The IdeaLists Share 3 Tips for Outsourcing Creative Work

September 27, 2013

1:00 pm

The IdeaLists is a website for outsourcing creative work, and its history is aptly filled with outsourcing.

The original website was built by a Latvian designer and Indian developers. The startup has also hired writers to do content marketing, and partners to help with events. While outsourcing is sometimes seen as a backup plan, founder Adam Glickman insists that it’s often the best option.

“If you want a pro, get a pro,” he says. “The best people tend to have their own shops and not want to go work within a company.”

The IdeaLists now has over 6,000 members offering their services in photography, film and video, design, strategy, and PR. For companies who need creative work, you can now head over to The IdeaLists and create a brief. The IdeaLists’s platform will help you write the brief and estimate your budget, and you don’t have to reveal details like company name unless you want to.

Creatives bid on your project, and The IdeaLists takes a 10 percent commission if you accept a bid. The IdeaLists also offers a more hands-on concierge service for finding the best match. This model has already attracted tech companies like General Assembly and Airbnb.

When I spoke to Glickman, he offered three tips for getting the most out of any creative outsourcing you do.

1. Make sure your work gets prioritized. Contractors and agencies charge a higher hourly rate than employees, and you’re not their only client. To get the project done quickly, make sure everyone’s on the same page about schedule and expectations.

2. Pay up. Outsourcing to sites like Fiverr may be cheap, but it’s probably not the best idea for designing your logo and brand identity. “Logos are not something that you just want to give to someone that’s on a crowdsourcing site that doesn’t have a day job,” says Glickman.

3. Get help with branding. You might worry about how to find a creative professional who understands your brand and vision. But, in fact, their job is to help shape that vision. Creatives are right-brained thinkers who can offer new perspectives on the best way to craft your message and give your startup personality.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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