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5 signs you should hire creative help

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Why hiring a web developer, copywriter, or SEO expert at the right time can make you money 

When it comes to business, it doesn’t always pay to do it yourself. 

If you are a small business owner who is dealing with burnout, stress, and the feeling that you are always behind on your to-do list, you may recognize some familiar scenarios in the list below. And that means it is time for you to look at the benefits of hiring talented freelancers or employees to help lighten your workload. 

These red flags are signs that you need help, plus I will share my top tips for hiring creatives from graphic designers to branding experts. 

  1. Money-making items are sitting on your to-do list for more than two months. 

We all get busy. But if you have items that you know will create income not getting done for more than 60 days, your business is not operating at its full potential. 

  1. You procrastinate with the tasks you hate doing. 

If you can’t stand design work, trying to do it yourself is going to take forever and leave you drained of the energy needed to manage other important parts of your business. 

You will be happier and have more enthusiasm when you can focus on the parts of your business where you shine. Plus, a professional graphic designer will bring a fresh perspective and may improve the look of your designs. 

  1. You are losing money by not hiring. 

If you are missing out on opportunities or failing your clients because you are overwhelmed with managing every part of your business, it’s time to hire someone. 

Are you focusing on the urgent tasks because you are avoiding some of the difficult big-picture issues?  A real look at the potential money you can earn with a hire and your entire perspective may change. 

  1. Your business is generating more work than you can keep up with. 

Congratulations! You have a strong business model and are in demand. Now you need to keep that momentum going. By hiring someone to help, you ensure the needs of your clients are met and you can focus on the big picture — the important work of running your company. 

  1. You never have any time off. 

I really mean that no one can do it all. When you are working through dinners, time with your family, and even when you are supposed to be on vacation, burnout is sure to follow. 

At some point, you will need help to take your business to the next level. Don’t worry, every successful person in the world has been helped by others to get where they are. 

The key is finding the right people to hire. And how do you achieve that? Read below for my quick tips for hiring creatives.

Where to start hiring

Hiring full-time employees is not your only option. Consider working with a freelancer for a few hours a week to find out what works best for your needs. 

You may be able to develop a job description through this experience or even find someone who you want to make a more permanent part of your business with a full-time hire. 

Types of freelancers

Copywriters

A good copywriter can help shape your brand and speak to your potential clients. They can grab attention, direct visitors to your website, and drive behaviors. 

    • Typical projects: Speciality landing pages, website copy, sales letters, and emails.  
  • What to ask: It’s good to ask what kinds of projects a writer has completed that are similar to what you need. Ask for writing samples so you can see how well their style matches up with your expectations. Many writers will complete a trial article or test document for compensation so you can judge their writing style.  
    • How to work with: Be clear about what you expect including your deadlines, word count if you expect the work to be posted to your website. Provide a style guide or relevant examples if you have them. You may prefer to work on a project-to-project basis, others may prefer to have 5-10 hours a week. Just make sure you clearly communicate what you need. 
  • Reality: If you are hoping to have two copywriters, hire five on a trial basis so that you can avoid missing deadlines, flakiness, and writing styles that don’t match samples. 
  • Rates: $25-$80 per hour on average

Web developers

Having a website that functions well and does what you want it to do is important if you want to have a successful business. 

    • Typical projects: Developing websites, web-based databases, interactive maps, and apps. 
  • What to ask: Make sure to do some research so you know exactly what you are looking for, then ask to make sure the developer has skills in that area. The skills that are needed to create an online store are different than those needed for your organization’s mobile app. Make sure you see examples of past work and request references so you can talk with someone who has been in your shoes. 
  • How to work with: One of the most important aspects of working with a web developer is being as clear and thorough as possible when you are outlining the scope of work you need. Do not assume that something will function in a specific way if you have not made it clear. Make sure you take the time before hiring someone to work on your website. 
    • Reality: Hiring a web developer can be pricey, so make sure the person you hire has the level of skill to meet your needs, but not much beyond. Clear communication and asking a lot of questions will help ensure that the project is efficient.  
  • Rate: $75-180 per hour on average 

Virtual Assistants 

If you need general assistance from writing to office-related tasks, a virtual assistant maybe your best option. 

  • Typical projects: Handling routine clerical work, email and calendar management, scheduling, and database management. Some VAs could have specialized skills in areas like marketing or sales to take on additional projects.  
  • What to ask: Does this freelancer have experience in the tasks you need? Is he/she willing to learn? Because a virtual assistant may be helping you with a variety of projects, make sure you find out if your candidate is flexible and can follow directions. Ask for references if you want to find out what it is like to work closely with them. 
  • How to work with: Communication is key. If you need someone who makes your life easier, make sure you set up clear expectations and let the freelancer know what kind of software they may need and what kind of jobs to expect. 
  • Reality: Make sure you ask for regular updates and have protections in place if your VA will see sensitive material. 
  • Rate: $10-$40 per hour on average 

Social Media Managers

For this role, you are looking for a dynamic individual who stays up to date with trends and is open to learning on the job. The right SMM can strategically engage your audience and drive more visitors to your website. 

  • Typical projects: Creating content that is specific to various platforms, monitoring engagement, and listening. SMM will often manage campaigns with specific metrics in place. Videos, posts, photography, stories, events, and links should all be part of a vibrant social media strategy. 
  • What to ask: Find out what kind of content your SMM has experience with. Some will be skilled at Facebook videos, while others excel at Instagram stories. It’s important that you hire someone who is well rounded, but whose strongest skills match your needs. They also need to be able to capture your brand in a few words and visually.   
  • How to Work With: My advice is to build trust with someone so they can develop a strategy that matches your business needs and be ready to shift gears when needed. You are looking for someone who is creative and strategic thinking, and you want them to take ownership of how your brand is portrayed on various platforms. This person can also give you great insight into what is being said about your brand. Likely you will be hiring by campaign or for a set number of hours per week. 
  • Reality: A lot of people think because they use social media personally that they are experts. In reality, there is a lot of strategic thinking and analysis that goes into this role. Take your time choosing someone who is knowledgeable, follows trends, and thinks about the big picture. 
  • Rate: $15-$80 on average per hour 

Graphic Designers

Having a skilled graphic designer can really make a difference for your business. You want your visual identity to be professional and communicate your brand personality. 

  • Typical projects: Digital and print projects including ads, publications, email headers, website graphics, apparel design, and more. 
  • What to ask: It’s important that your designer knows how to work with clients. When you are talking about images and graphics, miscommunications happen. Find someone you are comfortable giving feedback to and who doesn’t mind taking the time to learn about your needs. 
  • How to work with: Provide a style guide or relevant examples if possible and don’t be afraid to give feedback. 
  • Reality: There are many options for graphic design. Take your time exploring your options so that you get professional results. Checking a portfolio and references is important. 
  • Rate: $25-$150 per hour 

SEO-Local or ECommerce Consultant 

    • Projects: Optimize your SEO to attract more traffic from local searches or expand your online business. 
    • What to ask: It’s important to ask about their approach and strategy, but also to find out the type of results they may have gotten for other clients. Ask for referrals and find out what they are like to work with and the results they have gotten in the past. 
    • How to work with: Be clear about your expectations and what type of return you are hoping to see. 
  • Reality: Check references to find out how effective this person has been in working with other small businesses. 
  • Rate: $35-$100

Branding manager 

What to ask: Make sure you understand their approach and what value they will bring to your company. 

Projects: Develop a branding style guide, brand strategy, website or social media audit, create on-brand copy for a variety of uses, conduct market research, review client data, public relations 

How to work with: A brand manager should be very interested in getting an in-depth understanding of your business. Find someone that you can trust to pull together your vision into a cohesive picture. 

Price range: $50-$175 per hour on average. 

Where to start your search

 

The options for finding freelancers are plentiful. A quick Google search will tell you that. But you want someone who will care about your business and want to partner with you to take it to the next level. 

 

And you want someone who brings the specialized skills that will most benefit your needs. The chart below is easy to follow and will get you started looking for the best freelancers. 

 

What is it?

Good for finding 

Strengths

Weaknesses 

Upwork 

Global platform for freelancers where clients post available projects or long-term work and freelancers bid with a proposal. 

Copywriters, social media marketers, graphic design and web development 

Easy to use, a lot of freelancers (over 12 million registered), requires that freelancers are verified, provides resources on finding best freelancers

Regular fees for using the service, you may have to sift through many freelancers to find a fit. 

Fiverr

Worldwide service allowing you to browse gig categories and find freelancers who fit your needs. 

Graphic design, voice over or translation services. 

Fiverr has some uniquely skilled freelancers and is known for having cheap design work. 

There is not as much of a verification process. 

Popular blogs,  publications, etc. 

There are millions of blogs, websites and online publications filled with creative work. Why not try to connect?

Copywriters, bloggers, journalists 

Many writers will be willing to work on a freelance basis. You can usually reach them easily through their website or social media. 

Maybe be difficult to connect and the cost may be higher for someone who is already accomplished. 

FB Groups 

There are many Facebook groups for freelancers that you could join. 

Social media marketers, copywriters, designers

There are no fees and you will often find people who are passionate about learning in their field. 

The downside is you have to figure out contracts, payment, communication without a platform to provide those things. 

Design Pickle 

This startup provides unlimited design services on demand for a monthly fee. 

Graphic designers 

Very affordable with different packages to fit various needs. You are working with a company so you can expect to get quality, consistent work. 

The portal can be tricky to use for some users. If you don’t have consistent design needs, you may be better off hiring a freelancer per project.  

99 Designs 

Australian-based freelancer platform where you run design contests for projects.  

Graphic designers 

You get quality work from skilled designers. 

It can be pricey and the process lengthy compared to other options. 

Networking /

Recommendations from other small business owners.  

If you know other small business owners, ask who they have hired that has done quality work. 

Any type of freelancer 

You can’t beat a referral from someone you trust. Ask questions to learn more about potential freelancers. 

This may be a less efficient way of finding help, so you will need to be patient. 

LinkedIn Pro 

You may be able to find quality freelancers using LinkedIn Pro. If someone has experience in the kind of work you need, you can reach out and make the offer. 

Any type of freelancer

This platform gives you a good sense of what someone’s professional experience is. 

It may take more time to find the right fit or someone who is open to freelance work. 

Freedom Makers

California-based business that lets military spouses work remotely from anywhere in the world. 

Virtual assistant, social media manager,  workflow systems 

Geared toward small business, they offer helpful resources like a task audit so you can assess your needs. Freelancers are skilled and hiring is flexible based on your needs. 

May be more expensive than other options. 

 

Now that you know where to look for your next freelancer, are you ready to start hiring? 

If you are ready and want to hire the best freelancers who will help grow your business, click link below.

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