As entrepreneurs Begin to grow their businesses and realize the value of their time, they may start to consider outsourcing certain aspects of their business.
One such part of their business could be the maintenance of their visual identity. As in, all those graphics, blog posts, flyers, newspaper ads, social media posts they put out in the world. Ideally, anything that your business creates should enhance, and be consistent with the look and feel of your brand.
Once you, as a business owner, decide that scheduling Facebook posts, stuffing mailers, sending invoices, creating new sales graphics aren't the best use of your time, you may want to consider outsourcing.
Sometimes that person is a graphic designer, especially if your business is heavily reliant upon a visual presence in your local or online community. We tend to think about the initial need for hiring a designer, typically, it's a project or two that you need done immediately but then what? We hit a wall.
"Well, what ELSE can I get them to do? I can't really think of anything else I need."
I have noticed a lot of overlap between VAs (Virtual Assistants) and Graphic Designers recently and it's probably not by accident. Virtual assistants are basically people who do not physically work in your office space. They can do whatever you need remotely, via email, messenger, or phone. Often it's posting to your social media, answering customer emails, offering client support, sending out newsletters and more (don't hate on me, VAs! I know you do LOTS more than that!). But a lot of their tasks involve visual aspects of the brand which is why I see a lot of Graphic Designers branching out into the VA field.
There are many things that a Graphic Designer can help you with that aren't technically DESIGNING. For example, you may need some fresh photos for your Instagram feed, we can search stock sites for images that still maintain the look and feel of your brand.
Because many people get stuck in the "But I only need THIS right now" mind frame, I decided to make a comprehensive list of different jobs, tasks and projects that you could have your graphic designer do for you.
The idea is that you want to transfer the responsibility of doing low-dollar tasks from you to someone else. For instance, low-dollar tasks would be things that either take you so long you should have gotten someone more efficient to do it, or things that don't really bring in that much money to your business. That allows you to focus on those HIGH-dollar tasks that make money for your business, like getting new clients, and developing new products.
Here we go:
• Logo (new or refresh)
• Sub=marks for your brand (alternative logos)
• Business cards
• Letterhead / envelope
• Blog post graphics
• Lead magnets
• Event stationery
• Invitations (Wedding / Event / Launch)
• Curated blog posts
• Welcome packages or guides
• Pricing guides
• Social media management and posts (scheduled or real time)
• Email marketing (set up / deployment)
• Social media icons that reflect your brand
• Ads (online, print, newspaper, magazines, Facebook, etc)
• Social media branding (keeping your brand standards consistent across all platforms)
• Client gifts
• Mood boards
• Media kit
• Email signature
• Event collateral (schedules, booklets, notepads, posters, rack cards, etc)
• Slide layout (Powerpoint or Keynote)
• Templates (documents, invoicing, forms, social media, blog, email, etc)
• Website updates
• Newsletters (print or email)
• Album design
• Website graphics
• E-book layout and design
• Product mockups
• Printables / workbooks
• Swag design
• Photo editing
• Calligraphy digitization
• Brochures, postcards, rack cards
• Designs for T-shirts / uniforms
• Greeting cards
There are many ways that having a Graphic Designer who is familiar with your business, branding and style could help your business.
Developing a relationship with a designer whose work you admire could be an invaluable tool in your business. In my own business, I much prefer to work with my clients consistently. I find that things take less time, the more familiar we are. As we develop our working relationship, it becomes less about them feeling like they have to micromanage all the details and more about letting go and knowing that I am capable of taking care of the project.
I know that people can get bogged down with the normal projects that come up in their business and forget about all the other little details that can really add to their professional image. I hope this list is helpful if you are starting to outsource and aren't sure how to take full advantage of this new freedom.