As your business grows, so does your need for skilled people. And as a growing company, your brand needs to look the part. Put two and two together, and freelance graphic design becomes a logical next step. Or does it? Let’s find out.
One of the effects of the pandemic is a freelancer boom. Chalk it up to a turbulent market or the growing importance of a healthy work-life balance. Whether it’s for a side hustle or a full-time gig, self-employment is on the rise.
In fact, more than a third of the U.S. workforce performed freelance work in 2021. And there are no indications that numbers will decrease anytime soon.
As a company, it’s a development you can use to your advantage. To outsource your graphic design needs without hiring a designer full-time can be beneficial.
Graphic design is essential to help your brand stand out from the crowd and is best done by a professional. And with the number of freelancers growing by the minute, this seems like a logical option.
But how do you make sure you hire a freelance graphic designer that will give you high-quality results without breaking the bank? And is there a better alternative out there? Let’s find out.
The importance of quality graphic design
It’s not just freelancers increasing in numbers, but entrepreneurs in general. That means you’re vying for your audience’s attention with more and more competitors. Standing out is more important than ever, and there’s only one way to do it: looking your absolute best.
Quality graphic design has a snowball of positive effects on your business. The first impression someone has of your brand is often design-related. Did you know that 75% of your visitors judge your company’s credibility on your website design?
Striking visuals can help your audience build trust and even give that final push to purchase your product. Be honest, have you ever bought something just because a label looked nice or the Instagram feed had gorgeous content? I know I have.
How to hire a freelance graphic designer in 7 steps
High-quality design is important; that much you know by now. Therefore, you can imagine it’s not just a matter of finding the nearest freelancer. You need to ensure it’s a freelance graphic designer that knows what they are doing.
For those wondering how to hire a freelance graphic designer, we’ve broken it down into seven steps. By following these steps, you minimize the risk of your freelance graphic designer submitting bad designs and tarnishing your reputation.
1. Define your design needs
To find the right person to fit the job, you need to define what graphic design services you need. There are numerous types available, and a designer is often specialized in only a few.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common graphic design services available:
- Logo and branding design
- Advertisement design
- Social media graphics
- Web design
- Print collateral
- Graphic illustrations
This is by no means an exhaustive list since the world of graphic design is vast and ever-evolving. Make sure you do your research and paint a clear picture of what you want to have designed.
2. Set a budget
Once you know what you need, it’s time to set a budget. Think about how much you can realistically afford to spend on freelance graphic design.
The cost of design is a big topic since pricing can range from $15 to $150 per hour. Once you specify what you need, the ballpark should decrease a bit. But there are still multiple factors at play, such as the experience and location of your designer.
Bear in mind that bad design can cost you more in the long run. Bad design could risk you losing customers, and fixing things can be time-consuming. Considering all the benefits of good design, you should consider it an investment.
3. Find freelancers
With your design needs and budget specified, it’s time to look for your perfect match. With all the options available, let’s properly think through where to find freelance graphic designers.
You can opt for one of the many freelance platforms to find a graphic designer online. But it’s one of the riskier options. Yes, it’s quick and easy. However, remember those long lockdown days? Many people watched a couple of YouTube videos on freelance designing and called themselves a designer straight after. Is that really someone you’d trust with your business?
A better option is finding someone through word-of-mouth. Ask around because it’s always a good idea to work with someone with a good reputation.
Additionally, specific Google searches can help you out. If a designer has a beautiful website that also pops up high in the search results, you have to give them credit. A simple search could be: graphic designer + your location + the graphic design services you need.
4. Vet their work
Vetting your designer’s work is a crucial step in finding high-quality design. We’ve briefly mentioned how recommendations can help you vet a designer, but there are a few other ways.
First, it’s wise to brush up on your design knowledge. Knowing a thing or two about good design is a skill that will help you in more ways than you think.
With your newly acquired knowledge, you can check out portfolios. Try to look for examples that fit your design needs rather than your personal preference. Remember that the design is created for your audience, not yourself.
5. Establish a management style
This step is often overlooked because many people forget that when they hire a freelancer, they need to manage them. There is more to it than sending your design brief and hoping for the best. By establishing a management style, you’ll encourage a smooth process that saves time.
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Think about the basics, like who in your company will be in charge of managing the freelancers. How much time should they spend on it? When and where should they check in with the freelancer?
Also, think about laying the groundwork. Set up a template for the design briefings you’ll send, and ensure your brand guidelines are in order.
6. Hire a freelancer
Once you have your freelancer lined up, established a management style, and know precisely what you need, it’s go-time. Next up is the hire!
Your graphic design freelancer will be a part of your business, even if you only hire them for a single project. Therefore, it’s wise to think about setting up a contract and possibly a non-disclosure agreement.
If you thought that was the hard part, think again. There is no time to kick back and relax just yet. We’ve only come to the most vital step now. Evaluating your freelancer’s work and staying involved throughout the process go hand-in-hand with high-quality results.
It’s highly recommended to set up a quality assurance process for your freelance graphic designers. An example is a checklist with topics you can use to evaluate the design. Here are a few examples:
- Has the designer used your branding guidelines?
- Did the designer stick to the design brief?
- Are there any spelling errors in the design?
Pros and cons of a freelancer
Still on the fence about whether you should go down the route of freelance graphic design? That’s understandable since involving someone is a big step and comes with pros and cons.
With digitalization comes a big pool to fish in, allowing you to pick people from all over the world. You have access to a highly specialized designer that can help you with particular designs.
- It’s time-consuming since you have to get your freelancer set up and manage them throughout the design process.
- If you have daily design tasks, costs to hire a freelancer can quickly rack up.
- The quality of work can be unpredictable, especially when first hiring someone.
An alternative option to affordable, high-quality design
By now, you may realize freelance graphic design is harder to obtain than you thought. It takes up a lot of your time, and a high-quality result isn’t even ensured. Sure, you can minimize the risk by vetting your designer beforehand. But is it really worth it?
What if we told you there might be a better solution? One where you don’t have to worry about quality assurance, nor about finding, hiring, and managing multiple different people. A solution that will do all these dreaded tasks for you, and ensures high-quality design.
Find out how and where to outsource your graphic design needs
Download our guide to find a solution that suits your business
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ManyPixels is an online design service that allows you to get as much design as you could dream of for a flat monthly fee.
There are four different plans you can choose from that all come with unlimited design requests and unlimited revisions.
Depending on your design needs, there is a plan available for you. Need your everyday design sorted? For $549 per month, our team of designers is at your disposal. Prefer to have a skilled designer that focuses solely on your brand? For only $999 you can have all the dedicated designer’s perks without the hassle.
Our team of highly-skilled, enthusiastic designers is ready to create. If you are too, we’d love to hear from you!