Working with CAA: Our Process & FAQs

Standard Project Process

Every project is essentially unique. But some standard steps almost always occur when we work with our clients on web or print initiatives. We have outlined these below.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The initial consultation is always free. At this point, you and Caroline discuss what marketing service you may need, what goals you have for this initiative, and more. Caroline aims to obtain as much information as possible in order to supply you with the best estimate and the best possible finished product.

ESTIMATE

After the initial consultation, Caroline will develop a project proposal or an estimate. This formal quote details the scope of the work to be done and the costs involved. Most of our estimates involve a fixed fee. However, some projects are estimated by the hour. Rush jobs also are billed by the hour. All estimates are valid for 3 months from the date on the estimate.

STATEMENT OF WORK & DEPOSIT

On approval of the estimate, Caroline will supply you with a contract (Statement of Work). This finalizes project cost, as well as the legal details, ownership, copyright, and payment plan. A signed copy should be returned to Caroline with your deposit (if applicable) at which point your project will begin.

WORKFLOW

For most projects, the beginning stage of workflow is dominated by preliminary design development and/or wireframes. Depending on your contract, Caroline may be work on 2 or 3 preliminary designs to present to you for your particular project. After preliminary designs are presented, she will work with you to incorporate changes to the favored design, including involving elements from the other designs. At this point, Caroline will begin writing content, if needed, as she also continues finalizing design. Print work will be e-mailed to clients for editing rounds and approval. Websites will be loaded to CAA's test area for private reviewing and commenting.

PROJECT COMPLETION

Print: Print projects are considered completed when either:
a) Printing company proofs are approved by the client;
b) Final files have been delivered to the client; or,
c) Otherwise stated in a contract or estimate.

Websites or other online marketing projects are considered completed when either:
a) The site or project is deployed into public use;
b) Final files have been delivered to the client; or,
c) Otherwise stated in a contract or estimate.

Upon project completion, we will invoice any balances.


How to Send Content & Client-Provided Graphics

CLIENT-SUPPLIED ARTWORK

CAA offers a wide range of stock photography for print and website projects, in addition to original or stock icons. However, most clients have logos, headshots, product photography, or other artwork that is to be used in a project. For the best results and the most efficient project work flow, we request that all client artwork be sent as one of the following:

Print Projects:

  • Resolutions of no less than 300 dpi
  • Photography should be sent as a .jpg
  • We prefer to receive logos and other illustrations in their original, unflattened .ai files and with transparent backgrounds. If that is not possible, a .png will often work.
Web & Digital Projects:
  • Resolutions of no less than 72dpi
  • Photography should be sent as a .jpg
  • Logos, icons, and other illustrations/vector images with transparent backgrounds should be sent in .ai or .png formats.

Artwork files can be large. Please compress your artwork files before e-mailing. For large amounts of artwork, we can work with you through YouSendIt, Google Docs, or a cloud-based application.

CLIENT-SUPPLIED CONTENT

Generally, our clients take advantage of our copy and editing services. However, especially with re-designs, content may already exist. Client content should be e-mailed in unformatted Microsoft Word or in Adobe PDF attachments. We will also accept e-mail messages for small amounts of copy (single paragraphs). For the most efficient design and/or programming, please provide plain, black type, stripped of all Microsoft formatting, except for paragraph breaks.


Retainers & Program Management

For businesses without an in-house marketing department, planning, managing, and maintaining various website, direct mail, social media, and other marketing channels can be overwhelming. Caroline offers marketing management and sales channel maintenance for some or all of a firm's marketing activities, which frees clients to focus on other aspects of their businesses. These services are available on an affordable monthly or annual retainer basis. A retainer contract offers on-going clients a discount on Caroline's hourly rates and makes annual budgeting easier. Please e-mail Caroline or call (847) 274-8567 for more information.


Flexible Billing & Payment Information

CAA accepts checks as well as credit card payments. We bill fixed-rate projects in halves (as a deposit and at project completion). Hourly projects and retainers are billed monthly. For small businesses and start-ups with large projects, we do offer other installment payment options.


Client Communication & Emergency Support

Caroline takes pride in the professional relationships that she has developed with her clients, many of whom have worked with her for several years. She is easily reached via e-mail, phone, and text throughout the work week. Caroline's official office hours are 9:00am–5:00pm, although she is often available for local evening meetings.

Caroline is available on weekends via cell to current clients experiencing the very rare website or e-mail emergency. While she is not an IT expert, she will do her best to help with e-mail issues. Caroline Andrew & Associates, LLC, does not handle hardware, software, internet connectivity, or phone problems.


Hosting & Domain Names

If needed, Caroline can help you select an appropriate website hosting package as well as one or many domain names. She has worked with a variety of hosting and domain registration vendors, including GoDaddy, Network Solutions, BlueHost, and others.


FAQs

Q: Our in-house marketing team is overloaded. Do you work with corporate marketing departments or other in-house departments?

A: Yes! Caroline is available for contract/1099 work with your marketing team or with departments requiring help with marketing projects of their own.

Q: How long is your design and development process?

A: The planning, design, development, and writing process varies from project to project. Timing varies depending on project complexity and on the client's response time, feedback, and edits. Websites can take anywhere from six weeks to four months depending on project requirements.