A few months ago, the company AdRoll Group split into two business units. The AdRoll business unit continued to focus on ecommerce customers, while the other business unit rebranded as RollWorks to focus on B2B customers and building out an account-based marketing (ABM) solution.

Splitting into two business units also meant the marketing team was operating with half the resources they were used to for their marketing projects. To ease their marketing workload, RollWorks brought in some outside help—particularly a 99designs by Vistaprint freelancer named Yaseen.

To help other companies better navigate our new Find a Designer tool, we asked RollWorks’ Content Marketing Manager Bogdan Zlatkov to share how he found his perfect designer on 99designs, and his tips for other companies looking to do the same. Here are Bogdan’s three tips to help you find and hire a freelancer on 99designs.

RollWorks’ design bottleneck

One common obstacle for all B2B companies is explaining to clients what they’re paying for and how exactly marketers can help. Bogdan wanted a reusable piece of content that translated the relatively complicated concept of ABM match rates into something everyone could understand quickly. The goal of the piece was to help the sales team with pitching RollWorks’ young brand by demonstrating their expertise.

It started as a blog post, but in the process of outlining it Bogdan realized this information would be much clearer if he presented it visually. So, Bogdan decided to turn the post into a multipurpose infographic that RollWorks could use in their blog, social media and pitches to new clients.

But knowing how time-consuming infographics can be for their already short-staffed team, hiring a freelancer was the obvious solution.

RollWorks infographic by Yaseen.

Bogdan has used other freelancing sites in the past, and knew that finding the right fit could be a challenge. Finding a designer requires a lot of browsing and takes a lot of time, but they needed to get RollWorks’ assets up and running as soon as possible.

Learn about the differences between 99designs and Upwork ->

So Bogdan decided to try 99designs’ new Find a Designer search tool. The results far exceeded what he expected, which brings us to his first tip for finding designers…

My experience with 99designs has superseded my expectations. The first draft was pretty polished, and I feel like I’m spending my time providing useful direction rather than just fixing mistakes.

So Bogdan decided to try 99designs’ new Find a Designer search tool. The results far exceeded what he expected, which brings us to his first tip for finding designers…

1. Take advantage of filters

Every freelancing website comes equipped with its own methods for categorizing and organizing their community, and the search tools therein. The search filters on 99designs’ Find a Designer tool allow you to filter by design category, industry, designer level, availability, language, and even by keyword to help you find your perfect designer.

By checking the boxes for “infographics” and “business,” Bogdan was able to look at only the designers with expertise related to the design category and Rollworks’ industry. He also singled out top-performing designers (4 or 5 stars), sparing him the hassle of vetting designers on his own. All told, he found Yaseen in under 10 minutes.

Bogdan was quite surprised by how intuitive and easy it was to navigate the site and narrow down designer options thanks to this feature.

2. Onboard freelancers like they’re part of your team

The RollWorks team embraced Yaseen as one of their own, and Bogdan cites this as one of the reasons they received such strong work from him.

In an effort to integrate the freelancer with the rest of the team, Bogdan decided to onboard Yaseen as though he was an in-house designer. He took a little extra time right at the start to explain what the company is trying to do, what the main purpose of the project was, and how it fit into their overall content strategy. He explained later that this paid off huge dividends by the end of the project.

Illustration by felipe_charria.

Bogdan recommends taking an inclusive approach with freelancers, treating them like part of the team so that they have a better idea of what’s expected of them. For instance, rather than just talking about the project, Bogdan shared with Yaseen the story about how Adroll Group’s two business units were created. He explained that they have new brand guidelines for RollWorks that need to be strictly followed because they’re trying to establish the new brand.

Things like color-palette and fonts, for example, were non-negotiable. This direction gave Yaseen a creative constraint that sped up the process of choosing colors and fonts. It’s hard for freelancers to understand just what a company wants, no matter how experienced they are, so a little extra onboarding time goes a long way.

As a quick reference guide, keep Bogdan’s specific approaches in mind:

  • spend extra time onboarding
  • explain how the project fits into the overall company strategy
  • give the background into the project (including company politics)
  • clearly describe which branding elements can and cannot be changed
  • treat freelancers with the same respect as full-time employees

On top of that, welcoming freelancers to the team with a phone call makes things more personal and has additional benefits when it comes time for feedback, which leads us to Bogdan’s final tip…

3. Batch your feedback

After the whole process was finished, seven people had reviewed and provided comments on the infographic. From copywriters, to legal, to executives, everyone had ideas. Bogdan feared this would annoy the freelance designer, so he opted to deliver revisions in batches, rather than provide each piece of feedback in real-time.

The goal should be to have your designer address all your team’s feedback in one working session. Not only is this easier on the designer, it’s also a lot faster.

Bogdan credits 99designs’ feedback feature for improving the whole revisions process. Commenting directly in the document saves time for everyone involved and sidesteps the issue of how to share feedback, such as a separate document, email, etc. Bogdan and Yaseen were even able to communicate back and forth in real time through comments, which he said was a huge help.

Another perk of hiring freelancers, although not always applicable, is that if they live in different time zones they can work while you’re sleeping. This basically means that RollWorks could halve their turnaround times by outsourcing with 99designs.

A dependable design solution

Thanks to how well Yaseen’s infographic turned out, RollWorks is eager to incorporate more infographics into their content and sales strategy.

The design industry spans as wide as the human imagination—and that’s why you need a dependable tool to help you find the designer that’s right for you. Bogdan, like many of our other regular clients, chooses 99designs for structure, ease and designer curation.

Test our Find a Designer tool for yourself.