I just finished my taxes. I appreciate once again the fact that, while there is software out there that would let me do it myself, I am much better off using an accountant who really knows the tax code.
The same holds true in my area of expertise: graphic design and website design. Sure, there are software programs and website templates out there that would lead you to believe you can do it yourself, saving money in the process.
Great in theory. Many of our clients who have tried the DIY approach have learned some painful lessons. Here are some of the reasons they have told me that they decided to hire a professional designer.
Talent . You have six seconds to make an impact on the web or in print, if that much. Having design software on your computer or access to website templates does not mean you have the talent or knowledge to create something fabulous.
Originality. If you use a website template, there are many sites out there that will look just like yours. Do you want to look like everyone else, or have something that is uniquely yours?
Brand consistency. You want your brand identity, including look and positioning, to be consistent across all online and offline channels.
Website navigation. Nothing is more important for a website than ease of navigation. Designers are experienced in creating sites that are easy to navigate.
Objectivity. Chances are you are way to close too your business to think objectively. Professionals provide a crucial layer of objectivity.
Time. If you are not familiar with the tools, it can take you an incredibly long time. That is time away from what you do best – serving existing clients and getting new ones. So consider the opportunity cost, as well as the quality trade off.
Money. Professionals have relationships with the right printers, developers, web hosting companies, etc. This will save you money…maybe even more than the designer’s fees.
Image. It all adds up to the image you want to project. You’re not an amateur, so you don’t want to look like one. A good designer can help you project whatever image you want for your business.
The bottom line? Let’s leverage each others’ strengths and trust the professional…no matter what field.
PS. My accountant does not do graphic design.