by Jessica Freeman | Featured Contributor
As entrepreneurs, it can sometimes be hard for us to spend money on our business. We become so focused on making money so we can pay bills (and ourselves), that we can’t even bring ourselves to spend money. So, to save every penny we look up tutorials, download all the free apps we can find, and use Google Doc spreadsheets instead of accounting software.
Pinching pennies might work in some areas of your business, but there’s one thing that you can’t afford to bootstrap – your brand. Not everyone can afford to spend $1000 on a logo, and that’s okay. There are so many designers available out there, with an array of prices! There’s no reason you can’t afford to invest in a solid designer to help your brand shine.
When I think about the design and layout of my previous websites, I can’t help but laugh. I knew the importance of a good website, but I didn’t have many clients yet. I needed to improve my website, but how could I justify spending money on my website without much money coming in? (Notice I said much, not zero. I had money coming in, but I didn’t want to spend it!)
Finally, I took “the plunge” and put some money into my website. To be fully transparent here, I want to tell you how much I invested in my website. I went from spending $10/year, to $106/year. Do you know what happened when I started investing JUST in the website for my business? I got more clients.
For awhile, this was the only investment I made in my business. Investing in my website helped me take a huge step forward in my business. Investing in someone to help you with your website, your business cards, your social media graphics – it’s an investment that will change the life of your business. Being a professional, in any industry, means you need to look like a professional.
Instead of bootstrapping your brand, you need to invest in your brand. Here are three tips to get you started:
- Stay away from cheap. If it’s cheaper than a college kid’s grocery bill, it’s probably not worth it. Always remember, you get what you pay for. Professional designers are an investment that have a high ROI.
- Talk to different designers. You need to work with a designer that you are comfortable with, and that matches the style of your brand. This is not a decision that should be made lightly.
- Take it one step at a time. Maybe you can’t afford to change everything at once. Look at what needs the most help – is it your logo or your website? Rome wasn’t built in a day, so if you want to work on your logo now and your website in six months, then do that!
With every investment I’ve made in my business, it’s taken my business a step further. First it was my website, then enrolling in Stress Less & Impress, then getting invoicing software, and now I’m preparing to hire a virtual assistant! All these investments have happened over the course of two years. It doesn’t have to take place overnight! What investment can you make in your brand this week?
Jessica Freeman, professional graphic designer and owner of Jess Creatives, works with entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits to create stunning graphics, websites and videos that help them stand out among competition so they can focus on doing what they do best.
After working in the corporate world for a few years and doing freelance on the side, Jess decided to take the leap to self-employment in 2014. Jess Creatives has had the privilege of working with some incredible organizations such as Georgia Tech University, Chick-fil-A Race Series, and Unique Venues.
After hours, Jess enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, and #FranktheChair. They currently live in Atlanta, GA, where they enjoy working out, volunteering, and working on side projects for Jess Creatives.