We live in a world that spends more time online than outside. And as architects and designers, we invest in creating a more engaging world by means of enhancing life through our buildings. However, through a perhaps unique form of tunnel vision, we are missing an incredible opportunity to leverage alternative mediums to impact more people through our design businesses.
Here are 5 ways to utilize your creativity to produce unique content that will help enhance your impact on the world of design, and in turn, push you and your design business forward:
1. Start a Podcast
Perhaps the fastest growing form of content online, podcasts provide a great platform for sharing longer form content in a more streamlined manner. Episodes can range from short, useful advice on a particular topic, to longer, more in-depth dialogue that tells a story or anecdote ultimately teaching listeners valuable lessons relative to your topic. You might be wary about not having a specific topic in mind, but that’s not a problem. A lot of the more popular podcast shows today feature a group of hosts simply sharing their experiences and learning from each other. This is something we all can do, and odds are there is someone out there wanting to learn exactly what you have to offer.
Today, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. And because it is owned by the first largest search engine (Google), YouTube videos often receive higher priority in searches. Search terms like “How to…” and “How do I…” usually yield a majority of video results, and because of this, tutorial videos are by far the most popular choice when getting started with video. If you have a specific skill that you have mastered and have always wanted to share that skill with others, YouTube is the perfect platform. But more importantly, as designers, YouTube offers yet another opportunity to push our creative abilities to the limit and experiment with the different aspects of photography and cinematography that will inevitably improve our design minds. Eric Reinholdt is a great case study of how to directly implement everyday architectural activities into beautiful video content. Check out his channel, 30X40 Design Workshop, for some great inspiration to get you started.
3. Write a Book
This is perhaps the most strenuous option on this list but has the opportunity to reap the greatest reward. Many of the “starchitect” firms today have printed large volumes of their work, but perhaps the most popular prints have been those that found a way to translate a big idea into written form. One of the most widely-recognized examples of this is Bjarke Ingels’ archicomic Yes Is More. The book isn’t just a way to showcase BIG’s work, but the book itself is designed to emulate BIG’s overall mission as a practice.
4. Social Media
There are very few architecture firms taking full advantage of social media, specifically the heavyweights: Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. The firms who are taking advantage, however, are seeing the results. With the advancements in advertising capabilities on Instagram and Facebook, it is now easier than ever to reach thousands of people with just a few images or a short video. And like YouTube, Instagram stories also have the potential to provide your followers with curated creative content all while growing a community around you and your work.
Perhaps the easiest option to get started with, but the most difficult to achieve success from, starting a blog is a great way to quickly share your ideas and stories with the world. Around five years ago, pioneer bloggers enjoyed earning a living simply by putting their lives on the internet, but today because of the growing popularity and appeal of Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week way of life, hitting it big via blogging is nearly a shot in the dark. While admittedly the main appeal for putting some effort into blogging is this longshot, blogging can also help you hone your written communication skills; something we often neglect as architects.
Overall, a loyal community is the biggest thing to gain from utilizing any of the above. A community around you and your business is the number one way to spread your philosophy as a designer, while also serving as a direct link to potential customers or clients. Make an investment in growing the online presence of you and/or your design business via these alternate methods, and it might just produce results.
Images for this article were kindly provided by Andrea Vasquez.