The Blog: Working with Contractors

After four years at a non-profit where budgets were tight but the impact needed to be wide, I began to realize that using a small team of passionate contractors was the way to go. A lot of companies are worried about going out-of-house for work because hourly rates are scary and how can anyone who isn’t inside the business “get it?”  Trust me, they do. If you choose wisely. 

Why It Works:

1)    They get to choose you too- good contractors know what kind of projects they love and if they aren’t excited about the work, you’ll know it when you talk to them. Pick people who are excited about helping you solve problems, folks who are asking you great questions, and who you feel understand your mission.

2)    You can control the total cost if you do some of the work- to save money, take the process as far as you can before handing it off. Have those initial conversations but then find examples of work that you like, get your messaging dialed, create easy to use google or dropbox files for contracts to access, and send edits in organized fashion instead of sending an email for every change. Every hour counts when you have a small budget, so make it as easy as possiblle for your partners to get it done efficiently.  

3)    They can help drive your storytelling- If there is one thing I have learned from the amazing creative folks around me, it is that they see the story in unique ways. That’s why they are good at what they do. Try not to micromanage, let them be creative as much as you can while also getting the product you need to make all parties happy. When your contractors get to be creative, photos and video cuts may come out of that which change your perspective on the future direction of your brand. I know in my experience, every once in a while, a photo or a soundbyte gave me the inspiration to drive the messaging for the following year.  

Sarah Hubbard