Marketing For Architects - Part 3 - Human Psychology For Marketing Architects

February 1, 2019 by Declan Connolly

So in the last MARKETING FOR ARCHITECTS blog post we finished off laying the groundwork for learning marketing & how to promote our services.

We also installed 12 essential mind sets that are required for us to get to the next level in our journey.

Now we’re going to we’re going to delve into the weird and wonderful world of human psychology and how that applies to you, now one of the many marketing architects!

This is a complex topic and not one many people bother learning about.

However, if we are to have any chance of influencing & persuade people to avail of our services we must first understand what drives them in the first place.

We can’t convince or change someone’s mind to do something they don’t want to, all we can do is align with what they do want to.

After you watch this video you’re going to know what buttons to press with your marketing.

In addition, if you find watching video better than reading an article simply scroll on down to the bottom as there is a video version of this blog post down there.

So let’s find out what those things are:

Human Psychology Isn’t Rational

Most people think that they make decisions or form opinions based on rationality.

From the inside it usually appears that our thinking, decisions and actions are "rational."

We think that we use logic, evidence and reason to make our decisions.

However, from the outside it usually appears that our thinking, decisions and actions are "irrational".


Never forget humans do things for their reasons, not your reasons - and rarely are these reasons "rational".

99% of human decisions are based on emotion and once we understand that then it influences the language we use and the arguments we make to availing of our services.

So have a look at your current marketing material, is it all logical stuff or is it rooted in emotion?

Marketing architects have their material rooted in emotion.

Our Psychology Is Rooted In Our Past

Great progress has been made "decoding" human psychology and behaviour over the past decades.

The more we look for "evolutionary" drivers of our psychological mechanisms, the more we find them.

Our most basic and primal 3 drivers are survival, sex and status.

If you look behind most thoughts, feelings, and actions, you'll find survival, sex and status.

And these go in both positive and negative directions: the drive to get them and the drive to avoid losing them.

Evolutionary psychology studies have shown that there is always something driving people.

For example, SOCIAL STATUS is extremely important to us as we are social animals.

We arrange ourselves into groups based on status whether we are conscious of it or not.

This is hard wired into us as we are physically safer in groups and have access to sexual partners when we are part of a group too.

So how do you think successful marketing architects use this info?

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The Make-Up Of Your Brain: The Triune Brain

According to research by American neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean, our evolutionary journey has us starting out as reptiles.

Some of these broke off and evolved into mammals.

And finally, we evolved into human beings from our mammalian ape ancestors.

Each of these evolutionary jumps can be attributed to our brain structure.

When we were reptiles all we were concerned with was survival & sex and that’s pretty much it.

And this forms the core of our brain called the Reptilian brain.

And it’s drivers are food & reproduction.

When we evolved into mammals our brains we developed emotions.

And this put another layer on top of our reptilian brain called the Mammalian Brain.

And finally, we evolved logic and reason when we became humans.

Again, this puts another layer on our brain which is called the Thinking Or Logical Brain.

We humans have 3 brains in 1 and this is called the Triune Brain.

And if that wasn’t messed up enough it gets worse.

OUR 3 BRAINS AREN'T VERY WELL INTEGRATED - and the older brains seem to rule the newer.

The Reptile Brain Is All About Survival And Replication.

These are our strongest drivers.

Our Mammal Brain Allows Us To Group Together And Care For Each Other.

These are our second strongest drivers.

The Thinking Brain Allows Us To Reflect In Ourselves And Create Logic.

These are our weakest drivers.

So the first question here is what should we be appealing to with our marketing?

No prizes for guessing the right answer!

For marketing architects this can be easier said than done.

We Humans Are Built And Wired For A Time That Doesn't Exist Anymore

The modern environment has changed dramatically from our "original environment".

We evolved to be Homo Sapiens, living in nature, on the plains and were hunter gatherers.

In other words, we evolved in a reactionary state to our environment.

We evolved in an environment that shaped us.

We now live in cities and towns that we have created.

These man made environments are often referred to as Human Zoos as they are not our natural environment.

We have now evolved into "Homo Technoligus" living inside the self-built "Human Zoo."

We have evolved to shape our own environments and we are now proactively changing our environment.

But don't forget - our wiring hasn't changed!

It's still built for the outside world.

We started living out in the open and not apartments.

The Human Zoo & Naked Ape

I’m a big fan of the zoologist Desmond Morris’s books about human evolution and human psychology.

The 2 books that are particularly relevant now are the Human Zoo & the Naked Ape.

I strongly suggest you read them.

Here’s some of what his research found.

We Don't Make Decisions Logically, And We Make Decisions Unconsciously.

The process of making a decision appears to be "retinal" - so we assume that it is.

It now appears that most decisions aren't made consciously.

Instead, decisions are made on an unconscious level - then "rationalized" with the conscious mind.


We Are Completely Overwhelmed By Communications And Choices.

We live in the world's first over-communicated society.

The level of choice we have is literally immobilizing us.

The average person has essentially no hope of silencing the increasing noise.


Marketing architects messages are super specific.

Case Study For Architects Who Are Sick & Tired Of Being Undervalued & Underpaid

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We Are Twice As Motivated To Avoid Pain As We Are To Get Pleasure

Tests have shown that we humans will pay twice as much to avoid pain as get pleasure.

The "problem/fear/pain" aspect of what you sell is likely TWICE as important as the pleasure aspect.


Along with benefits also sell what your service helps them avoid and what problems it solves. 

This will be different based on what type of project you are going for and what type of client you want.

When We Have A Need, Our Entire Thinking & Deciding Process Changes.

A person who is experiencing a need, a craving, a desire, a fear becomes a "different animal" - so to speak.


Especially when it's about survival, sex, or status.

The stronger the need the more we act like an animal.

Think of how drug addicts act when needing their next fix.

Or how differently you act when you are hungry vs when you are full.

We often act in desperation.

Successful marketing architects focus on what to avoid every bit as much as what the client desires.

We Humans Are Very Bad At Figuring Out How Much Things Are Worth

Money, value, and prices are very confusing to humans.

We are constantly looking for cues, criteria, and comparisons to understand how much products and services are "worth".

Over time money has changed from gold to paper so we can’t think about what it is worth and is very abstract.

And this doesn’t even factor in living in a cashless society which we are being herded towards by our financial institutions.

We think money is value and we can’t compare the value between different items.

All of this adds up to the fact that prospective clients need CLARITY.

You cannot hope to cut through this inner and outer noise without FOCUS.

You must know what you're offering, who it's for, and what the benefit is to them – then present it to the IRRATIONAL human mind.

If you don't, you might as well not even start.



This is easier said than done and is something marketing architects struggle with buit once you 'get it' it's a serious weapon in your arsenal.

Exercise 3 – Appealing To The Irrational Human

Humans are irrational – most of our decisions, communication and behaviour are the result of irrational forces driving us.

To succeed in marketing, you must abandon logic and begin considering and appealing to the irrational motives and drivers hiding in the shadows of human psychology.

  • Where have you expected people to hire you because it was the “logical choice” or the “logical thing” to do? 
  • When have you believed that if you offered a better service people would buy it?
  • How can you begin appealing to the irrational motivations that are really driving most of human thought, communication & behaviour?

Ok this is the heaviest post of them all and I urge you to go read this again so you understand what you’re up against when marketing your architectural services.

Can you begin to see why it’s so hard to get clients when everyone is marketing their architectural services with logical reasons on why people should hire them?

This is the heart of the issue for marketing architects and you need to understand this stuff.

In the next blog post we’ll build on this again and look at what your clients are really buying when they hire you.

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Here's The Video Version Of This Blog Post:

If you find watching video easier than reading a blog post then this is for you!

How Architects go from being ‘Undervalued’ to generating High-Value Custom Residential Projects using this Sir Norman Foster method…

...without being 'Fee Shopped'...

...and even if no one knows who they are and they don't have good marketing skills...

My name is Declan Connolly, founder of Affluent Architect.

I’ve been designing homes since 2000.

I started my own practice in 2009.

And now I teach Architects from all over the world how to generate Custom Residential projects for their practices.

And after all that, I can safely say:

The ‘normal’ way of educating potential clients on the benefits of hiring an Architect… NOT THE ANSWER to getting great clients & projects.

If that worked Architects wouldn’t find themselves in the constant battle of:

❌ Talking to people only interested in free advice…

❌ Writing proposals for people who only use them as a fee shopping exercise…

❌ Being underpaid & treated like a commodity…

These problems happen because Architects haven’t been taught something crucial:

How to articulate the value of their services in a way that impacts their clients on an EMOTIONAL level.

Instead, they try to ‘logically’ educate potential clients on:

❌ Reasons to hire an Architect…

❌ Project process…

❌ How they deliver their services, etc…

But high-quality clients don’t care about these things.

In fact, they view these things as OBSTACLES to them getting their new home.

It’s like when someone books a flight for a holiday.

They don’t care about the number of rivets in the plane & the stitching in the seats.

All they care about is enjoying their holiday at the end destination.

Similarly, all that matters to the potential client is the new home.

Along with all the lovely lifestyle benefits it will give them.

All the ‘logical’ based approach does is position Architects as a ‘set of plans to get the permit’.

So, here’s how we fix this.

My Architects attract creative residential projects with clients that pay top dollar for great design.

And the key to this is my proprietary A.V.I.D. Method (Articulate Value & Influence Design Method)...

…which creates marketing messages that emotionally connect with their potential clients.

This A.V.I.D. Method has been developed by trial & error in the real world since 2009.

And it’s the only method specific to the single-family residential market for Architects on the planet.

It’s enabled me & my Architect students to:

✅ Work with celebrity clients on their new home like Mark Owen from the pop band Take That...

✅ Work on jobs that have been featured on the TV Show Grand Designs…

✅ Work on homes worth as much as $18.75 million…

And the secret to this is something I learned when I was struggling to get decent projects for my practice.

I had hit a brick wall and decided to study how past Architects managed to do it.

And who better than Sir Norman Foster himself.

He got started in the high-tech industrial market.

Which is a super-competitive market against far bigger and more established firms.

Sir Norman Foster didn’t go and try and ‘logically’ educate potential clients.

Instead, he described what his target clients’ businesses would be like AFTER they built one of these buildings.

And once I applied this same principle to Custom Residential it completely changed the game for me.

Describing a potential client’s life AFTER they have built their new home is what gets their attention.

✅ It instantly creates trust & respect because we are describing what they really want...

✅ It creates an air of 'exclusivity' & ‘uniqueness’ around our services which clients pay more for...

✅ Defines who our target clients should be & where to find them…

However, it must be done in a certain sequence.

And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you on a special Case Study recording.

Where I show you how the A.V.I.D. Method works.

As well as how it creates my students’ marketing for them which saves a bunch of time.

This Case Study also shows you loads of examples of our students' marketing that is working like crazy in the Custom Resi market:

Click Here To Register For Your Free A.V.I.D. Method Case Study

So, if you're sick and tired of being treated like a commodity...

And you want to finally work with appreciative clients who value what you do…

…get paid the fees that you deserve & have a great income for a change…

…and work on fulfilling creative jobs without sacrificing time with your family…

Then let’s get the A.V.I.D. Method working for your practice.

Go ahead and register for your free Case Study right now:

Case Study For Architects Who Are Sick & Tired Of Being Undervalued & Underpaid

How To Reach & Land Committed High-Paying Custom Residential Clients Who Value Architecture Without Being 'Fee Shopped'... ...Even If No One Knows Who You Are & You Don’t Have Good Marketing Skills...

Click Here To Watch This Free Case Study Now

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