Create lasting client relationships and make more money with branding workshops

How often are you asked to create an identity for a client who is not clear on their objective, vision, audience, competitive environment, differentiator, or message?

All the time, am I right?

And unless you clarify all of these details, the project can turn into a never-ending slew of revisions as your client changes direction abruptly over “something they just thought of” last night.

So what can you do for a client that really needs a business compass?

Try a branding workshop! A branding workshop can improve your client’s return on design investment while bringing more revenue to your business. (And create a great working relationship to boot!)

What is a branding workshop?

A branding workshop is a collaborative meeting with your client to hone in on:

  • their ideal customer (for both B2B and B2C businesses!),
  • how to stand out from competitors,
  • their company message,
  • their company goals and vision
  • etc.

This also happens to be what you need to know to help create their product or service more successfully!

The objective is to get group consensus and clarity.

Pro tip! There are many ways to lead a workshop depending on your personality and the group’s dynamic (age, gender, interests, activity level, etc.). It’s best to do some research to determine what will work for you and your client.

Try Googling “workshop facilitation” and read below on examples of activities to engage your client in fun, meaningful sessions.

Who should attend?

Depending on the project, invite your client, their team and even highly-valued customers or other stakeholders if appropriate.

It’s great to get several perspectives in the room, so a good group size to shoot for initially is 4-6 people.

What should we discuss?

Plan your agenda carefully based on what you need to clarify for your client.

Here are some tips:

  • Break up time into smaller, objective-based sessions and intermissions for mental breaks.
  • Always begin by talking about your objective and learning about each person’s expectations.
  • Visioning is an impactful exercise (you can find many kinds of visioning exercises with a Google search).
  • Have clients cut pictures out of magazines to create an ideal client profile.
  • Do competitive reviews to check out their competition, then look for the space where your client can stand out.
  • It’s okay to allow the conversation to organically develop, but make sure you don’t get too off-topic for long. (If you hit upon something you don’t want to forget, write a note for the appropriate session.)

What about time-frame and location?

Branding workshops can be anywhere from a half-day to 2 days. (It’s best to start simple with a ½ day workshop until you get the feel of it.)

Clients may begrudge time away from the office, but stress the benefits of doing this work:

  • save a tremendous amount of design / revision time,
  • build team consensus,
  • better target their ideal market,
  • increase sales,
  • increase ROI on marketing efforts,
  • and ultimately, make their business more successful!

I recommend morning workshops while everyone is fresh and less distracted.

Also, try to choose an off site location and get people out of their own work environment. Make sure that the group is engaging in interactive exercises that keep them moving and keep their energy up.

And be sure to have plenty of water available and a break with snacks.

Pro tip! Choose a location with a giant white board for brainstorming and illustrating ideas.

What should a branding workshop cost?

This depends on the client and their budget, but branding workshops generally start at $2,500 and go up from there.

(I’ve been involved in some that were nearly $10,000 for one day and $15,000 for a day and a half.)

Pro tip! Be sure you pitch your branding workshop as an investment rather than a cost.

Your planning checklist

Organization is key for a successful branding workshop, so you may even want to hire an event planner (for all of those tiny details that go into a great event that no one ever thinks about).

At a minimum, cover all of these bases:

  • Get several potential dates from your client
  • Determine who will be attending (and a little bit about them)
  • Book your location
  • Plan your agenda (research different kinds of exercises and build in breaks)
  • Meet with your client to review the agenda
  • Gather your supplies, flip charts, post it notes, sharpie markers etc.
  • Plan your drinks and snacks
  • Find a great assistant (this is KEY because you don’t want to interrupt the session to handle something unrelated like refilling the water carafes)
  • Organize materials and handouts

Questions?

Creating your own branding workshop sounds super-intimidating, but you can do it!

Create your agenda, know exactly what you need to know, and have the confidence in yourself and your services to lead your client through an amazing workshop that will truly change their business (for the better!).

Need more help getting started? Post your question in the comments and I’d be happy to help!

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About Rhonda Page

Rhonda has worked every angle of the design and branding business while doing business development throughout her 25-year career. Her two programs The Business Development Breakthrough and the Marketing Mastermind help design firms with the biggest challenge of all – bringing in clients and sustaining the relationships long term.

 

claritygirlGrab your FREE copy of Rhonda’s eBook, Why The Old Ways of Getting Business Just Don’t Work Anymore (and what to do about it) and start using her 4 Steps to Business Development Success immediately!

 

Comments

  1. Sharon Pettis McElwee says:

    I think that one of the biggest challenges as a creative is getting really clear about what the client wants. Thanks, Rhonda!

  2. Hi Rhonda. I’m really interested in this idea of starting a branding workshop. Do you have any other resources?

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