The in-person interactions that inform all aspects of the non-digital design process – from networking and finding clients to that happy final visit – are, for the foreseeable future, on hold thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It’s a crisis that has many professionals wondering if they should join the growing ranks of designers and companies bringing design entirely online, design-in-a-box packages popularized by startups like Modsy and Havenly, to Kelly Wearstler (who now teaches a MasterClass on the subject) and Kathryn Ireland, who has launched her own star-studded digital design package. AD PRO consults with the experts – brand gurus, marketing mavens and, most importantly, the designers who have done it themselves – for their advice on how to take your work (almost) completely from a distance.
How to decide if digital design is right for you
Katie Saunders, who runs Pop and Gray, a branding company for North Carolina designers, has a key question: Is electronic design an element of your business that you would like to keep? after the crisis is over? “Spend a lot more time and effort if this is something you want to permanently integrate into your services. If this is just a way to go through time so that you can delete it ASAP, chances are your message and marketing will be quite inauthentic and fall flat, ”she warns. (If that’s not right for you, use the time to improve the backend of the business and instead contact ‘past or current major customers individually to see how they can best serve them’.)
“If before that you were basically working locally and living on referrals,” she says, “it’s really overwhelming to feel that you suddenly have to be splashed all over the internet. You don’t! Start small and consider incorporating small digital changes into your existing offerings first. Susannah Charbin, founder of Beaux Arts Digital, an agency that deals with Nate Berkus, Poliform, Adam Hunter and others, says that despite the temptation to launch a fully baked component on day one, the designers didn’t not necessarily need to add all the features. “For designers who are struggling to bring a personal touch to existing projects, I would recommend that they create a private login area on their website for their clients to access. They can use this area to share installation photos, mood boards, elevations, design presentations, and timelines. It can make their services feel a lot more immersive, elevated, and personalized, instead of just sending Dropbox links. “
How to develop a digital offer
Do you offer finish-only styling, piece-by-piece redesigns, or all that and everything in between? If you’re adding existing services, consider New York designer Megan Hopp’s strategy; it has long offered a flat-rate remote design package, but in recent weeks it has launched a new virtual service: a one-hour consultation for an “affordable flat rate”. In the past, due to a demanding schedule and considerable time spent on construction sites, I was never able to accommodate smaller design projects. With the work-from-home mandate, she said, a new opportunity arose to work “with individual clients in their homes in these smaller increments of time.”
Houston designer Paloma Contreras, who previously offered a digital design package called Design Concierge, is now restoring the service. “It was born out of a need that we identified some time ago. People were calling for smaller projects and weren’t necessarily full-service design candidates, but still wanted a part of me – to have their homes executed using my eye, my advice, and my recommendations. We have developed a turnkey service, which is sold per room. And New York designer Ariel Okin, who recently launched a digital offering, says her packages are built around “what the customer asks for, because we’re open to a range of scopes right now, but generally our option the most. most popular has been a package of design panels and floor plans, with purchase, but obviously no installation.