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Good Designers Don't Gatekeep: Finding a Collaborative Design Partner

Updated: 5 days ago

As a business owner, have you ever felt like hiring a designer is like trying to crack a secret code? It's like they’re holding onto their design secrets tighter than a toddler clutching their favorite toy.


Frustrating, right?


Well, let’s talk about why this is a red flag 🚩 when it comes to finding a quality graphic designer.


Picture this: you're scrolling through your social media feed, looking for ways to spruce up your marketing game. You stumble upon a designer's post, but instead of useful tips, you get vague advice and a sales pitch ("Comment gamechanger to snag my download!").


When a designer shares valuable insights, tips, and tricks, they position themselves as an authority in their field. Suddenly, they’re not just another designer; they’re the go-to guru who’s always willing to lend a helping hand.

Sound familiar? It’s like a designer’s version of "stranger danger" – they’re scared to share too much in case someone snatches away their chance at a paycheck.


But let’s rewind for a sec. What if I told you that a designer willing to share their knowledge is more valuable than one who hoards it?


Yup, you heard me right.


Think about it – when a designer shares valuable and helpful information, it’s obvious that they’re not afraid of losing out, they likely have more to give, and they instantly become an authority figure. Suddenly, they’re not just another designer; they’re the go-to guru who’s always willing to lend a helping hand.


If you asked a designer you're vetting, "How can I market my business better?" and they respond with some form of, "hire me and I’ll tell you," would you get the warm fuzzy about working with them? Probably not.




What if they sprinkle wisdom like confetti? ("Well, you could try things like social media ads, newsletters, video transcriptions, consistent blogging, creating video content – the possibilities are endless!") It’s like they’re giving you a taste of the pie before you commit to the whole slice.


When a designer offers added value, they're showcasing their expertise and willingness to help, even beyond the scope of a project. Most of the time their expert insight saves you hours of trial and error - as a designer, they've likely been there, done that and got the t-shirt!


When a designer shares their knowledge, they’re not just giving generic information; they’re curating it in a way that’s digestible, relatable, and backed by real experience.


This means you get high-quality, actionable insights without any hassle or more of your precious hours being wasted. And it's likely that the person sharing those insights would be a great collaborative partner for you and your business.


So what should you actually be looking out for when it comes to hiring a designer?


collaborating on a marketing project

When you ask a service-related question, instead of shutting you down with a firm "no freebies," a good designer will offer a sneak peek into what they provide as a paid service. Something like, "Sure, I can help you with that. Here's some ways we could approach it, and if you want to take it to the next level, I'm happy to explore what that could look like as a project."


Choosing a designer who shares their knowledge openly means you're not just getting a service; you're gaining a collaborator who’s invested in your success. Instead of dealing with someone who keeps their cards close to their chest, you'll have a partner ready to provide valuable insights and tips that can elevate your business.


So go ahead, seek out those designers who are generous with their expertise. Your next big breakthrough could be just a helpful tip away.

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