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Choose the Right Web and Graphic Designer

(ahem)

With so many choices it may be hard to find the right designer for your specific needs. Below is a short guide to help you make the right choice when choosing a Designer. These points could also be useful when hiring a web designer, graphic designer, or any designer for that matter.

I’ve linked to my own examples to show you how I personally communicate to potential clients the value of my design work.

In no particular order:

Experience

Previous identity projects will give you a good idea of what skill level your designer is at and what you can expect though this is not to say that a new designer can not produce top quality results – this point has to be considered with all of the other points mentioned below, in which case a strong portfolio is probably the best indicator.

Check out some of the other sites the designer has created

All creative designers have a unique style to them and certain elements common to .coms they develop. Browse through the sample sites on their .com’s portfolio and be sure their style is in line with how you view your brand.

Positive Testimonials

Have they got positive testimonials from past clients?

Ensure you check the testimonials validity which can be done by looking for a web address or even by emailing the company. It’s a good idea to check if the company even exists.

Know Your Bottom Line (price)

The first step to work out is what you want your website and internet marketing to achieve. You need to consider carefully your aim, your goals and how you are going to measure success.

For example, if your website is mainly e-commerce your focus is going to be on return-on-investment (ROI), conversion of sales, and building and maintaining your customer base.
If you are launching a new company and you need brand awareness, you will simply be providing information and education about your services or products. So in this case, good visibility and a clear focus is needed.

When you know what you need to accomplish your goals, you will be able to see if an agency fits the bill.

What to do? Ask the agency you’re interested in to provide solid proof of their capabilities. They should be showing you case studies or examples of how they have approached a problem and how they have provided a solution.

The costs of the service is usually quite evident of what you are going to receive. In most cases, you will get what you pay for but don’t take price as the only indication.

How much does a logo design actually cost? In my experience, this is the most frequently asked question and the hardest to answer. This is because every company has different needs.

Great Customer Service

Do they respond to your emails quickly? How do they communicate & present themselves? A designer should provide great customer service throughout the whole process, from the initial email right through to after sales support.

Don’t choose a designer that promises to get you to the front of Google

That is not your designers job. It is their job only to set you up with the tools so that your site can potentially get to the front of Google and your site is coded properly with SEO in mind. Any designer who promises this up front for a popular term, I would be extremely weary of.

Organic search engine traffic is grown by a sustained addition of content and usefulness to your .com over time. A blog is a fantastic way to accomplish this without bloating your site’s content.

Know your cost vs. value

It’s usually the elephant in the room. Cost is definitely a deal maker or deal breaker when it comes to hiring an agency.

As with everything else you purchase, the phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true in the world of web design and development. If you begin to cut costs solely for saving a dollar now, you may not reap as much value in the long-term when it comes to delivering the results you planned for in step one.

So how can you justify the costs of your project? It’s simple math really. This is where you as a business owner stops to do some research. What have you spent in the last year on your marketing and advertising? The past five years? How have those efforts brought a return on your investment?

Business Professionalism

Attention to detail, trustworthiness, strong communication skills and time management are all vital and go hand in hand with great customer service.

Hire a designer who is recommended/referred by someone who is web-savvy

There is a reason I only link to certain designers on this blog. I either have worked with them in creating successful .coms, or I have been incredibly impressed by their work. The best designers are in high demand due to strong referrals for being at the edge and creating the very best web sites in the world. Finding a web designer, through a referral by someone you trust is probably the best way to find the right one for you.

Again, having proper design is just the first step. It is a solid commitment to dominate Google and to get your site a decent amount of steady traffic. It is an ongoing process from your team for a time long after your designer finishes their work before you’ll see big results.

A designer should ask a variety of questions to find out your needs in relation to your business goals. Questions should revolve around the companies history, target market, competitors, company goals, etc.

Need a Quote?

Great! I’m looking forward to learning more about your business and your project goals. This questionnaire should get things rolling.

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New Project Questionaire

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Contact Details
6. What kind of project(s) do you have in mind? (Check all that apply)
Complete WebsiteSite Design OnlySite Development OnlySearch Engine Optimization
Site MaintenanceLogo DesignBusiness CardsOther
7. Are you the decision-maker for this project?
Yes
No
8. Do you have a required launch date?
Yes
No

If your project is a website, please continue. Otherwise, you can skip ahead to question 14.
9. What should the function of your website be?
Brochure - Presents company information and cuntent rarely changesInformational - Presents company information and regularly publishes new content, such as blog posts
Entertainment - Promotes a product, such as an album or movie, and often inforporates music and/or animationE-Commerce - Wells products or servicesOther

10. Do you have a site structure ready (list of pages and description of content for each page)?
Yes, I have a site structure outlined.No yet, but I will get one ready.
No, I need some help preparing one.Other

11. How should the site be perceived?
ModernInnovativeSpre & MinimalisticSophisticated
Rich & BoldCasualFunOther

13. Will you be providing your site copy?
No, I need to outsource the copy.

14. Do you have any of the following resources for the project?
LogoPrint Materials (eg. business cards, brochures, or print ads)Branding SpecificationsPhotos
VideosDomain Namehostingother

15. What is your project budget? (This range will give me an idea of how many features can be included.)
Less than $2500$2500-3000$3500-$4500
$4500-$5500$5500+Not sure yet

16. Is your company a 501(c)(3) non-profit?
Yes
No

18. Are you intereste in any of the other following services?
Logo DesignBusiness CardsOther Print MaterialsDigital Banners
HTML EmailsSearch Engine OptimizationSite Maintenance

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