How to Hire a Designer
Small Business
Kyler Nixon

Maybe you’re in the market for a new website or a logo, but you don’t know where to start. Hiring a designer can be a little intimidating, so here’s what you can expect and a few tips to make your design experience go smoothly.

Determine Your Budget

The first question that your designer will likely ask is, “what’s your budget?” Knowing your budget ahead of time will help your designer know that you’re serious and will help jumpstart the project. When creating your budget, here’s some things you should ask yourself:
  • What is the scope of the project? What do we need the designer to do?
  • What is our timeline? Do we need this done next week, next year, or somewhere in between?
  • Is there going to be an on-going retainer after we’re done?
  • Are there any unique features that we need the designer to implement?
All of these things will help you determine your budget, or at least give you a “ballpark” amount that you can pass on to the designer. As a general rule of thumb, expect a shorter timeline to have a higher budget. Additionally, a project that requires more work or collateral should have a higher budget as well.
If you absolutely have no idea what kind of budget you’re working with, having answers to the questions above will help your potential designers provide you with a fair estimate.
Find a Designer
Finding the right designer is important. A bad designer can end up costing you a lot of money and give you a huge headache. Here are some things to look for in a good designer:
  • The designer is responsive to emails and willing to answer questions and concerns
  • The designer has a great portfolio
  • The designer has several referrals and testimonials
  • The designer can provide a proposal with an outline of their services, timeline, and costs
Here are some helpful tips when finding a designer:
1) Start local – ask around your church and community to see if there is a local designer that you can hire.
2) Get a couple different quotes – you don’t need to go with the first designer you contact.
3) Find brands/websites/designs that you like, reach out to those organizations, and ask them for the name of the designer that they used. More often than not, they will provide their name and contact information as well as a testimonial of their experience with the designer.
There are many talented designers out there! Find one who fits your budget, understands your unique needs, and is easy to work with.

The Process

Each designer might have a slightly different process for on boarding and starting a project, but generally speaking, here’s what you can expect.
  1. Send the designer a message and let them know that you’re interested in hiring them for a project. Let them know the scope of the project, the timeline, and your budget. It may be helpful for you to place all of this information in a single document to easily send to several designers that you contact.
  2. The designer should follow up with you and let you know that they can take on the project. They may have some additional questions at that time. You could also request a proposal from the designer so that you’re clear on all details of the project.
  3. When you’ve found the designer that you want to hire, let them know. They’ll likely have you sign some kind of formal agreement (like a contract) that outlines the specifics of the project. They may also have you pay a deposit. Sign the contract, pay the deposit, and you’re ready to get started! Another thing that I’ll mention here is that you should reach out to the designers that you’ve contacted but have decided not to hire and let them know that you’re going with someone else. This is a nice courtesy and allows those designers to open their schedule for other projects.
Some Tips
  • Enjoy the process and know that YOU are in the drivers seat. If something feels off, you don’t have to hire that person.
  • A lot of designers prefer to take phone calls after they have the foundational information in place. It’s really helpful if you come to a designer with your budget, scope of project, and timeline in hand.
  • You get what you pay for.
Have fun!

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Hey, I’m Kyler

I’m based out of beautiful Madison, WI but I have clients all over the US. I help organizations clarify their message, reach more people, and look awesome. If you’d like to chat more, feel free to shoot me a text at 712-216-0620 (yep, that’s my personal cell), or give me a follow on Instagram.

Kyler Creative LLC is a StoryBrand marketing agency located in Madison, WI specializing in websites and marketing for small businesses.

Kyler Creative LLC is a StoryBrand marketing agency located in Madison, WI specializing in websites and marketing for small businesses.