If you’re commissioning an artist for the first time, partnering with a new graphic designer, or requesting written content, you may want to have some tips handy that can make the process smoother for everyone involved. Let’s discuss how you should evaluate potential creative professionals long before starting your project.
Carefully Choose Your Creative Collaborator
Long before starting your project, you’ll want to start searching for creative people who would particularly enjoy and conquer your creative tasks. You might find them anywhere: your circle of family members and friends, social media platforms, or sites like Upwork or Indeed dedicated to connecting you with freelancers or other types of job seekers. To find even more options, you can select an agency on similar listing sites.
Sure, there are plenty of artists and designers with great portfolios. They have the technical skills to complete your request, but how many are right for you?
The latter question is incredibly difficult for most individuals and companies. It requires them to investigate less concrete requirements than skills or qualifications. For some ideas about how to answer it, ask some additional questions:
Do their values align with mine?
If possible, meet your collaborator in person or through an online call to understand their personality and motivators. Find someone you can trust and who you feel comfortable working with — someone who shares your vision for the company and who is willing to work hard to help you achieve your goals.
Initial consultations and discovery calls like those at Laurelow are often free, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
How many years have they been in business?
Creatives like our team members who have several years — or, in other cases, even decades — of experience will have learned to master their workflows and boost productivity. They know the ins and outs of industry-standard software and have overcome many difficulties that newer designers may not even know exist.
However, creative professionals often begin their careers with few preconceived notions or expectations, which leads them to present more fresh, innovative perspectives. They also have great potential to grow along with you and/or your company if you work together on more than one project.
So, which type of person would be a better fit for your business? Only you and your team can decide.
What type of organization — if any — do they belong to?
In other words, are they a freelancer? Do they belong to a studio, agency, or something else — and what’s the difference?
- Freelancers are typically individual people who handle every project on their own. They tend to offer a specific type of work, causing business owners to look for several freelancers to meet all of their requirements.
- The word studio has a more varied meaning across the realms of art and design. It may refer to the often-collaborative workspace of an individual fine artist, but also a small team of digital creatives and/or technical marketers who almost always serve a particular niche. With its art, design, and marketing services in addition to a dedicated team member just for quality assurance, Laurelow merges the two for the maximum impact that most small service-based businesses can find from a studio.
- Much of the work a design or marketing agency would do overlaps with that of a similarly-categorized studio. Although they are often the most expensive, they frequently but not always offer a very comprehensive set of services from their large (often 10-person or more) in-house teams to businesses of any size or type.
- Other, more varied terms used to describe creative and/or marketing businesses include consultants or consultancies (these often provide more advisory services than production), creative/marketing groups, and creative/marketing firms.
- You might even hire an in-house job seeker to permanently join your own company.
Smaller groups can more easily maintain focus and efficiency, while large companies such as agencies provide a wider range of input from many professionals.
Does their art, design, or writing style match what I’m looking for?
It may be tempting to commission a comic-style drawing from an artist who has exclusively demonstrated their skills in realistic, proportional art. After all, they’re well-versed in the most important artistic foundations, so why not hire them to simplify and exaggerate a few features?
Since comic book art is a specialty of its own, it is most efficiently and passionately made by the people who create and interact with it daily.
The same concept applies to nearly any kind of creative work you’re looking for; always consider the style they’ve excelled in achieving and how it may have evolved over time.
Are you their target audience?
First, do they run a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) practice?
Second, do they specialize in working with people just like you? Laurelow is a B2B company targeting businesses in the service sector — more specifically, in the industries of:
- Retail: fashion and home goods
- Real estate sales and management: real estate brokers, mortgage lenders, and property managers
- Travel accommodations: boutique hotels and resorts
- Casual and fine dining services: restaurants and caterers
Other studios — as well as freelancers, agencies, and more — may choose a much broader or more specialized client base.
Are they getting results?
Ask your potential creative partner about the metrics they’ve helped to improve and their measurement processes, whether these relate to leads, search engine optimization, click-through rates, online reviews, or other examples of customer interest and retention.
Will they help me mitigate risk?
Hiring someone to take over your creative work may be risky, especially if you own a business with several employees to pay and customers to please. After all, that one decision could lead to the upsurge or downfall of your company.
So, what is a business leader to do? Search for someone who guarantees their results and promises to act responsibly if those results are not achieved.
Whether it’s a full refund within any span of time, a free trial, or another type of financial assurance, most reputable companies grant clients or customers some sort of guarantee if things don’t work out.
That’s why our team offers a full money-back guarantee within 30 days of any client’s first purchase. If — for any reason — they are unhappy with what they’ve received at this point, clients can choose to cancel any future work with our art & marketing studio and get a full refund.
Determine If Laurelow Can Meet Your Needs
We welcome you to speak with us to determine whether we are the best option for you. Even if what we provide wouldn’t be the best fit, we’re still willing to help you find a freelancer, studio, or agency with offerings that are.