Architecture Marketing and Story Telling With Jeff Echols

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On today’s episode of the Young Architect Podcast, Michael spoke with architect and marketer Jeff Echols about the importance of developing business skills to help build your career. Learn how marketing can help you promote yourself and what you have to offer to clients.



Jeff Echols

On today’s episode of Young Architect, Michael talked to architect and marketer, Jeff Echols, about the importance of marketing for professionals. Listen and learn how you can build your career and promote yourself to potential clients and employers.

Jeff was inspired by the incredible work of Frank Lloyd Wright to begin a career in architecture. Even though he was going to school when the USA’s economy wasn’t doing well in the 1990’s, his grit and inner strength helped him to never give up on himself and pursue his passion to be an architect.

After studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Jeff went on to begin his career by working for Richardson Munson Weir in Indianapolis. Throughout his architect career, Jeff found himself adding on additional marketing and business development roles for the firms that employed him.

Thanks to the marketing experience he has gained, Jeff has been sharing his tips and insights on two websites: Architect of the Internet and Echo Engage.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • What drew Jeff into the world of architecture thanks to Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • How difficult it was for Jeff to find an internship during the early 1990s.
  • Jeff’s transition from working for architecture firms to focus on digital marketing.
  • Jeff’s role in marketing for all of the firms he has worked for over the years.
  • Why Jeff launched his website, Architect of the Internet, to explore architecture and marketing.
  • How marketing has shifted over the course of years and why we’re now focusing on digital marketing rather than traditional promotion.
  • The power of storytelling to market yourself.
  • How to start promoting your brand by writing a story arc.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Jeff Echols

  • Why it’s so important to have grit and drive when looking for an internship or job; especially when the market is not doing well. You don’t want to give up so easily on yourself.
  • To promote yourself to your client, you have to know them and connect with them. A lot of clients probably won’t know architecture jargon so you have to use their language and work with them according to their terms.
  • Storytelling is the secret sauce to grabbing the attention of potential clients because we’re so in attuned to listen to interesting stories that can really grab our attention. To get started, don’t push messages, but instead you can write a story arc. A story arc is the story of your brand.

Jeff Echols’ Advice for Aspiring Architects

“The best skill that you’re developing in school or if you’ve already graduated, is the ability to think critically. No matter what profession you end up in, critical thinking will continue to carry you throughout your career. It will help you stand out from other candidates, solve problems, and expand your ideas.” – Jeff Echols

Favorite Quotes

  • “There are times whether you’re looking for a job or whether you’re doing business development for your firm and it’s extremely difficult. The only thing that can sustain you is your work ethic and grit. It’s your drive that keeps you going.” – Jeff Echols on how you have to stick to your inner drive when you’re looking for an internship or job.
  • “Architecture is a business and business development roles are extremely important.” – Jeff Echols on the importance of different business roles for architecture firms such as marketing.
  • “There are a lot of aspects to the business of architecture and there are a lot of roles that you may find yourself evolving into over the course of your career.” – Jeff Echols on the connection between architect and business roles.
  • “It’s an attitude. Marketing 101 is Marketing 101. That’s never changed. You have to speak your audience’s language, find out what they care about, and connect with them on their terms. Your audience may not understand the architecture jargon and you have to make sure they understand it by talking to them in their language.” – Jeff Echols on how to market to your audience.
  • “The biggest shift in marketing is digital marketing. You’re probably not going to have an ad in the radio, newspaper, or magazine. You’re probably going to want to use Facebook or a website.” – Jeff Echols on how marketing is now focused on digital promotion.
  • “You need to follow your passion. Really think hard about what that passion is and hone in on it in a way that is focused and targeted. You really need to think hard about what your passion means. It can certainly change and evolve, but you should always follow your passion.” – Jeff Echols on what he wishes he would’ve known when he was younger.

Resources Mentioned in the Show

About the author

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect who lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his Labrador Retriever. He is passionate about helping Young Architects change the world. In his free time, Michael likes to take very long bicycle rides across America. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linked In. Also check out his new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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