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Who We Are

The mission of the AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx) is to advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms. The objectives of the AIA SFx are three-fold:

     1. Advocate the value of small firms, the national SFx, and local
         SFx groups, both within the AIA and to the public.
     2. Curate and disseminate the most pertinent resources and
         information, from the AIA & elsewhere, that benefit small firms.

     3. Inform the AIA of current issues facing small firms and areas
         in which current resources/information are lacking.

Approximately 75% of all firms within the AIA are small firms (10 employees or less), which equates to 14,288 small firms within the organization. 

~25% = sole practitioners = 4,750

~35% = 1-5 employees = 6,650

~15% = 5-10 employees = 2,850

We need to find ways to leverage that size for collaboration and influence, just like the individual large firms do.

Be sure to "Join our Community" !  This will ensure that you're a part of our mailing list and receive our quarterly newsletter and important small firm information.

HOW TO: Find & Attract Quality Facebook Fans

By Ann Novakowski posted 06-19-2012 10:39 AM


Or; How to Get More Facebook Fans and Potential Leads Without Being Unethical

I know that title's a doozy, but it certainly explains it all. Where do you find real, engaged, potential client fans? I will answer your (my) question with another question: Who is your ideal client and where would they hang out online? Are they reading House Beautiful magazine? Do the obsess over Farrow & Ball?

Let's brainstorm some ways you can reach your ideal client. You can run very complex Facebook ads, promote your fan page updates for $5 a pop, launch a Google adwords campaign, buy more fans from some sketchball computer programmer in Malaysia...but those things cost money and (at least for the last option) might not get you fans who actually become paying clients. 

I want to give you something that's free, that's easy, and that gets you more high quality fans fast.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? I typed "Home Design" in Facebook search and found the Home & Design Magazine had over 4,000 fans. Another search revealed House Beautiful Magazine which has 118k. Between those two pages alone there are over 200k potential clients interested in beautifying their dwelling who will comment, like, and receive notifications from Facebook. They must be doing something right!

Pablo Picasso is credited with saying, "Good artists copy, great artists steal."

Tweak that saying to online marketing and you'll have a rough idea of what I'm getting at. You don't have to be the best fan page manager ever to have an effective Facebook campaign. You just have to know where to go for inspiration. 

Architectural Digest (70,600 fans) has already done most of the work for an entrepreneur architect. 70,000 potential clients and referrals are hanging out on that page.

How can you get their attention in a way that promotes your firm, but doesn't get you marked as spam?

When you comment to a post on Facebook, it sends a notification to the original poster and those who've commented before you letting them know someone else has joined the fun. This notification is dependent on people's privacy settings - whether or not they allow Facebook to send them notifications.

Take a recent Farrow & Ball post (16,400): "Colour can be used to alter the shape of a room. A darker colour on the wall will bring it towards you, whereas a lighter shade creates the illusion it's further away." (view the post) This photo update earned Farrow & Ball 24 shares, 108 likes, and 11 comments. Farrow & Ball is soft-selling their own products, but imagine if someone added to the end of that train, "We used this technique in a recently completed kitchen & dining room renovation. The homeowners love it! Great tip!"

11 people would recieve notification of that comment and it would live forever on a post that attracted at least 108 likes and 24 shares on a page with over 16k fans.

The people who'll see your comment may click through to your profile and perhaps become fans of your page. That's why I'd like you to comment as your fan page instead of with your personal when folks click on your notification, they're taken to your fan page.


  1. Find & Like a page that has already attracted a large number of your potential clients
  2. Follow their updates and look for a post with high engagement
  3. Comment on the end of that chain as your page. Make it helpful & relevant to the original post, like making suggestions or answering questions.
  4. Find & Like another page and do it all over again...
This is a great way to attract quality fans for a couple of reasons. First, instead of spamming strangers, you'll be posting tips, advice, and sharing relevant feedback with other Facebookers on pages that already interest them. Second, you're making other fan pages look good by increasing their likes and comments with your own helpful suggestions to their followers!

Share the social networking love with other pages and you'll get some fan notice, too. Seems like a win-win to me. You may only attract a handful of new people at first, but earning 2 or 3 more high quality fans every other day for FREE is better than paying for 200 fake fans all at once.

#CustomResidentialArchitectsNetwork #WhitePapers #TechnologyinArchitecturalPractice #BestPractices #Reports/Essays #Guides #Articles #Tips #Policies #SmallProjectPractitioners #SmallFirmRoundTable


06-18-2016 05:32 AM

It was a good post to read. its amazing how Facebook sends a notification to the original poster and those who've commented before you letting them know someone else has joined the fun.

06-20-2012 11:46 AM

Thanks for your thoughts. This is the first useful Facebook suggestion that I have encountered after sitting through hours of social media webinars and face to face meetings.
I will start right away!