I’ve seen it a million times. A designer makes a post in a local Facebook group complaining about how their client keeps suggesting a million and one revisions. It just doesn’t seem to end. They did the branding questionnaire, narrowed down colors and fonts. Yet, they don’t understand the problem. However, I scroll down a bit, and there it is… a basic black and white logo. Just there. No wonder!
Over the past year, I’ve implemented a few strategies in my design process that has completely cut down revisions. One of my favorites are mockups.
Why It Works
As a designer, we train our eyes to see the beauty in everything. Unfortunately, our clients are not designers. They don’t see what we see, and it’s our job to bring that vision to life. A mock up is an image of what the brand would look life if it was out in the real world. It gives the client a view of their logo on a pen, or on a subscription box. You can say it gives life to the concept.
My Client Presentation Process
Initially, when I wrap up a project, I invite my clients to a quick 20-30 minute video call. It’s there that I do my client presentation, usually in Keynote form. The first few slides I remind them of the problem they had before – the brief. The next few focus on their newfound ideal client. This is important – brands are built with their clients in mind. It’s what leads the direction, aesthetics, etc. By reviewing the ideal client, font choices and colors will begin to make sense.
After I present the foundation, I then show slides of the brand ‘out in the wild’. It’s a trade ‘secret’ many big-budget agencies use. Mockups help bring a client’s brand to life. It’s almost like handing them a pair of perfectly fitted glasses. I create mockups showing my clients what they would look like on glass window, shopping bag, tag, cups, etc. Anything that will help ‘sell’ the visual direction.
Almost immediately I get, “wow’s” and “ahh’s”. I will never forget the day a client interrupted me, and said, “I just want you to know you hit the nail on the head. It’s perfect. No revisions.”
That’s what I love to here!
What You Can Do Now
A lot of designers don’t do the heavy lifting towards the end. Don’t splat a black and white logo on a page. Or even a few logo options, and then tell the client, “Here, pick one.” I only show one branding concept, and I virtually get zero revisions. They’re sold by the first proof. Give the logo some life. Show the brand in color. Place it on a label. How would the submarks look on a business card? These things matter.
So, for your next client presentation, email them. Tell them you want to get on a quick call. Actually create a quick Keynote/Powerpoint presentation. And for the love of God, create mock-ups. Bring the brand to life. Show them why they have to choose this direction.
What If They Still Have Revisions?
Every once in a while, we get that one client that may have some questions. That’s ok. There’s one magic phrase that generally get’s them back on track,
“What would your ideal client say about this?”
Again, it’s all about the ideal client (if you need help defining yours, use this free worksheet I made).
Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of going with what we want. Often times, our ideal client isn’t going to love everything we prefer. This question steers the ship back on route.
If you did your brand research as a designer, and crafted a unique brand strategy that the client’s ideal customer will love, all you need is a little passive selling with mockups. Now if some of their questions are valid, then and only then should you think of things to tweak. But tweak with the ideal client in mind.
Try this method, and let me know what you think.
Some of My Favorite Resources
I invest in quality mockups because it’s such a crucial part of my business. Here are some of my favorite places to get mockups for clients:
- Moyo Studio: Beautifully photographed, and crafted. They are the epitome of quality. I definitely recommend their shop.
- Creative Market: A quick mock-up search will bring tons of options. I’ve invested in a few. Just remember to keep your ideal client in mind.
- Mockup World (FREE): There are a few gems on here! Feel free to have a look.
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