Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast

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episode 19: Ep 19: Part I: Storytelling, Video and the fall of Instagram with Amy Edwards, Nikita Morell and Dave Sharp [transcript]


Welcome to my newly revamped podcast Marketing In Times of Recovery.  I'm your host Ayo Abbas a built environment marketing consultant from Abbas Marketing. And to kick off our revised show name we’re kicking off with a 3 part Australian takeover special.   

A couple of my previous guests cited Australian practices as being their inspiration so that’s where the idea for this special stemmed from.  

My guests today are:
Amy Edwards, Markedly
Nikita Morrell, Copywriter and Marketing Strategist
Dave Sharp,
Vanity Projects

We all operate in a similar world, marketing architects and I’ve become a big fan of all three of them over the past year.

It’s a three-part special which will be released weekly covering many aspects of marketing from strategy to social to print and everything in between.  

Part II of this three-part series will be out on Friday 28 May.

This three-part special was recorded on Thurs May 06 2021.

Rate and review us
Please don’t forget to rate and review us if you’re listening on Apple podcasts as it’s lovely to hear what you think plus it helps us to spread the word.

Resources - For full show notes with links go to www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast 


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 2021-05-17  32m
 
 
00:05  Ayo Abbas
Hello, and welcome to
00:05
Marketing In Times of Recovery.
00:09
And I am your host Ayo Abbas.
00:09
For those who are regular
00:13
listeners, I thought I'd just
00:13
give you a bit of background as
00:15
to why marketing in crisis is no
00:15
more, I decided to refresh the
00:20
podcast because I really don't
00:20
think that after a year that
00:24
businesses can still be
00:24
operating in the same crisis
00:27
mode or state that we were I
00:27
guess, in March 2020. Let's be
00:32
honest, most businesses had to
00:32
adapt, and I guess get used to
00:36
dealing with uncertainty and
00:36
change. So in terms of the
00:39
podcast, it felt like the right
00:39
time to kind of move the
00:41
conversation on to recovery. But
00:41
in terms of the format and
00:45
what's going on, it's still
00:45
going to be interview led, it'll
00:47
still be built environment
00:47
related. And it'll still be
00:50
based on lots of great
00:50
conversations about business,
00:53
but also about marketing. So
00:53
hopefully, I hope you still
00:56
subscribe, still listen and
00:56
still enjoy the show. Anyway, to
01:01
kick off this special refresh
01:01
episode, I thought I might as
01:05
well go global, do something
01:05
big, go big or go home. So, this
01:10
is a special Australian
01:10
takeover. Featuring three very
01:15
special guests who hail from
01:15
Australia. And in terms of my
01:19
podcast, many people from Amos
01:19
Goldreich and BVDS are often
01:23
citing Australian architectural
01:23
practices as being their
01:26
inspiration and they kind of
01:26
look to them for their marketing
01:29
and their ideas for how they
01:29
tackle things. So I thought
01:33
there are three people who I
01:33
have followed in the past year
01:36
on social media on LinkedIn,
01:36
mainly, who have stood out to me
01:40
as being kind of marketing
01:40
consultants who specialise in
01:43
the industry and really know
01:43
what they're talking about. And
01:46
they look awesome. And they've
01:46
gladly kind of agreed to come on
01:49
to the show. So we've got Amy
01:49
Edwards from Markedly, which is
01:53
a digital marketing agency which
01:53
specialises in working with
01:56
architects, we've got Nikita
01:56
Morell, who is a copywriter
01:59
extraordinare, who is amazing on
01:59
LinkedIn do check her out. We've
02:03
also got Dave Sharpe, who runs
02:03
his own consultancy business
02:06
fantasy projects, where he
02:06
coaches international architects
02:09
from around the world in terms
02:09
of their marketing and paid ads,
02:12
so three different people who
02:12
all have from Australia, and
02:15
they are awesome to talk to. So
02:15
they're gonna kick off the first
02:20
kind of refreshed and rebranded
02:20
Marketing In Times of Recovery
02:25
is going to be a three parter.
02:25
So make sure you kind of listen
02:27
to all the episodes, and it's
02:27
going to cover marketing in
02:31
terms of strategy, social print,
02:31
and everything in between. So I
02:36
hope you enjoy listen to the
02:36
interview as much as I did.
02:44
Today, is a very, very special
02:44
episode, we are going
02:47
international. And we have three
02:47
guests for you all today. Um,
02:52
firstly, I'm going to start off
02:52
with Dave, can you introduce
02:57
yourself, what you do and where
02:57
you come from?
02:59  Dave Sharp
Hi, thank you so
02:59
much for having me on the
03:01
podcast. I'm in Melbourne,
03:01
Australia, and I'm a marketing
03:06
coach for architects. And I
03:06
mostly focus on digital
03:09
marketing and online type stuff.
03:09
So, I usually meet with my
03:13
clients, like once a month or
03:13
once every couple weeks and just
03:16
give them kind of advice on
03:16
their marketing.
03:18  Ayo Abbas
Okay. And over to
03:18
you, Nikita, can you tell us
03:21
more about you? Who you are what
03:21
you do?
03:23  Nikita Morell
Sure so, yeah,
03:23
again, thank you for having me.
03:25
So I am based in Sydney,
03:25
Australia, and I'm a copywriter,
03:30
and marketing strategist for
03:30
architects, but I'm particularly
03:33
passionate about writing
03:33
architecture websites that sound
03:37
a little bit more human, I
03:37
guess. So. Yeah, that's where
03:41
I'm at.
03:43  Ayo Abbas
And finally over to
03:43
you, Amy, do you tell us about
03:45
bit about you, please?
03:46  Amy Edwards
Yeah, absolutely.
03:46
Thanks for having me on. My name
03:49
is Amy and I have a marketing
03:49
consultancy group called
03:53
Markedly and we're based in
03:53
Brisbane, Australia. Mainly what
03:57
we do is we help people with
03:57
their strategy for their
04:00
practice, and then work with
04:00
them to implement it across
04:05
content and PR, and digital
04:05
activities as well.
04:10  Ayo Abbas
Okay, so I guess I'm
04:10
gonna start off in terms of what
04:14
you all do, because you're
04:14
you're all marketers, but you're
04:16
all doing something could be
04:16
different. And I recently wrote
04:18
a post on LinkedIn actually
04:18
talking they're not all
04:21
marketers are the same, I guess.
04:21
Can you talk about a bit about
04:25
your background and how you got
04:25
to where you are and the kind of
04:28
specialisms that you cover. I'll
04:28
kick off with you, Amy.
04:32  Amy Edwards
Sure. So I started
04:32
off working in retail marketing,
04:37
actually, that was my
04:37
background. So it's always very
04:40
customer focused and brand
04:40
focused. And then I had an
04:43
opportunity to move to a
04:43
architecture practice and kind
04:47
of just fell in love with it. I
04:47
love design and that's where I
04:51
really kicked off. I love of
04:51
marketing for design and
04:54
architects and creatives. And
04:54
then, really about two to three
04:59
years ago or I started Markedly
04:59
and I just kept going from
05:03
there. And now really what I do
05:03
is work with small and medium
05:06
practices just to just to help
05:06
them either startup or help them
05:11
to grow or help them evolve as a
05:11
business.
05:15  Ayo Abbas
Are there any kind of
05:15
particular aspects of marketing
05:17
you specialise in? Or are you
05:17
quite kind of general in what
05:19
you offer?
05:21  Amy Edwards
I think it's fairly
05:21
general, I think it's more of a
05:23
bit of an umbrella term for us
05:23
really like it to marketing for
05:27
us is about creating a strategy
05:27
for people for practices that
05:31
they can either implement
05:31
themselves or we help them to
05:34
implement. It really depends on
05:34
the practice and where they're
05:39
headed, and what some of their
05:39
goals are dependent on what
05:41
marketing activities we do. But,
05:41
I mean, generally, I found in
05:44
the last 12 months, a lot of
05:44
that has been about content
05:47
marketing. So, a lot of our work
05:47
has been there. But it's also
05:50
been in publishing their work,
05:50
like trying to get as much
05:53
publicity as possible. And
05:53
redoing websites. I think that's
05:57
kind of one of the big things
05:57
Nikita's probably found that as
06:00
well. It's like everyone's
06:00
suddenly going, Oh, my God, my
06:03
website's terrible. Can you
06:03
please help? So that I guess
06:06
that's, I feel like it's very
06:06
general. But, but that's sort of
06:10
where we're heading at this
06:10
stage.
06:12  Ayo Abbas
So Nikita says we're
06:12
talking website so you are I
06:14
guess you're specialising in
06:14
making websites human, for
06:18
architects in many ways. And
06:18
how have you kind of how did you
06:22
k wind up there doing doing that
06:22
for architects?
06:27  Nikita Morell
Yeah, so I guess
06:27
I'm I started in brand
06:29
management, for bigger companies
06:29
like L'Oreal and that and then I
06:33
ended up working at InDesign
06:33
Publishing Group, so an
06:37
architecture magazine company,
06:37
doing lots of their kind of
06:41
media, as well, some of the
06:41
copy. And then that's where I
06:45
fell in love with writing and
06:45
moved in house, to a really, I
06:50
guess, well establish them in
06:50
Sydney. So I was doing in-house
06:54
copywriting for them. And then I
06:54
just thought, like, if I can be
06:57
doing it for this one firm, I
06:57
just kind of took a leap of
07:00
faith and thought I can, you
07:00
know, offer my service to
07:03
services to more firms. But I
07:03
think the biggest thing is, is a
07:06
lot of architects and I could be
07:06
speaking generally, but they
07:08
just kind of think their work
07:08
kind of speaks for itself, which
07:11
often, you know, visual images
07:11
it's needed. But also, I guess,
07:15
I come from the perspective that
07:15
words also matter. So, as a
07:19
copywriter, I'm not a design
07:19
journalist. I'm not a design
07:23
writer, that often gets a bit
07:23
confused. So what I do is, I
07:27
guess, as a copywriter, I'm
07:27
trying to use words to persuade,
07:30
you know, architects, you know,
07:30
their ideal clients, so that
07:33
they can win more embedded
07:33
projects, I guess. So yeah,
07:36
there is a difference there.
07:36
And, and that's what I apply to
07:39
people's websites, I guess, like
07:39
every single word matters, that
07:42
there's no empty, empty word.
07:44  Ayo Abbas
Wow, I love that
07:44
every single word matters. And
07:46
on to you, Dave, you're a bit
07:46
different on your former
07:48
architect.
07:50  Dave Sharp
Yeah, not like a
07:50
registered architect. I was
07:52
never smart enough to get fully
07:52
qualified for it. But I did, I
07:56
did go, I did spend six years at
07:56
University studying it. And you
08:00
know, 1000s of hours in unpaid
08:00
internships, there cranking it
08:03
out. And so I've done I've done
08:03
my I've done that time. I've
08:07
done my time. And then as soon
08:07
as I realised, I just did not
08:11
have the work ethic and the
08:11
patience to be an architect. But
08:14
I really wanted to, I really
08:14
wanted to continue to sort of be
08:19
immersed in architecture, and
08:19
meet architects and I love small
08:24
practices, especially sole
08:24
practitioners, practices with 10
08:29
or fewer people is like what I
08:29
find really interesting, I think
08:32
they do the coolest work. And so
08:32
yeah, it sort of led me into
08:38
what I what I was doing, which
08:38
was kind of combining my
08:40
interests in sort of social
08:40
media and marketing with my
08:44
interests in architecture and
08:44
business. And then I slowly went
08:47
on this kind of journey to where
08:47
I am now with it.
08:50  Ayo Abbas
Okay, so, I guess, in
08:50
the UK, we are coming out of
08:55
lockdown. So things are starting
08:55
to reopen? How's it kind of been
08:59
for you in the past year? And I
08:59
know what happened in I guess,
09:05
March 2020. All around then, for
09:05
you, Amy, how's it going?
09:10  Amy Edwards
Well, I think like
09:10
most people in the world, a lot
09:12
of things just stopped, you
09:12
know, and I think particularly
09:15
for business and particularly
09:15
for practices, they kind of went
09:18
into panic mode. And I think
09:18
they just ended up stopping a
09:22
lot of their marketing and their
09:22
communications and then writing
09:25
and they put everything on hold.
09:25
Probably, also because their
09:27
projects were put on hold for
09:27
they you know, they don't have a
09:30
lot of funds coming in. So it's
09:30
hard to have funds going out at
09:33
the same time. But I found you
09:33
know, obviously, Melbourne for
09:37
us went into a really big
09:37
lockdown period. And then I
09:41
think once that ended, I think
09:41
people realised that nothing was
09:45
really changing. Like, you know,
09:45
we'd hit some kind of stable
09:48
period and I realised, actually
09:48
we've got to start doing some
09:51
marketing otherwise, nothing's
09:51
nothing's going to change and
09:54
nothing's going to get better
09:54
unless we start getting back out
09:56
there again. So for me, I felt
09:56
like around that October time,
10:00
things started kicking back off
10:00
again. And it has been pretty
10:05
much steadily on the up since
10:05
then. I'm not sure about the
10:08
others. But that's that's our
10:08
response anyway, definitely up
10:11
in Queensland.
10:13  Ayo Abbas
And from your
10:13
perspective, Dave, how's that
10:15
been? Because you've got more
10:15
international clients, haven't
10:17
you?
10:18  Dave Sharp
Yeah. So like
10:18
Melbourne, where I was living
10:21
was like, a nightmare. But, but
10:21
in terms of work, it was
10:25
actually quite nice to get to
10:25
talk to clients that weren't
10:27
under a 23 hour a day lockdown,
10:27
day-to-day because so many of my
10:31
clients are around the place,
10:31
like, I've always had my sort of
10:35
approach that I don't really
10:35
care where a client is. And I
10:37
don't focus in Melbourne on
10:37
Melbourne, in particular,
10:40
because I don't like leaving my
10:40
home office and meeting people.
10:42
So, it doesn't really matter.
10:42
But I'm here. So I have to work.
10:47
I have to work with people from
10:47
everywhere. But pretty much the
10:50
same thing that Amy picked up,
10:50
really, it was like March, April
10:54
was like. Oh, my God, where did
10:54
my clients go? It was just
10:56
everything was on hold super,
10:56
super quickly. Yeah. Um, yeah.
11:00
And then after that, it's just
11:00
been super consistent. And month
11:04
over month, getting kind of
11:04
busier and busier, around the
11:09
end of last year kind of
11:09
reached, you know, sort of more
11:12
clients and more work than I
11:12
sort of at was at the peak
11:16
before COVID. So, and then it's
11:16
been all kind of good since
11:19
then, as well. So yeah, it's
11:19
been a really strong bounce
11:22
back. And I think what we, what
11:22
we saw a little bit was that,
11:26
you know, when, when people are
11:26
worried about, I guess, the
11:31
future, or they are feeling like
11:31
their business is quite quiet,
11:34
they sometimes some practices
11:34
are more willing to take a bit
11:38
more risk and invest in getting
11:38
some help with their marketing
11:40
who previously might not have
11:40
felt that they had a really
11:42
strong need to do that. So, I
11:42
saw a lot of that type of stuff
11:45
in the second half of last year.
11:48  Ayo Abbas
And are there
11:48
particular things? Nikita, are
11:52
there particular things that
11:52
you've seen people bouncing back
11:54
with? But also, what types of
11:54
things they're asking you for?
11:56
What are they coming to you for?
11:59  Nikita Morell
Yeah, so I guess
11:59
my experience was similar in
12:03
terms of that there was a bit of
12:03
a, I guess, a standstill in
12:06
March. But what I found as well
12:06
is there was a huge increase in
12:10
people coming to me for website
12:10
copy. And I think that was
12:14
because a lot of their projects
12:14
got put on hold. So, they just
12:17
kind of had that time and maybe
12:17
a bit of space to relook at
12:21
their marketing and where they
12:21
were at, you know, website one
12:23
of those things, it's always
12:23
kind of like, on the to do list
12:26
somewhere down the bottom.
12:30
yeah, it wasn't something that
12:30
you don't look at for months, or
12:32
even years. So all of a sudden,
12:32
a lot of people coming to me
12:35
kind of saying, hey, I've been
12:35
meaning to do this. Now I have a
12:38
bit of time, which was I guess a
12:38
positive for us marketers to
12:44
come out of it too.
12:46  Ayo Abbas
So have websites been
12:46
the big thing or or do you
12:48
think? Is it social media
12:48
websites or combination that you
12:51
think people are really kind of
12:51
moving towards at the moment.
12:57  Dave Sharp
I think they're
12:57
probably moving away from social
12:59
media and moving back towards
12:59
websites, and email marketing,
13:03
and maybe content marketing,
13:03
they're more open minded to
13:06
maybe doing some writing or
13:06
doing some maybe starting a
13:09
podcast or something like that.
13:09
I there's always this sort of
13:12
undercurrent of interest in
13:12
Instagram. And but that, I would
13:17
say, I think the excitement
13:17
around Instagram is dropping off
13:23
a little bit over time for
13:23
architects, so I don't get the
13:26
same, you know, fixation on we
13:26
have to, you know, have more
13:30
Instagram followers that I used
13:30
to get, you know, two, three
13:33
years ago. It's like a
13:33
completely different environment
13:35
right now, for a lot of
13:35
architects,
13:37  Ayo Abbas
any reason why you
13:37
think there might be a drop off
13:39
in kind of social media and
13:39
Instagram and people wanting to
13:42
do as much? I'm gonna ask you
13:42
that Amy
13:45  Amy Edwards
Was it for me? I
13:45
think we could go for it Dave
13:50
honestly. Perhaps I can, I'll
13:50
kick in and I'll pass it back
13:55
over. I don't know. I think
13:55
people I think people are tired.
13:59
I think the people are just
13:59
digitally tired. I think
14:02
they've, you know, there's a lot
14:02
of stuff that's online at the
14:04
moment, and they're a bit
14:04
overloaded. I do wonder whether
14:09
on Instagram, you know, there's
14:09
been this big change recently
14:12
with the algorithm and, and
14:12
pushing people more towards
14:15
doing Reels. And I think, I
14:15
think that has impacted a lot of
14:20
stuff. I think people are
14:20
getting a bit tired of things
14:22
that don't mean anything. I
14:22
think they're looking for
14:25
engagement and story. And for me
14:25
personally, like I know, a lot
14:29
of my clients are really
14:29
transitioning more to LinkedIn,
14:32
because they can do something of
14:32
substance there, but also
14:35
because they can talk directly
14:35
to the client, and it feels like
14:39
a better connection. But I'd be
14:39
interested to see what you both
14:43
think, on how that's worked for
14:43
your clients as well.
14:46  Dave Sharp
Yeah, I think Amy's
14:46
spot on. I think it's the
14:48
algorithms changed a little bit
14:48
but also for a lot of architects
14:52
Instagram was their, their
14:52
favourite social media platform
14:55
personally like they actually
14:55
liked going on there and I think
14:58
a lot of them are addicted to
14:58
it. And I think that that
15:02
addiction started to lose its
15:02
hold over them a little bit as
15:07
Instagram maybe got a bit more
15:07
bit more commercial. Okay, a bit
15:11
too many weird Facebook
15:11
features. And I think people
15:14
just sort of thought, ah,
15:14
Instagrams a bit lame, and then
15:18
they sort of started not getting
15:18
so excited about the results
15:21
that they were getting on there.
15:21
So not that not that our
15:24
marketing should be driven by
15:24
like, you know, our adrenaline
15:27
levels, or our dopamine. But,
15:27
but for a lot of architects, you
15:32
know, for the, for the average
15:32
architect, they are thinking
15:33
about what's exciting and what
15:33
entertains me in, in my
15:36
marketing, in a lot of ways.
15:36
Yeah, not that I advocate for
15:39
that. But that's a big part. And
15:39
I think that they have kind of
15:42
gone like, it's not Instagram
15:42
anymore. I don't know what it is
15:44
as much. Now I don't think
15:44
anything's come along and, and
15:48
is as exciting for architects as
15:48
Instagram was at the peak, but
15:51
you know, who know
15:52  Ayo Abbas
Instagram is so
15:52
visual, so it kind of just plays
15:54
to the whole kind of
15:54
architectural world and, and
15:57
what they enjoy, doesn't it. So
15:57
the fact that, but now it's like
16:00
your engagement is going down,
16:00
you can't do as much business
16:03
people aren't coming off the
16:03
platform. It's kind of, I guess
16:06
it's more consumer led as well
16:06
with a lot of the Facebook
16:08
features, right? It just makes
16:08
it so much harder. And Nikita,
16:12
do you have anything in terms of
16:12
social media and the impact of
16:14
it and why people may be turning
16:14
off or potentially?
16:18  Nikita Morell
Yeah, and I think
16:18
Dave and Amy, they've covered it
16:21
off pretty well. I think the
16:21
only thing I'd add is that I've
16:23
seen a little bit more. I think
16:23
Dave might have mentioned it
16:27
just a little bit more
16:27
interesting podcasts. A few
16:30
studios have started their own
16:30
podcast, like from the top my
16:32
head. The second is called The
16:32
Second Studio. They've just
16:35
started on. So, they've had one
16:35
recording for a while, but and
16:38
then even YouTube little mini
16:38
videos. There's Archimarathon by
16:43
Andrew Maynard made in their
16:43
studio, like I think, yeah,
16:47
they're moving maybe I don't
16:47
know, if it's like a general or
16:50
a bigger trend. But I have seen
16:50
these kind of Yeah, these more
16:54
kind of interactive, like little
16:54
episode type things pop up.
16:59  Ayo Abbas
I guess it's that
16:59
shift, isn't it towards content
17:01
that you're producing yourself?
17:01
And you can push out yourself?
17:03
Yeah, I think, you know, when
17:03
it's social media, it's like,
17:05
you're reliant on them to push
17:05
it out for you, which you don't
17:08
know, when the algorithms
17:08
change, or your content goes,
17:11
you know, doesn't get much
17:11
engagement. So personally,
17:14
publish yourself. Okay, so in
17:14
terms of 2021, and what's kind
17:22
of going on now, in terms of the
17:22
industry and the sector? Are
17:26
they kind of particular areas or
17:26
trends that you think are
17:28
thriving? Amy?
17:31  Amy Edwards
Oh, gosh, that are
17:31
thriving,
17:34  Ayo Abbas
Pushing forward?
17:36  Amy Edwards
I think I
17:36
definitely think I think content
17:38
marketing seems to be there's
17:38
definitely been a massive push
17:42
on that in last six months. I
17:42
feel like that's been a really,
17:44
really big thing. And I think
17:44
maybe maybe it's not so much
17:48
from the marketing perspective.
17:48
I don't know if it's that we're
17:51
pushing it. But I think
17:51
suddenly, architects are
17:54
starting to understand the value
17:54
of it. You know, it even comes
17:57
back to one of your recent posts
17:57
that you did as well, that was,
18:02
you know, talking about, like
18:02
getting published from having a
18:05
blog post, you know, I think
18:05
they they're starting to see
18:07
that there's much greater value
18:07
than just putting a picture out,
18:11
you know, there's a, there's a,
18:11
there's a voice and a story that
18:14
they can tell behind that. And I
18:14
think that seems to be what's
18:17
gaining traction for them too.
18:19  Ayo Abbas
in the cases
18:19
question. So in terms of
18:21
storytelling, What kinds of
18:21
things do you think architects
18:23
should be doing to tell stories?
18:25  Nikita Morell
Yeah, so I mean,
18:25
this is an interesting one.
18:27
Again, I come at it from like a
18:27
copywriters perspective. So if a
18:31
client, for example, wants to
18:31
get more clients through the
18:36
door, or more clients that are a
18:36
better fit, or better projects.
18:38
Then I always say that their
18:38
storytelling, really, even
18:41
though it's their story, they
18:41
really need to be putting these
18:44
ideal clients, front and centre.
18:44
So they really need to ask
18:47
themselves, like, what value is
18:47
this story to the reader or the
18:51
audience and I think that
18:51
sometimes architects can be a
18:54
little bit me centric. So it's a
18:54
bit like, I've won all these
18:57
awards, I'm done this amazing
18:57
project. So it's kind of
19:00
flipping that on its head and
19:00
saying, your, you know, your
19:04
project could be amazing as this
19:04
one that I've just done, if you
19:06
work with me, so again, it's
19:06
that it's like a subtle shift,
19:09
but it's telling a story. As
19:09
well as I think using words to
19:14
tell stories, I think architects
19:14
are quite, you know, visual
19:17
creatures. So you'd like to put
19:17
a lot of images and but you
19:20
know, having small captions that
19:20
kind of keep context to the
19:24
project or, you know, talk about
19:24
the client and what they were
19:26
struggling with and how you
19:26
solve their problems or Yeah. I
19:30
mean, I'm just like, there's
19:30
certain things that images can't
19:33
capture like, you know, the feel
19:33
of you know, running your handle
19:36
on the timber you know, like a
19:36
custom bespoke cabinetry or, you
19:40
know, the temperature of a room
19:40
or the the noise or you know,
19:42
the ambience so they're, they're
19:42
these words, I think can help
19:45
with storytelling, as well.
19:48  Ayo Abbas
And Dave, in terms
19:48
of, I guess, how do you kind of
19:52
inspire or help the people that
19:52
you coach to kind of tell their
19:55
stories or, or feel confident to
19:55
share their stories? What kind
19:58
of advice do you give them
20:00  Dave Sharp
Yeah, well, getting
20:00
that getting that confidence is
20:04
always, always tricky. I, I
20:04
tried to get them to just sort
20:13
of dissociate from thinking
20:13
about it, there being an outcome
20:16
and really trying to drive for a
20:16
specific outcome, you know, that
20:20
they might be looking to
20:20
generate more work. But if that
20:23
sort of is the frame that they
20:23
go into any form of content
20:26
marketing through, it's always
20:26
going to, I think, end up sort
20:30
of dry, dilute it. Yeah, making
20:30
making what they're doing,
20:33
they're a little bit less
20:33
authentic. Yeah. I think, you
20:37
know, it's really important that
20:37
whatever medium an architect is
20:41
going into, to do their
20:41
storytelling, it's one that
20:43
they're comfortable with, and
20:43
that they, they are probably,
20:46
again, going back to the
20:46
personal aspect of it, that they
20:48
probably have a personal
20:48
interest in, you know, I
20:50
wouldn't ever encourage somebody
20:50
to like start a podcast, if they
20:53
themselves don't have Apple
20:53
podcasts on their phone, and
20:56
they've never listened to a
20:56
podcast. Like that's not, that's
20:58
like, not a great, you know, not
20:58
a great idea. So, so there is
21:02
that sort of thing. But you
21:02
know, what, I also am a big fan
21:04
of getting somebody else to kind
21:04
of tell your story for you, if
21:09
you really can't do it yourself.
21:09
And I think that this is why,
21:13
you know, working with a writer
21:13
is super helpful, if you can
21:17
afford to do it. Making sure
21:17
that you're aiming to get
21:21
published in publications that
21:21
commissioned their own original
21:24
writing as well can also be
21:24
really valuable. Yeah, because
21:27
they're gonna get maybe even
21:27
another like, we have magazines
21:29
in Australia, where they will
21:29
actually hand pick another
21:31
architect to write an article
21:31
about your work, which can be
21:35
really interesting as well. And
21:35
the third one that I think just
21:40
sort of trumps everything is
21:40
what's going on with video these
21:44
days. And if you look at YouTube
21:44
channels, like The Local
21:47
Project, The Design Emotive,
21:47
Never Too Small and a few of
21:50
these other channels that we've
21:50
got in Australia that are doing
21:52
really, really well. I think you
21:52
get to hear they interview you
21:57
as the architect, and then they
21:57
edit you together to make you
22:00
sounds like bloody brilliant,
22:00
and they make you look really
22:03
cool as well. They sit you in
22:03
your space, and they do all
22:06
this, like really sexy
22:06
cinematography, and you're just
22:09
like, talking about the
22:09
building. And somehow they just
22:12
make you sound like a complete
22:12
genius. So I think that can also
22:15
be a good way to do it as well.
22:15
bring in somebody else to kind
22:19
of get it out of you. Because
22:19
you might not be able to get it
22:21
out of yourself. It just might
22:21
be too difficult.
22:23  Ayo Abbas
Amy, I've seen on
22:23
your Instagram that you've been
22:25
filming with some of your
22:25
clients recently. So how do you
22:28
get them to kind of tell their
22:28
story and feel comfortable?
22:32  Amy Edwards
I think I think
22:32
feeling comfortable is a hard
22:34
one. I think on film. It's like
22:34
when you press record, even on a
22:37
podcast like for now you go Oh,
22:37
I'm so nervous. You know, I
22:42
think when you when you suddenly
22:42
put in that spot, you kind of
22:44
have this little mini freakout.
22:44
But I think just recently in the
22:48
videos that we've been doing, a
22:48
lot of it has been trying to
22:52
keep it about a conversation.
22:52
We're trying to keep it as a
22:54
conversation and ignore all the
22:54
stuff that's around you. But I
22:58
think that comes with practice
22:58
and and not rushing and taking
23:01
your time. I mean, we were lucky
23:01
in that sense that we had. We
23:05
had good budgets to be able to
23:05
do those filmings, and I think,
23:08
you know, created really
23:08
beautiful quality film outcomes.
23:12
But I do wonder, I think there's
23:12
so many more opportunities that
23:16
people are going to do filming
23:16
themselves and filming more of
23:19
what they're doing just
23:19
in-house. I'd love to see some
23:23
videographers helping out on
23:23
that and see helping architects
23:26
figure out how they can film
23:26
really well. Do you know what I
23:28
mean? So it's not amateur hour,
23:28
but still providing something
23:32
that's quality. Because it's
23:32
still quite expensive. Like it's
23:36
still expensive as an avenue to
23:36
go down if you are employing
23:39
someone to do a video of your
23:39
work.
23:42  Ayo Abbas
I know one of the
23:42
people you work with Dave is
23:43
Amos Goldreich? Who I who does
23:43
amazing filming, like his
23:48
Instagram feed is beautiful. And
23:48
I'm had him on this podcast as
23:52
well. And so what kind of, I
23:52
mean, what, what sort of advice
23:56
did you give him in terms of
23:56
video and tackling all of that?
23:59  Dave Sharp
You know, the funny
23:59
thing is like, wait, Allison, I
24:01
probably haven't discussed
24:01
Instagram for like two years.
24:05  Ayo Abbas
So not even last
24:05
year?
24:07  Dave Sharp
Yeah, we just got we
24:07
discussed it very early on where
24:10
he was extremely reluctant to
24:10
over sort of he was he I don't
24:15
know, I think he was like,
24:15
getting started and building
24:18
that confidence. And that sort
24:18
of sense of what do I post and
24:21
he hadn't, he hadn't done like,
24:21
necessarily all the
24:24
experimentation that he would go
24:24
on to do and figure out kind of
24:27
what things work and what things
24:27
don't work. So my advice was
24:30
always just like, you know, feel
24:30
free to just post probably more
24:34
things than you think are okay
24:34
to post either in quantity or
24:37
variety. just just just test
24:37
more things. Yeah. And you will
24:42
end up figuring it out naturally
24:42
like what you should do. I try
24:46
not to sort of prescribe you
24:46
should do exactly these things.
24:49
Like ultimately for somebody to
24:49
get comfortable and familiar and
24:53
know what they're doing in any
24:53
of these areas. They just have
24:56
to do it and I know that's like
24:56
very simple advice but but
25:00
that's really kind of got to be
25:00
a real big part of it. So, yeah,
25:03  Ayo Abbas
yeah. So in terms of
25:03
kind of, I guess, a final kind
25:07
of question on kind of video, I
25:07
mean, video in terms of
25:10
websites, is there any kind of
25:10
guidance you've given to some of
25:12
their websites that you've been
25:12
involved Nikita? Or do you
25:14
literally just look at the copy?
25:14
And? Or do you give them
25:16
guidance on how to kind of bring
25:16
stuff to life?
25:20  Nikita Morell
Yeah, that's an
25:20
interesting question at the
25:22
moment. Most of my clients have
25:22
just been quite copy focused. So
25:27
they haven't I mean, I do, I
25:27
guess, part of my strategy
25:31
sessions, if I do think kind of
25:31
like video content will be a
25:35
value to them. I direct them at
25:35
the moment. Yeah, it's been
25:37
quite, let's just focus on the
25:37
coffee. I mean, I've had a few
25:40
clients that have come to me and
25:40
they've got like, you know,
25:42
they're celebrating their fifth
25:42
anniversary for the firm. And
25:45
they want to put together a
25:45
video with like, I guess, in the
25:48
radar, so I can help them with
25:48
that. But yeah, at the moment,
25:51
for me, personally, it's just
25:51
been more website copy, and like
25:54
about pages and biographies and
25:54
that.
25:57  Ayo Abbas
Okay, so I'm going to
25:57
talk a bit about, I guess,
25:59
Australian architecture versus
25:59
the UK architecture. So, I was
26:04
just kind of wondering, when I
26:04
have a couple of my guests have
26:07
kind of earmarked the Australian
26:07
practices as kind of being more
26:10
forward thinking in terms of, I
26:10
think, how they tackle some of
26:12
their work, but also how they
26:12
tackle their marketing are there
26:17
differences or similarities that
26:17
you kind of see between
26:19
Australian and UK practices?
26:24  Dave Sharp
Yes, I think UK and
26:24
Australian practices are like,
26:28
the most similar to any, you can
26:28
take any two places on the
26:31
planet, I think the closest
26:31
together UK and Australia, they,
26:35
they they're very, very, very
26:35
similar. And they because they
26:38
have extremely, I think, similar
26:38
tastes in architecture. I think
26:44
they're definitely aligned
26:44
there. I could not say the same
26:46
thing about you know, UK and
26:46
America or, you know, other
26:49
parts of Europe and Australia.
26:49
There is definitely an alignment
26:52
in terms of this is the kind of
26:52
work we like, this sort of no
26:56
even going to try and describe
26:56
it. I feel like I'll butcher it.
26:58
But similar work. We also have.
26:58
We I think we also we also have
27:05
a I guess, like a thriving small
27:05
practice. And real scene and
27:11
really good work happening at
27:11
that smaller end. which is
27:16
again, not saying I necessarily
27:16
would say about some other
27:18
countries. It's it's going
27:18
really well at that end. And we
27:21
also have, I guess, similar,
27:21
similar kind of like landscape
27:27
in terms of the architecture
27:27
media, and then also what firms
27:30
do individually. I think there's
27:30
just, there's just so many
27:33
similarities in those different
27:33
areas. I think whether it's kind
27:35
of a big difference is the main
27:35
thing I found was that for a
27:39
long time architects in the UK,
27:39
just like did not have
27:42
Instagram, which I found like
27:42
pretty astonishing. It was I
27:47
felt like it was like 2018
27:47
before architects made the big
27:50
leap in the UK from like
27:50
Twitter, to Instagram. And so
27:54
yeah, that would be the main
27:54
thing that always stood out to
27:57
me as like, you know, deeply
27:57
disturbing.
28:00  Ayo Abbas
You do you do list
28:00
top top practices on Instagram.
28:04  Dave Sharp
I did. I did. I did.
28:04
I did my top 100 of Australian
28:08
architects most followed on
28:08
Instagram for a bit of fun. And
28:10
then I started doing the top the
28:10
top 100 Uk ones and to to get
28:14
into the Australian top 100 you
28:14
needed like 14,000 followers.
28:18
And to get into the UK one you
28:18
need about 500 followers.
28:27
UK architects on the top 100
28:27
that hadn't posted in four
28:30
years. So it was slow but but
28:30
you're very top heavy. You've
28:36
got like Zaha Hadid Norman
28:36
Foster these, you know, these
28:39
Heatherwick and all these like,
28:39
you know, 1.8 million followers
28:44
up the top. I mean, we're the
28:44
closest I think the most we have
28:47
is 100,000 followers, so we
28:47
don't have like famous
28:50
architects in Australia. And so
28:50
I think that's a key of key
28:53
point of difference as well.
28:55  Ayo Abbas
And Nikita, so I know
28:55
you work internationally, don't
28:58
you? So, do you see the
28:58
differences between I guess,
29:01
Australia, the UK? And I guess
29:01
you're writing for the US as
29:04
well, right?
29:06  Unknown
Yes, a lot of my
29:06
clients are in the US. And I
29:08
think Dave is very much on the
29:08
money when he says the aesthetic
29:13
is quite is different. So yeah,
29:13
and I just I actually recently
29:20
collaborated with this lady
29:20
Juliette Mitchell. So she Yeah.
29:27
Yeah. And as we did like a guide
29:27
for entering awards, which is
29:31
another part of, I guess,
29:31
marketing, a marketing strategy.
29:35
So yeah, I mean, I, yeah, there
29:35
are definitely similarities. I
29:39
think. I've found that a lot of
29:39
I don't know, Dave and Amy can
29:43
correct me if I'm wrong. But
29:43
I've also found that a lot of
29:45
smaller firms now are engaging
29:45
in things like lead magnets like
29:50
download our brochure, and
29:50
obviously, they're kind of
29:52
moving towards maybe growing
29:52
that email list, which is
29:55
something kind of, you know,
29:55
aside from those newsletters
29:58
that everyone sends, I think
29:58
they're trying to really kind of
30:00
invest in that. They're slowly
30:00
seeing the value of having a
30:04
really engaged kind of audience.
30:04
That's something I've noticed in
30:09
in Australia.
30:11  Ayo Abbas
But yeah, and in
30:11
terms of writing, NikitaHow is
30:13
there a different style in terms
30:13
of tones of voice in terms of
30:17
the different? Is it very, very
30:17
different? Oh, I saw this
30:20
question I actually don't know.
30:23  Nikita Morell
Yes, obviously,
30:23
it's like, dependent, like,
30:25
practice upon practice. And
30:25
that's a big part of writing.
30:28
Any website is really uncovering
30:28
that tone of voice. You know,
30:32
you've got some, like, even
30:32
there's this amazing little
30:37
small firm in Melbourne, black
30:37
blight and blight and honestly,
30:40
like you, yeah, maybe put a link
30:40
in the show notes or something.
30:43
But his website, he's just like,
30:43
Yeah, he's a solo guy with just
30:46
the copy on it is enough to
30:46
really think oh, my gosh, I have
30:49
to work with this guy. And I
30:49
think one big thing about copy
30:54
and tone of voice is that, you
30:54
know, everyone always says in
30:56
the marketing world, like know,
30:56
like, and trust, but that whole
30:59
like factor, like, no one wants
30:59
to work with a jerk, right? So
31:03
you might as well have like,
31:03
really nice kind of friendly,
31:06
approachable cough, like copies.
31:06
If someone hasn't met you, and
31:09
they stumble upon your website,
31:09
they Oh, hey, like, this guy
31:12
sounds like a nice guy, I'm
31:12
gonna get in touch because
31:14
that's the whole point is to
31:14
kind of make that next step.
31:17
Right? Yeah,
31:18  Ayo Abbas
I guess. Um, so I
31:18
guess if you're an architect, or
31:21
an engineer, or in the built
31:21
environment, you are selling
31:23
your business? And is there a
31:23
line between what you share
31:26
personally and business wise?
31:26
I'm gonna ask you that, Amy.
31:31  Amy Edwards
Oh, God,
31:31
gosh, is asking me the hard
31:31
questions now. Yeah, I
31:39
think it's I think it's really,
31:39
I think it's really hard to
31:42
separate. I mean, I think it's
31:42
good to separate the two, that's
31:44
my personal preference is that
31:44
you have personal and
31:47
professional away from each
31:47
other. That's just my opinion. I
31:53
think it's just, I think, unless
31:53
you're unless the brand is all
31:57
about you. And it is your own
31:57
brand. It's your name, and it's
32:01
very much your practice. I
32:01
think. That's, that's a
32:04
different story. But I think if
32:04
you're trying to create a brand
32:08
that isn't about your name, and
32:08
isn't about you personally, but
32:11
more about the collective of
32:11
your practice, then I think
32:13
maybe you have to separate it
32:13
out and, and create its own
32:17
identity that is separate from
32:17
you as a person. Because
32:20
there's, you know, generally
32:20
there's a lot of personalities
32:22
within the culture of your
32:22
practice. Right. And, and that's
32:25
what makes up that culture of
32:25
practice and, and then creates
32:29
its own identity, isn't it?
32:29
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
32:38  Ayo Abbas
So that's the end of
32:38
part one and make sure you do
32:39
tune into part two. If you enjoy
32:39
the show, please do share it
32:43
with people that you know who
32:43
might find it of interest
32:45
because it really does help
32:45
spread the word. Thank you so
32:47
much for listening to marketing
32:47
times of recovery.