Freelancers VS Agencies: What’s Best for your Business?

28 Jun. 21
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Your business has decided it’s time for a makeover. You need a graphic designer to build a logo or brand image that you and your team will love. But you’ve hit a fork in the road – who should you hire to get the job done? Of course, there’s a wide-open market of various freelance websites that’ll let you handpick from a pool of various talents. There are also graphic design agencies, which may be a bit pricier but could offer a more professional service for your business. Who to choose? Who would work best for you? You need to ask yourself these questions before you start spending money. We’ve broken down a few tips below that’ll help you decide if freelancers or agencies are the right picks for you.

When to Decide?

Once you’ve passed the early startup phase of your business, you’re going to want to begin figuring out the voice or image you want for your business. But you’re busy! You’re making the hard choices and trying to keep things booming. That’s when you realize it’s time to branch out and hire some form of marketing service. Maybe your budget is limited, and you’re feeling lost as to what would be better: a freelancer or a smaller agency. Surprisingly, a lot of businesses regularly face a dilemma like this; so why don’t we ever talk about it?

Why is it so hard to Choose?

The difficulty comes from the fact that your options are essentially endless. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Gigster offer thousands upon thousands of freelance services, and digital marketing agencies are just as numerous. Moreover, you need to make sure the people you’re hiring understand both your business type and the niche you fill. You wouldn’t hire a video game logo designer for your healthcare company, would you?

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Before we give you the pros and cons of each, we need to step back for a second and explain the difference between a freelancer and an agency. Freelancers are often singular individuals or groups no more than 5 who work independently from larger companies on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. A recent study showed 53 million Americans work as freelancers. Agencies are larger teams of marketing professionals who receive their projects in the form of targets to meet. They function similarly to most larger businesses. 

Freelancers, Pros, and Cons:

  1. Pros:  Freelancers are often highly skilled in their own specific niche. They’ll often have several years prior experience working for larger companies before they chose to become a freelancer. This gives them a sense of perspective you may not find with other agencies or businesses. Freelancers work largely in niches as previously stated, so if you have a specific need filled; they may be your best bet.
  2. Cons: While freelancers are highly skilled in specific roles or niches, they aren’t a jack of all trades. You may need more than one freelancer if your marketing plan or campaign has multiple aspects you need to be covered. It can become time-consuming for business owners to go through multiple freelancers trying to find the right fit for each part of their business.

Agencies, Pros, and Cons:

  1. Pros: When you use a digital agency, you’ll be working with more than just one person. These companies have teams with a huge range of skills and services. Moreover, you’ll only need to deal with them one time as opposed to having to speak to multiple freelancers. Agencies are great at staying on the same page and will deliver your logo or image in an efficient and timely manner.
  2. Cons: When using agencies, you rarely get to choose who you work with. The business itself will allocate a worker to your business, and this is usually done at complete random based on the size of your business. This means smaller businesses may not receive the best members of the team, or may in fact be working with the rookies of the company. 

Factors to Help you Choose:

  1. Experience in your Niche: Before choosing either a freelancer or agency, it’s best to check if they’ve worked in your industry sector before. Most businesses and freelancers will provide portfolios on request, allowing you to sift through their previous work and consider their credentials in your industry. If they’re inexperienced in your line of work, there may be difficult for them to develop a business plan or to deliver what you need efficiently.
  2. Reputation and Performance:  Always check the reviews for anyone you’re about to hire. A good reputation goes a long way in the world of freelancing, and you want to make sure you aren’t hiring someone who will run off as soon as you cut the check. Conversely, look into agencies. Make sure they treat each customer as a priority and deliver high-end work as a result. There’s no sense in paying for shoddy service!
  3. Accepting Recommendations: While you’ll get a lot of information from simply reading reviews, it’s also important to ask around for advice for recommendations. Check with friends who own businesses themselves and get their input; or contact Facebook groups to get their feedback. Recommendations, particularly with high-grade freelancers; are a great way of finding the holy grail of content producers for your business.

There’s always plenty to consider, and when dealing with something as sensitive as your brand identity; you can leave no box unchecked. Following these tips and using common sense will make all the difference between hiring someone who can get the job done, or paying out for something poor.

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