7 Questions to ask Clients before a Design Project

7 Questions to ask Clients before a Design Project

Nobody likes asking difficult questions, more so when it comes to hiring others to perform a specialized skill or service for us. We typically hope to just find the best person, within our budget, and have them take care of everything. However, questioning potential clients in the design industry is vitally important to understanding the clients needs, and goals. However, there’s much more to it than that. When I first started Freelancing… I began freelancing full time almost seven years ago. When a project inquiry came through to my inbox, I’d immediately hit my reply button and ask the sender a few quick questions like “what’s your design budget?” and “do you have any existing brand materials I can see?”. Shortly after figuring out what this company or person did (or so I thought) I’d send them an estimate for their project and want to get started as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the majority of these in queries never turned into projects, and for about two years I had to actively seek new clients as a means to bring in new projects. I was completely overlooking the opportunity to fully understand the clients needs, goals and business. Through trial and error of asking over fifty diffident questions, I’d come up with around ten really important questions that were landing me more projects, and helping me understand my clients and their goals much more effectively so that I could decide which projects were worth perusing. Here’s what I think are the best questions to ask a client before you begin a design project. 1. What will a successful completion of...
Designing Better Business Cards

Designing Better Business Cards

There’s a lot to be said for designing better business cards. In this post I want to give you some tips and ideas that will help you evaluate your current business cards, and… Come up with “not the norm” designs that stand out for the right reasons. Reconsider decisions you currently make in your design process. Different print and finishing options Define your business cards purpose, and effectively achieve that purpose. Look at Other Peoples Business Cards Evaluating other peoples business cards is something I always do out of habit. I tend not to read into the general design so much as I used to, but most people do, and they do it subconsciously. Without realizing, if someone hands you a busy and cluttered business card, it feels overwhelming. Most of the time there’s little to no place for the eyes to settle and read information because there’s simply just too much information, or too many images on that card. The same can be said for one color cards. I’m sure you’ve picked up, or been handed a card like this before. These type of cards can be effective, and we’ll touch on that later in this post. However, for the most part, these types of cards are usually budget business cards, and on occasion are just a poor design choice of the card owner. If you have any business cards like this in your collection, take a look at them and study the layout and card stock they’re printed on. What makes that card stand out and why? Diversify Your Business Card Design Perhaps in your accumulation of...
The Importance of Self Branding

The Importance of Self Branding

You may have heard or read about self branding before, but what exactly is it and what’s so important about it? Branding as a whole is your entire identity as a business, the personality that portrays what you do and how you do it, and should exude the quality or emotion you want to be remembered for. If you’re a business owner or graphic designer, you should know this. Unfortunately many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners either don’t know how important self branding is, or don’t do anything about it because they don’t know how to or where to start. This is a serious issue, especially for startups and small businesses. The Most Common Problem With Branding Let’s start from the roots here. You’ve got a logo, business cards, and other stationary that’s brand consistent, it’s well designed and you’re really happy with them. Your website has been freshly redesigned to be mobile responsive, and everyone you’ve shown it to compliments it, but you’re just not having as much success at pulling in new clients or prospects as you first thought you would, or clients and prospects seem to ask a lot of questions that may have obvious answers to you as a business owner. Ask yourself this; “Does my branding reflect what I/we do as a whole and who I/we are?.” Think long and hard about this and be brutally honest with yourself. If the answer is no, then your branding is likely inconsistent and a poor reflection of what your business model is, what you do, and how you do it. This is one of the most...