Agency vs Freelancer: Which One Should You Choose?
Last update: 23 September 2022 at 03:50 pm
As a client, you face a dilemma when it comes to getting help from an outside provider. Agency vs freelancer? Indeed, this is a question we hear very often and it is impossible to give you a ready-made answer.
The choice of one or the other will depend on your needs. There is no right or wrong choice. They are just two different ways of working.
Let’s outline the advantages of each of the two options here:
An Agency Brings Together the Service Providers You Need
The agency will save you considerable time because it has selected the right profiles to take care of your project. Indeed, it has the advantage of having in-house all the necessary trades to take care of you. You will no longer need to do endless research to find the “perfect profile” for your company.
The agency will know which skills will be necessary to meet your needs and will avoid the bad choices because it has inevitably in its team people experts in the various fields of digital marketing.
The agency has a wide variety of profiles at its disposal in one place, which allows it to assign projects according to the degree of expertise required. Thus, large-scale projects that require certain know-how will be assigned to more senior, experienced profiles.
Sometimes, agencies will actually work with freelancers! Bringing the best of both worlds together, such as Max Lilley from his one-man agency Bite Design, specializing in packaging for the food and beverage industry.
“It’s literally me by myself at the minute, but I do work with freelancers on sort of day rates just because it’s a bit more agile and I find it’s a bit easier doing that than bringing in people full time.”Max Lilley
While projects that require reactivity, audacity but little expertise will be assigned to junior profiles (interns or operational).
The Organization Is Already in Place
To best meet the needs of your project, several profiles will probably have to collaborate. The more people there are, the more difficult it will be to manage them all. You risk being overworked and not having time to do the other tasks required by your position.
A digital marketing consulting agency works like this: there is a “project manager” who leads everyone and who will be your main contact. His mission will be to distribute the tasks, make sure the project is running smoothly and give you regular feedback.
In addition, the project manager will be in charge of transmitting your directives to the team members and will make sure that the deadlines and instructions are respected. This ensures a very high level of reliability.
Consistency in Strategy
In an agency, all the professionals consult each other to decide together on the best strategy for your business. The different profiles meet regularly to discuss the progress of the marketing plan.
Working as a team ensures consistency in the strategy deployed. Everyone knows where they are going, what they have to do and this avoids duplication and maximizes the quality of service delivery.
An Agency Has the Capacity to Manage Contingencies
Because of its resources in terms of employees but also because of its operating mode, an agency knows how to manage the absences of its service providers due to, for example, a family bereavement or a departure on vacation.
Indeed, an agency has to define a set of rules and procedures to be respected so that the project goes on without any hitch. Even if the person in charge changes during the project, the new person will be able to know directly where the project is at.
These procedures must allow any new person arriving on the project to understand the issues, to find the useful data, and thus to resume an unexpectedly interrupted work site (client’s coordinates, access codes, project documentation, etc.).
It’s a Long-Term Commitment
Because of its resources and its multidisciplinary skills, an agency will more easily ensure a follow-up of your project whereas a freelance, being by definition alone to manage all the requests, could have more difficulties on the long term.
Moreover, if you thought you only needed an SEO expert, you may realize that an e-mailing expert would also be welcome to design your campaigns. An agency will be able to provide you with this profile, whereas a freelance SEO expert will hardly improvise himself as an e-mailing expert.
Freelancers Take Care of Their Clients
In the recent years, the popularity of freelancing has become increasingly rampant. There is a general opinion that working with a freelancer often involves more risks. For example, it is difficult to assess their level of competence, or to ensure their commitment to the project. However, freelancers advertise exclusively through word of mouth.
This means that they will try to be as efficient as possible so that you will talk about them and that they will get work. The freelancer has little interest in not being involved in your project.
Freelancers Are More Flexible and Responsive to Deadlines
Working with an agency incurs more costs than working with a freelancer. Indeed, an agency has to pay structural costs (rent, salaries) that a freelancer is exempt from. This is why agencies are not very open to negotiation. Freelancers, on the other hand, are more flexible due to their independent status.
Freelancers Produce Work That Is Qualitatively Equivalent to That of an Agency
Did you know that many freelancers work as subcontractors for an agency? In other words, a freelancer may be in charge of the project you have entrusted to your agency. However, the project manager remains a contractor of the agency.
Some freelancers even produce work that is qualitatively superior to that of an agency. They have succeeded in making a name for themselves and no longer find it difficult to work for themselves.
Freelancers Work as Much if Not More Than an Agency
Many freelancers are active business owners who answer the phone, sometimes even late in the evening. They often have much longer working hours than employees. Freelancers are hard-working people who take your project seriously and professionally.
In Conclusion: Agency vs Freelancer
There is no right or wrong choice regarding working with an agency or a freelancer.
It all depends on your needs.
A freelance seems to be very suitable for start-ups or companies in the following situations:
- with a limited budget
- needing small-scale web marketing strategies
- with targeted needs over short periods of time
- with little prospect of evolution of the strategy in the short term
For the other cases, it seems that using an agency is more appropriate. Its mode of operation, its organization and its long-term commitment is more in line with the aspirations of a larger company.