Hi Searchers,
I have had a few responses to my recent post about the importance of creating a strong image to investors, employees, deal flow, and customers asking how I found someone to do graphic and web design. https://www.searchfunder.com/post/do-you-really-need-a-graphic-designer-to-scale-a-business

Should you hire a company?
The answer really depends on your budgets, your priorities, and knowledge. That said I believe (based on my own experience heading a large marketing company with 2,000 clients) that developing marketing capabilities in house is a huge strategic advantage. My premise is that most companies that hire marketing companies to do all their work end up not budgeting enough or being involved enough to achieve what is needed in this day and age. A day and age where the town square is located online.

Our first acquisition paid a reputable marketing company for the past 7 years to do their digital marketing. Yet somehow their marketing company never told them that Google reviews are critical for a local brick and mortar. 6 months in to ownership, Google reviews increased from 6 to 50. Resulting in 119 more calls to the business per than the same month in the previous year.

Our second acquisition was an optometry clinic in Manhattan for 50 (yep, five zero). They did not even have a website.
6 months in and their website generated 881 people who spent over 1 minute on the website. These people came from organic Google search, meaning this is purely from hanging our sign up on the digital town square.

The world is flat
Thomas Friedman titled a book in 2005 by this title, and the trend only grows. Nowadays we can leverage the arbitrage in markets to hire talented people at a fraction of the cost by looking global. While this approach is not applicable to all hires, it is very applicable to graphic and web design.
There are a number of major benefits to hiring full time staff overseas.
1. A motivated employee is hugely important. In America we are living through the great resignation, while in other countries $5-$15 an hour full time employment is a dream come true.
2. One of our first big hires was a US based senior executive that turned out to be a poor employee. Imagine if we were able to hire 10 people for that role, trial them out for a week and keep the best. That would have saved us money, time, and identified a superior employee. By hiring overseas this strategy is easy and cost effective.
3, Develop core competencies by hiring internally. By developing a staff that is doing things most competitors farm out, you are training and developing internal organizational competencies and know-how that builds your competitive advantage.
4. Global thinking is something that is hard to develop since we are so biased by our constantly interaction exclusively with people in our own country. By hiring globally you start to become aware of the different mindsets of different cultures, and the different opportunities in emerging markets. While my company is focused on growing in the US, having a global team has caused me to shift some long term plans to include expansion of our software component globally.

Where to hire globally?
There are many platforms, but I personally have had a lot of success on Upworker.com.

My process
1. create a job post
2. search on the platform for talent, use filters to identify people with work history, good reviews, english fluency etc. Stay away from agencies.
3. Message talent to invite to your job.
5. hire as many relevant candidates for your job
6. Duplicate the work that the new hires are working on, compare the time and results of that work. Keep the top employee. If none met your needs, start the process again.

We were looking for a full time video editor (each of our doctors does one video a day that we use on social media and their website). We were looking for someone who needed minimal instructions, was capable of doing volume, and had the ability to do more advanced editing once in a while.
We hired ten, let them all go
We hired another ten and found a gem.

Some tips:
Once you have hired someone, spend a little time over the first week creating a process that enables that employee to understand what you are looking for and to ensure that they are doing their job well. I recommend using some kind of software to manage their work (for example monday.com but there are tons of options). Set up a 15 minute weekly call to check in with the employee and have them present what they have worked on (this does not need to happen forever, but a good idea in the initial stages).

What we did:
We knew that we were going to need a more robust team as marketing our optometry clinics is a large part of our growth strategy. So before we hired anyone, we hired a manager using the same process above. That manager now does the process above for me, and is developing into a major asset as a general employee of the company.

Global does not work for everything:
This is a really important point, not every job is done as well by global staff. But that does not mean that it cannot be done for important tasks such as graphic and web design.

Best of luck on your search,