If you know me, then you know I'm a massive proponent of brand strategy workshops.
They completely changed the game for me when I first started my design business.
There's a very long list of benefits to running workshops,
I won't bore you with the full list, but simply put:
1. Win more business
2. Charge higher rates
3. Affect business outcomes
Despite benefits like these, most designers don't offer brand strategy workshops.
- Imposter syndrome (I'm not good enough)
- Don't know where to start
- Need more experience
- Sounds stressful
- I just want to design
- I'm not the right kind of person
Fortunately for you - this presents a great opportunity to stand out from other designers.
Because the truth is - you can add workshops to your offering today.
I'm going to make this super easy for you.
Here's my break down of the simplest, easiest and fastest way for you to start on your journey as a brand strategist.
We're starting small and easy here to you give you the foundation.
Over time, you will build up to more in-depth workshops.
Let's get into this:
Step 1: Make a Google Form
I've got you covered here.
I'm giving away the very Google Form that I use at the beginning of all my engagements for free.
It's called 'The Brand Discovery Survey' - (but you can call it whatever you want)
Alternatively - It's super simple to make your own Google Form with your own custom questions. It's up to you.
Step 2: Send the form to your client & book a 2 hour call
Yes - We're doing this.
Because the best way to learn.
Is to do.
So, on your next new client project, let them know that you will start with a brand strategy workshop.
(This works best with new clients - That way you're extracting all the info you need from the get go).
Say the following to your client on the first call:
"We will use this session to extract all the relevant information about your business."
"The insights we discover will inform the designs that follow. Ensuring that they align to your brand and business objectives"
The client will then say:
From here, simply book in a 2 hour Zoom call with your client, and send them the form to complete.
Step 3: Prepare for the call
Once your client has completed the form, go and take a look at their answers.
Read through each one, and as you do make notes on any questions you will ask them in the workshop.
Questions that will:
- Clarify their thinking
- Clear up any contradictions
- Help you understand something
- Bring more depth
- Challenge their thinking
- Make their answers more concise
- Influence the design outcome
If you want to visualise their answers in a more aesthetic way, you can pull all the answers into Google Sheets.
You can then use the Google Sheets plugin for Xd or Figma to produce a beautiful workshop document.
I cover exactly how to do this in my mini-course.
For the sake of simplicity here, we'll stick to using the Google Form.
Step 4: Run the workshop
It's game time!
All you have to do here is run through the clients answers as presented in Google Forms from top to bottom.
(The Brand Discovery form has 8 sections to keep things organised and on track.)
As you go through their answers you ask them the questions that you have prepared.
Then you do the following:
2. Make notes on what you hear
3. Repeat back to them what they said - but simplified.
These types of phrases work very well:
'Am I correct in saying that...'
'Ok, so to recap you...'
'Would it be true to say that...'
Your role here is to be neutral, and simply bounce the clients thinking back at them.
This will help them come to their own conclusions about their business.
They will feel deeply listened to (everyone loves this).
And as the session progresses, you will come to understand the core of their business.
(By the way - This makes you irreplaceable)
As you go down the list of asnwers, note down the main points that are discussed.
Let the conversation flow. Be open, and gauge whether the client has more to say or is ready to move on.
Work your way through all there answers until there are no more.
Congrats! You've just completed your first workshop! - Let that glorious sense of achievement wash over you!!
Step 5: Send them a recap
Finally, send a recap of all the notes you made in the session.
Structure the recap by each of the survey's sections to keep it organised.
Use the tool Otter to transcribe the whole conversation.
You can then search the transcription afterwards to pull out key quotes.
With your first workshop under your belt, it's now time to assess how it went, and how it could be better next time.
The key is to iterate on your process over time, evolving it to better suit your clients needs.
This is how you start on your journey as brand strategist. I wish you the best of luck.
1. If you want to position yourself as an expert, offering workshops is the most effective path. I'd recommend starting with an affordable course:
→ The Brand Strategy Mini-Course: Learn how to start charging your clients for remote brand strategy workshops in this 1 hour mini-course.
2. If you're ready to take your workshop skills to another level:
→ The Remote Brand Strategy Workshop Masterclass: This comprehensive course will teach you my two-day workshop method that has allowed me to charge clients £30,000+ per project.
3. Work with me 1:1 to grow your one-person design business that enables your ideal life (Currently 2 spaces left)
I am a brand strategist and designer for small-mid sized tech startups. I will help you grow your dream one-person businesses so you can live with freedom & autonomy.
A free step-by-step guide to successfully running a remote design business. Discover where you are on the roadmap and follow the actionable steps to reach your next stage.
Become an expert brand strategist and take your design offering to a whole new level. This course will teach you my method for running a professional two day brand strategy workshop that will position you as an expert in your field.