Looking for a designer can be a bit of a daunting task but it’s necessary. You need someone to collaborate with who can help you build your brand. Your customers or clients view you through the brand you create. Think about a website that was put together poorly or didn't integrate well across mobile. Hence, hiring the right designer can help you project your brand well into the future.
But, how do you find a designer that has the right skill set and can help you meet tight deadlines when you’re about to present to investors? You have to carefully vet your applicants and here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Ask for Recommendations and Check Online
Doing a random search online might help but you might be overwhelmed by the millions of available applicants. A better option is to ask your colleagues and friends if they know of a good designer. When you ask others to help you find a designer, chances are they know someone.
If your peers don’t have any recommendations, check through your social media circles and check online locally as this can help widen your search. When you search on Google you’ll find that a simple phrase like “hire a designer” can provide you with local talent first before the search expands to other locations.
Another option is to look online and through social media at the different designs and websites that are currently available. If you see one that envisions the style or approach you want to take with your own brand, reach out to the designer.
2. Establish Your List of Expectations, Goals and Priorities
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Collaboration is crucial to a brand’s success. Hence, you want to hire a designer that can share your vision and help you meet your goals. Think about the products or services your business will provide. Then, explore your target audience and who you want to market your products or services to. This can help you determine how your designer can help with various projects that you have.
You’ll want to set up metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep all work on track with your designer. This should be outlined in the interview so they understand your expectations. For example, you might have seasonal advertising that needs to be completed by a specific deadline on your website every quarter. This should be in writing so your designer and others on your team can prioritize this request above other projects that aren’t time-sensitive.
3. Share Your Vision
When you create your vision board, you’re sharing ideas that people can see. This can help you to get the creative juices flowing. Because you want the best look for your business, discuss this with the designers you interview. You might incorporate an online vision board or one that’s in print.
Include the colors you want for your business and any phrases or slogans you had in mind. The right designer will be ready to contribute to your vision. Let them know the areas where you need help.
4. Discuss Your Plans Only If You Have an NDA
When coming up with logos and slogans, you’ll need the help of your intellectual property lawyer to ensure you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyrights or trademarks. And, to set up your non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for your designer. Some business owners have a designer sign an NDA in the interview. And, you might want to do that. No one wants to share their ideas with a designer who can take their vision elsewhere. Set up an NDA for any of your intellectual property.
The goal is to start preparing your website and marketing ideas but you need to ensure the designer you hire can provide all the features you want. You also want them to work exclusively with you and your business, if possible. If you can't hire them full-time, have the NDA in place if they work for you as a freelance designer. Some businesses even have employees sign a non-compete clause. Discuss this with your lawyer.
5. Discuss Customization
Maybe you have a website in mind but you don’t want stock images and you’re looking for someone that can provide custom images. Discuss this. If your site is up but dated, maybe you’re hiring a new designer to give it a face-lift. Go over how you envision the integration across mobile and any design features you want to include.
Do you want to add social media sharing? A rating feature? These should be discussed to ensure the designer you hire can help you take your vision to the next level.
6. Map Out Your Website
Before hiring a designer, walk through the layout of your website and what you want it to achieve. Explore other sites that have similar features and bookmark these for later. That way you can show your designer a similar approach you would like to take.
When you map out your website, include how many pages you want it to have and what content and images to include on each page. Remember, there are a few specific pages that are standard for any business.
Your 'Home' page
Your 'About Us' page
The 'FAQ' page
Your 'Contact Us' page
The product details or service details
Your 'Terms and Conditions' page
7. Consider Your Budget
One area that can affect the designer you hire is how much you set aside in your budget. If you’re hiring a designer for the first time, don’t hire the first freelancer you come across to save money because if they’re inexperienced, you’ll waste time and money making corrections.
Research the rate for the type of designer you want to hire. And importantly, ensure the designer is experienced in the features you want on your site. Here’s an example.
If you want to add a feature like a ‘Buy’ button to a web page, an experienced designer will know specific colors to use, the best fonts, button sizes (and possibly a CTA or two).
Remember, you’re hiring someone who has experience and they should help you explore ways to make your budget work so you don’t overspend.
Your website is how you will communicate your brand to customers. Before hiring a designer, there are a few areas to explore. You want to outline the work your designer will do, your expectations and goals. Share your vision board with them and show them samples of the site styles you want to mirror. These can help you find the right designer that shares your goals and can help you with your website and brand.