I’ve noticed lately that in every Discovery call, when I ask the potential client to ‘brain dump’ why they reached out, they do just that, then end it with ‘I don’t think I’m making any sense’.
That’s exactly why we’re here.
My job is literally to make it make sense.
We don’t expect (or want you, really) to come to us with the problem AND solution. If you had it all figured out, there’d be no reason to hire us. If it’s just a matter of making your sketches digital, you can find someone to do that on Fiverr. But if you are spiralling over an inkling of an idea and don’t know how to execute it – THAT is our bread and butter, where we thrive.
The difference between a good designer and a great designer is their ability to problem solve, but also to find the right questions to answer in the first place. In University I literally had an entire class called Design Thinking… three hours a week on how people think, and how we then translate it into design.
As business owners we’re so deep in our own heads, industry, business – it’s hard to see the bigger picture and what our customers actually want or need from us. Hint, it’s not every piece of knowledge we’ve acquired ever all at once.
This is why I talk about the importance of brand strategy, diving into your audience, and not necessarily needing to know your personal preferences before we dive in. We don’t need to know what your favourite colour is, because it’s simply not about you.
If we take GoCleanCo for example, the best selling Cleaning Army Handbook started with a massive Google Doc brain dump. I can totally see why it takes people years to launch something sometimes, because you get hung up giving away the whole farm writing 800 pages, when really your audience needs the first 5… And probably some visuals and white space for a break.
You’re the expert, so yes people want to learn from you, but let’s pull back, let’s *simplify*. This is where a great designer is 👌. You can hear Sarah talk about this whole experience on the Waves Social podcast.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you don’t need to know the solution because we don’t want your ideas or input. The difference between hiring a good designer and hiring a great designer is how they work WITH you, not just FOR you.
Finding a designer you click with that can work with you as a partner is essential.
They know the questions to ask to understand your business or product, and are trained and conditioned to find the best solution to take all of your expertise and make it an experience for the end user. Kind of like how if you were to tell an interior designer you want the room to feel like it has taller ceilings, and they opt to paint the ceilings and walls the same colour. It doesn’t initially sound like it’ll work, nor was it your first idea, but it does. And that’s why you hired them.
We could also say this is the difference between hiring just a graphic designer and hiring a brand strategist/branding expert/brand designer, etc. Whatever the hot new term is these days, we unfortunately have little to no industry standards, but there is so much more to graphic design than just making graphics…
Anyway. Maddox has interrupted me writing this approx. 432 times so I don’t know where I am anymore, but here’s a couple screenshots of recent feedback on strategy and blowing expectations (because if you’re expecting me to just digitize what you drew out for me, buckle up LOL):