If you are a company of one like me, it can be very tempting to try and do everything yourself. But if you want to grow and expand then sometimes it helps to bring in an expert, especially in those areas you are weaker.
I understand that it is often a minefield out there when you are trying to choose people to work with for your business. It’s so important to find someone who ‘gets’ you and shares your values. I try and work with people who I know will enhance my vision, my brand, and my business and spend time considering this. I’m going to talk you through how to find the right help for your business. This applies to copywriters, designers, photographers, marketeers, web developers, social media experts and everything in between!
From personal experience in my business I’ve found asking for help has empowered my business and given me more confidence in what I am putting out there.
So how can you make sure who you are working with is going to understand what you need?
1. LOOK AT THEIR PAST WORK AND CLIENTS.
See if it fits in with the type of business you are or want to be. Generally specialists have a ‘niche’. For me I love working with independent businesses, solopreneurs and startups who may have an interest in ethical living, sustainability or a passion for nature. My client base has been varied from interior designers to ethical beauty stores but in general our ethos has matched.
Finding someone who understands your area of business and target market means that they will ‘get’ your business and really add value where you need it and offer an experienced perspective.
2. HOW DO THEY THEY TALK BEHIND THE SCENES OF THEIR BUSINESS?
Head over and look through their social media and see if you connect with who they are. Instagram can show snippets of their personality and you can also read through captions to work out if the way they talk feels like it would fit in with your brand. Also take a look at their blog posts and the type of knowledge they are sharing. Words, pictures and their overall brand will give you a good insight into their personality and skills.
HOW CAN THEY HELP MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD?
3. REFINE YOUR BUSINESS PROBLEM
What is it you need help with and how is this going to move your business forward? Work out if this person offers a unique view to help you solve it. Are their skills the type of skills you are weakest in? The tasks you find overly time-consuming and frustrating are usually those areas that would be best to ask for help in!
Even though my speciality is branding and design I felt too close to my business to get the clarity of where I should take my business. I also needed an outside perspective on my website and overall brand strategy. I spoke to the incredible Kayte Ferris @simpleandseason and felt much clearer on the direction to take my brand in and tweak my website.
4. WHAT DO THEIR TESTIMONIALS SAY?
Do you relate to the people that have written them? Are they similar to you or your client base and do you feel similairites to them? How are their testimonials written? If they are conversational and personal then you can really get a sense that the person is happy with their work and has a good relationship with them. Word-of-mouth reccomendations are even better. You can ask for recommendations on social media or from people you know too. But remember to make your own choice and look at the other factors too, as one person’s business need may be different to yours.
5. HOLD AN IN-PERSON OR VIRTUAL MEETING
See where they suggest a meeting and if it is somewhere you would go. If someone suggests Starbucks I immediately know they aren’t on my wavelength! If you can’t meet in person then use Zoom or Skype or have a phone call as emails can often be faceless. Are you connecting and have things in common? It’s so important to feel comfortable with who you will be working with. You want to feel like you can be honest and open and share your likes and dislikes.
Collaboration is such an important part of a project and ensuring you get exactly what you want. If you can communicate freely and feel the person understands where you are coming from then what they produce will reflect your brand.
I've created these audio and podcast episodes to teach you a little more about authentic branding. I'll be adding to them each week so feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel for updates. You can watch below, or there is a soundcloud playlist for you to listen on...
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Hello! I’m Charlotte the founder of Creative Wilderness. I love to collaborate with forward thinking brands. I’ve had over 10 years in the design industry working at big agencies on brands including Wilkinson Sword, Peroni, Kozel, Energizer, McCann, The Hut Group, Pilsner, Aldi, Cambridge University, Harbour Hotels and many many more.
Before jumping into design I dreamed of being a Rock star and studied music at Paul McCartneys music school ‘The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’. I spent a few years as a pro musician where I toured, played festivals, recorded albums and also a music video. I still love playing sax and bass in bands and music and design make me feel alive and inspired!
3 things that keep me motivated are yoga or runs every morning, matcha tea and 6music!