Graphic design is a great tool to grow your audience. It gives your business an identity that shows you are professional, and allows you to differentiate your products or services. Most of all, it can build a lasting impression in the minds of your audience. Brand your message into the mind of your audience.
Why do I need good design?
You might miss an opportunity
How many times have you gone to a website, and been turned off? Maybe it was loading too slow, maybe it was confusing, or maybe it just hurt to look at? That doesn’t just happen on websites – it happens in your print materials, too! Don’t lose customers because of small mistakes. Just like you invest in your employees and your customers, your business or organization needs to invest in quality design as well.
It builds credibility
Image is everything. You can’t deny it. That’s why we hesitate to order from sketchy looking restaurants found in an alley, or don’t walk up to the van that says, “FREE CANDY” on the side in permanent marker. According to instantshift, 94% of people said that design factors into whether or not they trust certain websites. Trust your marketing to the design professionals, while you focus on what you do best. When you take your image seriously, your clients will know that you take THEM seriously.
It helps you connect with your clients
People are attracted to good design. Even small details, like color, influences consumers psychologically. Ever notice how many fast food restaurants use the color red? Red is energizing and motivates us to take action, and also stimulates your appetite. It’s no coincidence that the restaurants chose to use that color! Smart designers make smart design choices that will help you reach out and connect with your clients.
But, I already have clients?
As a small business owner, you’ve heard countless times that you need to hire a designer to create a logo and website for you. Recently, someone asked me why they really needed to hire a designer. “I already have enough clients coming in, why should I invest more money, when this is already working for me?”
First of all, this is a poor mindset to have as a business owner. We should want to improve and grow our businesses – to grow and reach more customers, and evolve in order to better serve those customers. This goes way beyond a logo and website, but that’s a different post for another day. For today, I just want to talk about how investing in design can help bring in more business.
Let’s just take a plumber, for example. Most have basic business cards printed online – nothing fancy, just name and contact info printed in Times New Roman. It gets the job done and people still call for help. So again, “Why do I need to spend more money?”
When you work with a designer, most (if not all) offer additional pieces in their branding packages – business cards, letterhead, social media cover photos, etc. If they don’t include it in the initial package, you could easily request additional designs.
For example, a plumber could give each customer a small refrigerator magnet. I don’t know about you, but I lose a lot of cards and brochures that get handed to me, but I see magnets on my refrigerator every. single. day. He could also put his logo on his van – which would likely grab more attention of drivers than plain ol’ black text. Just think about those nicely painted food trucks vs. the sketchy “FREE CANDY” vans, and which one is more likely to entice you. Image. Is. Everything.
Now, this plumber should think about his website. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy fancy or robust. He just needs something that tells his potential customers about him, his services and prices, and how to contact him when they need help.
The downfalls of DIY
Does a plumber know how to make a website look good? I don’t really know how to fix a leaky pipe, but I’m sure duct tape will do for now... right? But, that doesn’t mean it’s actually the best solution for my problem. I could also try some DIY solutions from Home Depot – a cover, some paste, or maybe just put a bucket underneath the leak to catch the water. Though, I’d probably be better off to hire a professional to repair or replace what’s needed to fix the leak right away. Hiring a professional plumber would save me from spending that unnecessary money on the DIY solutions, and save me a lot of time and frustration. (Because I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to plumbing.)
I know as much about plumbing as much as a plumber knows about design – very, very little. Hiring a professional designer means hiring someone who is educated and trained in design, who knows the psychology behind the colors in your logo, who knows the best place to get things printed, who knows how to improve the user experience on your website, who (potentially) knows SEO practices to help do the heavy lifting on your website to bring in more customers, and on and on.
When people are starting out in business, they're usually on a budget. This usually results in business owners DIY-ing their logo, or only wanting to spend $100. I can't tell you how many of my clients came to me saying, "I did my logo myself, but it needs a serious upgrade." Today, with a little help from my husband, I'm going to show you the difference between working with a professional, and doing it yourself.
I chose my husband for this "experiment" because a) he's not a designer, but has used design programs a few times and he has a fairly decent eye for design, and b) he lives with me, so it was easy to make this experiment happen. (And yes, he really DID do this.)
Now, I'm not saying that this is jaw-dropping design work by me. But, you can see the difference in five minutes of my husband at the computer, and five minutes of me at the computer.
So, when you're investing in a designer, you're not just investing in someone to make pretty things. You're investing in your image, you're investing in looking more professional than your competitors, and you're investing in a website that will do some of the heavy lifting for you.