How to Find a Graphic Designer - ArtDevDesign

How to Find a Graphic Designer

Are you struggling to create content for your business’s social media channels? The easiest thing you can do to remedy this situation is to outsource the work. You basically have three (3) options. The first is to hire an in-house graphic designer. Next, you can hire a marketing or design agency. Finally, you can hire a freelancer or contractor. In this article, I will cover how to find a graphic designer for your business and clear up your plate.

In-House Graphic Designer

The most time-consuming and most complicated scenario involves a direct hire. Before you go out looking for a quick hire, there’s important things to consider.

What Do You Need?

When writing up the job description for your job posting it’s important to identify what you need. When it comes to a graphic designer, there are many kinds and specialists. If you’re looking to hire a designer to handle everything in your company, be aware this can be very expensive. However, if you’re looking to hire for social media posts, you may only need a basic designer. This can even be a design student just looking for experience.

Keep in mind all the projects you’ve needed work on in the past as you may want a designer to go beyond the basics and you want to avoid hiring someone underqualified for the tasks at hand. So note all of these tasks down to include in the description.

Company Culture

Since this designer would be directly involved in your business and work amongst your other employees, you will also want to consider your company culture. You might find the perfect designer (when it come to design work), but they conflict with your staff and cause more problems than they can solve.

Full-Time, Part-Time, Health Insurance, Oh My!

Okay, so there’s much more to this process than can go in a single article, but it’s still worth pointing out. If you’re hiring someone in-house, you now have to consider other employment questions. Are they full-time, part-time, salaried, hourly, benefits, etc.

businessman adjusting his tie

So before you go into this boat, definitely dig deep into what it entails.

Pros

Full control of creative work
Flexibility in tasks without additional costs
No time restrictions
Constant contact with designer

Cons

Higher Costs
More responsibilities on the company
Requires a hiring proceess
Company culture conflicts

Finding and Working with the Right Agency

Okay, so let’s say that directly hiring a designer seems a bit too complicated and you’re looking to make things simple. Or maybe you want help getting started or have bigger projects you want support with. That’s where a marketing or design agency can help.

Where to Look for a Design Agency

The first step to hiring a design agency is knowing where to look. Here are some places I would recommend first, but don’t feel restricted by these tactics. Be creative. You are looking for a design agency after all.

design agency staff

1. Start by Asking Your Friends, Family, or Co-Workers

When workin gwith a design agency, it’s good to know they are trust worthy. What better filter than asking someone you already know and trust if they’ve worked with an agency before. Start with those you talk to on a regular basis as their opinions will matter most.

If your closest connections fall short, try going to Facebook and LinkedIn and reaching out to your other connections. Even if they’re a distant cousin or former co-worker, it can help having a filter.

2. Go to Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Have no friends?—or at least ones who’ve worked with a design agency? Search local. When it comes to design agencies, it often helps of you can meet them in person to discuss all your problems thoroughly. So going online to your local Chamber of Commerce can help you find some local design agencies.

Now, all businesses are not registered with these Chambers, but it’s a good start. If you come up dry, however, simply google (or bing) “design agencies near me”. Reach out, set up a meeting, and see if you can work on something great.

3. Down the Rabbit Hole

Now, if you have no friends and the local design agencies are too busy (or don’t exist) there’s another option that will help. This time, don’t search “near me” in Google. Instead, search for “design agencies for [insert niche/industry here]”. What this will do is search for agencies who’ve specifically worked with other businesses in your industry. Which brings me to my next point.

How to Know You’ve Found the Right Agency

After you’ve found some agencies to look through (and I do recommend getting 5 to 10 options) next is deciding on the right one.

Know, Like, and Trust

The first thing I would recommend doing before going deeper is looking at their reviews. Don’t just go to their website and read their testimonials, go further. Search for reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp!. This can filter out the bad ones.

For the agencies still standing, I would next recommend getting to know the owner. If they’re a local agency, I would highly recommend grabbing a cup of coffee with them. If they’re too far for coffee, grab a virtual lunch with them. This can help you determine if you’ll be able to work together professionally.

Note

If you will have a point of contact between you and the owner, be sure they are on the call, too.

My Brand…

Now, you’ve gotten to know them through a mutual connection, like them from your in-person or virtual meeting, and trust them through reviews and testimonials. The next and final step is to make sure they can deliver on content that matches your brand.

Start by checking their portfolio work. Look for designs that look like what you’re looking for. If they don’t have any work that matches your work, as for a demo deck (similar to a sales deck, but for design purposes). See if they can make a couple example social posts, or other design features that match your brand. Nothing crazy, just simple.

You may need to pay for the demo deck, but it’s certainly better than hiring an agency on a monthly retainer and then discovering they don’t create the kind of content you’re looking for.

Pros

Less workload on your end
Likely multiple designers on staff
Experienced designers
Proven track records

Cons

Less control
Can be expensive
May not be local
Restricitions on workload

How to Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer

So, you don’t want the responsibility of hiring in-house. You also can’t afford to hire a design agency. What other options are there? Freelancers. There are a few ways to go about finding a freelancer that all have their stengths and weaknesses. Below are some options for you to consider.

Craigslist, LinkedIn, and Facebook

The first and easiest option to finding a graphic designer is to find one who’s actively looking for a gig. You can go to Craigslist.org and search for graphic designer under ‘Services’. Craigslist charges $5 per service post and so you’ll also be filtering out spam and getting those who are hungry. No luck on Craigslist? Search Facebook and LinkedIn for graphic designer and filter search to your local area.

Freelancer working with client

Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and UpWork

If you can’t find a local designer to work with, the next best path is to go where the designers are. Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and UpWork are freelancer marketplaces, each with their own benefits.

Fiverr tends to have low cost freelancers who often do one-off gigs for as low as $5. However, you can sometimes find higher quality designers on here from foreign countries where the dollar goes much further.

Freelancer.com allows you to run design contests. This can help filter out designers you’re not interested in and potentially get a great deal on a high-quality designer that you can reach out to do continual work iwth in the future.

UpWork has a bit of higher cost for freelancers, but in my opinion they are also higher-quality (on average) than the aforementioned platofrms.

One-Time Project, On-Going Work

Regardless of who you work with as a Freelancer, make it clear your intentions. If you’re looking for a single project, let them know. However, if you’re looking to continue a working relation with these freelancers, be sure to tell them that this new project will determine if you continue working together.

Pros

Lowest cost
Ability to hire one-time specialists
Easy to end working relationship
Many available options

Cons

Uncertainty in outcome
Requires contracts
Requires continuous communications
Conflicting workload with other clients of freelancer(s)

Moving Forward

Now that you have a plan to find a graphic designer, what’s next? I’m glad you asked. Here is a  I’ve been working on to help small business owners and entrepreneurs expand their reach and build brand awareness. 🤩 Click the link to download now and let me know what you think. If this article or the resource helps you or your business, feel free to leave me a review.

Also, if you have any questions about hiring a design agency (such as us 😁👍) or Content Marketingshoot me an email. I’d love to help! ❤

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