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Branding yourself

For those of you out in the freelance or web design business there is nothing more important than giving yourself a good brand. I have recently been looking for people to help me for a project on a freelance basis, and I am going to share with you some of my findings and how in all probability good designers and graphics artists didn’t even make the short list. It might well give you pause to think about things from a perspective of a prospective employer. Now admittedly I know a fair amount both about web design and branding and also about graphic design so maybe I am a little more discerning when I look.

I logged into various sites that I know of that have freelance people listed such as “FreelanceSwitch Job Boards”.  This is usually a good source of hard working professionals. There is a rolodex of people there that you can run through to see what their talents are. I was disappointed to see how many of them hadn’t bothered to put up a logo at all. They had just used the generic image. Now if you are promoting yourself, and you are going to be making me a branding website, and graphics and you are portraying yourself as a professional surely you are going to dot all the “I”s and cross all the ‘t’s. It seems to me that it is very important.  All those that had only generic images went straight out the window. Sorry guys and gals you need to get it right first time. First impressions are of paramount importance.

From those left on the list, I went to view their websites. Here I was going to review the layout they had created and the header and footer they used as well as their artwork.
Do you know what I found? I was horrified. Some had just downloaded free WordPress designs and used them. No effort had been made to do something original. Out those went.

My list was getting a lot smaller. The next batch people to be deleted were all those that had not used a favicon. They were obviously not up to scratch, or they would have created one long ago. After all they cost nothing, and it is part and parcel of branding.

Of those left over and my list now was down to about 20 from 300, I looked to compare the favicon with the logo used.  So far so good, I was finding the pro’s. I scrolled on down to the bottom of the page. Five more hit the dust. They had merely used the footer in a total bland way.

Am I a hard task master? I don’t think so. I want an outstanding site, so I look for the pro to build it.  I know what I want. I have the overall design in my head and am looking for someone to fill in the blanks. There are specialities that I need and only someone who is really up to scratch will be able to do that or at least point me in the direction of the professional who can.

I look at the menus on the site. I also look to see what the site ranking is. All these items indicate to me that they either can do it, themselves, or they know the right people to do it for them.

At the end of my search I am left with three people.  I make a note of their contact details and make contact and ask them if they are in the market and what sort of costing it would take. I give them a brief rundown of the work needed and wait for a response. I get one immediate response. Then I get an auto response from the other two. One is away for a holiday and will get back later. Well, my project can wait a short while but not three weeks. So he goes on the back burner. Both the others are in the same ball park financially so I go back to them and ask how much a wireframe of my ideas will be and what their time frame to do it will be.
One comes back that he has just finished a project and is available immediately and is also prepared to submit a sample wireframe free within two days.
Who got the job? Guess.


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