When Should I Hire a Brand Designer?

Whether you're just starting out in business or you've been doing it for a few years, it can be difficult to know when it's time to outsource and hire a brand designer. You may have tried DIYing your brand.  You may have hired a friend who was just starting out a few years back. Either way, you're thinking it's time to up your game with professional branding, but aren't sure if it's the right time to make the jump.

Today, I'm sharing five ways to tell if it's the right time for your business to hire a professional designer.

1. There is a discrepancy between your actual skill level and the skill level your brand portrays

The very first way to tell it's time to hire a professional brand designer, is if you are seeing a discrepancy in your business. This is something I talked about a couple of weeks ago with the Brand Clarity Video.

A discrepancy exists when there's a gap between your skill level (or the quality of your products) and the skill level (or quality) portrayed by your brand.

The discrepancy begins

What happens a lot of times is that we start a company. We create a brand or a logo without research or strategy. The goal is to put the services or products up for sale as quickly and as efficiently as possible. While this is a good place to start, as you get more business, your skill level improves. Your product may change, or you may make improvements.

Sales and clients come in and you continue to improve your process and products. Over time, your skill level continues to improve and improve. But this can lead to a big discrepancy with your brand which is still portraying a Company that is just starting out. Your skill is at level 10, but your brand is stuck at level one.

Because clients' first interaction with your company is usually through your brand, this could turn off a LOT of prospective customers.

Bridging the gap

Once you've identified a discrepancy, the next step is working to make sure your brand reflects your current skill/quality. Usually this discrepancy happens quickly. You're working so hard with clients and making sales that you just don't have the time to bridge the branding gap.

You need somebody to come in and bridge that gap for you. Making sure that your branding reflects your actual skill level is important to continue to attract your ideal client.

2. You're feeling overwhelmed

The second way to tell it's time to hire a professional brand designer is that you're feeling overwhelmed.

You have tried to DIY it in the past. You've used multiple programs, but can't quite figure out how to use all of the tools and features. You know how to add text, change fonts, and colors, but nothing is coming out exactly how you want. You've spent hours day after day, but it still isn't perfect.

When you hire a professional brand designer, they are taking your story, your brand, how you want people to feel, what you want them to perceive of you or of your brand and incorporating it into your business. They'll take all of that and translate it into visuals. They'll translate it into design. They will work with you through each and every step to completely remove that feeling of overwhelm.

They'll explain things like what a style brand board is. Why you need it. Why you have a primary/secondary logo, a sub mark, and a Favicon. What the differences between them are and why you need them. Your brand designer, is walking you through it all so you don't feel that overwhelmed feeling.

You won't have to download and pay for and learn 5 million programs. Your designer will be in charge of this so you can focus on your clients.

3. You want to charge more

The third way to know that it's time to hire a professional brand designer is that you're simply wanting to charge more. You are tired of the DIY prices that come along with a DIY brand. You want to be able to sell at a higher price point, whether that's for your products or your services. You've tried to increase that price point in the past but you're not able to convert.

You're clients may have said your product or service is a little pricey. They're not sold on buying at a higher price point so you may have lowered it.

This is when it's time to hire a professional brand designer. Clients that have worked with me have been able to double their prices. They have been able to book eight inquiry calls in 24 hours. Professional branding works.

When we're doing professional branding, we are showcasing your brand on a professional level. We are up-leveling everything that you currently have. We are making sure people are feeling exactly what we want them to feel. Making sure that we are having them perceive you in a certain light. We're bringing all of that on through into design. We're giving you a guideline and playbook so you know exactly who you're speaking to every single time. So that you know how to speak to them, what colors and fonts to use, and what emotions you're looking to evoke.

Making sure you create a consistent brand, which we talked about in our first video, What Does a Brand Really Mean, allows you to charge more. Not only that, it helps you actually convert at the higher price. You're not just getting inquiries that drop-off, but you're booking them as clients. You're getting to sell at a higher price point because your brand is reflecting that.

4. You don't have time

The fourth way to tell that it's time to hire a professional brand designer is simply that you don't have time. You are booked with clients and don't have time to DIY this entire thing on this side.

Sure you can do it, anybody can. But it's going to take you a really long time and you have to ask, is it worth it? Because in that span of time you're not working with clients. You're not working on your processes. Your not working on your products. Time is precious, and for your business, time means money.

Worst yet, you might produce something that's just okay and while it can get you by, it might not convert to sales. After all the time investment, it still might not allow you to sell at a higher price point. In the end you might actually be losing money on that DIY brand. For the same reason you have an accountant, or a doctor, or lawyer, you should consider saving time with a professional brand designer.

In short, if you're stressed for time, you can't learn all of these programs. If you're booking and making money it's time for an investment. It's time to outsource that part.

5. You're starting out AND you have the budget to outsource brand design

If you're just starting out and you don't have the budget, DIY it for now. Do not break the bank or get a loan. Do not incur unnecessary stress. You will have an opportunity to reinvest in your business once it grows.

If you're just starting out and you have the budget, hire a professional designer. Just do it. Create that solid foundation from the beginning to build upon.

Three Little Pigs Analogy

I liken it a lot to the Three Little Pigs children's story. In the story, there are three houses built of straw, wood, and brick. Each house has one of the Three Little Pigs who are hiding from the Big Bad Wolf. If you have the option to build your house from brick from the beginning, build it. This will let you build a second floor, to a third floor, and a fourth floor.

You cannot do that with a straw house. It is going to collapse and you're going to have to rebuild from scratch.

Studio Fulchi - Case Study

If we use my company as an example, when I first started this company, it was a small Etsy shop. I designed a simple logo. I threw it up there and booked clients. After about eight months to a year, I was like, "wow, okay, no, I can't do this". I can't expect to keep this logo and brand and expect to continue growing.

I've got to actually build out my brand. Well, I was so stressed about not having a website up that I focused entirely on just getting up a website. I ignored the branding. I mean, how could a web designer not have their own website?

So, I built my website and then in December 2018, I was like, you know what? This isn't working. Thus came my third time rebuilding my house. I'm telling you, I wasted a lot of time. So much of it.

Finally, after all of the revamping, I went through my own process that I walk my clients through. Something that I never took the time to do for my business initially. I was able to answer my own questionnaire, build out my own brand playbook and give myself a solid foundation to build from. It brought my clarity. And it worked.

So if you have the budget when you're just starting out, hire a professional designer. Avoid spending those subsequent years rebuilding and rebuilding and rebuilding.