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Freelancer v Agency: Which Should You Choose?

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Sure, early in your business venture, it made sense for you to take care of the digital marketing yourself. You weren’t as busy, you didn’t have a big budget, and you were the only person who knew your brand inside out. But now, it’s different. You’re expanding, you have a bigger budget, and you yourself are being pulled in different directions everyday by those around you. So, the question is – do you choose to hire a freelancer to do the work for you, or a digital agency?

The first thing you’re probably asking yourself is well, what’s the difference?

Great question.

A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers their services to one or multiple clients at a time. Generally, you’ll find that they only specialise in one or two areas (such as graphic design, brand strategy, photography and so on).

An agency, however, has a larger team of creative professionals behind them operating in a hierarchical system. Individuals each specialise in a specific area and have set targets that need to be achieved.

Now, let’s break it down further.

We’ve Got Priorities

Firstly, we’ve gotta give a quick kudos to all the freelancers out there. Becoming an established freelance worker isn’t easy and requires a lot of hustle, so here’s to you.

*Cue champagne glasses clinking*

Although some are lucky enough to call this their full-time job, there are freelancers out there that freelance as their side gig. This is their second job, and they juggle it after they’ve finished their 9-5. Seriously, talk about having ambition and drive. If their projects are large and time consuming, you’ll find that they usually work on them one at a time. That’s great because they’re providing their undivided attention. It may just take them a little longer to complete because the project is only being worked on after hours. That being said, it’s important to note that it’ll solely depend on the person you’re working with though. Everyone works differently.

Agencies on the other hand, rely on the business of their clients, meaning the projects we take on will always be on the top of our to-do lists. We’re passionate, we’re hungry and we love nothing more than achieving positive results. Just sayin’.

Together, We’re a Master of All

Freelancers are skilled, we’re definitely not trying to take away from that. People don’t become freelancers without that fiery feeling in the pit of their stomach, so they’ll do wonders in their specific line of work. But that’s the disadvantage. They’ll do wonders in their specific line of work. They don’t always wear numerous hats. When you’re looking to hire someone, you may want someone who can do the whole shebang.

To put it into a little more (picos) perspective, imagine you need to build a website for your new business. A freelancer may know how to build the website for you, but will they be able to do both the photography and editing? Potentially yes, but maybe not. If you choose to go with an agency, you’ll have someone working on every aspect – the website, the user experience, the graphics and the copy.

If you’re a small business and you need a specific one-off job done, then maybe a freelancer is the perfect match for you. But even the most talented of us can only know so much, so if the project at hand requires a few different areas of expertise, an agency will prove to be more helpful.

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Focus On Your Business, While We Focus On You

Working alone may seem like a dream to some, but it’s one of the biggest challenges a freelancer will (unfortunately) face. They don’t have a team that they can have a chinwag with, no brainstorming sessions, no turning to their colleagues for guidance. It can be tough.

As a freelancer, you’ll work hard to pay for the equipment you need and the courses to upskill yourself, but there’s only so much you can do with the time you have.

Agencies have certain processes in play that are not only used to track the progress of any ongoing work but allow for the planning and execution of strategies. This keeps them on schedule, accountable and allows for good internal communication within teams. While you focus on yourself and your biz, they’ll be focused on you and your needs.

Side note: They’re also lucky enough to have access to their wider team and industry experts.

We’ll Be There For You, Always

Working alone isn’t a new concept for freelancers. For their business to succeed, they need to do good business themselves. It’s in their best interest to do their job well. If they’re wanting to get recommended by you further down the line, they’ll try to provide the best service they can and make sure your needs are met. However, you don’t always sign a contract with a freelancer. So, what’s stopping them from completely ghosting you out of nowhere like that person you were chatting to on Hinge? The answer: nothing.

Another important thing to think about is, what happens if you’re working with a freelancer and they get sick? What if they decide to take a holiday or they’re just unavailable? The result: projects getting pushed back. Choosing to work with an agency automatically puts this problem to bed. If the person you need isn’t around, someone else will always be there to pick up the pieces.

The Moola

The conversation that can sometimes be daunting but needs to be done.

It’s common to think that a freelancer may be easier on the wallet from the get-go. You’re paying one person as opposed to a whole team of people. That’s not necessarily always correct though. Depending on the freelancer and what they offer, a cheaper rate isn’t guaranteed.

An agency may have a higher price tag from the beginning. After all, they’re hiring a bunch of creatives to do the work for them. Oh, and they rent a space to do it all in. But it’s guaranteed that your work will get completed to the highest of quality. With an agency, your service can be tailored depending on what you need, your budget and what your goals are.

We account for everything to come, so it’s less likely you’ll be caught off guard down the track. It’s the safer long-term investment.

So, what’s next?

This is where you do your research and make your decision. If you’re wanting to get a team of kick-ass creatives onboard to help you with your biz (cough, cough), it’s time to reach out and make the move. The squad here at picos are always keen to have a chat with you and maybe even play a (competitive) game of Foosball. Are you ready to rumble?

Foosball
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