We’ve all been there: you need to hire someone to handle some tasks you just aren’t meant to do but MAN…it is TERRIFYING. Realistically, when you don’t understand another person’s job, it can be a little scary and overwhelming knowing what to ask before you dive in head first.
So today, we’re sharing what you should ask AND what you should know before you ever begin working with a designer (or really, any creative, developer, or anyone on the interwebs!)
So let’s say you’re searching for a new designer. You post in a facebook group and immediately are inundated with a number of people who are ready to jump on your website. But let’s halt…don’t move too quickly.
Before you EVER work with designer or developer, make sure you’re able to either view their portfolio or see their most recent work. Stalk their website, find their instagram. Do you see work that relates to the idea of what you’re searching for? Does their personality on their website seem like you’d work well with them?
So the first question you should ask is this:
1: Can I see the work you’ve previously done? How much experience do you have with our platform?
Let’s say you’re on Shopify and you decided to give your cousins kiddo a try at it. They say they “can figure anything out” but you’ve got an in depth wholesale site that needs a wholeeeeee lot of love (and code!) While we understand doing it on a budget, going this way may actually take months and months because the person you’re hiring is trying to figure it out as they go. Read: find someone experienced ESPECIALLY if you’re on a time crunch. It isn’t worth the wasted time to go the other way, trust us or the hundreds of clients who’ve shared this story when coming to us. Make sure you can see their work AND make sure they’re experienced enough on the platform you’re on to give you what you need.
2: Can you break down the specifics of EXACTLY what we’re paying for? When are these payments due?
Before ever paying a dime, you should have an in-depth breakdown of exactly what you’ll be paying for. Will they be training you? Will you receive any additional help with integrating social media or mailchimp? How many pages will the website have? Do they offer payment plans? When are the payments due?
For us, we ask for a 25% deposit and the remainder is paid on two occasions: when we begin the project and when we complete it. We also offer 4 & 6 month payment plans.
3: What happens if we don’t like what you’ve designed?
Most designers offer a standard round of edits for the designs they’ve completed. Make sure you know exactly how many you’ll get. Keep in mind, most designers won’t offer an endless amount of revisions as it takes away from the original design and completely hinders your timeline for launch. However, when more revisions are necessary, your designer should either understand or quote an additional fee for those extra rounds of revisions. Keep in mind that extra revisions will absolutely hinder your launch timeframe. Always be respectful of the amount of time it takes designers and developers to implement your new updates (they aren’t quick or effortless most of the time, but skilled designers can handle them.)
4: Will you be training us on updating the site moving forward?
Okay, can we get real here? EVERYONE should be teaching you how to use what you’ve paid for. We’re not saying they should stop by your office everyday to train you, but you should at least receive tutorials in some format so you understand how to use what you’ve paid for. We can’t tell you the amount of clients who’ve come to us completely lost on the website they’ve paid for in the past, thus needing us to train them on their new site we’ve designed. In all honesty, we LOVE empowering our clients to understand their website and while we’re here in the future if they need us, we take pride in showing them the ropes so they can handle all updates quickly and painlessly (without unnecessarily taking extra money out of their pockets!)
Openness and honesty is the KEY, always. Trust is the driving factor and communication will always be what keeps you moving forward. Ensure that you’re paying someone you truly trust and if you have questions, never feel awkward speaking up (no questions are dumb questions, ever!)