The best results can only be achieved using an expert and great tools. We all feel our expertise and knowledge “bleeds” outside our true expertise and knowledge. Programmers *cough!* Me! *cough!*, for instance, and web programmers in particular, tend to think they can also do decent design work. Sometimes they do happen to be good at design, too. But most of the times, we do a poor job, and we don’t really see it. Because we think: “for a programmer, that design/logo/graphic is pretty decent”.
When you start your business, it’s even worst because you don’t have a lot of money, so you try and save everywhere you can. When I launched my first freelancing company years ago, I was young, a bit arrogant, overly confident… and poor. All the right ingredients that lead to me to design my own logo. And I was actually quite proud of myself. So proud, in fact, that I had also cross-stitched it on my bag. (I was also into crafts, and definitely too poor to get professional embroidery. It looked goooood, believe you me…)
Fast-forward 10 or so years, and I have rebranded: new name, new logo, the whole shebang. I’ve got a bit more financial means now, and most importantly I’ve gotten wiser and accepted to delegate even the stuff “I could do myself”… (That is the illusion, isn’t it: I could do it, just not very well…) So this time around, I hired professionals to help me come up with the new name, the logo, the style guide… When put in front of the pro’s work, I realized just how poor my own version was.
Speaking with a new friend today, who’s also a programmer, and has also been doing this for a while, I was amazed to realize he did exactly the same thing when he started! And, like me, he also realized just how much better the pro’s version was.
I’ve said it a few times before, and I truly believe it: great tools are required to do a great job. Same goes for experts. You can do a decent job without great tools or an expert. But you’ll convince yourself your results are good enough, that people won’t really see the difference… Until you hire an expert, or get the best tools. The results will speak for themselves.
That’s something for all of us to remember the next time we shop around for an expert – any kind of expert – and we have a bit of a sticker shock. Resist the urge to think “That much for this? I could do it myself!”… Remember that you are not paying for a grunt worker, for someone that will just get the job done. You’re paying for a specialist, an expert, an artist: someone who will go beyond execution, bring all his/her experience to the table and, most importantly, will do the job well. And that, you can not do yourself.