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Why Your Business Needs Subscription-Based Graphic Design in 2021

Tired of sifting through freelance boards to find the right graphic designer? Don’t have the budget to bring on someone in-house? With a bit of time and money, you can find a skilled designer or design agency on retainer … but during these difficult times, things are stretched thin.

Your small business may be caught in a middle ground between “Our staff writer also dabbles in design” and “We need complex designs done every day.” The solution? A subscription-based graphic design service that provides high-quality, on-demand designers for one flat rate. Here’s what this virtual workforce model is all about, and why it’s going to transform small businesses in 2021!

There are more graphic designers than ever before in history — but even so, they can barely keep up with demand! Businesses need visual content, not only for their good ol’ fashioned brochures and flyers but also now for a plethora of digital channels. It’s difficult to get it all done, and many small businesses simply don’t have the staff.

Are you part of a business where the marketing director is also the graphic design director? Or where you have to rely on a revolving door of design students rather than an in-house designer? Or you keep bringing on freelance designers who may or may not be available?

There’s a better way, and it’s called subscription-based graphic design. This is the model you see with crowdsourced or on-demand design platforms such as Hatchwise or Flocksy. Here’s how it works — and why your business needs it!

You get designers who know your brand — but only when you need them

Having an in-house designer is great when you constantly need visual content. But most small businesses don’t have daily demands. Once the week’s social posts are done and the latest email newsletter is ready to fly, the in-house designer is sitting there twiddling their thumbs.

Or, all those tasks are done by someone whose primary job function is not designer — and they’re pulled away from the job they were hired to do. 

With subscription-based graphic design, you get matched to a designer who can familiarize themselves with your brand. But like a virtual assistant, they only work when you need them to work. This way, you get consistency without the cost of an in-house designer or a team member needing to wear multiple hats.

There’s less back-and-forth and fewer hidden expenses

Many small businesses will outsource projects to agencies or bring a freelance designer on retainer. The problem with these arrangements is that you’re often limited in how many projects you can get per month — and you’ll pay extra if you need more. You’ll also incur additional fees whenever you need rush work done, or if the agency’s designers go overtime.

Also, agencies have many clients, and you are just one of them. So while you understand that they can’t always respond immediately, you could find yourself in a pickle if you need something done quickly.

All this can add up to a lot of time and money. A subscription-based graphic design typically offers unlimited projects and revisions (time permitting) without extra fees. Plus, they have enough team members that they can plug in the best designer at any time, leading to quicker turnarounds without sacrificing quality.

You’ll gain access to a wide range of skills

When you hire a freelance designer, you’re often hiring someone with a particular skillset, e.g. someone who specializes in logos rather than publication design. It’s rare to find a designer who does it all. So if you usually lean on your retainer designer for social media assets and you suddenly need an e-book design, you’re faced with two choices (a) ask them to step outside their skillset or (b) spend the time to find and vet another designer.

But on subscription-based platforms, you’re typically matched to the right designer for the project at hand. There is a pool of designers who know your brand, but they each have their own specialities. This allows them to “tag-team” your projects so you can request just about anything — and rest assured you’ll get the best person for the job.

Wrapping Up

For solopreneurs and small businesses (and even some medium-sized businesses), subscription-based graphic design is the perfect solution. It allows you to get a higher volume of quality assets without bloating your marketing budget. Plus, you don’t have to stretch your internal staff thin — or wait for an outside agency to turn around a deliverable. With one flat monthly rate and on-demand designers just a click way, subscription-based graphic design is the ideal model for the virtual workplace!

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