Ready to Hire a Blog Designer? Read This First.

Filed as Features on January 15, 2008 1:05 pm

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The more popular blogging becomes, the more designers who specialize in blog design are in high demand. The best designers are scheduling work a month or two out, and have their choice of which clients they’d like to work with, and which they’d rather take a pass on. Particularly in the case of WordPress, there is more work these days than there are designers to do it.

When you decide you’d like to invest in a professional design, you’ll want to work with best designer you can for the money you have budgeted. Once you have arranged to work with someone, there are some things to remember if you want to maintain a great relationship, and to ensure that the designer will be willing to work with you again when you have future needs. To accomplish that, I have some tips, from a designer’s perspective on how to be a client that anyone would enjoy working with.

How to get the designer you want:

1. Be clear, concise, professional and friendly in your initial contact.

2. Explain your project in enough detail to pique the designer’s interest.

3. Give them adequate time to respond (at least 5 days). You can then follow up with an e-mail that quotes your original and reiterates your desire to work with them.

4. Understand if they aren’t able to begin your project right away. Someone in high demand obviously has other clients already in queue.

How to be a great client to work with:

1. Clearly define for the designer what you’re trying to accomplish with your site, what impression you’d like to give your visitors and what “brand image” you’d like to project.

2. Use lots of descriptive adjectives to help the designer understand what styles appeal to you. You can even provide some examples of sites that appeal to you to give further guidance.

3. Don’t say “I’m not sure what I want, so I leave the design completely up to your expertise” unless you really will be happy with whatever they create for you.

4. Don’t be afraid to provide constructive feedback about the design concept(s) presented to you. Designers know they’re not always going to hit on the perfect look for everyone on the first try, and expect feedback to help them ensure you’re perfectly satisfied with the outcome.

5. Expect to pay at least part of the design fee up front.

How to be a client they’ll want to work with again:

1. Be responsive and respectful of their time. A good designer will return the favor.

2. Recommend them to others. Write a post on your blog about your new design and link to the designer’s site.

3. Pay promptly.

Many of these tips seem like just common courtesy, don’t they? It’s surprising how common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. Being easy to work with is really not all that difficult, and you will definitely reap the benefits.

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  1. By David Airey posted on January 16, 2008 at 10:05 am
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    Nice guide, Randa.

    I think that 5 days before receiving a reply might be too long, however. At the very least I’d respond to the potential client within two days, letting them know that I’ve received their enquiry, and that I’ll get back to them within a certain timeframe with more detail.

    Hope all’s well.

    Reply

  2. By Chris Marshall | Martial Development posted on January 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm
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    How much should we expect to pay for a professional design?

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  3. By Randa Clay posted on January 17, 2008 at 4:56 pm
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    David- thanks for that addition.

    Chris – it really depends on the designer and the scope of the project. I’d say the price range is probably a couple hundred to several thousand.

    Reply

  4. By Nathan Ketsdever posted on January 17, 2008 at 10:57 pm
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    I can’t imagine hiring a blog designer until after blogging for at least 3 months.

    I think finding a great free wordpress theme that you like, with a personalized picture or perhaps a stock photo or something from the creative commons licensed stuff at flickr makes the best sense until you’ve been blogging for a while.

    Reply

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