Freelance graphic designer
Choosing the most appropriate freelance graphic designer can be challenging. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the graphic designer for your business.
Creativity vs. Designs that sell
Graphic designers are of course, creative. It's in their blood. But sometimes, designs that are too creative can get in the way of your business objectives. The right graphic designer should understand your business and it's prospects/customers. For example, a designer might love bright vibrant colours in their designs, but if your brand is say, IT or recruitment, this may contradict the image you want to portray of your business (e.g. innovation and professionalism). It's key that your designer is creative, but with a focus of your business's brand and objectives first.
Marketing is most effective when customers and prospects see consistent messaging or branding in all sales and marketing materials: advertisements, flyers, brochures, business card. Literally everything. Today's most reconisable businesses have built valuable brands through consistency.
To achieve this consistency, it's key to use the same graphic designer for all sales and marketing materials produced. A designer that understands your brand and your business strategies will have the same goal to build your brand into a recognizable, and ultimately profitable business.
Ability to understand your brief/requirements
Brochure, flyer, new company logo, or product catalogues: whatever you need designed, your designer must understand what your needs are - to design something that is the most effective to achieve your goals. For example, is the goal of your new sales promotion flyer to attract more customers to your shop? If so, ensure your designer understands this. Essential elements to include in the brief to your graphic designer for every design job:
Your target audience/customers (e.g. females, aged over 30)
Your goals or objectives (e.g. 30 more customers to go to your shop in the next 2 weeks)
The brand of your business (e.g. innovative, fresh approach etc.)
Flexibility and Reliability
Unlike design agencies, which can take up to 12 weeks to produce an advertisement, a freelance graphic designer offers a much faster turnaround time (around 2 working days). With this in mind, your designer should be available for you quickly and responses to your emails/phones within 24 hours. Reliability is key.
Costs: Hourly Rate vs. Retainer
Another benefit of freelance graphic designers is the associated low overhead costs. These cost savings are often passed on to the client, allowing you to pay significantly less for design projects.
There are different ways of 'charge rates'. Depending on the demands of your business, you can choose to pay for a freelance graphic designer either by hour or with a regular retainer. For businesses where demand is irregular, opt for ad-hoc projects hourly rates (quotes will be provided based on how many hours the designer estimates the project will take). For businesses where you regularly produce sales or marketing materials, agree on a monthly retainer package. Monthly retainers include an agreed number of hours of design work at a lower hourly cost. This often enables cost savings in the long term, as they charge out a lower hourly costs for regular work.