Can you believe it is JUNE?! My mind simply can't handle it - where is the time flying?
Today, I'm sharing everything I think you should consider before hiring a brand designer. Yep, you read that correctly! While I love working alongside business owners to craft a truly unique brand, there is nothing more upsetting for a designer (or a client!) than working on a project when one party isn't quite ready for the commitment. Getting into the nitty gritty of your business is a key component of the brand design process, and if you're not prepared to answer the following questions, you'll likely end up unhappy and frustrated. I would never want that!
While many of these considerations translate no matter what you're outsourcing (web development, brand photography, even virtual assistant services!), there are a few specific to design wants and needs.
1) What is your motivation for re-branding or branding?
If you're thought process goes something like: "Clients aren't booking me, but I know I have more to offer them," then okay! Let's get to work! However, if your motivation lies more in wanting to embrace the exact identity or approach of another business, slow your roll and stop to think. The brand identity process is reserved to create something for YOUR ideal client based on YOUR specialities and one-of-a-kind offerings. Re-branding to look like someone or something else is not the answer.
2) What is your budget?
I hate to bring this one up (money is the worst, can we all agree?), but brand design is both a science and an art. It requires hours upon hours of research, sketching, conceptualizing, and finalizing designs to perfectly appeal to your audience, and therefore costs an appropriate amount for said service. Not to mention, Designers are perfectionists by nature (and with good reason) and want to deliver the best possible product, which means time is often spent exploring every nook and cranny of your design and implementation to make sure it is just right. Keep this is mind if you are paying an hourly rate.
3) What is your preferred timeline?
Do you expect your branding materials in the next 5 days? Sorry, friend - that most likely won't happen. Typical brand designs take anywhere from 2-6 weeks (possibly more), depending on the demands, wants, and needs of the client. I know many designers, including myself, reserve clients on a time block basis - meaning a 4-6 week time block is reserved in advance of the project to ensure your project is given my full, undivided attention!
4) Do you have a general idea of your target client or audience?
This one is HUGE, y'all. Walking into a branding project without any idea of who, exactly, you want to capture will almost assuredly mean you're wasting your time (and money!) Contrary to popular belief, your business visuals should not be created around your particular likes or dislikes. Instead, a strong brand design will pinpoint the desired aesthetic, message, and colors that appeal to the specific client you hope to book. It is imperative you at least have a small understanding of what this particular client looks like.
5) What is your desired outcome?
Seems obvious, right? What exactly do you hope to gain from a brand design? Do you want to book more business right off the bat? Do you want to appeal to a different audience from that of your current client base? Are you hoping to raise your prices? Understanding your end goal will not only help you select the right designer for your project, it will help guide your decision making throughout the process.
6) Will you trust another professional's opinion?
In outsourcing your design project, will you trust the designer you've hired (or want to hire) to make the right decisions for your brand? Will you consider his or her opinions and expertise in this process? This is a big one. Ask questions before jumping the gun to see how your designer thinks and see if his or her answers match up with your end goals.
7) What problem are you looking to solve?
Is there a problem with your current branding that hinders your overall success? If so, what is that one thing (or many things!)? What, specifically, do want or you need your designer to change about your current collateral, digital presence, or overall presence?
8) Where do you envision your brand in 5 or 10 years?
In other words, where do you want your branding to take your business? Understanding your business goals prior to jumping into a brand design is absolutely crucial, since so many decisions surround around this purpose. For instance, if you currently sell local coffee but hope to expand to a full-blown restaurant in a few years, branding your business with coffee-related icons or emblems likely means another re-brand in just a few years!
9) Are you willing to change your brand's visuals, photography, and even messaging?
Last, but not least, are you able to step away from your current materials in full? Are you willing to commit to the entire process, not just certain elements or it? True brand design means stripping away your collateral from the ground up - business cards, invoices, website, even social media aesthetic can change with purposeful, pointed branding.
If you feel confident in your answers to each of these questions, then you are ready to dive right into a new brand - how exciting! I would love nothing more than to walk alongside you in this process.
Is there something you'd like to see on the blog? Let me know - I would be delighted to hear from you!