Whether you’re a solopreneur, a digital agency, or an established company with a busy marketing department, you can achieve better productivity and more professional results when you outsource graphic designers.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- 5 reasons to outsource graphic design
- Who should outsource graphic design
- Deciding what design projects to outsource
- Finding qualified freelancers for your project
Time is money, so let’s jump right in! Here are the top five reasons why you should outsource graphic designers – today.
1. Time and cost savings
No matter where you are in the process of creating good business – time is your most valuable asset. Fast-growing companies have recognized this, and have mastered the art of scaling through delegation.
As a business owner or manager, your goal should be to minimize distractions so you can focus on high-value work – the things that boost the company’s bottom line. Whether your company has one employee, or one thousand, the same will be true for you.
Here’s why delegating design work to freelancers is often more cost-effective than hiring an in-house graphic designer:
- You won’t have to worry about employee expenses like a full-time salary (which, according to PayScale, is £23,189 for a graphic designer in the UK), benefits, or paid time off. You’ll also avoid the costs of hiring, onboarding, and training a new employee.
- You’ll avoid the monthly overhead of paid subscriptions to the latest graphic design tools and technology, as well as the ongoing expense of office space.
- You won’t be limited to working with designers in similiar geographical locations to you. Outsource graphic designers who can do the best for your business, no matter where they are in the world!
2. Higher-quality design
Graphic design isn’t one-size-fits-all.
For example, imagine you’re creating a landing page for a newly released product. Not only does it need an appealing, on-brand design, but it also needs to be optimized for conversions.
This includes strategic placement of images and copy, as well as eye-catching calls to action. You’ll also need multiple versions of the design elements so you can A/B test different images and calls to action and identify the top performers.
In this scenario, your best bet at getting a high-functioning landing page would be to hire a freelancer who specializes in modern landing page design. An experienced web designer could also have access to a network of other specialists you could tap into: web developers, conversion copywriters, SEO experts – or, you could check out Twine for any of these roles!
Outsourcing this way means that your landing page won’t just look impressive, but also generate sales. You could create your very own roster of freelance specialists, who you call on for different types of design work. This means you won’t have to limit yourself to the same resources for each new project! And as an added bonus, issues you didn’t consider such as grammar mistakes won’t be a problem you have to handle — you won’t have to use a grammar checker or similar software to make sure everything looks great.
3. Flexibility and convenience
Let’s face it – stakes are high when hiring in-house staff.
The recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding process can be costly, along with drawn-out training periods. And, even after all that, sometimes a new hire just doesn’t work out.
When you outsource graphic designers, on the other hand, you give yourself the freedom to quickly and inexpensively try out different candidates. That way, if a freelancer doesn’t work out, cutting ties is a lot faster and much less awkward.
Plus, in terms of onboarding and training, experienced freelancers tend to be low maintenance compared to employees. A freelancer will already have established their own systems and processes, meaning they already possess the tools that are necessary for completing the job efficiently.
For you as the client, this eliminates the cost and hassle of managing the project internally.
Outsourcing also allows you to respond flexibly to the current workload: simply adding or removing freelancers as design projects begin or end. You no longer have to worry about keeping staff busy when there’s not enough work to do, or overworking your employees when there’s a large project with a tight deadline…
4. Faster turnaround times
Hiring freelancers is one of the easiest ways to eliminate bottlenecks in your business.
Whereas an employee often has to juggle many different responsibilities; a freelancer can focus on the project at hand, and a whole team of freelancers can turn around a large-scale project in a short timeframe.
Experienced freelancers know how long it takes them to complete a project. And, because their success and financial security depend on their reputation, they’re less likely to miss deadlines.
All of this makes long-term planning easier and ensures that projects get done on time.
5. Simplified budgeting
This is one of the bigger benefits when you outsource graphic designers…
Unlike employees, who earn hourly rates, it’s common for freelancers to charge a fixed price for graphic design work.
As the client in this type of arrangement, you can plan projects in advance and consistently come in under budget, because you know upfront what the work will cost. No more promotions, overtime, or holiday pay – your cost is simplified and in a format that’s much more manageable for quick projects.
Here are some fixed-rate pricing arrangements to consider when working with freelance graphic designers:
- Project based. This straightforward pricing structure is ideal for small, well-defined projects, such as a logo or brochure design.
- Retainer. If you need ongoing graphic design work done and you’ve found a great freelancer who you want to work with long term, consider entering into a retainer agreement.
This is a contract, often recurring, that guarantees the freelancer will be available for a certain amount of work (for example, 25 hours per month) at a pre-set rate. Retainers are paid upfront to secure, or “retain,” the freelancer’s availability for that month.
A retainer arrangement is kind of like having a freelance graphic designer on call – it’s the closest you can get to hiring an in-house employee, minus the hassle! An added benefit to this type of recurring contract is that you can often negotiate a bulk discount…
- Packages. Similar to software companies, which typically offer three or four different pricing plans, some freelance graphic designers productize their services by offering “packages” – a predetermined set of deliverables, usually selected with a specific goal in mind.
For instance, a book designer might offer a book marketing package that includes a cover design along with various types of marketing collateral.
This pricing structure eliminates the hassle of hourly pricing while guaranteeing a set of closely related deliverables.
It might look similar to the retainer structure above; however, package-based pricing doesn’t have to be recurring, as retainers usually are. Also, the freelancer typically designs the packages in advance (think items on a menu), though many freelancers are happy to customize their packages based on a client’s needs.
Who should outsource graphic design?
With the increasing rate of online businesses, the need for graphic designers is increasing drastically. Every business needs a designer to create aesthetic visuals to make things appealing for visitors and customers.
Whether you are starting an online store or a blog, creating featured images and product images on your own will take most of your time. However, if you outsource it to a freelance graphic designer, your work will become seamless and save you a lot of time.
Businesses of all sizes and types can benefit from outsourcing graphic design. For example:
- Digital agencies. Marketing and advertising agencies can streamline operations by passing off ongoing design work.
- Small businesses and solopreneurs. Sure, there are DIY-graphic design tools abound, but it’s time-consuming to produce your own designs, and sometimes the result comes off looking amateur. Many freelance graphic designers work primarily with small business clients and offer affordable rates for one-off projects.
- Marketing departments and in-house design teams. Although your team may have things well in hand most of the time, sometimes it still makes sense to outsource – especially when your team has a surplus of work or a project that requires special expertise.
Types of projects to outsource graphic designers for:
The easiest way to start outsourcing graphic design is to choose a few projects where the scope is clearly defined and the work can be billed at a fixed rate, and then create a creative brief outlining the objectives of your campaign.
Here are just a few ideas of projects you can outsource:
- Brand assets, i.e. logos
- Custom graphics for your website
- Landing pages
- Facebook ads
- Social media graphics
- Lead magnets, i.e. white papers or ebooks
- Print collateral
- Magazine advertisements
- Business cards and letterheads
- Reports and presentations
- Email newsletters
- Product packaging
To further identify what work you should delegate, business strategist and author Jenny Blake recommends businesses audit their workload using the 6 T’s:
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How to get started outsourcing graphic design
Got a graphic design project you want to take off your plate?
Post your job for free, and only pay when you find the right freelancer for your project. Twine will even help you write your project brief.
With other freelance marketplaces, the sheer number of pitches you receive – most of them low-quality – is overwhelming and time-consuming to sort through.
At Twine, freelancers are handpicked and each pitch is vetted before it’s sent to you (for example, ensuring that the freelancer has work samples that are relevant to your project) so you only receive pitches from the most experienced freelancers!
Alternately, you can browse graphic designer portfolios and choose a freelancer to start working on your project today.