One Step You Shouldn’t Skip When Creating Visual Models


One Step You Shouldn’t Skip When Creating Visual Models

You’ve done all the hard work of creating your key visual models that form your signature system.

You’re totally in love with them, and all you want to do is send them off to a graphic designer to make them look amazing.


There’s an essential step that you’re missing. After 17 years of creating signature systems and visual models, I know this is a key step that you don’t want to miss. Missing this step could cost you money and time.

Are you tempted to skip this step?

The step people are tempted to skip is presenting your models. It’s step 4 in creating your visual models. This is essential for testing your visual models and getting the feedback you need to take them to the next level. Sure, they make sense in your head, and they look like they make sense on paper. But nothing can replace presenting them in front of real live actual human beings.

In my Authority Accelerator, I make participants get up in front of the room and present their four models because they may discover:

  • That it doesn’t flow (uh oh!).
  • There is a missing piece.
  • There is a duplicated piece.
  • They need to change the order.
  • The shape doesn’t work.
  • The metaphors are wrong.
  • The words on the model could be better.

And it’s through presenting and getting feedback from the room that they discover those things. And then, the room helps them to fix it. All before we go through the step to get them designed. This ensures that for most clients and most models, they are great right out of the gate. Sure, there will be tweaks along the way. But instead of us designing a model that’s only 80% awesome, we design a model that’s 95% awesome, and the rest is tweaks.

Imagine you just sent all your models off to a designer only to discover you need to redo them all. Not just minor tweaks, but big things need to change. That’s going to cost you more money and time.

How to present them before you get them professionally designed.

You may be thinking that you don’t want to show the world your scribbles! You don’t feel confident drawing your models by hand. However, put your fears aside.

Here’s my tip: If you think you really can’t draw them, practise the shapes by yourself a few times. You’ll get better at them. It’s not like trying to learn to sketch. We’re talking a few basic geometric shapes. You can do this. I believe in you.

And once you’ve practised by yourself, try drawing them on a whiteboard, maybe for your team members and get their feedback. Then, test them when you’re having a meeting with a client. If you’re in a cafe, practise on a napkin. If you’re in an office, practise on a piece of paper or a whiteboard.

After presenting them a few times, you’ll make tweaks along the way until you get to a model you know is great! Then, and only then do you want to send it off to be made slick by a design professional.

Bada-bing bada-boom – Your models have gone from good to great!

So, there you have it, the one step people often miss when creating their visual models and why you shouldn’t skip it.

What did you think? Do you like to test your intellectual property before getting it all polished and finalised? I’d love to know, let’s chat in the comments below.

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