Creatives, we've all been there, mentally exhausted and with the overwhelming feeling that "no one can really help". It's mostly true though, the job of a creative is exactly that... to CREATE and you're hired because your style appeals to the client. So how can we find the perfect balance between creating/delivering good work and not burning out? Hire help.
Well that's a monster of a task all of its own! Here are some helpful tips to getting the help you need and being able to share your work seamlessly.
- Request a portfolio. Sure, that's the obvious step but beyond looking at the overall aesthetic of their projects (which may seem weak or novice) look at their intention behind the project. Too busy? Too simple? A good match is not necessarily someone that has similar work to yours but rather someone that had a similar intention if you were to handle it. We've all had our fair share of clients who ask us to add or remove too many things taking away from the original route we would have taken, so be less critical.
- Research the designer's lifestyle. Intrusive? Maybe, but I've learned that I can't hire someone who's social media shows they're out and about at 3 a.m. 4 nights a week... yes, they may still be able to deliver the work, but in my case, I'm still up working at those hours and I hope that I can get a response on a project if I need it. (of course, this would be agreed upon, I'm not making people work at those crazy hours!) As a business owner you learn that you have to make these kind of observations for the sake of YOUR business integrity.
- Provide a VOLUNTEER hour of mentor-ship a month. What?? Hear me out, here's how both parties benefit:
- MY BENEFIT:
- If I am pleased with the quality of work I'm receiving from a hired designer, I want them to keep improving! What better way to nurture their design process than by helping them improve in their work? At the end, this creates better quality and less of a need for edits.
- I get to re-visit techniques and apply theory to my work process by sharing perspective with a younger designer.
- I get to LEARN newer perspectives from a younger generation.
- THEIR BENEFIT:
- Young designers struggle incorporating themselves to the "real world" and working with someone that will listen and mentor them creates a good transition.
- After college, there will be a learning curve between an assignment and a real client. You can provide them with guidance on management.
- MY BENEFIT:
Most importantly: How do I guarantee a smooth transition between my work and that of my junior hire? Well here's the trick that I wish I would have learned sooner:
Running your own business is a difficult task because you're essentially doing the job of at least 4 people: the administrator, the designer, self-marketing and accounting. When you're hired specifically to create, how do you share that part of your work?
Do a rough draft. It's that simple. When I meet with a client and we're discussing their project I can already see the project take shape in my head (isn't that awesome?) the tedious part is actually "putting it down on paper" per say... so do a rough draft. A sketch, a doodle, plug in some basic color palette and ad a font that might work. This takes me about 3-5 minutes to save and share via e-mail along with my notes on the project. Have the designer look at your portfolio and understand that the project should fit seamlessly with the rest of the work. Then you have not only given them guidance but also a direction take.
The way I handle junior designers (because I'm incredibly OCD about my work) I like to create the first version. Design it, clean it, and share it with my client THENlet the junior designer do any edits that may happen after that! It frees up your time to move on to the next client/project and also guarantees that the aesthetics remain true to your personal brand of design.
Hope this helps and that you finally bite the bullet of hiring some much needed help.