To get your business to where you want it to go, or reach its goals, digital marketing is a must. You can either do it yourself or hire someone else for assistance. Getting someone else to do it, either means hiring a freelancer on his own or having a professional digital marketing agency develop the desired marketing solutions for you. The decision to outsource jobs will impact your company and overall profits in many ways, which is why you need to carefully consider all possibilities before jumping into it headfirst.
It can be hard to choose between an agency and a freelancer for your company’s digital marketing solutions. This conundrum isn’t new though, as the easy accessibility of a large pool of talent makes it difficult to decide who you should hire.
The rise of online platforms like Upwork, Fiver, and others has made outsourcing mainstream. They allow companies to reach out beyond their borders for professional assistance in a way that was never possible before the internet age.
The benefits of hiring a freelancer are clear, but with so many options out there, it can be tough to find someone who is the perfect fit. We’ll look at some things you should consider before choosing your next digital partner: whether an agency or a freelancer would make the best choice and how they differ in terms of costs and expertise. There are many factors to consider when making a decision, but there is no definite answer for which one will work best. Let us examine the pros and cons of each, so you can make an informed choice, best suited for your organization. Keep reading!
There are many freelancers out there, from artists to programmers. You can hire a designer from 99 Designs or Upwork and have them design a creative you that is unique and creative.
If you have a one-time project requisition, that is taking up all your employees’ time, you can hire a freelancer to complete the task, thus freeing up your employees’ time, and looking into the core aspects of your business. Or, if your company needs specific expertise or knowledge about a certain topic, to be successful you should consider hiring someone who specializes in the particular domain.
The best way to promote your business is through a professional marketing agency. Their typical marketing team includes copywriters to write customer-centric and SEO-optimized content for all channels, designers to analyze, understand your target audience needs and create effective designs, coders and programmers to convert designs into functional and responsive websites, and SEO and SEM specialists to drive both, organic and inorganic traffic to your website, which is also your brand’s unique online identity. From logo, web designs, development, and branding strategies to SEO and social media promotions – all your marketing requirements can be delivered by a marketing agency.
Agency Vs. Freelancer: Basic Difference
To summarize, freelancers are self-employed individuals who focus on a certain aspect of the project. Agencies provide customers with networks of experts to meet growing demands for broad expertise; employees work under a single brand and have experience working together as part of an agency. The best solution is not always clear-cut. There are a variety of factors to consider, and the right decision depends on your goals.
Pros And Cons Of Hiring An Agency And a Freelancer
We’ve looked at some of the major factors to consider before you choose between working with a freelancer or an agency.
While price is an important factor to consider, it shouldn’t be the only deciding metric.
Agency – Once you hire an agency, they will either charge for every individual project or on a monthly retainer. They work on a contract basis and generally cost more than freelancers but less than in-house employees because agencies don’t bear overhead costs like taxes that are associated with full-time teams. Moreover, you tend to get more expertise for the amount you pay.
Freelancer – Freelancers are a great option if you’re looking for a cheap and affordable way. A freelancer doesn’t have to pay for office spaces, onboarding sessions, or new tools; thus, they’ll be more cost-efficient than hiring someone full-time or hiring an agency.
After deciding how much money you want to spend, you must think about project control and management.
Agency – Your agency will have your back, plan objectives and set long-term goals. They’ll even give you rapid solutions if something goes wrong with the project. You won’t need to be involved in daily activities or hand-holding either! The best part is that they also handle the maintenance of projects – so there’s no hassle for you!
Freelancer – Hiring a freelancer might seem like an easy choice. However, you will have to manage all of your responsibilities on your own without any help from them if they are sick or unable to complete their work for some reason. If you want full control over deadlines and the progress of a project, hiring a freelancer won’t be a wise choice. Let’s not forget the gory follow-ups.
Want to invest some time in hiring good experts or want a handy short-term solution? Expertise is one of the most crucial factors you must consider when making your decision.
Agency – Hiring an agency provides all the solutions you need for your business at any time. Although it may be expensive, they are guaranteed to have highly skilled professionals that can work on a variety of projects and industries. These agencies also have insight into different companies so working with them will give you more knowledge about other industry trends. Another factor to note is that even though the agency as a whole may be new, the team that makes up the company are usually people who bring in a considerable amount of experience, which usually works in your favor.
Freelancer – Freelancers specialize in a particular field and sell the skills they are skilled at. They often concentrate on one specific project type, so you can find someone to fit your exact needs! If it is only about performing one task, freelancing is a great choice for you.
Quality And Results
Collaborating with people who deliver high-quality work is the most important factor to consider. Collaboration also matters more than you might think, considering that it’s often viewed as secondary by many companies and employees alike.
Agency – Agencies will always strive to give you the best results, even if it costs them more time and money. Hiring an agency can seem expensive at the onset, but they are well worth your investment because of their dedication to excellence. Since they are already working with multiple brands, they usually have dedicated staff to manage each account.
Freelancer – Freelancers are often juggling multiple jobs. If you’re working with one who doesn’t care about quality, they will end up taking on your project even though it goes over the scope and then either stop in the middle of it or give a boring generic output that isn’t their best work.
The process of finding talented people for your project can be a challenge in itself, so hiring them legally should not slow you down. It’s important to know the differences between hiring an agency and a freelancer before making any decisions.
Agency – Agencies provide a legal partnership and care about ensuring that you can work legally, and in adherence to compliance standards. They may even ask for your signature on contracts which is their way of showing concern over the safety of your rights being preserved by them.
Freelancer – Freelancers are easy to work with one on one, but if something goes wrong there is usually little you can do. Be sure to check your freelancer’s background before hiring someone so that it doesn’t get too complicated in the long run should anything go wrong.
Do you want to communicate with a person who can talk anytime, or do you prefer communication at the beginning and end of projects? The point of contact must also be considered when making your choice
Agency – In addition to dedicated on-staff support, you will be assigned a project manager who is your point of contact if you have any questions about the progress of the project, or even for general communication. Agencies also have access to and use multiple software that freelancers may not have access to.
Freelancer – Freelancers are easy to communicate with and may not set a time limit for when they’ll reply. But then again, freelancers can vanish. Hence it’s important to hire from credible sources.
Do you want a proper explanation of why the strategy was formed or just need it to be done? This is another important factor when hiring.
Agency – Usually, agencies have more resources than individuals. A creative team from an agency will have experts and know much about the process to bring in and execute innovative ideas; you will also understand why they chose a method or idea to work with rather than another one.
Freelancer – It is hard to get a creative push when hiring one freelancer for your project. Freelancers may not be good at fulfilling niches, and they barely can provide you with fresh ideas like an entire team of people could. That said, there are freelancers with exceptional skills.
When your in-house marketing team takes charge of delivering to all your marketing needs, it sometimes may lead to complacency, missing critical deadlines thus losing on important opportunities. By hiring a freelancer or a marketing agency to deliver everything related to your marketing needs you can be assured of timely delivery of every marketing requisition.
Agency – Agencies provide structured and deeper expertise than individual freelancers do. Before hiring an agency, have clear communication with them about all your marketing requisitions and deadlines, and understand whether they are capable of delivering up to your business’s expectations. Establish trust before you commit to hiring an agency.
Freelancer – The best way to measure a freelancer’s ability to provide excellent digital marketing is his track record. If you’ve worked with him before or are certain he has great reviews, there should be no reason not to trust him. A freelancer is a one-man army and lacks backup; they may lack assurance for larger companies.
Working at ground zero allows you to respond to the marketing needs of your business as soon as they arise. How well you can respond, however, depends on your company’s capabilities in other areas such as finance or customer service if it is not a marketing-related industry.
Agency – If you need a large amount of work done quickly, it’s better to hire an agency instead of hiring someone directly. Agencies are more likely to respond promptly or provide the exact deliverable that you’re looking for because they have more people and have a shorter responding time compared to a freelancer, and the quality of work is always at par excellence.
Freelancer – Freelancers are especially useful when marketing needs change quickly. Their agility is great, but they may not have the time to make sure their work is of high quality.
As your marketing needs grow, it may be hard to balance the amount of work you have when working on your own. You might not want to hire an in-house team because they may become limited in their marketing efforts, skill set, and resources. A good solution to this issue is outsourcing your marketing.
Agency – Your agency is staffed with experts who will work tirelessly to give your business the attention it deserves. Whether you require marketing services for a single client or multiple clients, your dedicated team at the agency does not stop working when an individual falls ill. Moreover, agencies like these are known as full-service, which means they can handle all aspects of their job, including media relations and social media advertising campaigns on top of managing SEO strategies and email campaigns to help build brand recognition among potential customers.
Freelancer – However, if you hire a freelancer to work on your marketing efforts instead of hiring an agency, they may be juggling more than one client at the same time. Also, you might need to hire more than one or two freelancers based on your requirement. You may end up spending more hiring freelancers to cover every vertical of your marketing requisition.
According to our team at Digitally Global, here are a few pointers for you to help you decide whether to hire a freelancer or an agency for your marketing needs.
Your Business Needs a Full-Time Agency When:
- There are complicated multi-phase projects
- Products require a broad area of expertise
- You need fast-paced high-quality solutions
- You have a medium or high budget
Your Business Can Hire a Freelancer When There Are:
- Small one-and-done projects
- Hyper-specialized tasks
- Projects that need your heavy involvement
- Low-budget jobs
Queries To Help You Decide Whether To Hire An Agency Or a Freelancer
Each option has its merits. There is only one choice that is right for your business; thus, it is important to ask these questions for a better understanding of the stage your business is in and the consequent level of support you will need to grow it:
- Do you have a clear value proposition?
- Do you have an idea of your target consumers?
- Do you have a distinguishable brand identity? Or do you need help creating one?
- Do you have the assets, and skills to create your brand identity?
Answer ‘yes’ to the majority of these questions – then hiring freelancers may cater to your marketing needs. Yet a point you need to pay attention to – a freelancer possesses a limited skill set and cannot give you a holistic marketing solution, unlike a professional marketing agency.
However, if most of your answers are no to the above questions, agencies are the best choice to go with; whether it’s a full-service agency, an agency of brand specialists, SEO agencies, or web agencies. Agencies facilitate growth and strategy development for your company at every stage taking pressure off your internal teams.
The Final Decision Is Yours To Make
Outsourcing is amazing for growing a small business because it has numerous benefits. For many startups, building the tech and business infrastructure from scratch isn’t an option so outsourcing can be lifesaving. But choosing who to outsource to, as we’ve mentioned, can be challenging. Hiring freelancers makes sense if you need someone for shorter projects that needs more control over the process; however, sometimes paying less means receiving lower-quality service which always comes with potential risks. When you’re looking for a more predictable outcome, agencies are your best bet. You can nail complex projects under strict deadlines and scrutiny at the cost of paying higher fees. For startups especially, this may not be an option as they don’t have much capital to spare on such expenses.
To make the right choice between a freelancer and a digital agency, consider your company’s specific needs. Apart from your budget, experience, industry knowledge, and availability often play big roles in deciding which one to choose; however, considering how fast the marketing space moves can be even more important than all three considerations combined. If you do end up deciding to hire an agency, you might want to talk to our folks here at Digitally Global. They’ve got the means to deliver projects up to your expectation, and what’s great is that they can do it without burning a deep hole in your pocket!