Outsource Solutions: Creative Services
Hiring a Creative Consultant
Whether you’re trying to jump-start a drained creative team, identify areas of opportunity in your direct mail program or simply tighten your billing cycle, a creative consultant can offer the outside expertise and perspective to help you achieve your goals.
But where hiring a freelance copywriter or designer to create a new package is fairly straightforward, working with a consultant can be more tricky.
To ensure a productive working relationship, it’s good practice to define your expectations up front, establish clear-cut goals and detail it all in a contract so there are fewer questions.
Plan for Success
For a consultant to determine if he has the expertise for the project, the direct marketer needs to provide a laundry list of what it wishes to accomplish, says Carol Worthington-Levy, a creative partner for Lenser, a direct marketing consultancy in San Rafael, Calif., whose clients include The Republic of Tea and Home Depot.
Paul Goldberg agrees: “It falls on the client to define its goals for the consulting work.” Goldberg is the founder of P-J Promotions, a direct marketing and circulation consultancy in New York City; he has worked with Boys Town and Kiplinger’s. “The consultant can disagree and help the client redefine and prioritize its goals,” Goldberg continues, “but the marketer has to provide clear direction on what it wants to achieve.”
It’s also key to ascertain if the goals can be quantified. There needs to be some measurement for project success that the direct marketer and consultant can agree to, says Worthington-Levy.
To make some of these decisions, it helps for potential consultants to know as much about your business as possible before meeting. Goldberg points out that a consultant should not have any preconceived notions about what solutions should be pursued, but he should have solid knowledge of your product and market before the project scope can be defined.