Hipsters – How to Seduce a Start-up

So you think you know design? Think that it would be the greatest thing to happen to a start-up? Great, but how exactly will you get them to realise that? Fret not, it’s not that complicated. If you’re confident enough, that is. These tips will work whether you’re looking to work for a start-up or pitching to the one you’ve successfully wooed.

So, let’s sort this out:

1. Confidence goes a long way

You could be the greatest thing in creative industries since Andy Warhol. Alas, if you lack confidence in your skills and more importantly your product, you will never be able to catch the fish of your life. Figure out your strengths and play them up. Find your weak spots and work tirelessly on them until they’re polished to perfection. And then come to the realisation that nothing will ever be perfect. But your work is pretty darn great, so why not be confident about it?

2. Understand what a startup is

This is of utmost importance. A startup is vastly different from a worldwide faceless conglomerate. It functions differently, has different goals, a different approach to everything. Unless you’re already very familiar with the concept you must do your research. Make yourself highly knowledgeable on what exactly a startup is. Get to know the history, the back-story of the start-up you’re pitching for, the reason why start-ups exist. You have to know what to expect when working for a startup, what to expect when pitching ideas, what kind of people to expect to sit beside you day after day. This kind of knowledge will not only prepare you for the job, but will also show your future employer that you’re taking their ideas seriously.

3. Make it about them

I know, you are dying to put your signature all over that app/website. And you very well should. However, your design must be about the company you’re presenting. Their brand. Their character. Their services. When you’re pitching a design, especially to a start-up, you absolutely must personally tailor it. A startup can be very personal to the person behind its wheel, and your design should speak about them, not you. Show them you get their brand, their groove and you will surely be welcomed on board.

4. Offer a solution, not a piece of art

Your design will essentially be their solution to a problem. So make it exactly that. Think about its functionality and ease of use. Think about how it will be used and make it as user-friendly as possible. Come at it from every angle, make your pitch the definite solution to the problem (of not having a great, functional design, and whatever else they want).

5. Make it user-friendly

I mentioned this in the previous point. Your design has to be user friendly. Think hard about who the target audience is, and make it easy to use for them. Every niche has its peculiarities. If you’re designing for a ride-share company, your design should be easy to use on the go. If you’re designing for a custom T-shirt company, your design should reflect that, and be as creative, yet easy to navigate, as possible. Think, think, think and only then do.

6. Find the answer to the question Why?

Why do you want to work for a startup? Why this particular one? Why is your pitch better than everyone else’s? Why is your design the way it is? Answer these questions before you pitch yourself to a start-up and you’ll have a massive advantage – you will be sure you’re the best choice.

Here it is. The definite way to seduce a start-up with your design. What are you waiting for, get to work and get yourself noticed.

Share this brilliant piece of advice with other Hipsters, and comment below if you have more tips to share!

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