Essential questions when working with a design agency...

Questions about Prosper and it's services

What is Prosper? 

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Prosper is a niched naming and branding agency serving professional service firms in the UK and worldwide. The agency is owned and run by Ben Stanbury.

In a nutshell, what do you do exactly? 

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I name, brand and develop websites for my clients, allowing them communicate their point of difference, stand out in the marketplace and connect with their audience.

What are the main services you offer? 

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You can see my services overview here. Typically I help clients with the following: 

Brand strategy workshops
Messaging and tone of voice
Brand identity development
Brand guidelines
Website design

Questions about the kinds of clients I work with

What sort of situations do your clients find themselves in when they need your services? 

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Generally, I see my clients in three situations.

1) They are a start-up beginning from scratch.
My clients may be leaving an existing firm to start their own company and they want brand development, identity design and a website for example.

2) They are an existing firm with a good reputation but need to be more consistent with their branding.
They are a successful company with years of experience, but their branding and online presence is somewhat lacking and needs refreshing. They're looking for their existing brand to be more consistent across their customer touchpoints (such as their social media and their website) but do not want to change their name.

3) They are seeking a re-brand because they want to modernise the way their firm presents itself.
They may want to attract the right kinds of clients and staff. They feel their brand identity is tired compared to the competition, and often it looks much the same as the next firm or it no longer represents what their company stands for.

I’m not based in the UK, can you still help me? 

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Yes, I can deliver my entire process remotely. I'm a firm believer in face-to-face communication, even virtually, which is why I encourage Zoom / Google Hangouts / Microsoft Teams etc.

I can present your new branding online via my branding presentation method and I'll keep you in the loop throughout, as I did it for Kinline in the USANumerity in Canada.

I’ve never worked with a design agency before… so I don’t know what to expect. 

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Don't worry this is a common question... the first thing to bear in mind is I work with you collaboratively. My brand strategy workshops are done with you, and together we will discuss your answers, talk about what your business means to you, and what you want your business to mean to the people you serve.

This is the essence of the strategy work I do with clients before I undertake any naming or design work. You should find it interesting, involving, and also fun!

Typically working with me happens in several stages and could look a little like this:

1) Contact me via the Prosper website.

2) I'll send you our document 'What to expect when you work with Prosper' which outlines my process, prices and deliverables.

3) If you like what you see, we can have a (free) video call to talk about your business, and l'll run you through my approach to developing brands.

4) From there, armed with an idea of how I work, and what I charge, you may wish to engage in a brand strategy workshop, which can lead on to naming, branding and website development.

If you do decide you'd like to go ahead, I'll draw up contracts and timelines and a project agreement form detailing the service or services your require, the fees and expected timelines.

Here are some things to remember working with Prosper; 

1) I purposely work with a very limited number of clients at any one time, so you get 100% of my attention. 
2) I'm big on communication and keeping clients 'in the loop' and you'll be dealing directly with me.
3) Your satisfaction matters to me.

Do we need to meet in person?

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It's not essential, but we will be having a discovery call (over the phone, or better still via video) to find out a little more about what kind of projects you have in mind. We'll also have plenty of phone calls or video calls as we go through our process with you.

Who will I be dealing with if I work with Prosper? 

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I purposely work with a small number of clients at any one time, so you'll deal directly with me (Ben), face-to-face, on the phone and during presentations. And where matters of copywriting are concerned, you'll work with Danielle my long-term copywriter.

Questions about strategy, branding and naming

What is brand strategy anyway?

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There are a lot of ways to define branding and brand strategy, but let's keep it fairly simple.

Brand strategy is working through a process to help you understand your point of difference, who your audience is, and what matters to them and then communicating that difference. Put another way, it's helping your audience understand your 'Why'. Brand strategy will help you uncover your positioning, your USP (unique selling points) and your values, ultimately shaping the 'personality' of your brand and in turn, influencing the way you present yourself through your brand identity.

Your brand identity is the visual and verbal manifestation of that brand strategy. At its core, it's your colour palette, use of fonts, the kind of language you use, your logo and your website design. When these elements are combined they work together to position your company in the mind of your audience and set you apart from the competition.

I will run you through a short visual presentation on how to understand brand strategy as part of an initial discovery call when you get in touch. Hopefully you'll find it all very interesting and informative!

Can you do me just a logo? 

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I don’t supply ‘just’ a logo to my clients, because a logo is a part of an overall brand identity system I design for clients.

I’m starting a new company, can you help me with naming?

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Yes, naming is a process I take clients through as I develop their brand identity. I wrote a guide about choosing a memorable and interesting name for your company here.

Questions about websites

Can I choose a website from a pre-designed template? 

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In almost every circumstance websites are designed from scratch because this is part of my efforts to differentiate your firm. Some companies offer clients a menu of pre-designed websites, but our clients don't want that sort of thing when they are investing in their branding with us, because understandably they don't want the same website as the next firm...

Can I edit my website? 

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Yes, you can change text, images, headings and links. This is done via the Editor which is a very easy website editor that you and your staff can log into and make any changes as you see fit. I'll also provide a short training video showing you how to make changes on your own website.

I'm too busy / I'm not very good with computers, can you do that stuff for me?

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It's not very complex, and I do provide video training, but, yes, I can help you with that if need be. Just ask, and I'll arrange something with you.

Do you write the copy for websites?

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Yes, normally my long-term copywriter Danielle will write the copy for my clients websites. This is done after Danielle and I deliver an initial online copywriting workshop with you to understand more about the services you offer and how you'd like to come across (while keeping your target audience in mind). From here Danielle will then craft compelling, human sounding copy so it reads naturally, and is structured properly.

We will also write SEO friendly Page Titles, Page Descriptions and Google Descriptions for your website, to ensure you're saying the right things in the right places.

Can you build me a blog?

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Via a CMS (a Content Management System) your website can feature a blog, case studies and resources such as ebooks and downloads, which you can add content to via the Editor as well. Writing original blog articles is a great way to show some thought leadership and give your social media content some credibility.

What about integrating things like Mailchimp and Calendly? 

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Yes I can integrate most things such as Mailchimp contact forms, Calendly embeds, Google maps, and links to client portals for example.

Why don’t you offer Google advertising or social media advertising? 

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Two reasons.
1) Prosper is a branding agency, so it's strengths are in developing effecting brand identities for clients.
2) Google PPC campaigns and social media campaigns (when done properly) are specialisms in themselves.

We use specialists to do these things for us, and yes, we can introduce you!

How much do things cost and how long do they take?

How much do naming, branding and/or websites projects cost? 

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It varies a lot as you can imagine. Contact me here and I'll send you over my document 'What to expect when you work with Prosper'.

I've had cheaper quotes...

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I understand. If you're shopping around and making a decision based only on price, then Prosper is probably not the agency for you.

A branding agency will take you through a process over a period of weeks, developing positioning statements, identifying your USP and even helping you name your firm. There's a marked difference in the deliverables and the positive ramifications for your firm when you work through a strategic branding process, which is why it costs a lot more and takes a lot longer.

How long does a branding project usually take? 

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Depending on deliverables, usually between four to twelve weeks.

How long does a website take? 

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Usually between four to twelve weeks.

How involved do I need to be in the process?

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There's an expectation for you to be invested in the process. This is a collaboration, and you know your business better than anyone else. You're also investing a fair amount of money, so it is worth investing the time and energy where you can as well.

How should we pay you? 

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My policy for new clients is 50% upfront, 25% stage payment and 25% upon delivery. For larger projects I can offer more flexible terms. All payments to be made in GBP.

Do you accept cheques? 

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No. I accept electronic payment via bank transfer only. If you are not based in the UK I can supply you with the necessary information for your bank to process the payment to our UK bank account.

Next steps...

I'd like to have a chat about my project, where can I get in touch? 

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Great, in the first instance, get in touch with me (Ben) via the website here and I'll contact you to arrange a good time for a chat to find out some more about your project.

I'll give it some thought. Got anything I can download or read in the meantime?

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Yes, have a look at the following:

This is our blog.
These are our ebooks and resources. Or sign up to our monthly newsletter at the bottom of the page.

I have a question that isn't answered here...

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