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Have You Hugged Your Graphic Designer Lately?

 

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Part I

The creative graphic designer’s task to provide an appealing product is typically based on several different elements.  Sometimes they are asked to create an ideology from a blank canvas; other times they are requested to create a finished thought from images and text provided by the client. Have you ever considered the value of a graphic designer’s time to build your desired finished product?

One of the first realizations as a business owner is the fact that you cannot do everything yourself. This is the time that you employ business partners to work with you, people that are experienced and skilled in areas that you are not. The creative graphic designer is one of those partners and sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of running our business, I think we may take these valuable individuals for granted.

Whether tasked with the implementation of designing a new logo, compiling a color/image scheme that conveys a subliminal message or just a plain and simple text placement with appealing font selection, the graphic designer’s job is complex. Sometimes, to provide the best product, a designer might need to cohesively blend all of these elements together to achieve their goal. 

The creativity to implement the desired result involves “think time” for your contracted designer to plan the best outcome.  As the business owner, it is extremely important that you respect this aspect of the creative process if you want to receive quality results from your designer. “Think time” enables your designer to proactively plan your project both mentally and visually to map out the best plan to achieve your desired result. The last thing you want from your designer is a knee jerk reaction to your design requests, resulting in a poorly designed product that fails to meet your requirements.

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So, how does a business owner go about adding a quality graphic designer to their team? What resources and characteristics must they search for?

1. Past work history. Progressive business owners are hip to trends and changes going on in the marketplace. They pay attention to what their competitors and their peers are doing, and in this process, observe the work of various graphic designers. When shopping for a creative graphic designer, you may have admired their work through a peer or competitor or you may have even searched them out on the web.

2. Referrals. New graphic design partnerships are often formed simply through a referral. If a trusted friend or peer has a had a great relationship with a designer and you see evidence of their great work, this can often lead to the start of a relationship. New relationships built on referrals are great because trust is already earned through the referral relationship. However, because of this high level of trust, expectations are high, so it is important that the designer work hard to live up to that expectation and maintain that trust.

3. Existing relationship. You may also find a graphic designer through an existing relationship you have through another channel. It could be a trusted friend or family member or an old colleague you know that recently started their own business. Like the referral, trust is already there because the relationship exists, but the burden rests on the designer to preserve the relationship by providing a high quality product that meets the needs of their new client and partner.

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Now that we have established how you choose your graphic designer, it is important to review the creative process that the business owner must follow with their graphic designer to create the best product for their business. There is much more to the process than simply choosing a graphic designer, and then telling them, “go.” They do not have a crystal ball to see into your future or your vision for your product. It is a give and take relationship.

In part II of this series, I will reveal how you can embrace the creative process with your designer and work with them lock and step to achieve the results you want. In the meantime, give your designer a hug. They deserve it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Value of a Supplier Who is a Team Partner

In the beginning, it is easy to take for granted the valuable relationship with the suppliers of goods and services necessary to run your business. We typically use terms like vendor and supplier which are very sterile terms.  Consider which of your suppliers truly serve as visionary team-players.  Ultimately, all businesses desire a cohesive culture where all players move forward with the same goal.  Order-takers are just mechanical fulfillment positions.  Business partners and team members that have a shared goal to maintain and promote your corporate mission are valuable assets to maintain and reward proactively.

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If maintained properly, the client/supplier relationship can be more than an order giving/taking relationship.  The supplying service partner can only be a valuable asset to your business if they understand your company culture and vision.  After all, the goods and services they provide typically play an integral role in the successful operation of your business. The "right-fit" supplier will be a strong team-player capable of filling your needs not only with the desired end result of the delivered product, but by having the ability to reliably assist with maintaining your branded expectations.

The right-fit service partner understands your business - its budget, it's branding message and its culture. (click to tweet) These partners stay focused on what's best for your company.  They continually look for and implement the best possible product values, functionality and creative promotion of your brand.  This desirable win/win relationship deserves as much cultivation as that of your own clients.
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Fostering and nurturing the relationship with your preferred team service partners requires very little effort, but it does require that you pay attention.

Referrals: There is no business that does not appreciate a complimentary referral. (click to tweet) If your service partner has been good to you and you truly appreciate their performance, one of the best ways to show your appreciation is to tell others about them and send them referral business. Your service partner will, in turn, reward and reinforce the integrity of your referral by providing the same level of excellent service. Additionally, they will want to thank you for thinking of their business.  You may be surprised at the impact this subtle way of saying Thank you will have.
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Small gifts of appreciation given to your best team players show that you value their efforts and will develop intangible results that will positively impact your business.

Show your appreciation for the awesome decorated t-shirts and caps your partner provided for your event. Invite your service partner to be a part of the event as a guest or better yet, as a member of your corporate family.  Give them free tickets to the event.

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Thank your service partners with public testimonials on social media -on both your platforms & theirs.  Suggest that your service partners share your success stories about completed projects with tangible examples about how the outcome of the final delivered product fostered your company's mission.
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As the mutual trust, respect and appreciation grows on both sides of the partnership, you may discover more opportunities for your service partner to help you in your business. In turn, they will go out of their way to find solutions to challenges as you encounter them and work to keep your business moving upward toward your goals. By working together as partners actively, you allow each other’s businesses to be top of mind in all business dealings, elevating each of you to new levels.

Take the time to evaluate your current relationship with your suppliers. Are they just sterile suppliers, or has their level of service been more of a team partnership that you just have not recognized or rewarded? If the latter is the case, don’t take that relationship for granted. Treat them as an appreciated team partner instead of a just a supplier, because in the end, you are sure to get out of any relationship, exactly what you put into it. 

Enjoy this excellent parody video about a client/designer relationship - note how the partnering designer keeps performing the challenging task at hand.
https://youtu.be/xwqPYeTSYng 


 Image credits: 
cooldesign and Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net; www.123rf.com/profile_aopsan

 

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