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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.

  • 1.  Marketing For Introverts

    Posted 04-29-2020 05:41 PM
    These days I'm being asked to do more marketing... and I'm an introvert

    As a classic introvert I'm curious to see how other introverts are handling marketing for services these days.

    What tip and what tools are being used out there?

    Anything would be helpful


    Jeffrey Hammond AIA
    Senior Project Manager
    Diekema Hamann Architecture + Engineering
    Grandville MI

  • 2.  RE: Marketing For Introverts

    Posted 04-30-2020 05:25 PM


    As a fellow introvert, marketing absolutely drains my energy and I used to be self-conscious.  Find your own voice and don't try to emulate an extrovert.

    Utilize your strengths.  If you discuss what you are most passionate about, you will come across as trusting, thoughtful, caring, understanding and a host of other attractive characteristics that you have in common with introverts.  You might even find that prospective clients find you highly approachable because of your introverted characteristics.

    Then, after you get your next commission, go celebrate by yourself!



    Michael Strogoff, FAIA

    Strogoff Consulting, Inc.

    p: 415.383.7011

    c: 415.717.2755

    ownership transitions . mergers & acquisitions . practice management . leadership development . talent placement

    This message sent by Strogoff Consulting may contain information that is privileged or confidential and is intended exclusively for the person(s) to whom it is addressed.  Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized.  If you have received this message in error, please notify us immediately and delete this message from your system.


  • 3.  RE: Marketing For Introverts

    Posted 05-03-2020 10:27 AM



    Thanks for the good words.

    Marketing does the same thing to me as well.

    I've learned to try and focus my marketing efforts at those points in my day when my energy level is high (and when the Starbucks large coffee kicks in)

    This was something I learned at a Jim Franklin presentation about 20 years ago


    ...and I will celebrate by myself.. with a Starbucks in hand





    Jeff Hammond 

    Senior Project Manager

    DIEKEMA HAMANN architecture & engineering

    KALAMAZOO  GRAND RAPIDS  :  269.373.1108  :



  • 4.  RE: Marketing For Introverts

    Posted 04-30-2020 07:18 PM

    You're in good company as an introvert - the vast majority of architects are, myself included.

    Great comment from Michael.

    Here are a few suggestions for marketing as an introvert based on my own experience:

    1. Expand your network organically, instead of cold-calling. Ask your current project contacts who you work with on a daily basis who they know that you should know, and can they provide an introduction? Just tell them you're looking to expand your network.

    2. Keep a list of your important contacts (in terms of getting work) and when you last contacted them. Drop them an email occasionally to check in. Like and comment on their social media posts (if they are on social media).

    3. If you want to speed things up, spearhead an office newsletter and use the newsletter as an excuse to interview potential prospects. It's a good opportunity to meet them in a non-salesy, non-threatening (even fun) way. Interview them on their topic of expertise. For instance, if you do Higher Ed work, interview a facility director at a University where you want to work. That way they know you.

    4. Connect over social media. Find out what social media they use, if any, and like, comment and share what they post. Get interested in them.

    5. Send a thank you card weekly to someone in your network congratulating them, complimenting them or just keeping in touch.

    6. Focus on one-on-one interactions where you might be more comfortable.

    7. Although it might be painful, take a course that exercises your "extrovert" muscle, like Toastmasters or a Dale Carnegie course.

    8. Recognize the strength of being an introvert - I've found that people trust you more readily because you're more apt to listen than talk.

    9. Content marketing is great for introverts - create some thought leadership content around what you do and share it with your network.

    Lastly, if you're not currently in firm ownership, make sure you keep the owners apprised of how you're helping the firm grow!

    Hope that helps.


    Enoch Sears AIA
    I help architecture firm owners build a firm that powers their creative success

    Business of Architecture

    Go here to discover how to earn more on your next architecture firm proposal:

  • 5.  RE: Marketing For Introverts

    Posted 05-03-2020 10:48 AM



    Thanks for the great suggestions


    Let me add on based on my experience. Find a time in the day when your energy level is up to the challenge of marketing. I find that I'm better in the morning than later in the day


    Again thanks for the suggestions



    Jeff Hammond 

    Senior Project Manager

    DIEKEMA HAMANN architecture & engineering

    KALAMAZOO  GRAND RAPIDS  :  269.373.1108  :