If you read my 5 Lessons Learned in 2017 you already know how much the relationships I build with my clients mean to me. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "you are the sum of the people around you" and I take that to heart.
Honestly, I don't think I know of a single other creative entrepreneur who has a client dynamic quite like mine, and well, I'm pretty proud of that!
I'm constantly in awe of the movers and shakers I get to work with. I'll tell you specifics about why they're so amazing in a second, but first I've gotta let you in on a little secret. The client dynamic I create is very intentional because....
I kinda hate working 😱😱😱
I always rather be having fun or adventuring or just daydreaming in general (duh).
But despite this, I put a LOT of time into my business (turns out I hate working but love running a business 😛) so you best believe I'm doing everything I can to make work feel less like work and more like I'm hanging out with my best friend!!
Plus, like I mentioned...you are the sum of the people around you.
So as a designer, working with clients who value the same things as me (having fun, not taking yourself too seriously, treating people well, working towards balance - whatever that even means haha) is just as important as them having a deep appreciation for my design philosophies or loving my design style.
Even more, I work my butt off to impress my clients. I pour myself completely into each of their projects. I do a lot to make sure no one ever feels overwhelmed with the design process and I always make fun and having good energy a priority.
My clients are generous with their energy, too (they probably don't even realize how much they fuel me). We support each other. We hustle. We're solution-oriented. We inspire each other. We "get" each other. We learn and grow as people and as businesses together.
I say that to point out how me and my clients show up for each other, and because of this my client dynamic is nothing short of magical...and I'm kinda obsessed with each and every one of them!
I recently realized I've been keeping this to myself, and dammit these business owners are SO worth bragging about! So without further ado lemme introduce you to my new series that highlights and showcases them each, one by one.
It's called client love letters and it's where I'll be sharing all the fun details about how me and my clients have worked and grown together, and how each client has impacted my business and added significance to my life.
First up is my client Elizabeth from Elizabeth Faye Salon. Elizabeth is hosting her first retreat at the end of this month so I knew she was the perfect person to kick this series off with! I’m so excited to tell you more while I write this lil love letter to her 💗
Elizabeth is the owner of Elizabeth Faye Salon. On top of running the salon and working behind the chair, she travels around the country hosting in-person workshops, works as an ambassador and influencer for big names in the hair industry, is getting ready to launch a subscription-based online education series this summer, is hosting her first annual hair retreat later this month and OH YEAH is super devoted to her adorable little son.
I know firsthand how positive and uplifting Elizabeth is and also get to see just how much her team, clients, industry peers and followers love her. Her work has directly influenced some of the biggest names in the hair industry and I’m constantly in awe of how ambitious and passionate she is. It’s honestly so inspiring.
So basically Elizabeth is an amazing human being and I’m one lucky duck to have her in my awesome client line up!
Here’s how we got started:
Elizabeth came to MBD in early 2017 simply looking for a solid website (I believe she found out about the studio through another stylist client of mine).
Her salon kinda had branding in place, but it wasn’t fully fleshed out and she needed to create an umbrella brand for all the new facets of her business she was creating. I offered her a condensed version of my normal branding service then got to work on her website.
Elizabeth is young, fresh and cool so I opted to keep a sans serif for her logo and simply updated the font. She's also based out of Utah so the color scheme is meant to have slight desert undertones but still feel really fresh and energized.
Elizabeth still uses her salon logo for some things but mostly uses the "Hey Elizabeth Faye" logos now!! I loved seeing them on her salon capes (pictured below) - I didn't even know she had these made until I saw them on Instagram! It was like Christmas morning haha!
Okay BOOM. So the brand visuals were established, then we moved onto her website.
Our big goals for her site were to:
Organize and clearly call out all facets of her business
Give her clients an easy way to get info that might be important to them (such as booking an appointment, getting a tour of the salon, meeting the stylists, learning about the salon and getting specific deets about extensions since that’s something Elizabeth specializes in)
Explain what her workshops are all about and have a streamlined checkout experience for selling tickets (she had a pretty clunky system on her old site that was causing a lot of extra stress for her and her team)
Migrate blog posts from her old site and set up easy-to-navigate categories for her readers
Increase email sign ups
As I explained, E has a lot going on in her business. Her audience is split in two since she caters to clients in her salon but also hair stylists because of all the education she does. Her website required some serious organization so site visitors could easily navigate to exactly what they need (and not get overwhelmed with info that wasn’t relevant to them).
With saying that, her business has grown quite a bit since our launch so we’re getting ready for a fun revamp that’ll accommodate all the changes that have happened since then!!
I’m actually super excited to dig back in cuz there’s nothing like working side-by-side with someone for months and months to really start understanding that person.
During initial projects with clients I'm primarily working to understand your business. I'm asking questions like:
How did you get started?
What led you to this stage of business?
Who are your customers? What are they like?
How do you want to make them feel? (Because people will remember how you made them feel long before anything else!)
How do you help them? What are your services/products and why are your customers going to you instead of someone else?
What else are you doing in your business?
What are your goals?
Most times this involves understanding the person behind the business, but primarily I'm trying to understand where you're at (Point A), where you want to go (Point B) then figure out the best possible way to get you there as quickly and successfully as possible.
That work in itself is impactful, but when you continue to work with someone after you've helped them step into a better version of themselves, you're able to start peeling back more layers. Your understanding of each other deepens.
I'm so lucky that Elizabeth has allowed this to happen (like I said, it's important that you both show up).
We've been able to cultivate an amazing relationship over this past year and it seriously lights me up each time she says something like, “I trust you, I know you get my brand, whatever you think works best.” And y’all, home girl is opinionated on what she wants (haha) so that’s a huge compliment!!
But I digress.....
So pretty much immediately after we launched her website, E wanted to update her workshop manual too. That’s actually a super common thing I see with clients after they go through a more in-depth design process. I see them feel so much validation and confidence after pouring years of energy and work into their businesses, so it's natural to want everything in your business to make you feel that way after you get a little taste of it!
We got started on her workshop manual then soon after she started booking workshops for 2018. We added the tickets to her website then I created a buncha social media graphics that she used to promote the classes. Around this time we also revamped her social media channels (things like Facebook covers, a cover for her Youtube channel, ads for Instagram and miscellaneous graphics for announcements and launches).
Here's a small sample of some workshop graphics (click to see a larger view). If you can't tell we REALLY LIKE FLASHING THINGS!!
Not long after that we started working on extending her branding to the newer parts of her business. I created logo sets for her two newest ventures: Workshop in a Box (her online subscription-based education) and Hair Love Retreat (like Coachella or hairstylists!). I'll be sharing more about those later this year (cuz love letters aren't a one and done kinda thing 😉).
All of that was back in 2017! So far in 2018 I've been working with Elizabeth to expand and fine tune the brand foundation we laid down last year, revamp her website, add a slideshow presentation to her in-person workshops (those are the orange slides above), update her price list, design a bunch of fun print things for the retreat and gear up for the launch of Workshop in a Box (I think you can get a special introductory price if you sign up before launch!)
Here's a little sneak peek of some of the print items I created for the retreat. The cards above are cute little party invites that Elizabeth sent to the attendees and the illustrations showcase meal options we'll have at the retreat. I started dabbling in illustration and hand lettering while working on the retreat and Y'ALL I'M OBSESSED.
There's lots more where this came from and I'm SO EXCITED to go to the retreat and see everything in person!
Seriously it means so much to me that my clients trust me as much as they do and allow me to be a part of growing their business and executing their vision. Elizabeth is one of the first clients I had that really showed me just how fun and meaningful my client relationships could be, and there's plenty more where that came from!
I have more clients I’ll be highlighting over time and I can’t wait to share more about working with Elizabeth as she keeps growing her business!!