Strategies To Generate More Leads For Your AIA Education Course

Posted On: 
Sep 22, 2021

Is your competitor getting more jobs than you? Are you able to attract large numbers of design professionals to your education course to learn about your products? Do you wish your courses generated more leads? There are three methods to increase course participation for your CE course that we will discuss today.

AIA continuing education is an excellent tool to reach architects, specifiers, interior designers, engineers, and contractors. Unfortunately, most building product manufacturers are neglecting one of the most effective lead generation methods available in the industry. Most online continuing education courses will generate roughly eighty to one hundred or more contact leads per month.

However, there is a little-known strategy that can increase course participation by thirty to forty percent per month. Most product manufacturers register their course with the AIA for CE credit. Smart manufacturers also register their course with the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) for LEED professionals. However, what course credit designation you choose for the GBCI will determine whether you have one hundred (100) or two to three (200-300) hundred participants take your online course.

Education For LEED Professionals

There are over 200,000 LEED professionals. LEED Green Associates must obtain 15 continuing education hours to maintain their credential. At least 3 hours must be LEED-specific hours. LEED AP’s must obtain 30 continuing education hours to maintain their credential. At least 6 hours must be LEED-specific hours related to their LEED specialty. Product manufacturers register their course with the GBCI for general hour education, not LEED specific hours. This is a huge mistake and costs manufacturers potentially hundreds of participants per month!

GBCI General Hour

General CE hours are defined as activities that are relevant to general green building concepts such as environmental sustainability or human health and wellness, but not specific to any rating system or standard. All GBCI credential holders (LEED AP’s) must earn general CE hours to maintain their credential, and any activity that counts as general CE hours for one credential may count for other GBCI credentials. Registering your course for the GBCI general hour designation should be a mandatory marketing and sales strategy to increase your monthly course participation.

LEED Specific Hour

The highest performing course in the AEC industry is the free LEED Specific Hour. It can generate 200-500 leads a month depending on the time of year. On average it will have at least 200 design professionals a month participate for a course. LEED Green Associates and LEED APs must obtain them to maintain their credential. Currently, 99.9% of LEED specific hours are premium content on education platforms. Free LEED Specific Hours are rarer than a unicorn sliding down a rainbow or the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl without Tom Brady.

A LEED-specific course is defined as an activity that has an explicit connection to LEED credit categories, credits and/or prerequisites found in any of the current LEED rating systems. For LEED APs, LEED-specific CE hours must relate directly to their specialty. Currently, there is only one website in North America offering free LEED specific content sponsored by building product manufacturers. If you want a game changer for lead generation and brand awareness, this is the winning ticket.

Why Are Smart Manufacturers Not Creating High-Performing Courses?

Why aren’t all building product manufacturers offering LEED specific hour courses? Manufacturers are very busy. Developing even an AIA only course can be a major endeavor. Product reps are busy calling on architects, contractors, putting out fires, etc. In addition, many companies have no LEED AP’s on staff and are not well versed in LEED education requirements and opportunities.

There are several opportunities for smart building product manufacturers to partner with a USGBC Education Partner to develop LEED specific hour education. Experienced LEED professionals can take a manufacturer’s content and transform it into a LEED specific hour course cost effectively.  If your product is routinely specified on LEED projects, there is no reason not to offer LEED specific hour education.

Not every AIA CE course is destined to be a LEED specific hour course. If a building product manufacturer is never specified on LEED projects, then creating such a course would be a waste of resources. In addition, a LEED specific hour course generates a significant amount of monthly leads. Product manufacturers who do not have a capable sales and marketing team in place to follow up the leads should be wary of creating more specification opportunities for themselves. However, most product manufacturers given the chance, would jump at increasing their monthly participation rates two and three-fold.

Why doesn’t your company offer LEED specific hour education? What are the obstacles preventing you from developing a LEED specific hour course?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank