how to find a designer for social media banners

How to Find a Designer for Social Media Banners [Case Study]

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March 28, 2022 April 5, 2022 14 min
Anastasia photoAuthor by:Anastasia
owner of the Acuena agency.Article reviewed by:
review image
Article reviewed Alexander Nikolaev, Acuena
on March 29, 2022

Alex is the owner of Acuena – a company assisting small and medium businesses in getting the maximum out of their online advertising efforts - specifically, the Google Ads campaigns. The works of these guys also reside on MasterBundles.

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Modern digital culture is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a multitude of services and agencies are available for satisfying the clients’ every whim, yet on the other hand, finding a bundle with both great quality and an honest price is not easy.

We at MasterBundles have conducted an experiment. Our task was to find an agency, contractor, or freelancer who could create ten simple social media banners for the Acuena advertising agency: Instagram post, Instagram story, Facebook post, Facebook cover image, YouTube thumbnail, YouTube cover image, Twitter post, LinkedIn post, LinkedIn cover image, and a pin for Pinterest, all conveying an offer and made in corporate colors with a corporate font.

Here is a small welcome speech from the Acuena owner, Alex.

owner of the Acuena agency.
“General comments from the Acuena owner Alex”
00:00:00

Was it possible to receive quality results with a total budget of $60? Let’s find out.

Original Dispositions for a Case Study

We started looking from scratch. Originally, we had a bit of experience in using certain well-known freelance platforms. Here’s the list of platforms we tried in the past and were interested in trying again for this particular task:

  • Upwork. This is the most well-known service to connect freelancers and clients. We had experience in using Upwork to find professionals for any task imaginable and knew what to expect – thousands of freelancers with varying skills, from beginners to professionals.
  • Fiverr. Just as well-known as Upwork, we also knew how to use it and what to expect.
  • 99 Designs. Exclusive platform for designers. Never used it, but we were eager to try it thanks to the outstanding reviews.
  • Dribbble. Another designer-exclusive network with exciting potential. Never tried it before.
  • Awesomic. Unique subscription and swiping-based platform. Again, we never tried it but considered it positively intriguing.
  • MasterBundles. We have hundreds of talented designers and we decided to reach out to one of them – DesignStudio.

Another potential direction was working with designer agencies online. For us, this was uncharted territory, so we decided to pursue the most obvious way – to contact agencies we could find on Google.

The results varied from agency to agency, and from service to service. Each case turned out to be unique, so we’ll review each one and explain our conclusions at the end.

Bundle of Social Media Post Templates for E-Commerce:

Smart deal
bundle of social media post templates for e commerce

Bundle of Social Media Post Templates for E-Commerce

by Commercial Graphicsin Instagram

$10
Regular Price:$60- 83%

Agencies

So, what should one do to find a design agency that can complete 10 social media banners? Search for them on Google. We typed “create social media banners in agency” and contacted seven designer studios. Here’s what happened with each one.

Google search page.

Search query in Google

SprakDesign

SparkDesign request form.

SparkDesign contact form

The first agency on Google feed was Sprak Design. We left our request at the specialized form for ordering social media graphics and got an answer within a couple of hours.

Letter with answer from SparkDesign

Letter from SparkDesign

Pros: They promised to complete the order in 3-4 days, to present 2 separate drafts so we could choose either option, and make minor draft edits like colors, styles, and fonts.

Cons: The only option to work with Sprak Design was to double our budget, as they requested $200 per 10 pictures and refused to make a single picture for $10, insisting that only a full pack would do.

Letter from SparkDesign.

Rejection letter from SparkDesign

GideonsTech

This agency states that getting in touch is easy on their website. Turns out, it is not. We sent a message using a form for requests on the website, shared details about the project, the budget, and the ways to contact us to discuss everything, but we never received an answer.

Contact form on GideonTech website.

Contact form of GideonTech

DesignPax

A brilliantly designed site and a chatbot for making requests made it look like a great option. DesignPax responded rather quickly, during a single day, and promised unlimited drafts and close participation in development. The only drawback was the price – they requested $375. Moving on.

Respond letter from DesignPax.

Letter from GideonTech

Reetrugraphicdesigner

Despite offers, as per the site’s pitch, ultra-modern technologies, and trending industry-leading tools, Reetrugraphicdesigner never replied to our message sent through the form on their site. We would’ve thought that the price might be the issue, but our request was dedicated to finding out their rates for a project like ours.

Contact form on Reetrugraphicdesigner website.

Contacts on Reetrugraphicdesigner website

TheBannerMen

There was no price on the site, only an automated message that promised the agency’s representative would get in touch with us shortly, but they never did.

Automated message from TheBannerMen.

Contact form on TheBannerMen website

WeAreTheBanner

Despite having no information regarding their rates on the site itself, an extremely polite and detailed response to our email request came the next day. WeAreTheBanner offered unlimited revisions and could make everything before our deadline, but the senior manager representing the agency informed us that the final price for the project would be close to $500, and with all the resizes needed, it went up to $1500.

Respond letter from WeAreTheBanner.

Letter from WeAreTheBanner

Verdict

Ordering the banner from design agencies turned out to be a futile quest. They are more tuned for working with big corporations and producing large batches of content. Unlimited revisions offered by most of the market leaders (or, mostly, Google search feed leaders) is an amazing addition, but since it is already imprinted in the project budget, it raises the rate to a rather unacceptable amount.

Freelance Services

How will individual contractors fare against the top agencies? We aimed to find out, so we checked out the various freelancing services to meet and negotiate with designers directly. Also, we reached out to one of our vendors – DesignStudio – and made an order. Here was our brief.

At the end of the article, you will have a chance to vote for your favorite banner!

Meanwhile, listen to Alex’s impressions from each set of banners, a so-called blind assessment. Further, we will reveal what platform stays behind each number 🙂

owner of the Acuena agency.
“Alex’s comments on each set of banners”
00:00:00

Upwork

Despite being the largest freelancing platform in the world, Upwork has its issues. For example, it’s vital to monitor whether it assigns the correct category to a job posting because, in our case, it reacted to keywords and marked it as “social media marketing,” which we had to manually change to the category for graphic design.

Starting page of UpWork website.

Upwork starting page for project

After picking that it would be a small-scale project that’ll take less than a month to complete and making the job available to intermediate level designers, we set the bid at $6 per banner (with an option to increase the budget to $8 if the response would be less than perfect). The next step is describing the job, setting up the screening questions to save time on further messages, and voila – the offer is set.

Describe your job page on UpWork.

Page with information about your job on Upwork

Options of the job on UpWork.

Selecting of options of the project on Upwork

The first response came in only 4 minutes after the job was posted; 20 offers came in the first hour, and 38 offers during the first day. Most designers reported that they weren’t fit for a task like this or asked for a price too different from our budget.

Invite Freelancer page on UpWork.

Page for inviting freelancers

In the end, we were able to pick two – they seemed competent enough and agreed to do the job for $60 and $80, respectively.

Cover Letter from designer on UpWork.

Answer from freelancer in form of cover letter

Sadly, there were issues with both. The first designer, who agreed to $60, delivered rather uninspired pictures that were acceptable only after several drafts.

First draft

Banner with white words on blue backgrounds.

First version of banner we want

Final version

Banner with blue words with white background and notebook.

Final version of banner

On the other hand, pictures from the second designer were great, but he missed the deadline by three weeks.

Banner with blue and white background and white words.

Banner design from second designer

The conclusion is simple – either the Upwork designer community isn’t up to high regard, or $60 (and even $80) for 10 banners is too low of a price to them.

Fiverr

Compared to Upwork, creating a job request at Fiverr is much easier – all that one has to do is to fill in the project’s description, set a deadline, and a budget.

Manage request page on Fiverr.

Request page on Fiverr

Another difference with Fiverr is that freelancers can offer their services in a package – the number of pictures, the deadline, and a number of drafts – all combined, yet the client may discuss the details in personal messages, which is what we did.

Message sent oage on Fiverr.

Message for designer was sent

Feedback was on a smaller scale compared to Upwork, but eventually, we were able to get in contact with the designer, who even agreed to take the job without tracking it through the service’s system and payment protection.

Letter from freelancer on Fiverr.

Answer from designer

Screeshot of conversation on Fiverr.

Further correspondence with the designer

The result was mostly acceptable.

Banner with boy and guy with an offer.

Resulting banner from designer on Fiverr

Dribbble

The first thing you notice on Dribbble – it’s fast. Registering an account only requires an email address, name, and status (designer or client). Ordering is fast as well. All we had to do was describe the project, choose the designer’s level suitable for the project, and (narrowly!) a budget. But it comes with a delay – each project gets approved before posting. In our case, the process was quick, and our offer went live.

Dribble post publication page.

Posting of project on Dribbble

Design brief on Dribble.

Design brief on Dribbble

We, honestly, didn’t expect such an outreach – there were more responses to our job at Dribble than at all other services we’ve tried combined. You can look at the time each mail arrived to see how frequently the notifications came.

Lists of responces on request on Dribble.

Letters with responce from designers

Responces on Dribble.

One more page of letters from designers

But there’s a downside to all of this supply and demand. Dribbble is quite popular at designers agencies, like those we talked about in the first half of this post. Thus, the price was way over our budget – see for yourself.

Screenshot of conversation with a designer.

Conversation with one of the designers

Screenshot with conversation on Fiverr.

Answer from designer

Conversation with designer on Fiverr.

Conversation with other designer on Fiverr

Conversation on Fiverr with designer.

One more answer from designer

Seems like the concentration of the designers from Europe and the USA is higher on Dribbble. Plus, the designers look more qualified on the surface, and try to intrigue the client – send their portfolios, interesting cover letters, and follow-ups. Cool!

Eventually, a designer who saw our Dribbble ad contacted our team through LinkedIn. She delivered her work on time and got paid with Revolut. The answer to “why so?” is simple – compared to Upwork and Fiverr, Dribbble doesn’t have a payment system and works functionally as ad space for clients and designers looking for each other, rather than a fully realized freelancing platform. It means less protection for both the client and designer.

Banner in blue and white colors.

Banner we received as a result

99Designs

We, honestly, didn’t understand the process at 99Designs. The client can’t create a project, and each offer must be sent to each designer that you find individually. Yes, you can copy a template for a project that you have already sent, but each step needs to be repeated to the letter and approved – the service allows you to keep the text and the details, yet it still takes too much time.

Welcome page of the project on 99Design.

Quote page for project on 99Designs

Description page of the project on 99Design.

Description of project on 99Designs

We tried to invite top and mid-level designers and offered them the price range from $40 to $60. The response was underwhelming; the bids offered by the designers ranged from $200 to $1000.

Quote page of the project on 99Design.

Created task for designers

Quote for service page of the project on 99Design.

Quote for service created

Letter with offer on 99Design.

Offer from designer

Message from the designer on 99Design.

Message from designer with other offer

Still, on the third day after our offer went live, we found a designer who agreed to make 10 banners for $60. And that’s where 99Designs shows why it has so many good reviews – it is really comfortable to use. Setting milestones is easy; files can be uploaded directly to the service, and each can be managed in a few different ways. The client can leave comments and download files together or separately.

Conversation with designer on 99Design.

Conversation with designer

Banner in blue and white colors for Instagram.

Variant of the banner

The designer we found here turned out to be not only the fastest out of all (he completed everything on February 21st), but he tuned each design to fit the service it’ll be used at.
Instagram post

Banner in blue colors for Instagram.

Banner as a result of cooperation

He even added mockups to show how each banner is going to look after going live!

Mockup with banner in Facebook.

Mockup with banner in mobile version of Facebook

Awesomic

The last service we were about to test works on the subscription-based model. For different prices, you get various services; we decided that Light is the best option for us and subscribed to a trial subscription for $7/week.

Subscription plan page on Awesomic.

Subscription plans on Awesomic website

Since it is a service specifically for designers, it offers an option to set the task for a banner with lots of specific options.

Task page on Awesomic.

What is included in Light Plan

We got matched with a designer instantly, had a little chat, and got the first four drafts of the first banner in 24 hours.

Conversation with a designer on Awesomic.

Description of the project

Four variants of banners.

Four variants of banners from designer on Awesomic

Despite keeping me updated constantly and friendly communication, the designer eventually failed to make all banners in time for the deadline.

Screenshot of conversation with the designer.

Conversation with the designer

Also, note that if you subscribe for a 7-day trial, you will be able to get images with watermarks only. Otherwise, you should pay extra.

Here is a short summary of the case study results in numbers.

Case study results from MasterBundles.

Infographic made by MasterBundles

But what About the Designers Working at MasterBundles?

Eventually, we decided to contact the designers who post their works at MasterBundles, and the result surpassed our expectations! We reached out to DesignStudio and sent them a brief. They replied in an hour and said their definite “yes”! The communication was fast and we got a pack of social media banners in 27 hours. The amendments were made in a few hours. So far, these guys were the fastest. And here is what we got:

Banner in light blue colors.

Banner made by designers from MasterBundles

The concentration of the talented guys at MasterBundles is super high 🙂 if you want to reach out to any of our vendors and order designs, you can check out their rating here! In our community, we gathered nice guys full of ideas and desire to make this world more beautiful! So, if you didn’t find anything suitable, drop a message to your favorite and make a customized order. If you didn’t find their contact or faced any other difficulties, contact us at deals@masterbundles.com!

You can also upload your own designs to MasterBundles using our convenient Sell Your Deal form and earn 50% from every sale!

Banner for uploading bundles.

Article reviewed

Alexander Nikolaev, Acuena photo
—Alexander Nikolaev, Acuena

What we got is a solid and competitive offer because it's very predictable, it's scalable, it's reliable and we just know what to expect. It's something that makes us feel more secure in this competitive environment. It's also a pretty rough type of offer to predict the budgeting because we are working with independent designers from elsewhere. The same type of services can cost from $10 or $20 to several hundred dollars and that will be the same service, the same amount of work, the same turnaround time. With this service it's also good that the budget component is predictable – we know how much it will cost and the turnaround time, as well. The predictability gives us a sense of security – that's the strong competitive advantage that this offer has.

Earlier we promised to reveal what platforms are hiding behind the numbers in the blind assessment made by Alex, the owner of the Acuena agency. Here they are!

Results of the blind assessment.

Results of the blind assessment

Conclusion

This is what we have at the end.

Using agencies is expensive and hardly worth all the fuss. Besides, they all share a similar issue – communication. The client either has to use an email (and wait for an answer for hours or even days) or online chats (and bots or people answering using chatbots aren’t able to provide all the information the client needs).

Freelancing platforms aren’t equal. Working with a freelancer is always a lottery. Some may skip the deadline, and others don’t know how to send a ZIP file, but we can rank them by our experience.

Fiverr is probably the worst service out of all the ones we tried, from usability to the level their designers represent.

Upwork is a middle ground of sorts – you can expect anything, from the best possible results to something absolutely mediocre.

Dribbble has the highest response rate and highly skilled designers.

99Designs doesn’t have as much response, but freelancers there are fantastic.

Awesomic – hard to say, as you don’t get to choose your designer and instead get a Tinder-like match with one, so it’s impossible to say anything about the freelancers working there and their skillset.

MasterBundles – fast and smooth collaboration with a satisfying result.

Finding a great designer without a big budget is not easy. Most freelancers and agencies denied our $60 offer because that rate wasn’t in their category, but we can make a few conclusions here. One – working with a single freelancer is cheaper compared to an agency. Two – if you need unquestionably great freelancers, get ready to extend your budget.

By the way, which design did you personally like? Vote for your favorite and let’s discuss the works in the comments!

How to find a designer for social media banners pinterest.
As a CCO of MasterBundles and an author of some posts, Anastasia writes and β€œpolishes” texts subtly and with love. Just like Bernini carved The Rape of Proserpina. Obsessed with learning languages and other cultures. In love with ballet and Lenny Kravitz's music. Another hobby – observing masterpieces of architecture with a glass of natural wine.
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