Creative Staffing Tips

When it comes to Creative Staffing, we've been there, done that, now serving 130 tips in 14 categories ranging from Art and Creative Director Careers to Writing and Editing Careers.

How can I be sure my Web based training program is a good one?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 4

The final step in creating a Web based training program is the review and revision process. Once people have gone through the training you can begin to address any issues that arose as the program was used. Sometimes these may simply not be apparent until the training is underway--or finished. Once identified, these issues can be adjusted and it will strengthen the training program overall. It can help to think of any revisions as a positive step.

There are many ways to review a Web based training program. User feedback is one tool that you can use to uncover any problems that may have come up along the way. You may also want to sit down and have a discussion with the web design training professional that set up the system to see what their thoughts are. They can often pinpoint any issues or see any potential problems that may be coming up down the line.

How can I speed up my job search?

Fast-Tracking Your Job Search

It doesn't matter if you're one of the top freelance creative directors in your field or a brand new web designer, finding a job can take time when you're working for yourself. If you want to fast-track your search for clients, try signing up with a career agency. These organizations already have connections in the field, which means you aren't starting a job search from scratch, as you would be if you did it all by yourself.

Trying to find work on your own means you'll have to spend a lot of time networking, marketing, and sending out proposals. This is not only time-consuming, but it can be expensive as well. Rather than taking this kind of "scatter-shot" approach, signing up with a talent agency means that you'll have someone else looking for you. This way, you can concentrate on things such as refining and polishing your portfolio so that you're ready to interview when the agency finds a promising contract job. It can also help increase your chances of finding work.

What happens after the Web based training program is created and tested?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 3

Once you have come up with an idea for a Web based training program and created the design for it, it's time to roll it out for people to use. If you have done all of the preparation, this step should be a fairly smooth one.

Based on the information you came up with in step two, you'll know if everyone will be doing the training at the same time, or if you will do so in stages. You can split people up by department, do it alphabetically, or in any other way that is convenient. If possible, try to choose a slow time for the training so that it won't overload anyone with extra work.

Sometimes not everyone in the company may need to complete the particular training program you have created. For example, Web developer training will probably not be extended to those in the sales department, unless it relates to their job as well. This type of specialized training may be a bit easier to implement, as it won't require a large-scale effort.

How can I find freelance work?

Finding Freelance Work

One of the most difficult things about making a living as a freelancer is actually finding the work. Once you have clients, keeping them happy is part of the job, but that task is often far easier than locating them in the first place. There are many ways to go about this process, but the savvy contractor will enlist the help of a talent agency to help them connect with work in the field. When large corporations are looking to hire a production artist or other creative, they often turn to these companies to give them a hand.

Talent agencies (or career agencies) are in the business of making a good match between a business client and freelance workers. They do much of the groundwork, such as finding those companies that are looking to hire contractors and setting up the actual interview. Many times, these positions can be more lucrative than those you might find in the paper or on job boards. Even though they take a cut of the payment, they also help negotiate the fee, and they work hard to get a good rate for their contractors.

How should I present a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 2

The second step in creating a Web based training program is to actually create the material as it will be used on-line. This step will be implemented by your Web professional, although you will undoubtedly want to review and approve the final content. It is during this portion of the process that you will need to address issues such as bandwidth demand, ease of access to the material and storage.

At the beginning of the Web programming training issues may arise, such as overall speed and loading times. You may need to adjust the materials to fix these problems, and the best time to do it is during this phase. Once the training program is live, it will be more difficult to change.

Be sure and communicate with your Web professional and make any tweaks to the overall picture before you begin using it with employees. You may want to run through the finished program yourself to review it, or have a few select employees test it before you sign off on the final product.

How can I best understand my client's needs?

What Does Your Client Need?

Whether you're one of the top Chicago designers or a brand new freelancer, there's one rule that applies to all levels of experience: you need to listen to your client. In order to create the visual design your client is looking (and paying you) for, you'll have to get some specifics. Things such as color, illustration, font, and photography all play crucial roles in the creation of a layout for visual appeal. Spend time with your client discussing their tastes, the impact they would like to make, and who the target audience is.

Once you have an understanding of your client's needs, the next step begins: communicating the brand to the customer. Whether this means creating a magazine ad that will appeal to 20-year-olds or working on packaging that stands out in the supermarket, it takes time and skill to get this part right. Matching all of this up together—the things your client wants and the things that will reach the audience—is the foundation for everything a graphic designer does. It all begins with listening to your client.

What is the first step in creating a Web based training program?

Creating A Web Based Training Program: Step 1

If you are thinking about using some type of Web based training for your employees, the very first step is to come up with any information that you will want to include. This step is the same regardless of whether you are working on a Web page design training program or a grammar review for writers. It can help to write out the idea and your objectives for the training as well.

Once you have an idea and direction, you will need content for the training program. You may choose to hire a content writer to pull this all together, or you can always have someone in-house write the material. Content writers generally have expertise in writing for the Web, which can be an advantage in this type of situation. They may be able to package the material in a way that is more user-friendly than someone who hasn't done much writing for the Web.

Once this step is complete, it is time to talk to your Web designer about where to put the information and how to present it to your employees.

What education do I need in order to become a freelance creative director?

Creative Directors: Education Basics

If you are thinking about becoming a freelance creative director, you may wonder what type of education you'll need. This is actually not an easy question to answer. For the most part, creative directors move up to this type of position based on their experience and talent, not on schooling alone. That said, certain backgrounds in a variety of education programs can help build a solid foundation for this type of career.

For the advertising field, having a degree in fine arts or communication design is a great way to show you know the basics. Some creative directors have a background or degree in copywriting, and simply show an aptitude for design work in addition to their writing. Regardless of the actual degree you have, being able to display a wide range of technical skills is extremely desirable, so familiarity with a variety of graphic design software is also an advantage. If you are going to go freelance, it is a good idea to have already done some work at this level for an established company.

What is a content writer and how can they help in Web based training?

Hiring A Content Writer

A content writer is someone you may want to consider bringing on board if you are putting together a Web based training program. These writing professionals are experts in packaging writing for the Web and can help make the process of developing a training program on-line much easier.

The content writer may be willing to sit down with the Web developer and talk about design. They can help in areas such as phrasing questions well, keeping a consistent pattern or theme and making sure instructions are easy to understand. They can also help keep things concise by using bullet points, numbered items and other "Web friendly" tools.

There are many different types of content writers out there, so when hiring, make sure the person you select is right for the job. Ask if they have had any prior experience writing training materials, and see if they are willing to work with you on revisions down the line if needed.

What are some ways to know if a Web training program is a good quality one?

Quality Training

If you're going through the time and trouble to set up a Web based training program, you'll want to be sure it is a quality offering. There are some factors that you can take into consideration that will help you stay on-target for this. Here are some questions you can ask about the program to see if it measures up:

  • Is the program centered on the learner and not the content?
  • Is the material interesting?
  • Is the training interactive?
  • Does the training address different learning styles?
  • Is the training easy to access?
  • Is the material that is being presented organized well?
  • Does the material help people apply what they have learned?
  • Is the training user-friendly?
These are just some examples of the questions you can ask about any Web based training program. It doesn't matter if you are trying to come up with a new Web development training program or simply see if a current refresher program is meeting your needs; assessing the quality is a good idea.

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Barbara Gibson