3 steps to follow when your designer sends you something you hate

It's a terrible, horrible, awful feeling when the creative pro you've hired misses the mark.

They send you the first draft of something and it's allllll wrong. Maybe your website doesn't feel like you, your brand video is edited in the weirdest places, and your web copy makes you cringe.  

It can also be a touchy, awkward, emotionally charged experience that leaves you feeling like a lonely and sad stress ball. 

The sort of good news? You're not alone. Every solopreneur I know must go through the process of finessing, refining, and editing all those brand elements with whomever you've hired. It's a delicate back-and-fourth. You need to get your vision across, but without putting out their creative fire. You need their input, but still need to be in control. 

The next time you find yourself staring at the first draft of something that you HATE, take a breath, and try out these 3 simple steps:  

1. Step away for one day. 

One day away from what you're looking at. One day to let the initial disappointment wear off, and hopefully let some optimism come into play. This is usually enough time to prevent any knee-jerk reactions (or as I call them, total freak outs,) from happening. When you respond to your designer, you want to be as clear-headed, calm, and rational as possible. 

2. Try a little analytical thinking.

Now that you're in a nice, warm fuzzy place thanks to the day you took before responding, I want you to look at what was created for you and compare it to your inspiration. If you're struggling to articulate the differences, try this exercise: grab a sheet of paper and divide it in two. On one side, write "Inspiration" and on the other "My draft" now do a little freestyle brainstorming and write down words for each side. Does one side feel airy and the other feel heavy? Does one side feel formal and the other more relaxed and casual? This side-by-side comparison is a great tool to help you articulate the problem. 

3. Get a creative buddy.

A little outside perspective is always helpful. I have 2-3 friends I turn to regularly for feedback on my branding. While each friend has her own "style", here are a few characteristics they all share: They are all business owners, they care about my best interest, they're super honest, and they've each hired me at some point and get what I do. Before you approach your designer, find someone you trust, who cares about you and your business, to provide some feedback. This could be a friend, a former client or even a spouse. Just make sure it's someone who has your best interest at heart - and who will give it to you straight!  

Got any tips of your own for handling these stressful moments? Share them in the comments below! XO