42 episodes

Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

Architecture Business Club - For Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors & Designers Jon Clayton

    • Arts

Architecture Business Club is the weekly podcast to help solo and small firm architecture business owners build a profitable, future-proof architecture practice that both you and your clients love! It’s an inclusive place (for ALL architecture business owners). So whether you’re an Architect, Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer…If you sell architectural services and want to improve the way you do things…This is THE podcast for you.

I’m Jon Clayton, your show host, and a Chartered Architectural Technologist based in the UK. I’ve been in architecture for over two decades and running my own (solo) practice for 10 years+.

Each week you’ll hear from inspiring people from the world of architecture and business who share actionable tips to help you improve how you work, save time, or make more money. I’ll also share my own experiences running an architecture business in occasional solo episodes. We cover everything from mindset, money, business strategy, sales & marketing, productivity, systems & workflows, client experience, outsourcing, software, technology, and much more.

Episodes are kept as short as possible by cutting out the fluff and getting straight to the point. So expect interview episodes of around 30 minutes or less, and solo episodes of 5 to 15 minutes.

New episodes are released every Thursday at 6am GMT / 2am EST.

Welcome to the Club!

    Digital Marketing Essentials For Architecture Practices with Ayo Abbas | 038

    Digital Marketing Essentials For Architecture Practices with Ayo Abbas | 038

    Jon speaks with award-winning marketing consultant Ayo Abbas. They discuss the essentials and opportunities of digital marketing for small architecture firms. Ayo shares her extensive experience and success in using digital marketing to boost brand visibility and lead conversions. Key highlights include leveraging social media, understanding the importance of SEO, and creating an effective marketing strategy. The episode emphasises that small firms can compete effectively with the proper use of digital tools. Ayo also shares her passion for cooking and her favourite place. This episode is half of a two-part series, in collaboration with Ayo’s podcast, The Built Environment Marketing Show.
    Today's Guest...
    Ayo Abbas is an award-winning built environment marketing consultant. She has 23 years’ experience working across the real estate and construction sector for major firms. Ayo founded her own consultancy business Abbas Marketing offering B2B marketing strategy and content creation services. Ayo was named as the overall winner for the Digital Woman of the Year Awards 2022. She also hosts her own podcast The Built Environment Marketing Show that shines a spotlight on marketing best practice. In 2023, Ayo was honoured to be a RIBA London Awards judge and named as an architectural trailblazer by Architizer Magazine.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    01:55 Collaborative Podcasting
    04:18 Diving into Digital Marketing Basics
    08:42 Digital Marketing Myths
    10:49 Opportunities For Architecture Practices
    14:35 Targeted Advertising and Platform Insights
    19:32 Leveraging LinkedIn for Architects
    20:41 Exploring Other Social Media Platforms
    21:24 Understanding SEO and Landing Pages
    23:37 Email Marketing Strategies
    24:13 The Power of Video Content and Webinars
    27:05 Maximising Digital Marketing Efforts
    31:38 Ayo's Favorite Place
    33:16 Final Thoughts and Farewell
    Key Takeaways...
    The Importance of Digital Marketing for Small Practices:
       Digital marketing presents big opportunities for small architecture firms and sole practitioners to boost their brand visibility and generate leads cost-effectively. Leveraging digital platforms can help small firms compete with larger ones by strategically using tools like email marketing, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO).
    Strategic Planning and Execution:
       Having a clear digital marketing strategy is key. It helps businesses define their goals, target audience, and the best channels to use to reach them. Execution should be consistent, and small businesses should focus on platforms and methods that align with their strengths and resources. It's important to test different tactics and measure their effectiveness continuously.
    Leveraging Digital Platforms for Authentic Engagement:
       Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as tools like webinars and podcasts, provide unique opportunities for professionals to connect authentically with their audience. Showing up consistently and engaging with potential clients on these platforms can significantly enhance brand recognition and trust, which are essential for business success.
    This episode is half of a two-part series, in collaboration with Ayo’s podcast, The Built Environment Marketing Show - LISTEN HERE 👇
    https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast/small-practice-marketing
    Connect with Ayo on LinkedIn > https://www.linkedin.com/in/ayoabbas/
    Ayo’s...

    • 35 min
    Building Connections: The Importance of Networking | 037

    Building Connections: The Importance of Networking | 037

    Jon discusses the significance of networking and attending in-person events such as conferences and workshops for solo and small firm architecture practice owners. He challenges common myths about networking, offers practical advice for introverts, and suggests strategies for making the most out of these events. Jon also highlights the benefits of meeting new people, gaining visibility, and building relationships, alongside alternative online options. He shares his personal experiences and announces his upcoming speaking engagement at London Build 2024, inviting listeners to join him at the event to learn, network, and socialise.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    01:06 Why Networking Matters
    02:15 Debunking Networking Myths
    04:22 Alternatives to In-Person Networking
    04:50 Personal Networking Experiences
    06:27 Four Ways You Get Sales
    08:15 Networking Tips for Introverts
    09:57 A Strategic Approach To Networking & In-Person Events
    12:12 Top Networking Recommendations
    15:28 Upcoming Event: London Build 2024
    16:53 Conclusion and Next Episode Preview
    Key Takeaways...
    Importance of Networking:
       - Networking events and in-person interactions are critical for growth, as they provide opportunities for meeting potential clients, collaborators, and mentors.
       - Networking helps in gaining new ideas, discovering trends, building visibility, and enhancing credibility.
    Debunking Myths about Networking:
       - Networking is not just for extroverts; introverts can do it too!
       - Networking should not be approached with aggressive selling; the focus should be on listening and helping others.
       - It’s not necessary to attend every event regularly; attending selectively based on your goals can be effective.
       - Tangible results can arise from networking, and it should be viewed as more than a one-time event.
    Alternatives to In-Person Networking:
       - Online events and communities can be valuable substitutes when in-person attendance isn’t possible.
       - Building relationships online can still yield significant benefits, although in-person interactions often have a more substantial impact.
    Networking Tips for Introverts:
       - Start with smaller events.
       - Bring a friend for support.
       - Prepare in advance by researching other attendees.
       - Focus on listening more than talking.
    Strategies for Effective Networking:
       - Be authentic and true to yourself at networking events.
       - Follow up with new contacts to build lasting relationships.
       - Have a clear strategy and goals to measure the effectiveness of networking activities.
    Hosting Your Own Event:
       - If local events are unavailable, consider organizing your own meetups or workshops.
       - Events can be informal and simple, such as a gathering at a local café or pub.
    Upcoming Networking Opportunities:
       - Engage in larger industry events like London Build 2024 for extensive networking and learning opportunities.
       - Take advantage of casual meetups alongside formal events to build deeper connections.
    —--
    Join me at London Build on Nov 20th & 21st at Olympia London.
    I'll be speaking at the Skills & Marketing Hub (at 10am on Nov 20th) and then hanging around for the rest of the event.
    We’ll also be hosting an evening meet-up at a nearby venue (details coming...

    • 18 min
    Building A Creative Powerhouse with Bryon McCartney | 036

    Building A Creative Powerhouse with Bryon McCartney | 036

    Jon chats with Brian McCartney, CEO of ArchMark Branding and Marketing for Architects. Bryon, who has founded five successful creative service firms, shares strategies for transforming architectural practices into creative powerhouses. They discuss the importance of strategic planning, the misconception about sales in architecture, and the benefits of community involvement for solo architects. Bryon also shares his personal and professional experiences, including his passion for photography and his journey in the business world.
    Today's Guest...
    Bryon McCartney is CEO at Archmark (* pronounced Ark-Mark) Branding and Marketing for Architects and a certified coach through Donald Miller’s Business Made Simple program. Bryon has helped 3,000+ architects increase their firm’s visibility and influence so they can win better projects. Bryon has travelled around the world and calls himself an ”Archi-Geek.” He has been featured on ArchDaily, ArchiBiz, Business of Architecture, Entrearchitect, Zweig Group, and many others.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    01:50 Brian McCartney's Journey into Photography
    04:35 Founding and Managing Creative Firms
    10:05 Approaching New Ideas and Opportunities
    17:25 Sales Strategies for Architects
    22:50 The Importance of Strategic Planning
    26:51 Client Success Stories
    27:24 The Importance of Strategic Planning
    28:01 Writing Effective Business Plans
    29:21 Building Trust with Clients
    29:51 Common Mistakes in Proposal Processes
    32:14 Revamping the Sales Process
    36:46 The Value of Community for Architects
    39:55 Final Thoughts and Takeaways
    43:08 Favorite Travel Destinations
    45:27 Connecting on Social Media
    46:56 Closing Remarks
    Key Takeaways...
    Importance of Trust in Client Relationships: Instead of sending proposals and hoping for a response, it's more effective to engage in a process that involves multiple interactions to build a rapport and understanding.
    Sales as Solutions: Architects should shift their perspective on sales. Instead of viewing it as a sleazy necessity, they should see it as an opportunity to provide solutions to clients' problems. Effective sales strategies focus on the clients' needs and how the service can meet those needs, rather than just the design aspect.
    Strategic Planning: Running a business without a plan leads to reactive management. Strategic planning helps set clear goals and benchmarks, giving a business purpose and direction. This process should be simple, systematic, and regularly revisited for continued success.
    Methodical Approach to Opportunities: Adopt a careful approach when considering new ideas or trends. Use the framework of Decide, Act, Learn, and Repeat to ensure that opportunities are thoroughly evaluated, implemented correctly, and adjusted based on outcomes.
    Community and Support: Being part of a community provides invaluable support. It offers a wealth of shared knowledge and resources that can help solve problems and foster a sense of belonging, particularly important for solo architects or small firms.
    Clarity and Communication: Ensure that all client-facing materials – from websites to proposals – clearly communicate how your work solves clients’ problems. This clarity builds trust and facilitates better client relationships.
    Lifecycle of Client Interaction: From project inquiries to retention, understanding and optimizing each stage of the client's journey is essential for sustained business success. This includes ensuring client satisfaction to encourage repeat business and referrals.
    Learning from Other Fields: Gaining insights from fields outside of architecture can offer new...

    • 48 min
    Outsourcing For Architects: Getting Started with Aya Shlachter | 035

    Outsourcing For Architects: Getting Started with Aya Shlachter | 035

    Jon speaks with Aya Schlachter, CEO and founder of MGS Global Group. Aya shares insights on how architects can use outsourcing to enhance productivity, increase firm capacity, and improve their bottom line. The conversation covers key benefits such as flexibility, access to a wider talent pool, and strategic growth. Aya also debunks common myths about outsourcing, discusses best practices for working with outsourcing partners, and offers philosophical advice on staying open to new opportunities. The episode provides valuable guidance for small and solo architecture firm owners seeking to build a profitable, future-proof business.
    Today's Guest...
    Aya is the CEO and founder of MGS Global Group, a company that accelerates growth for architecture and design firms worldwide by providing architectural support and staffing services internationally. Her team provides Revit, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, and 3D Visualization services to architects and interior designers. Aya is a keynote speaker and host of the Architect My Business Podcast – a business growth podcast for architects. She is a wife and mother of two, an avid traveler, a golfer, and a recreational triathlete who loves cooking and spending time outdoors.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    00:55 Meet Aya Schlachter: CEO of MGS Global Group
    01:51 The Benefits of Cold Plunging
    04:40 Diving into Outsourcing: Why and How
    06:43 Debunking Myths About Outsourcing
    12:01 Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner
    14:18 Best Practices for Starting with Outsourcing
    15:05 Flexible Outsourcing for Architects
    16:58 Integrating Outsourcing Partners
    21:21 Strategic Outsourcing for Business Growth
    24:15 Final Thoughts on Outsourcing
    26:07 Connecting with Aya and Jon
    Key Takeaways...
    Leverage Outsourcing for Growth:
       - Outsourcing can enhance productivity, increase capacity, and improve the bottom line for architecture firms.
       - It allows firms to scale up and down based on project needs, providing flexibility.
       - Access to a wider talent pool is a significant advantage.
    Debunking Outsourcing Myths:
       - Concerns about communication challenges are often unfounded; many outsourcing teams are proficient in English.
       - Outsourcing partners can research and learn local building codes and standards.
       - Ethical treatment of employees is a priority; outsourcing has positively impacted local economies.
       - Coordination can be effectively managed with technology, allowing for seamless integration.
    Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner:
       - Referrals are beneficial for finding reliable outsourcing partners.
       - Review the online presence and leadership of potential partners to ensure credibility.
       - Look for content and participation in industry events as indicators of a proactive partner.
    Best Practices for Starting with Outsourcing:
       - Begin with small projects to test the compatibility and effectiveness of the outsourcing partner.
       - Flexible business models, such as project-based and contract-based arrangements, can accommodate varying needs.
       - Training and integration are crucial for smooth onboarding and collaboration.
    Integrating Outsourcing Partners:
       - Treat outsourcing teams as extensions of the internal team, fostering strong relationships.
       - Providing training and aligning with company culture can improve integration and performance.
    Strategic Outsourcing for...

    • 28 min
    LinkedIn Post Ideas To Win Clients with Nicole Osborne | 034

    LinkedIn Post Ideas To Win Clients with Nicole Osborne | 034

    Jon sits down with LinkedIn expert Nicole Osborne to discuss strategies for turning LinkedIn followers into paying clients. Nicole, bringing over 20 years of marketing experience and a distinctive approach blending German efficiency and infectious enthusiasm, provides valuable insights on crafting LinkedIn posts, handling client objections through content, and creating genuine FOMO. The conversation touches on best practices for engaging with LinkedIn lurkers and avoiding common mistakes. Tune in to learn how to elevate your LinkedIn presence and attract the right clients for your architecture business.
    Today's Guest...
    Nicole Osborne is your LinkedIn Meister, she’s here to help you knock through your inner Berlin Walls and build a WUNDERBAR LinkedIn presence that gets the right clients raising their hands. With 20+ years in marketing, and her signature blend of German efficiency, fun, and infectious enthusiasm, Nicole makes your LinkedIn less of a chore and more of a kunden-magnet (client-magnet).
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    01:34 Meet Nicole Osborne: LinkedIn Expert
    03:12 Engaging Your Audience with Questions
    06:53 Best Practices For Asking Questions On LinkedIn
    09:20 Handling Client Objections on LinkedIn
    15:14 Creating Genuine FOMO on LinkedIn
    18:30 Offering Downloadable Content
    19:38 The Importance of Transparency
    20:19 Celebrating Client Successes
    21:08 Engaging LinkedIn Lurkers
    24:52 Common LinkedIn Mistakes
    29:20 Optimising Your LinkedIn Profile
    31:06 Nicole's Favorite Travel Destination
    32:43 Conclusion and Final Thoughts
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Understanding Your Audience: Tailor your LinkedIn profile and content to what your target audience values and needs. Pose engaging questions that are easy for your audience to answer and have a positive spin.
    👉 Using Questions Effectively: Use questions to engage your audience but ensure they are simple, positive, and easy to respond to. Test different types of content (polls, images, videos) and formats to see what resonates with your audience.
    👉 Handling Objections in Content: Address common client objections openly in your LinkedIn content to build trust and demonstrate expertise. Utilise your content to show potential clients you understand their challenges and have solutions.
    👉 Creating Genuine FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Highlight your achievements and celebrate client successes to create genuine interest and urgency in your services. Utilise scarcity by being transparent about your availability and capacity.
    👉 Engaging Lurkers: Make it easy for "lurkers" (silent followers) to engage by sharing relatable and vulnerable content. Consider linking email newsletter content to LinkedIn posts to drive engagement.
    👉 Avoiding Common Mistakes: Have a clear strategy to stand out and differentiate yourself from peers. Focus your posts on potential clients rather than peers to provide valuable and relatable content. Overcome the fear of imperfection; start posting and learn from feedback to refine your approach.
    👉 Optimising Your LinkedIn Profile: Regularly review and optimise your profile to make sure it aligns with what potential clients need to know about you. Ensure a routine that includes posting, growing your network, and being active in direct messages.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    If you’d like help with your LinkedIn strategy or content, learn about Nicole Osborne from Wunderstars here > https://wunderstars.com/wundercontent/
    Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn > a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleosborne1/" rel="noopener noreferrer"...

    • 34 min
    How To Write A Business Plan For Your Architecture Firm | 033

    How To Write A Business Plan For Your Architecture Firm | 033

    Jon discusses the importance of having an active and updated business plan for solo and small architecture firm owners. He debunks common myths about business plans, advocates for simplicity, and recommends utilising 'The One Page Business Plan' by Jim Horan. Jonn also provides detailed examples and actionable steps for creating a business plan. He emphasises the value of having a clear vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plans to build a profitable and future-proof architecture business. Additionally, he encourages listeners to regularly review and update their business plans and outlines the benefits of having a business buddy for accountability.
    Episode Highlights...
    00:00 Introduction
    00:55 Personal Experience with Business Plans
    02:32 Common Myths About Business Plans
    03:18 Why You Need a Business Plan
    03:29 How to Write a Simple Business Plan
    04:26 Recommended Resources and Tools
    05:47 One-Page Business Plan Breakdown
    06:53 Example Business Plan Walkthrough
    10:40 Final Tips and Recommendations
    12:38 Conclusion and Next Episode Teaser
    Key Takeaways...
    👉 Importance of a Business Plan: Both existing and new businesses need to have a business plan. It serves as a strategic document outlining business goals and the methods to achieve them.
    👉 Common Misconceptions: A business plan doesn't need to be long or complex. It's not just for securing investment; it should be an active document used throughout the life of your business.
    👉 Simplify Your Business Plan: Keeping your business plan simple makes it more actionable and less overwhelming. Avoid lengthy documents that gather dust; a concise, clear plan is more effective.
    👉 Use a Template: Starting with a business plan template can make the process easier. Recommended resource: “The One Page Business Plan: For The Creative Entrepreneur” by Jim Horan.
    👉 Ongoing Review and Improvement: Regularly review and update your business plan. Schedule recurring business review meetings to check on progress and make adjustments.
    👉 Seek Feedback: Share your business plan with trusted peers or mentors for feedback. Use the feedback to refine and improve your plan.
    👉 Accountability: Finding a business buddy to join your review meetings can help keep you accountable for achieving your goals.
    👉 Practical Recommendations: Buy the recommended book by Jim Horan for further guidance. Take deliberate, scheduled steps to draft and finalise your business plan.
    Links Mentioned In The Episode...
    https://onepagebusinessplan.com/
    —--
    👇 Click the link below to grab the Architecture Business Blueprint 🎁
    It’s the FREE step-by-step formula to freedom for architects, architectural technologists, and architectural designers.
    https://architecturebusinessclub.com/blueprint
    —--
    👇 Join the waitlist & chat group for our Community & Mastermind (for FREE)🎁
    https://architecturebusinessclub.com/waitlist
    👇 And if you enjoyed this episode…
    Please leave a 5-star review or rating wherever you listen to podcasts, and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode.
    👇 Follow or Connect with Jon on LinkedIn at...
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrjonclayton/
    In The Next Episode...
    Next time Jon chats with Nicole Osborne about LinkedIn post...

    • 13 min

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