8 min read
Updated: May 14, 2020

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, depending of course on the task that needs to be done and the level of skill required.


1. Less Overhead

Hiring freelancers allows you to save on major overhead costs, such as office space and utilities. Aside from that, depending on the type of business, you are able to run your entire business remotely, without any need for a physical store, which also means you save on furniture and office space to house your employees.

2. 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.

3. 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 do for you, giving you assurance that you have the right talent handling your project.

4. Independent Work

Aside from cutting costs on overhead and salary, you can also save from having to train freelancers due to their vast experience in specific fields. They are also accustomed to working remotely, independently, giving 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.



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.

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. Quick Departure

Due to the nature (or lack thereof) of the employee-employer relationship, freelancers might easily leave your employ, sometimes without notice. 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.



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.


Aside from being versatile, marketing agencies have acquired 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.

4. Accountability

As opposed to freelancers having to motivate themselves to do a task, marketing agencies work in teams and have project managers to oversee tasks that need doing. As such, monitoring a project is easier for you than having to monitor the work of many individual freelancers, giving you more time to handle other important things.

5. 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.

Marketing Agency


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. 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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