The Design Partnership Process
Last year, as I went from one branding client to another, I felt.. like I was somehow doing my clients a disservice. Don't get me wrong, my whole process is built on setting up my clients up for success.
But as I would walk through their website tutorial during our last week of working together and loading them up with PDFs on how to market and use their brand on a day to day basis, I could sense that they were both excited and overwhelmed.
I wanted to find a way to help my clients bridge the gap between the completed brand to launching their new course, or making their first hire, or growing their business like they wanted. They needed help. But perhaps they weren't ready for making a full-time–or even part-time hire. They needed someone else. Someone who understood their brand, who specializes in visual marketing who could help them reach that next level while saving them time and energy as they pressed on toward their goals. They needed a Design Partner.
The Design Partnership is an ongoing design service I created for my clients who were tired of "faking" their design ability, who REALLY just wanted to focus on their craft.
It was finally that service that filled in the gaps where branding fell short, like photo-editing, Instagram layout, Facebook graphics, website tweaks, newsletter design, stationery design, pricing catalog, ebook design (and more) all designed within their specific brand guidelines.
It all started when I reached out to a local artisan I admire and asked how I could help her– branding or otherwise. She told me she already had an established brand but needed help "filling in the gaps" such as with items she would need for art shows like table tents, posters, jewelry cleaning instruction cards and more.
It was genius! And it was the perfect fit for me! Cause I also found that I hated saying goodbye to my branding clients. I wanted to continue to help them channel their brand throughout all their visual marketing (and bonus is if we become friends).
Since then I've been able to take on Design Partners, feel out the process, tweak, and make the Design Partnership even more streamlined and simple.
It all starts with first submitting an inquiry, then filling out an application. The reason this is an important step in the process is that it shows me how established you are in your business and which integral pieces you may still need.
If there are very important pieces you still need, such as a logo or brand style guide, I work with you to create a tailored package to fill in those gaps.
Each person and business situation is different and I offer these "fill in the gap" branding services on a case-by-case basis.
Once we decide it's a great fit, it's ready to start! The process begins with full payment and a signed contract. This ensures that we can get business out of the way to enjoy the creative process together.
Each Design Partnership begins with a Google Hangout or Zoom chat where we can discuss what we'll be working on that month. This is also a great chance for us to continue to get to know one another and I can understand your personality more and incorporate it into your brand.
The Design Partnership is a month by month service and while we connect in the beginning of the month, we have all month to get the projects done.
The process is very streamlined and simple. You are welcomed into the client portal which is the hub for our projects together. In the client portal you will find the signed contract, payment history and project forms to fill out for each project we create. These project forms detail your project and give me a clear understanding of what you want with the design.
As for which design projects each month, that's up for you to decide! The projects work on a credit system which makes the whole back and forth more simple and straightforward. If you need a design project that's not listed in the credit system, that's something we can discuss.
Once I receive the filled out form(s) I get to work and design, adhering to your brand style guide and visual direction. I send a proof over within 3-5 business days depending on job complexity.
Once you receive the designs you are welcome to make up to 2 revisions. I want you to be thrilled with your designs so I'm available to hop on a call if you need clarifications or have questions. I'm dedicated to making sure we're on the same page with design decisions.
Once the revisions are complete the final files are shared with you in a Google Drive folder that we both have access to.
The Design Parternship functions like a designer on your team who has your brand and business in mind. This ultimately gives you peace of mind that your brand is being carried out correctly and reassurance to know that you CAN propel your business forward with the extra time you save.
I work closely with my clients to ensure that the feel, look and tone of each marketing piece matches and represents your business not only well, but seamlessly. Would you like to become a design partner? Get in touch!
Do you need a brand style guide before becoming a Design Partner?
Yes. The Brand Style Guide functions as your brand's guidebook for how to create graphics and make all collateral items cohesive. If you don't have a Brand Style Guide, I can help you put the pieces together with what you have.
How do I choose the projects?
Simple. Decide which visual marketing things are the most important to you and start there. Depending on which service you choose, the Essential or Premium Support, you have the option for multiple projects.
What if I want the Design Partnership for only 1 month?
That's fine! There's no commitment involved so if you want to work together here and there, that works for me! Disclaimer, this is dependent on how many clients I'm currently working with. If I reach capacity, you will be put on the waitlist for the next available slot.
I would love to work together but I'm not ready at this time, what should I do?
I recommend starting the process to make sure your brand is ready to take me on as a partner. Going through the application process ensures that you can identify things you may need before working together or it lets me know you're ready to go! The application takes less than 7 min to fill out and is a quick way to find out how established your brand is or which pieces still need to be complete. Once that is out of the way, the on-boarding process is quite quick.
Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you!