During a recent interview, I was asked:
What's the biggest challenge your clients typically face when they come to you for a design project?
How do you help them overcome this?
There are many times when people will ask me for the price of a finished product.
"How much does a website cost?"
"How much would it cost for you to design a logo for me?"
"I need a brochure, how much will it cost?"
In business, such as marketing communications, it is critical for clients (especially the green variety), to understand that there is a step-by-step recipe required for the successful completion of any marketing or design project.
If you ask me for a logo, I am not able to go to the back of the store, select one off the shelf and place it on the counter in front of you.
When I design a logo, there is a, method and it goes something like this:
- Based on the information received from the client, I usually generate anywhere from 3 to 9 different logo concepts.
- Either face-to-face or virtually, the concepts are reviewed and discussed while narrowing the field and eventually landing one design concept.
- The selected direction is revised based on client feedback and soon re-presented to for further discussion.
- This process usually continues for at least two or more steps before the delivery of the final solution.
By breaking down the project into critical milestones, clients will gain an understanding of the project as it relates to:
- The time required
- A definition of their role
- What to expect – before the initiation of each step
- The overall timeframe and schedule
- The associated project costs
By describing the project in step-by-step detail, there are also built-in ways to tweak the project proposal should tighter deadlines or more stringent budgets are suddenly encountered. In other words, in the initial logo development phase, instead of delivering six different design directions, I will promise only three. If time is short, I place a limitation on the number of refinement rounds, etc.
During my 30 years of marketing communications experience, I quickly learned that if you can provide a clear picture of your process, the better the project will flow and fewer problems will arise. –Doug.