Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. When choosing a designer, look for a solid portfolio that appeals to your sense of how you want to portray your service or business. Consider the amount of experience the designer has. If your business is very specialized, ask about their experience in that field. Spend time discussing your project to determine whether your relationship will be exciting and rewarding (rather than just a grind). Discuss charges ahead of time, look to get a firm commitment on the finished job rather than a loose hourly rate agreement.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. I'd like to know what I don't know. I'd seek out a designer who was not only talented but proactive when it comes to creating a strong communication (marketing) that will gain attention. I'd want a designer who was interested enough in my project to have strong feelings about how a consumer will see my promotion, and help me improve it. Also, while relying mainly on talent, I'd like a designer who is current regarding technology, the Web, printing techniques, cost-saving innovations.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Where can I see your portfolio?
How long have you been in business?
Were you ever "on staff" at another firm?
Do you have any testimonials/references? Could I contact them?
How do you structure your pricing? How soon would you start charging extra for changes?
Is my time frame for completion a good fit for your current availability?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. A buyer should have a very firm grasp on the nature of their business. They should know the basic characteristics of their market, including why their product or service would appeal to that market.
The buyer should have a firm idea of what the project entails, and be open with the designer about any collateral materials that might be involved. This is because there are always economies of scale at work. For instance, if this is a logo project, will the logo be used only on screen (web) or will it eventually be part of a banner or even a billboard? Armed with this information, the designer can create proper artwork, and do it just once. Maybe a slightly higher charge but much less than starting again.