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When It’s Time to Outsource Your Creative Work

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So, this may come as a shock to you, but you are in fact, human. I know that may be tough to hear if you’re a small business owner or nonprofit founder. Oftentimes, you have to do a lot; be a jack of all trades. The problem with that is that you are a jack of all trades and a master of none. You also want the best for your organization and those it helps, so when you start thinking that it may be time to outsource some work, here’s how you can approach it. There’s never any shame in calling in a professional to get the job done. 

Sometimes, you’ll actually save money in the long run instead of doing it yourself!

Outsourcing Creative Work Basics

In the design world, there are usually two types of outsourcing:

  • Occasional outsourcing where you hire someone to help with a certain project or task
  • Consistent outsourcing where all of a specific service or job is done outside of your core team (hiring a graphic design freelancer to create your social media graphics)

Outsourcing Pros and Cons

Of course, with any decision, there are pros and cons. With outsourcing creative work, I think the good outweighs the bad here, but let’s put everything on the table, shall we?

Affordable option for smaller projects; great option for repetitive tasks like developing social media contentGetting into the project management flow can take time
Expand your offerings with additional talent, expertise, and resourcesChecking in on freelancers that aren’t housed in the same building as you (this is where project management software can bridge the gap)
Scale your organization or social enterprise at your paceGetting in the habit of developing timelines, deadlines, and contracts can be time consuming at the start (templates help a lot)
Save more time and meet deadlines fasterConsistent quality of work (having a specific brand guide will help designers stay on track)
Allows you to focus on other projects that your organization can tackle

When Should You Outsource Creative Work?

There’s many situations where you may need to outsource your creative work, but here are just a few:

  • You need to juggle small or repetitive tasks and would like to get that time back; like hiring a social media manager to post and manage your profiles or hiring a blog writer each month
  • When you need expertise you don’t have, such as creating a logo when branding isn’t your strong suit
  • When the work isn’t enough to sustain a full-time position, but too much for your team’s capabilities
  • To try out a potential new hire: pay them for small tasks at first, then evaluate if they would be a good fit for your team for a full-time position at your organization
  • During times of growth, when you are struggling to make deadlines, but are still looking to take on more projects
  • When you need something done quickly and efficiently

Bonus Tips to Successfully Outsource Creative Work

Just a few final things to keep in mind if you decide to hire some help:

  • Start with a project outline with goals, timelines, expectations, and deliverables
  • Set a reasonable budget and discuss with the freelancer beforehand
  • Use a tool that helps track deadlines and progress (I use Asana)
  • Be patient with the freelancer in the first few stages of the work. You know the organization best, while the freelancer is still getting into the swing of things
  • Provide constructive feedback throughout the stages of the project
  • Create a process that can be used as a template for each project
  • Keep communication open and friendly with your freelancer and they will return the favor

Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out whether it’s the right time to outsource your organization’s creative work. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help. Your organization already does amazing things, so there’s never anything wrong with asking for a little help, especially when it will benefit your nonprofit.

If you’re ever looking for a designer or content creator for your nonprofit or social enterprise, then let’s talk! I’m always open to chat and hear about how you’re making the world a better place. 

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