There are times when you simply don’t have time to do all the design work you need to complete. Perhaps a task is a bit more advanced than your skill and there’s an impending deadline looming over your head. You might need to seek a freelance designer for help.
Don’t worry, it’s not a scary process and there are many resources at your disposal. Hiring a freelance designer to help with certain tasks can take that extra load off your back. It can give your brand that professional edge that will set you apart from the competition.
There are some key things you’ll want to look for in a professional designer to ensure you have the best outcome possible:
- Look for someone who clearly outlines terms of payment. The majority of freelance designers work on an hourly rate, which can vary widely depending on the experience level of the designer. Some work on a flat rate per project type.
- Seek a designer who responds quickly to emails or will chat via Skype. This is an indication that they will be responsive when you need changes or if you have a project that needs quick turnaround.
- Ask for references. While no one is going to give you a reference that will say bad things, a designer who has several people willing to vouch for their work is likely a good, reliable designer.
- Look at samples of other work the designer has completed. You can get a good feel for whether or not the designer’s work matches the overall quality and style you want for your own brand.
Be clear about your budget and deadlines from the beginning, so there are no misunderstandings later in the process.
Now you know what to look for. But where do you go to find these amazing freelance designers?
1. Local Colleges
Contact your local college’s marketing or journalism department and inquire whether there are any students who might like some extra work. Your best bet is a senior who has already had the opportunity to serve some internships and complete a variety of design projects for various classes. Students are often hungry both for extra cash and experience. Since they will be inexperienced, you may have to spend a bit more time explaining what you want and how to accomplish it, but you also will likely pay far less per hour than you would pay a more experienced designer.
2. Ask Business Associates
Even if you work completely alone for your business, you likely know a few other people in your line of work. If not, you can easily connect online via Facebook groups, forums and organizations for your niche. Simply ask others if they have a freelance designer they use and like and if they’d be willing to give you the person’s contact info. You’re certain to get at least a few leads this way.
AIGA is the “professional association for design.” This is the organization that many freelance designers belong to, and AIGA sets many standards in the design industry. You can visit their member portfolio pages to get a feel for the different types of designs some of their members are capable of and connect with a designer who matches your style preferences.
4. Envato Studio
This site used to be called Freelance Switch, but they added a few additional features and renamed their brand. Envato allows you to search for and connect with freelance designers. You can browse by category or type a search term, such as “logo design,” into the search bar. Once you find a designer you’re interested in, you’ll provide a brief outline of your project. The designer will then work on your project until you are happy with the finished result. Once you are satisfied, your initial payment is released to the freelance designer.
Behance is similar to Envato, but you post a job and allow designers to bid on that job. This might result in a lower price, but be careful. Make sure you carefully check the designer’s portfolio and vet them with the points listed at the top of this article. The lowest price isn’t always the best course of action.
6. Local Marketing Agency
Hiring a marketing firm can be costly. But you will get the best of the best as far as design, the way the colors compliment one another and a complete package that takes into consideration your target audience. Most agencies will take on smaller tasks as time allows, too. One way to get in with an agency but still save a bit of money is to seek out agencies that are new to the game. A younger agency won’t yet have an established client list and will be thrilled to get the work you offer.
7. Advertise in the Classifieds
If you’re a brave soul, you might want to place an add in the classified section of your local newspaper. You’d be surprised at the skills available in the stay-at-home-parent community. People with amazing skills often take a few years off to raise their children. However, they also would love the opportunity to do a bit of freelance work on the side. Especially around the holidays when they might need extra money. Be as clear as possible about your requirements in the listing and interview candidates thoroughly to be sure you get someone with the right skill set.
Let’s talk about Fiverr for a minute. This site offers services for $5 each. While it is true that you get what you pay for, occasionally you can find a hidden gem on this site. Most of the time, users offer something very basic for $5, and then there are add-on costs. However, the benefits of using a system like Fiverr are three-fold.
First, you can see the person’s other work. Second, you can hire the person to do a small task and make sure you like the work they do for you. Third, you can read reviews and ratings from other clients who have used that person’s services. Although Fiverr might be a mixed bag, it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Probably the best way to find a designer is through other people who’ve worked with the freelancer in the past. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use these other sites and tools to find a designer who is just getting started but still completely fabulous.