3 tips to set every design project up for success

April 4, 2019

Just last week I was chatting with a fellow brand designer inside the Heartfelt Brand Society—my signature six-month group coaching program—who was struggling with refining her process with onboarding her clients. As a result, she was struggling to set every design project up for success.

This talented designer was running into endless rounds of questions from her clients, missed timelines, and even consistent rounds of revisions as she and her clients would go back and forth trying to figure out the best way to finalize the concept in order to move forward.

And although those struggles are common in the design industry, I don’t believe that kind of back and forth and anxiety-inducing client relationships has to be the norm.

If I’m being honest, I have discovered some easy to follow and actionable ways you can create a system that sets every design project up for success from the get-go.

So today, that’s what I want to share with you friend. As a fellow brand designer and strategist, I want to see you not only booking your dream clients and doing your best work, but doing your best work in a way that is profitable, sustainable, and purposeful.

3 tips to set every design project up for success with a strong proven onboarding process. | b is for bonnie design #clientexperience #brandstrategy

3 tips to set every design project up for success

I wholeheartedly believe a huge part of booking your dream clients comes from creating systems that you can replicate and use from client project to client project.

In order to gather all the needed information, set expectations, and create an approach that will serve you and your clients well for months and even years to come—it all begins with three easy, simple steps that can propel your client process forward.


The first tip to help set your design project up for success is to use your website as a primary educational experience.

Your website is a powerful opportunity for people to learn more about you, your work and what to expect when they choose to work with you.

But it’s also an amazing opportunity for you to educate them about how your process is different, how you can serve them best, give a quick overview of what it looks like from start to finish to work with you, how they can move forward, and so much more.

I’m a big believer that through your services or blog page, there are so many powerful touch points on your website that can proactively educate your clients of all the details they need to know in order to make an informed decision to work with you.

For example, if you’re chatting with potential clients and they feel a bit of sticker shock when you share your rates with them—a simple inclusion of an investment line somewhere on your service page that outlines a starting price point and an average level of investment your clients typically pay—will help any potential client immediately understand whether or not they can afford you, how much they should be budgeting for you and what they can expect when they receive a custom proposal from you.

If you’re finding that you’re getting inquiries from people who simply do not understand the importance of strategic branding, well then that’s a powerful opportunity to create a blog post or add a section to your website that outlines the strategic benefits of a professionally designed brand.

Your website is a powerful way to not only drive inquiries, but to drive qualified inquiries.

So make life easier for yourself in the long run by using your website to its full advantage.


Friend if you’re a professional designer and you’re not hopping on design calls with potential clients, I believe you’re missing out big time.

Now, as an introvert I resisted the sales call for years and preferred to do everything via email.

But I found that if I was going to increase my rates and uplevel my process, I needed to invite my clients into an elevated high-end experience where they would feel emotionally connected to me. And in order to do that, I had to create touch points to inspire a true relationship. Creating that kind of relationship and experience is hard to do through email.

So I introduced phone and video calls as a part of my process and I saw transformational results in the kinds of inquiries I was getting, the kinds of sales calls I was hopping on, and my booking rates went through the roof.

Now, this is a conversation for another day, but if you’re hopping on sales calls with potential clients, this is an opportunity for you to proactively educate them on your process.

I utilize my sales calls as an opportunity to proactively educate my potential clients not only on my signature brand strategy process, but also to educate them on my availability, the level of investment they can expect in a more detailed way, and the average turn-time based on the overall project scope they shared with me.

This is a great time for me to also outline how I’m different then other designers by highlighting my signature strategy process so my potential clients understand when they choose to work with me they aren’t just getting a set of beautiful visuals, but also tailor made strategy that’s designed to empower them to hit their goals.


The third and final tip to set your design project up for success is to onboard our clients with intention.

Although so much energy goes into generating and guiding leads through your sales call process, our work is not done after someone hits accept on a proposal and pays that retainer. We have to spring into action as we guide that brand new client through an intentional onboarding process that answers any questions they might have before they even arise.

Help prepare them for the work you will do together and outline what you expect of them so you can serve them best.

Client onboarding is an area where I see a lot of designers struggling to really experience the full benefit of this process simply because it can feel overwhelming.

But I am living proof that onboarding your clients through a clear and proven process does not have to be overwhelming and certainly does not have to feel like a process of trial and error.


Sweet friend, if you’re ready to eliminate client confusion and instead move forward with a clear proven client onboarding process that will save you time and allow you to do your best work, then join me on April 15 for a fun, free five-day challenge: 5 days to more dream projects—a free challenge for brand designers!

In this free 5-day challenge you’ll walk away with:

  • Resources you need to spend less time in your inbox and more time doing the work you love.
  • Tools to set projects up for success from the start.
  • A streamlined client process that enables you to serve your clients better.
  • A client onboarding workflow you can leverage for more dream projects.
  • And all the guidance you need to eliminate confusion from your clients on your process, diminish stress and nip potential problems right in the bud.

Kicking off on April 15, we will dive into five days of action-packed content delivered straight to your inbox and within our private Facebook group that will give you all the resources you need in order to leverage your client onboarding for stress-free, dreamy projects.

Within our private Facebook community, I’ll be going Live on a daily basis sharing my best tips and guidance to help make this a reality. For five days, you’ll receive free educational content and actionable guides designed to propel your business forward.

Not to mention, as part of our private Facebook group, you can expect to find like-minded designers who are right there with you and cheering you on to success every step of the way.

Together, we will leverage a proven client onboarding process for more dreamy projects so you can get back to doing what you love most.

Sound like just what you are looking for?

Join me inside this totally free 5-day challenge that kicks off on April 15!

Save your seat by entering your email address below:

5 Days to More Dream Projects: a free challenge for brand designers

Let's wave goodbye to the overwork and overwhelm that comes from navigating projects without the right tools, processes, or guidelines in place. Instead, let's leverage a proven client on-boarding process so you can do more of what you love through a stress-free, streamlined approach!

Join me starting on April 15th for a fun, totally free 5-day challenge designed to help you set every design project up for success from the start. I'll share all the tools, resources, and guidance you need to streamline your client process so you can serve your clients better, work smarter, and enjoy those stress-free projects you’ve currently dreaming about!

Ready to dive in? Snag your seat below!


The Brand Strategy School

I also would love to invite you to join the waitlist for the Brand Strategy School. This content teaches you my one-of-a-kind brand development process for you to immediately implement with your own clients, and how to position yourself as the branding expert that you are.

If you’re ready to set every design project up for success, but are feeling the weight of trying to stand out in a crowded industry. Or you consistently find yourself wrestling to connect with your ideal clients time and time again then this is for you.

By adding your name below, you’ll be the first to know all about this 5-week course and be well on your way to crafting a strategic, heartfelt brand process that will wow your ideal clients time and time again.

Brand Strategy School

Snag my signature brand strategy process and guide your clients through an approach to delivers intentional results time after time! Join the waitlist below to be the first to know when doors re-open.


3 tips to set every design project up for success with a strong proven onboarding process. | b is for bonnie design #clientexperience #brandstrategy

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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