13 Mar Choose your design team: Freelance, agency or in-house?
Not all projects are made equal, and the same can be said about design teams. Incredibly talented freelancers, in-house teams, and creative agencies all have their distinct perks and setbacks. The real issue is figuring out who you should work within any given scenario. You have a lot of good options, but the right choice really depends on the situation and scope of the work you’re looking for.
Don’t worry, we won’t leave you out in the dark. Here are some questions you should keep in mind when picking your designers:
- How big is the project expected to be?
- Does it stand alone, or is it connected to a campaign?
- Do you need any specialized skills?
- Do you want to manage progress on your own, or would you want a project manager?
- Do I trust someone else enough to take this on?
Got it? Great! Now let’s review your options.
Freelancers tend to have niche specialties that make them great options for standalone projects and filling in gaps that you come across. Just be prepared to have a hands-on approach when it comes to progress tracking.
Keep in mind that a freelancer has to manage their time and resources independently, which can either be a good or bad thing. If the work has the potential to expand beyond its original scope, you need to seriously consider whether or not a freelancer would have the kind of availability and support that’s necessary to take on a large-scale project.
Your in-house team members are your brand experts. They already have an internal understanding of your point of view, voice, assets, and all of the implications behind them. 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. (But sadly, office politics exist.) If you dread that extensive approval process or share design resources with several other teams, you can always bring in someone from an agency to work in tandem with your own creatives.
Hiring an agency is your best bet for work involving specialized skills. If you want to incorporate something that requires a huge investment to get started or has a steep learning curve, it’s a good idea to go to people who already have the tools and expertise to get started right away.
Sometimes solving a problem requires not just great design but also creative strategy. Incorporating an outside agency that specializes in marketing and design thinking can provide you with a fresh perspective on what you need. An agency will use its expertise to make sure the work will have the greatest impact possible. This type of partnership can only thrive if you make sure to pick an agency you trust and respect.
Choosing the right talent
While there are talented freelancers, in-house teams and agencies that you can hire, different scenarios are best suited for each. The success of your work depends on the capability of your team. When you start to define the boundaries of what you need, whether that’s piecework or niche expertise, you’ll have a much easier time picking the right team for the job.
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