Fellow Graphic Designers and Web Designers – “Forbes” Indicates the End of the World As We Know It

I stumbled on an article written in Forbes Magazine on February 16th, 2009 called, “The Creativity of Crowds,” by Christopher Steiner. The article highlights forbes two Chicagoans and their company called CrowdSpring. Their plan is to help entrepreneurs buy allowing them to hire design help at a fraction of the cost a talented freelancer would charge. Good news if you’re a business owner. Bad news if you’re a creative freelancer trying to get paid a fair price for your work.

So what’s the big deal? eLance and Guru have been around for years

True, dani-info however a new idea, “hire an amateur designer,” is slowly creeping into the business mainstream. Whereas years ago not too many business owners (besides the technically savvy ones) didn’t have any clue about sites like eLance, Guru or CrowdSpring, they either know now or they’re going to know really soon. Change is coming…in fact, it’s already here.

Why is this happening to the graphic design industry?

Pretty simple: apkdnews the economy is pushing businesses to save money – hard. Business owners are looking to shave expenses any chance they can get, and the truth is, the first cuts they ALWAYS make are in areas that don’t directly produce revenue…can you say design? Creative support and marketing are always the first to get cut when a company hits hard times.

Are sites like eLance, and CrowdSpring are ruining the creative freelancing industry?

Not really, psicocentrofc and anyone saying they are really doesn’t understand capitalism and how it works. They’re essentially providing opportunities for anyone and everyone to compete against you. The influx of “want to-be” designers who’ll create just about anything for a bus pass and an Arby’s coupon is driving down the price of design work and causing a bit of a panic on the freelancers’ side.

Freelancers are throwing their arms up in the air saying, “How in the heck can I compete with some college kid that’s happy making $12/hr. when I am trying to run a business?!” These web sites are leveling the playing field between the accomplished designer and someone who just got Adobe’s latest Creative Suite last week as a way to make a few extra bucks. And don’t think that these want to-be’s need a degree from a fancy design school to find work in this economic climate where almost every businesses is looking for a deal. If their work is passable and they are priced at a fraction of the cost of a professional, there will definitely be some cost-conscious, risk-taking business owners that’ll give them a chance.

I looked at CrowdSpring.com’s web site on a couple of weeks ago. They had 170 open projects available and 14,845 registered people looking for work. All other things considered equal that comes to a 1.1% chance that you’ll get a project over the rest of the field. In Mr. Steiner’s article he references a marketing consultant that offered just $250 for a logo, wealth 5 days later she had 112 designers to choose from. That’s devastating news considering you’ll find similar odds on other online job posting sites for creative freelancers.

So how can creative freelancers compete with cheaper design options?

The good news is that there is a tremendous opportunity for creative freelancers that can adapt and compete on a new playing field; one where the out-of-work Mom/Dad, college kid or the recreational designer can’t possibly compete with you on.That playing field is all about generating sales and revenue with good design.

Trying to compete on lowest price, artist talent or great service is a sure ticket to the unemployment line – there are just too many other options spouting those platitudes, sabkobol and there isn’t enough demand to keep up.

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