In the life of anyone trying to set up an online presence, there’s a constant internal discussion going on – Should I do this myself, or should I hire an expert? Everything I want to do requires this decision process. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you some of these decisions, starting with today – Making an Infographic. You can see the infographic at the end of this post.
Why a Business Needs an Infographic
I’ve read a lot about why I should have an infographic. My web expert calls them “click bait:” getting people to click on them to get to my website and buy what I have to say – and sell.
Venngage says there are three powerful psychological reasons why infographics work so well:
- Infographics are how our brain works. We’re all visual. I can’t understand anything even a little complex without a diagram or chart, so I get that.
- Visual data is more memorable. We seem to be able to store visuals in our brains more easily than words. Makes sense.
- Infographics tell stories. Humans love stories; it’s how we communicate, at the most basic level. Don’t tell me about a hurricane pounding the east coast of Florida; tell me one family’s story of survival.
My Decision Process for Creating an Infographic
Each time I have a DIY-or-Hire decision, I go through the same internal process.
My question process:
- Is this a core task for me? Is it important that I do this myself? My time is valuable (time is money), so I can’t spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t core to my business – basically, writing on my website and writing books.
- How steep is the learning curve? Some tasks I can do quickly, because I’ve done them before, or they aren’t that difficult. Others take a lot of time.
- How often will I be doing this? If the learning curve is steep, but I’ll be doing this a lot (remembering my core task requirement), then I’d better take the time and learn to do it.
- How professional will it look? If I take the time to learn and do this, but it still doesn’t look professional, I shouldn’t wast my time.
One more Overall Question: Is this a Good Value for My Time?
Speaking of my time, I’m always doing an internal evaluation of the value of my time. I use a simple equation: I value my time at $50 an hour (I’ll tell you more about that in another post). If the person I hire works at less than $50 an hour, it’s probably a good idea
I always want to start with the assumption that I can do it myself. This is my full-time job, so I have the time to spend. But if I can’t justify the time from my analysis, then it’s best to hire.
Evaluating Infographic Apps
I spent some time looking at a few of the apps for infographics. I knew I didn’t want a monthly fee, because I didn’t know how often I would be making infographics. That eliminated most of the apps. I could see that some of the free apps had major limitations (Adioma, for example, puts a watermark on infographics you create with the free version).
Canva: I tried Canva’s infographic tool first, because I use Canva for simple graphics, so I am familiar with how it works. I became quickly frustrated because I couldn’t add sections or custom images. I could see it would take a lot of time to learn and it might still not look professional. I decided to save Canva for a quick simple infographic at a later time.
Piktochart looked good initially, but there were only a half dozen free infographics, and for all the rest I would have to “level up.” The only way I could get an infographic without a Piktochart watermark was to pay $29 a month.
I tried a couple more online infographic creator sites, but all had a steep learning curve, and I didn’t think it was worth my time to climb it.
On to option 2: Professional designers.
Looking for Infographic Designers
My search for professional designers started with several places where I have typically hired designers. 99designs wanted $599 for a custom infographic. Too much.
So I went to Upwork and posted a job for an infographic. I put a price of $150 on the design job, because this seemed a middle-of-the road cost. I did include a note in my posting that I would consider a higher price for an excellent designer. I received 15 bids.
I still hadn’t decided whether I wanted to spend $150, so I thought about it a while. As I went over my decision questions, I asked myself, “How many infographics will I be doing?” I decided that I would have to create the content whether I did them myself or had an expert do them, so I was writing anyway.
I also decided I didn’t want the frustration with having to tackle another difficult, steep-learning-curve task. I decided I wasn’t going to do more than one a month (if that), which would mean spending $29 a month and trying to learn how to design. So, on to hiring a designer.
Hiring an Infographic Designer
The designers were asked to submit some designs for a business infographic. I also asked a question “What’t the most important element to keep in mind when designing an infographic?” Some people answered the questions adequately and submitted designs I liked. A couple of designers seemed to be doing the kinds of designs I wanted and they seemed easy to work with. One was more expensive.
I decided to hire two designers, to do two infographics on different subjects. I wrote the copy for each and had the fun of watching what they came up with. Both were easy to work with and helpful.
TIP: One added keywords to the infographic. Cool!
My Infographics Design Decision: Analyzed
I hired two designers at $150 each, for $300. Yes, I could have had a year membership in a design app and many designs for $360. But, my bottom line was that this process would take time to master, and I have lots of books in my head to help you create a successful business. So, for now, hiring rather than doing-it-myself seems the best option.
I would love to hear your comments. Here is one of the infographics: