”Am I at the right stage for this?”
“Where do I start?”
“Will it be worth it?”
There are a few pieces you should have in place to best prepare yourself for work with a designer (and to ensure the most successful outcome!) Your brand and website design are only one ingredient in the recipe for a successful business.
If you’re baking a new recipe and you leave out a few ingredients, it certainly won’t turn out the way you envisioned, right?
In this post you’ll learn the 4 main “ingredients” you should have in place to for the best success with your brand and website designer (and to keep your project timeline on track).
Whether you have a packaged service or create custom plans for each of your clients, you *have* to know what it is you’re selling. And know it well.
Having a clearly defined offer will allow you to better communicate your value to your audience. In turn, your designer will be able to create a brand and website that truly reflects that value.
You may have heard the phrase: “know your features vs your benefits.”
Marketing expert Neil Patel has an
incredible article on defining the features vs benefits of your offer (and why it’s so important to know the difference).
When it comes to defining your offer and it’s value, it’s best to focus on the benefits for your ideal client.
Let’s use coaching as an example:
When you can define the difference you’ll be that much more prepared for work with a designer!
If you have recently changed your offer or find that you “keep tweaking things” it may be best to hold off on hiring a brand and website designer until you feel truly confident in that offer.
Being confident in your current offer will help you and your designer quickly get on the same page. More importantly, it will save you time and money!
If you decide to drastically change your offer right after your project is completed it means you’ll likely need to undergo another rebrand sooner rather than later.
With the right designer and a clear offer your brand will be the best it can possibly be the first time around. If you find you’re a little stuck on where to go with your offer, hiring a business coach is a great first step!
Clare Muscutt once said:
“Building a good customer experience doesn’t happen by accident it happens by design”
The term “client experience” gets mentioned a lot, but what all does it entail?
A client experience is a fancy term for your “process.” Everything from inquiry, to onboarding, completing the project, and sending your client on their way.
There are two important things to remember about your client experience:
It’s got to be simple
And it has to showcase the uniqueness of your brand.
To ensure your client experience is simple I always recommend getting set up with a CRM (Client Relationship management) software. On my resources page you can find links and special offers to my favorite CRM’s: Honeybook and Dubsado.
Both help to streamline your client onboarding process, task management, and make it simple to handle contracts, questionnaires, and invoices.
A PWC study found that 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Now I know…A CRM is another technical task to add to your already long to-do list.
But both Honeybook and Dubsado can recommend technical wizards to handle the set-up process for you!
As for infusing the uniqueness of your brand into your client experience…that’s where your designer can help.
The strategy behind your brand and website design will help you understand what makes you different from your competitors. From there you can include uniquely personal touches into your client experience.
Having a defined client experience in place will help your brand and website designer (and your copywriter if you choose to hire one) highlight the process in a more strategic light.
This can be a game changer. Especially when 65% of people are more impacted by a brand’s positive client experience than traditional advertising.
Okay, so we know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover (but we’re completely guilty of it).
Guess what? Your website is the cover of your brand… and even the BEST website design won’t be effective if the images on the page aren’t on the same level.
There is power in professional *looking* photos when it comes to your brand and website.
While I highly recommend hiring a professional to help you plan and execute unique band photos there are certainly ways to DIY. If you are skilled with a camera, know a thing or two about lighting, angles, and editing (or have a strategic friend willing to help you out) then you can take care of this step on your own.
In my case, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my incredible photographer Christy! She worked her magic to make my branding photoshoot, smooth, seamless, and enjoyable.
Sometimes having an outside perspective can help you capture the essence of your brand in ways you never imagined.
Brand photos can help your brand:
Adding a photo alone can help improve recognition by about 65% for your audience. Adding a high end brand photo actually leads your audience to believe your offers are more high end.
You have probably landed on a website with grainy, out of date images, or ones that look overly generic. Chances are you didn’t stay on that site for very long.
Not only do quality brand photos help you stand out and build credibility, they work in tandem with your copy and design to tell the story of your brand.
A picture speaks a thousand words afterall (cliches are cliches for a reason).
Brand photography can be done before or simultaneously alongside your design project.
Don’t hesitate to ask your designer for references for a great brand photographer if you plan to hire one. The important part is having them ready to go for the website so your project stays on track!
Just like brand photography, your messaging and copywriting can be done before or simultaneously with your design project.
Remember that the copywriting will need to be done before your website design can begin as copy dictates the design and flow of your site.
Words and visuals work in tandem to create a cohesive and effective message for your brand.
The length of copywriting is not as important as you might think. Eye tracking research from Nielsen Norman Group has confirmed that most site visitors skim a page for relevant information.
Website copywriting may be longer for some and shorter for others. It all depends on the message the brand is trying to convey.
“Copy is not written. Copy is assembled.” – Eugene Schwartz
Whether you choose to DIY your own copy or hire a copywriter it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to strategic messaging than eloquent and clever wording. Strong copywriting will be the sweet spot of your own unique voice as a brand, and the voice of your ideal clients.
Hiring a copywriter can not only save you time it can also help you create consistent messaging that you will use after your brand and website are officially complete.
(Plus, it can be hard to write about yourself..trust me, I’ve been there!)
Your brand messaging which includes your mission, vision, value propositions, and unique brand voice will be incredibly important to the success of your business. Having a consistent message will help build your credibility on and off of your website.
Your website designer will work with you or your copywriter to wireframe (fancy term for planning out) the flow of your site. A wireframe will set your website up for success as each page will have a clear goal that will be represented by both design and copy.
Investing in a brand and website designer can be overwhelming. You may not want to think about adding to the investment by also hiring someone for coaching, brand photography and copywriting.
But here’s the thing, investing in your business is just that…and investment.
With the right team behind you, you are setting yourself up for long-term success. A way to make back that investment and so much more.
When I launched my refreshed brand and website this year I had a team of business owners to help me along the way.
I couldn’t have done it without the support of my business coach, who helped me get crystal clear on my offers and my client experience. Or My brand photographer and my copywriter who helped position my brand in the best possible light.
Pro tip: if you’ve found a designer you are in line with, don’t be afraid to ask for references if you’re looking to outsource any of these tasks. Chances are, they’ll have a connection that is just right for you.
If you have any more questions about how to prepare for your design project, let’s chat over a discovery call.
Let’s get you set up for success.
Brand & Website Design Studio based in Eau Claire, WI.
Serving clients across the U.S
The strategy behind design, client transformations, and more.
I design strategic visual identities
so you can pursue your purpose and embrace an unhurried life.