Is Hiring a Graphic Designer The Right Move?

It seems like when the word Graphic Designer is used, some get a little scared and all they see are dollar signs. I’m here to give you a little more insight on some of the concerns and questions I have commonly heard about hiring a graphic designer. This article is to serve as a tool when educating yourself on your own marketing needs. Whether you are in the beginning of your search or frustrated with the process, I hope this article can answer a question or two. 

  1. How do you know if a graphic designer is the right direction for your business? 
  2. What would you hire a graphic designer for?
  3. If you have already used one graphic designer, can you hire a different one?
  4. How do you go about finding and hiring a graphic designer?
  5. Should you ask for references or a portfolio?
  6. What is a “fair price” when choosing a graphic designer?

As an entrepreneur yourself, you may already know there is not one exact answer to the questions listed above. At least not ONE that will fit everyone perfectly. Thankfully, we are talking about millions of graphic designers to choose from, and each of those designers have their own style, flair, flexibility, taste, background, and aesthetic. Before you even begin looking for a graphic designer make sure you know what type of materials you are looking for, how you want your business expressed, and decide if you know the details you want or if you are willing to give the designer some freedom. As a business owner, I know what I want and how I want things to look. I also know that if I were to outsource any marketing, I wouldn’t give them creative control over colors, designs, and ideas. I would hand over the details I wanted, almost to a T. However, that is who I am as a professional.

Knowing yourself is one of the best things you can do for your business. 

1. How do you know if a graphic designer is the right direction for your business? 

Again, there are no rules to this business thing. But marketing happens even when you aren’t trying. It also drives your sales, no matter what your niche is. You don’t have to hire a graphic designer the second you choose to start a business. You may never have to hire a contract or freelance graphic designer. But you have options. You can create your own logo using tools such as Paint, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Canva, DesignEvo, and others that are easy-build logo platforms. If you have a website with a drop and drag style builder (such as Wix, Weebly, Vistaprint, etc.) many of those will have a logo builder within them. If you are more advanced or have time to use Google search and Youtube you could self-teach Adobe Illustration or Photoshop. Now, let’s say none of the above are an option and you don’t have the revenue to hire a staff member. This is when I would outsource a graphic designer. Make sure you do your research for a designer that fits best for you and your company. Different designers may work with certain aesthetics, branding types, color palettes, or only due certain types of graphics. Which then leads me to my next point…

2. What would you hire a graphic designer for?
Each graphic designer will specialize in one or more types of marketing. But below is a list of some items you could hire a graphic designer to create for you: 

  • Logo
  • Website 
  • Social media ad
  • Print ad
  • Website ad
  • Business cards
  • Brochure
  • Poster
  • Flyer
  • Handout
  • Postcard 
  • Packaging Design
  • Magazine layouts
  • Newsletters
  • Creative Direct a project
  • Illustrations
  • Typography
  • Copywriting
  • Menus
  • Certification
  • Book cover
  • Magazine cover
  • Album covers
  • Tickets
  • Digital Wallpapers
  • Gift certificates
  • Certain marketing or base design for financial reports
  • Invitations
  • Story templates
  • Video editing
  • Animated images
  • Gifs

So much more…I think it’s also important to note even if you have something mentioned above, a graphic designer could do a redesign for you. For example, if you had a logo made but you have decided to rebrand, the designer you choose would likely ask some questions and redesign the logo to match.

3. If you have already used one graphic designer, can you hire a different one?
So, let’s talk about hiring someone new. Even after being a store manager, I always find it to be so awkward. I am not someone who can easily have hard conversations. If it seems like I can on the outside, I am freaking out on the inside. This could be one of those instances for you. However, you have to be confident in what you want for your business. As the old saying goes, “It’s just business.” I have found it most important to stick to my gut in knowing I am doing what’s best for my business and in-turn my clients as well.As your business grows and evolves, as times and trends change, your business is probably going to have to change with them. This is when we tend to start thinking about rebranding, redesigning, or making major changes. My only advice is to make sure you do your research and find the designer that will fit your company best. 

4. How do you go about finding and hiring a graphic designer?
This is the easiest question to answer and potentially the most time consuming to find. Thankfully, there are several ways to find a graphic designer that works best for you. You can search some of the sites below by typing in graphic designer or #graphicdesigner on social platforms: 

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Fiverr
  • Google
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer

However, the classic form of word-of-mouth will probably be one of your best option. This also doubles as a review of the designer. Don’t be afraid to reach out to local business owners or to make a status on your personal social media accounts. If your company already has social media pages, post an image that says, “We’re hiring! Looking for a graphic designer.” Give them the details on how to apply and use hashtags such as #jobsearch #freelancejob #graphicdesign #freelancegraphicdesigner. I promise you, there are several freelance designers who follow those hashtags on social media. You can also create a job post if you have a business account on social media, Google Business, Glassdoor, Fiverr, LinkedIn, or Indeed.

5. Should you ask for references or a portfolio?
Absolutely! Never be afraid to ask for references or examples of their work, if they haven’t offered already. Many freelancers will have a digital portfolio, website, or use their social media channels as their portfolio, so they may direct you there. If they don’t have a reference list readily available for you, give them a deadline to get you a list, with an understanding they may need to reach out and receive confirmation that a client is willing to be a reference. (Bonus tip: if you have worked with a designer previously, don’t hesitate to leave them a review online somewhere. Just as you would appreciate a positive review, it helps them as well). 

6. What is a “fair price” when choosing a graphic designer?
You’re not going to like this answer. Why? Because there isn’t a proper answer to give you. The beauty in freelancing or being a business owner is that you get to set your prices. A graphic designer can set their price due to a number of different reasons, i.e., experience, cost of operation, location, niche, branding, clientele, or even turn-around time. The “average range” for a graphic designer in the US is $50-$150/hour. In major cities such as L.A and New York, a designer with the right clientele may have a starting price of $300/hr.

Honestly, what you can afford to pay is probably your “fair price”. I need to go on record and say, one of my favorite expressions to live is by, “You get what you pay for.” Although sometimes a higher price tag fools me, I read reviews, and make the most informed decision I can.

If you still are unsure about whether or not to hire a graphic designer for your business, then I would halt your search. Make sure to know exactly what you are looking for and what your business needs. If you are having troubles finding your information online, refer back to the answer for question #4 and ask around. Someone you know knows a graphic designer. I guess, if you don’t want to do any of the above, click on a different page on this website and click Contact. Let’s discuss what you’re looking for. I also offer Marketing Consultations for small business owners. I can go through your current marketing, measure it again your needs/goals, and see what you’re missing or could change. 

all the love & espresso, 

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