Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Hey Marketing in the Wild friends. We are back this week with a listener question. Somebody finally sent us a question. Actually, they sent us a lot of questions, which is awesome. And we are going to be covering a ton of them in the next few episodes. If you have any questions, make sure you email me julia@stratoscreativemarketing.com or just find us on Instagram @marketinginthewildpodcast and send us your questions. We are happy to cover them. And if we don’t know the answers, we’re going to find people who know the answers. 

But one of our listeners sent us this question: “Do you really need to hire a graphic designer? Isn’t using someone on Fiverr or other sites good enough? Since I started my business, sometimes I spot other companies that paid someone to create a logo and that must have been it because their marketing and branding is not clear.”

I feel like our listener actually almost answered her question in her question, but I took it to our team. I have plenty of opinions about this, about these sites where you could hire somebody to make you a low-cost logo. I’ve got plenty of my own opinions but I wanted to see what our team said.

And let me tell you, I posted it in our slack and within three hours there were 46, 47 comments on it. That is how passionate my team is. But you wouldn’t be surprised like, obviously, like we come at it with like a little bit of a bias because we do have a graphic design team that does branding and logos for people.

But I was actually surprised because some of them were like, well, when those sites are good, you can use those sites. And so I’m going to walk you through some of their comments and just some things that you need to think about as you’re hiring a graphic designer. This actually will probably birth like three other episodes about graphic design, so you can play it on those coming. But in the meantime, I want to talk about when it is important to hire somebody for a higher-paid branding package. And so I want to start off with our graphic designer, Savannah made this comparison…you can hire anybody to make you a graphic, like a logo or a graphic, but what kind of quality are you going to get, and do they know why they’re making it and will it work?

And she kind of made this comparison. It’s kind of like a plumber. I could ask my friend to come over and say, “Hey, my sink is broken” and I could bring a tool over and they could fix it, but will I know that it won’t happen again? And do they know how they fixed it and why? And some of you all might be really good at plumbing so maybe that doesn’t apply to you, but it’s kind of the same thing where somebody could have the tools. They could have the tools like Adobe or whatever, they’re going to use illustrator to make you a logo, but do they know what they’re doing? And do they know that it will work for you?

One of the things that we, as an agency get really frustrated about…we haven’t always done design FYI, that came later. But what I would get really frustrated with at the beginning is when people would say, “Oh yeah, I do have a logo” and they’d bring me a logo that wasn’t in the right file. Just so you know, there are right, correct files that your logo should be in, or they also didn’t have their branding colors. And so then we had to spend time, which equates to money for the client, figuring out branding colors. 

A lot of these people would actually have gone on to Fiverr or Upwork or whatever site you want to pick where you can find these lower-cost items. They would have gone on there and the person making the logo says, “Yeah, I’ll make you a logo.” But the problem is the business owner doesn’t know to ask for more. They don’t know that like when they come to me and they want me to build a website, I’m going to say, “But do you have your brand colors? Do you have your fonts?” 

And so they were caught in a bind then because suddenly they had a logo and nothing else. And so that’s like something that is major to consider when you’re thinking about it. One of our other people, our other employees, Kelsey, she experienced where she just got a logo and she realized, “Wow, I am missing other things.”

Guys, I hate to interrupt this podcast but I wanted to share a quick message about a resource we have here at Stratos for you.

Hi, it’s Justine from Stratos. Do you need some help refreshing your brand guidelines? Our team has put together the ultimate branding worksheet so that you can fill in the blanks and develop your own cohesive and comprehensive brand guidelines. Get your free copy at marketinginthewildpodcast.com/freebies.

The other problem about just getting a logo is that it can be generic. There’s even some cases where these people have used copyrighted things in their logos for you. And you might not know but you might be the one who gets in trouble. 

So here’s the thing, there is nothing wrong with something like Fiverr or Upwork. And actually, I used to find a ton of jobs on Upwork and it’s a really great place. But here’s the thing is you could find a great graphic designer or you could find an egg. So you don’t really know. 

And these are the tips from my team: You should be asking for a portfolio. Make sure that you can see a portfolio, whether you’re going to a design agency, whether you’re going to an independent graphic designer, ask for a portfolio. Even if they’re new, they should have designs that they’ve worked on before. Ask them what file types you need or that you’ll be provided, asked them whether they’re going to give you brand guidelines with your brand colors and your fonts, or if they’re just going to give you a logo. 

There may be instances where just a logo is what you need. I’m not going to say that it isn’t, maybe you’re running a new program within your business and you already have your branding done. Maybe you just need your logo revamped, you don’t need a whole new one. Generally, though, I would recommend if you’re a new business, you should be getting a logo plus all of the brand guidelines.

So do you really need to hire a graphic designer? Is using someone on Fiverr are good enough? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s the thing is just as our listener said, sometimes she spots companies that pay someone to create a logo, but not anything else. And their brand and marketing isn’t cohesive. That is a problem. If you invest in a logo but don’t get your brand colors or the rest of your branding and your marketing looks lackluster or not cohesive, then you may be turning away customers.

So just think about how the power of cohesion creates trust with your customers. And so, yeah, like you don’t necessarily need to go to a design agency. There are design agencies that will charge you $10,000 for a branding package that might not be necessary for you. But I don’t think a $50 logo might not fill up what you need. It might not be sufficient for you. So there are plenty of us that price in the middle of there and do really good work. 

And so that’s the thing is compare, compare and contrast your graphic designers, your graphic design teams, and make sure that you find somebody whose portfolio matches or that you enjoy their style and make sure that you are going to get everything that you particularly need. 

If you have any questions about graphic design, let us know. But also if you have any questions about marketing at large, like I said at the top of the episode, let us know. We would love to answer your questions. And if we don’t know the answers, we will find somebody who does. We’ve got some exciting episodes in the queue so make sure you hang around and I will talk to you next week!