Free Marketing Training for Architects & Engineers (Tue Tip)

Interested in A/E/C marketing Best Practices?  Attend a free webinar this Thursday, sponsored by the Construction Marketing Association (CMA). 

construction marketing wordle

The webcast will be held Thursday, September 15, 2011, at 2pm ET.  Free! (Registration required).

Deborah Hodges, Executive Director of the Construction Writers Association, former SMPS President, and BOVIS alum will share examples of how construction firms deploy marketing.

Wendy McBay, Marketing Director from Reed Construction Data will identify how AEC firms can best use lead services for marketing and business development.

AEC veteran and consultant Hope Wilson will present how to market construction services to the government.

CMA Chairman Neil Brown will share results of a national survey on AEC marketing.

 If you attend the webinar, be sure to drop me a line and tell me what you learned, and if it was worthwhile.  I strive to only promote quality events on this blog, but I need your feedback to do so.  Thanks!

Photo: modified from Online Marketing Blog wordle by TopRankBlog via Creative Commons license.

Celebrate your Firm’s Anniversary (Marketing Tip)!

Happy Birthday You! [You know who you are]

birthday cupcakes

(No, I did not bake these!)

Marketing Tip:

Do you celebrate your Firm’s anniversary?  You should.  It gives you a unique opportunity to touch base with your best clients and say “thanks” for helping to keep your Firm in business.


Photo:  Pink Princess Birthday Cupcakes by Clever Cupcakes/Creative Commons license.

Public Speaking: The Ultimate Differentiator in Your Engineering Career (Guest Post)

This post is an excerpt from Anthony Fasano’s new book Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career.  Anthony is a design engineer turned executive coach, speaker and author and now spends his time helping engineers around the world to create careers that are exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding while being well-balanced. In this post Anthony will discuss the impact that effective public speaking skills can have on your engineering career.

Engineer Your Own Success Book

If you were to choose only one thing to do to improve your communication skills and your engineering career overall, I would recommend developing your public speaking skills.

Many engineering professionals, especially those early in their career, don’t realize how important it is to be a good public speaker. In fact, some engineers are terrified of public speaking because of their introverted personality. Fortunately, the ability to be a good public speaker is not one of those “You either have it or you don’t” skills. It is something that you can learn and develop over time.

As an engineering professional, your ability to present to people, whether it be to 2 or 2000 people, can make or break your career. Once I realized that I had a powerful message about career advancement that I wanted to communicate to professionals, I decided that I was going to learn how to speak effectively so I could get my message out to the world.

To develop my speaking skills, I joined Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organization that operates chapters around the world for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Groups like Toastmasters help you to not only develop your speaking skills, but also to increase your confidence and ultimately help you become a great communicator. You will learn how to speak spontaneously and also have the opportunity to prepare and present longer speeches with specific goals and objectives. These organizations provide a comfortable, supportive atmosphere for you to practice your public speaking. Odds are that every person in your local chapter was just as fearful, if not more, of public speaking at some point in their life as you may have been.

Having great public speaking skills is an absolute MUST in order to have an extraordinary career! In addition to improving your communication skills, public speaking will help you to bring new business into your firm. Prospective clients may see you presenting a project at a local board meeting, and the next thing you know they are calling you to take over their project. Your company may be impressed enough with your presentation skills that they may ask you to accompany a marketing professional in meetings with prospective clients. The list of benefits is endless.

These skills will also prepare you for being a manager, if you are not one already. Managers have to be able to clearly communicate messages to their team and your employer may take that into account when considering you for a promotion.

If you are reading this and are terrified of public speaking, I have great news for you. With some hard work, determination, and practice, you can become a great public speaker. Believe me, becoming an effective communicator and public speaker could very well be the ultimate differentiator between hoping that all of your career goals and dreams come true and actually ACHIEVING THEM!


FYI, Anthony is also donating a portion of each book sold to Engineers Without Borders.


Your turn:  do you have a fear of public speaking?  Have you considered how public speaking is required to generate your own clients?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Are there Enough Incentives for Green Building? (guest post)

For today’s Tuesday Tip we have a guest post by Drake MacDonald. 

According to Drake, his brief experience in construction introduced him to the profession’s many shortcomings, and as an editor and writer for, he works to promote construction management education in the hopes of raising industry standards of organization, communication, and sustainability.

Today, many construction projects are aimed toward going green. Not only does green construction benefit the environment, it also helps people save money on energy bills. To someone who doesn’t know anything about construction management, green construction may seem daunting. Many associate going green with spending more money on construction. However that isn’t always the case. [Editor’s note: As previously discussed, sometimes costs are too high.]  Some government incentives actually help people save money on green construction projects. Yet, oftentimes these incentives don’t go far enough. Here is a look at some of the incentives owners get for green buildings and what the government can do to improve them.

The biggest government incentives for going green are the tax breaks, which apply to both individuals and corporations. Individuals can enjoy a number of tax credits for going green. For instance, the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit provides people with a tax credit for making everything from their windows to furnaces more energy efficient. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit goes even further, by offering an even larger tax break to homeowners who build or remodel their homes to take advantage of solar or wind energy. Likewise, businesses can receive tax credits for showing a commitment to renewable energy as well as investing in new energy.

Beyond tax breaks, there are rebates, exemptions, grants and loans geared toward helping people with green construction projects. There are rewards for energy performance as well. There are also state incentives, including rebates for using renewable energy, which allow homeowners to further capitalize on building a green home.

Essentially, almost any green improvement an owner makes to his building will allow him to take advantage of at least one of these incentives. These grants and loans can help curb the financial stress that comes with a green construction project. Additionally, energy incentives save the owner money over the long-term, and that should be factored in to cost considerations.

keep my money GREEN sign

While the government does an exceptional job of providing people with plenty of incentives to go green, it can do more to promote them. Many owners are not even aware that these incentives exist. In order to better advertise these incentives, the government should set up a universal Web site where those interested in green building can discover all available incentives for which they qualify. The government should also consider sending out mailings, as well as television advertising to promote its green building incentives.

The government should also focus on gearing more incentives to individuals. While several incentives for homeowners do exist, the majority of green building incentives are designed to benefit corporations. Furthermore, the government should remove all expiration dates on existing incentives. Many incentives have already expired or will expire in the coming months. Owners should be rewarded no matter when they make green improvements, and the elimination of incentives is likely to only deter green building from continuing.

Clearly the government has started a great incentive program for going green; however, it needs to continue, through both advertising and through making green incentives permanent.  If the government is truly dedicated to promoting green building, it needs to make an effort to grow the program instead of phasing out incentives.

Melissa again:  Do you agree or disagree with Drake?  Drop Drake and me a line in the comment section below.


Photo by smiteme via Creative Commons license.

Best Construction Blog: Please vote!

favor sign

Can I ask a favor of you?  If you enjoy my blog, please take a moment to vote for it in the “Best Construction Blog” competition.  The competition is by Mark Buckson, of  Construction Marketing Ideas. 

To vote, click here and select “Construction Law in North Carolina” (this blog).  You also have the opportunity to vote for many other fine construction blogs at the same time, including some blogs you will recognize from my blogroll such as those by Chris Hill, Tim Hughes, and Ryan Bowers.  You can vote for them or the other fine blogs there also, but you must  should  might consider voting for me.

Thanks in advance!

PS: To those worried about the legality of my “get out the vote” campgain, rest assured that Mark encourages everyone to campaign for votes!


Photo (c) Washington & Jefferson College ([email protected]) via Creative Commons License.