We know hiring creative vendors can feel like risky business—after all, you have a reputation on the line. Next time, please ask them these 6 questions!
#1 Do you ever outsource your projects?
It’s become harder to keep talented people close by while simultaneously offering competitive rates. You’ll want to make sure that your vendor knows who they’re working with ahead of time. Otherwise, this variable opens the door for many risks, such as: (1) the project not being delivered on time, (2) a sloppy creative direction and (3) an endless loop of miscommunication.
#2 Will the same people who created your portfolio be working on my project?
A beautiful collection of recent work is a good sign, but it’s not a guarantee that your project will be on the same level—especially if they’re outsourcing. Knowing the answer to this question will give you a better idea of how relevant their portfolio samples are.
#3 How many changes are included in your estimate?
Creative work can be difficult to nail down, and if your vendor isn’t efficient with their creative process, you might be the one paying for it.
#4 What would make the project cost more than you’ve estimated?
If you’re not being offered a flat rate, there’s a chance your final price could be a lot higher than you think. This becomes a major problem if you’re being billed by the hour, or day, because when a service provider is charging by time, there really isn’t much incentive to finish faster; in fact it can be quite the opposite.
#5 What deliverables will I get to review?
Not every process is equal. If a studio chooses speed over effectiveness, they may neglect to show you the necessary steps to pre-production. Make sure you know what deliverables you can expect, and how they fit into a healthy production schedule.
#6 Can I get the project files? If not, how much will you charge for future changes?
For your own backup, it’s wise to snag the project files if you can, just in case you want to make simple updates at your own discretion. You don’t want to be tied down with a studio you don’t like, or that might not be available in a few years. However, in case you are, it’s best to know what financial impact that might have.
By now, you might be saying something like, “Okay, you must be a studio, so what are your answers to these?” I had a feeling you might ask.