The Do’s and Don’ts of Hiring Freelance Branding Personnel for your Project
Think of popular brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Apple. What comes to your mind first when you think of them? Maybe it’s their logo. Or their slogan. Perhaps you remember their commercials or their social media videos. Whatever it is, you can instantly remember something about them. Do you know why? It’s the power of their branding. In this saturated world where brands are constantly fighting for attention, strong branding is crucial if you want your brand to be memorable. This is why businesses spend so much time and money to perfect their branding.But what if you don’t have the resources to do so? One thing you can do is to outsource your branding projects to a freelance branding personnel.
A professional freelance designer or branding expert can help you create a powerful brand identity. However, not all freelancers are created equal. In this article, we listed down the best practices to keep in mind when hiring one.
Do’s of Hiring Freelance Branding Personnel
- Have Clear Goals and Objectives
Having clear goals and expectations is key when hiring freelance branding personnel. If you don’t know yourself what you really want, how would others know?
Ask yourself the following questions: What kind of image do I want my brand to be known for? Do I want to be seen as friendly and approachable, professional and knowledgeable, or cute and charming? What values do I stand for? What kind of problems can my products solve? Who is my target audience? Do I just want a logo for now, or do I want a long-term marketing strategy?
Knowing all of this will help you create a clear direction for your brand. From here, you can create a detailed project brief with specific deliverables and outcomes that will help freelance branding personnel understand your vision more effectively.
- Check Portfolio and Reviews
Make sure to review your freelancer’s portfolio to see if their skills and expertise are a great fit for your vision. For example, if you need a minimalist-inspired logo, choose a freelance branding personnel who has experience in creating that logo style.
You should also check their previous client’s testimonials and reviews. This will give you an insight into their work ethic and professionalism. Ideally, your freelancer should be someone who meets deadlines, can communicate efficiently, and is open to ideas and feedback.
- Prioritize the most important task
When people think of branding, they usually think of a logo first. And that is correct. Logo is the most important visual asset your business should have. It’s your main identifier – a visual image that your customers will instantly associate with you. It will also be placed on all your marketing materials, from your website to your signage to your business card.
If you’re hiring for a branding project, make sure to prioritize your logo creation first. Once you’re done with that, you can then move on to your color palette, typography, packaging, and other materials.
This also helps in making your freelancer focus and do their best work on one task instead of overloading them with multiple tasks at the same time.
- Have Realistic Expectations
As a business owner, you want the best for your business. However, you need to have realistic expectations and timelines.
What do we mean by this? First, you are probably hiring one freelancer, not a whole design agency. Designing or crafting a marketing strategy takes a lot of time and research. Don’t expect to get a high-quality logo or a marketing plan in just an hour.
Set reasonable deadlines as well. If a project is difficult and time-consuming, make sure your freelancer has enough time to do it.
Be sensible with your budget as well. If you are paying extremely low, odds are the results will be low-quality as well. If you want to have great branding, you need to pay reasonably for an experienced designer.
- Agree on Payments and Terms at the start
Speaking of payment, you need to settle this before you start working with your freelancer. Create a contract that specifies the project deliverables, payment terms, payment methods, deadlines, if they are okay with revisions, and any other relevant details. This contract will protect both parties and serve as a reference throughout the project (in case things go wrong).
Don’ts of Hiring Freelancers
Micromanage your Freelance Branding Personnel
Micromanagement stifles creativity and breeds resentment and distrust between you and your freelancer. You are hiring a branding expert, you should trust them that they can do their job. Of course, you can (and should!) check in from time to time to see if they are still aligned with your vision and timeline. But don’t micromanage every second.
- Settle for the cheapest one
As we mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for. Experienced designers and marketers are more expensive since you are paying for all their skills and knowledge. If you want great results, it’s better to pay for a quality freelancer. This is because they’ll be able to create branding assets that are in line with your vision and are engaging for your target audience. Don’t be surprised if you settle for the cheapest freelancer available and get a subpar logo.
- Underestimate the power of communication
Clear and constant communication is key to a harmonious working relationship. Make sure that you are reachable in the event that your freelancer has a question or if they want to get your feedback.
Speaking of feedback, you’ll also need to provide clear and constructive feedback. Don’t just say that you dislike the output. Clearly state your reasons. Is the color darker than what you want? Should they use a different art style? Do you prefer a thinner font? And so on.
Specific feedback can help freelancers understand your expectations and vision. From there, they can revise their work accordingly.
Communication should also be clear right from when you are hiring your freelancers, not just when you are already working with them. Make sure to clearly state what you want to see from the project and what your expected results are.
- Rush the process
Hiring takes a long time. This is even more true when hiring a freelancer.
Don’t settle for the first one that you see. Thoroughly vet their portfolio, profile, and reviews. Great branding will only come if you find the freelancer who is the perfect fit for your creative vision.
Going the DIY route
While hiring qualified and experienced freelancers is indeed great, you might also want to consider going the DIY route to create your branding.
There are many available tools online that you can use to create your branding assets yourself. Some examples are customizable logo template, color palette creator, brand kit creator, business name generator, and background remover.
These tools are great since they are usually free or come in low-cost subscriptions. It’s also the cheapest option since you’ll be doing it yourself instead of paying a professional. However, keep in mind that the success of the end product will have to depend on your editing skills or the quality of the tool.
Why is Branding Important?
Branding is a powerful tool. It’s what makes popular brands popular, and what sets them apart from mediocre businesses.
Don’t believe us? One of the famous brand strategy examples would be Coca-Cola vs Pepsi. Pepsi is found to be people’s preference when doing a blind taste test. But why does Coca-Cola outsell them?
The answer is because of branding. Coca-Cola invests a lot of effort in its branding so that its drink is associated with fun, family, friendship, and other positive feelings. Their font and red color scheme are also everywhere. It’s impossible to not have their drink at the top of your mind. The result? They sell more.
Startups and small businesses don’t have the resources or the big bucks to hire a branding expert, unlike Coca-Cola.
But don’t worry as you can find a quality and experienced freelancer to help you get started on your branding. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be able to find a freelancer that can help set the foundation for your business.