When you own your own business, there’s never a dull moment. That’s why I wrote Turn Eye Appeal Into Buy Appeal. It’s the do-it-yourself graphic design handbook that makes marketing your business as easy as 1-2-3. There are some projects, though, where it pays to hire a graphic designer. When it’s time to hire a graphic designer, these 5 essential tips can save you a lot of time and money:
1) Figure out if you can do it yourself
If you are not a professional graphic designer, you could spend days — even weeks — to make a brochure or flyer that a professional designer could do in a matter of hours. For major projects that will be a big part of your marketing campaign, you’ll want to take advantage of the experience a graphic designer can offer. Once you find the right designer, you will have access to a consistent style of graphics for all your marketing pieces.
2) Check out their samples
Do you like what you see? If their portfolio includes the design elements that you are looking for, then you’ll know if their style is going to mesh with your style. And of course, you’ll want to see how their style will work for your type of product or service.
3) Get references
Your best place to start would be by asking friends and colleagues if they can recommend someone. Also, many graphic designers will include testimonials either on their website or correspondence. Don’t be shy to call . . . it’s why they’re there! You can also check with local printers. They usually know firsthand what the designers working style is. The website for the American Institute of Graphic Artists has a free listing of designers all over the country.
4) Interview your prospective graphic designer
Talk about the size and scope of the project, what your expectations are, and any deadlines you may have. You can get a sense of their work ethic, and see if you will work well together. This gives the designer the chance to ask you questions, too. You’ll know upfront if they have the time and skill to take on your project.
5) Get it in writing
Once you’ve found the right designer, make sure all the details are outlined in an estimate or proposal. Get it in writing and make sure you know what it does (and doesn’t) include. Don’t forget to read any terms and conditions (such as a deposit) and make sure you’re comfortable with them before you start the project.
Now you can go out and hire the graphic designer that’s going to make your marketing campaign come to life!