Last week, I wrote about my email marketing automation software, Ontraport, and how it helps me leverage and scale my business.
I think what a lot of people miss, especially travel bloggers, is that a business can not grow and be profitable without leverage and scale.
In order to do this we have to be smart with how we use our time, aligning with your personal skills and talent and focusing it on the right strategy for growth.
We also use tools and resources, such as money and other people, to help us.
You can hire employees or outsource staff, or, as I showed you with Ontraport, use tools to do what a Virtual Assistant could do.
These usually give you more leverage and save you more money.
If more leverage helps you earn more money then you have found the winning formula.
My outsourcing priority list starts with things I do not possess the skills to do.
Then, once I have the resources available, I’ll outsource the things I don’t want to do.
The first one is helping me to leverage my productivity and growth.
The second is helping me to leverage my own time.
Is it better for me to spend hours on a menial task I can pay someone better skilled than me to do it? Can I take that extra time then and use it to create more income focusing on my own skills and passions to do so?
For me, design is one of those things. I am hopeless at design.
I look at something I create using very helpful DIY tools like Canva and think it’s okay, and then I get a design pro to do something similar and I can see quite clearly that I just don’t have an eye for design at all.
I was spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest images, and then even more on a simple PDF checklist, which was a template!
I couldn’t use Adobe Design properly so I kept stuffing it up and watching their how to videos was like trying to learn how to speak Martian.
“What am I doing? I thought. “Why am I wasting all this time doing something so poorly when I can outsource this?”
It will save me time and frustration and make me look so much more professional – all of which contributes to leverage and scale.
I met the Design Pickle team at the Ontrapalooza conference and learned about their service.
Since we already had a graphic designer we love I wasn’t sure I would get a lot of value from the Design Pickle service, so I held off.
Until I wasted hours on that checklist and realized I could hire a graphic designer from Design Pickle to do this for me, while I focused on smarter work like creating more optin checklists to grow my email list.
I could get our designer to do the designs, but that would cost me a lot more money.
It was money I didn’t have to pay a designer for simple graphic design work that I could have done myself, but just didn’t have the time or skill.
Something had to change, so I signed up with the special Ontrapalooza offer. That was a year ago.
Like Ontraport, I am in love with the service.
I don’t know how I lived without them. I’ll be a loyal customer for some time AND I just signed on for a year as they offered a great discount and some bonuses if you did.
I am an affiliate with Design Pickle now. I wanted to ensure I liked and trusted them before I shared them with you!
What is Design Pickle?
Design Pickle is an online graphic design service.
For a flat rate monthly fee you get unlimited graphic design, as well as unlimited edits.
You put in a design request, which goes into the system and is assigned to a designer. They send the files to you when done for approval, or any edits, which are then implemented until perfect.
Design Pickle Design Pickle’s designers are hand picked and carefully trained to ensure you have a fast, friendly and consistent experience every time
How could you not love a company that has a hashtag statement #obeythepickle and hands out giant pickles at conferences?
I think mine is still in the fridge from last year!!
8 Things to love about the Design Pickle graphic design services
1. Unlimited Designs and Edits
You cannot go wrong with unlimited designs and edits.
To be honest, my graphic designer is so on point, I don’t have a lot of edit requests. But, if I do, she’s great at taking on board my feedback and acting on it.
I’ve only ever had to ask for a few more edits for one design once or twice.
I’m sure you know how much design costs can blow up if you need a lot of edits.
And there truly are no design limits.
We put a ridiculous amount of pin image requests. They’re not too difficult mind you, but there’s no way I could get them to look as good in such a short time as Design Pickle does, so it saves me hours of time.
That there is leverage!
2. Easy to submit a request
Design Pickle has a very simple template to fill out for each design request.
You can add links to similar designs you like. You can add your own images or have your Design Pickle graphic designer find relevant images for you.
You tell them exactly what you are looking for, the style, branding and format, and they’ll put it together
3. Your own graphic designer
With Design Pickle, it feels like you have hired your own graphic designer as you are assigned to a graphic designer who basically looks after all your requests.
This is GOLD as they get to know your branding and style which makes future designs effortless and they are great designers!
Sometimes they aren’t available due to time off etc., so your designs aren’t put on hold they are given to another designer to take over.
But, due to the design submission templates and directions, it’s pretty easy for them to take over.
I do feel I ask for more edits when this happens, but I think it’s just because my usual designer knows what we want so well.
4. Wonderful customer service
Design Pickle hires graphic designers from The Philippines so their customer service is gracious, friendly and very attentive.
Their communication is always on point and thorough and positive and upbeat.
Design Pickle recently had a conference in the Philippines with their designers and we were given ample notice to ensure any urgent design requests were submitted with plenty of time to be completed before the conference.
The Design Pickle team in the USA is equally friendly and professional.
They have that young, fun entrepreneurial vibe.
5. Prioritize timing and fast turnaround
It’s pretty insane how quickly my designs get done.
As we have submitted a large number of new pin requests for Pinterest we have a long queue, but as they aren’t priority, my designer can work on these each day when I don’t have priority design requests.
You do get unlimited design requests and edits, but bear in mind it’s a real graphic designer so time is required to get through them.
Generally my designs get done in one business day depending in the complexity and edit requirements.
I love that I can prioritize my designs.
They have now just introduced a new feature where you can set your new design requests as to urgent, high, medium or low.
Before that I would just send a quick email to my designer (or mention it on the design request) that this was a priority design and move it straight to the top of the queue.
6. Multiple accounts and team members
If you manage different account or businesses, you can get all the design work done for them with your account.
Bear in mind thought that the more projects you have the longer the turnaround will be.
You can also have any of your team members submit and manage design requests for you.
7. Great onboarding experience
Using Design Pickle is not difficult.
There is a very quick onboarding system with video training that lets you know how to submit design requests, edit requests, and what types of designs cannot be done.
Once you’ve done the onboarding (1-2 days) you can start submitting your requests.
They’ll be perfect, which will save you time, as you’ll learn how to communicate what you require.
8. Access to Getty Images
For an extra $25 a month, you can get access to Getty Images on your account, which is hugely beneficial if you have a business that requires a lot of images.
Even though we include mostly our own photos in our posts, we sometimes require other photos that we don’t have.
Getting high quality images from Getty Images is so valuable.
We can easily search for the ones we want and upload them into our design request, which our designer then uses for our project and also sends the image to us that we can then insert into blog posts.
As I purchased an annual Design Pickle subscription, I received access to the Getty Images for FREE as a bonus!
What can they design?
Here are a few ideas:
- Digital graphics
- Online ads
- Direct mail pieces Event graphics
- Social media posts
- Blog post graphics
- T-shirt graphics
- Promotional items
- Sales sheets
- Event flyers
- Basic photo edits & manipulation
- Ecommerce graphics.
- Update/refresh existing logo.
- Presentation graphics.
What they don’t do:
- Original logos or branding
- Video or motion graphics
- Complex illustrations
- Original infographics
- Fillable or interactive PDF documents
- Photoshop art or complex photo manipulation
- Large InDesign projects (8 or more pages)
- Large copy-heavy layout projects (8 or more pages)
- Magazine layouts
- 3D / CAD
- HTML / CSS / UI / UX, mobile or app design
Some examples of my designs
Because of Design Pickle online graphic design services we’ve been able to optimize and update hundreds of posts on our site.
The Pinterest images on them were terrible due to the fact we don’t know what we’re doing and our design skill are awful.
Pinterest is a visual platform, so pretty pins makes a difference.
As Pinterest is a big traffic driver for us to our travel blog, it’s important for us to take care of the content on that platform.
There is no way we could have updated them ourselves.
It takes us forever to do one pin, and we now put three different pins at the bottom of every blog post. Our Design Pickle designer now knows our style and can quickly whip up three different looking pins.
We can now get much better pins created for various campaigns we work on with different brands, enhancing the service we offer.
Since we have been using Design Pickle, we have managed to increase our Pinterest traffic which had taken quite the nosedive.
Media Kit and business cards
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I procrastinate on putting together media kits.
It feels so overwhelming that I just don’t start.
Design Pickle has helped me simplify and get things done.
I submit my design request with a vague idea of what I’d like, as I really can’t even visualize great design. I give them my content and they put it together into something that feels sharp and attractive.
Campaign marketing reports
I find it such a drain to create marketing reports mostly because I can’t get it to look nice.
Now, I have a template designed I can easily input the new data for each campaign we work on and send it away.
I can even just send the new data to my designer to fit into the template for me to ensure it looks sharp for each new client.
Do you like putting out quotes on your social media channel?
You can easily get a few quote templates created. You can easily get your designer to create each new one for you, even if you didn’t want to mess around with templates.
Content upgrade checklists
These are my favorite as my designer can create something that looks sharp in a quick time frame.
This means I have more opportunity to upgrade readers into our email list, which is a priority.
Is Design Pickle a worthy investment?
It is important to assess any business cost.
Ultimately, you want it to help you grow your income.
So ask yourself,
- How will this save me time?
- How will it save me money? (Remembering that more time is leverage to making more money)
- How can it ease my frustration? (which can often lead to failure – the quitting kind)
- Do I have enough design needs to make it valid? Make a list of all the design projects you could utilize Design Pickle for. Maybe all those projects you’ve been putting off can be done.
- Assess your design needs for an entire year. If you hired a designer to do each one, how much would that cost? Now compare that to having access to unlimited designs and edits for a monthly fee.
- Be aware of what they cannot design, as this will be an added design cost for you if you need that through the year. We will be updating our site yet again soon, which is when we bring on our personal graphic designer who does everything related to website, logo, and branding design.
Design Pickle has a 14 day money back guarantee.
Test it out, if you’re not happy with the service you can cancel at no charge.
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Do you struggle with design needs for your business? Do you have any questions about Design Pickle I can answer?