Working with a Designer or Writer

If you plan to hire someone to help with your marketing project, here are some tips to help you make the most of the experience.

Tip 1: Find the Right Person

It’s important that you and your consultant see eye to eye, and are comfortable working together. Get recommendations from colleagues or professional organizations. Check out your consultant’s web site or ask for samples of his/her work. Check references.

Tip 2: Know What You Want

It’s important to decide what you want the writer or designer to do. Do you want a 30-page web site or a single page? Will you supply the text for your trifold or will the consultant write it from your outline? What are your goals for the project? Who is the audience? Make copies of brochures, ads or web sites you like. This information will help your consultant better understand your needs and goals.

Tip 3: Are You Planning to use the Files Yourself?

If you plan to use your own computer to work with the files created by the consultant, make sure she/he knows this up front and uses software you can also use. Some designers can accommodate this need, and others aren’t set up to do this. It’s especially important to let the designer know if you plan to edit/update your own web site.

Tip 4: Do Some Homework

The most critical step is to gather the facts, photos and other information that will be needed to complete your project. Even the most proactive writer or designer can only go so far without info and images from you. Projects sometimes get derailed at this point because the client doesn’t have the necessary information. It will save time and money if you get yourself organized before getting the consultant involved.

Tip 5: Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting

If the price for your marketing project seems too good to be true, check it out. Especially with web sites, there are companies who simply insert your name and a few facts/photos into a prefab design. If this is all you need, that’s great! More customized projects take time and money, but your finished product will be much more effective.

Some web hosting plans offer “free” web designs, but the monthly fee is a lot higher than what you would pay for just hosting a site…you’re basically renting the design. This means that you can’t move the site to another host if you’re unhappy with the service.

Bottom line: just make sure you understand what you’re getting for your money before you begin a project.