My 2 Week Brand and Web Design Process (And Why My Clients & I Love It!)
When it comes to my branding and web design business, it’s just me, myself, and I! Which means things can get pretty hectic and hairy at times with all that comes with running a business. I knew I needed a way to manage my design process that would accomplish all the goals I required, allow me time to manage the business end of things, and not take over my life. Tall order!
To give credit where credit is due... the 2 week website was not my idea! Although I am in love with it.
The idea came from the fabulous Lauren Hooker who runs Elle & Company, or more specifically her husband, Jake. Jake thought of the 2 week website, Lauren implemented it and then she shared it on her blog, advocating for others to considering switching to the 2 week process.
Safe to say, I took it and ran with it. And it was the best decision I ever made! While both Lauren and I both create 2 week Squarespace websites, the actual process within those 2 weeks does have quite a few differences.
I used Lauren’s two week idea as a starting point and then created a design process that’s tailored to my business and what’s included in my packages.
Now, before we go any further, I should let you know that the 2 week website is not standard in the industry. In fact, it’s quite unheard of!
Most design studios take on at least 4 to 6 clients at a time and the projects tend to range between 4 to 8 weeks. However, I’ve talked to other designers and have heard that it’s quite a regular occurrence for projects to drag on longer than their allotted time frame.
I prefer to work one on one with my clients and dedicate 100% of my time to one project at a time. This totally fits my one of my core values which is quality over quantity!
Alright, let’s delve into how this 2 week thing works!
This is exactly what a 2 week website or 2 week website and brand design process looks like. On a side note - I have two packages: a 2 week website or a 2 week website and brand. Both are completed in just 2 weeks. I just have to work a little harder when it comes to the site and brand package.
Picking a design date
First, clients view my calendar on my Services page. They can see all of my available 2 week design dates and pick the one that they prefer.
I make a very conscious effort to keep this calendar up-to-date and I change dates from available to booked within 24 hours of a new client placing their deposit and signing a contract. This way, if you’re browsing the website, you know what dates are available!
30-Minute Free Consultation Call
The process starts with when a client gets in touch with me through either the inquiry form on my Contact page or books a free 30-minute consultation call with me. During these calls, I ask questions about your business, what your future goals are, what you want to achieve with a new website and/or branding, and what your #1 goals are for their website design and branding. With these questions I evaluate if we’re a good fit and if my services are right for you and if you’ll benefit from them.
Once we finalize the call, I’ll send the client an introduction packet, a contract, and invoice. The contract clearly defines everything that is required from the client plus everything they’ll receive from me (aka a badass brand and website!).
Then, if they decide to book with me, they simply e-sign the contract, and pay the 50% deposit to lock down their design date in my calendar (and it’s all done online so super easy!).
PRE-WORK (BY CLIENT)
At this step, I send the client a welcome email with a link and password to their Welcome Client Page. The Client Page outlines every single detail of the process, step-by-step instructions on how to pull together their homework (don’t worry, it’s fun homework!).
Client homework includes creating a Pinterest inspiration board, completing questionnaires, compiling content, and completing the credential form for different third-party integrations that they’d like integrated into their website.
I also include a timeline outlining what will happen every single during our 2 weeks and invite them to our client portal in Asana. This is where we keep all communication, deadlines, and links to their Client Page.
Because we’re on a 2 week timeline clients must have all of their content prepared BEFORE we being on the website. That includes their photos and their website copy.
Having all of this content prepared beforehand is one of the most important aspects to ensuring we’re able to knock their website and brand by our deadline.
I don’t use fake text or photos in the website. I use the real deal content so that come the second week on Friday, we actually launch the website together! Clients don’t have to go into the site later and swap out all the photos and text for the real stuff.
FUN FACT: The majority of the work that the clients complete actually happens before the design date!
On Monday during Week 1, the client and I hop on a phone call to go over their content, template, questionnaires, and view their Pinterest inspiration board and inspiration websites together so that we’re both on the same page.
After the call, I design a mood board and color palette and setting all the styles within the Style Editor of Squarespace. This pretty much takes what we discussed on the phone and visually communicates it again to ensure that we’re on the same page before I start creating the full brand and website.
I then send the mood board and color palette to the client ask them to approve it or request any edits to it.
Starting on day 2, I go ahead and start building the full website out.I take this one page at a time, looking at the client’s content, referring back to our mood board, and putting all the content into the site in a way that meets design best practices as well as setting it up to convert website visitors to take action on the 1-2 goals that we determined before we started on the project.
If a client booked the branding and website package, I start creating the logo at this point. This process involves me sketching and then finally creating the artwork in Illustrator in black and white, then moving on to designing in color.
On Monday of week two, I send the client a link to preview their website. It’s not live on their domain so only they’re able to see it. I then invite them to send me a list of edits that they’d like to see to the website. I don’t limit my clients to any number of revision rounds or edits for their websites. Our only deadline is the Week 2 Friday.
Week 2 is also when I create any other collateral items such as business cards, social media banners, pricing menus, etc. if they booked a web design and branding package.
I also ensure that the website is meeting SEO best practices and I integrate any third-party integrations such as appointment schedulers, online payment systems, email newsletters, etc.
WEEK 2 FRIDAY
On Friday of week 2, the client and I hop on a phone call for a 1.5 hour Squarespace lesson and launch call.
I’m a huge believer in clients being able to take on their website and feel confident making updates and edits to it later. I don’t want clients to ever feel that their website designer is holding their website hostage and that they’re unable to make quick edits when they need to. So I make sure that our lesson call is a live video training that I record so they can view it later for reference. I also do the lesson live on their website.
I tailor each lesson to the client’s tech abilities and specifically what they’ll be doing on their website. For example, if they’re blogging, I’ll go over blogging pages in much more detail than I would for someone who doesn’t plan to blog. Clients can stop and ask me questions any time during this call.
We then connect any last bits to their website such as social media accounts. Then, while I’m on the call with them, they make their second payment for the balance and I link up their domain, walk them through purchasing a Squarespace plan, and launch their website while we’re on the video call together.
WHY CLIENTS AND I LOVE THE 2 WEEK PROCESS
It may seem crazy to accomplish it all in two weeks but I love it and my clients do, too.
Quick Turnaround & Guaranteed Launch Date
We can blast through building a website so much faster because we’re dedicated to the project for just two weeks. It’s not some long, drawn out, painful process that never seems to end. We know it’s important to respond to each other’s emails or even are able to hop on the phone if we need to discuss something more in-depth quickly.
I know for a lot of businesses, their website launch happens to coincide with a grand opening, new marketing campaign, being featured online somewhere, or hosting a conference so having their website completed by a specific date is super important! With my 2 week process I’m able to guarantee that they will be launched and live on the second Friday of our design date. From that date, they can plan a launch party because they know their website is going to be ready on time!
By giving my undivided attention to just one client at a time, they’re able to trust that their project is a priority for the web designer and they won’t be left alone trying to figure things out for themselves. Got a business question? I’m here for you...pick my brain! You’ve got me and my focus for the entire two weeks.
Unlimited Revisions and Edits
This is a huge topic among designers and the general consensus is to limit the number of revisions or edits.
But I don’t limit clients to a certain number of revisions or edits. They get as many as they like! The only deadlines is the second Friday. They faster they get their edits back to me, the more edits we can complete.
This is a big why in my business. I love building relationships with my clients. For the two weeks, my client and I are frequently communicating and we tend to build a really solid relationship over that time. Clients know that they’re not just a number in a list of other clients that I’m working with but that they have my full attention and I truly care about their project.
Have some more questions regarding my process or want to know how I can build a badass brand and website for your business? Well… let’s hop on a free consultation call! I would love to learn more about what you do and how I can help you up-level your business!
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Glad you’re here! I’m the web designer and founder of Kat Collins Design, based in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.
I’m a designer that builds powerful and modern Squarespace websites and branding for women entrepreneurs who don’t want to be like everyone else.
I’m tired of boring. Are you?
On the blog, you’ll find a variety of topics that help you succeed in online business, such as website design, branding, being authentic online and in business, Squarespace design tips, and more.