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Updated: June 24, 2021

Outsourcing Question: Freelancer or Marketing Agency?

As a small business, the cost of hiring an in-house team to handle the day-to-day operations can be very high. That is why it has become common practice to outsource certain business functions such as handling payroll, task scheduling, content creation, and marketing. One question that most business owners ask when outsourcing is whether to hire a freelancer or a marketing agency to handle the tasks. This is really not an easy decision as both have their own merits. Here, we’ll be looking at the various advantages and disadvantages of hiring a freelancer or marketing agency and the different factors you need to consider when hiring one or the other.
Outsourcing Question: Freelancer or Marketing Agency?

Hiring a Freelancer

Freelancers are a great choice, especially when your business is still in a startup phase or when you’re just starting a project. They can fill any need your business may have and can cost considerably lower than when hiring someone in-house or even an agency, depending of course on the task that needs to be done and the level of skill required.

Pros:

1. Lower Rates

Freelancers often set their own rates for the work that they do, which depend highly on their level of skill, the task that you give them, and the length of the project. These rates often cost you considerably less than what you have to pay for hiring in-house, or an agency. Another thing to consider is that because they work from home, they don’t have any overhead costs to consider when naming their price.

2. Specialized Skills

When you have specific tasks that need to be done long-term, you can hire freelancers that specialize in that specific task, among others. Freelancers often specialize in a particular field and gain experience. This is an expertise they can provide for you, giving you assurance that you found the right talent for handling your project.

3. Independent Work

Having freelancers work from home and already having the right skills, when you hire them, results in saving you a lot of time. You don’t need to train freelancers or wait for them to accustom to the new work enviroment. Their independence gives you more time to handle other facets of running the business – as long as you clearly lay out the parameters of the work you expect them to do.

Freelancer

Cons:

1. Conflicting Schedules

If you choose to hire freelancers outside of your time zone, conflicts may arise in your timing. This can be especially difficult if you have an urgent task that needs doing and your hired freelancer is unavailable. Sometimes even hiring freelancers inside your time zone can result in having a conflicting schedule and that’s because they usually work with multiple clients.

2. Multiple Clients

Most freelancers handle multiple clients at a given time period. As such, they might be juggling multiple tasks, which may affect the quality of the work they are doing at some point.

3. Sudden Departure

Due to the nature (or lack thereof) of the employee-employer relationship, freelancers might easily leave your employ, sometimes without notice. While yes, freelancers live and die by their reputation, there are no guarantees freelancer just won’t disappear. This can be a pain, especially if the freelancer is a crucial part of your business operations. It can also be especially difficult if they were handling a task and left midway, which can be difficult for the replacement to continue the task.

Hiring a Marketing Agency

In contrast to freelancers, agencies have multiple people at their disposal who are experts in various fields. They could also be a team of talented freelancers working together. These agencies can be listed among the best corporate marketing companies or Top eCommerce Agencies in Boston, Chicago, or wherever you need. This leaves you with many options when you have various tasks that you need to accomplish.

Pros:

1.Versatility

One of the main benefits of digital marketing agencies is sheer size of them. Marketing agencies have various people working for them, giving you more options for various tasks. If you need to run a certain campaign, they can assign specific people to handle graphics, content, social media campaigns, and more.

2.Expertise

Aside from being versatile, one of the main strenghts of a marketing agencies is haiving a high level of expertise through handling many jobs in the past. They can employ particular marketing strategies and tools that can help you with your digital presence.

3. Assurance

Marketing agencies have a reputation to uphold and maintain. Because of this, you can be assured that whatever job they take on, you can make sure they will strive to achieve your goals to keep you happy while also making sure they can acquire more contracts in the future. This is a great advantage for working with marketing agencies, especially if you want to include them in long-term projects.

4. Time Savings

Because marketing agencies work in teams, they are able to complete tasks much faster than individual freelancers not only because of the sheer number of people working on the project, but also because they are closely monitored by a project manager to oversee each facet of the project. Speed can be a valuable benefit of a marketing agency for a lot of business owners.

Marketing Agency

Cons:

1. Higher Costs

As opposed to freelancers who work individually, marketing agencies will typically cost more because they have plenty of other factors to consider when considering fees you need to pay such as overhead costs, employee salaries and benefits, and their level of expertise. Moreover, these fees will vary depending on the reputation and expertise of the agency. The better the agency, the better the quality of work, but at the same time, they will be very costly to hire.

2. Lack of Dedication

Marketing agencies don’t just take on one client at a time. Just like freelancers, they will handle multiple clients within a given time period. This means there may be instances when the time allotted for your project is minimal due to the sheer volume of projects they are handling.

3. Lack of Flexibility

The fact that you work with a company also provide such downside as waiting. Unlike with freelancer, it can take some time to get an answer. Sometimes you may need to go through several people to get a comment from a person responsible for your project. And if you ant to change something you, again, have to wait for information to get to the right person before getting their responce.

4. Lack of Personal Control

With digital agency you give reighns fully to the people on the other side. You don’t know who exactly will work on the product, what skills they have, what is their experience. You can’t personally maintain their work and give instant feedback. You will have to fully trust agency on that, and not everyone is ready to do that.

Conclusion

When considering whether to hire a freelancer or a marketing agency to handle your marketing, it is important to weigh your options carefully. Both certainly have their advantages, which also come with several disadvantages.

Which one you will ultimately choose will depend largely on the level of urgency of your project, your project’s demands, and of course, your budget.

So, will you hire a freelancer or a marketing agency?

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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