A recent survey by Stockpress revealed a big shift in how creative documents and content are delivered throughout businesses. The survey showed that more than 50% of businesses now operate with a hybrid or outsourced model – a result that backs up an article we wrote in December 2022 based on the emergence of the talent cloud.
With more and more businesses embracing the talent cloud and adopting outsourced and hybrid creative and content teams, new challenges are emerging around how to manage the creative and content files produced by this agile working arrangement. If you operate an outsourced or hybrid model and have worked with external creative or content freelancers or agencies, you’ve probably said or heard one of these statements before:
- I can’t access that link, my Dropbox is full.
- Which one of these files is the latest version?
- I can’t add you, we’re out of user licenses.
- The file is too large to send through email.
While these statements are undoubtedly frustrating for you, rest assured they are just as frustrating for your agencies and freelancers! They’ll be wasting time finding ways to share files, rather than spending time creating them! However, good news could be just around the corner, simply by freshening up your approach to an age-old problem.
Here are 4 ways you can improve the way you manage the files produced by your creative and content agencies and freelancers while ensuring you control the files you’ve paid for!
Give everyone a single place to collaborate.
Most likely, if you are working with many external agencies and freelancer partners you are receiving assets in many different ways. We imagine you’ll be drowning in Dropbox and Google Drive links, Box invites, and the worst – emails with attached files! Even working with just one agency or freelance partner can make keeping track of files difficult, especially with new versions of files being bounced back and forth all the time. So, when you consider that businesses running outsourced or hybrid models often have multiple agencies and freelancers working with them at any one time, it’s no wonder that managing files can quickly become a headache.
Changing the relationship between your creative and content partners, so they operate in one workspace that you own is a much better way of making sure your files don’t go AWOL! And the best part is that doing this doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you choose a file management or digital asset management (DAM) platform that offers unlimited users and teams. Having one workspace that your internal team can access also has the benefit of reducing asset creation costs and increasing the potential usage of the assets, since files can be found more easily and used more widely across teams.
Manage users and teams with access and permissions.
With everyone working in one place, we can understand that you might be concerned about users seeing things you don’t want them to see, or doing things you don’t want them to do. Well, like the project management or communications tools you are probably using, the right tool for this job should also give you the ability to put users into teams and give them specific permissions so they can only see or do what you want them to.
In the case of file management and digital asset management (DAM), you should be able to easily choose what Collections a user or team has access to collaborate on, so there is no cross-pollination of private or restricted files. You should be able to create Collections and add them as collaborators quickly and easily, so you can have them manage files exactly where you want them to in your workspace and reduce the steps involved in sharing and organizing files. In addition to this, you should also be able to choose whether you want a user or a team to be able to upload into your workspace, download and share files or edit tags, etc… (the list goes on!). Being able to do this, means you can keep your files organized and under control.
Own the workspace and control your assets.
Keeping track of files coming from a large number of different sources is one thing, making sure you own them and control their availability and usage from the moment they are created is another. It may sound strange, but you paid for the assets to be created, so you should determine how they are delivered to you and what the ownership of those assets is. It is very easy for files to get misplaced throughout the course of a project, particularly those projects that have a lot of moving parts like website builds, which rely on designers, copywriters, photographers, product managers, and content teams working together. Retrieving these files once they have been misplaced is often not the responsibility of the agency or freelancer, and can create friction at a stressful moment in time.
All of this can be mitigated by owning the workspace that you have everyone work in. Once the assets are added to a workspace, you can make them private and determine who has access to them. This means no awkward conversations about who owns the assets and when that ownership transfers while meaning that at any moment in time, the workspace owner can access any of their files without having to ask their agency or freelance partners to share them again!
Organize the files you want to use, and archive the files you might need later.
Using this centralized workspace is a super efficient way to rationalize and organize the files you want to keep, and choosing a file management platform that has an in-built archive is a great way to ensure that you can keep the files that may not have made the first cut, but could come in handy in the future.
Having a workspace where you can organize the files you want to keep and put them in Collections for wider collaboration is an extremely efficient way to give teams the creative and content assets they need to do their job while avoiding the confusion of knowing which file is the right one! But as we all know, when working on any creative or content project, more files are always created than you are initially going to need, but discarding these files shouldn’t be a consideration. You spend good money on creating those files and you never know when they are going to come in handy in the future. Having an archive that is separate from your live workspace means you can organize those files so they can be easily retrieved later while ensuring that they are only available to those team members that you want to have access. Archiving files rather than simply deleting them is a great way to reuse and repurpose your files.
Stockpress supports businesses running outsourced or hybrid creative and content teams.
For distributed teams managing employees, agencies, and freelancers, Stockpress is a collaborative file management platform that combines the ease of use of file management, with the features of a DAM.
Stockpress transforms the way teams discover, organize and share files. because the files used by content, brand, marketing, product, and creative teams should be easy to find, easy to use, easy to share, and easy to measure.
Along with being a great tool in its own right, Stockpress can also sit alongside enterprise DAM systems, for those who want to retain their enterprise solution for ‘final’ files and internal teams only. Stockpress is designed for the way you work, to bring operational efficiency and collaborative alignment that transcends teams. By offering unlimited users, and only charging for storage, you can treat your team to a more streamlined and collaborative way to manage files and never worry about running out of user licenses again. And how do we know this approach helps? Because the founding team of Stockpress lived in this agency/client relationship for years!
Before building Stockpress, the founding team ran a successful digital development agency for 12 years and was continuously frustrated by having to use a combination of platforms to collaborate on files with freelancers and clients. An opportunity to work with an Enterprise Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform opened their eyes to the capabilities of this technology – but also highlighted its complexities.
DAM features were what was missing from the file management platforms they were using, but the cost of switching was out of reach. In 2018 they set out to build the tool they were missing – a visually appealing, easy-to-use, scalable file management tool that eliminated the need to use multiple platforms to do one job.
But don’t take our word for it, we have been relieving the pain for brands and agencies alike for more than 5 years! Here’s what they are saying:
“We run a 100% remote working e-commerce and media brand dealing with large files from a completely outsourced team. We needed one tool that bought everyone (both internal and external) together and enabled them to work effectively and efficiently from anywhere. Stockpress is that tool!”
Dana Paul CEO – Ritual Motion
“I finally have a centralized place to store digital assets and share them with clients. Other options either weren’t as manageable, didn’t have as many options, or simply didn’t look as good.”
Aaron Mosby, Lead Graphic Designer – Arcbound
If you run an outsourced or hybrid creative and content model or simply want a better way to manage your in-house creative and content operations, Stockpress is a cost-effective way to give your team a file management and file-sharing platform they can love. Get started or FREE with unlimited users and 5 GB of storage here.