While the two are definitely a balance, there is no better way to get results than combining this process together! What we’ve found over the years is that it’s a much more seamless experience if you can tackle a rebrand and website with not only the same company but within the same project. This keeps the momentum going from start to finish and allows all the pieces to be designed consistently.
Let’s go over some tips to help you achieve this project in one timeline!
1. Budget – This is an essential point for any business but whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned pro, you’ll want to first consider a realistic budget for this project. A typical branding and website experience can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. It’s very dependent on the size of your company, how many years you’ve been in business and the level of service you need. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 5-10% of your gross revenue to a rebrand and website. If you’re grossing $60,000 a year, it would be realistic to spend $3,000-$6,000 on your project. Keep in mind this is just an estimate and will be dependent on many different factors in your business and personal life.
What’s great about a brand and website refresh is that you should see a significant return on that investment. If done properly you can expect an increase in bookings, more ideal clients landing in your inbox and for many business owners, a renewed sense of confidence with how your business looks and feels. Which can often be motivating to start implementing marketing endeavors or client experience tactics which also help increase your profits.
2. Research – Once you’ve established your budget it’s time to find the designer or agency of your dreams! Ask around to other vendors that you trust for referrals, seek out recommendations from private Facebook groups and explore the sites of business owners you admire the aesthetic of. The goal is to not look like every other vendor, but rather find a trusted company that is well respected and has the visual and professional representation that you’d like your business to have. Things to look out for in a designer:
- Have they done work in your industry? The wedding industry is a unique category that needs to be well understood by your design team. While some designers can certainly adapt to varying styles, knowing that they have knowledge in this field will only benefit you in the long run. A good design team will know how to differentiate your business from your competitors and the audience you’re targeting.
- Do they focus on the strategy just as much as the pretty? Branding and website design isn’t all about making things beautiful, they have to work and be effective. There also needs to be a strategic way of thinking incorporated into every element your designer creates for your brand and website. Find a designer or agency that really focuses on the core of your business, your goals, your audience and a sales process. If your website doesn’t sell, you’re not going to see that lovely return on investment. If your brand is generic, it’s not going to be memorable and create an emotional connection to your audience. Customers are fleeting and you need to make an immediate first impression and that’s usually done from direct traffic from social media to your website.
- Do they give you a realistic timeline and have shown results to stick to it? One of the biggest pain points I hear from clients is that the project went over schedule. This is not only costly and time-consuming but makes the process quite draining. Just keep in mind, it takes two to keep the process moving forward 😉 Find a team that sets milestone due dates, gives you a set timeline for responses and is also responsive themselves. A few warning signs are slow email replies, vague timelines and the lack of an organized process.
- You’re probably eager to get started the minute you decide to make the leap. If your chosen designer is booked a few months out, don’t be surprised. It’s best to wait for the right team then jump in with a designer just because they can start right away. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had a potential client book with another designer because they couldn’t wait, then to only reach out a few months later and end up booking with us instead. Either because of timeline delays, lack of strategy or misaligned design styles.
3. Focus – When you’re ready to actually dive into the project of rebranding yourself, you’ll want to set aside some time to analyze your business, where you want to go and who you want to work with. You’re investing a pretty penny in this experience so don’t slack off and rely too heavily on your designer during the initial stage. The designer is going to need as much information about your services, your clients, and your goals in order to execute an effective design for your brand and website. Don’t rush the process and really take the time to be honest and thoughtful about what you want. Design projects are more successful when the owner is clear about what they want and then allow their design team to advise them once they have all the right information to begin. Whatever you do, don’t hand over the reigns of your business to your designer and say “I trust you, I’ll be happy with whatever you create”. Because you won’t be – I promise!
4. Be Present, Organized + Responsive – I’m sure we’ve all had clients who never respond, don’t get you what you need and you’re always chasing them down for answers. So it’s a no-brainer that that is every designer’s worst nightmare during a rebranding project. Be respectful of everyone’s time, respond in a timely manner, deliver what your designer needs to complete the project and always have respect for the creative process. It’s ok if something isn’t aligning with what you had expected. But it’s better to be clear and honest right away, than avoiding the confrontation for weeks and leaving your designer lingering in the background. Once a designer feels you’ve checked out or you aren’t honoring their time, trust can start to slip away and everyone gets a bit disinterested. Make the time and you will get the results!
5. Think Objectively – This one is a bit controversial but thinking objectively about your project and really focusing on the goals you’ve outlined for your business will help you elevate things forward. When a client relies too heavily on personal preferences and doesn’t allow their designer to create solutions that work for their audience, it can be detrimental to the outcome. Often what we personally love isn’t necessarily what our clients would want or be attracted to. Focus your feedback on the WHY of your audience and not “I don’t like…”
6. Be Strategic – Once everything is wrapped up, think about your launch plan, how you want to market the refreshed design to your audience and how you want to build excitement! While the industry is used to rebrands and launches, your clients might not be. Sending out communication to your current clients to let them know about upcoming changes is a nice way for them to feel a part of your new look and to be your cheerleader. Then get in the mindset of the people you want to work with and target your campaign on what will impact them and not the other wedding pros. The goal is to get clients and yes hopefully impress the pants off your competitors too!
Looking to update or relaunch your website? See more from Ashley on her website!