10 websites to outsource your design and marketing tasks

by Alexander Zagoumenov September 22nd, 2011 

Life gets faster, competition increases. Outsourcing select tasks can help your business be more productive. I'm not saying you should outsource your core service, but outsourcing certain design and marketing tasks (depending on your business) can definitely help you save money and provide you with greater talent pool.

Before reading further please make sure you take a look at a great post "Outsourcing marketing without looking your voice" by Unmana Datta. This will help you avoid some of the outsourcing pitfalls. So, there's a couple routes you can go to outsource your online marketing projects: 1) Contest your project and 2) hire an actual person to do the project.

At the end of the post I will provide you with a list of 10 websites I looked at. The list include some of the web metrics that can help you understand how those sites compare and how long they've been around.

Start a contest

These sites usually work in three steps: 1) you define what you need 2) a group of designers create the product 3) you choose the best one you like. You, as the client will first need to pay the company to get in front of designers. Then you pay a designer if his / her design is selected. The key benefit of these sites is the variety of proposals that you get from designers all over the world. Here's a few choices you have:

Design Contests by designcontests.com

Design Contest provides a number of contest options including logo, website, Twitter background, icon design, etc. As I explained above, they follow a standard contest process: 1) create RFP, 2) review designs, 3) choose and pay.

Design contests by DesignCrowd.com

DesignCrowd has many of the similar contests, including some of the offline marketing collateral such as posters, and works pretty much the same.

Contests and hire by HireTheWorld

Hire the world is the only Canadian-based company from the list I looked at. What I liked about them is that they offer both contests AND "hire a professional" outsourcing options. Also, based on the data table, this is the youngest website out of the 10 reviewed.

Hire a professional

This outsourcing option works very similar to hiring a local freelancer. The difference is that here you can hire a freelancer from Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, etc. at a fraction of the cost. By the way, make sure you take a look at "6 facts about outsourcing content to Philippines" post by Bingo Ventura. You should consider this type of outsourcing for a longer term or on-going engagement with freelancers. Let's now look at some of the top performers in this area.

Hire a professional at oDesk

oDesk is probably the most popular with the SEO community. Here you can hire A professional or build an entire team of freelancers working on your project. One of my friends has been using oDesk for a couple of years now. He manages a community of language learners and outsources translation, writing, and coding.

Hire a professional at Freelancer

Freelancer offers a lot of the same features but looks like building teams is not in its arsenal. A useful option here is to stage the payments for longer projects. Based on the spreadsheet below, this is one of the oldest sites of its kind.

Hire a professional at Elance

Elance concludes the top 3 international outsourcing sites with many of the same features as the first two. Take a look at the spreadsheet below to see what differentiates them. I recommend watching a quick commoncraft-style video on how it works on their homepage.

Data: 10 websites to outsource your design and marketing tasks

Outsourcing design and marketing spreadsheet

Get this Outsourcing Design and Marketing spreadsheet via Google docs.

Please share your experiences with outsourcing through these websites in the comments. Specifically, your feedback about payment systems, freelancer relations will be greatly appreciated. Let me know if the table was useful and if I should produce one every time I do a site list review.

Alexander Zagoumenov

Alex is an SEO consultant offering website review services to improve usability and conversions of his clients' websites. He enjoys helping people by educating and sharing his experience through SEO training. Alex is also an internet marketing speaker and educator currently living in Perm, Russia. He consults and works with companies in Canada, U.S. and Russia. Comprehend Russian? Check his Russian site on internet marketing.

SEO blog

You May Also Like

5 Responses to “10 websites to outsource your design and marketing tasks”

  1. Sandy says:

    I have never used any of the sources above as i mostly trust on the small firms, companies to do all my outsourcing works. I found, Ydeveloper, that understand all your needs and provides you the excellent outcome.

    • Sandy, you're not alone in your choice of partners. Many companies I deal with prefer to work with local freelancers / consultants and IT companies. However, I also worked with and know of companies that prefer to outsource their marketing and design tasks using the tools above. There tend to be repetitive / routine non-core tasks in your business.

  2. I personally use oDesk for specific tasks and I think it provides good value in that context for both our company and our clients. Just the other day a client needed some small tweaks to their design, normally we would have to have charged them at least $250 for the work even though it was minimal, but because we have a couple oDesk guys on hand for that work specifically, we were then able to make the changes within 24hrs and do it at a substantially reduced rate and still make it a profitable offering for us too. Win WIn.

    Regarding design sites, I only use them in limited situations. I know a local medium sized agency that has used 99designs to create the logo for their new product offering, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you literally have a budget of a few hundred dollars. Design sites are perfect for crafting a variety of looks and getting ideas from, but other than that working with a smart designer is really critical in all your work and the reason is a good designer will consider black and white print usage of your logo, colour blind viewers, sizing, fonts, etc. A bad or typical design sourcing site won't have these kinds of designers on hand. Often (not always) they are guys with photoshop skills and that is it. Do you really want a guy who can use a wrench properly to do the brakes on your car? Think about it.

    Great article by the way Alex! Hopefully you will be visiting calgary again soon.


    Digital Strategist

    • Roger! This is great to hear form you! Thanks a bunch for sharing your experience, it really adds value to the post. Looking forward to having a beer or two with you in Calgary once I'm back 😉

  3. That's a nice list and I'd love you to keep us in consideration for the next! I'm the founder of Hire Logo which is as it sounds. A logo design service, though we do perform other design work.
    Hire a Logo Designer