Hi, friends! This week I wanted to talk about how important visuals and mock ups are for us as stationery designers and how we can present them properly to our clients so they can fully know what they’re looking at and what to expect with the final product.
If you’re just tuning in, I am putting together a blog series for 12 weeks that is chock full of great advice, tips and freebies to help stationers (and calligraphers) run their stationery business to fullest. Below are links for our previous posts:
3 Tips for Starting a Stationery Business
How I Prepare an Invitation for Print
5 Things Every Stationery Designer Needs to Know
3 Tips to Help You Know Your Numbers in Your Stationery Business
3 Key Elements to a Successful Stationery Proposal
How to Expand Your Revenue Streams as a Stationery Designer
Why Branding is so Important as a Stationery Designer
For this blog post, I’m going to do a little bit of roll play with me and my proofing process 9 years ago versus my proofing process now. I will break down where I went wrong all those years ago, and how I have improved it and my client experience over the years.
Enter, me as a baby stationer 9 years ago.
Your wedding invitation proof is ready! Attached is a PDF of your invitation. This will also have the patterned backing you picked out, and matching blue envelopes. Please email me back any edits.
Womp womp. God bless my clients for sticking with me as I worked through my design and mock up process. So, where did I go wrong with the emailed proof above?
– The proof was emailed directly to them as a PDF. I highly recommend utilizing a CRM (client relationship management) tool to provide your proofs to your clients.
– I have only (partially) described the full visual to them. How do they remember what that patterned backing looks like? How can they be sure the blue envelopes they want go well with their invitation? How do they know what size it is?
– What about their RSVP or other cards? Oh – those came in separate emails later…
– I opened up a can of worms with requesting edits being email back to me. Again, this is where a CRM comes in handy.
– Honestly, it’s pretty unprofessional
So enter in lots of trial and error some great systems later:
I hope all is well! I have put together your first round for your wedding invitation proofs! Hooray! I love the direction we are heading. With the link below you will find your proofs for review. I have included a full suite overview so you can see how all of the pieces look together, and I have also included all of the individual pieces for separate proofing. Please be sure to read through the Design Details section at the beginning of the proofs as it goes over the specs of the suite and any comments I have.
Please be sure to look over all of the pieces carefully and check all wording and spelling for accuracy. For each piece, you will have a spot to provide feedback if there is any, or a spot to approve the design. Once you have worked your way through the entire set of proofs, you will find a submit button at the bottom of the form.
Please don’t hesitate if you have any questions! I look forward to hearing your feedback!
And when they click on that link, below is an overview of what they will see.
Your mock up doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just needs to make sure that it accurately represents what you are trying to show your client. They need visuals. They don’t know what it will all look like once it’s together. They don’t know how all the colors will work together.
Any way that you can help your client, the easier it will be on you. This also allows you to keep all of your proofs and edits in once place, this way you’re not searching all through your inbox to gather the 3 different sets of edits they emailed.
I use Dubsado as my CRM and it runs about 85% of my business (I’ll give you a hint as to what next week’s blog post is about!) and I use it for my proofing forms. It has seriously been a game changer for my proofing process. Since improving my proofing process, I am able to work more efficiently and provide my clients with a higher level of client experience.