I said 99 times that I love you to the beauty I had found

I think it goes without saying that there is so much creativity in the marketing world, that sometimes it can be hard to know where to go and spend your money.

I found myself in that exact predicament as I decided to formalize what is now my side business, Right Here Interactive with a logo and the start of a brand (thus far a few video projects, some flash and a couple websites is about it).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning too much for this agency today, I’m really digging the international business development scene over at AmeriStart a lot. My wife may take RHI and run with it. The thing is that I wanted to get at least a logo and web site developed so the customers I have know its real.

Over the years, I’ve read about sites like Rent A Coder, Odesk, Elance and other sites where you can bid your work out. I never gave them much thought because I’ve always had staff. today, I have no staff and frankly I’ve tapped out my friends and allies like brandtarget on favors.

Then I read about 99designs. Put up your assignment with the best description possible, a price you are willing to pay and then see the responses come rolling in.

Being the cash strapped entrepreneur I am, I put up the project Bodacious Logo For Interactive Agency (I don’t know how long the link will be active for now that the contest is over). WOW, over 7 days, I received exactly 251 design submissions from 65 designers. 50 of which came on the last day. So for the $300 for the winning bid and $39 posting fee (I didn’t choose any optional upgrades), I had from terrible to awesome designs. Boiling that down with simple math, I received each submission for a hair shy of $1.20 each.

I also sent tons of private messages to designers and I am going to share some of their stories in future blogs, but basically the keys to running a successful design campaign seems to be:

  1. Create a strong title (remember, you are marketing for yourself). In my case, I think the word “Bodacious” did the trick given the number of submissions I received.
  2. Be as descriptive as possible in your request. Show them examples of things you like. Nothing is truly original any more. Just show them cool things to be inspired by.
  3. This is probably the biggest factor from what I see. Give feedback to the designers. I had some designers that did 6,8 or even 10 comps based on feedback I gave them. The designers say they get really irked when people don’t give the feedback.

I can’t say that every project will get the kind of results that I saw, but sites like this might just be the future of many small businesses marketing campaigns. remember though, it still takes a lot of strategy, planning and execution on your part to use them successfully.

photo credit: Neon love via photopin (license)

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