BRAND TIP

Why you shouldn't hire someone to design your logo.

And other reasons why your branding efforts are making no difference.

Our branding packages are not for everyone.

We deliver a lot of value and we charge accordingly. And there are a myriad of reasons why I often advise people against investing in our services.

However it frustrates me when I see and hear of people spending time or money on branding or design work only for it to backfire or make no difference.

Which is why I wanted to take this time to explain some of the common reasons why your branding efforts may fail.

Reason #1 – You are looking for the free or cheap option

So I spend a little too much time in online forums where every third post seems to be asking people for recommendations of free photo / font / template / whatever resources.

I’m all for spending money wisely. But please don’t forget the old adage that you get what you pay for.

If you want to use the same photos / fonts / templates / whatever as everyone else, then go ahead. But be aware that it will then require even more energy and creativity to make yourself stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Reason #2 – You are seeking advice or reassurance from the wrong people

The other thing I see a lot of in online forums, are business owners asking their peers to vote on which shade of purple they should use in their DIY logo.

The options are always hideous. And the comments are always well meaning, but completely useless from a business and design perspective.

Putting your logo choice out to a vote, is the business equivalent of asking “does my bum look big in this”.

If your goal is simply to be the centre of attention for a short moment then go right on ahead.

But be aware that no matter how you ask the question, you are never going to get a meaningful response. It depends who you ask, what their perspective is and what answer you are secretly waiting to hear back. The answer your husband gives might be different to your BFF. Which might again be different to the stranger walking behind you down the street.

Eventually you have to decide whose opinion matters most.

Should you be taking the advice of a bunch of associates struggling with the same things you are? Should you be trusting your own instinct? Or if you can’t trust yourself, should you be trusting the professional you are paying to give you advice?

But then maybe you haven’t paid a professional…

Reason #3 – You are wasting time designing things yourself

Unless you are a trained and experienced graphic designer, I beg you not to design your logo or your website yourself.

You got into business to do ‘something’ you are great at. What impression are you going to give if you cheapen the value of what you do, by being cheap about how you communicate what you do?

Not to mention the wasted opportunity for you to focus on what you do best, and actually earn some money. Why are you wasting your time and energy on something that isn’t your primary skill?

Trying to design your logo yourself, is the business equivalent of trying to represent yourself in a court of law.

You may have the right and opportunity to represent yourself. But you will get much better results working with someone who understands the environment, audience, systems, timing and language required to present your case effectively. You may have the aptitude to learn these things, but is it really the best use of your time?

Hire a designer for goodness sake!

This may sound harsh for those of you who are thinking ‘but I have no money to hire a designer’.

But the harsh truth of the matter is that you can’t expect other people to invest in you, if you aren’t ready to invest in yourself.

So if you are offended by this, then by all means stop reading and go back to designing your own logo. But please don’t be miffed when no-one buys what you are offering.

But if you think I might be onto something then please also consider this…

Reason #4 – You are wasting money hiring someone ‘just’ to design your logo

A well designed logo can raise your credibility. However a logo in itself is not going to save your brand or business. Because it is only one small part of what people see when they encounter your business.

The overall impression people have of your business is made up of things like colours, imagery, words, typography and stories. And if these aren’t all obviously part of some bigger picture or strategy, you give the impression of someone who is disorganised and unable to make a decision. You need to decide what you are trying to make people feel, and then make sure ALL of your communications consistently and purposefully contribute to that feeling.

Hiring someone to design your logo, when you have no clear brand strategy, is the business equivalent of mowing the lawn whilst your house is on fire.

So now you are thinking ‘I have no money to hire someone to design my logo, and I definitely don’t have money to hire someone to create a brand strategy’.

Well fine. I am not going to advocate that you forego paying the rent or feeding your kids for the sake of your brand.

But whilst you are being realistic about what you can spend, please also be realistic about what you can achieve. It is unlikely that you will sign 100 people up to your £1000 product, if it feels like you’ve spent less than £100 building it. Your potential customers will see through that.

Start by creating a sustainable plan for growth, whereby you can grow gradually whilst also gradually and wisely investing in your business so it can provide greater returns.

Whatever you do, please don’t become another one of these people that wastes £100 hiring a designer on Fivver, only to end up with something that doesn’t further your goals. And then entirely dismiss the importance of design because you spent money on it once and it didn’t work.

What do you think?

Do you think I’m full of crap? Or can you recognise yourself or people you know in some of the descriptions above? What is it that you think is holding you back from actually building a brand that sells your business?

Cat Townsend

Cat Townsend

Brand Strategy & Design

With a background in branding and information design, Cat setup The FeelGoodAgency, to help passionate solopreneurs to understand their brand and how to wield it effectively. Oh, and to make the world a better place. It always comes back to changing the world!

1 Comment

  1. Kyle

    Great hook! Got me. You make a lot of fine points that I hope many heed. Often client’s aren’t quite ready for the logo stage and don’t even realize it. As designers we may not be strategists but I do think we should certainly act as a gate keeper.
    We can point them in the right direction to help them get to that point.
    That’s the issue with cheap design. It’s so alluring that too often businesses jump past the part of figuring out their model or strategy. They get wrapped up in the excitement of a new venture(as we all do!)

    Reply

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