Why You Need an Investment Guide

An investment guide is a dual-purpose document that every designer should have on hand to send to potential clients. When you receive an inquiry, you need to respond in a way that converts good prospects to clients and weeds out the rest. As an introduction to you and your brand, it should be professional, thorough, and tailored to your own polished process. While providing this information upfront is a benefit to hopeful clients, it is also a time-saving measure for you and your staff so that your valuable time is spent designing instead of fielding questions via email.

If you need to create an investment guide or update an existing one, we offer several beautiful Investment Guide Templates. Today, we are outlining what to include and why (and bonus: the easiest way to put one together).




When considering the contents of a well-constructed investment guide, it’s important to think about what information is available to potential clients already. It’s reasonable to assume that if someone is inquiring about your services that they’ve already done their part by reading through your website. Your investment guide should provide value by building on this information and including things that you don’t want to be published on your site.


Why You Need an Investment Guide by IDCO Studio

Design: Ginny MacDonald | Photography: Sara Tramp Photography


WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR INVESTMENT GUIDE


It’s helpful to draft it—and also present it—in sections, like an elaborate elevator pitch. Here is an exact outline of what we like to include in ours:


PERSONAL LETTER

We recommend beginning with a message straight to the reader from you. This helps the document feel more personal and gives them an idea of what to expect throughout. Explain the purpose of the guide in your own words. As always, keep your brand messaging top of mind as you write. It should inform your wording and how casual or formal you choose to be.


List your personal email at the bottom of the letter if you feel comfortable. This gives prospective clients the sense that this document is not meant to replace direct communication, but to be a resource for them as they consider hiring you.


If you find that your investment guide is quite lengthy when you’re done (especially if you offer a number of different services), consider adding a table of contents before or after your letter for the reader’s convenience.




ABOUT YOUR BRAND

This section is optional, but is great for brand awareness and adding some personality to a document that can be heavy with practical information. You can execute this section in the form of a short bio, a listing of team members, a short manifesto, or even a branded mood board—whatever makes the most sense for your business.


PROCESS

Sit down and write out each step from start to finish, then go back and polish the wording. It’s important for clients to know what to expect in terms of first steps, general timeline, and how they should expect to be involved. This section should be highly informative and several pages. Be certain that you write this as true to your existing processes as possible so that the client can use it as a reference point in the future instead of constantly having to be briefed on what’s next.