How to NOT end a project

Have you ever had one of those clients you are honestly sad to finish the project? They had almost zero revisions, were so professional and friendly, and most of all trusting of your work together?

I can honestly say I’ve had several clients fit this bill.

And you know what? I didn’t have a system in place to continue working together. After we wrapped up the initial branding project, I let them go on their way without a plan to continue supporting them moving forward. *facepalm*

Sure… I mentioned we were here for them moving forward, but I don’t think that was enough. Since then, I’ve taken rapid leaps to create a better system to foster what I’m calling my “VIP clients.”

How have I encouraged a drastic increase in repeat client work over the past year? Through expanding our brand support.

We’re in part 3 of our “Services + _____ series,” and I’m quite excited about this one! Services + Support is all about how you can continue beyond your initial service offering with clients, and into supporting their business long term.

Why it works

Our clients reach out to us initially for our signature offering. Whether that’s branding, web, illustration or other services, we’ve piqued their interest! Once our clients invest in our services once, it’s much easier to continue working together. This is because they’ve jumped over the (rather large) hurdle of trusting our business. Once we’ve earned their trust, they’re likelihood of booking again increases drastically.

Through offering support packages beyond our initial signature offering, we’ll not only create a more steady stream of income, but also develop a comprehensive experience for our clients. One that has them raving about the client experience you provide, and itching to continue working together.

Sound like something you’d be into? Thought so. I’ve got a few ideas to kick off this new avenue for you!

Types of brand support

  • Tech support: If you offer web design, tech support is a great supplement to your existing packages. Our clients like the safety net of knowing you’re checking to make sure their site is secure, backed up and bug-free. Especially true if your client’s sites are hosted on something like WordPress! You can structure this support as a monthly fee.

  • Retainer programs: If your clients require ongoing continuous design work, retainers might be your best bet. You can offer monthly or quarterly retainer packages for your VIP clients, tailor fit to their needs.

  • Private/group coaching: Coaching packages are a great way to expand your reach, or to continue the relationship with your favorite clients. You could offer group or private sessions walking through complementary concepts to your services. Ex: If you offer brand identity design, you could offer a group marketing coaching package. Marketing + branding support one another, and create a more cohesive experience for your clients.

  • VIP shop: I’ve tested this one out recently, and had encouraging results! Create a private shop for your clients with additional services, downloads, or educational material that supports your primary service offering.

  • Pop-up shop: This is a fun one I’d love to give a try! Create a limited pop-up shop tailored to your clients. This could take the form of a partnership with a tangent brand (ie: copywriting w/ web design), discounted collateral, products, you name it.

Is this the path for you?

As mentioned with the other parts of this series, you don’t need to do #allthethings to have a successful business! If you’re enjoying one-on-one services and don’t want to rock the boat… that’s 100% okay. But if you’re looking to shake up your business and potentially expand, offering support to compliment your services might be the way to go!

If you have time to continue working one-on-one with clients, enjoy creating a holistic experience (ie: you aren’t anxiously awaiting each project to wrap up), and seeing your client’s brands through beyond your initial offering… then this might just be your ticket. Offering support beyond your initial service is a great way to continue the relationship with your client and court them throughout their business. It’s been one of the most rewarding avenues for Spruce Rd.!

Up next week we’re closing out our "services + _____ serie" by chatting about Services + Affiliates/Partnerships. This should be a juicy one, and maybe not what you’d expect! You won’t want to miss the final part of this series :).

Cheers!
Jamie

PS: Missed the other parts of the “Services + _____ series?” No worries! You can catch up on Part 1: Services + Products and Part 2: Services + Education. Enjoy :).