Fuel Creative Group does branding and identity campaigns, website design, signage, packaging, and other print and interactive projects – basically all the things that other agencies do. So how to stand apart from the crowd? Make a book, a really great book, that showcases the agency’s talents. It’s worked.
We spoke to Steve Worth of FUEL recently and he shared insight into how the agency uses the book, what clients think of it, and some great tips
Blurb: How did you come up with the idea of a book to promote your business?
Steve: For a long time we were exploring how we could present our expanding design portfolio in a way that was easier to manage that the typical methods (boards, projectors, lightboxes).
We realized that you have about ten minutes to make an impression with clients and messing with projectors wasn’t really efficient. We experimented with a Blurb book and it was quickly apparent that it was the right way to go.
Blurb: So what was it about the book that impressed clients?
Steve: The book is unique, the presentation is very professional – people ask all the time how we can afford to make a book like this one. It’s a great way to get our work literally in the client’s hands and let them explore. And finally, I know it sounds really old-school, but it was clear that when a client got the book in hand, they were impressed by the way it “felt” and they felt extremely comfortable handling it.
Blurb: What do you think is the main advantage of a book versus a Powerpoint presentation of your work?
Steve: We can bring multiple copies of the book to a presentation and everyone’s experience flipping through it is unique to that person.
I love the idea that after we leave and the next firm walks in and starts setting up their presentation, our bright red book is usually sitting on the client’s desk.
And the time that the other firm spends cleaning up (gathering story boards, shutting down the projector), we spend connecting with the client.
Blurb: How did you choose your book’s trim size? Paper?
Steve: We chose the largest format you allowed at the time and we went with an ImageWrap cover and premium paper. All of these were chosen for maximum quality and effect.
Blurb: We’ll be honest. Those upgrades cost. Did that deter you at all?
Steve: Price really wasn’t an issue for us, as each book is meant to land us work, which makes the investment well worth it. We get requests from clients to keep the books – no one throws a nice book out. Imagine your portfolio sitting on a client’s desk for months.
Even if we don’t get the initial job, many potential clients bring us back for second-round interviews and they tell us that the book was the reason we were asked back. A typical project for us can go from $5000 upwards, so a $100 investment in a book is a no-brainer.
I think people react to the professionalism of a book. Going through the effort to create a book shows clients just how seriously you take yourself and how much you value their time. It’s like bringing a gun to a knife fight.
Blurb: Final thoughts on Blurb?
Steve: For FUEL Creative Group, Blurb’s print quality even on very short runs and the ease of making updates as new work comes out makes it the obvious choice for showcasing our work. We couldn’t be happier.
Blurb: We couldn’t be happier either. Thanks, Steve. Best of luck with your book. We hope it brings you many more projects.