Do It Yourself?? Not So Much!

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.

Nutrition Wow logo and branding
This is one example of a logo design that transforms into the business card, email design and website, reiterating the brand on every level in a fun and professional way that reflects the client’s vision.

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.

Time and Money.  Many of our clients come to us to redo a website or brochure that doesn’t communicate who they are or what they do. Avoid the frustration and have it done right the first time.

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.

B Inspired,


PS.  My accountant does not do graphic design.

Groundhog Day and Effective Marketing

groundhogday2Yesterday was Groundhog Day. For anyone who might not remember, it was immortalized in the movie of the same name. Bill Murray kept reliving February 2nd until he got the day right. I think most of us could think of at least one day we’d like to do over. But that’s a topic for another blog.

How does this relate to websites and digital media in general? “Do-Overs” and comparison testing are so easy in the digital age that they are no longer available only to big companies with deep pockets.

  • Resend that email…with a different subject line
    It costs next to nothing to send the same email several times. Segment your list. Try different subject lines. And compare the results.
  • Tweak your website
    Google Analytics gives you the information you need to know which pages people are landing on and staying on. Use this information to make the entire site more effective and keep the viewer on your site longer.
  • Refine the design
    Since I’m a designer, I’m particularly aware of how good design adds to engagement and readership. It’s easy enough to test the results of using different design or images.
  • Test different calls to action
    Again, this is easy to do in email by splitting your list. It’s also easy in any kind of online advertising, where you can easily test different demographics as well as calls to action.
  • Perfect printing.
    The digital world has made “do-overs” easier in print as well. It used to be that redoing a printed piece was incredibly expensive. Today, you can print a short run (even 1) of your brochure, postcard, flyer and make sure everything is perfect before committing to a larger print run.

While most of us don’t need as many “do-overs” as Bill Murray did in “Groundhog Day”, it’s nice to know that nothing is written in stone and it’s not that difficult to hone your message for success.