There are some aspects of marketing and branding that are difficult to communicate internally, such as the vision of how certain ideas could take form. The difficulty in communicating that vision becomes tenfold when trying to present that vision to graphic design agencies upon initial contact to potentially spark their interest.
Basic Research and Communication
But how does one start putting that vision to paper, as a request for proposal? “If you’re looking to collaborate with a traditional graphic design agency that will guide you through the creative process, it’s best to start by simply grabbing inspiration from the Internet, and saving links to sites you find appealing while noting the reasons why,” says Jeff Minnichbach, the Founder/CEO of flat-rate monthly design service, No Limit Creatives. “There’s nothing wrong with looking into the websites of your competitors, but it’s even better to go beyond and maybe even draw inspiration from websites outside of your industry to really change things up on your own site.” Minnichbach’s own design firm, however, operates quite differently.
No Limit Creatives is committed to providing businesses of all shapes and sizes with quality designs that meet their business and consumer needs, through graphic and video design all month, every month. Within its first 16 months of operation after launching in January 2018, the agency became a seven-figure business and is in the midst of exponential growth. Minnichbach says, “Much of our success stems from the fact that unlike typical agencies, we operate as a collective that goes straight to delivering on the specific design requests provided by our clients. This process saves all parties time, money, and resources.”
However, not all companies have a crystal clear understanding of exactly what it is that they need. In these cases, they must be aware that providing graphic design agencies with a sense of their company’s essence positions them to propose actionable strategies that will enable their company’s core strengths to shine through the content that is being produced.
Some of the initial company-related questions/topics that can be brought up by graphic design agencies include:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What types of people/organizations does your company cater to?
- What direction do you see your company gravitating towards over the next five years?
It also doesn’t hurt to let the agencies have an idea of the benefits of working with you/your company, such as additional referrals-of-interest. Agencies would also find it helpful if you educate them on your audience, so their team of designers can determine ways to structure the content accordingly.
Structuring the Project Overview
Try your best to provide some type of a project description for the designers to look over, so they can get a general sense of your goals. It will also serve as an excellent talking point to expand on. It is helpful to include information such as:
- What are the different types of content you would like? Is there a particular way you would like it to be organized?
- How will the content be used? Would it be used in multiple areas?
- What are your (realistic) marketing goals?
Gathering such information would be especially helpful for design firms such as No Limit Creatives, as they offer a wide selection of graphic design and video design options for clients. While you might have one idea in mind, the agencies might be willing to suggest additional areas worth exploring. “Our number one most unique feature amongst all the other unlimited design services online is that we offer video, which is a huge deal,” says Minnichbach. “As far as I know we are the only flat rate design service that also works on video, and we are about to launch product photography packages for our ecommerce customers. We also have 1-3 day turnarounds depending on whether clients request a graphic or video job, but we service two requests at a time, and allow customers to work with our entire design team, while most other graphic design agencies only allow one design request at a time with one designer only.”
Within the project overview, it will also be beneficial to indicate who the decision-makers of your team would be, and whether there are other third parties that will directly/indirectly assist with turning your vision into a reality. There may be instances in which larger meetings would need to be set up between all parties to ensure all is crystal clear and everyone is on the same page.
Timing is another point worth noting. When would be your desired start date? Are there deadlines for specific components? What might be some key milestones? Also- what about the future? Might you need further assistance/maintenance?
The implementation of these points will help you better communicate your vision to graphic design agencies, or more specialized firms such as No Limit Creatives, and raise your chances of getting accepted due to the effort placed into all the details.