I’m on social media a lot. I’m in several entrepreneur groups and groups for graphic designers. At least once a day I see a post like “Ladies!! Who does your graphic design? Drop the deets below” and inevitably, without fail I see a chain of comments that boil down to “I do it myself!”

A lot of designers cringe when they see this. Here’s why:  Most DIY-ers, even if they have help from an online template site, don’t always have the “behind the scenes” marketing knowledge that makes a design go from pretty picture to formidable marketing tool. There is a lot to know if you plan to DIY your Designs!

DIY is not new, it’s been around for a long time now. Nearly every entrepreneur I know, at some point, either to save time, money, or sanity, has DIY-ed parts of his or her business; myself included. It’s the whole reason these online template sites are so popular. While I am not fan of DIY-ing your business, or template sites for that matter. I know they will not go away.  This is why I started educating myself on the template sites and explaining how they work to folks 1:1 and in small groups. I show to them how to create designs that look and function better.

Here are 3 things to know about DIY-ing your Design work:

  1. Use the Back of the Template Website:

There’s no worse feeling than being confused for your competition because you have a business card or flyer that matches theirs because you used the same template from the same popular site they used. This is why I tell people that if you use a template site go all the way to the back and choose a template from there. Stay away from “most popular” because at least by using a less popular design you can keep some uniqueness to it, you are less likely to be confused for a competitor, and will be less likely to be “outed” as using a template site. For the record, I can spot the designs of some of the more popular template sites straight away when I see them and so can a lot of my non-designer entrepreneur friends.

2) Simpler Customer Centric Designs are Usually Winners

If you decide to DIY from scratch on a Drag and Drop builder, don’t go overboard with things! I won’t lie it can be either really fun or really overwhelming to use a Drag and Drop builder. This is why I caution my clients to keep their colors and fonts minimal and consistent with the rest of their branding. Do keep the focus on what your customer would want. They need to see themselves in the text and be attracted to the design.

3) Read the Fine Print! You Might Be Surprised What You Actually are Buying!

Whether it’s a template site or a DIY drag and drop builder, check the licenses and what files you can have to download. This is especially true of logo builders! You might be surprised to learn that you are not always buying the rights to the logo, just permission to edit it and/or use it for your business. This can put limits on what you can and cannot do with the items from the template site because you are a licensee and not the legal owner of the design. Read the fine print and find out what you are actually buying and make sure everything you get has a commercial license attached and is something you can legally use for business.

I hope you put all this information on DIY Designing to good use! I know these tips will help you get on the road to selling more!

I can not wait to see what you create. If you feel overwhelmed designing for your self and want some support, Contact me today and let’s chat!