On any given day you are inundated with Facebook ads advertising webinars you should take. You have “business coaches” flooding your inbox telling you that they can triple your profits if you work with them. There’s an entire list of podcasts and TED talks you’ve been referred to or have continuously placed in your ‘watch later’ cue on Youtube. You find yourself combing through your inbox and dodging calls from unknown numbers on your phone offering you things from business lines of credit to 10,000 followers on Instagram.
And you become so tired of everyone holding their hands out, that you freeze.
There is no money going out and you’re not giving up control to anyone.
This is information overload.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my Clients choose me over everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what I offer. I know that we focus wholly on our customers and not overselling them things they don’t need. But what makes them choose us instead of the thousands of other freelancers and companies out there that claim to offer the same thing? I especially wonder this as I too am inundated with tons of ads for people offering the same services we do.
And I continuously draw the same conclusion. There is so much information out there that it’s paralyzing. You almost have too many options that you don’t even know where to begin.
This whole blog is about freeing your mind from that paralysis and finding someone to work with that truly adds value.
Who Do You Need?
Though seemingly a pretty straightforward question, this can sometimes be hard to pin down. Because I work in the world of marketing, this blog is going to include marketing examples.
So for example, you need a website. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well how many pages do you want it to be? Do you want it all custom? Is there an e-commerce element to your site? Do you want to be able to make changes?
Now the seemingly easy question, begins to get a bit more complicated. Flush out your vision. Take the time to assess what you need. When you have a clearer idea of your website goal, it will be harder for companies to upsell you and easier for you to be able to convey your needs.
How Involved Do You Want to Be?
This is possibly the most important question when figuring out the best way to spend your money. Going back to our website example, do you want to design it yourself?
For a lot of people, the answer is no just from a lack of time available to dedicate to the project. However if you answer yes, than your solutions come in a different form. You can check out WIX, Squarespace or WordPress (if you’re ambitious).There are amazing free templates for you to customize and the user interfaces are pretty easy to navigate.
Now if you said no, you want someone else to design it, you all of a sudden have a lot more options. See more tips below.
*BONUS FACT* Also, keep in mind, how much control you want over your site once it’s initially completed. Unfortunately I have seen a lot of people locked out of their websites because they weren’t given the “keys,” once the project was completed. Ask for control of your accounts so at the very least you can update your blog as you see fit.
The best sales come from word of mouth, same goes for advice. Ask around, check out local small business forums and find out if you know anyone who outsourced the same type of project. These experiences that others have can lead to a lot less heartache and a lot less money lost. You can also get a better idea of how much other businesses are paying for the work you need.
Fun Fact – I designed a website for a client for a third of the price that a friend of mine paid for his template website to be built. Unfortunately when you aren’t sure of industry comps, you may end up overpaying for a subpar product. If you have friends in the design industry, they can be useful resources as well. And if you don’t, Half & Half will be your friend in the design industry.
Do Some Research
This is the part that everyone dreads, but doing your due diligence can save you time, money and possibly tears. I’m not usually a huge fan of Google Search Results being your first choice because you can pay to be on the first page and it’s all based on SEO algorithms (Click Here for My What the Hell is SEO handout).
When you find a company in your search results or through a reference from a friend, check out their social media. Do you like what you see? Do you enjoy the content they produce and do you like their aesthetic? All design companies worth their salt will have their portfolios up on their websites. Go through them. It may not be what you’re looking for exactly but if you see a range from them (for example, clean and modern to grunge and tactical) you’ll know that they’re probably able to accommodate your vision.
Get A Couple Quotes
There’s nothing wrong with comparing prices. Most design companies will generate a quote for free and are more than happy to do so. These quotes often time detail more of the services offered both before and after the work has been done and you may see variance from company to company.
Pick a price point that feels comfortable to you but also pick a company that appears to put you first.
Work with Someone You Enjoy Collaborating With
I mention this in a couple of my blogs and I can’t emphasize it enough. Work with a company or an individual that you enjoy collaborating with and talking to. You will have a very honest relationship so make sure it’s someone looking to offer a service that fits what you need and not trying to make you fit their service. If you ever don’t feel like they’re looking out for you, bail. Eject!
In the end, this is your hard earned money and your time. Breathe. Relax. Do some research. Talk to some people. And reach out to Half and Half if you have any questions, we’re here to help you navigate the ever changing marketing landscape. And nothing pisses us off more than when small businesses get gauged by design firms for too much money.
Here is our shameless plug:
Half and Half Creative is truly a design and marketing company focused on providing dynamic content and resources to the small business owner and community. We will never try to upsell you, we will always work towards your vision and we will be the marketing team you need at a price you’re comfortable with.