5 Things To Know Before Working With A Designer

When working with clients, I typically get a ton of questions on what they need before starting their design project. This often leads to a delay or not even starting the project at all. I created this post to address potential mistakes and to prepare clients’ expectations when working with a designer.

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RESEARCH YOUR BUSINESS NAME

When identifying a person, place or thing, a name is always important and your business is no exception. Before you decide to work with a designer, please do your due diligence in researching your name to ensure 1) it’s legally available, 2) it has longevity, 3) it’s functional. You don’t want pay a designer to craft this dope logo and website. Only to be hit with a cease and desist because there is another company own legal rights to the name. You don’t want those problems. And please stop replacing s with z in your business names. It’s neither cute nor professional.

Don’t know where to start with naming your business, check out this post: 3 Things You Need to Consider When Naming Your Business

TELL YOUR BUSINESS STORY

Knowing your business’ story will help the designer craft an amazing logo and website that appeals to your customers and audience. Is there a special meaning behind the name of your business or is there a specific reason you are selling certain products? That needs to be detailed in the copy* on your website, advertisements, social media, etc. Your story often details your why and knowing the why helps to develop a visual identity that captivates. Remember people connect with stories rather than products. *Copy is text used in advertisements, be it print, radio, TV, website, social media.

Interested in telling your brand’s story, begin here: Why Your Brand Should Prioritize Storytelling?

KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

You’ve got your name and story together. Now you have to figure out how to connect your story with your customers. But do you even who your customers are? Remember your products or services are not for everyone. Narrow your audience down to gender, age [range], household income, occupation, hobbies, etc. Your target audience needs to be granular over generic. For example, a generic target audience is moms but a granular target audience is moms who work a 9-5 living in the suburbs who have teenage children. When you are that specific, you can create products and services that cater to the needs of your target audience.

Download this guide to help you identify your target audience: Defining Your Target Audience Workbook

DEVELOP ENGAGING CONTENT

Hopefully I’m not the first person to tell you this. But it is not your website designer’s job to create content for your website. You will need both images and copy for your website. (For reference: copy is text used in advertisements, be it print, radio, TV, website, social media.) If you have neither copy or images, hold off on working with a designer until you can write the copy and hold a photoshoot or find relevant stock imagery. A designer can make recommendations for content but they are not responsible for sourcing it.

If you need to DIY copy for your site, check out this resource: DIY Your Website Copy. Need to DIY photos? Start with Shameless Maya’s playlist on YouTube.

HAVE A REALISTIC BUDGET

Decide what projects you would need a designer’s help in handling. Then do your research on how much each project would cost to design. Once you’ve collected that data, you now know the range of what you can expect to pay for each service. At that point, you can reach out to a designer to partner with for your projects. If your dream designer is out of your price range, no worries, most designers oer reasonable payment plans. Many times a designer will require a percentage up to 50% deposit to kicko the project. If that is still not in your budget, find another designer that may fit within your budget or save your money until you can afford their services.

Start here to research pricing for a graphic and/or web designer: The Cost to Hire a Designer

If you are planning to work with a designer, were these tips helpful? Designers, I'd love for you to share what else clients should know before working with you. Drop your comments below!