Branding Graphics: 4 Signs It’s Time to Enlist Help
Branding graphics are an important part of your business. With the right branding, you communicate what your business is about and who you’re eager to serve. Your branding reassures your customers that you’re the best person with the right solutions to solve their problems.
I remember back in 2010 when I took my first graphics course with Angela Wills of The Laptop Lifestyle Business Club. It was Gimp Graphics for Business.
I really wanted to make graphics a part of my offerings. The only thing stopping me was my lack of design.
I’m a creative person, really I am. I spent nearly 20 years crocheting and half of that was designing patterns.
BUT, when it comes to knowing how colors, fonts, and line weights flow into a design that gets the right message across in an eye-pleasing way – zilch, zero, absolutely no skills.
If your graphics aren’t right for your business, then your branding will be out of sync with the message you want to convey.
Bad branding will drive away potential customers. They won’t sign up for your mailing list or buy your products. Instead, they’ll give their time and attention to your competitor.
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So, how do you know if you need to enlist the help of a branding graphics professional? Consider some of these signs…
Sign #1: You’re Brand-less
Maybe you’re just starting your business or you’ve been doing business for years but you’ve never given much thought to your brand. Whatever your reason, now’s the time to start focusing on the message you want to share through your business.
Entrepreneur.com has a vocabulary encyclopedia and it defines Branding as…
the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products (source)
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Most people think the best time to hire a professional is at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. But Wild Olive Branding Lily Garcia Says:
It may seem strange for me to say, but I don’t believe everyone needs professional custom graphics for their business and hiring a graphic designer is definitely not the first thing you should do when you’re starting out.
Professional graphics are great and can give you a bit of a boost if you have the resources to invest in them right away. But if you’re bootstrapping your business, it’s totally OK to wait.
I think the best time to invest in professional graphics is when your business has gained momentum, is bringing money in, and you’re ready to take things to the next level.
You might be ready to enlist the help of an expert, but what makes a great graphics professional?
Lily Garcia @_wildolive Says:
A good designer will take the time to get to know you and your business.
They’ll take the time to find out who your ideal client is and what resonates with them.
They’ll ask about what space you want to occupy in the market and where you want to take your business. And then they’ll use all that and combine it with their knowledge of color, shape, space, balance, and all the other elements of design to create graphics that tell your story in a way that reaches all the right people.
So they’re able to choose the colors, the fonts, the photos, and even the smallest details like line weight that communicate what you’re about. It’s about translating the abstract things that make up your brand into visuals that work to build up your business.
Sign #2: You’re Growing-up
Every business goes through periods of growth.
Take me, for example…
I went from Lavender Mommie (a stay-at-home mom) in the early 2,000’s to Mom with a Hook (a mom who crochets) in 2007, and finally, Sara Assists You (a blogger’s assistant) in 2015. It took me a few years to let go of the Mom with a hook identity imagine what it’s like for your customers?
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Kelly McCausey of SoloSmarts shares how a change in niche meant she had to change her branding.
It was more than a year and a half ago when I realized I needed to make a big change. After more than nine years in the ‘work at home mom’ niche, I had an empty nest and an increasingly awkward sense of self when I sat down to blog and podcast content for that niche. (source)
As your brand grows, it makes sense to enlist the help of a graphics professional. Your graphics designer can help you maintain the elements of your brand that you’re known for while blending in your new direction.
Kelly says that the one thing that really helped her “cement” her new branding was writing a book.
One of the things I did that really help to cement my new brand was to write a book. Solopreneurs are Smarter is a small book where I get to share what a solopreneur is and what makes them unique. If you’ve made a big branding change or plan to, I encourage you to think about a book. What you’ve published says a lot about who you are and who you want to reach!
Having followed Kelly since her MomMastermind days, her rebranding was (is) a success.
Sign #3: You Really Dislike Graphic Software
Photo editing sites like Picmonkey or Canva are great for simple blog post images or social media pictures. But they’re not good for more intensive design projects like creating your logo or making a professional e-book cover.
Samantha Angel of Advancing Steps and Solormasterminds member shares…
If you don’t enjoy creating graphics or aren’t very experienced, it may seem like a chore to do and take more time/energy away from your business that it would cost to outsource. It also saves you time to do something only you can do in your business, reserves your energy and brain power for something you enjoy doing in your business, and you can rely on the expertise of someone that offers this service.
A graphics professional doesn’t have to face a steep learning curve. They already know how to use their software and create graphics that are attention-grabbing. You get the benefit of your specialist’s expertise without having to spend several frustrating hours learning how to use the clunky software.
Jennifer Burke a member of Solomasterminds says…
I think another reason to hire out is that there are those who have built this as a skill – so not only are they faster, but they have the eye for it, they know what colors work, what different fonts can convey, why one photo looks better than another, why you shouldn’t mix 3 fonts, etc.
Glennete Goodbread a member of Solomasterminds shares why she outsources her client’s graphics…
I outsource client graphics because although I can create them, I am less skilled than someone who specializes They typically have better tools, more experience, etc. Another reason for outsourcing social media graphics would be the fact that someone who specializes in social media will know when there are changes to the recommended size and stuff like that..
BUT, if you insist on continuing down the DIY road, I recommend Conquer Canva 5-day challenge by Julie aka Tractorgirl. I just completed this challenge and it is top-notch. You’ll learn a bit about branding, fonts, spacing, and colors. You’ll also create a few graphics along the way.
TIP: You can send your virtual assistant to this course so she can learn.
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Sign #4: You Have No Time
— SaraD. (@saraassistsyou) May 15, 2017
How long does it take you to create your own graphics? more importantly, what ELSE could you be doing with that time for you or your business? In other words, hiring out graphics creation may give you more “higher and better use” time to do things that only YOU can do for yourself or your business. – thanks to Art Remnet a fellow Solosmasterminds member
Maybe you actually enjoy making your own graphics or you took special classes to learn PhotoShop BUT, you lack the time. This is when you need to consider outsourcing.
You can outsource your branding graphics in a few ways…
- You can have your designer create templates for you and then outsource the daily blog graphics and social graphics to a freelancer.
- You can subscribe to a graphics membership group like those run by Melissa Michel or Samantha Angel.
- You can purchase premade Inspirational Facebook PLR graphics (suggested by Connie Ragen Green) OR Anthony Franck suggests purchasing a “done for you meme package”.
- You can purchase blanks like this Simple Facebook Graphics package and have your assistant add custom quotes or tips specific to your business.
Skarlet Shuplat a fellow Solomasterminds member shares…
I cannot over-stress the importance of delegating so that YOUR time is used doing the things only you can do.
You don’t have to outsource all of your graphics right away. You can start by outsourcing a few blog post images or social media photos. As you get more comfortable with your graphics professional, you can begin outsourcing bigger tasks like creating e-book covers or tweaking your logo.
BUT, Sara, it’s just too much work!
I hear you. Outsourcing isn’t an easy button, it takes time and patience to train someone. Alexis Rodrigo shares…
I tried to outsource social media graphics, but later realized the time it took me to set up the instructions, communicate back and forth with the freelancer, check their work, etc., was greater than the time it took for me to make the graphics myself using Word Swag.
In this case, Alexis weighed the opportunity cost of doing it herself vs enlisting help AND the DIY option was more beneficial for her.
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A talented graphic designer can help you clarify and communicate your brand. It’s helpful if you choose a branding graphics professional that has a style you already love and who you look forward to working with.
Outsourcing branding graphics and social media content to a specialist and/or an assistant will save you time and enable you to do what you do best – help others.
Business is more fun when you share the journey! Download your free workbook to find out how to enlist help growing your brand.