As entrepreneurs, we all want to approach our startups or business ventures handling as much of the work ourselves, graphic design tasks included. We do that not only to maintain quality control but also to keep our costs as low as possible. However, when it comes to design work for your logo, website, print material, social media content and whatever else you put your brand on, you might want to rethink the “do it all myself” tactic.
It takes talent and a fair amount of training to create designs that clearly communicate complex ideas and do so in a manner that makes the content memorable. A professionally designed website and high-quality marketing content can make a tremendous difference in public perception of your brand and the growth of your business.
Whether you are in the planning process or have already launched your startup, ask yourself if you feel really confident about directing traffic to your website or pushing out your marketing materials. If you aren’t sure, or the answer is a resounding “no,” it may be time to contact an experienced graphic designer.
BASIC SIGNS IT’S TIME TO HIRE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER
There is a Lack of Consistency
Anything associated with your brand should be instantly recognizable as yours. Branding guidelines are essential to accomplishing this task. Pull up your website, put one of your business cards next to the screen, use your phone to pull up your social media accounts and look at everything together. Is the aesthetic presentation of your business coherent and cohesive across all of these channels? If not, it’s time to contact a professional. Not only will she establish a visual consistency, but she can also help you establish brand guidelines to make sure you maintain that homogeny as your organization grows.
Things Look Cheap or Homemade
You may need to call in a trusted friend or mentor for this moment of truth. Look at all of your brand content and honestly consider the level of originality, sophistication, and engagement. Browse the web to compare your content to that of highly successful big businesses.
Cheap graphics and stock photos put together in a word processing program are incredibly obvious when looked at in comparison to work done by a professional. Your materials should help your brand stand out as it delivers your message to target audience members. Original graphic design will not only help set your brand apart, but it also communicates a certain level of professionalism and validity.
So, whether your materials get an “okay” or an “oh, my” know that the technical skill and expertise will bring you to “amazing.” And don’t be concerned about losing creative control. A talented designer will create content that captures the personality of your brand and will engage your target audience.
ADVANCED SIGNS IT’S TIME TO HIRE A GRAPHIC DESIGNER
NO TIME TO DO IT YOURSELF.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners wear a stack of hats. Even if you have a fair amount of ability to create engaging designs, the process may consume an inordinate amount of your precious time. A professional graphic designer will lighten your load and allow you to spend your efforts elsewhere. Instead of laboring over design projects you engage in a planning conversation and have no other related responsibilities until it is time to take a look at the first draft. The designer will also use professional level tools and platforms for a more sophisticated end product.
A MARKETING BUDGET EXISTS
If you have a line in your budget for marketing, use some of that towards graphic design. Do some research by checking out designers’ portfolios and contact those whose work speaks to you as a style or approach that would benefit your business. Reach out to a small handful of professionals to get an understanding of their rates and what services you receive as part of a business relationship with them.
Choose the person you click best with and start benefiting from his or her expertise. And don’t feel like you are stuck with that designer if the process or end product don’t live up to your expectations. That is the beauty of contracting with freelancers instead of hiring an employee. You aren’t “stuck” with your first choice and can always search again before your next need for a graphic designer.
YOU ARE READY TO COLLABORATE
As much as our fiercely independent entrepreneurial minds want to control, there is value in bringing multiple brains to the table. A professional graphic designer will work to understand your vision and then bring it to life. It can and should be a collaborative effort and you communicate through the design process and work together to create content and designs that truly represent your brand and your mission.
Outsourcing some or all of your graphic design needs brings in a fresh point of view and leverages a different set of skills than those possessed by you and your team. You will free up time that will let you handle the tasks and responsibilities more firmly in your wheelhouse. You are able to provide current and potential clients high quality, engaging content that allows them to focus on the products or services you have to offer instead of wondering how legitimate is a business with “that” sort of website and materials.
The graphic design experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have experience working with businesses of all sizes and across a multitude of industries. Whether it is a logo design, website, point of purchase graphics, or whatever your graphic design needs entail, contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you present your brand as a top-notch competitor in your industry. Let’s get started!