The freedom guaranteed in owning your own creative enterprise online means you can work when and where you want. It means you can tailor your products to finding that niche audience all over the world. And it means you can serve your customers in your own unique way. It’s the dream of many!
But the path cannot be forged alone. There come times when you need to hire a creative freelancer to support building the business, or simply receiving business coaching along the journey. But how do you survey this vast, international landscape to find the right creative partner? Where is that far away creative kin who sees your vision and quickly grabs your design sensibilities? Is it possible to find the exact right designer, copywriter or developer after a 30-minute call? You have to take a chance, trust your intuition and be crystal clear when interviewing someone. 9 times out of 10 the person you are considering to hire will say “Yes, I love your project and your company. I can totally help you.” But I’m here to tell you that just because they love your project, it doesn’t mean they are right for you.
As my company Pattern to Plan is a fashion-focused business based in NYC, I tend to find a lot of people get excited about working together. But when the work comes back with cliché fashion imagery or inconsistent and scattered ideas, I have to hit the breaks and rally my inner Anna. By this I mean my inner Anna Wintour, the ice queen and Editor of Vogue or quite possibly the character based on The Devil Wears Prada. My inner Anna stands for high quality and I push ‘til I get it. It all boils down to knowing what you need and what you want to accomplish through this relationship. I’ve created Pinterest boards to communicate my target client to web designers. I’ve completed 4 page long questionnaires for copywriters. I hired the first designer for my site and as the work started rolling in I was stunned. It was no where near my style standards and even after sharing the target customer imagery, I continued to receive work that would not be acceptable. This was a somewhat costly mistake, however an investment in my process. Knowing the next person I hired would be screened deeper, challenged more and pushed to get it right.
Because at the end of the day it is your company, your aesthetic and your brand on the line. I equate it with a clothing boutique, as I had my own shop for a couple of years. I would not design the store logo, and promotional material to look one way and then carry dresses and handbags which reflected something different. And don’t worry if you still receive work that is not 100% your own voice. I end up editing out the quirky remarks or bizarre references my customers may not understand. I am comfortable with my inner Anna, and release her when necessary in order to make this business as strong as it needs to be. Because isn’t that’s why we have our own business in the first place?!