How to Get a Logo for Your Small Business

Wed, Dec 8, 2010

Small Business How To's, Videos

Hi Everyone!  Emily A. Hay here.  In today’s video, I am talking about the best way to get a logo made for your real estate investing business. If you prefer to read, the written content can be found below the video.

My previous videos covered each of  the 4 main tasks you must complete to create your business’s foundation, which are as follows:

1)   Picking a Company Name

2)   Getting a Domain & Setting Up Professional Company Email (you can stop using your yahoo account!)

3)   Getting a Company Phone Number & Address

4)   Getting a Logo

Steps 1, 2 & 3 are in separate videos that I posted over the past few weeks, so let’s wrap up with the final step of getting a logo!

Oh…and one more thing–don’t forget to share some “LOGO LOVE”!  Spread the word about your small business right here —  I would love for you to post your new (or current) logo and a description of your business in my comment section of this post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR2hglzCNDQ[/youtube]

I have heard people say before that “my business is too small to need a logo” but I firmly disagree.  A professional company has a professional image associated with it, no matter what the size.  You want people to associate their positive feelings about your business with a visual representation and a logo does just that.  Set the bar high for your small business – your venture is a reflection of your entrepreneurial efforts – don’t ever just say that what you have is “good enough”.

The process of creating a logo for your real estate investing or small business can be broken down into two areas of work:

1)   Creative work – Coming up with the concepts and thoughts for your logo.  Figuring out how you want to visually communicate with prospective & current customers about your business.

2)   Mechanical work – How you are going to actually get this image made and “on paper”(graphic design work, etc).

CREATIVE WORK

Similar to coming up with a company name, getting a logo for your business requires a bit of creativity.  Not only is a little creativity required to come up with the right memorable image but it is more than likely that your first, second and even third options might not come out looking as good on paper as you anticipated in your mind (been there done that!).  Or as you learned in step 1 of picking a company name, the images might already be taken by another business.

For this idea generation part of getting a logo for your business, consider these points:

  • What is the nature of your business? For example, as a real estate investor, if you wholesale residential properties, you need to think of images that are associated with the words “wholesale,” “residential,” and “properties”.
    • Wholesale – bargain, large scale, pricetags, bulk orders
    • Residential –a house is an obvious (but good!) image for a logo (as opposed to a logo with a sky scraper in it for example which may imply a focus on commercial properties).
    • Properties –multiple houses, perhaps people in front of the house.
  • What is the actual name of your business? If your real estate investing business is called “Wholesale Property Shop” for example, then you can get logo ideas from the actual name.  Perhaps for “Wholesale Property Shop” you associate the image of “shopping” with a cart or a brown paper grocery bag; as for “wholesale property” you want to imply bargain homes in large quantities so your logo image could be hands pushing a shopping cart with a bunch of homes in the cart.   To imply a “bargain price”, show the homes tied together in the cart with a single dollar sign on the front for example.

If your business has the name “Solutions” in it for another example, think of images showing accomplishment, results,      resolution such as hands doing a high-five or a magnifying glass (to imply finding an answer)

  • Think about your customers – what is the tone of your business – do you deal with people in distress or are other businesses your customers?  This is a huge consideration of what kind of feeling you want your logo to portray for your business – a more casual feeling for consumers or perhaps a more formal representation.  When starting out, you may have more room to think of how you want your business to be portrayed.

Take the image of a house again as part of your logo you’re your customers are individuals/families, the house in your logo can be made with softer lines or colors to feel warmer.  If the house image is used in a more formal business’ logo, it may want to be drawn with thin sharper lines with text inside for example.  But you can leave a lot of these creative details for the experts that do the mechanical work, which takes us to the next part…

MECHANICAL WORK

What I mean by “mechanical” is simply the actual art/graphic design work to get an image on paper.  Some people may think about designing a logo themselves, but I feel this is not a good use of your skill set unless you have artistic experience or are trained on a sophisticated graphics program.

I recommend that you outsource the work to a graphic designer to make the best use of your time, effort and resources. From my personal experience, I know that hiring a graphic designer for a project can be expensive.  The first time I worked with a graphic designer, I was paying for a job by the hour and it went about 4 times over the budget I had set aside for this design work.  It was not the designer’s fault; the main reason the project cost me a fortune was because I did not know what I had in mind.  When you go into a project without any anticipated outcome, you are bound to make multiple changes since you don’t know what you are trying to get to.  The time it took the one graphic designer to create just 3 options for me and to make edits was very costly and ultimately, I was only 90% happy with the end product.

Since I want you to be wiser than I was (and I am a huge proponent of not spending more than you need to) – I would like to introduce you to one of the greatest online sites I have discovered to-date…its called 99designs.com!   http://www.99designs.com.

This site is the answer to all of your graphic design needs! From logos, to headers, to marketing graphics, on 99designs.com, you get multiple creative concepts from 10-20 professional talented graphic designers for a fraction of the cost of what you can pay just one designer.  You pay by the project so you don’t need to worry about unexpected overage fees for edits.  You can leave all the complex design work to experienced professionals and I am confident that you will be pleased with the many concepts generated for you to choose from.

When you go to the site, you will need to create an account with your email and password and you will then “launch a project” (like posting classified ad or running an eBay auction for example).  For a logo design, I recommend you select the “bronze” option for $295 (least expensive).  After the package selection screen, I personally selected the $39 up-charge for a “fast tracked” contest because I wanted my logo design done in 3 days instead of the standard 7 day timeframe (you can get a logo designed in as little as 1 day for $79 up-charge).

For a total of $334 (OR LESS), you can then head to the page where you describe your project.  This is the section where you will want to provide as much information and detail as you can about the creative ideas you came up for your logo.  This will give multiple graphic designers the chance to crank out concepts for your review and approval.  Remember, your logo project is essentially a job post for an artistic person, so be sure to describe it in a way that makes it an interesting project for a designer to take on :)

The designers will get to work and you will be alerted via email when there are images ready for your feedback.  You will want to promptly review the options and give feedback to the designers whether you want to just have an edit made to a concept or if you want to eliminate a design completely.  The quicker you get back to the designers and the more decisive you are, then the quicker they can turn around another option for you that just might be the perfect logo for your business.

After several reviews, you will finally “Award the Prize” to the winning design.  They will sign off on the copyright of the design so you own the image and they will give you all of the various file formats you need, jpg, pdf, eps and I made sure to get them in both full color and black and white.

An added bonus of working with graphic designers on 99designs.com is that you may build a great rapport with one or two that you can contact for separate jobs on the side.  (But establish a price per project ahead of time so you don’t get into my “hourly mess” I mentioned earlier 😉

You should now have everything you need to get a great company logo!  Be sure to put the logo to work on all of your direct mail pieces, in your email signature, on your website and on administrative documents such as proposals, contracts and invoices.  It is a great plan to have a consistent logo allowing people to repeatedly recognize your business and gain credibility as a professional organization.

Thanks and I can’t wait to hear about your small business!

~Emily A. Hay

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2 Responses to “How to Get a Logo for Your Small Business”

  1. Anthony Kirlew Says:

    Emily,

    Here are a few additional resources that I use for finding amazing deals on design work:

    1. Logonerds.com – They design logos for just $27 and headers for just $17 and they do GREAT work!

    2. Fiverr.com – This is a site where people will do anything for $5. The challenge is that it is “hit and miss”. That said, I have had some amazing work done for $5 (including a kindle book conversion that most people charge $150 for).

    3. Odesk.com – This is a freelance site and again the talent varies. I found a WordPress designer here who is a Rockstar and has done some amazing work for me and my clients.

    In this day and age, these sites seem to be doing very well. Part of me feels bad using them because I know that good designers need work too, but when my competition is using them, it only makes sense to do the same to keep my margins.

    Best regards,

    Anthony

  2. emilyahay Says:

    Hi Anthony – thank you very much for taking the time to outline these additional resources…I LOVE these tips! I am personally a fan of Fiverr.com myself — I had an illustrator do the “evolution drawing” in my “About” section for $5 :) Great idea on the kindle book conversion. I will head on over to check out your latest blog post as well – it looks like a great topic.
    Thanks again for stopping by, looking forward to your future comments!
    ~Emily

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