Being a “less than” expert…

In Graphic Design, Social Media by Duey Entrekin

I’ve noticed a trend in design, and it doesn’t make me confident of the future. That trend is younger designers (read: work from SOHO designers with zero education) advertising as “pros” without any training or experience. I see them on social media and they are going nuts. I could wax poetic and tell you how much job satisfaction us “older” designers have with the young designers walking around selling their versions of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Honestly, that doesn’t do anyone a service. The weaker the younger designers look, the more diluted all of us will become.

Let’s take a look at one in particular, from my geographic area. (I’ve blurred all pertinent identifying information.)


Example 1

I’ll applaud them for originality. I haven’t done any research online to see if anyone else has done a similar “12 Days of” savings before, but I find it strangely appealing. The marketing gimmick is 12 different deals the twelve days leading up to Christmas. What I don’t find appealing is WHERE they advertise on social media, Facebook groups in this case. This particular company places these ads in the Facebook groups for buying/selling of goods. Yes, like the classifieds.

So, let’s get straight to the meat of Example 1 above. They advertise as experts in design and marketing and they want people to pay them for their expertise. They can help businesses grow by designing a Facebook page, so businesses might advertise their online. They want businesses to pay them, but they won’t pay for advertising through Facebook. If they believed in their products and services so much, why don’t they design an ad and pay for the same service they are asking others to pay for?

Put your money where your mouth is. If designers believe, as an expert, they should be paid for services they provide their clients… pay your experts.


Example 2

Okay, SOHO experts… spelling and grammar is your friend. I can’t imagine a business who would pay for design services and humbly accept grammatical errors. It’s simple.

And, can we just talk about hashtags? Belle Beth Cooper, of Buffer wrote a nice post back in April 2016 discussing some findings regarding social media posts. She wrote that “…keep the hashtags to a minimum. 1 or 2 will get you 21% more engagement than if you add 3 or more. This could be because hashtags often connect a tweet to a particular topic or Twitter chat that others are following or interested in. Keep appropriate hashtags in mind when posting, especially if engagement is something you’re looking to improve.”

Graphic from Buffer article.

So many friends of mine on their personal pages go hashtag crazy. It’s like running full steam into a wall of hashtags. “Holy Hashtags, Batman…”

I guess the bottom line is this. If you are going to sell a service to others, be a subject matter expert. You can’t demand the prices of a neurosurgeon without the medical training AND hands-on experience. However, if you are looking to save some money on that tumor removal, I’m sure there’s a doctor somewhere in the world who abuses hashtags and would be glad to give you a deep discount on surgery.

It’s important to note, while the tone of this post might seem negative I applaud this company for taking the leap of faith. I just firmly believe we should always strive to do a better job than our client could and to not do more harm then good.