Hands up if you do your own finances? Write your own website copy? Formulate your own marketing strategy?
I get it — building a business can cost a small fortune so it’s natural that we all try to cut corners where we can. Eventually though, we know that we’re going to have to hire a professional accountant if we want to make savings on our tax bill. If we want copy that converts, we’ll have to bring in a professional copywriter. And if we really want to grow our business, at some point we’d do well to talk to a marketing pro.
It’s no different with design.
Sure, there are loads of programmes that allow you to design your own logo and yes, you can build your own website, but are these options a decent substitute for the work of a professional designer?
I’d like to say no, you must hire a professional designer immediately or your business will fail, you’ll be destitute within a year and you’ll have to take a job in McDonalds. However, it’s not quite that simple.
If you’re stony broke and just need to get a web presence out there so you can start trading ASAP, then yes, DIY design is going to be a lifesaver. Get yourself over to WordPress, sign up for my Website in a Week course and start creating. It’s better than nothing and a great way to get the ball rolling.
Will you want to stick with the DIY approach forever though? That’s an easier answer: hell no! Here are 6 reasons why a professional designer is worth every penny…
1. They’ll help you develop a strong brand identity
The importance of a strong, consistent brand identity can’t be overstated: it’s crucial. A professional designer knows how to take your core business values, your strengths and your passions and turn them into a visual that completely sums you up and makes the world want to get to know you.
2. They know that flexibility is key
It’s rare that a DIY design programme will give you the flexibility you need when creating a logo. Just ask any print specialist!
Your logo is a hard-working creature; you’ll find it on your website, your letterhead, and your business cards. As your business grows you might need a decal for a van, shop signage, branded t-shirts or a stand for a trade show. A logo is not a one-size-fits-all affair. So often when a customer designs their own logo, it simply won’t work on all of these different media; as soon as you try to resize it, the image becomes distorted, pixelated or impossible to read.
When you hire a pro to design your logo, they’ve already thought of this. They’ll provide you with the different versions you’ll need to display your logo across all of your marketing materials and they’ll make sure you know how to apply your brand colours and your font to everything you produce to ensure a consistent message.
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3. They’re always thinking of your audience
Designers do a tonne of research when they take on your branding project and discovering your target market is a huge part of that. A great designer will keep your audience at the forefront of their mind through the whole design process, from picking the perfect font and colours to attract your target customer to making sure your website is easy to navigate, visually persuasive and compatible with mobile devices.
4. They save you time
A lot of design processes take time — be wary of any designer who’ll knock you out a logo in a day or two — but working with a pro can save you hours of stress and effort when it comes to website updates or creating Canva templates for example. Because we’re using specialist software day in and day out we can often zip through things and have them done before you’ve even fired up your computer!
5. They’re big on collaboration
You’ll find that many designers collaborate with other creative professionals. From copywriters to photographers to printers, we often have a bank of people we can call on to make sure every aspect of your project is taken care of.
6. They offer an outside perspective
Sometimes we’re just too close to our own business to see things clearly. Many is the time a new entrepreneur has drawn up a logo inspired by an image that holds personal significance, or they’re determined to stick to a colour scheme or font based on their own preference.
While they may love the finished logo, will their audience understand it? Is it an accurate representation of their business? It can be hugely beneficial to work with someone who can help you cut through the sentimentality and give you an unbiased opinion on what works and what doesn’t.
Pick my Brain
If DIY design is as far as your budget can stretch at the moment, there is some help available to keep you ticking over until you can afford professional branding.
I’ve had so many people approach me for help with their DIY design projects that I’ve introduced a new service: ‘Pick my Brain’. If you’re looking for honest feedback on a logo design or you need a step-by-step tutorial on how to get the most out of your WordPress site, you can book a 15, 30 or 60-minute Skype consultation with me.
Or if it is time to take things to the next level, you can find out about branding packages and working together here.
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