Happy Monday! I’m not going to lie, I have been anxiously awaiting Mondays now because I’m excited to connect with you here in this space. It’s helps a little with the Monday blues. :) This week and next, I am going to be sharing about my branding journey. If you are considering investing in a designer for your website and brand, I hope todays post will be helpful to you!
When I first decided to start Sincerely Amy Designs in June, I had high hopes of creating my own website and brand. Squarespace was fairly easy to navigate and I understood the basics of Illustrator. However, I quickly learned that creating a website and brand for yourself is HARD. I felt unsure of what I really wanted and my lack of knowledge and experience was making it difficult to execute some of my ideas.
Taking the step to hire Lauren from Elle and Company, to come alongside me in building my brand, was scary! I was putting my dream in her hands, along with a good amount of money. Today, I wanted to talk a bit about my experience with Lauren by sharing 5 things hiring a professional designer did for me and my brand - a few I expected going into the process and a few surprised me along the way.
Trying to navigate the waters of building a website was incredibly time consuming. I was struggling to find adequate time to sit down and get it all done. I was beginning to feel like I needed to turn down paying calligraphy jobs so I could get it finished. Time became one of the biggest motivators for me in hiring a designer. It opened up my schedule to allow me to continue to do what I do best, calligraphy - not website/brand design. With working a full time job during the day, running the calligraphy business, and the responsibilities that come along with taking care of my grandma, my time is limited and has become increasingly more valuable to me. It was amazing to watch Lauren do in one day what would have taken me weeks to do on my own. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders every time she took on a task for my brand that, before I hired her, I had been dreading or struggling through.
2. WIDER REACH
One of the things that came as a surprise in this process was that working with a designer widened the audience I was reaching. It’s no secret that Elle and Company is gaining a lot of momentum right now. I found that every time Lauren posted about my brand, I would gain a large number of new followers. I received quite a few comments and emails once the site launched, telling me they had found my site through Elle and Company and were excited to continue to follow my business! These are people and potential clients that I would not have likely reached had I decided to do it all alone. While I didn’t realize it at the time, booking Lauren ended up being a very strategic move for my business.
3. OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE
I remember being so overwhelmed at the idea of creating a Pinterest board for Sincerely Amy Designs. All the different pins I had felt like a chaotic disaster. I apologized to Lauren on many occasions for my Pinterest board haha. When she first sent me my inspiration board that she had designed, from what seemed like a mess of pins I had given her, I cried. She had nailed it. With her outside perspective, and design eye, she could see past what I just viewed as pretty images. She was able to pin point the similarities and trends to my choices. In the beginning, I thought I had no idea what I wanted, from design colors all the way to an ideal client. With intentional questions and a fresh set of eyes, she was able to help me put to words and design what I wanted Sincerely Amy Designs to look like and be about. So much clarity can come from hashing out your thoughts and ideas with someone else and I found that to be the case over and over again as I worked with Lauren. When working on my brand alone, I was highly underestimating the value of an outsider's perspective.
Another reason I initially decided to hire a professional designer was because I didn’t trust myself to come up with something original. I was feeling some what tired of seeing the same designs and color schemes over and over again. It wasn’t that I didn’t like those designs, it was just that I wanted something that made me different and stand out from the crowd. Hiring a professional meant I was working with someone who not only knew how to bring the designs to life, but also knew the "whys" behind design decisions. For example, Lauren knew what colors to choose when thinking about reaching my ideal client, an aspect I would have never considered. Her experience and expertise allowed her to create something original. Being in an industry that is booming, with new businesses hopping on board every day, I knew it was important that my brand look different. And as an added bonus, I gained so much knowledge about design in the process!
5. INCREASE IN PRICING, INQUIRES AND SALES
I knew that having a professional looking site would allow me to increase my prices. However, what I didn't predict was the increase in inquires and sales. That may have been a silly oversight on my part but I was viewing my website mainly as a way to educate clients, through the pricing, process, styles, and envelope etiquette pages. I am only a week and a half into having a home on the internet for Sincerely Amy Designs and the new sales alone have already covered the cost of hiring a designer. I am fully aware of the crazy blessing that is and I do not take it for granted!
I had no idea just how pivotal of a decision I was making for my business when I hired a designer. I have been absolutely shocked at the results I’ve seen from having a professionally and intentionally designed brand. It's been an exciting few weeks! With that said though, I understand completely how big of a step it can be to put your business, along with your hard earned money, into someone else's hands. If I can help answer any questions you might have about the branding process or specifically about working with Elle and Company, please leave a comment below or feel free to email me!