How to Hire Your Dream Graphic Designer, and Avoid Becoming a Nightmare Client

How to Hire a Professional Graphic Designer

This is the second — and final — part of my How to Hire a Graphic Designer series. Read the first part here.

We’re going to start with a tendency that takes over otherwise logical business people when hiring a designer.

Something inside them whispers, “I know a fast (and cheap) way to get great design. Don’t bother thinking through what you need. Don’t search for a designer to build an ongoing relationship with. Just run a competition!”

“Spec” Work and Competitions

For some reason, people seem to think it’s acceptable to ask a designer to work “on spec.”

You give them specifications for a project, and you ask them to provide a solution before you commit to paying them for their work.

Or, your business or organization advertises a competition and vets the entries. Or you run a design competition using one of the crowd-sourcing sites.

People think that graphic design is “fun,” and they don’t need to pay for the work. No other professional would agree to these conditions. [Read more...]

How to Find the Professional Graphic Designer of Your Dreams, Part 1

How to Hire a Graphic Designer

There will come a time in your business when you grow beyond the DIY stage. Maybe you’re there now.

This is usually a good sign. It means your business is successful enough that you simply don’t have time for do-it-yourself bookkeeping, website updates, or design.

When you reach this point, you’re often earning more, too.

In the beginning, you had no money to spend, but you had time, so you learned how to do it yourself.

Now, you have no time to do it yourself, but you do have money to spend.

If your business is at this stage, you might be thinking about hiring a professional graphic designer. But this brings up a boatload of questions: [Read more...]

How to Wow Them with Widgets

How to Wow Them with WIdgets
Before I found WordPress, I tried different solutions for getting my business on the web.

I went through a Dreamweaver stage, an iWeb stage (that was an Apple product), and a use-the-website-creator-your-webhost-offers stage.

At least I had something to show for my efforts.

But it wasn’t much. And my options for customizing those websites were limited. Then, in late 2009, I was introduced to WordPress. And I’m such a fan, I co-created a product that’s a step-by-step course about WordPress.

One of the best features of WordPress are the built-in widgets. Once you’ve mastered widgets, you’ll have the ability to add all sorts of cool functionality to your website. [Read more...]

How to Create Powerful Marketing Hotspots on Your Website

How to Create Powerful Marketing Hotspots on Your Website

If you set it up correctly, your website can work for you while you sleep.

It can generate sign ups to an email list, and sales of your services and products all while you live your life and pay no attention to it.

But it’s not a matter of simply plopping an opt-in form or an ad onto your pages.

For best results, you need to pay close attention to where you position things on your website to take advantage of the natural resting places your site visitors use when reading.

Let’s start with a proven reading pattern that’s important to understand. [Read more...]

How to Choose a Business Name You’ll Love Today, Tomorrow, and 5 Years from Now

business-name-tagline-love-horiz

Creating a name for a brand-new business requires nerves of steel.

After all, it’s a major commitment with far-reaching marketing consequences. And you have to make it in the early days of your business — a time that you may not feel ready to make such a major decision.

Get it right, and your business name will establish your brand, clarify what you do, and leave your prospects interested in learning more.

Get it wrong, and you’ll leave your prospects confused or — even worse — disinterested.

Your business name sets the tone for all your marketing. It makes a first and lasting impression.

Feeling anxious yet? Let’s talk about the most-common questions I get about naming a business. [Read more...]