Bringing someone external onto your team for a period of time to work on a project can be overwhelming. Finding someone you trust with the task is one thing, but now you need to dedicate time and energy to working with them so they can bring your vision to life.
Below are a few ways you can make the most of working with a service provider and ensure that you are leaving the door open for some stellar results.
Have an Idea of Direction
It is okay to not be 100% certain on what you hope to accomplish with a service provider or what you want the final product to look like. You hired them for their expertise and my hope would be that any service provider you work with will bring new ideas and knowledge to the table.
Do your research! If you know you need new packaging but aren’t quite sure what direction you want to go that is totally fine. Browse the aisles of the grocery store, look on Pinterest, take photos of things in nature and the world that inspire you. All of this is a helpful starting point for the service provider you are working with!
Know your non-negotiables! What are the most important elements of copy, graphics, branding, direction, etc. that would have implications for working with the service provider? You should think about those non-negotiables in advance and come prepared with a list to guide the bounds the service provider will have in their effort.
Communicate What You Want
Now that you have an idea of what you want it is time to communicate it! Bring your examples and be ready to talk about what you hope you accomplish from the project. Be open and honest with the graphic designer, marketer, or other service provider that you are working with. They cannot read your mind so make sure you are answering all of their questions thoroughly and honestly. Service providers would rather you go more in-depth on your answers than not have a true sense of where your head is at on the project or what you stand for as a brand and founder.
Communicating what you want also means giving honest feedback! You won’t hurt any feelings, and everyone wants you to get exactly what you need and desire out of the project. Just remember to be constructive in your feedback by giving the detail behind your needs: for example, why don’t you like something, why is the color blue a “no.”
Let A Strategy Take Shape
You may be itching to see drafts and ideas come to life, but strategy is a key component to any project! Whether it is a new website, packing design, or social media posts, strategy plays a role in almost everything you do. Your service provider is going to want to get up to speed on any brand strategy you have done so far, but then also brainstorm ideas and a plan specifically for any projects you are working on together. This is a key step for them in getting you a final product that you like and accomplishes your goals.
Be patient and let this step play out! It will only benefit you and your brand in the long run.
Be Open To Suggestions
If you went into the project with a very clear idea of what you wanted in mind that is not a bad thing! Don’t let that cloud your ability to be open to new ideas and suggestions though. If a service provider comes with a few drafts or options, don’t rule out any that feel too far from what you had envisioned just based on initial impression. Remember that strategy session you did? Keep those goals in mind when you assess the final product. It might accomplish those things without being what you had initially pictured! You are the brand founder or owner, so it is ultimately your say and you will need to interact with and look at the brand everyday - just keep an open mind :) Ask why if you’re confused about how or why decisions were made that are different from what you were expecting!
Plus Some Friendly Reminders
- Service providers are people too! They have kids and families so things will come up and they might need to push a deliverable back. They also have feelings and take pride in our work so while service providers love feedback, make sure it’s constructive!
- It is never going to be 100% perfect. There is always going to feel like there is more work to be done. It is the nature of the industry AND this is your CPG baby, you take pride in it and you want the best for it. Know that service providers will deliver you nothing short of our best and can always make edits. But at some point, you have to let it fly out into the world.
- You get what you pay for. Don’t forget that you are not going to get massive agency level design and work if you are paying someone an intern’s rates.
Looking for the right service provider for your next brand project? Checkout Sprilly, the talent marketplace for emerging brands and CPG-focused service providers. Search our list and keep checking in as more service providers sign up! You can search by name or service specialty.
Are you a freelancer or an agency that specializes in working with emerging and CPG brands? Apply here- your first month is free!
This week’s post is from Emily Hines, a brand and marketing freelancer for Parsnip and CPG brands.