You lead or work as a member of an in-house creative team. Business is good. You definitely see the need for help in the near future. So, what do you do next?
Actually, you have many options. But they’re not all equal. For example, you could hire an advertising or marketing agency. But that may be prohibitively expensive, you may not be ready for the long-term “relationship” an agency usually desires, and start up times are usually slow.
Or you could go the route of a temp agency, which is also expensive because of the “middleman” factor. And there’s no guarantee you’ll get the quality creative talent you need.
Staff up? That makes sense if you expect business to continue to stay strong and you can find good people. You might even get lucky and find a superstar without high salary demands. But the interview process is a long and uncertain road, and hiring people means paying them benefits and making sure they’re a cultural fit within your organization.
The good news is, you still have two other viable options: Crowdsourcing. And hiring a trusted freelancer. Full disclosure: this author participates in both options.
Crowdsourcing is cool because it exposes your projects to a cornucopia of brilliant, but strategically different minds. You might be very surprised at what ideas turn up, often better and more imaginative than you expected.
Something else you’ll appreciate is that crowdsourcing companies are used to creating minor miracles with set budgets. If you like options, need a fast turn, and have limited resources, it can be a really good way to go.
Or, another strategy for your in-house team is to develop a relationship with a trusted freelancer (or two). Yes, there are a lot of freelancers out there, and you may have to kiss a few frogs along the way, but start the process now. Then, when you find one you trust, that person who “gets” your culture, brings unexpected solutions, and delivers on time, hang on for dear life!
Once a relationship has been established and a freelancer enjoys working for you, it will be hard for them to say “no” to you—even if they’re really, really busy. They may even begin to think proactively for you—often at no additional charge! And if your need for talent suddenly slows, the freelancer won’t be offended. Their business world ebbs and flows just like yours.
The same goes for the crowdsourcing option. You’re probably unfamiliar with that option, so look for a way to do a pilot test to sample the approach and outcome on a low-risk challenge. Then you can decide whether you want to dive into those waters on a bigger project.
So, how’s business? If the future looks bright, now is the time to start reaching out—to both crowdsourcing companies and soon-to-be-trusted freelancers.
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