I really pains me when I read of other designers who have taken money from their clients and disappeared without providing any work.
Not only do I feel deeply for the people who lost their money, but I feel disappointed because it taints freelance designers and it makes people hesitant to hire us. There are far more good, trustworthy designers than untrustworthy ones; you just need to know how to find them. That's why I'm making it my mission today to help business owners do that!
Here are the 2 popular web design scams:
01. The designer that disappears
Here's what happens: you find a designer who has great packages at great prices, you email back and forth and decide to pay the deposit payment, but the designer disappears after you paid. You send her multiple emails and messages over social media but she never contacts you again. You're stuck with no money and no website- just your anger and frustration for company.
02. The designer that doesn't provide what you paid for
A woman came to me a year ago who had paid a designer to build her a website on the Genesis framework. She had gone through the designers portfolio and the work seemed mind-blowing. But when it came down to it, the designer built this woman a website that wasn't on the Genesis framework (she used a free theme), and it was pretty cheap-looking. Nothing like the work in her portfolio. When the woman tried to dispute it with the designer, the designer disappeared, never to be heard from again.
Do ether of those scenarios sound familiar to you?
Sadly, this happens all too often. But don't worry, there are tell-tale signs when someone isn't a professional designer. Designers (or creatives who have been in business for a few years) would probably notice, but it's harder for beginners to pick up on these things. So here they are:
Don't hire a designer if they...
- Don't have a portfolio of work. You should never hire anyone- a designer, copy writer, strategist- without seeing examples of their work first. If you find a designer with no portfolio, alarm bells should start ringing in your head.
- Don't have an About page. About pages help you get to know who you're hiring and develop a sense of whether or not they're a good fit for you. They're often filled with important details like: how long someone has been a designer, where they're based, why they love what they do, their hobbies etc. Don't underestimate About pages. They say a lot about the person you are about to hire.
- Don't have any photos of themselves on their website or social media accounts. If you can't find any photos of this person then be a little cautious. There should be no reason why a designer doesn't want you to see their face.
- Offer packages that are too good to be true. For instance, if a custom web design package is $2000, it offers everything you could ever dream of, and the designer is telling you they can get it all done in one day... kindly decline their services. Take it from me- no one can build a top-dollar custom website in just one day.
- Don't have any testimonials on their website. Always look for testimonials from other clients. If you're feeling really dubious about the designer, send one of their clients a message and quickly ask them what they thought of their experience with the designer.
- Don't offer a consultation call. Before I take on brand & web design projects, I offer my clients a free consultation call over Skype. It gives my clients a chance to get to me know me and assess whether I'm trustworthy or not. If your designer is adamant that they don't want to communicate with you over the phone or Skype then be wary.
Some designers don't have one or two of things but are still legit. However, you should never contemplate hiring someone who has none of these things. When you're looking for someone to create your website and branding, be prepared to spend more money hiring someone who will do the job right. And always remember to go with your gut. If your gut is telling you there's something a little strange about a designer you've been in contact with, don't hire them.
Hiring an amateur always costs more than hiring a pro.
Have you ever hired someone who ripped you off? What advice would you give to others in this situation?