Oh, here we go...
As a new business, you have a million questions, where to go for this, how do you promote, where are your customers ... and how do you trust anyone?
In the last few months I have seen more and more businesses pop up, and like anyone else you hire, you need to make sure they are qualified.
You wouldn't hire an accountant, realtor, lawyer or anyone without knowing whether or not they are qualified, yet some small business owners think they should cut corners when it comes to their marketing, branding, website or social media...
Most people don't get into a business without a strong background, experience, passion and likely education, so if you expect that of yourself, why would you accept less from someone you are PAYING to help you out?
Your brand, your website, your social media and marketing is what is going to attract your customers, tell your story and grab the attention you need to sell your products, so, really, is this the area you want to hire someone that does not have the right experience?
In the past 2 years, I have encountered 3 websites where the contact information (the contact submission box) was going to the designer and not the customer, costing one customer tens of thousands of dollars in lost commission and another multiple leads... can you afford to give those up?
80% of the websites I have redone have has consequential SEO practices, missing keywords, poor website structure, missing favicons and more. If Google cannot find your website, your clients will have a hard time as well.
Not mobile responsive? Over 60% of users search from a mobile device, tablet or phone... so if your website is not set up to provide an exceptional (even adequate) consumer experience, you have lost a customer, not to mention your lost Google rankings.
Marketing is not just a smile
Marketing has changed, rules (CASL) and strategy has evolved, user experience and authenticity have become the latest buzzwords, but what is real marketing? Marketing involves more, it is a full depth and breadth of experience and strategy for your company that reviews all faucets of what builds a brand, a business and your market positioning.
Signs are great, brochures are fantastic, but how does it ALL work together, is the timing right, is the messaging on par, is it all relevant?
How to hire? Find out their experience, ask questions about successful campaigns they have participated in. Ask for references and testimonials.
Social Media is about being smart socially
Once upon a time, everyone with a camera thought they were a photographer, now everyone with Canva (or the newest app) thinks they are a social media manager. If you know anything, you can spot the fakes fast. But if you are searching for some help, you probably will be sold their services, sadly. So what should you ask
1. Did they go to school for training (yes there is training and certification) and what, if any, seminars and further training are they taking?
2. Will they back up what they say, are they going to send you monthly reports, how do they develop and review their strategy?
3.What tools are they using... there are the right tools then there are the bandaid tools.
Tip: If they are on instagram with a MORE people that THEY follow than that follow them back... back away, thats not strategy, thats baiting followers.
Graphic Designers suck at first
It takes about 5-10 years for a graphic designer to like their own stuff, that means that up until then, we believe our work is likely sub-par. You can hire a junior designer really cheap, they will likely take a lot more hours to complete the project, where as a professional charges more, can get work done more quickly and there will be a lot less aesthetic issues (ie: photoshop blunders) then the juniors.
Just like you would not trust your corporate taxes to just anyone, you should have the same care and respect for your brand, your business and your image. You . only get one chance to make a great first impression, you may only get 1-2 chances to get that customer to you, do lose them with a poor website, or bad marketing... it costs so much more to get them to come back again because you have done it wrong the first time.