If you’re anything like me, taking on a new and big project can be a bit intimidating. Hiring someone to help you with said big project can be even more scary!
If you've been thinking about hiring someone to design your Squarespace site and have been feeling nervous about it, this blog post is for you!
I’m guessing you have all sorts of questions floating around in your head - questions like:
- How do I even get the ball rolling?
- Can I pay in installments?
- What if I don’t like the design?
- What if the designer turns out to be difficult to work with?
- What if I just can’t figure out how to edit my own site?
When I’m feeling nervous about something, I find that the best thing to do is to actually ask the questions that are coming up and get as much information as I can. Then I can choose to move forward, or not, with factual information rather than fear-based assumptions that may or may not be accurate.
With that in mind, I’ve written this post to answer some questions that might be coming up for you and to help you feel more comfortable about hiring a designer to create your Squarespace site. Onward!
QUESTION 1 - HOW DO I GET THE BALL ROLLING?
Sometimes the first step can be the hardest, right? I can't speak for other designers' onboarding processes, but I try to make this as easy for potential clients as possible.
This is what my onboarding process looks like:
It starts with an email to me that you can initiate from any of the buttons on my sales page or even from my contact form.
Once I get that email, I’ll respond with a link to set up a discovery call with me. If we’re going to work together for a few weeks, I think it’s important to see each other and chat a bit to make sure we’re a good fit.
After we’ve gottent to know one another a bit and decided to move forward, I’ll send an email with links to
- book into my schedule
- pay a deposit to hold your spot
- read and sign my contract
- my welcome packet that details the entire process and what you need to gather before we start your project
- a web questionnaire that you’ll need to fill out before your project start date
As your project start date nears, I check in with you every once in a while to see how things are coming with gathering your content and completing the questionnaire.
QUESTION 2 - CAN I PAY IN INSTALLMENTS?
Throwing down a big chunk of change all at once is downright scary! And hard, too, if you don’t have access to it all at once. Believe me - I've been there, and I get it!
So, my answer to this question is: You betcha! I break your fees down to three payments::
- 1st payment - deposit paid to book into my schedle
- 2nd payment - paid at start of project
- 3rd payment - paid just before launching site
QUESTION 3 - WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE THE DESIGN OF MY SITE?
This is a great question! If you’re paying someone to create a completely unique site for you, how will you know if you’ll like the design? The last thing you want is to hire someone only to find that you really don’t like what she comes up with for you.
First and foremost, you want to try and ensure that you hire a designer who's work you like and who's process is designed to prevent this from happening.
My top tips to achieve that are:
Do Your Homework
Take the time you need to find someone you truly think will be right for you and your style. Whether your considering only one designer or several designers, be sure to look at their websites and their portfolios.
Do you like the work they’ve done for other people? Consider what your style is. If you like colorful, graphic, bold design, don’t hire someone with a quiet, monotone style. If you think their style is along the lines of what you’re looking for, they’ll likely be a good fit. If not, move on.
Also, see if she has a project kill clause. I put into my contract that if you aren't happy with my work after the 2nd round of feedback, you can cancel your contract.
Process & Revisions
The designer you hire should allocate enough time to up-front information gathering and approval of possible design directions before putting pen to paper. This helps to ensure that you'll be happy with the outcome of the project. Skipping this step is a recipe for disaster!
Any designer worth her salt will also build into her process plenty of opportunities for you to see rough ideas and mockups, provide feedback and request revisions. She should also provide this information clearly up front, so you know exactly how many revision rounds you'll have.
I’ve outlined my process below, so you can get a sense of how I do things:
PLANNING & PREPARATION
First and foremost, I send you a questionnaire that's designed to get a feel for your brand, your website goals, how you'd like your site to look and feel, and what you want your audience to experience on your website.
It also guides you through the process of gathering your content (text, photos, graphics, downloads, etc.). I ask my clients to have all of their content written up front, as the more clear you are about your content before the project begins, the better your website will be.
Once I've gathered the information I need, and you've gathered your content, we have a 30-60 minute strategy meeting. We'll go over everything you’ve told me about what you want for your site, and I'll ask for clarification on anything I'm not 100% clear about. Once the meeting is over, I'll create an overview of what you've told me to make sure we’re both on the same page about what you’re looking for before moving on.
SITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
I start the design process by first creating an outline of your site, deciding what goes where based on the goals you’ve communicated to me and the strategy we’ve agreed on.
I create a Site Style Guide that includes fonts, imagery, and overall look to guide the actual design of your site. I’ll share this with you so you can provide feedback. You'll have 2 rounds of revisions to get this piece just right.
Once your Style Guide is approved, I create a mockup of your site and present it to you. Again, you can provide your feedback and have 2 rounds of revisions to make changes.
After you’ve signed off on the Style Guide and site mockup, I set up your Squarespace site and begin creating your pages. I also add your content. During this time, you have access to the site and can preview it and provide feedback. This time, you'll have 3 rounds of revisions to make edits before finalizing and launching the site.
Before your website goes live, we’ll both review your site one more time. I’ll test all of the links and functionality (you can do this, too, if you want), and make any final revisions.
Once your final payment is submitted, I move your site over to your Squarespace account and launch. Then we celebrate!
TUTORIAL & SUPPORT
As part of Rock Your Site, my Squarespace design package, I walk you through how your site works and how to make edits. I also provide a User Guide for reference, along with SEO strategies, so you can optimize your images and blog posts without my help.
I also offer 2 weeks of minor edits and support from the time your site goes live. This allows you some time to get used to editing your site while I'm available to answer questions and make any changes you haven’t gotten the hang of yet.
After the 2 weeks are over, you’ll have those guides to refer to, but I also offer maintenance plans to continue making edits and updates as needed if you’d rather leave that to me.
QUESTION 4 - WHAT IF THE DESIGNER TURNS OUT TO BE DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH?
Again, this is where doing your homework is important. A good working relationship with your designer is crucial to creating a successful site that you're totally happy with. If you feel uncomfortable providing information or feedback, you’ll likely not be happy with the end result. Plus, it’s just no fun to work with someone you can't communicate openly and honestly with!
When you're looking for a designer, look for one who is friendly, honest, willing to answer your questions and open to feedback. She should see this process as a collaboration, welcoming your input and feedback.
Take a look at the testimonials on her site. See what people say about working with her. People don't usually put negative testimonials on their sites, but if you read carefully, you might be able to get a sense of how she handles feedback.
And, of course, trust your gut!
There are three principle traits that guide how I live my life, run my business and interact with clients: bravery, honestly and kindness. While I'm not always perfect, I try to always be open and honest with clients and both need and want my clients to be the same with me.
Even though it can sometimes be hard to hear, I WANT my clients to tell me if they don’t like something! That way, we can talk openly about different approaches and make necessary changes,. Ultimately, I want my clients to be happy with both the process and the final website, so I make communication a priority throughout the project.
QUESTION 5 - WHAT IF I JUST CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO EDIT MY SITE MYSELF?
Make sure that whatever designer you work will teach you how to use your site before handing it off to you. Even if you end up hiring someone to do the maintenance of your site, it’s important that you have some knowledge about how to make minor edits. Ideally, she’ll also provide a guide or video that you can refer to if you need help once you’re finished working together.
One of the reasons I design sites in Squarespace is because I find it much easier for my clients to edit their own sites once they are complete than in other platforms. Squarespace was created specifically for non-designers, so they’re interface is much more user-friendly and intuitive than some other platforms out there.
With that said, sometimes people still find it to be either too difficult or too time-consuming to edit their own sites, even with the tutorial and guides I provide as part of my package.
That’s why I also offer maintenance packages that take the edits off of your hands and are cost effective.
Hopefully, I’ve covered some of your most pressing questions and helped to alleviate some of your fears about hiring a Squarespace designer. If not, please feel free to send me an email, and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Because, as I said, communication is key!
INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER?
Click here to sign up for Rock Your Site and get a site that knocks your ideal clients’ socks off, sells your services 24/7, and takes your business to the next level!
I've only got 3 spots between now and March, so don't wait!