Hi, my name is Dave Sharp. I am a Melbourne-based marketing and social media consultant for small architecture firms in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and U.K. I mainly write over on the Vanity Projects blog. Before I struck out on my own, I worked in architecture firms in Australia and Japan. I hold a Masters of Architecture (UWA, 2016).
My consulting work primarily comprises regular 1:1 sessions with architecture firm directors. We work together to gradually improve the rigor and quality of their ongoing thinking about their work, their firm's positioning and approach to marketing, communication and social media. Jim Collins' Flywheel Effect concept in Good To Great is a good description of my consulting philosophy.
Picture a huge, heavy flywheel—a massive metal disk mounted horizontally on an axle. Now imagine that your task is to get the flywheel rotating on the axle as fast and long as possible. Pushing with great effort, you get the flywheel to inch forward, moving almost imperceptibly at first. You keep pushing and, after two or three hours of persistent effort—breakthrough! The momentum of the thing kicks in in your favor. You’re pushing no harder than during the first rotation, but the flywheel goes faster and faster. Now suppose someone came along and asked, “What was the one big push that caused this thing to go so fast?” You wouldn’t be able to answer; it’s just a nonsensical question. Was it the first push? The second? No! It was all of them added together in an overall accumulation of effort applied in a consistent direction.
The working arrangement is a 60-minute video-conference session every 4 weeks.
My consulting model is best-suited to architecture practices with fewer than 20 employees, and requires interactions over at least a year to yield results.
My main deliverable is insightful analysis and transformative advice. The focus is not on long reports or even reports at all, and in fact my recommendations are short, concise, and only in outline form. After a consultation, you'll have the knowledge to implement the recommendations yourself.
What clients appreciate the most, though, is an outside perspective on how they are really doing, or how to accomplish something without reinventing the wheel. They realise that change is still dependent on them, but they want to be pointed in the right direction based on what has been successful for other firms.
My fee is $300 AUD per month (⌕ USD, GBP, NZD). I invite first-time clients to book a Comprehensive Marketing Review directly. I'll analyse your firm's existing marketing situation and make prudent recommendations to help you develop a simple plan.
I've developed my consulting method working with almost 100 small and medium sized firms from all over the world. Here are some of my recent clients.
Dave was an absolute pleasure to work with. Switched on, creative, witty and an impressive ability to explain information and recommendations in simple terms. He never pushed us into anything without helping us to understand how it fits. Dave’s guidance helped us grow a new understanding of how marketing and social media can assist our growth and also provided insight into what our peers and other industry leaders do.
Dave is passionate and we have had great conversations. He opened up a whole new world to me. I highly recommend him to any architect who is looking to explore new ways of getting business.
Dave Sharp from Vanity Projects helped us understand how social media fits into a holistic marketing plan. It's a bit of a mine field out there, and he made it easy for us. Once we had identified a few streams to focus on, he implemented some aspects for us and coached one of our staff through the remaining actions. The results spoke for themselves. Our Instagram following doubled within the space of a couple of months. I would recommend Dave at the drop of a hat -- his advice has been invaluable and affordable.
Dave has a unique ability to help architects cut through the noise of the market to improve their offering. His approach is fast paced, engaging and caters to the individual.
Dave just gets it! He quickly understood our small Architecture firm. We were convinced by his knowledge and experience from our very first meeting. Dave continues to give us regular direction and invaluable advice, in our inspiring monthly meetings!
Dave is one of the few people seriously thinking about architecture and marketing. Down to earth advice for an industry that desperately needs to learn how to communicate with the outside world.
Dave is relentlessly creative in his interrogation of the best marketing opportunities for architects. He helps not just his clients but the broader architectural community also through his social media feeds, blog, podcasts and videos. In this, he is incredibly generous, freely sharing his wisdom and insights. I have greatly enjoyed my collaborations over the years with Dave, and our shared passions for architecture, business, entrepreneurship and marketing.
Dave's specialised knowledge of the niche world of marketing for architects is a great asset, as is his knowledge of the local market. In particular, his knowledge of new technologies and social media helps us in formulating strategies across all the marketing channels.
Clients usually find me directly through something I've written, rather than through a referral. The links below are to some of my recent blog posts.