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Cindy Caldwell is a consultant for Randstad Creative and a freelance writer residing in Atlanta, GA. Cindy assists graphic designers, web designers and other creative professionals in finding work as well as clients searching for these professionals in the Atlanta area.  She is also working on her first young adult novel.  Before joining Randstad Creative in 2004, Cindy’s career included marketing, web project management and event planning. 

Email: Cindy

 
   
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The Friendship Between Corporate Sales and Creative Forces
By Cindy Caldwell

Think you don’t need a creative person in your corporate office? Think again.  If your sales staff is producing their own marketing materials, it may be time to consider a new “look.” Are your marketing materials so dated that your sales staff is embarrassed to take them? Or is your sales staff producing their own marketing letters?

Is your website circa 1998—complete with bright colors, frames and a digital display of how many times someone clicked on your page?

All kinds of companies, at any given point, need some kind of creative facelift once in a while.  Think about McDonald’s.  They are constantly changing their taglines…from the Big Mac jingle from the 80s (I know you remember it… “Two all beef patties, special sauce…” etc) to the quick-witted “I’m lovin’ it” twenty years later.  Target changes their ads almost every month.  Even though you may not have a powerhouse ad agency like these companies, there is still a good chance that your company could use a little change in the new year as well.

If you don’t have a full marketing team to create or change the look of your marketing materials, you may want to consider bringing in a freelance web, graphic artist or marketing professional.  Freelancers are a fantastic resource for small companies because you do not have to hire them and take the burden that you would with hiring your own employees.  If you don’t have time or know how to locate freelancers, a creative agency can assist you and will probably save you time and money in the long run.  Most freelancers are happy to work on site at your office, or can meet with you over coffee to discuss the specifics and then work from their home office.  Here are just a few creative professionals you could use to give your company a new look and feel for 2007:

Copywriters
Copywriters can take your marketing materials to a whole new level by the way they craft their words.  They can write original copy, or refresh existing copy as well as edit and proof promotional or publicity materials for print or electronic publication.  They also have experience writing copy for in-house corporate materials, marketing materials from sales letters to print ads, promotional campaigns and mail-order catalogs.  Some copywriters can write specifically for the web and can assist in online marketing campaigns.  Most freelance copywriters start at $30/hr.

Graphic Artists
Graphic artists are people with the expertise to conceptualize and design logos, brochures and other business collateral.  Most experienced graphic artists can make up a whole new identity for your business or take an existing logo or color scheme and fine tune it into a new look for you. Once you’ve decided on the logo and color scheme, he or she can then design your letterhead and any other marketing material you’re looking for.  Most graphic artists nowadays know how to design for both print and web, but some web designers may not necessarily know web development, which is all the programming behind a website.  Most graphic artists also start at $30/hr for freelance work.

Branding Specialists
More experienced than graphic artists, branding specialists create a whole new identity for your company, change the look and feel of your marketing materials, and then write a branding guide for your marketing or sales team.  This way you can be ensured that all pieces coming from your business have the same color scheme, same font and typeface, and your logo looking the same on every piece.  They write the guidelines for print pieces as well as presentations, and work with the web designer to make sure the web site reflects all the new changes.  Most branding specialists have been graphic designers for at least five years and may have also been art directors.  They are typically $60/hr and up for freelance work.

Web Designers & Web Developers
Obviously you know web designers design the web pages that we now take for granted and are integral to our businesses.  But different web designers know different techniques.  Most have experience with basic web design layout, typography and have a solid grasp of design trends.  They produce the basic design in programs such as Dreamweaver and graphic design programs as well as use the programming language HTML.  More advanced sites—the ones with all the “bells and whistles”--will require the more advanced web designer, one who knows such programming as Fireworks, Flash, JavaScript and video streaming software.  Again, not all web designers are web developers and vice versa.  Web developers would be in charge of managing the hardware and software that make up your website. They would be responsible for minor updates and daily maintenance. Responsibilities could include minor graphic changes, text changes and link checking, troubleshooting and uploading files to the web. This position could also be responsible for configuration, maintenance and upgrading of web servers and software, and developing site reports for use by management.  Most freelance web designers and developers start at $35 – 45/hr and up.

Whether you are just starting out your business and need some marketing materials to announce yourself in the new year, or you know it’s time to take a fresh look at your old materials and website, going with a freelancer may save you time and money.

Here’s to a prosperous and creative 2007!

 
About the Author
Cindy Caldwell is a consultant for Randstad Creative and a freelance writer residing in Atlanta, GA.  Cindy assists graphic designers, web designers and other creative professionals in finding work as well as clients searching for these professionals in the Atlanta area.  She is also working on her first young adult novel.  Before joining Randstad Creative in 2004, Cindy’s career included marketing, web project management and event planning.  You can contact Cindy via email.



© 2007 Cindy Caldwell


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