One of the biggest hurdles to get over when hiring design help is how to release perceived creative control. The truth is, you don’t have to.
Having to outsource is a tell-tale sign that your business is finally starting to grow and warrants more help than just a solo-preneur or small team can provide. Growth is always a good sign as over 90% of businesses don’t make it past the first two years in business, and even less make it past the first five. While this growth is good it can be hard to determine when to turn tasks over and even more what tasks.
Simple, but time-consuming tasks are great as the first to be doled out to contractors. Some necessary, but timely tasks that can be outsourced are bookkeeping, onboarding, social media management, web design and maintenance, and more. Hiring can seem like a big deal, but once you no longer have to complete these tasks, you’ll never look back. The more creative professionals that you’d hire for things like social media management and web design are trained to capture the voice of your brand and use that to meet your needs strategically.
When hiring out, it can be difficult to let go of creative control. After all, you handpicked the logo, color scheme, and type fonts. How do you know you can trust hired help to bring your vision to life or to maintain the original vision while upgrading? The 2020s are all about the creative entrepreneur. With all of the emerging technology, there’s no better time than the present to outsource your web design.
This article is for those creative entrepreneurs outsourcing their web design. This blog features tips for working with a professional design team, and how you as the owner can maintain creative control.
How to maintain creative control when hiring web designers.
Why do customers come to your website? Is it to buy a product? Is it to schedule an appointment? To view your portfolio? First and foremost consider the customer experience. As the direct service provider, nobody understands this process and your customers better than you. No one knows better than you the kind of experience your current customer expects from start to finish.
This means you would best know how to upgrade this process, and it is up to you to properly communicate these needs to your design team. Before meeting with your new web designer, sit down and audit this process. Go through your website from the first visit to check out and see what works and what doesn’t. Communicate these needs to your design team.
The best way to maintain creative control of your website’s design without having to physically design it yourself is to come prepared with realistic expectations. The variables for website creation are endless. From colors to fonts, to single or double columns. Before hiring a web design firm spend some time looking at other websites, particularly examples from adjacent brands. Having a good idea of what you like will make your search for a design firm easier. Knowing what you want also makes it easier for the designer.
Do you want to use a QR code on your contact page? Are you a fan of pop-ups for email opt-ins or do you despise them? Knowing all of this will be helpful for your designer to know upfront. Do your research and come prepared with ideas. Not only does it let your designer know exactly what you want, but it saves the time and hassle of having to make avoidable changes.
This is an old-school method of effectively communicating with your design team. Though in this day and age, most websites have similar designs, with most having something like the F-format, it may seem like there’s no need to sketch out your site. However, for smaller details like logo placement, page flow, the different elements you want on every page, etc.. All of this can be detailed in sketches that are relatively easy to produce. If you have a smart device they might be even easier to produce on a tablet.
Whether you come with an already established style guide from previous brand collateral or your web designer creates a new one for you, use your style guide as a way to input your style needs. A style guide includes your chosen fonts, colors and hex codes, as well as your logo typically in different colors and file types. Lean heavily on your style guide, after all, that’s what it is for. It’s okay to mildly differentiate from your style guide, but you should stick closely to what you chose on that.
Establish your reason for creating your website. Will you be using this website to raise awareness? Post work? Make sales? Decide what the purpose of your website is, set a goal and discuss this goal with your designer. Web design can be personalized for specific goals. This is necessary depending on your needs. A website that has the main purpose of serving as a portfolio will have different goals than a website used as an online boutique.
Not against your designer. More than likely your designer wants to ensure that you are satisfied with your website once it is complete. However, it’s not uncommon for clients to request changes or amendments in the first round of design. This is why it’s essential to be upfront about what kind of design you want, and why researching your needs ahead of time helps designers know what you want. However, if edits are needed, work with your designer. The designer will more than likely be willing to make any necessary changes. In the meantime try to provide clear feedback making sure to highlight exactly what it is you do and don’t like.
In this day and age, everyone wants creative control. To be able to say you came up with a trendy or highly-appreciated concept is a bragging right every entrepreneur wants. However, the even bigger flex is to be able to reply, “Yeah, I found this great designer that’s into those modern concepts,” when someone compliments your website. Maintaining creative control while outsourcing your web design is totally possible. Do your research. Determine what elements your site needs the most, provide your style guide and let professionals take it off of your hands.
By outsourcing, you can spend your time doing several tasks other than sitting behind your screen working on your website all day. For more information on web design services provided by Rooted Webs visit our services page or schedule a discovery call.
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