How does a monthly graphic design retainer package work?

If you need more than just a one-off project a monthly design retainer can often help your business.

 

You’ve got your branding, your website is all launched but you still feel like you might need a little extra support with graphic design. And using Canva is giving you a headache! That’s where a monthly graphic design retainer support package can often help. I’ll chat through when a retainer package is a good idea, and how to work out what you’ll need help with.

 

what is a design retainer support package?

Bigger brands and businesses often have in-house designers who are on-hand to create all their graphics and designs for them. However if you are a solopreneur, small business or start-up you may not have the capacity or budget to take someone on full-time, or even for a regular role. A monthly design retainer is a great way to make sure your brand is getting professional designs, without the long term commitment, or big investement of hiring a designer.

You can usually take out a monthly design retainer for around 3-6 months and commit to as little or as much a month as you need. I generally suggest a minimum of half a day to a day a month to make sure you are getting the most from the service.

 

how is a design retainer different to hiring a va?

A VA is a jack of all trades, but will lack the deeper understanding of your brand and design

Some people hire a VA for their monthly design support, however the quality is often not much better than you could do yourself. A VA also won’t be thinking in ‘brand’ or ‘design’ terms and will just be getting the job done. When you work with a designer on a monthly retainer they will be looking at your brand as a whole, strategically making suggestions to help your business to grow.

An example would be a recent retainer I worked on for a company who needed regular web banner’s created. Now a VA would simply take the brief and bash out the designs. As a brand designer, I looked at how the banner’s fit with the overall brand messaging and offered suggestions to improve them. I also came up with better campaign headlines, visuals and made sure they were creatively eye-catching and designed to grab attention and convert.

As designers we know how peoples eyes and minds work and how to visually optimise designs to make sure that whatever you are putting out there is working as hard as it can for your business!

how can a monthly design retainer help your business?

A monthly graphic design retainer can help take the pressure off you to constantly create graphics for your brand. You can also feel like your ‘brand’ and ‘visuals’ are being looked after each month and will stay consistent and professional. When you’ve invested a lot in your brand identity and website then you don’t want to start diluting your brand with design materials that don’t fit, or look badly designed.

Visuals tell a story, catch the eye, explain, entertain, inspire and emotionally connect. Each month you’ll probably be creating a range of visuals for your brand. From social media posts, blog and email headers, to ebooks, presentations, YouTube graphics and perhaps offer web banners or Facebook ads. It will take a professional designer on a retainer much less time to create these things for you and make sure they stay on brand.

Hiring a designer for a monthly graphic design retainer can help your business in the following ways:

 

 

 

  • Free’s up your time so you can focus on growing your business
  • Ensures a consistent and professional brand look across all your brand touch points
  • Gives you access to professional design and brand strategic thinking without having to pay for a full service design agency
  • Working with a designer for several months allows the designer to tailor their creations to meet your brand goals
  • Improves the impact and conversion of your posts, adverts, and graphics due to professional design tricks that will enhance your branded visuals
  • No more scrabbling around trying to get last-minute quotes, you’ll often have a date each month and most designers give priority to their design retainer clients. So if you have something urgent then you’ll know each month that you have it sorted.
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Hopefully you are now a little clearer on how a graphic design retainer works, and how it can help your brand. As you start to grow it’s important to not spread yourself too thin, and also delegate tasks to people who can bring in skills in areas you are weaker in. Design can often be a time-consuming task so have a think of how you could spend those hours or days in ways that will grow your business and allow you to live a balanced business life.

Bringing in help is one of the best ways to help deal with business overwhelm, and I’ve written more on that subject in this blog post.

 

ethical branding advice & thoughts from the wilderness

In my emails, I share authentic branding advice and ethical business tips to help you grow your business sustainably, alongside thoughts from my wanderings in the wilderness.

As a special welcome, you’ll get The Power of Authentic Branding Ebook when you join. I only send out intentional emails and will never overwhelm your inbox!

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