Finding Freelancers for Your Merch by Amazon Business

Although the title is about finding freelancers for your Merch by Amazon business, this applies to finding any design work. That can be a book cover, website graphics, or whatever else you need that you can’t do yourself.

So, for whatever reason, you decide that it would be easier to do the marketing side of the t-shirt game instead of the design and the marketing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if it’s your first time checking out freelancers, you don’t want to make too many mistakes.

Especially when your money’s on the line.

Where to Find Freelancers

While a lot of resources recommend going to places like Fiverr to find a freelancer, you ultimately get what you pay for. Those $5 designs you receive can be made in 3 minutes using something like Canva. What’s the point?

If you want to find a long term partner to work with you, you’re better off using a website like Upwork. Not only will they take the job more serious, but will figure out exactly what you want from them and bounce revisions back.

One of my earlier graphic design hires had more questions for me than I had answers for initially. I had to get back with him a few hours later after I figured out exactly who my exact target audience was and what my long term gameplan was.

Job Description Template

So you’ve decided to post on Upwork to hire a freelancer. If you’re familiar with the platform, great. Skip over this section if you’re comfortable hiring freelancers. If you haven’t been on Upwork before, sign up. It’s pretty streamlined, so I’m not going to walk you through the whole process.

For starters, you want to have a title that explains exactly what you need. Can be anything from a simple “Looking For Graphic Designers For T-Shirts” to explicitly stating which platform you’re working on like “Need Designers for Merch by Amazon Shirts” or whatever platform you plan on using. Don’t worry. No one is going to hijack your work based on your description.

A sample you can use would be something like the following. Include file size needed, what the design will consist of, payment, and a request for work not on their profile.

I will be using the Merch by Amazon platform, so design reqs are 15″W x 18″H @ 300ppi (i.e. 4500 x 5400 pixels), sRGB, less than 25MB.

Designs will primarily consist of quotes and minimal artwork.

I will give you design ideas, and after a while will give you access to tools so you can come up with your own ideas.

Designs will be paid on a per-piece basis. $5 per design, preferred in a batch of 5-10.

Please provide at least three examples of previous work.

Here’s another example of a listing. It provides more legal information than the previous.

ABOUT
I need someone proficient in vector designs to create vector t-shirt designs. You’ll need good understanding of composition, color, typography, and character design.

These designs will be fairly simple. Usually depicting icon style graphics, text, and simple characters.

Designs created for this project will be owned by me, and will be used for all commercial purposes including but not limited to distribution, resell, print, merchandise, etc.

IMPORTANT
Designs must be completely ORIGINAL. Using pre-existing art from the internet is not allowed whatsoever.
Must adhere to Amazon’s Content Policies: https://merch.amazon.com/resource/201858630

Here’s another example of a listing. They pretty much give away the entire scheme,

I am a high volume T-shirt seller on Amazon Merch. as well as other POD sites. I am interviewing for new designers to support my business. If interested, I’d like to place an initial order to see how I like the work you provide. If all goes well, I will order in volume 50-100 shirts at a time delivered 5+ shirts per day over time, then reorder more. I have this arrangement currently with other designers, I am looking to add volume to my already growing business. I will provide a file of shirt ideas or concepts for you to base your designs off. Here is what I require.

  • All designs will be delivered with .ai (or .psd) files and transparent .png file size is 4500×5400 px
  • Occasionally I will order a “series” shirt that will have a word or phrase that can be reused by changing just that word like a pet breed, relative, job etc. On those designs I need the font and the file to have editable text.
  • Bulk orders (50+) I pay $5 per shirt prepaid once we have established a relationship. For the test, I will pay $7 for 10 shirts to see how we work.
  • Designs will be created with fonts and design elements with all legal rights preserved.
  • Designs will be owned by me and will never be shared or resold to anyone else
  • I’ll provide the shirt colors to keep in mind as you design.

If things go well, the designs are good quality and delivered on time this can potentially become an ongoing, long term relationship as I need several more designers to keep up with my volume. Let me know if you are interested in exploring this project further.

Figure out what you want in your listing, but don’t think too hard about it. You will get offers if you include one sentence.

Consider Price Before You Hire

You might have heard about being able to hire freelancers for dirt cheap designs. Know what you get with that? Cheap designs that any schlep rock with a graphic program can recreate in minutes. Your designs will be uninspired, low quality, and although you might get lucky and get sales, you’ll be dealing with a whole lot more duds in the long run.

You’ll have to negotiate with your freelancer, whether you’ll pay on a per design basis or hourly. With a flat rate, you know how much you’re paying per design, whether that’s $10, $20, or $50.

Hourly might cost more for one off designs, but is cheaper when doing large amounts of similar work as assets created can be used in multiple works. Think about it. If you want ten designs created all in the dog lover’s niche, something stupid like “I love my [insert_dog_breed]” with a silhouette of the breed. The calligraphy doesn’t have to change every time completely, and the actions to create the shape can be repeated easier the second time through the tenth.

It might cost 2 hours for the first design, but only 30 minutes for each design after that. For ten designs, a flat rate at $10 would cost $100. At $10 per hour, it only costs $60.

Check Out Their Portfolio

You want to look at the portfolio of anyone you’re considering hiring. That way you can see their art style and see if it’s something you’re interested in. Ask them how long it takes them to create different pieces, so you can gauge the kind of quality you can expect to receive at a given price point.

The last thing you want is to expect to get an intricate and complex design, and instead, you get Times New Roman and some generic clip art. Keep your expectations realistic. Who’s going to spend hours on your dog lover design for $10?

Big dawgs make it happen

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Justin Charnell

King of Spades at Onyx Defiant
I spend my time working out when I feel like it, being a gorgeous webmaster, and learning things. Former Marine, total POG (0651). I drink too much. PlayStation 4 on occasion. Gummy multivitamins and gallon jugs of water.
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