If you've hired a designer to do your branding or you’re considering doing so, it’s important to remember that the branding of your business doesn’t end once you receive all of your final files. Once your brand identity is in place, it’s time to start putting it to work.
If you're not able to outsource all of your design tasks, you'll have to prioritize which ones are worth it and which to save money on. To help you determine this, I've outlined a few important things to consider.
One-Time Use vs. Ongoing-Use
One thing to take in to account when considering which design tasks to outsource, is the longevity of the piece in question. Is this going to be an item that will have a one-time use?
For example, a flyer for your upcoming launch party, or a postcard for your Black Friday sale. Obviously those items would only be used for a short period. If your budget is tight then those are ones to design yourself.
On the other hand, if you need a postcard that lists all your services or a flyer that has a schedule of ongoing classes, those are worth investing in. You’ll continually be using that kind of marketing material and it's important that it look professional.
Low-visibility vs. High-visibility
Another thing to take into consideration is how much visibility you anticipate this marketing piece to receive. If you’re attending a large conference where you expect to network with a lot of potential clients, then a professional-looking business card is a must.
If there’s an item that you don’t expect many people to see, then that may not be worth the investment. For example, I have a PDF of my pricing for wedding stationery. Wedding stationery isn’t the main focus of my business and I don’t end up sending this out to many people. If you have something similar in your business then that’s a good time to save your money and DIY it.
Printing Method Considerations
Another thing to take into consideration is the type of printing method you intend to use. If you plan on using a specialty method like letterpress business cards or a gold-foil invitation, then you should have a professional design it. There are a lot of technicalities that go into preparing files for these kinds of printing methods, and the cost to reprint if there are mistakes is very high.
Website design and development are definitely worth outsourcing for many reasons. For one thing, web design is highly technical. Although there are many ways that you can build your own site, there are so many things that can only be customized with coding knowledge.
Your website has the potential to bring new clients in all the time and is always available for anyone to see. It’s very likely the first impression many people will have of your business, which it makes it so worth the investment of a professional designer.
Aside from looking professional, your website also has to be user-friendly, which is knowledge that a good designer will have. If you have to create your own website to start with there's nothing wrong with that, but invest in professional help as soon as you're able.
It’s certainly nice to be able to outsource all of your design needs in order to free up your time to do other things, to maintain visual consistency, and to ensure your business always appears professional.
However, if you’re working with a limited budget for design, then follow the above guidelines to make sure you’re using your design dollars wisely.
If you’re currently doing all of your own design and need a little guidance, check out my free Mini Branding Guide!