How to Sell Graphic Design Services

By Alzay Calhoun

One of the major challenges in selling creative design services is that so much of the process is subjective. The end result is subjective and the process to get there can be very subjective. How do you package high level design services when the client can just simply say, “I don’t like it.” Let’s talk about that in today’s video.

Hey, it’s Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant. In this video I’m talking about how to package a premium, creative design services in a way that respects you and the client. Let’s go to the board and look at a few examples.

Possibility: Create a Client’s Logo

A common, classic design project is creating a logo, or a mark, for a company to use in a variety of different formats. Let’s start with that one. Again, you know that you’re designing a process that takes the client where they want to be. One of the first things that you can do to help your client feel better and to value the experience is by being clear that it is, in fact, an experience. These milestones are already set in place that will take them where they want to go.

Now, your client has invested in that process, right? You know that there’s a process to get them to a finished logo that they actually want. By the way, you’ve got to make sure that you know how to measure this end result. As you set up this process, what they get to at the end must be measurable, don’t allow them to say, “I like it, I don’t like it.” We’ve got to be clear on it. We’ve followed our steps, this is where we want to be and this logo accurately represents us.

How do you do that? We’re talking about it now. Let’s go backwards, having a logo all by itself is not really good enough, right? The logo has to be located somewhere. If you just sent them an email with a logo attached to it, then what do they do? You’ve got to put it somewhere probably on their website, for one. That makes sense somewhere in the service that you actually installed a logo somewhere.

Going back a step, you’re going to have to draft. Draft a few mock ups, get some feedback, you have to create some examples that they can say yes to. Going back, you’ve got to get down to a core concept. They want a logo that reflects who they are and what they represent. Do you have a process that will nail your client down to a couple of core ideas? Are we talking about shapes, are we talking about animals, are we talking about more eclectic or eccentric ideas?

As you know, any of those could be appropriate but they can’t be thinking about bears and squares at the same time. You’ve got to kind of put them in one direction or another. That’s your job and your process has to get them there. If your process helps them identify some core concepts, then it’s easier to move them into drafts. You know what to draft because you know what the core concepts are.

Once you’re clear here it’s easy to put the new logo where it’s supposed to be because the core concept told you where they’re trying to represent themselves. If you’re clearer on the process, if you’re clearer on the process it’s easier to get to a winning logo that they’re happy about.

Possibility: Delivering a Rebrand

Let’s do the same conversation, broader scope, let’s say that you’re not just doing a single logo. Let’s say that you’re doing an entire rebrand. You’re doing an entire suite of images, let’s just assume that it’s across their entire social media spectrum so Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube those are the big ones. Again, we’ve got to make sure that we can quantify, that we have an objective measurement at the end, so everyone can agree that we had a successful experience.

If you don’t have that number, your client can just go, “Uh, we didn’t like it,” and then it’s a flat line for everyone. We know there’s a suite of things that we’re going to create. What’s important about that is when you think about installing it, because clearly if you sent them an email with a bunch of links or a bunch of images for all these different social media properties, good luck with that.

You know you’ve got to put it in those different places for the client but now when you think about drafting these things that will eventually be installed, we’re not just thinking about a logo. We’re thinking about how that logo would look in the different platforms. How to represent in YouTube, and in Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter. How about the header image? How about the smaller icon? Is there a gravitar that we’re also creating? Etc., etc., etc.

When you draft these things up they aren’t just making a point of view or a yes or a no on one image, they’re making a point of view on how all of those images work together to communicate what they want to communicate. It makes this part of the process even more important. If you can’t nail your client down here, on the core concepts and the core places where they want to put these new marks, then the rest of this becomes complex and not as much fun.

This is the big idea here, not only are you spelling out the process so that it reads well to your client, so your client can understand, “I see, so we do this first, that second, that third, then we get there?” Then you can say, “Yes,” not only does that happen but also when you implement this your client feels your methodology here. They’ll go, “Wow, we haven’t gotten that clear on our core concept in forever,” that’s how you want them to feel. Then, they want to say, “Wow, you were able to create all those different marks from our conversation? That’s genius.” Then you can say, “You can install all those things immediately? Thank you so much.”

Now, you’ve gotten to that objective place at the end where you can say, “Our suite is installed in a way that represents and reflects our company at the highest level.” Thinking through your services in this way allows you to position yourself as the premium service provider like you actually desire.

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