Despite the fact that we live in a digital age, where advances in technology allow us to communicate and work remotely.
I have found that for me personally, with my work as a freelance graphic designer, that the majority of my clients and enquiries come from locals in Enfield, London, or surrounding counties like Hertfordshire and Essex.
Even though they are local, I have never actually met some of my client's in person. I think they just enjoy knowing that I am nearby and that the option is available to them if the need should arise to have an in-person conversation or discuss a job in further detail.
See a few reasons why I believe face-to-face communication is so important?
- It helps build trust and credibility: Meeting in person allows you to show your true personality, emotions, and reactions. It helps you build a more meaningful connection with potential partners and clients, helps build credibility, and establishes trust and loyalty. Relationships can only grow through face-to-face interaction.
- It increases productivity: A 25-message email thread could be boiled down to a 5 minutes in-person meeting. Tasks are accomplished quicker and misinterpretation and misunderstanding are minimised. Face-to-face communication also boosts collaboration and creativity through the ability to share ideas more freely.
- It allows you to read non-verbal cues: Communication is more than just words. Meeting in person helps you detect body language, feelings, tone, and reactions, which can often be misinterpreted through digital means.
With graphic design generally, there is printing involved. So I believe it is also beneficial to work with a local printer. Printing results are tactile. My customers often want to feel the paper I am suggesting to use, or for folders and packaging design they like to see the quality and how it folds. Yes, this can definitely be done via the post, but that can sometimes result in a delay of the process. Nothing beats a quick joint meeting to discuss all requirements quickly. This generally avoids any unexpected end results!
Another reason that I think hiring local logo or brochure designer would be better than outsourcing would be that you don’t have issues with the time. If you are working with a freelance graphic designer on the other side of the world there will be a different time zone, creating unnecessary delays. Which can be frustrating if you are looking for something immediately that is time sensitive and have to wait 12+ hours.
I find that sometimes, even though most are comfortable working and having work done online, many of my older clients prefer to meet in person, or even just the knowledge that they CAN meet in person if need be is comforting. There is also no issue with the language barrier, which can be confusing and stressful at times.
Plus, I love when I have a local client because I know that them hiring me is helping to support the local economy.
The word of mouth is also pretty nice too. I get more business if you recommend me to your friends and neighbours, and they get to work with someone local and support a local business. I find that most of my clients find it easier to recommend me when they feel that they are talking about "that graphic designer over in Enfield", rather than some company online that they feel no connection to.
I mentioned above how sometimes it’s nice to be able to communicate in person for some projects, and I find with the graphic design and the printing this really important. If there’s an issue, or things are confusing, my clients know that I’m only a short car ride away. We can meet at any time and talk to make sure that things are on track.
Hiring a local freelance graphic designer is something that you should look into and consider if you are in the market for any design work that needs to be done. Supporting local is great, the convenience of having your designer nearby in case of needing to meet in person, also not having the inconvenience of a time difference and language barriers are all reasons why I think that you should first check out the availability of local designers before taking your business to another country.