Hiring a freelance designer is often the most efficient, effective, and impactful way to create branded work that underpins your marketing efforts. It can also be an exhausting and stressful job, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

Finding your first designer or building a network of freelancers who you can rely on is time-consuming and sometimes hit-and-miss, whoever you hire might not meet your expectations no matter how much energy and money you pour into a project.

It’s not all doom and gloom however – crowdsourcing sites and the ease of getting in touch your professional networks and have made it easier than ever to find talented designers who are easy to work with, inexpensive and can turn work around more quickly than agencies.

But where do you find freelance designers and how do you recruit them?

Do your prep

Before you start looking for a freelancer, determine exactly what projects you want them to work on and precisely map out the scope of each. This is vital if you’re looking for numerous freelancers to work on large-scale or numerous projects.

Ensuring that you have a good brief, some quality guidelines and the resources the freelancer will need (logos, images, colors, portfolios etc…) from the outset will make everything easier.

Use your network

First and foremost, start with your network. Email other marketers, start-up business owners or other creative workers you’re already working with – they’re likely to not only be able to put you in contact with a designer they’ve had a good experience working with, but also recommend how to get the job done.

Message your contacts on social platforms (LinkedIn is usually the best place to start), sharing specifics about what you’re looking for and by when.

Shop around in the talent marketplace

While your network may be able to offer up a few good contacts, they may not be appropriate for your brand, be too expensive or have the capacity to do the work or space in their schedule.

This is where crowdsourcing sites and talent marketplaces come in. A platform like DesignBro.com gives you access to designers from all over the world who are looking for freelance work. Their portfolios are vetted before they can bid for your work so you know that the standard will be high and that they can turn the work around quickly.

It’s also easier to recruit a team of designers if the scope and timescales of your project require them.

Brand first

Once the groundwork is done, you may have a personal preference but designer(s) whose work best matches your brand’s identity would be the best choice. Or better yet-  ensure you get work from multiple designers to reduce your risk; after all, throwing with multiple darts gives you a better chance of reaching the bullseye, then just one.