I'm a consultant in the US. How do I attract and sell myself to talented remote web and graphic designers as someone great to work for?

So, I am very aware that the most important factor here is the money. Great designers deserve to be paid what they are worth, and I'm committed to that. I pay for world-class design and that sets me apart from elance. I respect good designers. But I also need to be paid for my consulting, which is also top shelf. How do I find world-class designers who will really enjoy working with me, get paid fees that they feel respects their talents, and also make me 80% of all my invoices? Struggle bus right now. I cannot seem to attract great talent, eventhough I'm willing to pay them well. I tried Elance, Guru, and other similar out-sourcing sites. Did not work out well at all. Now I'm trying other more design-centric sites, but I find that the designers are not very responsive. Any help here appreciated. And if you have a specific track record of helping folks in my position, then I would consider a call, for sure. Thanks much.


Hi there,

I've built and scaled 3 management consulting businesses to $1M+ in the past 5 years. I'm a little unsure as to what your problem is. Are you wanting to help designers with their business or are you trying to hire talented designers to complete some work?

For really good designers, their desire is to do quality work, with clients they like and be compensated well for it. If you have a proven methodology or process that helps them get those types of clients you'll be off the races.

But, you have to communicate clearly the specific problem you address for them. So if they are a landscape designers you can say "With my program and coaching we will get you in front of architects and seen as the go-to expert who does awesome work." Does that make sense?

Answered 8 years ago

I disagree that money is the most important factor, especially in recruiting designers. Having worked in Silicon Valley the past 5 years and with both Visual & UX design recruitment a speciality, I've sourced, screened, and closed (and missed) on my fair share of designers. They tend to be looking for 2 primary pieces for their projects:

1) Interesting or exciting project, which allows them to use things they've recently learned or technologies they've picked up. They want to feel like they're staying current and moving their career forward. Since it's a project and likely not long-term, they'd like to feel that it will be a boost for their portfolios.

2) Creative freedom and be viewed as problem solvers. Designers love feedback when they're missing the objective of solving the problem (and you should ensure you're hiring designers who view themselves as problem solvers). What they don't care for is a non-designer micro-managing their use of a certain font or color.

Money, work environment (likely telecommute in your case), and other benefits are likely tier 2 motivators.

If you want to be a top destination to attract them, give them the confidence they'll learn and be energized by this client project and you're going to treat them like a problem solver.

I've hired designers for Google as well as a dozen or so startups. I've also hired about 20 people myself via upwork/odesk for my own consulting business and understand the freelance community, if you'd like to discuss more feel free to schedule a call. Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago

I have worked with dozens of agencies, sourcing and collaborating with designers, as well as sourced and hired for my own consultancy.

I agree with the other answers here in regards to what great designers are looking for. Money is a factor but not usually the driving factor. Opportunity to be creative, use new design techniques/technologies/trends, and solve problems are the top motivators for web/UX designers.

However, the other answers don't really address where you could find them. You mentioned that you've tried sites like Elance and Guru without success. The majority of service providers on those sites are average at best, but there are definitely good and great ones there as well. Consider changing your approach. In your messaging and positioning, use the advice from the other answers here in terms of the opportunities for interesting, innovative work. In your reach out, rather than just putting up a listing and hoping for the best, seek out individuals who have great reviews and portfolio examples that you consider to be top notch. Reach out to them personally and describe the opportunities you have available. Start that conversation to gauge their interest and find out what are the top motivators for each individual, and subsequently, show them how you can fulfill their needs. In most cases, people who are at the top of their craft have their pick of who to work with. You need them more than they need you. So it's really about showing them the benefits of working with you.

In addition to freelancer sites, there are lots of ways to seek people out in the offline world. Figure out where great designers can be found in your city. Meetups, conferences, co-working spaces, etc. Go there and talk to them one on one. Nothing communicates passion and opportunity like a face to face conversation.

Answered 8 years ago

To second one of the other comments I'm a little unclear how your consulting plays into this?

I'll address the question purely from the perspective of getting great people.

I spent years working on cracking the "A Player" code both for my own businesses as well as a recruiting company I owned and I found in general the entire mainstream mindset and methodology is generally backwards.

First a quick note on money though. It's a satisfier not a motivator meaning yes good quality people expect you to pay them fair market rate for what they are doing at their skill level, which if they are very good is at the upper end of the bracket but that's not what's driving them it's merely a requirement in most cases to work with them.

To the more significant question of how to find the best quality people.

FACT #1 - the best people don't need to look for work! This is how come "head hunting" is so popular for upper end jobs because no one who is truly world class needs to hang out on a job board looking for work. They have skills that speak for themselves and reputations with people they've worked with to do the rest. You're far more likely to have to pull them away from something else than to find them posting on Upwork or Guru. Generally, people on Upwork and Guru, though they might be good value actually need the work, which generally isn't a characteristic of the best.

FACT #2 - if they are really exceptional usually a lot of people know about them and their work is fairly easy to find. Think about top logo designers if you get into the community of people who are truly passionate about these things a handful of names start showing up consistently as people who produce amazing quality work.

What is the end result of this? Randomly looking for or advertising for positions is highly unlikely to locate the best people. The best way requires a twofold process:

1. Get immersed in the field and start identifying work you consider is world class then work backwards to find those people

2. Network within groups of people who know those people and get recommendations, the initial results likely won't be your ideal but you use the process to climb the ladder because good people know good people and by getting curious about the field and working with people who are in the field asking questions like "what makes someone outstanding?" "What sets apart the work of someone like x?" "Who is the most talented designer you've ever worked with?" then repeating the process when you find those people and collecting a lot of data you'll start to weed out and find some really good ones at which point the beauty of designers is their work speaks for themselves provided they themselves actually did the work.

This process is not fast or easy it takes work up front but has a very long term pay off.

If you'd like feel free to message me and I can give you a couple people who would make a strong place to start.

Answered 8 years ago

Living in the modern world means permanently selling yourself to build a great career, a great life and most importantly a great relationship. When it comes to selling ourselves, perception is reality and so in this instance it all too often it depends on others around us and how we are received by them.
So, I suggest, in order to prepare yourself for a new beginning in 2021 it’s important to make it your business to develop a strategy to sell yourself directly in alignment to who you truly are in order to attract the right relationship for you.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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