Things You Should Do Before Hiring a Designer
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So you have a business and blog but you want to take it to the next level and have a website to display your talents, services, and products. But how do you prepare to hire a web designer? Yes, you need to prepare to hire a web designer. You don't hire a plumber without out having the toilet or the money to pay the number. You certainly do not hire a wedding paneer that is not within your budget. There are some necessary steps to take before hiring a designer to make your dream come to life.
- Content Readiness
- Studying / Playing
Taking these steps will help your design process go by smoothly and make your prospective designer very happy, if you care, lol.
research, research, what...and research!
Some of my clients told me that they "stalked" me before they hired me. Sounds crazy? No. I recommend that your stalk the person you are hiring like crazy like you are eye-ing those pair of shoes for week. Follow your prospective designer everywhere....facebook, pinterest, instagram, twitter, and even snapchat. Stalk your prospective designer to see how they interact with other people and their audience before hiring him or her. You do not want to hire a designer that bad mouths their clients on social media, even if they do not name names. It is not a good look.
Hire the designer that is the perfect fit for you and your needs. I had client that hired me based on my use of bright colors and another client hired me because I am a "mom-preneurer". I recommend making a list of your favorite designers and them weed them out by using your budget, their timeline, and their personality.
After making your list of fave designers you would like to work with, it is a great idea to align your budget with their price. If it doesn't align, you might need to move down your list. Now if you absolutely want to work with THAT particular special designer, you might need to save more money before approaching that designer. Designing is usually the "brand and butter" for most designers. So make sure you have your coins together!
Before hiring a designer, make sure your budget is aligned with your designer's price and the costs associated with it.
PURCHASE your domain(s)
This may seem really obvious, but you will be surprised how many people hire me without buying their domain first. This the single most important step when hiring a web designer. What will the designer design if you have no domain? Make sure it is the domain you absolutely positively want for your brand. It is also important that whatever hosting service you choose specializes in the website platform (Squarespace, Shopify, or Wordpress) you want to use. Godaddy is a great hosting service that seamlessly integrates your domain and your website platform.
When you have secured your domain(s) with Godaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, or whoever....make sure your designer has all the domain info, especially if they are tasked with setting up your website. You may need to grant your designer access to your hosting service just in case there are some hiccups in the design process.
Pay subscription dues
Simply put, pay your dues. Your designer cannot paint without a canvas. Squarespace have yearly and monthly subscription dues to maintain, update, and host your website. For Wordpress and other platforms, you have to pay to yearly subscription for them to host your domain. You want to make sure you pay these dues in a timely manner, so when it is time for your designer to design, they will have a website to design.
Prepare images for products or content
What is a website without images? You need visuals content for audience or buyers os they can know who are , what you offering and what you selling. Having these images ready for your client can definitely speed up the design process and they will be able to design around your website. The images that you may need to give to your designer may consist of:
- a photo of you.
- your product or product(s)
- stock images.
- graphics that display services.
Share these images with your designer by creating a google drive folder that you can can designer have access to. My suggestion is to name the items in the folder according to where you would like to see them placed. This will make it easier for your designer to know what direction you would like to go. Make sure that photos are in high resolution and belong to YOU. Designers hate small low res photos and we do not want to get in trouble using unlicensed photos.
Prepare your copy
What is a website without text? Your website copy should tell your audience who you are, what you do, what you sell, how you serve, and how they can benefit. More than likely, your designer will not know these things about your business or blog. If they do know, they will not be able to tell YOUR story. I suggest setting up a google doc and share this types of copies with your designer:
- your tagline.
- your missions statement or welcome statement.
- your "About Me" blurb.
- product or product(s) information.
If you are having trouble writing your own copy, I suggest hiring a copy editor. 9 times out of 10, your designer is not a copy editor. I am super bad a grammar and forming sentences, lol. Here are a few suggested copy editors out here:
Vanessa from VanessaRWilliams.com
Ashley from BrooksEditorial.com
Britney from BritneyNichole.co
The people from ContentPark
Kayla from KaylaHollatz.com
Be Social media ready
While looking for a designer and even when you are on the waiting list, this is the time to sign up for any social media platforms you plan to use to spread the word about your business or blog. Then give your designer your social media links or handles so that they can include it on the website. Even if you do not use the social media yet or if its not designed, if plan on using it in the future make sure your designer get these debts. The last thing you want is for someone to click on your Instagram icon and it goes to a "no person found" or "milk carton" page. 9 times out of 10, a person will not go back and try to follow your account after its been corrected, and you may have lost follower.
Create user profiles for your designer
When I am designing a website, a client usually give me access to their hosting and website platform. However, I typically do not like to hold the usernames and passwords of my clients for security reasons. My suggestion is to create user profiles for your designer so that you can monitor their access and their type of access to your website.
Study / play with your website platform
Are you new to the platform you plan on using for your site? Before hiring a designer, research what type of website platform you want you use. Get a feel for it and play around with it. Do you want a website that requires low maintenance? Do you want a website that has unlimited customizations? Do you want a website strictly for commerce? Research the platform that will best suit your needs and then find a designer that specializes in that platform.
Take the time to invest in your investment
Remember this is your baby and not your designer's baby. Treat it like a baby, buy the crib, the formula, the diapers, have baby names, and choose the right doctor. So since I am a very nice person, I am giving you a FREE Branding + Website Form that you can fill out and give to your designer. You can fill out the form on your computer or print it out and copy and send it to your designer. However you choose!
For my designers, you can give this form to your clients to fill out!