View profile

Why I don’t recommend generic freelance websites for hiring creatives

After this issue, I've only got two issues left for the year, which is both relieving and bizarre to
Coffee Marketing
Why I don’t recommend generic freelance websites for hiring creatives
By Jenn Chen • Issue #115 • View online
After this issue, I’ve only got two issues left for the year, which is both relieving and bizarre to think about. I hope your December goes smoothly and that the year ends on as high a note as possible.
Up for some learning? Nikon is bringing back its free online photography classes.

Featuring my own work & press
Featuring my own work & press
Why I don’t recommend generic freelance websites for hiring creatives
Say you need to hire someone to design a new website, photograph your products, or manage your social media. Where would you first go? Usually, referrals are the first choice – you find fellow business owners and ask them for people to check out. What if those don’t pan out? The next step usually is to head straight to Google and cross your fingers for a good match.
Freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiver might be okay for small projects like editing that one photo you have or designing an event flyer but it’s a risk for larger projects. There’s a time and place for the freelance generalist – one who has a skill like graphic design but doesn’t specialize in any industry. They bring an outside perspective to the project and can pull from other industries’ work for inspiration.
But if you’re looking for someone to manage your social media or write a technical coffee blog post, these marketplaces are not for you. Not only do they pit freelancers against each other (submitting proposals and quotes, often without an initial consult), most of who you find on there with the skill you need won’t have the necessary industry knowledge. For example, you can hire any photographer out there for product shots or you can hire one who specializes in them. And to take this example further, a food photographer knows how to arrange and style photos while one with coffee industry knowledge (usually someone who has worked behind bar) will be able to anticipate shots (no pun intended) and direct people in a more authentic, natural manner.
I think the marketplaces are okay if you’re just starting out as a freelancer and need a place to build up work. Or if you’re a business looking for a skill that doesn’t require special industry knowledge. But creative work is already often undervalued and “you get what you pay for” rings true here.
But where else can you look? Don’t wait until you need someone to start the search. Find artists on Instagram, save their profiles, take note of who’s designing the company website you like, etc. The coffee industry has grown enough that there are creatives who specialize in it (hi!).
If you’re looking for a social media consultant, I wrote a 3-part series on when to outsource and what to look for.
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Quick text updates & links on what's new on the networks
Instagram added: new branded content features like tags to reels and live, plus a new workflow that allows advertisers to create content first; keyword searches in 5 countries (Australia, New Zealand, the UK, US, Ireland, and Canada) - which makes your captions a little more important; Guides for all accounts; a Live Shopping feature. The network is testing a FAQ option for business accounts (much like what Messenger already has).
Twitter added: new pop-up warnings for tweets that include a disputed claim, Fleets for everyone and it came with some bugs. It’s reopening the verification request process, de-verifying some accounts, and also asking for feedback. And it’s testing Spaces, a duplicate of Clubhouse where you can join and interact with others via audio.
Facebook released a new report on consumer behavior around the pandemic.
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
Helpful links on how to improve your digital marketing
20 Call to Action Examples that Create Instant Leads
Dissecting Ecommerce Growth: The Key Traffic Drivers
Facebook Ads for Local Businesses: A Framework for More Revenue
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
Anything I've enjoyed reading recently
The Substackerati
We Are Not A Family
Why You Can Dine Indoors but Can’t Have Thanksgiving
An update from my container garden!
An update from my container garden!
The newest member of my plant family is the Calathea warscewiczii- velvet leaves and a beautiful dark purple underside.
The newest member of my plant family is the Calathea warscewiczii- velvet leaves and a beautiful dark purple underside.
At this time, I'm open to: one-time coaching session clients or future project work (2+ months). I will not be taking any new client consults in the last two weeks of the year.
At this time, I'm open to: one-time coaching session clients or future project work (2+ months). I will not be taking any new client consults in the last two weeks of the year.
What'd you think?
Feedback, questions, or fist bumps 👊 – send them my way by hitting the reply button. Also happy with the 👍 at the end. Or find me on the social networks @thejennchen.
This newsletter is free to subscribe to & takes several hours to put together each issue. If you’ve enjoyed or benefited from my work and would like to support me: donate to your local bail fund, forward to someone who would enjoy the newsletter, buy me a coffee, or Venmo/Cashapp/PayPal me @thejennchen.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jenn Chen

Thoughts on digital marketing as they intersect at specialty coffee, social media, writing, photography & social issues. 2x a month on Wednesdays. @thejennchen | https://jennchen.com

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue