Freelancers VS Agencies


This post is going to be absolutely drenched in bias, so let’s just get that out of the way. We are an agency, and obviously if we had our way you’d hire us over someone else. That being said, there are a handful of things to consider when hiring out for marketing help, so I’ll do my best to play them out in an objective way.

Defining Terms

An agency is typically a collective of creatives (usually with different skillsets that crossover in certain areas), whereas a freelancer is an individual with a single, more specific background.

Perks of an Agency

  • An agency, in terms of a business operating successfully, carries at least some degree of inherent credibility. A long series of events had to fire off in a positive way for an agency to even exist in the first place.
  • An agency is typically composed of a handpicked team which would likely consist of the best performing talent available.
  • An agency has a certain level of “risk” on the line. Reputation matters, and a company is in no position to risk theirs. Customer satisfaction is at the top of their list.

Perks of a Freelancer

  • Freelancers are typically hungry. They’re eager to find and complete projects, and will often work around the clock to complete them.
  • Freelancers are usually fresh to the industry and therefore are better able/more willing to adapt to unique work environments, such as more strict or predetermined project plans, schedules, etc.

Downsides of an Agency

  • Agencies aren’t new to the game. They’ve got existing procedures, processes and timelines. They know the best way to get their job done – and it might not be what you’re used to.
  • Agencies have multiple clients and multiple projects. The project you’re handing off to the agency is surely the single most important thing in the world to you, but in reality it’s one of several (or many) “single most important” projects on the agency’s plate.
  • It is possible and likely that multiple hands will play a role in your project, and it is unlikely that you’ll be communicating with the individual(s) working on your project at all.

Downsides of a Freelancer

  • There are many freelancers throughout the world that prefer to stay solo because they have decent success doing it. There are also just as many, if not more, freelancers operating solo – not necessarily by choice, if you catch my drift.
  • Freelancers are often doing their work on the side, which can mean anything from longer timelines, to a lack of general availability, to a half-hearted approach/subpar priority, to varying degrees of seriousness.
  • Freelancers are typically supported by other means (a day job) and have a little less skin in the game. You can’t leave John Smith a review on Google — and you also can’t read reviews about John Smith.

Final Thoughts

Wait – why are you reading this part? Don’t let me make your decision for you.

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