Each time I get to launch a new brand and website for a client, it's a celebration! We've both put in lots of hard work digging into the business and design to create something that really speaks to my client's ideal client and then it's time to put it out into the world. This project was extra special because I was able to work with someone in Richmond, which meant meeting in person and Starbucks and seeing each other around town throughout the design process.
Nicole is a wife, mom, and event planner located in Richmond, Virginia with a passion for making her weddings special for both the bride and groom. After a year of growing her business on word of mouth, Nicole was ready to invest in a brand and website that would help her reach her dream client and grow with her business and she expands to build a team and teach workshops.
At the beginning of every project, I send a few questionnaires so that I can really get to know my client - what their story is, why they do what they do, who they serve, and what makes them stand out. Here are a few of Nicole's answers:
What is the story behind your business?
"About 3 years after planning my Destination Wedding and helping other friends and family in their own planning journey, I began to think about how often the wedding day is taken for granted, yet it should be the most important day of your life. You get one chance to do it right and have it be the perfect balance of you and your partner. I started to think that this would be something I would love to do professionally and be a part of helping couples create and plan this special day. This is also how I chose the name Stag and Lily. For me, it originates out of the Bible book Song of Solomon, which is essentially a love song between a man and a woman. He compares her to a Lily among thorns and she likens him to a beautiful Stag in the field. The name represents the meeting and balance of feminine and masculine, which is what I strive to help create for each client. I make sure that each client or set of clients is represented within the final product."
What do you do that no one else does?
"I go above and beyond what is contracted of me, always. If I can do something that will ease a little bit of stress or make the day better, I will always try to do it, because why not?
I also challenge myself to find the things that make a couple unique, even if they haven't brought it to my attention right away or don't realize that it's something that could really stand out and be memorable at their event. For example, I did a wedding for a Nigerian couple and soccer is really big culturally and in their family. She didn't want to do the traditional boring guest book so as surprise to her husband, we did Soccer Balls as the guest book, with Nigerian and American Flags on them. It was a hit and was true to them."
How do you connect with your ideal clients?
"From the moment I meet with them or they reach out to me, I try to figure out what connects us. I believe we are in some way connected to every person we meet. I find out what that is and talk to them about it a little more. Whether it's a personal story (but too personal), something funny, or even an opinion or a question about what they are talking about. I do whatever I can to form a genuine connection that they will feel "touched" by and remember me for it later. I want them to feel like on any other day or in any other setting, we could be friends and enjoy a glass of wine together. I want them to trust me."
The Pain Points
When Nicole and I started working together, she had tried working with another designer to create a logo for her business, but she didn't feel like it truly reflected her business. She felt like she needed something, so she went ahead with that design and created a landing page to connect with clients, but it felt lacking. After growing her business for a year and focusing on creating a great client experience, she was ready to invest in a brand and website that would speak to her ideal client and felt true to who she is.
- She needed a website that displayed her work and helped her reach her dream clients - while still being easy to manage and update
- She wanted to make more money and expand her business to eventually include other planners, workshops, and courses
- She wanted to double her business revenue and become a preferred vendor on national wedding websites
- She wanted to stop attracting clients who didn't fit her style and price point and focus on those she could serve best
Nicole described the brand she was envisioning as earthy, luxe bohemian, west coast, stunning, minimalist, sophisticated, chic, classic, fresh, and striking. She wanted to incorporate greens, creams, and other earthy tones that could speak to both the bride and groom.
We started the process by creating a Mood Board that incorporated images and colors from her branding Pinterest board and pulled together the feeling she wanted for her brand. Once that was set, we began working on her logo design with a few options.
Each logo concept offered something a little different and Nicole had a difficult time choosing which she liked best. After refining and working together, we created a logo that combined masculine and feminine, but still maintained the classic, chic look she wanted.
The Final Brand
Nicole's final brand is made up of a main logo, an alternative logo, and two icons that she can use throughout her business collateral. The color palette is clean, simple, and earthy, while still maintaining a feminine feel.
Nicole's current website was simply a landing page that allowed people to find her on social media or connect via email. She had grown her business through word of mouth so far, but she knew that in order to connect with more of her dream clients, she needed a website that showed her planning skills and her style.
She knew that she could design a basic website herself, but didn't have the time or skill to design something professional that reflected the look she wanted on her own.
Nicole needed to have a website that she could easily update on her own, as well as the ability to add a blog in the future. She also needed an easy way for clients to get in touch with her.
Her home page is a simple design that immediately communicates her style through a slideshow at the top of the page and directs potential clients to their next steps in getting to know Nicole and her services.
Because Nicole works in events, it was important that she have an easy way for clients to see her portfolio and the wide range of styles she's worked with. By creating a simple Portfolio page with one image from each wedding, visitors are able to quickly get a glimpse into her work and then choose which they're interested in seeing more of.
Each wedding has it's own gallery page full of Nicole's favorite images from the day. In order to make adding new weddings to her website, I created a template that she can simply drop new images into without having to layout a new page each time.
It was important that Nicole's Services page be simple and easy to navigate. She offers a wide range of event planning and coverage, so we wanted to make it easy for potential clients to see what she could do for them and then allow her to share more in their conversations.
I loved working with Nicole on this project and really felt that we were able to capture her vision through her new brand and website. Because we kept everything simple and designed on Sqaurespace, it's easy for her to add new services and other opportunities as her business grows. Check out Nicole's website to see more.
Do you feel like your brand and website aren't truly speaking to your dream client? Have you been so busy building your business that you haven't had time to focus on design? I'd love to learn more about you and see how I can help you achieve your big business goals.
Lemon and the Sea is a branding and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creatives who enjoy being involved in every step of the process to help them update their brand and website so that it better reflects who they are and what they do. From logo and collateral design to Squarespace websites, I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into their what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a brand that represents them.