✦ How to succeed after hiring a brand designer ✦
I tell all of my clients that visual branding is like a hammer.
I can hand you a hammer – a magical hammer. A hammer that will make building furniture feel like it’s second nature to you. A hammer that will take no pressure at all to drive nails into wood – but no matter how magical that hammer is… it’s not going to build a table for you on its own. It’s not going to fly through the air, it’s not Mjolnir. It’s a hammer.
So once you’ve worked with a brand designer, and they’ve provided content to you in the form of graphics, logos, and other brand materials, you have a job to do. You have to *use* that content. You have to build the table.
There are steps that you can take to make sure that you have the most success after working with a pro designer, and I personally think you should know them BEFORE you start!
1. Make sure you understand when to use which formats they’ve sent.
Brand designers are going to send you a ton of different formats of your branding content. You’re going to get vectors, and you’re going to get pngs – you might even get some jpgs. You might get hand drawn graphics, and social media template content. It’s important that you know where you’re supposed to be using those different formats for the most consistent brand recognition you can possibly achieve.
The best way to know? Ask your designer what the best way to use your content is moving forward.
2. Ensure that you’ve received every expected piece of content before you sign finalization contracts.
Finalization contracts are super important, and they’re most likely going to be a part of your brand designer’s process. Once you’ve received everything you’re supposed to, they’ll send you a little contract to sign that basically confirms that you got what you needed. It’s an “i-dotting, t-crossing” kind of document.
But it’s essential that before you sign, you know that you’ve received everything you expected to in your package. Everyone is human, and people make mistakes. But once your project is completed and you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’ve confirmed that you have what you purchased. And that designer may or may not be willing to pull your content out of the archive if something was missing!
3. Stay consistent in the use of your content.
Once you have all of your tools, the absolute biggest element of your ongoing process that will dictate your success, is your consistency in using your branded content. If you’ve received social templates, *use them*. If you’ve got logo formats for social media, *use them*. If you’ve got branded colours, (are you sensing a trend?) *USE THEM*.
This means don’t deviate. There’s of course, a difference between deviating because you want to (or because you’re not super into spending the time needed to create fully branded content for yourself with the tools you have) versus allowing your brand to evolve. Deviation and evolution are different things. But with that aside cleared up – please. Use your content consistently.
Ensure that your social grids are branded with your new materials. Use the templates you’ve received. Follow the guidelines you’ve been given, and hold your staff to the same standard. It’ll mean that the ideal client you’re targeting will ACTUALLY see your new content, and be attracted to it. Which… is the point.
4. Ask questions when you need to.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!! Whether those questions are to your designer, or another designer. We’re all over social media, and we love telling people what they should be doing. We’re a bossy bunch, what can I say. LOL. But in all seriousness, if you don’t know how to use something you were provided, ASK.
All of us designers out here want you to do badass things with our work.
5. Be. VISIBLE.
Once you have your new branding, or your new online presence, or… new things in general… show them off!! They can’t do work for you if you’re not showing up. Like I said at the beginning of this, your brand suite is a hammer. It’s a really cool one, but it’s not magic.
So once you have your brand suite… move on to getting a social media posting schedule together! Start blogging. Start posting on Facebook. Get really clear on what your Instagram audience expects of you, and what they engage with well. Make a ton of Pins, schedule the hell out of ’em, and watch your Pinterest presence grow.
But the worst thing you can do after receiving a new online presence… is nothing. Use it as a transitional point in your business to get your shit together, so to speak. And I don’t mean that as like “you’re clearly all over the place right now because you don’t have branding yet” – I mean that as in, it’s super difficult to maintain social media consistency on five hundred platforms these days. USE your branding content to make all that easier for yourself! And get visible.
THAT’s how you’ll succeed with your new branding suite.