Logos become the way that customers will recognize your brand. When you think about Apple, Google, Ford, Target or Wendy’s, you can probably envision their logos right away. A well-done, professional-looking logo will also set you apart as a small business.
Starting a small business is a huge undertaking. There are a lot of moving parts to manage, whether it be creating an LLC, copyrighting your business name, filing tax paperwork, opening new bank accounts, the list goes on and on.
By the time you have all of the legal work done and all the investments paid, it’s time to start actually building your business. A great place to start is with a beautiful, professional logo.
Many small businesses don’t have logos, or only use plain text. These do not stand out or create brand recall the way you want it to!
You may be thinking a logo is too expensive, or you don’t know where to start or how to create your own. Luckily, there are many ways you can obtain a professional logo for your small business at a low cost, without any design experience at all!
You just need to find the right person to help you.
1. One great way to commission a logo for your business is to ask your friends and family if they know anyone in graphic design.
You may have a connection, or have a friend of a friend that does design work either full time or on the side who could help you. Many times a friend will do it cheaper, especially if you offer them a product/service discount in return. Just make sure they have the right credentials and ask to see some of their past work to get an idea of their style and if it’ll work for you.
2. If you don’t know anyone personally, expand your network!
Find meetings for small businesses in your city or other local areas. Join networking groups in person and on social media. Connect with other people who have been in your shoes and ask about their logo.
Do they have a marketer, graphic designer or student intern you might be able to commission for this project? Did they use a freelancer they could refer you to? Find out who they know and see if they can open some doors for you.
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Here’s a secret:
Many freelancers or student interns have the skills needed to get you started, don’t require as much money and are usually signed on for 3-4 months at a time. It’s a great way to avoid hiring a full-time or permanent employee when you don’t necessarily want one right in the beginning.
3. Check out websites like 99designs for logo inspiration, and even commission a graphic designer to design your logo.
The best part? You can start a contest by specifying your needs and describing your business, then letting a bunch of designers submit artwork to you. You can review all the submitted work and choose your favorite, then pay for that design. It’s a great way to see a lot of options and stick to a budget.
4. Looking for a DYI option?
You might be interested in Tailor, a program that asks you a few questions about your brand, then gives you some “This or That” options, and finally gives you about six logo options to choose from.
If you see something you like, you can choose a package that meets your budget needs and download your logo files. You can also try Free Logo Design, a free tool that allows you to choose from hundreds of icons, texts and colors to customize your own logo.
5. Find a trusted partner.
If you look at the bigger picture and decide you need not only a logo, but a website, social media pages, email templates, signage or other business assets, it’s likely worthwhile to partner with a marketing agency for small businesses.
A firm built with small businesses in mind is more likely to have the price points you’re looking for, as well as a “small business” feel, in which you get to know the owner or account managers very well and have personal relationships with them.
At Huddle, we value our clients and place a dedicated focus on each partnership. If you ever feel like you’re not our only client, we’re not doing our jobs right. And that’s how you should feel with any marketing partner that you choose!
Now that you know some options for how to get a logo, here are some tips to keep in mind before you have one commissioned (or do it yourself!):
— Keep a logo simple. You want people to easily remember your logo.
— Make it meaningful for your business. Don’t try to follow the latest trend that everyone else is using. Try to create something that is unique to your business and what it stands for.
— Get a clear idea of what you want your brand to look like. Bold? Whimsical? Industrial? Keep this in mind as you and/or your designer pick a color palette and style for your logo. It can be difficult to rebrand yourself down the road so you want to be sure you get it right the first time!