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How to outsource graphic design (and maximize efficiency)

Outsourcing is an efficient tool for businesses who are trying to serve their clients more efficiently by delegating certain tasks of the company to external parties who can do it better, faster and for cheaper. With the power of the internet, outsourcing has been much more attainable and it has built a vast number of business ecosystems around the world. Graphic design is one of those sectors in business, where if you aren’t quite sure about what you’re doing, it’s best to leave it to someone who does.

Now there are multiple ways to outsource digital design for your business. And all of them comes with their own pros and cons. To name a few, you could consult your local agencies, you could consult agencies in other countries working globally (such as Dive Graphics),  you could hire independent designers or you could hire someone from a freelance marketplace.

Now you must be wondering which one to go for and it depends on the stage of your business you’re currently in and the type of services you require. So let’s get to the details.

Local Agencies: If you’re operating in the first world countries, chances are you will find a wide range of local agencies that meet your requirements. The catch with local agencies in first world countries is that they can be quite expensive. And if you are a well-established company with a healthy cash flow looking for that boost for your branding, the local agency is the one to go for. To give you an idea, a logo design from a good agency in the US can start from USD $1500. If you believe your company’s image is heavily dependent on the cultural understanding of your local area, it might be best to go for a local agency. But if you require company themed generic content on a mass scale and you’re just starting off, and you understand that a good visual image for your company would be essential for your growth, the next option might be better more suitable.

International Agencies: Now there are companies who are operating from developing countries, who work with the same software and are completely capable of providing high-end services much like your local agencies, but due to lower cost of living, they are able to charge much less for their services. And this is the ideal solution to get your brand design done and manage content for your social media if you’re a startup or a small business trying to expand. The catch here is, you can’t have a personal meet up, although you can perform meetings through video/voice calls, if you’re someone who needs that face to face meetup to establish business connections, this might not be the best for you.

Independent Designers: Creatives have the tendency to step out of companies and starting their own personal brand to provide services by themselves. As they often feel like they are not able to fully use their potential while working in one company. As a result, there are a lot of independent graphic designers who are serving brands all over the world with their unique skill and style. If you are someone who prefers to work with one person for his individual talent instead of dealing with an entire team from an agency, this is the best option you can find out there. Independent designers such as myself, tend to become like a partner with the companies they work with. The ultimate benefit of this system is that you find someone with trial and errors that you fit in well with without spending too much and once you find someone, you can almost consider the designs for your small business or personal brand taken care off without costing an arm and a leg. While the possible con for this method is that independent designers are often heavily dependent on their unique style and have trouble getting out of it. So make sure you pick someone whose work you think fits well with your preferences, and once an understanding between you and the designer has been created, together you can always explore other styles of art.

Freelance Marketplaces: let’s talk about the option which promises the cheapest offers you can find. Freelance marketplaces. These are ideally websites with thousands of people registered from all around the world, fighting like vultures for the next client work. There are websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc. As soon as you post an advertisement for the service you need, you’ll be flooded with a wave of offers from freelancers. And the prices will start from as low as $3 – $5. The ultra saturated competition and the client biases of these websites force freelancers to operate in such a way. Needless to say, you can almost forget about getting quality work from these websites, unless you’re super lucky and happen to stumble upon one talented artist who’s struggling find work anywhere else. If you’re super short on your budget this is the ideal option for you.

At the end of the day, it comes down to which option fits YOUR needs the best. You could just decide to hire an in-house designer OR you could outsource the design work and use the same money to hire someone to help you develop a better product, or better management and customer relationships. Hiring someone full-time for your company means having more control over that section. So the ideal question to ask yourself would be “which part of the company do you want more control over?”

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