5 Things To Look For When Hiring A Designer
There are SO many designers out there-- you’ll see what I mean if you ask Facebook or Google for recommendations. And trying to figure out which designer to choose to bring your businesses’ identity to life is definitely a big decision. I believe to truly create something amazing, it needs to be a perfect fit for both parties involved.
Here are five things you should look for in a designer to ensure that you are making the right choice.
1. You like their style.
This seems so obvious, doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised. It’s important that a designers style resonates with you. Check out their portfolio, check out their social media pages, and everything in-between because their style will come out in their work (just as an interior designers, photographers, and everyone else in any creative industry will have their natural style come out in the work they produce.)
My style? I love imagery to be the focus. I love minimalist design with meaning behind it. I design with the user-experience in mind and work hard to try to get in the heads of your ideal clients to make sure your site really converts. I love to focus on typography and layout and don’t like things to be too stuffy, busy or over-complicated. I believe all good design that is timeless and effective comes back to one thing: simplicity.
2. They walk the walk.
This goes for every industry when you hire someone- but design is definitely a good one to gauge. If a designer is talking about user-experience, SEO, and alllllll those other best practices- make sure they actually implement it themselves. Don’t hire someone who tells you the importance of a good website when they don’t have a website that is mobile friendly or one that gives you a good experience.
You wouldn’t hire a health coach who only ate McDonalds and never went to the gym, right? It’s the same thing. Designers should be able to not only explain their expertise, they should be able to show it across everything they do through different avenues- their website, social media, portfolio, etc.
3. You both agree on preferred communication methods.
So. Many. Designers. Are. So. Bad. At. Communicating.
I wish I knew why that was, but I have heard SO many horror stories from clients on designers that never communicated, never met deadlines, leaving the client totally in the dark about where they were on their project. Did it just start? Was it almost finished? Were they even working on it?
Communication is just as important in a working client relationship as it is in any other relationship. I ask clients their preferred way of communication from the start to ensure we will be on the same page. This makes ALL the difference in your experience working with a designer.
For example- some clients can’t put their words into emails easily, so they are overcome with a lot of resistance. When I see that happening with a client, I tell them they are more than welcome to send me voice messages, Voxers, videos, or whatever makes THEIR life easier.
If you’re someone super busy and on the go, make sure the designer you choose to work with will accommodate that. If you’re someone who’s busy and likes to draw things out and make videos of your thoughts, make sure your designer will accommodate that. For both parties to be happy at the end, it is ESSENTIAL to figure out how you can really communicate.
4. They aren’t afraid to tell you their opinion.
Transparency and honesty is essential when working with a client. Sometimes clients send us things off Pinterest and want us to replicate the exact same design. 1) That is really insulting to us (we are creatives- let us create!) 2) You hired us because we are the expert, right?
While obviously it is key that you make your client happy and that they are thrilled with the end results, it is also important to remember that this is our zone of genius- just like you have yours. I don’t tell my accountant how to manage money- even if I think I know what is better, because I know this is what she studied, this is what she created a successful business around, and so I stay in my lane and area of genius.
Don’t get me wrong- your designer should 100% collaborate with you, make revisions, and produce something you love- but a good designer won’t just ask you what you want and then recreate it, because anyone can do that. A good designer acts like a business partner and truly tells you the truth if it’s a bad idea to go in a certain direction- because we WANT your business to succeed- I seriously root for my clients’ businesses like my own!
5. They understand the marketing side of things.
Good design should be able to be executed well through collateral, social media templates, and everything in-between. Having a designer who really implements best marketing practices will create a perfect marriage between your marketing efforts to your design efforts. Design is one pillar under the giant umbrella of marketing, and it should reflect your overall marketing and business goals.
Make sure your designer is really getting to know you and what your business stands for. Design that is timeless and lasts and that truly creates ripples of impact is built off of strategy. Make sure that your designer is asking things like who your target market is, if you’ve done market research, and how you want your brand to really be described. Make sure they ask what your goals are, what collateral materials you’ll need and the marketing avenues you really plan to utilize.
At the end of the day, most clients say they have a gut feeling to work with me when we move forward. Make sure you feel that gut feeling, and it doesn’t hurt to check off the rest of these things off the list when on your search. It will ensure that your experience is everything you want it to be and you don’t leave feeling like you wasted your money.
Want to hop on a call an see if we are a perfect fit? Contact me here.