Hiring a designer is an important step for your business when aligning your branding with your vision. But most businesses just don’t have the budget to make it happen and will put off other important elements of launching their business just because they don’t have a logo.
If there is anything I’ve learned as a business owner, it’s that I can teach myself how to do quite a bit with the lovely Internet. So for today’s Sexy Wednesday, we’re going to discuss my favorite options for coming up with design when you don’t have a penny to spare.
Watch: Cheap Design Options When There Is No Budget:
In the case of building a website, I usually recommend WordPress.org which is a self hosted platform. Meaning you’ll need to coordinate hosting with someone like GoDaddy, Blue Host or my favorite host for all my sites: Site 5 (affiliate). Once you have your site up and running, you’re going to need a layout. I recommend you check out Themeforest.net for the WordPress-friendly themes. They are much more affordable than paying a designer and the quality from those creators is getting better all the time. You will surely find something that fits your needs and not feel bad about how much it cost you either.\
I don’t recommend you go cheap on your logo, but I’m still gonna help you out if you have to. You can usually get a designer to make you a fairly simple logo for around $300. Since this is something you stamp on everything… websites, social networks, letterhead, etc, you should probably let a pro handle it. But when you need cheap, you gotta have it. Head to Fiverr.com and pay $5 for a logo. You might have to try a couple times to get what you want, but that’s still way cheaper than an average designer’s cost. And you can always save up and redesign the logo when you have the budget.
If you want to take design into your own hands so you can make your own logos and images, you can always learn how to use Photoshop. But if you don’t want to pay for it, then I suggest you download Gimp: a free version of Photoshop for more robust design tools. You can find tons of tutorials online to help you learn how to use tools like this and you just might find yourself to be a badass ghetto designer… or at least that’s what I like to call myself.
If you want the pros to teach you how to design, you can sign up for Lynda classes online. That site is like going to design school without all the other elements of school and WAY cheaper. You can get a 7 day trial just to dabble in some things and then decide which level per month you want to subscribe to after (both under $50).
Do not underestimate the power of YouTube and how much you can learn (from people like me!) how to do things. Like I said about Gimp, don’t be overwhelmed by it. Just search for the tutorial videos first and see if it’s something you think you can handle. Or maybe your daughter/nephew/grandson-dubbed intern can learn and help with. There is too much information out there for you to chalk up a project to not knowing where to start. Just search and watch!
Tap Into Your Network
There is likely someone that you know or someone you know knows that can help you with some design for cheap or trade. But remember, you’re not doing them a favor by “helping their portfolio”. They can do that with anyone they want. Try offering more than the same amount of value you’re asking for so it is an equal trade and they feel like it’s not just a favor they’re being talked into. Expertise and knowledge is worth a lot. Don’t take advantage of it.