Choosing graphic artists, copywriters, and web designers can be a nerve-wracking process, and a lot often rides on the outcome.
The best person for one job may not be the best for another. Brochures, catalogs, web sites, blogs, newsletters, packaging, retail displays and trade show booths all require different skills, so it’s important to match your needs with the right talent. Here are a few tips on how to choose the best source for your needs.
Developing a Short List. When starting a new project, most buyers either use someone they already know, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. That’s a start, but you need to explore further. If a graphic artist did your banker’s annual report and what you need is an eye-catching retail display, they may not be the right person for this job.
Often you can start by looking for related work that you like, and finding out who did it, especially if the work wasn’t done for a competitor.
Assessing Portfolios. When you look at a creative portfolio, ask yourself how different elements are handled. Does the eye travel in a logical pattern? Is the web site navigation intuitive? How are type, color, and photographs treated? Is the copy formal or conversational? Consider what elements are important to your job or medium, and look for those ingredients in each portfolio you view.
How Are Their Questions? The questions your prospective vendor asks are telltale. Thoughtful inquiries, a curiosity about your market, and an interest in understanding your goals are good indicators that the work they do for you will be on target.
What’s Their Philosophy? Ask each freelancer how they plan to approach your job. Learn more about their philosophy. For instance, at Evergreen Marketing, we believe that the purpose of the advertising we create is to sell, and we do so with specific, reason-why benefits. If you subscribe to the “get attention any way you can” school of advertising, we wouldn’t be a good match for your needs.
Can You Work With Them? It’s important to have a good rapport with your creative team. If you’re not comfortable sharing ideas in a give-and-take conversation, work will suffer as a result.
While it’s not always easy to tell how the working relationship will go until you’re in it, look for clues while you’re in the proposal phase. If you feel that your freelancer isn’t really listening to you, listen to your gut. If they let the proposal deadline slide without a word, consider it a red flag.The way things start is usually the way they stay in any relationship, so don’t expect different behavior after you’ve signed an agreement.
Choosing the right vendor is only the first part of the process. In the nextLet’s Grow email, we’ll offer some advice on how to get the best work from the creative team you’ve selected.