Whether you are a new agent looking for a visual identity package or a seasoned professional looking for marketing material that compliments your brand, finding the right designer who will understand you, your brand and your goals is key. But who makes the cut? How do you know who will bring your brand to life and deliver that inspirational experience that leaves you feeling proud of what you’ve created together? Here are my top tips for finding the right designer for the job, every time.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR
Before you even begin to search out a designer you need to have a clear (ish) idea of what you’re looking for. Sounds obvious right? I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me expecting crystal balls and magic wands, and unfortunately, the psychic gene doesn’t run in this design family. More often than not when you don’t know what you want, you end up disappointed. The cure? Simple. Ask yourself some simple questions before venturing out. Are you looking for a logo or a full branding project? Need a quick turnaround or do you have weeks to devote to the process? What is your budget? Do you have money to spend or do you need to look for budget-friendly options? The more information you have about what you need the better.
2. GO FOR STYLE
Seek out a designer who has a similar style to you. Finding the perfect fit is so important when it comes to branding and marketing. You want someone who will truly understand you and have similar tastes as you or expect to end up disappointed. Do some cyberstalking and look at past work, their social media feeds and their personal life, does their style match yours or impress you? That’s a good sign.
Similar to style, chemistry is probably the most important of all. You want to work with someone who you get along with and who connects with you on a personal level. Your designer should be invested in your wins and troubled by your losses. You want a personal cheerleader because when you have that, you’ll always have someone in your corner who is eager to showcase you at your best. Sadly, I speak to more people who are unhappy with their branding and marketing than are proud of it, and 99.9% of the time it’s because they chose a designer who they didn’t jive with. Before working with someone, set up a virtual coffee date and spend 15 minutes getting to know them, and if you’re rolling your eyes right now ( I see you!) just think of how many eye rolls you’ll be doing after you’ve coughed up the non-refundable deposit to a designer you don’t see eye-to-eye with.
Here’s a great question to ask yourself, what’s important to you about doing business? What’s your productivity style? If you are more easy going and don’t expect to be active and passionate about the design process, you should find a designer who shares that same laid back style. If on the other hand, you like clear schedules, outlines, and deadlines, make sure you have chosen a designer who will offer that. Asking your designer what deliverables will be included and what the process will be, is a great place to start. And don’t forget about that virtual coffee date!
5. LEAVE IT TO THE PROS
If I had a nickel for every design project that came my way AFTER a budget option had been attempted… look I get it, sometimes a designer just isn’t in the budget and if that’s the case then I fully support using an online service that will get the job done. But, if you are looking for a brand strategist, someone who will take the time to understand you, your brand, and your goals then stick to the pros and pay for it. There is real value investing in a designer that cares about your brand as much as you do, and who will always strive to make you look good because they are rooting for you. It’s like that often troubling old adage “you get what you pay for” If you are willing to invest in someone who will be your biggest brand advocate they are that much less likely to disappoint you.
In the end, the most important thing you can do is trust your gut and go with the designer that you truly feel will deliver what you want and need. There’s an art to choosing “the one” and finding that someone special who will create material that will make your heart sing and clients smile isn’t as easy as “swiping right.” if you put in the work to find the right designer, you’ll save, time, money, and hours spent trying to achieve a look and feel that resonates with who you are and what your business needs.