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Ah, the equal emotion of excitement and frustration in becoming accustomed to a new platform. On one hand, it's inspiring to discover new technologies and tools to expand a vision. On the other, there is an adaptation process that can be a little taxing until you're able to find where all of the ingredients are in the kitchen cabinets.  steeringwheel.jpgThe nice thing about exploring NationBuilder is that it's ripe for dogfooding. The diverse set of digital treats that our customers know and love are at the fingertips of design studios as well. Not only are the platform tools a benefit to running your business, but spotlighting them as part of your capabilities provides a targeted, relative approach to customers who are seeking a particular kind of expertise. 

Here are a few ways Architects are steering their studio:

Manage your brand and portfolio

One of the easiest ways to tap NationBuilder for customer engagement is by illustrating what you can do on the platform. Using a sandbox as the main hub of your work, or complementing the portfolio by highlighting your arsenal within the NationBuilder ecosystem, establishes a value proposition that is easy to grasp. 

Often times, Architects will create their own sub-brand that scopes out how their library of services can help NationBuilder customers in relevant fashion. WebEdge Marketing, for example, has smartly partitioned out their work on NationBuilder and how they can help Australian organizations in a variety of ways (not to mention having all three NationBuilder certifications). Liberal Art created a new brand under the name Green.Tools that is designed to help Green party candidates run successful digital campaigns.

Ian Patrick Hines, on the other hand, executed an entire rebrand to account for his growing agency under the name The Beag Co. So did Oskar Zabik who created Better Nonprofit specifically for altruistic organizations looking to get the most out of NationBuilder. 

Communication tools

It may be surprising (or painfully obvious) to learn that NationBuilder actually runs on NationBuilder. We dogfood our own product to run the main site, communicate with customers, etc. Hardly a better a way to test the platform at scale. 

Architects can easily take advantage of the same. Setting up your own communication workflow, prospecting potential customers using Match, and delivering post-project surveys are a few tools at your disposal. Your experience using these assets will also give you first-hand insight - something your customers may find incredibly useful for how they can construct an effective workflow for their organization as well.  

Interactive "prototypes"

Many designers fresh to NationBuilder are understandably hesitant at first. It's a new system and framework, and they don't know if it will do what they need it to - especially if they're coming to the table with a project scope already in hand. Not to mention, their customer is typically in the same boat.

One way to simultaneously dissolve the learning curve and demonstrate the NationBuilder tools to your customer is to treat your sandbox like a demo environment. In conjunction with your mockups or wireframes that are strictly visual, you can add default pages to your demo site to exhibit some of the functionality. Extend this even further by adding your own custom Liquid statements to personalize the experience and make that first run-through really shine. 

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