When you’re a growing business or agency, you have to juggle many responsibilities and priorities.
Attracting new customers is typically priority number one.
But most new WordPress LMS focused agencies lack the budget, time, resources, and energy to do everything they’d like to do. So they are forced to prioritize where to use the limited resources available. This often results in the makeshift staff being forced to wear many hats and take up various responsibilities inside the company.
Someone mentions they took a design, writing, or marketing course in college, and suddenly they’re handling all the related tasks in the company.
It can be fun for a minute. But then the work keeps piling up, and never slows down.
Eventually, the company reaches a point where they have to expand or risk burning everyone out.
What if we’re not ready for a full-time hire?
Hiring a new employee can introduce as many problems as they were meant to solve.
Chances are you don’t see your business as design-heavy and so you never prioritized hiring a designer in the early stages–or ever. Your initial strategy probably only factored in hiring someone for your website or creating a logo.
The idea of a full-time graphic designer sounds nice, but are you ready for all the extras?. Full-time hires mean dealing with benefits, scheduling and managing another person, integrating different personalities into your workplace, and all the other details that take your time and money.
Have you considered outsourcing?
Outsourcing isn’t a dirty word
Outsourcing has become a dirty word for some people. But it really shouldn’t be. It’s useful for many reasons, especially when you’re a new agency just starting out.
If you think about it, almost every job is “outsourced” in a way. For example, say you own your own agency. Any company that hires your agency to manage a campaign for them has outsourced part or all of its marketing needs to your company. The largest organizations in the world partner with multiple outside groups to get their work done–whether that’s manufacturing, marketing, shipping, and more.
Outsourcing graphic design work has been a well-accepted practice for a number of years, though it wasn’t always called by that name. Hiring freelancers has been standard practice for one-off jobs. In fact, nearly 90% of all graphic designers work as freelancers today.
How would a graphic designer help me grow?
Many growing Learning Management System (LMS) focused agencies rightly concentrate their efforts on low-cost, high-reward activities like setting up the WordPress LMS plugin, automating communications with a CRM, and digital marketing strategy that involves creating compelling content. Most end up de-prioritizing tasks like prettying up a page or weighing which font to use.
Online course and marketing content are still “king” for a number of reasons, and it’s a great way for a new agency to grow. But how do ensure the maximum number of people decide to stay on our site, read our blog post, or click a banner?
By hooking them with compelling visuals first. You want to make sure your content gets seen. The best way to ensure that happens is to make sure it’s designed to stand out and improve the user’s experience.
The world gets more and more visual every day.
Think of how most people consume media.
They scroll through feeds that present them a collection of hundreds if not thousands of different posts, pictures, and videos–all of which are competing for their limited attention. People are spoiled for choice and so make snap decisions about what they like and what will get their time.
Just how fleeting are their attention spans?
You have about 50 million milliseconds. That’s how long it takes most visitors to form a first, and lasting, impression about your brand or company.
Graphic design helps cut through the noise
Humans are made to process visual information more efficiently than from other sources.
According to a study from the University of Minnesota, the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text or audio data. Another study from MIT confirms that our brains process images in just 13 milliseconds.
Clearly, if we hope to get customers to pay attention to our courses, coaching programs, website, articles, flyers, or other information, we need dashing designs. And that’s not limited to creative industries.
Graphic design is crucial to the success of all online learning companies–90% of customers will abandon any website or article that has bad design.
So why can’t I just work with freelancers?
No one’s saying you can’t. Sometimes you only have one specific project, and hiring a freelancer makes the most sense.
While many know the pros of working with a freelancer, there are some cons to using a freelancer that many overlooks:
- It costs you more in the long run
- Don’t always have access to them when you need
- There’s no oversight
- Lack commitment
- Confidentiality and security issues
Again, not all freelancers are bad, and sometimes they are the perfect solution for a project. But it’s important to realize that, like anything, there are some major tradeoffs to consider before deciding what’s right for you.
Is there a way I can get the benefits of freelancing AND having a full-time worker?
Yes, by hiring an outsourced graphic designer.
When you have more than one project, but not enough for a full-time, in-house staff member, outsourcing your graphic design needs to a dedicated graphic designer makes the most sense.
You get all the benefits of both types of workers, while also minimizing the drawbacks.
A dedicated graphic designer is more cost-effective than hiring freelancers who will charge the most they can per project. These graphic designers understand that by accepting a bit less per project, they enjoy more job stability and steady income.
Scheduled work hours
Unlike a freelancer who disappears until the project is completed, an outsourced dedicated graphic designer has scheduled hours. You’ll know where and when to find them, so scheduling meetings, following up, etc. doesn’t require juggling schedules.
Better investment in your company and brand
Because they work with you longer, an outsourced graphic designer gets to know you and your company better. Over time this leads to an investment in your success. You’ll have a greater possibility that they’ll come up with new ideas and insights for your company and want to share them with you.
Decreased confidentiality and security issues
The companies that manage your outsourced workers establish guidelines and frameworks that their employees must follow. You can check with the company to see if you’re protected from the designer working or sharing information with a competitor.
Over on the GoWP blog, Charles highlights another excellent reason to pick an outsourced worker over a freelance–accountability:
“If you choose your outsourcing partner properly – ideally by finding genuine, glowing reviews or by recommendation – the typical concerns surrounding delivery, quality, communication, and particularly security, can all be alleviated.”Charles Nicholson
Ready when needed
Even if you decide to hire a dedicated designer or an entire in-house team, outsourced graphic designers are always on standby and could be the perfect solution to various problems, like:
- If your current designer gets overloaded
- Projects come up that fall outside your design team’s skillset
- Seasonal workloads necessitate temporary workers
- You have a batch of low-profit, non-critical projects like banner creation and would like to lower their costs on your bottom line
The great thing about outsourced graphic designers is that they are always available and on standby for you. You can hire them for a month or multiple years. You decide based on how much work you have.
Say you have someone in-house that’s doing a crazy-good job handling all the design work. Then a minor project comes up that won’t contribute as much to your bottom line. Do you add more to your current employee’s workload, losing productivity and profitability? Or does it make more sense to hire a part-time outsourced designer to handle the minor projects?
You maximize growth by prioritizing the time and resources available to you.
Get started outsourcing your design needs today
Working with an outsourced graphic designer is a great way to reduce your overhead, free up your time, save energy, and more.
With your graphic design needs taken care of, you can free your employees up to work on delivering your core LMS services to your clients.
Best of all, when you work with a reputable company, like the outsourced services at GoWP, you get peace of mind that your outsourced worker is a vetted specialist.
The next time you find yourself stretching a little too thin or passing up a project due to lack of resources, consider dedicated outsourcing services. There’s very little to lose and much to gain.