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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.