How to Make Things Work with a Designer – the Client’s Perspective

Dayne Shuda is the founder and main contributor at Hunting Business Marketing – a resource for hunting businesses that includes tips, tutorials, and a question & answer forum where hunting industry leaders can learn to market their businesses effectively. Dayne is also the author of the Hunting Business Marketing | The Book – Simple strategies for marketing your hunting business on the Web. Connect with Dayne at HBM or on Twitter @DayneShuda.

Having a positive relationship with your designer can lead to big sales

One of the problems I have as an entrepreneur is that I believe I can do everything necessary to operate my business. The truth is – I can’t do it all and where this fact becomes painfully apparent is design. Whether it’s creating a small banner ad, Website elements, print design, packaging design, logo design, or any of the thousands of other design elements necessary for business – I simply do not have the expertise to create effective designs that will make my business successful. If you’re like me and you have little design skill then you’re going to need to hire a designer to create the wonderful designs you’ll need to grow your business. Once you hire a designer there are some things you can do to ensure the relationship is successful for both you and the designer.

Here are some things you can do as the client to make sure your designer creates the best images for your successful business…

Things to Ensure a Positive Relationship

1| Measurable Goals Including Timelines/Due Dates

As a marketer, I setup a lot of tests. Each time a test is setup there are expectations, timelines, end dates, and measurable variables. To ensure success with your designer, make sure you are clear with each project you ask them to do for you. Explain what your vision is for the creative. Provide a concise timeline including the details of how this design projects affects other areas of the initiative you’re working on. Also share your measurable variables and goals even though the results may not directly be a result of the design (as there are other variables that play into the success of initiatives). Sharing your goals up front will give your designer the insight necessary to assess what they’re being asked and it will allow them to plan out their work. 

By Abnel Photo

By Abnel Photo

2| Freedom

Some of the best business advice I ever received was from a talented merchandiser with whom I work. We were going over photography for new spreads showcasing the products we were selling. The merchandiser, photographer, designer, and me (marketer) looking at a particular spread and we couldn’t agree on one layout. The designer finally gave his opinion on which one he thought would work best. Unconvinced I looked at the merchandiser and he said genuinely:

“Let’s let the designer, design. He doesn’t tell me how to choose product and he doesn’t tell you how to market the products. Let’s let him do his job.”

This statement hit me right in the middle of the head and I took it to heart. I needed to let go of the control and let the talented designer make the decision. And looking back, the designer made the correct choice for the layout. The lesson is to let your designer have freedom to use their talent and creativity to see your vision through effectively. Let go of your control over certain areas and let the experts do what they do best. This will also allow you to focus on what you do best. Everybody wins.

3| Share Results and Feedback

When the project is complete and your initiative is in action for your business, it’s time to look at your goals and measurable variables and assess the success. Share the results of the campaign with the designer. They worked hard on the design for the project and they like to know what kind of impact they may have had on things like sales and branding. Sometimes as marketers we tend to think the results part testing is boring for others in our business, but it’s important for everyone involved in the process to understand the impact their work has on the performance of the company. Also analyze the impact you feel the design had on the campaign. Share the feedback with the designer. This feedback is important for future projects you may undertake. Your designer will want to know what elements of their creative worked and other areas that they may need to adjust or take into consideration for future projects.

4| Compliment in Front of Others

Compliments go a long way in the world and even though they’re generally easy to give, we all seem to have difficulty finding the right time to compliment someone when they do something positive. When it comes to business, employees and professionals you hire to work for you are going to generally work hard to help your business become successful. If you are silent (even if you recognize the hard work) the employee or hired professional may feel their work is going unnoticed and this can lead to a difficult working relationship for future projects. I’ve found that complimenting one on one to the person works well, but what works even better for morale is complimenting the hard work of professionals involved in projects and campaigns by sending out an e-mail that publicly recognizes the work of all involved. For example, if you have a successful email campaign, send out an email to all employees in the company that highlights the success of the campaign. Compliment the work of those involved by saying how the product was a perfect fit for the customer thanks to the talent of the merchandiser. Also compliment and thank the designer for their efforts in coming up with eye-catching graphics and simple and functional layouts. It’s not much work, but the positive morale goes a long way to making everyone involved at your business feel good about the work they’re doing.

5| Stay in Touch

Even though many successful business relationships require contact on an as-needed basis, I’m a fan of staying in touch with those you work with including professional designers. If you hire a professional designer for a one-time campaign and like their work, stay in touch with them even if you don’t need their services until the next campaign. Send them an email or even a short written note in the mail once and awhile to let them know how their designs are having a positive and lasting impact on your success. If you have an e-newsletter, have them sign up for updates so they can see the progress of your company. They might also like seeing how you continue to use their designs. Staying in touch is good for positive morale and when designers are in a good mood it leads to remarkable creative for your business campaigns.


Effective design is vital to the success of any business. I’ve learned that I can’t do everything when it comes to my business. In order to become successful, entrepreneurs and business managers need to let the professional be effective with their areas of expertise. When it comes to design, letting the designer have freedom to bring your visions to life will lead to growing sales as the creative connects with your customers and entices them to purchase. Foster strong relationships with your designers by doing five things:

  1. Measurable Goals Including Timelines/Due Dates
  2. Freedom
  3. Share Results and Feedback
  4. Compliment in Front of Others
  5. Stay in Touch

Take a look at a few of the businesses you see as successful. Look at the design of their products, packaging, Website, print, photography, etc. Is their creative design remarkable? It likely is remarkable and it plays a large role in their success. Ensure your success and foster a positive relationship with your designer.

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Dayne Shuda

Dayne Shuda

Owner of Ghost Blog Writers.

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