13 Mar Choose the best creative support for you
When your company needs creative solutions, but you don’t have quite enough resources at your disposal, there are a few key options to consider. Understanding the advantages of each option is the first step to choosing the best type of creative support for you and your team. The main three ways to source creative talent are:
Your in-house team members are your brand experts. They already have an internal understanding of your point of view, voice, and assets. You shouldn’t have to teach them about the nuances of your brand, which makes your internal team a go-to source for your small, branded projects with short turn-over times. These are the people who can take care of all of the tactical needs of your day-to-day operations like packaging and recurring promotions.
Organizational and brand expertise can go a long way. However, if you share design resources with several other teams, sometimes it’s beneficial to bring in additional flex support to work in tandem with your own creatives on your most critical projects and complex needs. Outside support can also help navigate through the tunnel vision that sometimes develops with an in-house team, offering a fresh perspective to teams that are highly immersed in the day-to-day of your brand.
Freelancers tend to have niche specialties, making them great options for standalone projects or filling in gaps. Typically, a freelancer will join you as an extension of your team on either a project basis, or for an approximate number of hours per week. While freelancers are a great option to execute overflow creative work, they can often be a bit of a ‘wild card.’ It’s hard to really know what you’re getting with freelancers – can they take direction and run with it or will they require a lot of hand-holding? What other projects and clients are they juggling? If your project needs change, can they flex to support that? Will they follow through on your project or ghost when something better comes along?
Overall, freelancers are best for short-term, straightforward work with crystal clear project details, but are not usually well-suited for strategic consultation or long-term support.
For big picture work that requires really creative solutions, an agency is your best bet. An agency provides a reliable partnership and flexible staffing system. Your agency team will develop rich knowledge of your brand, while leveraging specialized skills and insights from the other industries they work in.. Launching new brands, products, campaigns, websites, apps and programs requires a ton of resources and specialized skills to accomplish, so it’s a good idea to get support from people who already have the tools and expertise to get started right away.
Making the Choice
Understanding what your in-house team, a freelancer (or freelancers), and an agency bring to the table will provide the basis for you to make an informed decision on the best type of creative support for your projects. Finally, when in doubt, ask yourself the following questions: