Becoming licensed as an architect, engineer or contractor is the culmination of many years of hard work. Since humans often like shortcuts, I suppose it should come as no surprise that someone felt that impersonating an architect would be a lot easier than actually becoming one.

As you might expect, hilarity did not ensue.

Consumerist’s Laura Northrop has the story:

If someone is a successful architect, people assume that he or she actually is an architect. Yet a man in upstate New York who drew up renderings of over 100 buildings and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments for designing commercial and residential buildings has been charged with pretending to be an architect for more than half a decade.

According to New York’s state Attorney General, the alleged fake architect’s crimes go beyond just telling people that he was an architect when he wanted to impress them. He’s accused posed as an architect from 2010 to 2016, designing buildings and submitting site plans for projects in and around Albany, NY. These included apartment buildings with hundreds of units, a development of townhouses, and a a retail store.

You’ll want to read the full story, but I did want to point out the hilarious Seinfeld clip that Northrop included with her post:

Bill Graham, legendary concert promoter and impresario said the above quote in regards to one of his favorite bands to work with: the Grateful Dead. Since today is the 22nd anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing, I thought it would be fun to tie in today’s post with something related to the Dead…

Matt Handal, SMPS rock star, head of marketing for a highly successful consulting firm in the A/E/C industry, author of the best book I know of on responding to RFPs, and just an all around neat guy, posted yet another intriguing post at his website, Help Everybody Every Day. The post: Architects and Engineers Suffer From Mass Superiority Delusion.

(more…)

According to Dylan Martin at BostInno, a new startup called Dispatch has successfully raised a $12-million round of venture capital from an enviable list of investors that includes ServiceMaster, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, Salesforce and Assurant.

What does Dispatch do?

The easiest way to describe Dispatch is this: the Boston startup has built a software platform that lets people book home services professionals for things like pest control and appliance repair, with the ease of use found in apps like Uber.

[…]

Dispatch’s software helps home service providers offer features that people have come to expect with the proliferation of apps like Uber, OpenTable and Airbnb, such as the ability to schedule appointments, communicate with providers directly, receive job updates and make payments. The startup said its software now serves more than 50,000 homes a day.

Why does this matter? Dispatch’s CEO and founder Avi Goldberg says that, “by creating that operating system and infrastructure, we’re giving the toolkit to enterprises so they can compete for homeowners that want a modern customer experience.”

Mark Buckshon’s wonderfully rich blog, Construction Marketing Ideas, is in my humble opinion, perhaps the best resource there is for growing businesses in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. Every day, without fail, a new post is published that provides actionable advice, provokes thought, or forces one to question their own previously held assumptions.

And while I am of the opinion that Mark’s blog is one of the best construction-related blogs there is, he has removed himself from consideration for such an honor by instead hosting an annual Best Construction Blog competition. So who won this year’s competition? Oldcastle Building Solutions.

To congratulate the winner, Buckshon conducted a live interview via Google Hangouts to learn more about the not-so-secret tactics and strategies implemented by the Oldcastle marketing team:

Heather Pacinelli, director, digital marketing at Oldcastle Building Solutions, has made herself available for a video interview to discuss the blog’s success behind winning the 2017 Best Construction Blog competition. […]

The blog serves a variety of purposes, including uniting Oldcastle’s diversity of building products and services — educating clients who may not know about everything the business offers.

Here’s the video of their conversation:

Wowzers! That’s my general response to a controversy that has been brewing over the last several weeks among marketers responsible for promoting architecture, engineering and construction professional services.

It all started when Professional Services Management Journal (PSMJ) published a list-based article called, “8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Do A/E Marketing,” which started out as follows: (more…)

Consulting is, in my opinion, one of the most noble professions that exists. Sadly, too many freelancers, subcontractors and outsourced laborers have diluted the meaning of the word “consultant.” For the purposes of this article, let’s agree that the true definition of a consultant is a professional who leverages many years of experience, knowledge, and training, often applying their own unique intellectual property, in order to improve their client’s outcome in a given situation.

So without clients, a consultant is actually just a pundit.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to being successful as a consultant, therefore, is attracting clients and winning assignments.

Merilee Kern, writing for the Innovation Enterprise Strategy blog, observed the following:

But, even in a trade that’s rife with profit potential, actually earning that pot of gold can be extraordinarily difficult given there are two-plus million consultants, coaches, trainers, and similar professionals all fighting to find clients, win projects and make a living. Roughly half of these consultants are solo practitioners or in boutique firms—and the sad reality is most boutique consulting firms are perpetually six months away from bankruptcy. Their ‘new business procurement’ engine sputters along resulting in a persistent struggle to grow larger, while solo consultants capture average annual revenue under $70,000 (compared to $250,000 per consultant across the entire industry). To explore this disconnect, I connected with David A. Fields, author of ‘The Executive’s Guide to Consultants,’ and the soon-to-be-released follow-up title, ‘ The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients .’ Himself a multi-million-dollar-earning independent consultant, this ‘expert’s expert’ has some sage advice on how people can realize success in the consulting trade—a profession, he concedes, that can be ‘as problematic as it is profitable.’ Since Fields has coached hundreds of successful consultants and other independent practitioners around the world on how to ‘make it rain,’ I asked him the obvious question: ‘Why do so many struggle in this field?’ Quite unequivocally, he asserted that too many consultants—the majority, in fact—are completely missing the mark with respect to their baseline approach and overarching mindset. To help give independent consultants a clearer path to that coveted yet elusive goal of financial freedom through what ‘could’ be a lifestyle-friendly career, here are six of Fields’ pragmatic, eye-opening tips:

  1. Think Right-Side Up
  2. Maximize Impact
  3. Build Visibility
  4. Connect, Connect, Connect
  5. Become the Obvious Choice
  6. Propose, Negotiate & Close

Make sure to read the full article for detailed explanations of Fields’ tips for closing more business as a consultant.

Stephen Manlove is managing principal for the Washington, DC office of the award-winning HDR Architecture group. Their new office building, located in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA, was just awarded LEED Platinum certification under USGBC’s LEED for Interiors, under version 2009 of the program.

Such a pursuit is not for the faint of heart. Manlove wrote a great piece for the HDR blog that tells the story called, Our Journey to Platinum and How it has Shaped Who We Are. So, why did HDR go to such great lengths for their new facility?  (more…)

Whether you are in a formal marketing role, or if you are a consultant or small business owner, the only way to continue to connect with clients/prospects is to make sure that your marketing outreach is as effective as it can be. Since marketing best practices are constantly shifting, that means that we as professionals must continue to invest in learning from the successes and failures of other marketers.

Josh Steimle, CEO of marketing agency MWI, and author of a book called Chief Marketing Officers at Work, has published a list of 10 books he recommends reading in 2017 to improve your marketing game. Here is the list:

  1. “They Ask You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan
  2. “Non-Obvious 2017” by Rohit Bhargava
  3. “SEO for Growth” by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton
  4. “Hug Your Haters” by Jay Baer
  5. “Pre-Suasion” by Robert Cialdini Ph.D.
  6. “Get Scrappy” by Nick Westergaard
  7. “What Customers Crave” by Nicholas Webb
  8. “Invisible Influence” by Jonah Berger
  9. “Hacking Marketing” by Scott Brinker
  10. “Digital Sense” by Travis Wright and Chris Snook

Check out Josh’s post at Mashable for descriptions of each book, and why it is relevant to your ongoing professional development.

Over at Adweek, Jason Snyder has a great piece on who the real target demographic might be for marketing: robots.

Whoever is closest to the consumer controls the conversation. But it’s not you who’s closest—it’s the machines. The good news for marketers is that unlike fickle, demographic-defying consumers, robots are consistent—staying true to their programming. For now anyway. And talking to them requires speaking their language—and increasingly that language is less about understanding 1’s and 0’s and more about simple, normal words.

 

The more things change, in some way, the more things seem to stay the same. One of the constants in my ongoing education as a marketer in the legal industry is the sage advice of Ed Poll’s LawBizBlog.

A recent post of Ed’s tackles the perennial subject of technology’s impact on labor markets. Specifically, as a legal professional, he focuses on the impact of technology on the legal profession combined with the economic climate of the most recent recession. (more…)