Tag: clients

13
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 4: Communications)

Clients How To Guide

Lack of communication is a big no-no. Having clear communication channels with your client’s ensures that both parties are heading in the right direction.

Here are some top tips to keeping in contact…

Emails

  • Make it very clear what your intentions are in the email; clarity is key to communication.
  • Always summarise and reiterate what a client is looking for.
  • Triple check spelling; especially when it comes to names/subject.
  • Communicate in a professional manner, but do not shy away from expressing your excitement on projects and work.

Phonecalls

  • A lot of clients are comfortable speaking over the phone, it adds a more human element and the clients are more likely to express their true opinions in this form of communication.
  • Phone calls are for less formal/time constrained situations — emails give you important information that is written in text that we can refer back to.
  • If the client has made a lot of points, it can be very helpful to send them a summarised email of the conversation via email after the conversation
    for clarification.

So let’s be sensible when sending emails or answering the phone; make it so that your granny could understand you. You never know, she might be your next client…

Next week we will be looking going the extra mile, adding that cherry on top design sundae.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

Reiss is a multi-purpose designer with a broad range of skill-sets.
He loves being a part of any creative activity — whether it’s mapping out a user experience, getting his hands dirty with some copy or even re-building bits of his motorbike.
A born people-person, Reiss is never happier when showcasing ideas from his vividly wild imagination and working with clients to see them through to completion. Once an architect, he has a keen eye for conceptual ideas and never tires of learning new things.
06
Oct

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 3: Meetings)

Clients How To Guide

What’s more important than the precious moments you get to spend with your client, one-on-one, excitedly discussing the direction of the project? You guessed it — nothing (apart from the boss’s birthday).

Fast-paced and full of ideas; your meetings should aim to clarify with clients and gather crucial information.

Here are some top tips for hosting a top meeting…

  • Timing is Key  No one likes to be late to a meeting, let alone turn up on a wrong day! Be very clear with your clients when deciding on a meeting time/place, no more awkward moments of confusion. If you can scope out what your client is looking to achieve in the meeting as well — even better!
  • Ideas, Not Problems — Extra brownie points for those who can sketch on the spot. Transferring the client’s words to paper in a visual form is a fantastic way to get the client excited about the project and gain their trust.
  • Small Ideas Sheet = Big Success — By creating a small ideas sheet and taking it to potential clients it shows that you are prepared and know what you are talking about. Having already thought out the client’s ideas and solving problems beforehand lets the client know that we’re serious about their business and are already invested in what they do. These sheets should be loose, giving the presenter a point of reference, maybe some initial sketches; essentially a conversation starter.

In conclusion; meetings should be your best friend! A brilliant time to get some juicy information from your clients, maybe even a bit of gossip if you’re lucky. Next week we’ll have a look at communications; the connection with your clients that keep you on the right path.

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

Reiss is a multi-purpose designer with a broad range of skill-sets.
He loves being a part of any creative activity — whether it’s mapping out a user experience, getting his hands dirty with some copy or even re-building bits of his motorbike.
A born people-person, Reiss is never happier when showcasing ideas from his vividly wild imagination and working with clients to see them through to completion. Once an architect, he has a keen eye for conceptual ideas and never tires of learning new things.
29
Sep

Clients: A How-To Guide (Part 2: Presentations)

Clients How To Guide

 

We shall start our clients journey with presentations — something that can turn even the most confident designer into a shrivelling, sweaty mess.

But do not fret, there are ways to bypass the instinctive flight option.

Here are some top tips to holding a killer presentation…

  • Practise Consistency — No two presentations are the same, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them consistent.
  • Preparation Is Key — We use different layouts for different stages of presentations. Winning a pitch is, of course, important to us, so being prepared is a key part of that. Concept presentations should be slightly more refined, clearly outlining our thought process behind each concept in a concise manner. If the wording is too long, the concept isn’t strong enough to be explained in a couple of sentences. These presentations include initial sketches, maybe some illustrator mock ups and strong reference material.
  • Know Your Audience — If you are designing for someone with particular taste, you should tailor the entire process to their mindset, including presentations. Some clients are decision makers and like to have the important stuff bullet pointed. Others like to get into the detail; design accordingly.
  • Final Presentations — These should be much more honed in on a specific idea, showing slight variations on the chosen concept. Again, make these changes as clear as possible so that the client’s job of choosing one is made simpler. We want the entire process to be as easy as possible for the client, in turn making it easier for the team.

Next week we will be having a look at meetings (actually talking to someone face-to-face, imagine that?!).

Reiss, Designer & Director of Client Happiness.

staff_170502_0542

Reiss is a multi-purpose designer with a broad range of skill-sets.
He loves being a part of any creative activity — whether it’s mapping out a user experience, getting his hands dirty with some copy or even re-building bits of his motorbike.
A born people-person, Reiss is never happier when showcasing ideas from his vividly wild imagination and working with clients to see them through to completion. Once an architect, he has a keen eye for conceptual ideas and never tires of learning new things.
18
Sep

Everything You Need – for Writing a Creative Brief

When writing creative briefs, every hour spent in planning can save days throughout the project – time that can be used to give a more competitive quote or a more valuable service. At the loft, we want to help remove some of the guesswork for those of you writing creative briefs so we’ve compiled a wee 10-point checklist to help you out. This is everything you need – for writing a creative brief.

1. What would you like to achieve with the project?
A big one to kick things off. What are you trying to achieve with your new creative project? Do you know exactly what you would like to do or have some goals in mind?

Goals may include.

– We would like to increase the company sales or the sales of a various product or service.
– We want the people in our company to buy more into our brand values.
– We are looking to change the perceptions of our brand online.
– Any of the above or something else?

Understanding what you want to achieve lets us consider all the different ways to help you get there.

2. Company info?
Some info on your company helps to give us an idea of who you are and what you stand for.

Any of the following is helpful.

– What does the company do?
– What would be its competitive advantage in the marketplace?
– Does the company have a vision, set of values or a mission statement?
– Anything else you can possibly tell us about?

3. Audience?
We know who you are, now who would you like to speak too? The better we can understand the target audience the more we can create a targeted message to suit.

Tell us about the audience of the project, are they.

– Customers/Suppliers/Staff/ Other Stakeholders?
– Young/Old?
– Male/Female?
– Fun/Serious?
– Take their time/Don’t have time to waste?
– Anything else we may have not mentioned?

4. Message?
What would be the message you would like to communicate for the project?

The following are just a few suggestions.

– A general marketing message for the company or the company USP?
– The promotion of a specific product or service offering?
– A series of consumer benefits or features for that product?
– The communication of your core values ?

Understanding of the message, the messenger and the audience for a creative project are the fundamentals to the success of a creative project.

4. Who’s in the creative team?
Knowing each of the different people that we shall be working with and who to go too for different reasons is incredibly helpful.

For example, who is…

– Responsible for the content?
– Going to work through the fine details of the latter parts of the project?
– The person responsible for final decisions?

Are there any other third parties we need to know about? Print partners? IT people? Copywriters? Photographers?

5. Tangibles
Every project has unknown unknowns, known unknowns and stuff we definitely know (good luck getting your head around that.) Tell us about the stuff you Definitely Know – the tangibles.

For example…

– The size or orientation of a brochure.
– The number of pages on that brochure or website.
– Things that go on each page (images, text, graphics, social media bookmarks, etc.)
– Appropriate call-to-actions.
– Other features such as contact forms, social media links, etc.

Beginning with what you already know is a good place to start, we can help fill in the blanks.

6. Good examples?
We love to see what you have in mind for your project whether it is scrap-book cut-outs of work you like, links to relevant websites or some competitor benchmarking – it is really useful to see where your head is at with a creative project and we can build on that.

7. Brand Guidelines?
With brand guidelines, if you have them, we want them.

8. Content, Content, Content!
What is the one thing that stalls 90% of creative projects? Yep, you’ve guessed it, it’s the availability of written and image content. Written copy tends to be a particular stumbling block for brochures and websites. If you are struggling with copy — speak to us and we will be able to help you by either recommending a copywriter, helping you to write it ourselves or working with you in another way to source copy.

9. Key Deadlines?
An obvious but important one. Every project has a fixed deadline but knowing the times for other milestones, such as board presentations, internal reviews or other events can be helpful too. It means we can provide bits of copy or other relevant materials for a project before the actual final deadline.

10. Budget?
Let us know where you feel comfortable? Even having a ballpark allows us to properly spec your project. We can determine how ambitious we can be creatively and the more time we can spend on your project instead of speccing your project, is time that we can re-invest into the relationship.

We also have a separate guide in helping clients maximise their creative budgets, check it out here >>>

And that’s us. As we said above, we don’t need everything on the list above but the more you can let us know – the more able we are to deliver a spec, proposal and eventually a project that surpasses expectations. If you are looking for a hand, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an ideas-driven Creative Entrepreneur. He is on a mission to unleash the power of creativity to create a better world – for people, business and society. He is the founder of the loft, a design and branding house which operates worldwide helping companies bring their brands to life in the most imaginative and effective ways possible. A real man on a mission. Benedetto likes to make things happen and happen fast and in a big way. He wants things done yesterday and is relentlessly driven in his quest to make tomorrow better than today for his company, the people he serves and the wider community.