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Use this technique to hire a web or graphic designer…and save everyone a little time and energy

Being Transparent = A Big Win for All

I don’t know about you, but when I want to find out about a person or company, my fingers hit the keyboard. And I’m not going to lie…I can be quite judgy.

If I want to try a new restaurant, I look at their website (or, I look FOR their website). If they don’t have one, the chances of me going there could be pretty slim if I wanted to be wooed by what I see on the screen. If there’s nothing (as in no website at all) to woo me, they’ve lost me. If they were trying to woo me by at least having a website, and they did it in an unclear, confusing, unattractive way, they may very well lose me, too.

This is the information age people. We can get pretty much any type of information we want or need by searching for it online. We can hire people, order things, take classes, read books, and so much more! Which business or person would you be more likely to patronize – the one with information out there or the one without information?

The clearer the information and the more professional the presentation, the more likely we are to pay more attention to those people, companies, and websites that are making it easier for us to make decisions.

When hiring a graphic designer and/or web designer/developer, wouldn’t you prefer to see exactly what it is they offer, how much their services cost, and a sampling of their work? I know I surely would! And I have based the content of my own website on what I would want to see from any service provider or establishment.

The Creative Solutions Project Ombre Divider

When I first started my business, I didn’t want to list my fees. Pricing out graphic design and web development is one of the hardest services to price. But, the first and biggest question every single person asked was “how much do you charge?” In fact, they still ask…despite it being written pretty clearly on my site.

{I talk about why pricing is so challenging in my three-part pricing series here, here, and here.}

I was constantly struggling with how to answer that question because every single project – from logos to websites to small tweaks – is so unique. But, in order to save myself time, keep myself sane, and, of course, make it easier, clearer, and more transparent for my potential clients, I decided to be clear about pricing on my website.

The Creative Solutions Project Ombre Divider

Because certain projects – like web design and development – will always have some unique features that make it nearly impossible to put a flat, applies-to-everyone price out there, I chose to state that “custom web design and development STARTS AT $3,500.” That way, you have a clear understanding of the base price, and I’ve stated that there may be additional costs for add-ons (which I spell out below the base price, as you’ll see here).

BUT, no matter how clear I make it – how big the font is or where I put it on the page – I still get the question(s). I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but, I want throw something out there.

Imagine how much time and energy you would save if you read through the information presented on a clearly-written-and-presented website. In many cases (or, as one would hope), the person you are hiring took the time to write and style his/her content so that you could have everything you need to make a good decision about who you will hire for your project(s).

What if you didn’t have to ask “how much will ____ cost?”

What if the price was spelled out clearly for you right there on the site? Wow – what a convenience and time-saver for both parties!

What if you have a very limited budget and you want to quickly find out if someone’s pricing aligns with your budget? If it’s not listed, you can definitely expect some back-and-forth emails and/or phone calls. If it is, you can decide right then and there to pursue the person further or move on to the next one.

Remember – time is money…and time is limited!

The Keys to Brand SuccessI have tried to be as clear as possible on my website when it comes to pricing. I’ve tried to make it very easy for potential clients to find out exactly what they may want to know in order to determine if we are a good fit.

Included on my Work With Me pages are the specific stages of the project that you can expect (from initial conversation to launching your website), a clear list of exactly what I will do for you during the process, how payment works, what’s included in the cost and what isn’t, and links to my FAQ and Contact pages.

Sure, there’s still some preliminary “stuff” we have to do after you shoot me an email to start the conversation. If I have a sense that you haven’t read certain, important areas of my website that clearly state what I offer, I may send you the link to that page before proceeding with the conversation. If I feel that you have a good sense of the services I offer and what I charge, I will go ahead and send over my Web and/or Graphic Design Questionnaire(s) so that I can determine the exact cost involved (meaning, I’ll look to see if you need any unique features on your site or have other graphic design needs beyond a logo). Then, I present you with a proposal.

{None of this is to say we can’t discuss my services and prices even further. But for getting an initial idea, I have taken the time to put it out there, which can definitely save both of us time and energy…and who doesn’t want to save time and energy?}

So – back to being judgy…and giving you a technique to help you hire a web or graphic designer (or any service provider)…

Look for people who are clear about what they offer, how their process works, what they charge, and show samples of their work. This shows that they WANT to make things easier for YOU (and them). It shows that they took the time to present their company in the clearest way possible. This also can represent how clear they will be when working with you.

If someone is vague on their website, they may very well be vague when they’re talking to you or sending you more information related to your project(s). But maybe not…maybe they’ll be uber-clear and awesome despite having an unclear, vague or confusing website. But why chance it…and why spend the extra time trying to find out information from someone that could have just thrown you a bone in the first place?

Have you found that it’s easier to work with people who were super clear up-front (and likely on their website) or has this not really affected the end result of your project(s)?

Curious minds want to know…so tell me below in the comments.

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