29 Jul Working with a Marketing Agency vs. Hiring a Freelancer
For many small businesses and business owners, the time will come when some help with your marketing. You may need to update your website. Or hire someone to manage your blog or social media. In either scenario, you will often have to choose between a freelancer or a marketing agency. Learn about the differences between hiring a freelancer and working with a marketing agency as well as the pros/cons of each to determine which serves you best.
This is the age-old challenge for solopreneurs. You hire someone to take work off your plate and then spend more time keeping them on track and telling them what to do. It feels easier to just do it yourself! Project management is often what has been overlooked – who’s in charge of keeping things on track? This is also where a freelancer vs a marketing agency will differ. With a freelancer, you will often have to direct and guide the tasks you want them to handle. This includes setting up systems and creating strategies. A freelancer is ideal for someone who wants more control – perhaps you are handing off a task you do well and what to make sure they duplicate your process. It will also keep more work on your plate. In contrast, a marketing agency will provide you with end-to-end project management. They bring their own systems, will create strategies and then manage task completion. This is ideal for an area of your business that is not your wheelhouse (or you are simply not that interested in). With a marketing agency, the focus is often more about meeting an objective vs. completing a task.
One crucial detail to consider when outsourcing is the ability of a freelancer or marketing agency to provide consistency. Freelancers are individual people. People that may change their mind, take another job, not be able to manage their time or simply disappear. We’ve experienced all of the above. A marketing agency on the other hand is likely to offer more long-term consistency – especially with contracts in place. Here you have a team that can share work, ensuring things are always taken care of for your business.
The bottom line is that marketing agencies are more expensive. There is no arguing this fact. They have more operational business costs compared with a freelancer. Their scope of services is often larger with specialized team members, too. If you need assistance managing one aspect of your business (say posting to your social media feeds), a freelancer is a good way to outsource things. But if you need a wider range of services managed or want to consolidate various things under one point person (say you all your marketing efforts), a marketing agency is the way to go.
Are you working with a newbie or an experienced expert? A freelancer often specializes in a couple of specific skills with growing experience. Similar to hiring an employee, you may have to wait for a freelancer’s skills to develop. This can be a good match for a new business, whereas your freelancer will grow with you (increasing their fees as your revenue increases). Meanwhile, an agency will have a team of specialists covering many skills and at various levels. They can fill in areas of weakness in your business and bring you experienced, mentor-level insight to help your business grow. This will be more expensive and is often better suited for businesses looking to scale. As they say, you get what you pay for. The fees a freelancer and marketing agency charges should be based on their skillset.
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