Let's begin with the process from our first contact to final deliverables. Friend! I understand it's a lot of information, but not having to relay it during our short time together will allow us to be more mindful and intentional of our limited time together.
Note: It may seem like a long time with the entire process spelled out before you, but it flies.
The initial contact — You've either reached me via my contact form or by email informing me that you have a project coming up, and you'd like to work with me. At this point, I've (shamelessly) performed a happy dance to celebrate the occasion. I review the information you've sent along, and you can usually expect a follow-up email from me with 24 hours. If I haven't replied by that time, the message likely didn't land in my inbox. Please resend.
In my response, you can expect that I will request more information about your project and company. Also, I will suggest that you thoroughly read through this information, so you're expectations are well-founded.
The second contact — Now that you've read through the entirety of this page, you're going to do one of two things—1) chosen not to move forward at this time due to sticker shock or 2) you've prepared a thorough briefing on your company and project. If one, I understand, and there are no hard feelings. I'd love to remain in contact if you have any questions or want recommendations for other designers. If two, happy dance number two has commenced, and I cannot wait to move forward with your project.
I'll respond with a couple of prework instructions I'd like you to complete for me—1) a basic DISC assessment (link here) and 2) answer some follow-up questions I may have. The DISC assessment will help me better understand who you are and how you interact with others, so please answer honestly. You can check out my answers here. (link here)
The introductory meeting — You and I will schedule a brief 30-minute call to introduce ourselves and discuss things in more depth. This call is complimentary.
The invoice and contract — Within 24-hours of our call, I'll send you an initial invoice and contract for you to review and approve. The agreement will include a tentative timeline, but scheduling your project's start date will not happen until your initial downpayment of 1/2 of the projected total is paid. After you've paid, we will update the schedule and get things rolling when the day comes!
Note: Most projects take roughly 2-3 weeks from this point to completion. Projects which run longer than 30 days will be marked up if the extension is due to a client's failure to respond or produce content they've promised on time. If you notify me in advance, I am beyond willing to work with you to extend your deadline. Either way, if the project delays past the 30-day allowance, you will be expected to pay the balance for all work completed up to this point. You know, just in case.
The project begins — During this time, I start developing my game plan for your project. This part is somewhat different for each project. Generally, I open by researching and taking notes on your company, your industry, and (sometimes) your competitors. I also look for visual and textual inspiration. You can feel free to send over things you like. It helps me develop a sense of what you want as well as different options you may not have considered.
After processing my thoughts around what I've gathered, I usually sketch design and layout options unless I feel a conviction to pursue a particular vision off the bat. Either way, this process ends usually ends a digital rough draft for you to consider.
The initial feedback — This is one of the most challenging parts of this process for me. Either you'll love the direction I've taken, feel indifferent to it, or hate it altogether. If it is love at first sight, great! I will stay the course and make your revisions quickly! If you're not fully feeling my initial solution, rest assured that it is okay. It's normal. It simply means I will move forward with a more pointed idea of what you're wanting. It will get us closer to the mark the second time around.
The second draft — After I've refined the previous direction or designed a (hopefully) better solution, I will send you the second draft of the project. Generally, at this point, the project is either finished or one thorough round of feedback away from completion. If you're still unhappy with the solution (which is seldom my experience), we will work together to decide how to proceed. But, as previously stated, this rarely happens.
The final invoice or the third draft — Depending on where we are in the process, you've approved your final draft of the project, or we're working on draft three. If we're approved, the remaining project total is due. Once the final payment is received, I will send your deliverables in the formats outlined in our contract. Then, it's time to celebrate! 🎉
However, if we're heading into another draft, just remember we're one step closer to refining your pieces. Do not become discouraged. I am on your side, and together we are more than capable of defining this dream of yours.
The handoff — I send over all of your deliverables so that you can manage their use from here on out! It's just as emotional as sending your kid off to college, but I promise I'll try not to cry.
The next steps — So, we did it! We've finally made it through our journey together and have learned a lot from one another. But just because this phase of the process has ended doesn't mean it's the end. Please, let's keep in touch! I want to know all about how your business is flourishing, and I would love to meet up to talk about the impact our work together made for you and your business.
I hope it makes waves.