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Likely the most common goal among architects is to start their own firm. For a new generation of designers, harnessing the power of the online working landscape puts the dream of starting an architecture firm in reach much earlier in their careers than for previous generations. Using an online platform to organize work into decentralized, project-oriented tasks, sites like Fiverr Pro offer a venue for emerging professionals to assemble and lead virtual project teams on an as-needed basis, forgoing the prohibitive investment needed to open a traditional practice.
For architects, this means paying a network of freelancers to complete the same tasks they’d pay staff for, except they’re paying for individual work products instead of someone’s hours. As a result, the costs of starting an architecture firm are far less than for a conventional, place-based office, as is the risk of staying in business between projects.
While the ultimate goal is to build a roster of clients with a steady stream of projects, doing that takes time. For architects making this transition, Fiverr Pro hosts an entire suite of service categories that can help grow a fledgling firm. If you’re looking to start your own practice, below are some of the most relevant ones which, individually or in combination, can be used to get a new firm off the ground.
Branding and Identity
Anyone starting an architecture firm should look to establish a recognizable identity for it as early as possible. The most ubiquitous sign of this is a logo, and there are many branding artists who can create an attractive signifying graphic who also have the experience to know why certain imagery will resonate with potential clients. The benefits of picking from a verified pool of professionals is access to professional talent – even the designer of Apple’s logo can be hired on Fiverr Pro.
For many architects in the digital age, a website is the closest they’ll get to having an office, so it pays to have an experienced UI designer create one. Beyond setting a site’s look and feel, a professional web developer will know how to optimize its setup for future editing and ease of upkeep. It’s also wise to address items like keyword optimization by hiring professional written copy for project descriptions or biographies, while a consistent blog provides opportunities for interested browsers to find a firm’s site and learn about their work.
For many architectural projects, a staple deliverable is often a good “wow” image – the production of which can easily become its own project. Using Fiverr Pro, an architect can simply send plans and elevations to a professional visualization artist and receive the final, high-quality rendering exactly when it’s needed. If still images aren’t enough, animated flythroughs can be outsourced, as well as free-form illustrations, which can give a personal feel to images that may be seen when the designer isn’t present to provide proper context.
For designs that could benefit from a series of explanatory diagrams, isometric infographics produced by a seasoned professional while an architect works on technical drawings can help communicate complex ideas to a client without sacrificing time on a tight schedule. Time could also be freed up to complete multiple concepts or work for multiple clients by hiring out the tedious process of converting a dimensioned hand drawing into an editable CAD file.
Via Rafal Barnas
Completing a built project is a huge accomplishment for a new firm, but it does little good for the firm’s future if it’s not used to generate more business. Presenting past work through a variety of share-worthy media such as photography and video is essential for gaining new clients.
Since architects often have a strong visual sense, they’re well suited to photograph their own work, but might lose their edge when it comes technical tasks like retouching. By hiring a professional to post-process their project photos, an architect benefits from a second set of eyes that are experienced in photography. The same holds true for video: an architect may be able to frame a series of interesting shots that tell a story, but it’s unlikely they possess the training, or time, to turn those shots into a high-quality composition poised to be widely viewed and shared.
Creating interview presentations or preparing brochures for industry events is another time consuming job a new firm might not be able to justify hiring staff for. Fortunately, Fiverr Pro has many freelancers who know the ins and outs of professional services marketing. From composing email newsletters to drafting properly formatted press releases, a young firm can procure all their marketing needs à la carte – even thorough market research is available on the platform.
Hiring someone on Fiverr Pro is easy – each freelancer breaks their work packages into three graduated levels of service with items like turnaround time, number of revisions and final deliverables clearly identified. Specific details are agreed upon through direct communication before an assignment begins, and as thoroughly vetted professionals in their respective fields, many freelancers are open to discussing more complex, custom work, beyond their boilerplate services.
Starting an architecture firm is difficult. Luckily, the emerging gig economy allows individual creativity to be leveraged far more effectively than in a conventional office. Those who master this practice stand to gain creative control over their work in a way that’s rarely been available to architects until now.
Top image by Fiverr Pro xrender