What should our marketing materials include?
In today's video I'm focusing on marketing work for design consultants.
The marketing material that goes with your proposals should clearly show what differentiates you from any average sprinkler bum.
If you don't know what else is out there, check out our video about ambiguous bid documents in the link below.
In short; not all consultants care about or focus on fire protection.
It’s obvious in the documents themselves.
Lack of information, conflicting information, or calling for things that clearly don’t even meet code.
If you're already part of this platform then I can definitively say you’re not in that group. You’re here because you care.
You’re part of the growing movement that is better fire protection practice worldwide.
And we need you to showcase yourself.
We need you to win more work so that we can collectively do fire protection better as an industry.
Is it hard to compete with firms that say they offer fire protection on their website but only spit out a contradictory or boilerplate set of documents?
Yeah, it can be.
I've been there and tried to sell work against these companies.
But it doesn't have to be difficult, though.
Experienced architects and building owners know that fire protection can uniquely cause major issues.
If a mechanical unit is not correctly balanced, it could make an office uncomfortable, but the building owner can still move in and move on.
If the building doesn't get a Certificate of Occupancy, however, because the fire alarm system doesn’t meet code, nobody is happy.
Architects and building owners may not care about fire protection, but they do care about avoiding major headaches on their projects.
So how do you need to set yourself up with marketing material?
The first thing you need to address is the “what”.
What are you doing that is different than the baseline of the industry?
Here's an example of a list that I used when I was getting started.
If you determine sprinkler and standpipe requirements, coordinate floor space, determine system types, coordinate underground, gather flow tests, determine pump requirements, do code calls, determine hazard classifications, and address specific challenges with each project - then you need to celebrate that.
While a lot of these things seem very basic for a set of bid documents, the reality is – is that many projects go out and don't address these items.
When I got started in consulting I always assumed everyone was at least doing the basics of fire protection. Ask your local contractors – that’s simply just not the case.
In your marketing material, address exactly “what” it is that you’re providing your client.
The second thing you need to address is your differentiators.
When I got started in my own practice I thought a lot about what my strengths were and selling those strengths.
For me it was sprinkler shop drawing work specifically in Revit.
I can stocklist projects, I can be responsive, I can create plans, but my unique angle was doing design all inside the three-dimensional world of Revit.
My marketing material needed to reflect that.
Chances are your organization also has an angle that sets you apart.
Maybe you’re an expert in the cooler and freezer space. Maybe you are ultra-responsive. Maybe you're actually just kind of a fun person to work with. That can be unique! Whatever your unique angle is be sure to sell that.
Your marketing material and your “branding” should sell what sets you apart.
How do we as an industry help steer work to consultants that are advocating for the industry, and are fire protection professionals?
I'm talking about the NICET III designer, the Fire Protection Engineer, the life safety consultant who live and breathe in the Fire Protection world every day.
If we collectively want to do fire protection better, we need to make sure that you're putting your best foot forward and giving your clients the information they need to make an informed decision.
That starts with how you present the work that you do to your clients.
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
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