written by CurlyRed guest blogger Alex Crews
More and more businesses today are facing a need to hire outside help for creative efforts. Between web design and logo creation, social media and email marketing campaigns, and content production and broader marketing strategy, creative work has a lot to do with whether a modern business can compete. Despite this however, a lot of business owners don’t know the first thing about how to outsource creative services.
If you’re just such a business owner, or you’re otherwise in a position of leadership in your company, here are a few things to know on the subject.
Freelance Sites Aren’t Your Only Options
In today’s “gig economy” filled with remote and part-time work opportunities, it is no surprise that a lot of websites for hiring freelance contributors have sprung up. The construct of these sites is generally to give freelancers the chance to find more work, and give businesses and other employers an easy way to outsource projects. While it can't hurt to check some of these platforms though, it's rare to find one that actually sources quality work at a fair value for the worker. Thus, it's also a good idea to pursue other avenues. You might, for instance, post ads, seek out creators of work you’ve admired, or even explore social communities for different types of creators. A comprehensive approach takes a little bit more effort, but it will also result in your seeing more high-quality candidates.
You Should Budget for Creative Services
Outsourced services of any kind are often looked at as “extras” by businesses, and as a result they can strain budgets. It is therefore a good idea to factor freelance creative work into your financial plan so as to avoid getting in a bind when the need arises. Additionally, budgeting appropriately for creative contributions will help you to pay sufficient rates (a topic we’ll expand on below). The good news is that even if this kind of inclusive budgeting and planning isn’t your forte (and this is the case for many business owners), financial planning is easier than ever to come by. Expansive online course offerings in the financial space have led to a growing pool of people capable of organizing business finances. Any such candidate with an online bachelor’s in financial services or similar qualification will be perfectly comfortable working the books, analyzing financial plans, and offering advice. So, even if you don’t have a detailed budget in place, you can outsource this work as well and better plan for creative work
You Get What You Pay For
We mentioned previously that creating a thorough budget will help you to pay sufficient rates to creative contributors. The fact of the matter is, the value of creatives in modern workplaces is a little bit of an issue. Despite the fact that creative work is playing an ever-more-important role in modern business, it is often the case that people in these roles are undervalued. Whether as contracted contributors or on-staff employees, people who do creative work are often left with the sense that they’re less valuable and more expendable than other workers. Ultimately though, employing or outsourcing work to someone under those circumstances is unsustainable. Creatives need to be valued if they’re to produce the work you’re looking for, or they’ll ultimately move on.
This ties into the previous point to an extent. Beyond paying a creative contributor sufficiently though, you should also ensure that you and your business establish a positive relationship. When outsourcing creative work, you need to treat the worker like a skilled, valued professional — not as someone you have a temporary need for, and certainly not as someone you’re offering an opportunity for. It’s a professional relationship, and maintaining it as such in a positive way will make the work go more smoothly. It may also reflect better on your business moving forward.
Creatives Can Be Put on Retainer
Finally, it’s also important to note that it is possible to establish a retainer agreement with an independent creative (or creative firm). In some cases, this may not be necessary based on your needs. If your business doesn’t have its own creative departments however (content writers, marketing strategists, designers, etc.), it’s worth exploring a retainer agreement. This essentially a means of outsourcing work beyond a single project, and ensuring that you an rely on the services of a skilled individual or team that can fulfill your business’s creative needs. With these things in mind, you’ll be in better position to outsource creative work, and establish productive relationships with the creatives in the process.
Do you need to outsource any of your creative needs? Schedule a free consultation with us today!