5 Ways to Maximize Your Graphic Design Dollar

Brain_only.pngSo you’ve got a project to do. And if you have a creative staff, they might be maxed out. Or if you don’t you need one to get the job done.

More to the point, you need the job done well… and right… the first time. Here are 5 things that you can do to get the most out of your freelancing dollar.

  1. Get a clear idea of what you want. Before calling up your freelancer, spend a little time brainstorming what you’re going to ask that freelancer to do. You don’t have to design the thing yourself, just get a clear picture of what you don’t want and a general idea of what you do want. Your freelancer can help you perfect your vision and bring it to fruition, but if you go to them with a vague notion of what you want, you’re going to be paying that freelancer a lot of extra hours whittling away at ideas you could have eliminated on your own. 
  2. Put together a budget for your project. Some graphic designers, like Wrightbrain Design, can work with you within your budget’s limitations. However, you have to know what that is first. Otherwise, your freelancer may be reluctant (or unable) to negotiate a per-project price. Keep in mind that if your project needs to be printed, then you will need to take that into account as well. Your freelance graphic designer will be more successful negotiating with their print vendor(s) if they know what you are and are not willing to spend.
  3. Determine a deadline. Deadlines sound scary, but really they are our friend. A good deadline can not only help move the project forward, but also reminds everyone to maximize their time management and decision making. Projects without deadlines tend to take longer, and that always translates into more freelancing dollars spent.
  4. Have a proof-reading plan. Proof-reading assures quality, and there are few things more expensive than having to re-publish something because it wasn’t correct the first time around. Have at least 2 people in your company ready to proof every revision that the freelancer sends you.
  5. Communication! Vague notes, and delayed responses translate into bigger invoices. So be prepared to:
  • Be very honest about how you feel about the project. If you don’t like something, say so. If you don’t you’ll be unhappy with the end result and feel like you’ve wasted your time and money.
  • Be diplomatic. Honesty is extremely important, but don’t hit below the belt to make your point. No one wants to work for a bully.
  • Respond promptly. Delayed responses have a tendency to move projects to the back-burner. Also, the longer the response time, the more time your freelancer has to refresh his/her memory about the project.
  • If you don’t get a response right away, follow up. Life happens, and sometimes emails either get lost, or your freelancer just hasn’t had access for some reason or another. So call and follow up if the emails don’t seem to be getting through.
  • If after 5 emails your freelancer isn’t understanding what you mean, or you’re not understanding them, pick up the phone. Email is convenient, and allows for flexibility in the schedule, but sometimes a verbal conversation is more efficient and effective means of getting your point across.

Keep these 5 points in mind and you’ll get the maximum bang for your freelancing buck!