What better place to get good design and marketing advice than from the professional designers here at SDA Creative? One of our team’s strengths is being accessible to our clients. Ever work with an agency, but you can’t get a live person on the phone? Yeah, we don’t like that either. We thought we’d come to you this time with some great tips tailored to each designer’s area of expertise. We think you’ll find this not only informative but fun to read.
Professional Graphic Designer and Writer with a specialty in social media content creation and planning.
My number one tip for anyone responsible for social media for a company or a brand is to plan in advance. Social media can seem deceptively easy—we all do it in our own personal lives, how hard can it be? But once you’re responsible for creating the public face of a business it’s a different story. Planning and creating content in advance lets you take your time, set goals, and be really thoughtful and intentional about what you’re posting. If you’re always scrambling to get something (anything!) out, the quality is going to suffer. You can still post topical “in-the-moment” content, but giving yourself a structured framework of scheduled posts is the key to social media success!
Senior Website Developer and Designer
As a developer, I always encourage clients to optimize their website. This has become increasingly important over the last few years. A quick and responsive site on both desktop and mobile leads to a better user experience overall. Customers will spend more time on your site and your site will be able to handle more traffic. Another (and just as important) reason for optimization is search engine performance. We’re always asked by clients how they can improve their SEO. There are many ways, but one of the most critical is page speed. Google has really emphasized this factor over the last 4 years. In 2018 they introduced “Mobile Page Speed” as a ranking factor for both Google Search and Ads. Last year they took it one step further. They rolled out “Page Experience Signal.” This includes mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, safe-browsing, Core Web Vital Metrics, and more. Keep in mind that a website is not a one-and-done project; it needs ongoing attention to make sure it’s optimized to rank high and perform well as standards and best practices evolve. You can always check your site’s score using Google’s Page Speed Insights.
Proofing! Proofing! Proofing!
As designers, we spend a tremendous amount of time, effort, and passion on compelling design. Whether the project is destined for social media, a website, or print, nothing can throw a wrench into a beautifully executed design faster than a glaring typo in the final product. One that inexplicably escaped the eyes of the production team, the client, and yes, even the co-worker’s careful eye you solicited to give it a once-over.
Once discovered, nothing else matters. Not to you nor the client. All that gorgeous design—out the window!
As a designer, you have either already experienced it or will at some point in your career, and it is not pleasant for anyone involved. My advice is to hire a proofreader—someone that is not associated with the project in the slightest—who will look at the content and copy in a manner that you, as the designer, simply can’t. After looking at the same content for days, weeks, or even months during a production cycle, it is easier than you think for your brain to miss something that seems so obvious when you see it on a finished package design, brochure, or website.
Mistakes happen. It is part of your growth as a designer. But we can minimize mistakes by being diligent, detailed, and focused. Oh yeah, and hire that outside proofreader who is specifically trained to save you from that panic-inducing, ego-shredding typo!
SDA Creative President, Owner
When you’re ready to hire marketing professionals, seek out a team—a diverse team. Although there’s lots of talented designers and developers out there, anyone working on their own is just that: only one person. One main skill set, one main talent, etc. When you work with a team you get the benefit of many combined talents working together. In a collaborative group like SDA Creative, the designers assist each other and learn from each other to deliver the best possible results and solutions. We’re a living think tank! Would an even bigger agency be better? We don’t think so. A large agency has a lot of fluff to pay for, and who carries those costs? Why you do, of course! A small agency can deliver big design and ideas on a budget you can manage. SDA Creative decided from day one that over-delivering could be the ticket to a long successful business: that was 26 years ago. Thanks everyone—your continued confidence in us is very much appreciated!