As entrepreneurs we are always creating new marketing materials and working on improving our websites. It doesn't matter what your website is about. For example, you might be a law firm. Every sort of business needs help from time to time so a law firm might want to check out these Findlaw testimonials to see if it can help their website. No matter what industry you're in, you can find something that can help you out. I'm constantly asked by friends, family, and the Think Entrepreneurship community about my recommendations on where and how to get design work taken care of. I thought I'd put together a list of what I use to help out with the design projects. By using the affiliate links below you'll get exclusive discounts to some of the products because we've partnered with them to be able to help out TE fans. By using these links you'll also be supporting Think Entrepreneurship.
For the DIY Entrepreneur
If you like to do the design work yourself and have the know how I'd highly recommend Adobe's new Creative Cloud. Instead of paying up to $2600 for the whole package and upgrading every few years, you can now pay a monthly membership fee of around $50.00 and have access to every Adobe Creative Suite product they have available. You'll never have to worry about upgrades because the membership includes all updates at no extra fees. This works out great because I use Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, and movie editing tools all of the time. The $50/month is affordable and a great way to get the products on a bootstrapping budget. I have many designer friends and fellow entrepreneur buddies who do this and it works great.
Design Contests – Submit a project and get dozens of logo ideas!
When I heard about 99Designs a few years ago I fell in love with their business model. So much so that they've done quite a few marketing materials for myself and for friends businesses. Say you need a logo. For about $200-300 you can post on their site a description of what you are looking for in a new custom logo. The process is below and works awesome. I have an exclusive partnership with 99 designs so you can get $97 off. Simply click here and you will go to the Think Entrepreneurship / 99Designs discount page. My buddy Curt from StalkandSpook.com had his logo created on 99designs and it turned out great. Instead of having just 1 designer come up with ideas he had dozens of minds working on the project.
- Launch your design Contest Create a design brief which is simply a clear outline of what you need designed. To begin, post this brief to 99designs and choose a design package.
- Collaborate with the designers Designers then submit concepts to compete for your prize. Be sure to provide continual feedback to help the designers deliver a concept you love!
- Choose your favorite design At the completion of your contest, you'll need to pick your favorite design and award a winner. You'll then receive the final design along with copyright to the original art work.
Use a Local Designer
Local graphic designers are great to work with. You need to spend time to find a good designer who understands your brand and style. I have a few friends that help out with design work and have done an excellent job. Thanks to Matt from InkOutside.com for creating the Think Entrepreneurship Logo!
Outsource Design work to a Graphic Artist on Elance
There are designers from all over the world who can help out with any type of design project. For instance, the short bumper / intro video at the beginning of the video tutorial below was created by a designer on Elance. Turn around time was 2 days and the cost was $80.00. I have an article about Elance if you'd like to learn more about how it works.
DIY Website Design
The video above talks about how to get a WordPress site set up on a budget. (The exact same way I did it for ThinkEntrepreneurship.com) I set up hosting with Bluehost for about $80/year (includes your site domain name), and got a theme from Woothemes.com for $70.00 – (The Canvas theme).
DIY Online Store Design
A couple years ago I started an online store named SignsofTheMountains.com. I manufacture and sell signs all over the country and can sell 24/7. The cart has plenty of great looking professional themes to pick from and you'll pay just $25.00 / month for their service. Big Commerce is the cart I use and my theme is a standard one you can choose at no additional cost. You can get a good looking site up with a few products in a matter of a couple hours.
If you have any questions or need a little more advice on design work just let me know. I'll do my best to steer you in the right direction! Please comment below.