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The True Cost of Do-It-Yourself Branding: Why Hire a Professional

By January 3, 2023January 5th, 2023No Comments
professional branding designer cost comparison

When it comes to branding, many people think that they can save money by taking the DIY approach.

But, in reality, this is rarely the case. Hiring branding and design professionals is almost always the better choice due to their specialised skills and knowledge. Not only can they help to ensure that your brand is represented in the best way possible, but they can also help you to avoid costly mistakes and long-term financial repercussions. In this article, I will explore the true cost of do-it-yourself and why hiring professionals is almost always the better choice.

I’m sure you have heard that famous phrase by Red Adair, ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur’ right?

This saying highlights the importance of hiring professionals for tasks that require specialised skills and knowledge. While it may seem like a cost-saving measure to hire amateurs or do things yourself, the reality is that it can often end up costing you more in the long run.

My fantastic copywriter friend Anna over at inkspiller.co.uk says the hardest story to tell is your own. It’s easier to do it for others than for yourself. This is so true. It took me months to design and develop my own website, something I could have done in days for my own clients. It’s like a builders’ house, never finished.

If you hire an amateur to design your website, the end result may not be up to professional standards. This can lead to a website that doesn’t effectively showcase your business or convert visitors into customers. As a result, you may end up spending more money on redesigning the website or trying to fix problems that could have been avoided by hiring a professional in the first place.

Similarly, if you try to handle tasks like legal or financial matters yourself, you may make mistakes that can be costly to fix. In contrast, professionals have the training and expertise to handle these tasks correctly the first time around, saving you time and money in the long run. This serves as a reminder that investing in quality professionals is often a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

I understand that as a small business owner, it’s natural to DIY things to save money wherever you can. But when it comes to your branding, website design, marketing materials, and brand messaging, skimping on quality can have serious consequences. Here’s why you should never underestimate the value of hiring a professional designer:

  1. Poor design can damage your reputation: Your branding, website, and marketing materials are often the first impression a potential customer has of your business. If they’re poorly designed, it can give the impression that you’re not professional or that you don’t care about quality. This can damage your reputation and turn customers away.
  2. Professional designers know how to create a cohesive brand: A professional designer will take the time to understand your business, your target audience, and your unique value proposition. They’ll use this knowledge to create a cohesive brand that accurately represents your business and resonates with your audience.
  3. DIY design often looks amateur: Unless you have professional design skills, it’s unlikely that your DIY design work will look professional. It’s easy to spot amateur design work, and it can give the impression that you’re not serious about your business.
  4. Professional designers know how to optimise for conversions: A professional designer knows how to create a website and marketing materials that are optimised for conversions. They’ll use strategies like calls to action, visual hierarchy, and layout to guide the user’s eye and encourage them to take action.
  5. DIY design takes longer and is more frustrating: Designing your own materials takes time, and it’s often a frustrating process if you don’t have the necessary skills. This can be a major drain on your time and energy, and it can distract you from other important tasks.
  6. Professional designers have access to better tools and resources: Professional designers have access to a wide range of design tools and resources that can help them create better-quality work. These tools can save time and make the design process more efficient.
  7. Professional designers know how to create materials that stand out: A professional designer knows how to create materials that stand out in a crowded marketplace. They’ll use their skills and expertise to create designs that are eye-catching, memorable, and effective.

Of course its ok to DIY little tasks that you feel are manageable or if you are not in a financial position to invest in a professional designer yet. Personally I feel its important to start your business off on the right foot, you wouldn’t go to a party if you couldn’t afford clothes.

I used to offer web hosting packages as a service, while this made me a few extra quid at the end of the year, it really wasn’t worth my time or energy as I wasn’t an expert in domain hosting. I found it manageable when I had a half-dozen clients, but when you get into numbers like 20 or 30 domain, maintaining these many websites becomes a full-time job in its own right. By just removing this offering and directing my clients how to purchase this directly from service providers, this removed so much underlying stress and allowed me to focus on the things that I was good at and enjoyed. This is a valuable lesson for anyone starting their own business, its ok to say no, sorry that’s not what I can do or offer however I might know someone that can help you out instead.

In short, hiring a professional designer is an investment that pays off in the long run. It may cost more upfront, but the benefits — including a cohesive brand, better-quality materials, and higher conversions — are well worth it. Don’t risk damaging your reputation or losing business by cutting corners on your branding and design. Instead, invest in a professional designer who can help you create materials that accurately represent your business and effectively communicate your value proposition.

Personally, I have learned the value of staying in your own lane. It would be much more cost effective and efficient for me to complete a job I’m skilled at and then use that money to pay a car mechanic instead of trying to YouTube it and start tinkering with the car myself. I also know of a professional golf coach with over 40 years’ experience that still invests in his own coaching. There is no shame in understanding that everyone has certain limits along with strengths. A side hustle or hobby is fine if you enjoy it and have the spare time but as Clint Eastwood once said ‘A man’s got to know his limitations’.

Kris Byers

I am the owner and brand designer at Horrible Brands where we build brands that turn expertise into profit and have helped hundreds of small businesses develop their brand identity and messaging. My goal is to clarify and simplify the concept of branding so that other business owners can understand the importance of building a strong brand.

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