Brent Barnhart
May 17, 2020

8 Tips for Hiring a Content Creator for Your Brand

Looking to give your social media content that star quality? Time to hire a pro content creator or content agency to take control of your creative.

Here’s an understatement: competition is fierce in the social space right now.
As highlighted by our 2020 social media trends, brands today need to come up with creative campaigns and compelling visuals if they want to stand out from the crowd.
Stunning Stories. Animations. Long-form videos and bite-sized promos.
If all of this sounds beyond your scope, don’t panic.
Instead, consider that it might be time to hire an agency (wink wink) or content creator for your brand.
Of course, the right fit means figuring out what to look for in terms of practical and technical skills that match up with your brand’s needs.
But hey, that’s exactly why we put together this guide! Below is a breakdown of what to consider if you’re looking to hire a content creator.

1. Peek Their Social Feeds and Portfolios First

This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s the perfect place to start.
Most creators can prove that they’ve “walked the walk” through their portfolios or their active social media presence.
For example, a photographer or videographer should be able to show off their past and current projects via Instagram.
Check out a creator’s own aesthetic and messaging. Then, ask yourself: does what they currently make match up with your brand? What about other brands in your space?
Some creators will let their social presence serve as their own portfolios. Meanwhile, others curate collections of content from specific campaigns which produced results on behalf of their clients.
Although not all creators will have a formal portfolio, those that do can provide extra peace of mind as they prove that they know what it means to adapt their work to a brand’s message.
Beyond work produced, also consider the skills and creative background of your potential hires.
For example, are you looking for a creative generalist or someone who specializes in animation or product video?
Most creators have some sort of specialty — make sure to find out what that is before assuming they’re a jack-of-all-trades.

2. Figure Out What Tools and Tech They’re Familiar With

While our guide to DIY video marketing notes that you can squeeze a lot of creative content out of an iPhone, you should expect a bit more from a hired content creator.
Note that professional creators rely on a slew of tools and technology that help them stand apart from amateurs.
Think about it. These tools are what allows creators to produce high-quality work and likewise justify their own price tags.
Let’s say you’re looking to hire someone to help you out with social video. Some worthwhile questions to ask that creator might include:
  • Which type of camera(s) do you use? Lighting equipment? Do you have a dedicated studio?

  • Which editing software(s) are you familiar with (Above Premiere, Final Cut Pro, etc)?

  • Do you use any specific tools for social video? What about social analytics?
There are no “right” answers here. That said, hiring a content creator with experience using professional tools is yet another point in their favour.

3. Make Sure They’re Within Your Budget

Let’s be absolutely clear: content creators deserve to be paid what they’re worth.
The importance of creating a visual identity for your brand really can’t be overstated. You can’t really put a price tag on doing so, either.
However, brands also need to make sure that they aren’t absolutely blowing out their budgets in pursuit of content.
That’s why being transparent with pricing and expectations is absolutely crucial.
For starters, you might want to establish a day rate upfront and get a creator into your office to understand the exact scope of their work in-person.
Also, consider working together on a part-time basis before scaling up to a bigger commitment financially. This is a win-win for both parties as you understand what it’s like to work together and make sure that there’s no potential for scope creep or tension.

4. Create a Compelling Moodboard and Creative Briefing

If you want to cut down on revisions and make life easier on yourself and your creators, stick to the principle of “show, don’t tell.”
For example, let’s say you want to explain your brand’s aesthetic to a potential creator. Rather than drown them in instructions, create a moodboard that compiles the sort of imagery and vibe that you’re after.
You can actually make a moodboard in Canva for free, using their customizable templates to plug in your own images to send off to creators.
Of course, a creative briefing beyond just a moodboard is also a smart move. The purpose of a brief is to help creators understand your products and target audience. Ideally, your creative briefs should be informed by marketing managers first and foremost.
Format-wise, you can use these creative briefing templates from Hubspot for reference. No matter what you’re providing in terms of a briefing, your should at the very least answer the following questions:
  • What are your brand goals?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What is your brand’s tone of voice?

  • Who are your brand’s top competitors?

  • What is the scope of work and timeline for deliverables?

5. Be Prepared to Give Specific Feedback

Content creators are capable of producing amazing work without being micromanaged.
Even so, they aren’t mind-readers.
If a trial run or first draft isn’t up to your expectations, you need to be able to explain exactly why.
Phrases like “Make it pop more” or “add some spice” aren’t going to cut it. Highlight specifics (think: proportions, sizing, colour grade or composition) to give creators meaningful guidance and avoid endless back-and-forths.
“I really like the colours and tone of this draft. However, I feel that it’s too ‘busy’ with so much text and hardly any white space. Perhaps we could go with a different font and/or remove some of the background images to make it feel more minimalist? I’m open to suggestions on your end as well.”

6. Trust Their Taste

Bear in mind that hiring a content creator means relinquishing some of your creative control over any given project.
And hey, that’s totally okay.
Remember: creators quite literally hone their craft for a living. If they’re doing so full-time, chances are they’re doing something right. Give them credit where credit’s due.
Sometimes an image in isolation might seem a bit “off” but still works in the broader context of your brand. Be proactive and provide guidance while also allowing your creator the freedom to work.

7. Track the Success of Your Campaigns via Hashtags

Assessing the ROI of creatives on social media can be tricky if you don’t tie them to some sort of data point.
By assigning hashtags to your creators’ work, you can do double duty of building your brand identity while also understanding who’s sharing your work.
If nothing else, integrating hashtags into just about any social campaign is a good idea for raising awareness. But remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

8. When in Doubt, Work with an Agency

The benefits of hiring a social agency are well-documented, specifically when it comes to hiring content creators.
For example, Hello Social’s own content production team has a proven team assembled to make awesome images, videos and animations for brands.
 Hint: check out our recent campaign with Uber and Kia for reference.
With an agency, you can seamlessly align your creatives with your existing marketing goals and KPIs. This means less second-guessing whether your campaigns are “worth it” and more time focusing on producing top-tier content.

Ready to Hire a Content Creator?

Finding a content creator for your business might require some digging but the effort is totally worth it for brands really looking to step up their social content.
With these tips in mind, you know exactly what to look for once you start your search.And if you’re on the fence about hiring a content creator or want to know how else we can help, make sure to contact Hello Social today!

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