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DanicaMar 17, 2020
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How a Freelance Graphic Designer can Help your Agency Thrive

Do you have a dedicated design team but the workload keeps getting the better of them? Or are you thinking of outsourcing graphic design, but are worried it’s expensive and a hassle? Think again! Freelancers can be a real cost-effective boost for your agency, and today we are looking at 5 reasons why that is.

Of course, everyone will have their own motivation for considering graphic design outsourcing over platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. It’s likely, however, that you’ve considered working with a freelancer for one of these common reasons:

  • You have a bigger workload;
  • You’re expanding your services;
  • You are constantly failing to meet deadlines and your clients’ expectations.

The need for more people isn’t necessarily a consequence of growth. Sometimes, things simply aren’t working out. However, before you get frustrated remember this: hiring the right people for the job can help your agency grow.

Moreover, freelancers can be both the immediate boost you need as well as an asset for the long term. When it comes to design, there are a couple of alternatives for talent outsourcing, so you should find one that best fits the needs of your agency.

In the following 5 points we will highlight the benefits of outsourcing graphic design and help you find the perfect freelancer today.

Freelancers bring fresh ideas

For designers, the big advantage of working in an agency over in-house is that you work with a diverse range of clients, on very different projects.

For designers, the big advantage of working in an agency over in-house is that you work with a diverse range of clients, on very different projects.

And yet, working in the same office, same hours with the same people around you every day can eventually start to feel like a rut. You get exposed to a lot of the same ideas and tastes and eventually you end up with repackaged ideas. Sometimes this can even work out with a specific client, but it certainly won’t push your agency to experiment, develop or grow.

Having a freelancer take over also means that you can offer your clients more diversity—instead of plodding on with two ideas for two weeks, present them with double or even triple the options.

And it’s not just about looking professional and diligent in front of your clients either—producing additional work that might be recycled or reworked eventually is going to push your agency in the right direction. So if it’s growth you’re after, a freelancer will put you right on track.

And it’s not just about looking professional and diligent in front of your clients either—producing additional work that might be recycled or reworked eventually is going to push your agency in the right direction. So if it’s growth you’re after, a freelancer will put you right on track.

Cost-effectiveness you and your clients will love

We live in a digital, visual age. This means that the need for graphic designers has never been greater and these creatives earn pretty comfortable salaries. In 2018 graphic designers made around 50,000 USD annually (or about 25 USD per hour). Compare that to the average of 38,640 USD and you get the idea.

However, what this means for you is that a single graphic designer can greatly increase the overhead cost for your agency. So if you’re absolutely certain that you have a steady influx of new projects, hiring someone full-time could be a good choice.

But, if like most people, you are still trying to figure out what works best, a freelancer could be a tremendous cost-effective solution. Freelancers’ hourly rates on Upwork range between 20 and 120 USD, while the average stands at around 45 USD. Now imagine how much work can be done within a month or even a week? Freelancers deliver results quickly (especially with big projects) and reduce overhead costs.

If you’re looking to extend your client list, this might also allow you to offer services at lower prices. Which will eventually require more talent outsourcing, leading to more clients—you get the gist.

And the cycle continues until you think you’re ready for a long-term relationship with a new designer in your team. Right? Well, before you settle on that idea, let’s explore the other reasons why graphic design outsourcing is always a good choice.

Get the top people for each type of design

If you’re looking to hire a full-time designer for your agency, you’ll probably want someone with a diverse set of skills. Indeed, a lot of young designers find agency work a great opportunity to expand their skill set and there is nothing wrong with this. From the perspective of the agency, this can be a mutually beneficial relationship. You get to nourish this young talent and mold them into the designer of your dreams.

But, no one is great at everything.

By being able to choose their projects, freelancers develop an astute understanding of their own abilities as well as limitations. They will present you with a selected portfolio which can give you a great understanding of their strengths: business cards, website design, motion design etc.

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Remember, a top-notch logo designer might fall short when it comes to illustrations. This is why it’s really important to do due diligence if you opt for graphic design outsourcing. Check if a particular designer has examples of work that match your needs. Ideally, they should also have some work experience in a specific industry that you will be working in.

If you find yourself in an “all-hands-on-deck” situation, we promise you will be thanking the stars for talent outsourcing and this extra pair of hands. However smart delegating and people doing what they know best will make your regular design process streamlined and effective.

It’s a team effort, not a competition

Does this look familiar?

designer life troubles.jpg Twitter

Like many true creatives, professional designers face one inevitable issue: everyone’s a critic. Although the prospect of actually designing something ourselves might intimidate the rest of us (marketing managers, content writers and the like), the amount of visual sensations we’re exposed to seems to make all of us (and rightly so) entitled to an opinion.

A freelance designer can turn out to be quite a lot more than what you’re paying for: they design and become the creative and psychological support for your own team.

Sharing ideas and experiences outside the core group is a tremendous opportunity to explore new paths and see things differently. Encourage your in-house designers to collaborate with freelancers and you will see a much happier workforce.

As you outsource the grunt work to freelancers you can show some love and allow your full-time staff to take on more challenging, creative tasks. The day-to-day becomes more efficient and you have a happy and motivated team to keep pushing those all-important boundaries.

It’s also worth remembering that freelancers aren’t there to compete for the prospect of permanent employment. Quality freelancers will be more than satisfied with the amount of work they’re getting. But having designers brainstorm together and communicate can be a way out of the creative rut and the breakthrough in any complex problem.

In it for the long-term with a freelancer?

We still didn’t answer the big question—isn’t hiring and working with freelancers on a rolling basis a lot of work?

Well, to an extent it is. You will need to do research, look up references and take time to understand the creative process of each individual—after all when it comes to design, they might be able to understand certain choices even better than you.

So, how to hire a freelancer?

Well you’ve probably heard of platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer. These platforms, however, are meant for a wide range of freelance job seekers, so be sure to check out portfolio platforms like Behance or Dribble.

Whatever route you pick, get ready to dedicate your fair share of HR hours to hiring a freelancer. Each of these platforms comes with its own set of specifics, so that’s another thing to think about before you choose your favorite designer.

Next, remember that working with a freelancer puts a share of burden on you to monitor how these designers spend their time (again the time and effort will depend on the hiring platform or your agreement with the designer). Without being able to hover over them in an office (we’re kidding, don’t ever do that), tracking their work, and ultimately deciding if they are a good investment, can get tricky.

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How to get all the benefits of hiring a freelancer without the cons

Unlimited graphic design services offer the best of both worlds. By paying a monthly rate, you can get all your design needs taken care of—by freelancers that best fit your needs. Better yet, you get maximum productivity without having to waste time negotiating rates and deadlines or looking up portfolios and references.

This is exactly what we do at ManyPixels. We take the time to get to know designers and find the best fit for you. And after you have submitted your design request, all the logistics are taken care of—you make as many revisions as necessary and we make sure you’re happy with the end product.

Conclusion

Whether you need a quick fix for a difficult project or are thinking of strategically growing your services—outsourcing graphic design can be the wind beneath your agency’s wings. Creative, flexible and exempt from office drama,freelancers get work done and, often, before the deadline.

On the other hand, if you’re reluctant to work with freelancers because of the time and effort you will have to dedicate to finding and maintaining a relationship with the right one— remember that there is an alternative! If like us, you believe freelancers make fantastic long-term partners, then let us know and we will make sure to match you with the freelance designer of your dreams.

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