Many businesses try to make their own marketing decisions. Small businesses are those we find most often feel they can't afford to hire outside experts. OK, you may be able to stumble through some ads, commercials and special events. You may find that the results aren't that great and you just can't figure out why.
There are many reasons why your marketing may not be working, but don't make one of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make, designing their own ads and brochures. Prospects can tell when someone in-house put an ad together. They aren't fooled when they see a one-sheet flyer that was printed on a color printer and designed by the administrative assistant that is an expert with spreadsheets, but not with design software.
So how do you find the best graphic designer? There are several places on the internet where you can find a graphic designer. You can try guru.com, elance.com, or 99designs.com. You will get very inexpensive graphic design help for logos, brochures, and other collateral.
Going online to find a designer is certainly better than having someone in-house put out work that is clearly not professional. There are problems with it though. You get a low price, but be careful. The old adage that you get what you pay for is not a bad rule of thumb. Many of the designers at these sites are overseas. While they are willing to work for less money, they are also not well versed in what sells in the United States. If you are hoping for someone that will be able to proof his or her work for you as well, it might not happen. Remember, you never meet this person face-to-face and you don't know who you are really working with.
Another way to find a good graphic designer is to look locally. You can find them through locally based Web sites, such as the Pittsburghcreative.com Web site for the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. Or a national site like topdesignfirms.com., which has listings of designers in cities all across the U.S.
Don't forget social media sites such as LinkedIn. If you use the search on the LinkedIn site for a graphic designer in your city, you will find many local professionals. The advantage of using LinkedIn is that you will be able to see what their background is and if anyone has recommended them. In addition, you can ask other professionals through groups on the site and that you are connected to. It is a wealth of information for this type of search.
Using someone locally is going to be more expensive than the designers online. However, you will have someone you can actually meet with if you want to. Plus, the quality should be better, there won't be any language barrier and they know your market. These reasons alone can be worth the extra money you will pay.
Don't forget to ask business people you know, who they use. If you like graphic design work you see, ask who they use. This is a great way to get someone that designs work you like.
There are several ways to find good graphic designers. Online design sites, online referral sites and direct referrals allow you to pick the best person to work with. Don't use that secretary that has never designed anything before. It shows.
Are there any other sources I've missed? What do you think of the online sites? Please comment below.
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