Outsourcing is typically pigeonholed into one of two thought processes: you either go all out, or you don’t do it at all.
I used to fall into the latter group – mostly because I liked the idea of maintaining some semblance of creative control, but also because I always wanted to be budget conscious. It wasn’t until the last two years or so that I felt comfortable and confident investing in my brand and outsourcing the things I couldn’t do, so that I could focus on the things that I loved.
An example of that? I finally invested in a total rebrand, and I now have the brand of my dreams! But, I did so in a way that felt more comfortable to me, and that allowed me a bit more creative control.
I’ve learned that you can outsource without having to fully outsource. You can DIY a project, while also seeking someone else’s professional guidance and expertise.
You can have and do both! We like both, don’t we?
Today, I’m sharing how I managed to DIY + outsource my brand and website redesign!
The old branding
I absolutely love my old logo by Meg Steele Design. But, we worked together on it when I was juuust starting my business, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. So much had changed that I needed to reflect and update my brand to showcase what I offer now.
What I outsourced
Brand design: Logos, colors, and typography
When I came across Kindly By Kelsea, I knew she was my designer. From her portfolio, to her process, to her own brand, when I saw it all, I knew I had to hire her! What I really loved was how she tied playfulness and professionalism together so well. I wanted my brand to be fun and playful, but I also wanted it to be professional. Let me just say, Kelsea did a FANTASTIC job 🤌🏼
Every designer is different and will have a different process. Kelsea had me put together a Pinterest board of inspiration. I also filled out a brand questionnaire. The process was similar to what I do with my own brand photography clients. After that was done, we went through it together to refine the Pinterest and really hone in on what I wanted my brand to look like.
She really hit it out of the park, and I felt like she understood what I was trying to say before I could find the words myself. The result was the brand of my DREAMS! Brand design isn’t my zone of genius, zone of competence, or zone of anything, really. My takeaway? Hire a brand designer, unless you are a brand designer yourself!
Photography and videography
Believe it or not, I had actually never done a full brand photoshoot for myself until this rebrand. I finally know what it’s like to be in front of the camera for 4 hours! 😂 I hired Sarah Eichstedt for photography and Dave from Inspired By Studio for video. We did a dual photo and video shoot, and it was nice to get both out of the way on the same day.
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you may remember when I DIY’d an at-home photoshoot last year. Let me just say, I am so glad I hired Sarah and Dave!! There is absolutely NO way I could have tripod’d and self-timer’d my way through a full brand photoshoot. Having a photographer to direct you and pose you is priceless. We got SO much more done in 4 hours than I could have done in a whole week if I did it on my own.
I also hired Monina from Moderne Beauty to do my hair and makeup the day of the shoot! I am most definitely NOT a makeup guru, so hiring Monina relieved a lot of stress and made the day go so much more smoothly than if I were frantically trying to wave my hair the day of.
What I DIYed
Website template customization
As a former software engineer, this part in particular was difficult for me to outsource. Why would I buy a template, when I could just make it myself?!
Well, I did make the first version of my website by myself. And while it served me well, it was missing the added polish that I wanted. I am SO happy that I decided to purchase the Sophie template from Elizabeth McCravy (these are affiliate links, just FYI. There’s no added cost to you!)
Her templates are compatible with Showit, which is what I was already using. Even though Showit makes it easy to change out your fonts and colors throughout your website, there’s still a ton of formatting you need to do to get your site template to work for you. I had to move text around, paste in all of my site copy, and reformat the mobile and desktop versions because the alignment gets messed up after changing out fonts.
All in all, I’d say the template customization took me about 3 weeks of working on it for a couple of hours a day. If you’d prefer to outsource, some designers offer day rates where they can make these customizations for you.
New brand implementation
I can hear you already – “Emily, what on earth is brand implementation? Didn’t you do the website already?”
Well, when you get your brand assets from your designer, you have swap out alllll of your old stuff for your new stuff. Not just on your website, either! We’re talking:
- PDFs and freebies
- Proposals, contracts, and invoices
- Presentation and document templates
And SO much more. Fortunately, I lucked out, because Kelsea provided a checklist of all of the places I needed to change out my logos, fonts, and colors. Phew! 😮💨
If you needed help with this, you could outsource this to your VA. I personally wouldn’t bring on a new person just to do this, because it would take just as much time to onboard a new assistant as it would to change out the assets yourself.
Outsource with care
I hope this blog post was helpful for you! You CAN outsource without having to fully hand things over to another person, which I know can be hard. Our businesses are our babies, after all 😂 I loved getting the help I needed with the brand design, website, and photo/video, but it was great to have creative control over customizing the website template.
If anything, make sure you trust the person you are hiring. I really believe that when you come across the right person, you’ll feel it! That’s how I felt about everyone on this rebrand team, and it came out as perfectly as I imagined!