that celebrate the benefit to the client, the team effort, or the project’s ecological benefits is architecture marketing GOLD. You draw them in with the image and impress them like crazy with the message – it’s its own form of humble bragging.

Architect Testimonials: Let Others Do the Talking

Architect testimonials are the ULTIMATE tool in humble bragging! Sometimes, the most effective marketing for architecture firms (and bragging) is when someone else does it for you. If your clients rave about your work, use those architect testimonials throughout your marketing strategy. A happy client’s words can often communicate your achievements more effectively (and humbly) than you ever could.

Content that Adds Value: Educational Bragging

Create content that adds value and subtly brings your achievements into the conversation. It could be a blog post about the latest in sustainable materials featuring your own projects as case studies, or a webinar where you talk about your design philosophy and how it impacts the client while showing off your portfolio. This not only positions you as an expert but also showcases your work in a helpful, educational context.

The Long-Term Benefits of Humble Bragging

The beauty of humble bragging is that it doesn’t just help you with your immediate marketing goals; it also has long-term benefits.

Building Authentic Architect Client Relationships

When you communicate with humility, you attract people who value authenticity – leading to stronger, more meaningful relationships with clients and peers.

Establishing a Respectful Reputation

Imagine: yuur reputation in the architectural community grows positively. You are known as an accomplished professional who values others’ contributions and is not just in it for personal glory. You can do this! As I’ve shown in another post about client secrets revealed, they talk. They’ll spread the word – either way.

Creating a Loyal Client Base

This strategy allows you to build a client base that not only respects your work but also knows about and appreciates your humility and client-first approach. These are the clients more likely to come back for future projects and recommend you to others.

Conclusion: A New Tool in Architectural Marketing

Humble bragging is all about balance. It’s the sweet spot between humility and pride, between showcasing your work and connecting with your audience on a personal level. It’s not just about saying you’re great; it’s about making people realize it themselves.

So, architects – it’s a new era. Marketing for architecture firms has a new tool: humble bragging.Your work is already a testament to your skills; now let’s get the world to realize it in a way that reflects well on you.

Want to learn more about your ideal client(s)?

In the recent post about how an architect personality is the ultimate marketing strategy, I talk about how you can leverage your individual personality as part of your architecture marketing process to better connect with clients. Understanding how they make decisions – based on their personality – can inform what marketing in architecture firms means for you – and them. Check it out! AND – seeing how responsive (or not) each type may be will help with the humble brag.

For an unofficial but very fun assessment check out the “Which iconic building are you?” quiz I created (to pair with the article) – your personality type is revealed with the results. Each result includes resources and additional information custom to the personality type.

Ready to be the only architect clients think of?
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I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.
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I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.
learn about barb

hey there!

Ready to be the only architect clients think of?
 The ULTIMATE marketing solution - The EDGE helps you stand out, build better client relationships FASTER, and WIN.
tell me more

what iconic building

ARE YOU?

See what sets you apart from 
everyone + get strategies for YOUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY to stand out and win more!


take the quiz!

I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.
learn about barb

hey there!

Ready to be the only architect clients think of?
 The ULTIMATE marketing solution - The EDGE helps you stand out, build better client relationships FASTER, and WIN.
tell me more

what iconic building

ARE YOU?

See what sets you apart from 
everyone + get strategies for YOUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY to stand out and win more!


take the quiz!