Do it yourself? Or get someone in? Let’s talk it out.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all been asked to do something with a question that starts with, ‘Can you just …’. These three fateful words are usually followed with things like, ‘paint the hallway?’, or ‘fix that dripping tap?’ Or worse, it could be in a marketing department and the words that follow are, ‘design a visually striking social media campaign and an eye-catching brochure to go to print next month?’
And sure enough, whatever the instruction is, despite beads of sweat running down our backs, we give it our best shot. Even though we know we have no idea where to start, probably don’t have the right equipment, and could end up making a complete hash of it.
With the internet to guide us, just how hard can anything be these days? Surely you just have to search for what you want to achieve and follow some instructions.
We accept these challenges in a blink of an eye to appear keen and not wanting to disappoint someone. Or maybe we do it to find out if we have some hidden talent despite having zero experience or qualifications.
The online dangers!
I’m not talking about images that require strict parental control settings, I’m talking about the convenient online design packages. You know, the ones like Canva, Figma, Desynger, Vectr, Adobe Express, and the like.
Let’s just pause for a moment and read that back – ‘Desynger’. Who on earth came up with that name? The blatant abuse of the word ‘designer’ should be a warning that it’s trying far too hard to give you something different.
These simple to use design packages can help your marketing team design images for sure, but they won’t help you strengthen your brand’s identity. They could in fact damage it. Remember that other businesses – even your competitors – have access to the same range of templates so it could get a bit embarrassing if you end up looking like each other. The risk is real!
Think about your marketing team’s strengths
Be proud of your team’s strengths, talents and experience and don’t put obstacles in their way blocking them from using these qualities to the max.
It’s also a strength to recognise the skills of others. I’ve worked with the most talented marketers who develop outstanding visions and strategies, but when it comes to design and communications, they know to step aside and call in the experts.
There’s a lesson here for all of us. I’m already getting flashbacks to the last time I tackled some home improvements. I ignored the fact that I didn’t possess the skills needed for the job and left it too late. Eventually I had to admit defeat and get someone in who did the obligatory tut tuts, shaking of the head, and chin rubbing on inspection of my bodged efforts.
It’s never worth starting something you know someone else can do better. It’s a costly approach and does nothing for your self-esteem.
Don’t wait too long to ask for external help
In fact, don’t wait at all, don’t put your marketers in that difficult position of having to put on the hat of a design and communication specialist. It won’t fit.
The longer you wait, the worse it will be. The more time will be wasted, not to mention the money. And repairing any damage caused to your brand may take some time. Customers aren’t very forgiving at the best of times. They have an annoying habit of basing their opinions on first impressions.
Make that first impression count, along with all future impressions. Get someone in, don’t try to do it yourself.
Use your time, and that of your marketing team, wisely
We talk a lot about time and money. No one, and no business, should waste either. But I do believe that time is the commodity that should be most respected. It’s a resource that once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Questions the online design packages don’t/can’t ask
I hope that this blog has made you think twice, to realise that asking your marketing team to step outside of their remit is not the best use of their time. And that using these easily accessible online design and content makers is not the answer.
But if you’re still not convinced and want to go down the DIY route maybe just one more time, consider this: these faceless online design packages have no way of getting to know you, your ‘why’, or your customers. They won’t be able to understand what you want to achieve, how you want your brand to be received, or how you want your customers to feel.
They don’t know these crucial pieces of information because they don’t have a voice – and when you use them there is a danger that neither will your brand.