How To Strategically Offboard Your Clients

August 16, 2018

This week I’ve been guiding dozens of talented designers through a free challenge all about five days to more dream projects. We’ve been learning how to leverage a proven onboarding process that will set our clients and ourselves up for success. But the key here when creating an intentional process as a designer is that it shouldn’t just stop when it comes to onboarding. It is equally important to create a strategic offboarding process!

If you’ve been around here for a while, then you probably know how important I believe it is to have an intentional design process. But I don’t think we talk enough about how to set a strategic offboarding process and what that can do for your business.

When it comes to the end of your project and you’ve delivered the final files to your client, you should be so proud of all you’ve accomplished together! You and your client have done incredible work together. But here is the thing, sweet friend–now is not the time for a virtual high five and a quick thanks for their investment.

Now is the most important time to think about ways you can leverage your final few touch points with your sweet clients. How can you keep the door open for ways to work together in the future?

How To Strategically Offboard Your Clients | A strong onboarding process is so important to have as a brand designer, but it’s equally important to strategically offboard each client as well! I can promise this proven process will impact your bottom line in a profitable way. Here’s how! | b is for bonnie design

How To Strategically Offboard Your Clients

Offboarding your clients can be such an incredible opportunity to not only foster the relationship you’ve built with them, but it also can be a very practical way to impact your bottom line through some continuing services.

The first way to strategically offboard your branding clients should begin with an exit survey.

I’m a big believer that one of the worst things you can do with any client project is to simply deliver the final assets and leave it at that.

There is such a huge opportunity at this point of the project to get feedback from your clients. An exit survey will help you learn more about how they engaged with your overall design process, or what they loved about working with you. And, most importantly, an exit survey can show you where you should invest your time and energy in serving your clients better.

An easy way to include an exit survey into your design process is when you deliver those final files and assets, include a link to a quick online survey.

This is also a great way to get a consistent stream of testimonials so you can be sharing more of what it’s really like from the client’s perspective to work with you.

So first it’s important to open yourself up for that kind of positive, constructive feedback. And then include an exit survey with your deliverables.

Drive Sales To A Complementary Service

The next step to strategically offboarding your sweet clients is to drive sales to a complementary service.

Whether you just completed a full rebrand or website design for your client, I’m willing to bet there are some opportunities to offer a continuing service in some way.

For example, if you designed a custom website for your client you could have an opportunity to upsell them on a website maintenance package. Maybe that looks like a monthly service where you set a number of hours to go in and tweak things on the client’s website. Or maybe it’s an arrangement where you hop in on a quarterly basis to bring some new life to their static pages.

This takes the burden of website maintenance off your client’s shoulders and allows them to free up more time and energy to serve their clients well.

While on your end, it gives you the opportunity to have a consistent monthly or quarterly payment coming in that you can rely on in that way.

Another example would be if you did a full rebrand and this client could use some help with continuing design services. You could invite them to sign up for a monthly design retainer where you offer them a set number of design hours that can be used for any design project such as print collateral to creating welcome guides to customizing graphics for social media usage.

This service will take a load off your client’s plate and still enable them to put forward a cohesive, professional and polished visual presence throughout the rebrand you just designed for them.

The Benefits Of A Continuing Service

The great thing about these kinds of services is that they usually don’t take that much of your time. If you are only offering a set number of hours, then you can intentionally plan your calendar around those commitments. You should factor in the number of retainer clients you can take on top of your custom 1:1 work.

Another upsell you can offer is mentoring.

Maybe you just walked your client through a strategic branding process, but they still have a lot to learn on how they can implement brand strategy into their messaging and social media presence.

This can be the perfect opportunity to invite them into a few months of 1:1 mentoring at a set price so you can still continue that relationship.

The key here is to find ways you can evolve your services to meet your clients right where they are.

Did you know it costs more money and takes more energy to attract new clients than it does to retain the amazing clients you already have?

Think about that for a second. How can you use that knowledge to evolve your skills to continue to serve the clients you know you already work so well with?

I think that rather than simply tying a nice bow around a design project and calling it a day, there are some great opportunities for you to instead strategically direct your clients to a continuing service you offer. This allows you to serve this client in a different way, and it also can very intentionally impact your bottom line in a profitable way.

Become An Expert In Your Industry

As an established designer, you probably feel confident in some or maybe all parts of your strategy process. But I want to challenge you to really think about what offboarding your client into a continuing service could look like for you and your business. What is something you can become or already are an expert in?

This is something I would love to help you with!

In a few short days, doors are opening for my signature program the Brand Strategy School that guides just 15 fellow designers through my proven strategy process that delivers results, positions you as an expert, and uplevels your offerings instantly.

During this 5-week course, you’ll be able to snag the exact tools and assets I’ve used to uplevel my own services and take my business from blending in and barely making it to thriving!

Through actionable trainings and tons of swipe files, I’m making it easy-as-pie for you to start guiding your dream clients through my signature brand development process from start to finish and beyond.

“The Brand Strategy School was the exact course I needed to finally take my services up a level! I feel so much more confident in working with my clients to develop their brand strategy, not just for the design work I’m doing, but to help them keep moving forward after the project is over. That confidence I feel now makes this course well worth the investment!” – Kory Woodard

If you are ready to nix the trial and error and instead immediately implement a proven strategy process that delivers results, then join the waitlist below to be the first to know when doors open to my signature Brand Strategy School course!

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.


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My name is Bonnie – I’m a brand designer, strategist, and writer which all adds up to one eclectic conglomeration of qualities that enables me to serve you well! Past clients have dubbed me "the Joanna Gaines of brand design," and I've had more than a few call me a dream maker, a game changer, and a design wizard (my Harry Potter-loving heart didn't hate that one, let me tell you!). At the end of the day, I'm a big-hearted creative who will get teary-eyed as you share the heart behind your business; who will lose sleep over the perfect font pairings and color selections to bring your brand to life visually; and who will work tirelessly to empower, encourage, and equip you to share your work with the world intentionally. 

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