Looking for long term success in your marketing and communications? Then aim to develop and build a lasting relationship with your designer. This relationship should be a partnership where there is rapport and cooperation, resulting in your designer becoming the missing link between your business and your target audience.
1. Find a good designer and stick with them. If you flit from one service provider to the next, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to achieve a consistent message or strong brand. If you work with the right person though, the partnership approach, which should include strategy planning, will quickly get you moving in the right direction.
2. Be open with your designer. Share information about where your business is right now, where you'd like it to be and why. Be honest. A good designer won't judge you.
3. Share your ideas about what you want them to provide you with. You might not be a designer but you do know your business and industry very well so your ideas are valid.
4. Tell your designer about your competition. Together you can look at what your competition is doing well and what they are failing at. This is an element of market research and this level of market awareness will help you and your designer do everything better than the competition!
5. Be clear about your company image and personality. Discuss the image you are going for and work with your designer to communicate a clear brand style.
6. Give your designer a budget. Most people think that if they share a budget then this gives the designer an excuse to blow it. On the contrary, a budget ensures the designer can come back to you with a realistic plan of action. With a figure in mind they should come back with a proposal that clearly shows what you are getting for your money and what any variations will give you. This way you can decide whether to spend a little more for a lot more value or not. This makes the entire process much more efficient. If you work together on a long term basis then you can work out a yearly communications strategy and budget.
7. Trust them. This is probably the most important element. A quality designer will be a professional in their field, recommending only what is best for you, your business and your long term goals. Do you question your doctor? Or your accountant? You concentrate on running your business and leave your designer to get the results you need on the communications front.
The right designer will know how to ask all the right questions to they can get all the details they need to produce quality communications. With all this information at hand your designer will be able to make sensible, relevant and dynamic suggestions and recommendations. As a partnership you and your designer will have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, putting you in a good position to measure the success of various communication projects. Are their any other tips anyone else can share?